Having a decking added to a property can introduce a functional, aesthetically pleasing and all-round valuable outdoor living space. A decking can ultimately enhance your home lifestyle and, as alluded to add to the value of your property.
How Much Does Decking Cost?
When it comes to pricing, the cost of having a new deck installed can vary based on a range of factors. Understanding these cost factors and how much a decking installation is likely to cost for your home and based on your preferences is key for effective project budgeting. So, without further ado, let’s explore the cost of decking in the UK!
The cost of decking in the UK can vary based on a range of factors such as where you live (since labour prices differ from region to region), the size and type of decking and the state of the work area.
To have a 25 square metre decking added to your garden is likely to cost somewhere in the region of £1,000 to £2,000. Daily labour rates for having a decking installed tend to fall between £25 and £40 per m².
In London, labour decking prices can be higher. Beyond that, prices can vary for many other reasons as mentioned above.
Ultimately, the best approach to securing good value for money is to land detailed quotes from a range of decking installation services near you. That way, you can compare their quotes and make an informed decision, with an idea of the sort of prices available in your area.
Cost of Decking Installations Based on Type and Size
Here are the average costs of decking installations in the UK (including both the cost of materials and the price of labour):
|Type of Material
|Average Size (m²)
|Average Cost of Decking Installation
|£525 to £825
|£875 to £1,375
|£1,750 to £2,750
|£450 to £705
|£750 to £1,175
|£1,500 to £2,350
|£400 to £1,200
|£875 to £2,000
|£1,750 to £4,000
|£1,425 to £2,400
|£2,375 to £4,000
|£4,750 to £8,000
|£525 to £825
|£875 to £1,375
|£1,750 to £2,750
Factors Influencing Decking Costs
Let’s now take a look at some of the most important cost factors that determine the fitting decking price for a range of scenarios.
Note: All costs given in this subsection are supply only costs (i.e. excluding the price of labour).
Firstly, there are many types of decking on the market in terms of the materials available. One of the most affordable options is softwood, with an average cost of £4 to £7 per m² whereas the relatively expensive option of composite decking is priced at about £8 to £20 per m².
Other notable options include hardwood (approx. £5 to £15 per m²), uPVC (approx. £10 to £15 per m²), Trex (approx. £5 to £15 per m²) and IPE (approx. £10 to £15 per m²). Aluminium is a particularly expensive option with pricing of around £60 to £100 per m².
Size and Complexity
Of course, regardless of what material you opt for, a larger decking will cost more than a smaller alternative. Along with the size, the shape of the decking can also affect the total price.
Beyond that, the complexity of the decking is also relevant to the cost of a decking instalment which includes any specific design features.
The price of labour is another significant cost factor. While it’s possible to install decking DIY (once you have the right skills, knowledge and safety awareness), a professional decking installation service can ensure a top-notch end result.
The price of labour, as discussed earlier, is about £25 to £40 per m². It’s important to note that the cost of labour can, in itself, be impacted by various factors. These factors include the price of labour in your area, how long the job takes and the state of the work area (as discussed in more detail below).
Another cost factor worth mentioning is site preparation. The condition of the ground matters because depending on its state, the contractor/team you’ve hired may need to undertake certain preparation work. Should this be the case, this added time and work could increase your total bill.
On a related note, the cost can differ depending on whether you are having your deck installed or if you need a service to remove and replace an existing decking with a new one instead. The latter can cost more, particularly if waste removal expenses apply.
Popular Decking Materials
There are many materials to choose from for a decking installation. Here, we’ll explore several of the most popular examples in some detail.
One of the most common materials used for decking in the UK is hardwood. Hardwoods are generally made from deciduous tree material (i.e. those that shed their leaves each year). These trees tend to feature denser wood.
Hardwood decking boards tend to cost around £10 to £15 per m². Along with being a high-quality option, hardwood decking tends to be highly durable and offers greater fire-resistance than softwood decks.
On the other hand, hardwood decking is fairly expensive. What’s more, hardwood decks require maintenance on a regular basis and can be challenging to install (often less suited to DIYers than some other types).
- ✔ High-quality and very durable
- ✔ High level of fire-resistance
- ✖ Relatively expensive
- ✖ Can be challenging to fit in the first place
- ✖ Regular maintenance is required
In contrast to hardwood, softwood is made from evergreen tree material. Since these trees grow faster, they tend to feature a lower density.
Softwood decking boards, being among the most affordable, cost about £5 to £7 per m². Along with being relatively affordable, softwood deck boards (as with hardwood deck boards) are widely available and relatively easy to install. Also, softwood decks are more eco-friendly than hardwood decks.
On the other hand, softwood decks are not well-suited to locations with plenty of foot traffic as this can cause the surface to fade in the long-term. Softwood decks also necessitate regular maintenance. Beyond that, they lack the level of durability offered by hardwood decks.
- ✔ A relatively cheap option
- ✔ Widely available
- ✔ Easy to lay and fix this type of decking in place
- ✔ More eco-friendly than hardwood decks
- ✖ Not a good choice if lots of foot traffic is expected
- ✖ Regular maintenance needed
- ✖ Not as durable as hardwood decking
Composite decks involve combining wood and plastic or the sole use of polymer material. Cost-wise composite decks are generally priced at between £10 and £40 per m².
Among the benefits of composite decking is that it is durable and made to last. Furthermore, composite decks are a versatile option with many textures and colours to choose from on the market. Composite decks generally come with a lower risk of slipping.
However, this popular type of decking has its drawbacks not least how expensive it can be. Also, composite decks with dark colours are susceptible to fading over time.
- ✔ Durable and long-lasting
- ✔ Versatile type of decking
- ✔ Lower risk of slipping in general
- ✖ Low maintenance
- ✖ Costly option that can be very expensive in some cases
- ✖ Dark colour composite decks are susceptible to fading
A less common but nonetheless notable option is that of aluminium decking boards. These are priced at around £70 to £120 per m².
The advantages of aluminium decking boards include their durability, strength, low- (to no-) maintenance and visual appeal. Aluminium decks also come with superb weatherproof qualities, making them well-suited for (more than likely) standing strong through storm, rain and snow alike.
The downsides, however, include obviously the cost. Aluminium decks for all their benefits are very costly. Also, not only are aluminium boards more difficult to find but they lack the range of designs and styles offered by other types of decking materials like hardwood or even composite decks.
- ✔ Highly durable
- ✔ Strong option
- ✔ Requires little to no maintenance
- ✔ Great for resisting harsh weather conditions
- ✔ Aesthetic appeal
- ✖ Very expensive option
- ✖ Not a great range of designs and styles on the market
Lastly, we have another alternative choice in the form of uPVC decking. With pricing of about £10 to £15 per m², uPVC deck boards have a pricing of somewhere in the middle among the various material choices on offer.
Also, uPVC is super resistant to becoming slippery, it is not at risk of rotting (unlike timber-based decks), and it is virtually maintenance free. On the other hand, uPVC decks can be difficult to install and visually speaking, won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
- ✔ Not especially costly
- ✔ Relatively low risk of slipping
- ✔ Essentially maintenance free
- ✖ Can be challenging to install
- ✖ Not everyone’s cup of tea visually speaking
Labour Costs and Installation
A decking installation can be DIY friendly, depending on the complexity and the installer's skills. Professional installation ensures a high-quality end result and saves time.
- The cost of labour for a decking installation is about £25 to £40 per m² on average.
You’ll be pleased to know that there are various approaches you can take to help keep costs down without sacrificing on quality (although due diligence is needed for this to happen, of course).
Let’s take a look at some budget-friendly tips that can help keep upfront and long-term maintenance costs down.
Material Cost Savings
When it comes to materials, hardwood, pressure-treated softwood and uPVC decking are among those that offer solid value for money without breaking the bank.
As for composite decking, the options on the market here can be expensive but with a fairly wide price range, more affordable options exist. However, whether it be composite decking or another option, it’s important to find specific products that are affordable, but which do not sacrifice quality.
Some ways of achieving this include looking at online reviews of the specific brand or seller you’re considering purchasing from. Alternatively, you may want to ask the decking installer you hire to source affordable but high-quality decking for you.
As alluded to, taking a DIY approach can save you a good few hundred pounds. Once more, only undertake this work if you have sufficient skills and experience, as well as a good understanding of the safety steps needed to build a decking DIY. If in doubt, hire a professional.
It’s important to note that decking installation services are generally busiest in the spring and summer.
Therefore, either consider hiring a decking installer in the autumn time or hiring them well in advance for a spring or summer installation.
You could also hire an installation contractor/team in the winter, although the winter comes with a higher risk of poor weather conditions delaying or interfering with the installation process. That isn’t to say winter should be dismissed as an option, but autumn is preferable and potentially the overall best time of year to hire.
Secure Quotes from Several Professionals
Landing quotes from various professionals/services in your area can help improve your odds of keeping costs down and securing great value for money.
By requesting detailed quotes from decking installation services near you, you can then compare aspects of each quote such as pricing, the professional/team’s level of experience and any reviews they may have online.
Of course, you shouldn’t necessarily go with the cheapest option but rather the contractor/team that appears to offer the best value for money which could still result in keeping costs down with a bit of luck. If you’d rather simply go with the lowest quote, just be sure you’re still hiring someone you have strong confidence in to pull off a high-quality installation.
Decking costs in the UK can vary significantly, and it’s important to assess your needs and preferences, as well as budget constraints, before deciding on the type of decking. Also, securing quotes from multiple professionals is advisable to find the best option for your project.
Q. Do I need planning permission to have a deck added to my property?
A. In most cases, no. However, there are scenarios where planning permission is required.
Q. How long does the average wood deck last for
A. Timber decking generally lasts between 10 and 20 years.
Q. Can a deck be added to uneven ground?
A. Yes, but it requires special preparation and possibly professional assistance.
Q. What is the life expectancy of composite decks?
A. Composite decks often last up to 25 years or more.
Q. How long after a decking is installed before you can oil it?
A. Generally, you should wait a minimum of six months.