Garden Decking Cost

By Heather
Last updated 26th April 2023 - Reading time: 18 mins
At a glance
  • Average cost for installing decking is £1500
  • It will take roughly 2 days to complete
In this article, you'll find the following:
  • A breakdown of pricing information for different types of garden decking
  • How long the job will take and a general overview of what the job entails
  • Supply costs for decking boards
  • How to find and hire a decking installer

Want to know how much decking costs?

Here, we compare the different decking prices for softwood, hardwood, composite, Trex and uPVC decking. We also break down the costs by materials and labour.

You can expect to pay around £1500, but there are certain factors that affect the overall cost.

If you'd like a quote for fitting decking - take a look at our range of gardeners who will be happy to give you a free quote.

For all you need to know about decking, read below!

garden with decking

Average Cost of Supplying and Fitting Garden Decking

Depending on the complexity of the garden decking, it will usually take: 1-2 days


How Much Does Decking Cost?

The typical cost of garden decking is around £1,200 to £1,800 for up to two day’s work. This price will vary depending on the materials you choose, the size of the decking, your location as well as the duration of the job.

The main material you need is garden decking, which is available in different variations. The most popular materials include pre-treated softwood, which is the least expensive with installation costs up to £1,000 for decking covering 15m².

What about a more durable decking?

For something more durable, you may want to opt for hardwood which could cost up to £2,000 for professional handy work.

Another popular material is composite WPC decking which usually costs around £1,600 for 15 square metres.

This has the benefit of a modern and low-maintenance. PVC Plastic is another great option which is usually priced at around £30 to £40 per square metre, offering you an aesthetically-pleasing decking material with mould-resistant qualities.

garden decking types and cost graphic

Other elements you need to consider include weed proof membrane which usually costs around £10 for a 20 square meter roll. To avoid further rotting, a professional will use wood oil or a decking preservative treatment which could add on around £25 or more to your bill.

You will also need to account for labour costs, which will depend on the time spent on the job as well as the materials used, as some are easier to install than others. However, typical labour costs are priced at £120 to £200 per day.

You may also need to consider waste removal if the job involves removing your existing garden decking. The cost of this will depend on how much waste needs to be taken away, although a typical removal job would be priced at £10 to £30 per square metre of waste.

garden decking area

If you’re on a budget, you may want to opt for a typical decking which can be found in your local DIY store and will cost around £1,000. This includes:

  • Timber decking boards - £390
  • Timber frame - £180
  • Fixings - £20
  • Membrane - £30
  • Preservative - £30
  • Waste removal and disposal - £50
  • Labour and profits - £300

For something more high end and durable, you could opt for a more expensive option which could cost up to £6,320. This includes the same price for the timber frames, membrane and waste disposal, although other costs include:

  • Premium IPE boards - £3,000
  • Fixings - £240
  • Oil - £80
  • Labour and profits - £3,000

Garden Decking Prices

There are various costs you need to consider when hiring a professional decking specialist. Although one of the biggest price factors is the size of your garden. To help you understand the costs, take a look at the below tables.

Small Garden (15 square metres)

Decking material Average cost
Softwood £1,000-£1,200
Hardwood £1,525-£1,675
Composite £1,900-£2,050
Trex £1,350-£1,680
PVC £800-£1,000
IPE £2,410-£2,560
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Medium-sized garden (30 square metres)

Decking material Average cost
Softwood £1,600-£2,000
Hardwood £2,250-£2,950
Composite £3,400-£3,700
Trex £2,300-£2,960
PVC £1,200-£1,600
IPE £4,600-£4,720
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Large garden (60 square metres)

Decking material Average cost
Softwood £2,200-£2,800
Hardwood £3,375-£4,225
Composite £4,900-£5,350
Trex £3,250-£4,240
PVC £1,600-£2,200
IPE £6,430-£6,880
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Extra-large garden (90 square metres)

Decking material Average cost
Softwood £2,800-£3,600
Hardwood £4,900-5,500
Composite £6,400-£7,000
Trex £4,200-£5,520
PVC £2,000-£2,800
IPE £8,440-£9,040
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Decking Only Costs

If you’re planning to install your decking yourself, you could save a significant amount as you will only have to pay for the cost of the materials. To help you decide which decking material to choose, take a look at the following costs:

Decking material Cost per metre
Softwood £3 to £6
Hardwood £4 to £10
Composite £8 to £12
Trex £6 to £15
PVC £5 to £10
IPE £8 to £15
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Labour Costs and Time Scales

The average decking installation usually takes around 1 to 2 days to complete, however, this will vary depending on the size of the garden, the materials used and how many tradesmen are working on the job. A small garden of around 15 square metres may only take one day for two or more tradesmen to complete the job.

While a decking installation which requires a significant amount of excavation, including removal of weeds, shrubs, trees, existing decking and more could take more than four days, especially for a large landscape.

If you don’t feel confident to install your own decking, then your best bet is to call in a professional who will make sure that the job is done properly. The labour costs will depend on the work that needs completing, so to help you understand how much you will be paying, take a look at the below table:

Job Labour cost
Low-end decking installation £20 per square metre
Average decking installation £33 per square metre
High-end decking installation £50 per square metre
Decking repair £150 to £400
Deck cleaning and maintenance £50 to £100 per hour
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Additional Costs

There are plenty of other material costs you need to consider when having decking installed, although this will depend on your preferences. This table sets out the potential prices for all the different decking materials.

Material Average cost
Balustrade kits £100 per kit
Trellis panels £2 each
Spindles £1-£2 each
Post caps £2 to £7 each
Decking lights £15 to £40 each
Steps £50 to £215
Decking stringer £12 to £28 per stringer
Joists £6 to £12 each
Weed proof membrane £30 per pack
Postcrete £5 a bag

Cost Factors of Installing Garden Decking

When evaluating the costs of garden deck installation, there are various things you need to consider. First, you need to look at the condition of your terrain and determine whether it is flat or not, as sloping or difficult terrain will have a major impact on the cost.

The size of your garden will also have a massive effect on the price, as the larger your garden is the more materials you will need. Larger decking will also take much longer, which will result in increased labour costs, as professional installers usually charge an average of £33 per square metre.

example of garden decking

The material you choose is also a massive price factor, as some decking materials are more expensive than others. So, if you have a low-budget in mind, you may want to stick to timber decking which typically costs around £1,000 to £1,500 to install.

Which is better for a family garden, decking or a patio?

"Decks are quicker to construct, resting on top of raised joists that can be elevated to make the most of a view. Unlike patios, they're suitable for uneven or sloping ground and most materials are more forgiving underfoot if kids take a tumble."

However, if you are thinking long-term, you may be better off with composite decking which is more expensive with prices up to £10,000 for larger gardens. While this may seem steep, you will definitely get your money’s worth as this can last up to 30 years.

If you already have decking in your garden that needs to replaced, you will also need to factor in the replacement costs. It may that you only need some of your decking replaced which can cost around £300, however for a full replacement you should expect to pay about £4,000 or more.

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What's Involved in Installing Garden Decking

Decking is a big job, very labour intensive, but quicker to install than other landscape gardening tasks such as paving.

The building of a deck is relatively straightforward, though high decking or decks which are required to fit a hot tub may need some expert advice.

decking frame

Installing garden decking involves several steps, which you can find out about in our step-by-step how-to install decking guide.

Decking Buying Guide

There are several different types of decking that you can choose from, which all have a variety of pros and cons, which are detailed below:

Softwood (Pine, Spruce, Redwood, Cedar, etc)

Average cost: £16

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years


  • ✔ Resistant to rot
  • ✔ Does not warp
  • ✔ Authentic aesthetic


  • ✖ Low density
  • ✖ Regular maintenance
  • ✖ Inexpensive material

Hardwood (Beech, Tigerwood, Maple, Oak, etc)

Average cost: £33

Lifespan: 30 to 40 years


  • ✔ Fire-resistant
  • ✔ Long-lasting
  • ✔ Low-maintenance


  • ✖ Difficult to install
  • ✖ Expensive material
  • ✖ Can be hard to source

Composite WPC (Wood-polymer composite)

Average cost: £66

Lifespan: 25 to 30 years


  • ✔ Stain-resistant
  • ✔ Lightweight
  • ✔ Flexible application


  • ✖ Can look synthetic
  • ✖ Susceptible to mould
  • ✖ Bends more than wood

PVC(Polyvinyl chloride composite)

Average cost: £23

Lifespan: 20 to 30 years


  • ✔ Easy to install
  • ✔ Weather-resistant
  • ✔ Eco-friendly


  • ✖ Susceptible to UV damage
  • ✖ Difficult to repair
  • ✖ Can look synthetic

IPE wood (Brazilian exotic wood)

Average cost: £26

Lifespan: 60 to 75 years


  • ✔ Low-maintenance
  • ✔ Durable material
  • ✔ Low-maintenance


  • ✖ Heavy material
  • ✖ Difficult to install
  • ✖ Susceptible to rust

Trex(Made from 95% recycled materials)

Average cost: £30

Lifespan: 25 to 30 years


  • ✔ Resistant to mould
  • ✔ Does not warp
  • ✔ Eco-friendly


  • ✖ Expensive repairs
  • ✖ Cannot be refinished
  • ✖ Can be expensive

Plastic Deck Tiles

Average cost: £33

Lifespan: 5 to 10 years


  • ✔ Easy to install
  • ✔ Cheap replacement
  • ✔ Various applications


  • ✖ Temporary solution
  • ✖ Visible seams
  • ✖ Add no value

Building Permission for Decking

If planning to build a DIY deck, note that building regulations can be an issue even with small decks. It is always worth checking with your local authority before you spend any money on decking or begin any construction.

If you are going to build a substantial deck, keep neighbours informed and on-side from the start and be prepared to alter your building plans if they object.

decked balcony

Building regulations for decking only require you to apply for planning permission if your decking is over 30 centimetres high. You may also need to apply if your decking or other extensions take up more than half of your garden space, as this is classed as a major alteration.

If you do fall into the above categories, then you should expect to pay around £243 for planning permission. If you fail to pay this, you will be fined and you may also face issues with your local council or neighbours.

Costs of Maintenance and Cleaning

Garden decking will require regular maintenance, the degree of maintenance required depends upon a number of factors such as the quality of the material used, the construction and the location. Well designed and constructed timber decking should last 15 years or more with no requirement to apply preservative treatments as long as basic maintenance is carried out.

Fortunately, the maintenance required is pretty simple, regular brushing to remove organic debris plus perhaps a water repellent coating used to nourish the wood every other year. However, any decorative stains will also need to be refreshed to maintain their appearance every few years depending on usage and weather.

When maintaining and cleaning your decking, it is important to understand the level of maintenance required for different materials including:

Softwood and Hardwood

This requires yearly maintenance including sanding, staining, and sealing which would cost around £10 per square metre. You should also try to keep on top of it by cleaning it with a decking cleaner which costs around £6 to £15. This will help to keep the wood’s natural colour, making it appear brand new.

IPE wood

This type of wood is low-maintenance so would only require you to oil it once a year. The cost of decking oil is around £30 for five litres worth.

Composite, PVC and Trex

Composite, PVC and Trex require a simple cleaning procedure which involves soap, hot water and a soft-bristle brush. You should try to clean it a few times a year including after installation and once or twice in spring and autumn. The only cost you may incur is replacements costs, as unfortunately composite cannot be sanded to remove dents, It must be replaced which could cost up to £66 per square metre.

You should also consider additional repair costs, such as:

  • Damaged deck boards - £950
  • Loose stairs - £100 to £250
  • Mould and rot - £150 to £450
  • Stain and seal - £7 per square metre

These repairs can be conducted by you or a professional, although for the latter you will also need to consider the labour cost which is usually around £300 for repairs.

Garden Decking Removal Costs

If you require new decking or want to get rid of your decking altogether you may need to call in a professional or you could also do it yourself. If you opt to do it yourself you may want to hire equipment to assist you. A shredder for example would cost around £100-£200 a week but would reduce waste removal costs.

To remove your decking, you should start by removing the stairs and railings with a drill or electric screwdriver. You should then move onto the legs and feet which will most likely be secured with concrete, although they can easily remove using a shovel.

If your decking is fairly new, the concrete may be harder, so may need to hire a tractor or a similar vehicle to get the job done which can cost around £100 a day.

pile of decking boards

Many people prefer to hire a professional for the job, which would take around 2 to 7 hours and could cost around £100 to £500. While this may seem expensive, it may be worth it in the long run as you can install your new decking quickly while also avoiding any mistakes made when doing it yourself.

Hiring a Garden Decking Installer Checklist

Before you hire someone to install your garden decking, there are some things you should consider. Below is a checklist for you to follow when you're searching for a garden decking installer.

  • Don't hire the first business to give you a quote. Shop around, even if the price is low, you should compare multiple quotes.
  • Ask your garden decking specialist for references and photos. It's important to ensure that your installer is capable of the job before you commit. Seeing photos of previous work will not only allow them to demonstrate their ability but will also give you peace of mind.
  • Ensure you get a written agreement in place for the work that you need. A written agreement will give you a clear outline of what the job includes and a breakdown of the costs. This could also allow you to cut costs by doing the jobs you think you could do yourself.
  • Check if your decking installer is insured and holds the relevant liability for any unexpected damage to your property.
  • Remember to get a written receipt after making any payments. This will protect you from any disputes in the future.


Do I Need Planning Permission?

Many think that permissions are not required with garden decking, but this is not always the case. Consent is required prior to building a deck where the deck platform is more than 300mm from the ground, If covers over 50% of the garden area or where the deck is situated within 20 metres of a highway.

In addition, building regulations should be assumed to apply to every structure that requires planning permission. Property owners should always check with their local authority regarding planning.

Can I Install A Hot Tub On My Garden Decking?

Probably not, unless the deck was purpose designed by a structural engineer to take that weight. If planning to add a hot tub then you must discuss this with the contractor before building the deck.

If adding a hot tub to an existing deck, then you must contact a specialist builder to check the decking will be able to safely take the additional weight.

Do I Need A Balustrade?

Balustrades are not just a decorative feature, they are also a safety barrier and can be useful as supports for less able bodied persons. If the deck is raised above the ground then some sort of balustrade should be used to prevent a fall.

The height of the balustrade depends on how high the deck is above the ground: For lower decks up to around 2 feet (600mm) above ground level, the balustrade height should be around 3 feet (900mm), but for higher decking, 1100mm balustrade needs to be used.

How Do I Prevent My Deck From Being Slippery?

You may find that your decking becomes slippery for various reasons. This could be caused by mould, algae or moss growing on your decking. To prevent anyone slipping over and injuring themselves, you should try to keep your decking as clear as possible by sweeping and cleaning it regularly, especially after any bad weather.

You should conduct a thorough clean once a year using a pressure washer with a broad fanning nozzle, which will cost around £90 to £200. Using this tool will allow your timber decking to become slip-resistant and will also provide extra traction.

You can purchase commercial cleaning products for your pressure washer or make up your own using ammonia-free laundry detergent, bleach and water. If you cannot afford or access a power washer, then a wet mop or a pump sprayer will suffice.

When Will I Need To Replace My Decking?

Timber decking tends to last around 10 to 15 years depending on how well it is looked after. After this, you will need to decide if you want it to replace it or choose an alternative material like composite, which can last around 25 to 30 years. Again, it can last longer if you maintain it properly, so the more you keep on top of it the more years you will get.

How High Can Decking Be?

To avoid applying for planning permission, you will need to make sure that your garden decking is no higher than 30cm off the ground. You should also make sure that the decking extension takes up no more than 50% of your garden, as this will also require planning permission.

Is Garden Decking Expensive?

The cost of decking will depend on several factors, including the size of your garden, the materials you use, your location and more.

The price of your decking will depend on your own budget, although a typical price is usually around £80 per square metre including material, installation, labour costs and more. In comparison to a patio, decking is usually known as the more expensive of the two, although, patios can involve a complicated installation process which would outweigh the costs of decking.

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