Are you tired of your old, lifeless outdoor patio? Or perhaps, is your garden deck getting old? Or you still don’t have an outdoor decking, and you want to have one now. In any case, you want something durable, long-life and cheap. When it comes to outdoor decking, composites are one of the best choices. Not only they are durable, but they are also beautiful. Composite materials are the product of mixing plastic and wood. They have the durability and strength of plastic and the looks and feel of real wood.
Flooring projects, however, are expensive. Everyone wants to get the most out of their budgets. The question is, how much does it cost to build a deck with composite materials? Is it worth using instead of other decking options? Let’s find out.
Cost of Composite Decking
Composite decking is a quite expensive project. Before you can determine the total cost needed to build one, there are many factors that you have to take in consideration. These will determine the overall price of the project.
- Decking Board Material – The first thing that you should consider is the type of composite decking that you will get. While prices vary, expect to pay around £30 per square meter for composites. For a price comparison with other materials, softwoods can cost up to £15 for the same area. Meanwhile, expensive pressure-treated hardwoods and PVC can cost about £60. Take note that these are only estimated prices. It’s best to contact your supplier for the actual price for the planning stage.
- Frame Materials. Aside from the main decking, you will also need to consider the price for the frame, the joists, weed fabrics, and other necessary foundation equipment. For the framework and the support beams, you can either use wood or composites. Some even use PVC. Their price is similar to the actual decking boards. The better the quality of the material, the more expensive they are. Aside from quality, the price will also depend on how much material you’re going to use.
- Cost of Equipment. Some homeowners take it to their very own hands to build their decks. While this can be complicated, especially for beginners, it can be a rewarding and satisfying project. But if you’re planning to DIY your decking, you will have to consider the cost of all the equipment. Some of the stuff that you might need are nails, hammers, saws, and drills. Of course, if you already have experience in dealing with these projects, the chances are that you already have the necessary tools and equipment. If that’s the case, you don’t need to spend more money.
- Labour Cost. If you are not building the deck by yourself, you have to consider the cost of the workers. The cost of labour can cost at least £50, depending on the contractors. It will also depend on how big your garden is. A small outdoor area will only need a day or two to complete a job. If the garden is wider, or there are other jobs to take care of, like excavation, weed and tree removal, it could take at least a couple of days. Ultimately, actual prices will depend on the contractors, how big the area is, and how good you want it done.
- Deck Accessories. Aside from the actual deck, you may want, or the contractors may offer to install some other add-ons. Some of the things that they can install for you are decking lights, pergolas, and sheds.
Total Average Cost and Is it Worth it?
By considering everything above, the average cost of building a composite deck rests at around £2000 for a 15 square meter area, cheaper if you do it yourself. If you plan to build something more unique, you can use premium materials and get professional workers, and it will cost around £6000. In comparison with other materials, softwoods can cost around £1200 for the same area. Meanwhile, pressure-treated hardwoods can cost at least £1500. The question that follows is, is composite decking worth it? Definitely. While it’s not as cheap as softwood, it can last for a minimum of 25 years. That’s twice as much as the lifespan of softwoods, which are only 15 years. Meanwhile, hardwoods have at most 25 years of decking lifespan.