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How To Build a Deck on a Budget

Building any decking can add an outdoor extension to your home, a place to relax and entertain all year round. Composite decking can also boost the value of your property.

Although building a deck can be costly, it can still be done on a budget. Let’s look at ideas to assist in saving you the most we can.

Tips on How to Build Decking on a Budget

Choose a Simple Design

The cost of constructing a decking depends on the design. If you want to build decking on a budget, you need to select a decking design that will meet your budget. If you have a professional installer to install your deck, it is time-consuming, has a complicated pattern and, therefore, will cost more to install. For instance, building a one-level deck, with your boards running in one direction, where you can use the entire board, so there is no wastage, will be cheaper than a multi-level, herringbone design where you have wastage. Selecting a simple decking design will assist you in reaching your goal of building a deck on a budget.

Choose Affordable Decking Material

Different materials can be used in constructing a deck, ranging in cost. Never take the upfront cost into consideration. Think about the cost of maintenance and the longevity of the material. 

Wood, for example, seems like the most cost-effective material on first look. However, wood requires extensive material annually, not only requiring you to cough up more money but also your time with cleaning, sanding, oiling, staining and/or painting. The lifespan of wood is estimated at 10 to 15 years.

Composite, plastic and PVC decking requires little maintenance and cleaning regularly and will last for a long time, estimated at 10 – 30 years, depending upon the quality. Of these two materials, plastic/PVC decking is more expensive than composite. If you want to build decking, select a material like composite that will last longer, is easy to maintain and provides good value for money current and future. 

Install Decking Yourself

Installing your decking yourself will reduce the cost of labour. This is because you won’t have to hire someone to do the job. Decking installation can be an easy task with basic carpentry skills. If you are looking at installing the deck yourself, first of all, good on you. Second, make sure you watch or read the installation guide for the product you have purchased and also the warranty. The warranty should outline important installation requirements, like expansion gaps for composite decking, the gradient required and much more. And thirdly, keep the design simple. This avoids making mistakes and costs you more on replacement material. Also, look for common mistakes made when fitting the decking you have selected to ensure you do not also make them. 

But if you don’t have basic knowledge of carpentry, laying your decking right may not be so easy. 

Build In Off-season

If you can’t install your decking yourself, take advantage of the off-season. Constructing a decking in summer and spring can be quite expensive as it is the busiest time of the year, as many people build their decking during this period, thereby leading to an increase in demand for labour. But if you want to build the decking on a budget, you can try building it as soon as it’s winter. During winter, many decking builders offer discounts on decking supplies and installations. You can take advantage of this season and use it to build your decking without spending much money.

Sales and discontinued stock

If you purchase your material out of season, in Autumn, or Winter, you may find that some suppliers have a sale on discontinued items. During this time of year, it is also worth asking the supplier if they have a sale coming up or if they can offer any discount at all. There is no harm in asking. Now you know you’ve got the best deal you can. You can also ask if they have any damaged boards if you will not use the full length, and some boards have chips at the end. This would work best if you were able to see the damaged boards and can decide if they will work with your project, and you will be happy with the end result.


It’s possible to build decking on a budget. Ensure you choose a simple decking design, install it yourself if you are able and choose a decking board you can afford. Don’t forget to ask for the best price and any sales.

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