Decking Costs in the UK: Prices for Garden Deck

  • Home
  • Decking

Imagine this: you’re sitting in your garden, feeling the smooth wooden planks beneath your feet, sipping tea, and soaking in the serene English sun. Sounds ideal, doesn’t it? But before you bring this vision to life, there’s one crucial question: How much will that beautiful decking cost you in the UK?

You’re not alone in this quest, many homeowners grapple with the financial implications of home improvement projects. The costs can be daunting, especially with fluctuating material prices and regional variances. But fear not!

In this article, we’ll delve deep into the world of decking costs, shedding light on factors that influence prices and providing practical tips to make the most of your investment.

Did you know that, on average, the UK sees a 10% annual increase in decking installation costs? This statistic underlines the importance of making an informed choice. Whether it’s a concern about sustainability, the type of wood, or the intricacies of installation, we’ve got you covered. So, ready to embark on this journey?

Types of Decking Materials

When embarking on the journey of adding a deck to your UK garden, understanding the plethora of decking materials available is essential. Not only does this knowledge influence aesthetic appeal, but it also plays a vital role in maintenance requirements, durability, and, of course, the all-important decking installation cost. If you’re in the capital, considering decking installation services in London can be a beneficial choice.

Softwood Decking

Softwood is often the first material that comes to mind when we think about decking, and for a good reason. Softwood decking, such as hemlock, fir, or pine, has been a traditional favorite for years. If you’ve been wondering “How much does garden decking cost?”, softwood can be an affordable choice. It’s a classic, often chosen for its aesthetic appeal and the relatively low timber decking installation cost. While softwood decking is usually pressure-treated to resist decay, it might not offer the same longevity as some other materials.

As you consider the benefits of softwood, you might also be interested in a Hardwood vs Softwood Decking Comparison to fully understand the differences and make an informed decision.

Hardwood Decking

Seeking a robust and natural look? Hardwood decking might be your answer. Crafted from woods like Ipe, mahogany, and tigerwood, hardwood decking has become a luxurious choice for many UK garden enthusiasts. While hardwood decking costs more upfront, its strength and unique appearance make it a sought-after option. Much like any wood decking, it’s susceptible to weathering and moisture. This means you might incur additional costs for maintenance over time.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is where tradition meets innovation. If you’ve pondered “How much is decking that combines the best of both worlds?”, composite might be your answer. Made of melding wood fibers with materials like low-density polyethylene (LDPE), it’s durable and requires minimal maintenance. Some products even combine rice hulls or high-density polyethylene for added resilience. Composite decking prices can vary based on the combination of materials used, but the low maintenance and longevity often justify the cost. A handy decking calculator can help you estimate your garden decking installation for composite materials.

PVC Decking

PVC decking, or UPVC decking, is for those who prioritize longevity above all. Made entirely of plastic, PVC decking is around the top tier when it comes to resisting moisture, decay, and weathering. When considering how much it cost to install a long-lasting and low-maintenance deck, PVC might emerge as a front-runner. Unlike timber decking, which requires periodic treatment and care, PVC decking is almost maintenance-free.

Decking Costs Breakdown

Installing a new garden decking area is an exciting endeavor, but understanding the associated costs is crucial to ensure your project stays within budget. This detailed breakdown will cover the intricacies of the costs involved, from decking boards to labor and added features.

Material Costs

One of the primary expenditures when planning a new deck is the material cost. The type of material you opt for will dictate much of this:

  • Pressure-treated wood: Typically costing between £2 to £‎5 per square foot, this is a favored choice for many looking for durability without stretching the budget.
  • Exotic hardwoods (like Redwood, Ipe): A premium choice, these hardwoods can set you back anywhere from £‎5 to £‎12 per square foot. The appeal lies in their rich appearance and strength.
  • Composite decking (such as Trex): An amalgamation of wood and plastic, composite decking costs around £‎4 to £‎10 per square foot. Its durability and minimal maintenance requirements make it an attractive option for many.

Labor Costs

Labor is another significant component of your decking area’s total cost. The average labor cost to install decking falls between £‎12 to £‎28 per square foot. This can vary based on the complexity of the design and where you’re located. Hiring a professional decking installer ensures quality but also adds to the overall price. Given the expertise required, it’s often a worthy investment.

Additional Features and Their Costs

For those looking to elevate their new garden decking experience, additional features can make all the difference. Here’s a brief glimpse into potential add-ons and their costs:

  • Railing: Expect to pay around £‎20 per linear foot. This not only adds safety but also a touch of sophistication.
  • Privacy screen: Averaging £‎25 per panel, privacy screens offer seclusion in urban settings.
  • Fire pit: While a basic fire pit may cost as little as £‎155, custom-built variants can range from £‎2,100 to £‎4,700, transforming your decking area into a cozy haven.
  • Outdoor fireplace: With a price tag of £‎1,200 to £‎5,000, an outdoor fireplace can become the centerpiece of your deck, offering warmth and ambiance.
  • Flooring: Depending on the type, expect to shell out between £‎2.00 to £‎11 per square foot.
  • Stain and seal: Essential for protection and enhancing the wood’s look, staining and sealing costs average at £‎0.30 per square foot.


Decking Costs Breakdown

Professional vs. DIY Installation

Choosing between professional and DIY installation for your garden decking can be a bit of a puzzle, especially with factors like costs, time, and quality to consider. This guide aims to simplify that choice, shedding light on the pros and cons associated with both avenues.

Cost Implications

  • DIY Installation: Venturing into DIY decking installation might seem like an attractive option, especially considering the potential savings on labor costs. There are hidden traps. A small error could lead you to purchase additional materials or even start over, potentially leading to costs spiraling out of control. It’s a common misconception that DIY always translates to cheaper. Depending on how much decking you need and your level of expertise, the DIY route might not be the most cost-effective.
  • Professional Installation: The initial investment for professional services might be higher, but think of it as purchasing assurance. Professionals ensure that the deck is erected correctly, using high-quality materials. This can lead to longer life and reduced maintenance costs down the line. Given the standard timber decking installation prices, the cost difference might not be as vast as initially assumed.

Time Considerations

  • DIY Installation: If you’re a newcomer to the world of decking, the DIY route could be time-consuming. Learning, measuring, re-measuring, and the actual building might take longer than anticipated. While it might be a rewarding experience, it’s essential to assess if you have the time for such an undertaking.
  • Professional Installation: Time efficiency is one of the significant advantages of hiring professionals. They come equipped with the expertise and tools to get the job done swiftly, allowing you to relish your new garden decking without a prolonged wait. Plus, you won’t have to spend hours understanding different types of decking products and how they fit together.

Quality and Expertise

  • DIY Installation: If you’re not familiar with decking installation techniques, the result might not be on par with professional standards. This could lead to a deck that doesn’t last as long or requires frequent maintenance. Before diving into a DIY project, it’s wise to thoroughly research the decking products you intend to use and familiarise yourself with installation best practices.
  • Professional Installation: Quality is almost guaranteed when you go with the pros. With their extensive knowledge of decking products, seasoned professionals ensure that the deck is constructed to code and with top-notch materials. This not only translates to safety but also ensures that your decking will withstand the test of time. The tailored advice they provide, from decking ideas to the best type of decking board for your garden, can prove invaluable.

Factors Affecting Decking Costs

Understanding the different elements influencing the cost of decking is pivotal when you’re drawing up your budget. Whether you’re considering a small cozy corner for two or an expansive outdoor entertaining space, several factors can inflate or lower your decking project’s costs.

Size of the Deck

Decking by the Square Metre: Naturally, a larger deck will command more materials, from decking boards to supporting structures like decking joists. But it’s not just the material costs. Larger decks also require more labor, thus, increasing the overall labor costs. Decking becoming a popular garden addition, prices have fluctuated, but the overall principle remains the bigger the decking area, the higher the price tag.

Complexity of Design

Simple vs Intricate: A straightforward, rectangular design will generally cost less than one with multiple levels, curves, or intricate patterns. Each addition or deviation from a standard design increases the labor time and, by extension, the labor cost. Unique designs may demand specialty decking products, which could also influence the average cost of the decking project.

Location and Accessibility

Deck Placement: If your chosen decking spot is tucked away in a corner of your garden or at a higher elevation, it might be harder to access. The location might require special equipment or additional work like terrain leveling, both of which can elevate the cost of decking. Transporting materials to a tricky location can add to the overall time and labor charges.

Seasonal Factors

Timing Matters: As with many construction projects, decking installation prices can be influenced by the season. Peak season, which usually aligns with warmer months when everyone is keen to revamp their gardens, often sees an influx in demand. This heightened demand can inflate labor costs. Conversely, scheduling your project during quieter months might fetch you a better rate, potentially reducing your per square meter expenses.


Factors Affecting Decking Costs

Additional Costs to Consider

As you draw up the blueprint for your decking project, it’s crucial to look beyond just the basics. There’s a myriad of additional features and requirements that can tweak your decking cost, and it’s these intricacies that often get overlooked. Delving deeper, let’s explore some of these potential add-ons and their associated costs.

Underlying Support and Foundation

Stability from the Ground Up: The backbone of any decking is its underlying support and foundation. The type of terrain and soil in your garden can influence the kind of foundation you’d need. Whether you’re eyeing a raised deck or one flush with the ground, the size and height play pivotal roles in determining costs. Usually, these costs are wrapped into the overall labor and material charges, but it’s worth breaking them down for clarity.

Railings and Balustrades

Safety Meets Style: Railings and balustrades aren’t just decorative, they’re a safety feature. The design, length, and material of the railings can influence costs. While wood offers a classic look, metals, and composite materials might up the price tag but promise longevity. Depending on your garden’s layout, you might need to invest more or less in this component. These costs can quickly add up, especially if you opt for intricate designs or high-end materials.

Staining, Painting, and Treatments

Decking’s Protective Cloak: The English weather isn’t always kind to outdoor installations. Protecting your timber decking usually involves staining, painting, or other treatments. The cost factors here depend on the product type and the size of your decking. Regular maintenance, including painting or staining, ensures your decking remains spic and span. It’s a small price to pay for the decking’s longevity.

Extras: Lighting and Steps

Illuminating and Elevating: Lighting can transform your decking from a mere outdoor space to a garden oasis. The costs here are determined by the kind of lighting fixtures you fancy. Whether it’s ambient string lights or spotlights, prices can range anywhere. Steps, especially for raised decks, are another consideration. They’re both functional and can be aesthetically pleasing, tying together the decking design.

Maintenance Costs of Decking

Delving into the world of decking, there’s more to consider than the initial construction costs. Your deck, like any other part of your home, requires regular attention and sometimes a bit of financial outlay to keep it looking its best and to ensure it remains a value-adding feature of your property. Let’s explore the crux of what these maintenance costs encompass.

Cleaning and Upkeep

Preserving the Deck’s Lustre: Regular cleaning and upkeep are the bedrock of deck maintenance. Depending on where you live and the type of materials your deck is constructed from, maintenance might involve a simple sweep to remove leaves and debris. For those with timber decks, power washing can help remove stubborn grime, whilst applying sealant or stain protects the wood from the elements. Naturally, the larger your deck and the choice of materials will dictate how much these periodic touch-ups will set you back.

Replacement Costs

Reviving Old Sections: No matter how meticulously you care for your deck, time tends to leave its mark. Wear and tear or unexpected accidents can lead to the need for replacements. This might be a few boards here and there, perhaps a section of railings, or even stairs. The eventual cost of these replacements is intrinsically tied to the type and quality of materials you opt for. Premium materials, though pricier, might prove more resilient in the long run.

Long-Term Value

Decking as an Investment: Beyond the tangible costs, there’s the question of value. A deck isn’t just an aesthetic or functional addition to your home, it’s an investment. Quality materials, combined with stellar construction and regular maintenance, can augment the value of your home. In contrast, a deck that’s seen better days, perhaps a bit neglected, might detract from your property’s appeal and, by extension, its market value. Consider this as the unseen return on investment, where every penny spent on upkeep contributes to preserving or even elevating your home’s worth.

Benefits of Investing in Decking

In the realm of home improvements, decking stands out as one of the more favored undertakings. The reasons for this are plentiful and extend beyond just the aesthetic charm. Let’s delve deeper into the multifaceted benefits of decking and why so many homeowners are keen to take this route.

Aesthetic Appeal

Uplifting Your Home’s Ambience: There’s no denying it, a deck bestows an element of charm and grace to any home. It offers an extension of the indoor space to the outdoors, blurring the lines between the two. The decking paint, patterns, and overall design can complement the architectural nuances of the house, thereby creating a harmonious visual effect. When you add decking to your garden, you’re not just laying wooden boards, you’re laying a foundation for memories and moments.

Increased Property Value

A Tangible Return on Investment: Investing in a deck isn’t just about adding a leisure space, it’s also a strategic move in property investment. Homes adorned with well-maintained decks typically boast higher market values. Potential buyers, in their quest for the perfect home, often regard such outdoor spaces as a premium feature.

As per the decking cost guide, the average cost of installing decking in your garden can be recuperated, and sometimes even exceeded, by the subsequent rise in property value. It’s worth noting that much decking cost is a frequent query among homeowners, but when juxtaposed with its value addition, the initial outlay usually costs around a justified amount.

Functional Outdoor Space

Versatility at Its Finest: Decking is not a mere aesthetic feature, it’s a space of utility and versatility. Whether you’re keen on summer BBQs, wish to have a quiet space for morning coffees, or simply want an area for social gatherings, a deck caters to all these needs.

Installing timber decking creates an area that is resilient to wear and allows homeowners to customize the space to their heart’s content. From garden decking sessions, it’s evident that homeowners appreciate the adaptability of decking spaces. The large decking area can serve myriad purposes, and its utility is only limited by one’s imagination.


Navigating the intricate landscape of decking costs in the UK can feel overwhelming at times. With queries like “How much does decking cost” homeowners are on a quest to find the best value for their investment.

It’s essential to remember that while the initial expense might make you ponder, “How much does it cost?”, in the grand scheme of things, decking installed in the size of your garden can provide immense value both tangibly and in moments spent there. Decking is typically an endeavor where the cost and time, including labour costs and time, will depend on several factors, from the specific timber decking costs to whether planning permission is required for your decking.

Yet, as most garden decking Q&A sessions would highlight, a well-laid deck, even if it typically costs around £65 per square meter or more, promises longevity and countless memories.