How Much Does Decking Cost?

Our guide to the cost of decking installation will cover the supply and labour costs of having new decking installed, how long it takes for a decking installation to be complete and other topics such as the various types of decks that exist.

This article will be helpful if you plan to have decking installed in your garden or if you simply want to expand your knowledge of the subject.

You may also find our guide useful if you want to know the costs involved before deciding whether or not to have decking installed.

The cost of having about 15m² of softwood decking installed will likely come to around £800 to £1200 with a hardwood decking installation price for the same area likely to end up about £1800 to £2200.

Again, based on a 15m² area, to have composite wood decking installed will probably cost around £1400 to £1800 while a uPVC decking installation will be priced at roughly £800 to £1000.

To have a 20m² area covered with medium-quality timber wood will cost you about £1400 to £1800 while to use the same type of wood to cover 40m² will put you back about £2600 to £3000.

Type of Decking Area Size Average Cost
Softwood 15m² £800-£1200
Hardwood 15² £1800-£2200
Composite 15² £1400-£1800
uPVC 15² £800-£1000
Softwood 20m² £1300-£1700
Hardwood 20m² £2300-£2700
Composite 20m² £1900-£2300
uPVC 20m² £1000-£1400
Softwood 40m² £2500-£2900
Hardwood 40m² £3500-£3900
Composite 40m² £3100-£3500
uPVC 40m² £1900-£2300

What Are the Supply Costs of Decking?

The focus of this section is specifically the supply costs of patio doors as if you were to purchase from a retailer directly.

Sliding patio doors tend to cost around £590 to £690, French patio doors usually cost between £390 and £490 while in the case of the bifold doors cost, you should budget for a price range of £1250 to £3750.

Type of Decking Cost Per Metre
Softwood £3-£6
Hardwood £4-£10
Composite £8-£12
uPVC £5-10

What Are the Additional Costs of Decking?

In this section, we will consider the various additional costs that you may choose to avail of after having new garden decking installed.

Garden Maintenance

A gardener may charge anywhere in the range of £20 to £110 per hour although most gardeners will have a flat rate covering at least two hours. As a result, you can expect to pay between £40 and £220 to have garden maintenance undertaken by a professional, although it will likely fall somewhere in the lower end of this range.

Garden Waste Removal

Garden waste removal will likely take about 45 minutes and cost you somewhere in the range of £100 and £200. How much garden waste you wish to have removed will ultimately determine the total cost.

For example, to have about 300kg (20 bags) of waste removed may cost around £80 to £110 while to have 900kg (60 bags) of garden waste removed, you may need to budget for a cost of roughly £200 to £230.

Weed Proof Membrane

You might also choose to have a weed proof membrane installed to protect your decking from garden weeds such as broad-leaved dock and nettles.

The cost involved will likely come to £30 per pack although additional labour costs may also apply of about £20 to £40 for an hour’s work, assuming it is on top of an ongoing work schedule.

Decking Steps

Another addition to your decking which you could have installed is decking steps.

The cost of decking steps may come to anywhere from £50 to £215 with the labour costs depending on how long the job will take, with a charge of about £20 to £40 per hour.

Tradesmen Costs for Installing Decking

We will now focus on the labour and installation costs associated with having new decking installed. For this section, we will break down the costs based on the various types of decking such as softwood and composite decking as well as the costs based on different decking sizes.

These costs are average estimates and whereabouts in the UK you live can also influence how much any installation job will cost.

The following labour costs are based on the estimated quality of each type of decking which in turn will increase the total installation cost.

The labour costs of having softwood decking installed for a 15m² area will add up to roughly £300 to £400 while having hardwood decking installed for the same area coverage will land around £600 to £800.


The labour cost of composite decking will end up at about £500 to £620 for a 15 square metre area. To cover the same area with uPVC decking will cost roughly £300 to £330.

For 20m² of decking to be installed with medium-quality timber, it will probably cost you around £1000 to £1250 in terms of labour costs with the same expense adding up to roughly £1800 to £2200 to cover a 40m² area.

How Long Does It Take to Install Decking?

For this section, we will discuss the durations it takes to install the various types of decking, namely softwood, hardwood, composite and uPVC.

The table below breaks down such durations and also lays out the estimated installation times based on decking sizes.

In this section, we will also look at other factors that could influence the total time it takes to have new decking installed.

Type/ Size Installation Time
Softwood 1-2 Days
Hardwood 1-2 Days
Composite 1-2 Days
uPVC 1-2 Days
Low-cost decking boards (20m²) 2-3 Days
Low-cost decking boards (40m²) 4 Days
Medium-priced decking boards (20m²) 2-3 Days
Medium-priced decking boards (40m²) 4 Days
Premium-priced decking boards (20m²) 2-3 Days
Premium-priced decking boards (40m²) 4 Days

Other factors that could influence the length of time it takes for your decking to be installed are the size of the garden, the state of the decking area (as a poor decking area may need additional groundwork or preparation) and ease of access to your garden.

Types of Decking

We will now discuss the different types of decking in more detail. Each subsection below looks at what each type of decking is, their associated costs as well as giving their pros and cons. The labour costs discussed are once again based on an area of 15m².

Softwood Decking Costs

Softwood decking is made from trees like spruce and pine which are coniferous, evergreen trees. Roughly 4 in 5 types of timber are softwood and are often used to make softwood timber decking.

The supply cost for softwood decking is around £3 to £6 per metre while the labour costs of having this type of decking installed will land around £300 to £400. Softwood decking products tend to be the best price decking on the market.

Pros:

  • Cheaper decking type.
  • Easily installed.
  • With pressure-treated softwood, you can anticipate a long-life expectancy.
  • More environmentally friendly than hardwood.

Cons:

  • Unsuitable for areas with high foot-traffic as it can fade with time.
  • Regular maintenance will prove necessary for softwood decking.
  • Not as durable as hardwood.

Hardwood Decking Costs

Hardwood decking is made from trees that are deciduous and have a slow growth rate. Maple and European Oak are examples of different hardwood types.

You can expect the labour installation costs to end up around £600 to £800 for hardwood decking. The supply costs of hardwood are usually around £4 to £10 per metre.

Pros:

  • High quality type of decking.
  • Very durable.
  • More fire-resistant than softwood decking.
  • Unlimited design options.

Cons:

  • May prove more difficult and time consuming to install.
  • Particularly expensive type of decking.
  • Needs maintenance on a regular basis.

Composite Decking Costs

Composite decking comprises both wood and plastic materials. You can expect to pay around £8 to £12 per metre in terms of the supply costs.

The labour costs associated with this type of decking will likely end up somewhere in the range of £500 to £620. Composite decking prices tend to exceed that of softwood and uPVC decking products.

Pros:

  • Composite decking is long-lasting.
  • Durable.
  • Available in a wide range of colours and textures.

Cons:

  • More expensive than softwood or uPVC decking.
  • The colours of composite decking cannot be changed.
  • Dark composite decking colours are prone to fading with time.

uPVC Decking Costs

This type of decking is made entirely from plastic. The labour costs of having uPVC decking installed will end up at roughly £300 to £330. The material costs for uPVC decking is usually around £5 to £10 per metre.

Pros:

  • The cheapest type of decking, alongside softwood.
  • Very resistant to becoming slippery even during particularly wet weather.
  • Does not rot.
  • uPVC decking does not require maintenance.

Cons:

  • May not be the type of aesthetic you are looking for.
  • More difficult to install.
  • Can become particularly hot during warm, summer months and therefore may not be suitable to walk on without proper footwear or for a pet to walk across comfortably.

How Much Does Repairing Decking Cost?

In this section, we will break down the cost of different types of decking repairs. Common decking repairs include fixing rotten decking boards and repairing decking joists.

Rotten Decking Boards

To fix decking boards that have been damaged by rot, first the relevant pieces of wood should be taken up. The planks should then be turned upside down before being treated with a wire brush to remove heavily eroded pieces of wood.

The decking boards may then be soaked and treated again with a wire brush once they have dried. A product like CPES may also be used to improve the wood’s condition.

Filler may also prove necessary to fill where old, worn pieces of wood had been removed. The decking boards will then be returned to their original place with a new, fresh appearance.

A professional may use the approach mentioned above or alternatively they may replace the decking boards if they are beyond repair.

To have new decking boards installed may cost anywhere from £3 to £12 per metre in length with a professional charging a minimum of £40 to £50 assuming 2 hours or less of work. On this basis, to have five decking boards replaced might cost you about £80 to £90.

Repairing Decking Joists

Decking joists can be repaired by having rotted areas removed after a short inspection. Sealer should then be applied before the joist is reinforced. The reinforcing of the joist must then be secured.

If you wish to hire a professional to install replacement decking joists, you can expect the cost for pinewood to end up at around £5 to £7, £9 to £11 for softwood and £14 to £16 for hardwood.

The labour costs will likely come to around £20 to £25 per hour with a two-hour flat rate minimum charge being likely.

How Much Does Decking Maintenance Cost?

For this section, we will discuss the costs involved in performing various types of maintenance.

Paint/stain/oil Decking

While painting the decking can help to bring vitality and life to it, staining is specifically designed to paint a colour onto the wood. Oil is used to apply an appropriate finish and give a glistening, aesthetic look to your decking.

Late spring or early August are the best times to paint, stain or/and oil the deck. You should stain your decking, or have it stained by a professional every two years. Your decking should be oiled every 6-12 months. In terms of painting, it may only be required every several years.


A painter will charge a minimum of about £27 to £37 (two-hour flat rate) and an additional £14 to £18 per hour after the first two to perform a paint job.

How much the total labour costs will come to will depend on how large your deck is, ease of access to your garden and whereabouts in the UK you are located.

The supply costs will be added to the labour costs if performed by a professional or will prove the sole cost if you undertake the work by yourself.

The supply costs to paint a decking with an area of 20m² will probably come to about £30 to £120 as 2-6 litres of paint will be needed. The decking should be painted 1-3 times. 3-4 litres of paint will likely prove sufficient for a decking of this size.

The wood stain paint supply costs for the same area of decking will likely cost you about £40 to £200.

2 coats of stain paint should be applied to the deck. A painter will charge the same for this type of work per hour (in terms of the labour costs) as mentioned above.

For every square metre of decking, 1 litre of oil should provide you with enough for two coats. 2-3 oil coats will be needed. Hence, you may need 20-30 litres of oil to fully cover a deck if it has an area of 20m².

The total cost for 20-30 litres of oil will likely end up around £80 to £240. The labour costs will once more be around £14 to £18 per hour if performed by a painter.

Cleaning Decking

Deck cleaning may involve a full wash of the decking and efforts to remove rotted pieces of wood, other debris and undesired marks that have appeared on the deck. It’s best to clean the decking in the spring or autumn and when the temperatures are consistently above 11°C.

Your decking should be cleaned about once a year. The labour costs of deck cleaning will likely come with a minimal two-hour charge of about £50 to £100 while the cost per metre squared for the clean will likely be around £1 to £2.

This means that to have a decking cleaned that has an area of 20m² will probably be priced at roughly £70 to £140. If you wish to perform the job yourself, the supply costs will vary based on what materials you require.

This will depend on how much of a clean is needed. A pressure washer will help you to wash your deck effectively. It will likely cost around £80 to £200 to purchase one. Other tools you may choose to buy include a deck cleaning solution (£10 to £20) and a scrubber brush (£5 to £8).

Sanding Decking

When decking has become weathered and worn, it should be sanded to even it out and remove imperfections. It is best to sand your decking in the spring or autumn and during a time when there is little to no rain forecasted for a several day period.

Your decking should be sanded before being stained, thus sanding it every 2 years prior to staining or otherwise when needed is preferable.

If you wish to have your decking sanded, it will probably cost you £14 per square metre with a professional charging £40 to £50 as a flat rate and then around £20 to £25 per hour thereafter.

For a 20m² decking, it’s probably going to cost you about £400 to £500 in terms of the total labour costs.


This assumes that the job will take around six and a half hours. If you wish to sand the deck by yourself, you’ll likely need to spend anywhere from £10 to £50 on supply costs. Of course, how much sandpaper you’ll need to fully sand your decking will depend on the type of decking you have and the area it covers.

How Much Does It Cost to Remove Decking?

We will now consider the costs involved in having decking removed. You may choose to remove decking because you have no use for it or if you wish to replace it with another surface such as paving slabs or artificial grass.

A professional will probably charge you about £100 to £500 to remove your decking. You may also choose to hire a skip for roughly £50 to £200.

How large the skip will need to be will depend on the size of the decking you wish to have removed. You can dispose of decking with a skip or through a ‘man and van’ service.

FAQs

Q: How much decking do I need?

A: The number of decking boards you’ll need will depend on the size of the area you wish to cover. You can utilise a decking calculator to figure this out as well as to calculate various other details such as how many joists and posts your decking will require.

Q: What is composite decking?

A: Composite decking is that which is made of both plastic and wood materials.

Q: How long does decking last?

A: Decking may last anywhere from 15 to 30 years.

Q: Which wood is best for decking?

A: Redwood and cedar woods are among the best types for decking.

Q: What is uPVC decking?

A: uPVC decking is that which is made of plastic.

Sources

  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/house-garden/powertools/best-pressure-washers-for-car-decking-block-paving-under-100-deals-patio-a9492816.html
  2. https://www.screwfix.com/c/decorating/paint/cat850142?volume=1_ltr
  3. https://www.atpine.com.au/merbau-decking-oil/
  4. https://www.defywoodstain.com/how-many-coats-deck-stain-apply/
Author: Dean M

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Digital Media, I'm a freelance writer and I've worked for clients such as the British Blockchain Association and I have experience in writing articles, YouTube video scripts, online guides and newsletters. I have written and produced many short films as well as a web series and feature film. I am also currently working on a novel.