Last updated: 12th April 2023
The addition of a home extension, garden or decking project to your property in 2023 can have some unexpected hidden costs, often stretching your budget. Stay ahead of the curve and ensure your decking project has as few unexpected costly additions as possible through careful planning and thorough research.
Adding decking to your garden has a plethora of advantages, including:
Creates a large, spacious area to entertain friends and family
Decks are easy to maintain, creating a low-maintenance garden
Adds more outside living space to your home
Reduces the amount of mud and debris in your garden
Could increase your property's value.
In this article, we will break down the cost of decking boards per m2, how much it may cost for any additional trims and fixings, and general installation costs you may need to consider before completing your next decking project. Most decking can be installed either by a professional installer or by yourself as a DIY project.
*Please note the prices mentioned within this article are correct at the time of writing in April 2023.
How much does it cost to install decking?
Average garden decking costs
Average timber-only decking costs
Labour costs and time frames
Additional material costs
Other factors to consider
Planning your decking installation
Calculating your decking cost
HOW MUCH DOES INSTALLING DECKING COST?
Labour - If you're hiring someone to install your garden decking, prices will vary depending on the person's skill set, the square meterage and design of the deck, the material used, and the UK location - as rates can vary between north and south.
Maintenance - While Composite Decking does not require a serious amount of maintenance, Deck Cleaner and Reviver is an additional cost to keep in mind in the long run. Timber decking, however, requires regular upkeep through sanding, painting, and varnishing, which should be accounted for in your initial decking plans.
For the average UK garden (which is between 100-180 m2), the cost of composite decking materials, installation and post-maintenance costs roughly £90-£110 per square meter.
Don't forget - if you plan on adding decking to more than 50% of your garden (or if you have existing garden buildings which, along with the decking, will equal 50% of your garden space) then you will need planning permission.
AVERAGE GARDEN DECKING COSTS
The average UK decking size is roughly 15 m2 for a small deck, 30 m2 for a medium, and 60 m2 for a large decking area.
So, you've decided to add decking to your garden, you know the size of your garden, and roughly how many boards you will need. Now all you need to do is find out where the best-priced timber, composite, PVC and other decking materials can be sourced.
The cost per m2 of decking also varies depending on the brand of decking you decide to use. Below is the average cost of composite decking boards per square metre (m2) for small, medium and large UK gardens.
To figure out the size of your decking area and the approximate cost of boards, simply measure the length and width of your proposed deck area (in metres) and multiply them together.
Next, multiply your area by the decking cost per m2. Finally, the answer will give you an approximate cost for your decking. This doesn’t take into account the cost of other materials such as trims, joists, and fittings, as these are dependent on your site conditions, but it’s a good place to start.
Garden Decking Costs will vary for many reasons, some of which being:
The price of manual labour for installation
The price of the raw materials; decking boards, fixings and the frame
Location; typically installation costs can increase by up to 20% if you live in or around London.
The ground you wish you lay your decking on; flat ground requires less work than a garden with an unlevel surface, and the cost of levelling out the ground can increase the overall decking price
Base; do you wish to have a concert base or a Weed Mat base?
Height of your Decking; Do you need planning permission or a taller-than-average frame?
Cladco Profiles offer a variety of different Composite Decking Boards, including Hollow, Solid, and Woodgrain Effectas well as a range of Premium PVC Boards. Prices start at £15.84 for a 2.4m Hollow Composite Board.
Take a look at the Cladco Decking Calculator here, which can generate a quote for you depending on the size of your garden and the type of Decking Board you are planning to use.
The below table illustrates the breakdown of different costs for Cladco Decking Boards.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ADDING DECKING TO YOUR GARDEN?
Cladco Composite Decking
Cladco Composite Decking is made up of environmentally-friendly materials; 60% FSC-accredited wood fibres, and 40% recycled plastic, and has a range of benefits to bring to your garden including:
✔️ Low maintenance - Boards do not require any sanding, varnishing, or painting. Simply keep clean and free of debris
✔️ Low water absorption rate
✔️ Rot, warp and splinter resistant
✔️ Anti-UV agent; Boards should not fade, however in some cases if the Boards are exposed to increased areas of sunlight/UV, a slightly weathered look may occur
✔️ Available in a range of eight colours
✔️ FREE Sample Packs available
Cladco Premium PVC Decking
Cladco PVC Decking Boards are the most premium quality, long-lasting Decking Boards within the Cladco Decking range, and are made from a solid PVC core with a durable strong ASA resin casing.
Premium PVC Decking benefits include:
✔️ Very low-maintenance
✔️ Authentic woodgrain-effet texture
✔️ Suitable for heavy loads such as furniture, ornaments, and high footfall
✔️ Superior UV protection
✔️ Will not warp, splinter or rot
✔️ Resits against moisture damage and is ideal for installation around hot tubs, pools and water features
✔️ Available in a range of six natural colours
✔️ FREE Sample Packs available
While both PVC and Composite Woodgrain Decking Boards recreate the look of authentic timber boards, Traditional Timber Decking still has a range of benefits.
✔️ Can increase your homes curb appeal
✔️ Has good strength and durability
✔️ Attractive traditional timber appearance that can only be achieved with real wood decking
Timber decking can be made using either soft or hardwood. (You can find out more about Timber Decking vs Composite Decking here)
AVERAGE TIMBER ONLY DECKING COSTS
Despite the rise in the popularity of composite and PVC, timber decking is still the most common decking material used in UK gardens. The average cost per m2 for the boards alone (not the joists, fixings, Ground or framework) is roughly £16/m2.
Timber decking can be installed either at ground level or as a raised platform. When installing timber decking yourself, ensure each board has plenty of room to expand and contract with changes in temperature and the correct installation guides have been followed.
LABOUR COSTS AND TIME FRAMES
Whether it's Composite, PVC or Timber Decking, be sure to know the accurate size of your proposed decking area - as this will assist you in estimating the correct price for both professional fitters and DIY projects.
To find the square meterage of your allotted space, simply measure both the width and length and multiply them together. Once you have this you can approach a professional decking installer with the size and design of your outside area.
The average cost and time for a standard timber decking installation can vary depending on certain factors, eg the height of the decking - or if the ground needs clearing of any shrubs, trees, roots, or stones.
If the decking is at ground level, the environment will need to be levelled off, and if the deck is going to be at a height, then you will need a stable substructure and potential planning permission,
On average most professional installers are able to install a middle-sized deck within 2-3 working days, depending on the condition of your area. However, if you are going to build your Deck yourself as a DIY project, the time frame may differ depending on time, how many years of experience and the available tools you have.
When fixing your own deck, it is important to always follow the supplier's installation guides, to ensure the warranty of your products is not put at risk.
ADDITIONAL DECK MATERIAL COSTS
Unfortunately, Decking Projects can be full of surprising add-ons if not properly budgeted for. As it is not just the Decking Boards themselves you will need to buy, Joists, Screws, Weed Mats, and Trims also need to be considered, which is something people often forget - making their project potentially go over budget.
Joists/Battens - Timber, Composite, and PVC Decking Boards all require a sturdy substructure and the support of Joists/Battens.
Balustrades - Can be added as a decorative and durable addition for both safety and design.
Trims - Corner Trims, Skirting Trims and Fascia Boards can be added to hide the structure and joists beneath the deck, as well as add seamless details to the edges of your new deck.
Fixings and Screws - Ensure you have the correct screws and fixings for your Deck. Hardwood boards can be fixed using Traditional wood screws, however, Composite Boards should be fixed using Composite Screws.
Weed Mat - If you are installing your Deck in your garden without first laying a concrete base, it is advised a membrane or material is put down to ensure no weeds or vegetation will grow up beneath the deck and penetrate through any gaps. A Weed Mat prevents any weeds from growing, while still allowing water and nutrients to reach the soil below.
Below we have compared the costs of the additional materials across popular decking companies, please note additions will only be compatible with the same companies' decking boards. Boards bought from Cladco will not be able to be finished with Trims purchased from Dino Decking for example.
Other Cost Factors to Consider
Now you have your decking boards, joists, fixings, and other accessories sorted, it's time to think about any additional costs you may need to take into account before installing your Decking.
While installation should only take 2-3 days on average for a professional to fit, if any unexpected steps need to be taken, time, labour cost and supply costs may increase.
Skip - If you are having to level out your garden surface, the additional cost of a skip may be required for waste disposal.
Delivery - If you are unable to collect your decking materials in person, the cost of delivery may need to be factored into your budget.
Sander - If you have purchased any timber decking, you may need to sand, varnish, and stain it before installing it to suit your desired look.
Varnish - Timber often needs to be varnished, or sealed once installed to ensure the Boards stay looking high-quality for years to come. This is another additional cost you can expect to pay on top of the boards themselves.
Cleaner - All decking types may get dirty while being built, cleaners can be purchased once the Deck has been built, for a perfect finish. This can be used for many years too.
Concrete - If you are wanting to install your deck onto a concrete base, purchasing and paying for that concrete to be installed correctly is an additional cost to factor in.
Landscaping - If you are wanting a ground-level garden deck, the deck should be installed on a flat, level surface. Landscaping and levelling out of your garden may be required before the installation can begin.
Cladco Composite Decking has a ten-year guarantee, with Cladco Premium PVC Decking having a 20-year guarantee. Both should not rot, warp, splinter, fade, or stain. Boards may simply need the occasional cleaning.
Timber Decking will need regular maintenance over the years it is installed, with wood also being susceptible to staining, splitting, warping, rotting, and fading.
Planning your Decking Installation and Cost
Before you start your decking project, here is a list of the key steps you may want to follow.
Plan your decking area and decide on the height, size, and location of your deck.
Check to see if you need planning permission. See our Blog for further information.
Choose your preferred supplier, the type of decking, and the colour that will suit your garden.
Once you have purchased all the necessary equipment, prepare your base. You may need to level it out, to which you can then lay your concrete or Weed Mat.
Create your substructure following the supplier's guide.
Install your Decking either with professional installers or by following the correct guides provided by the supplier.