Deckonomics Unveiled: How Size Plays Into Cost

Deck wrapped around the back of a house

Ever wonder how much it would cost to build a deck in your backyard? Or how the size of your dream outdoor deck could affect your decking expenses?

In this article, you’ll discover how deck size impacts your budget and ways you can lower the cost.

By this post’s end, you’ll gain valuable insights to help you plan your home improvement project more successfully.

Key Points

How Deck Size Impacts Cost

Smaller light gray deck by a lake

Material Costs

The most direct way deck size affects cost is through materials.

Larger decks require more decking material, more structural support material (like joists and beams), and more fasteners and other hardware. All of these contribute to the overall deck cost.

For instance, deck materials could range from pressure-treated wood (the most affordable option), composite decking (a blend of wood and plastic fibers), and hardwoods or red cedar.

Labor Costs

It’s a general rule that more sizable decks take longer time spans and more labor to build.

This means higher labor costs if you’re hiring a contractor or more of your own time if you decide to build the deck yourself.

A contractor, with their connections and expertise, could help you save both time and money, especially for more complex deck construction projects.

From a DIY angle, deck building could be a cost-effective course of action if you have the necessary carpentry skills and open time.

Waste Factor

Deck building involves inevitable waste due to cut-off pieces that aren’t used.

The larger the deck, the more potential there is for waste, which can increase your decking expenses. This is an aspect often overlooked but plays a crucial role in determining the total cost of building a deck.

Design Complexity

Larger decks often involve more complex designs, such as multiple levels or additional deck features like built-in seating or planters.

These complexities can increase both material and labor costs.

Deck features like planters, benches, special lighting features, or strategically located electrical outlets for string lights and patio heaters could add to the overall deck cost.

Also, most decks higher than 30 inches from the ground require railings to meet building codes, and the design of these railings could vary in material and cost.

Permit Costs

In some areas, like Belvidere, IL, the size of the deck may affect the cost of the building permit. Larger decks may require more expensive permits.

Thus, it’s essential to factor in these costs when planning your outdoor deck project.

Foundation Costs

Larger decks require more extensive foundations, which can increase the cost.

This might involve more footings or a more complex layout of footings. A firm foundation is critical in ensuring the stability and longevity of your deck, so it’s not a place to cut corners, even if you’re trying to lower your deck building costs.

Railings And Safety Features

Depending on local building codes, larger decks may require additional safety features like more extensive railings or additional staircases.

Including these safety properties is not just about respecting the rules but also ensuring that your deck is a safe space for you and your family.

Maintenance Costs

While not directly a part of building costs, it’s worth noting that larger decks can cost more to maintain over time.

More surface area requires cleaning, sealing, or other maintenance. Therefore, the size of your deck can indirectly affect the overall cost of your home improvement project.

Deck Building Costs In Belvidere, IL

The deck cost in Belvidere, IL, could range from $6,000 to $50,000 and higher, depending on various factors, including deck size, materials used, labor costs, and design complexity.

Ways To Lower The Cost To Build A Deck

Simple deck made from pressure-treated lumber

Deck building can be a costly venture, but there are several strategies you can employ to bring down the cost without sacrificing quality or aesthetics.

Choose Cost-Effective Materials

One of the main expenses in constructing a deck is the cost of materials.

While hardwood and composite materials are popular for their durability and aesthetics, they can be quite expensive.

Opting for pressure-treated wood can save you money, as it’s typically the most affordable decking material. It’s also durable and can be painted or stained to match any aesthetic you desire.

Do Some Of The Work Yourself

If you’re handy and have the open time, consider doing some of the steps on your own.

While the actual construction of the deck may require professional expertise, there may be parts of the project you can handle on your own, such as site preparation, painting, staining, or sealing.

However, be sure to consider your skill level and the time commitment before deciding to DIY any part of your deck project.

Plan Your Deck For Off-Peak Seasons

Contractors may offer lower prices during their slower seasons, which are typically fall and winter.

If you’re not in a hurry, consider planning your deck construction during these off-peak times.

However, remember that weather conditions could potentially delay your project.

Simplicity In Design

While multi-tiered decks with intricate designs are undoubtedly beautiful, they’re also more expensive to build.

A simple, single-level deck will be more affordable.

Also, consider that square or rectangular decks are typically more cost-effective than decks with unusual shapes, as they require less labor and waste less material.

Reuse Or Recycle Materials

If you have access to quality used or surplus building materials, these can greatly reduce the cost of your deck.

Check with local builders or building supply recycling centers to see if they have materials that could be used in your deck construction.

Potential Financing Options For Building A Deck

Larger gray composite deck with white railing

When it comes to financing your deck-building project, there are multiple selections to examine, such as personal loans, home equity loans, or even credit cards.

Contractors may also offer financing options, such as payment plans.

However, it’s necessary to carefully and closely consider your financial situation and the likely return on investment before settling on a funding option.

Other Factors Affecting Deck Building Costs

Large octagonal deck with extended deck areas


The location of your deck can have a significant impact on the cost of construction.

If your deck will be built on a slope or requires additional support due to soil conditions, the cost of construction can increase significantly.

Additionally, if your deck location requires the removal of trees or other obstructions, this can also add to the cost.


Accessibility is another factor that can influence the cost of building a deck. If the location is tricky to reach, it may require more labor or specialized equipment, which can inflate the overall cost.

Size And Design

The size and design of your deck will significantly influence the cost.

Larger decks require more materials and more labor to construct, which will increase the cost.

Similarly, complex designs that include multiple levels, intricate patterns, or unique features like built-in seating or hot tubs will also increase the cost of construction.


The type of materials you choose for your deck will greatly affect the cost.

Pressure-treated wood is usually the most affordable option, while composite decking and exotic hardwoods are more expensive.

The choice of railing materials, from wood to metal to glass, can also affect the cost.

Permits And Inspections

You may need to get specific building permits and pass inspections in order to legally install your deck in your area. The price of these permits and inspections will inflate your costs.

Who Does The Project

Hard Decks crew standing on deck

Who you choose to build your deck can greatly affect the cost.

If you have the skills and time to DIY the project, you can save significantly on labor costs. However, a DIY project may take longer and may not have the professional finish that a contractor would provide.

If you choose to hire a contractor, the cost range will change depending on their experience level, work quality, and level of customer experience they provide.

High-end contractors may charge more, but they often provide superior craftsmanship and take care of all aspects of the project, from securing permits to clean-up.

Extras And Amenities

Any additional features or amenities you want to include on your deck can add to the cost.

This includes things like built-in seating, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, lighting, and more. Each of these extras will increase the cost of materials and labor.


During peak construction seasons (usually spring and summer), demand for contractors and materials can be high, which can drive up costs.

Conversely, planning your deck construction for the off-peak season may help you secure better pricing.

Get The Right Size Deck For Your Family With Hard Decks

Understanding deck building costs and how deck size affects them is crucial in planning your home improvement project. With this knowledge, you can make more informed decisions and plan a deck that fits both your vision and your budget.

At Hard Decks, we specialize in building decks in Belvidere, IL. Our team of construction professionals brings a wealth of experience to every project, ensuring that you get the deck of your dreams without any hidden surprises or costs.

Don’t let the cost of building a deck hold you back from enhancing your outdoor living space. Let us make your dream deck a reality!

Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call. We look forward to assisting you in crafting a deck you can utilize for the years ahead.

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