Composite decking is long-lasting, low-maintenance, and weather-resistant. These qualities make them one of the favourite decking options in the UK. If you have a wood deck, you may have considered replacing it with composites. But will it be expensive? How much does it cost to replace wood deck with composites in the UK? And what can you do to lower the cost? 

Is Composite Decking Expensive?

Composite decking is slightly more expensive than most wood decks. However, many agree that its benefits and advantages over wood make up for the added cost. Unlike wood, it’s resistant to moisture-related problems, such as warping, rotting, and accelerated mould growth. You also don’t have to worry about appearances, as composites look very similar to wood. Some even have wood grains and texture patterns that mimic real lumber. 

While expensive at first, composite decks are worth it due to their low upkeep. You don’t need to stain, seal, and paint them like wood, which will add up to your expenses over time. Regular cleaning schedule and a thorough clean once or twice every six months is enough to keep it in its best condition. 

How Much Does it Cost?

How much you would need to spend to turn your wood deck into a composite deck varies depending on many factors. Here is a short breakdown of the cost that you need to expect when replacing a wood deck. 

Deck’s Substructure:

One of the first things you will want to do is inspect and assess your old deck’s substructure. If it’s in excellent or suitable condition, you may opt to replace only the boards. However, you may want to re-seal or re-apply flashing to the joist to ensure maximum moisture protection. For this, you may spend anywhere between £300 on flashing tapes or sealants. 

If your decking frame is in poor condition, you may need to replace it with an entirely new one. If this is the case, you will need to spend more. On average, for a small-sized deck, you will need to spend at least £500 on pressure-treated frames, fasteners, waste removal, and sealants and membranes. 

Cost of Decking Boards:

replace wood with composites in the uk

Most of your expenses will be from buying composite decking boards. The price of these materials varies depending on the quality and brand. The cost of composite decking boards varies, averaging from £4 to £12 per foot in the UK. For a small-sized deck, you’ll spend around £600 to £1500 for the deck boards. Since not all composite decks are the same, you will need to find the right one for you. 

Labour Cost:

Another significant portion of your spendings will go to labour costs. Workers may ask about payments in different schemes. Some may charge you by the day, while others will ask for a flat fee depending on the project’s scope and complexity. In the UK, the typical daily pay is around £150 to £250. A small deck will only require a day or two, while larger decks can take up to a week to finish. If you need to clear out the deck and installation area, you may need to add another day of labour. 

Miscellaneous Expenses:

Besides the framework, the decking boards, and labour costs, there are several expenses you should also consider. Depending on your preferences, you may opt to get railings, trellis, and decking lights. The more complex your design is, the more expensive it will often get. To sum it all up, you will need to spend around £2000 on a small-sized composite deck. For larger composite decks, the cost can go as high as £7000. While it can be expensive, many enjoy the benefits of their composite decking. Fortunately, there are several ways you can try to lower the cost. 

Ways to Reduce Construction Costs

If you don’t have a big budget to work with, there are several things you can try to lower the total cost of building a composite deck. For decking materials, such as timbers and decking boards, you may find cheaper deals during off-seasons. Throughout the fall and winter, there are fewer people building decks. During this time, the demand for decking materials and labourers are lower. Some brands may offer discounts and incentives, while contractors may ask for a lower fee. 

If you have experience in construction, you can also try building your deck all by yourself. However, you will need to be familiar with the local building codes and have the necessary tools and equipment. You will also need to make sure to follow any instruction for your decking suppliers to avoid costly mistakes. 

Overall, replacing a deck takes a considerable amount of money and time. Replacing your wood deck with composite decking will cost around £1500 to £7000, depending on the size, quality, and other several factors. The good news is that there are ways to reduce the cost by building it yourself or looking for deals. In any case, adding composite decking to your yard is worth it.