June 24, 2024

Calculating the Expenses

Building a deck can be an exciting project, but it’s essential to consider the costs involved. The size of the deck is a crucial factor that affects the overall expenses. If you’re planning to construct a 20×20 deck, you’ll need to evaluate the various components that contribute to the total cost.

Material Costs

The choice of materials significantly impacts the budget for your deck. The most common options include treated lumber, composite decking, and hardwood. Treated lumber is the most affordable option, with an average cost of $10 to $25 per square foot. Composite decking is a popular choice due to its durability and low maintenance, but it can cost between $25 and $45 per square foot. Hardwood decks are considered a luxury option and can range from $30 to $60 per square foot.

Labor Costs

Another crucial aspect to consider is the cost of labor. Hiring a professional contractor to build your 20×20 deck can save you time and ensure quality workmanship. Labor costs can vary depending on the complexity of the design and the region you’re located in. On average, you can expect to pay between $30 and $60 per hour for a skilled deck builder.

Additional Features

If you want to add extra features to your deck, such as built-in seating, lighting, or a pergola, it will increase the overall cost. These additional features require more materials and labor, so it’s essential to factor them into your budget. The complexity and size of the added features will determine the extent of the cost increase.

Estimating the Total Cost

To estimate the total cost of building a 20×20 deck, you need to consider the material and labor costs, as well as any additional features you want to include. Assuming you choose treated lumber at $20 per square foot and hire a contractor at $40 per hour:

The cost of materials for a 20×20 deck would be: 20ft x 20ft = 400 square feet x $20/sq ft = $8,000.

The labor cost will depend on the complexity of the design and the time required. Assuming it takes two weeks to complete the project (80 hours), the labor cost would be: 80 hours x $40/hr = $3,200.

Adding these two costs together, the estimated total cost for a 20×20 deck would be: $8,000 + $3,200 = $11,200.

Factors Affecting the Cost

It’s important to note that the estimated cost provided above is just a rough estimate. Several factors can influence the final expenses:

1. Location: Construction costs vary depending on the area you live in. Prices may be higher in urban areas due to higher labor and material costs.

2. Design Complexity: Intricate designs or custom features can increase the cost of your deck.

3. Deck Height: If your deck requires additional support or stairs due to its height, it will add to the overall expenses.

4. Permits and Regulations: Depending on your location, you may need to obtain permits for deck construction. Permit fees can vary and should be factored into your budget.

5. Site Preparation: If your land requires leveling or clearing, it will add to the cost of building the deck.


Building a 20×20 deck involves several considerations, including material costs, labor costs, and additional features. By carefully evaluating these factors and considering the various elements that can affect the cost, you can estimate a budget for your project. Remember to account for any unique aspects of your location, design, or site preparation that may impact the final expenses. With proper planning and budgeting, you can create a beautiful deck that suits your needs and adds value to your home.