How Much Does Garden Decking Cost?

Are you thinking about having decking installed in your garden?

In this guide, we break down all the costs of decking installation that you need to know about. We'll cover decking labour costs in the UK, the cost of decking per metre, how long it should take to be installed, and other useful tidbits.

If you're ready to get a quote for your new decking, we can also help connect you with local decking specialists.

wooden decking

Opting for garden decking is a popular choice when you want to create a more stylish yet practical way to access your garden.

So let's get down to it. What's the cost of decking installation in 2024?

The cost of having about 15m² of softwood decking installed will come to around £925 to £1,600.

For about the same area, hardwood decking installation prices will be between £1,600 and £3,625, composite wood decking would cost around £2,275 to £9,250, and uPVC decking installation will be roughly £2,275 to £3,400.

Price for Garden Decking

How much does decking cost per square metre in 2024?

Type of Decking Cost Per Square Metre
Softwood £3-£7
Hardwood £6-£15
Composite £10-£20
uPVC £9-14

Excluding all other costs, the cost per metre of softwood decking should be between £3 to £6.

Other types of decking are usually more expensive, with hardwood decking costing about £6 to £15, composite wood decking priced at around £9 to £40, and uPVC decking in the range of about £9 to £14.

clay decking

Do not confuse the cost per metre squared with decking prices per square metre.

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What Are the Additional Costs of Decking Installation?

What additional costs might you need to pay when having new garden decking installed?

Here are a few you should be aware of:

Garden Maintenance Prices

A gardener may charge anywhere in the range of £15 to £25 per hour.

Howvever, most gardeners will have a flat rate covering at least two hours.

As a result, you can expect to pay between £30 and £50 to have garden maintenance undertaken by a professional. It will likely fall somewhere in the lower area of this range.

Garden Waste Removal Cost

Garden waste removal will likely take about 45 minutes and cost you somewhere in the range of £70 and £200.

bags of garden waste

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 £45, while it should cost about £135 to have 900kg (60 bags) of garden waste removed.

Weed Proof Membrane Cost

You could have a weed proof membrane installed to protect your decking from garden weeds (like broad-leaved dock and nettles).

This will likely cost about £40 per pack. It will also require additional labour, which may cost about £15 to £25 for an hour's work (assuming it is on top of an ongoing work schedule).

Installing Decking Steps

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

timber decking steps

The cost of decking steps may be anywhere between £50 to £215. The labour costs depend on how long the job will take, but most people will charge about £20 to £40 per hour.

Decking Installation Cost

What are labour prices you should expect to pay to get a deck installed in your garden?

Before we get to them, keep in mind that these are average estimates. Your whereabouts in the UK will strongly impact the cost of decking installation.

The labour costs of having softwood decking installed for a 15m² area will be roughly £480 to £615, while having hardwood decking installed in the same area costs more at around £1165 to £3300.

 installing and painting decking

Composite decking installation costs will be about £1170 to £2100 for a 15m². To cover the same area with uPVC decking will cost around the same price.

For a larger area of 20m², the price to install medium-quality timber decking would be around £640 to £820. For an area twice the size of this (40m²), it would cost roughly £1280 to £1640 to get the decking installed.

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 how long it should take to install various types and sizes of decking in your garden.

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

However, it could take longer than this.

Factors that impact the time it takes to install decking include the:

  • Size of your garden
  • State of the decking area (as a poor decking area may need additional groundwork or preparation)
  • Ease of access to your garden

Types of Decking

We'll now go through the different types of decking that you can get in more detail.

Each of the subsections below goes through what each type of decking is, associated costs, as well as the pros and cons. Once again, labour costs are based on an area of 15m².

Softwood Decking Costs

soft wood decking

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 £925 to £400. Softwood decking products tend to be the cheapest decking available.


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


  • 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

hard wood decking

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 hardwood decking installation costs to be around £1600 to £3625. The supply costs of hardwood are usually around £6 to £15 per metre.


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


  • May prove more difficult and time consuming to install
  • An expensive type of decking
  • Needs regular maintenance

Composite Decking Costs

composite decking

Composite decking comprises both wood and plastic materials. You can expect to pay around £9 to £40 per metre of it.

Composite decking installation costs will likely end up in the range of about £2275 to £9250 - which is more expensive than softwood or uPVC decking products.


  • Long-lasting
  • Durable
  • Available in a wide range of colours and textures


  • 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

upvc decking

This type of decking is made entirely from plastic. uPVC decking installation costs will be about £2275 to £3400, with uPVC material costs usually between £9 to £14 per metre.


  • One of the cheapest types of decking materials
  • Highly resistant to becoming slippery - even during particularly wet weather
  • Doesn't rot
  • uPVC decking doesn't require maintenance


  • May not be the type of aesthetic you are looking for
  • More difficult to install
  • Can become particularly hot during the warmer months, which may mean that it's not suitable to walk on without footwear (or for pets to walk across)

Alternatives to Decking

Decking might be the go-to for many when imagining their ideal outdoor area, but there's a whole world of alternatives out there. From patios to turf and artificial grass, each option brings its own advantages to your garden, catering to different tastes and needs.

Let's explore these choices, finding the perfect setting for your outdoors:


Patios are the easygoing relative of decking—simple, sturdy, and oh-so-stylish. Choose from paving slabs, bricks, or natural stone to set the stage for your garden gatherings.

They're tough enough to handle any party and easy to keep clean, offering a perfect blend of beauty and practicality. Plus, you can lay those stones in a unique pattern, making your patio a true reflection of your style.


For that touch of greenery, turf is your go-to. It's soft underfoot, making your garden a prime spot for relaxation and play. Turf is nature's air purifier, but it does ask for a bit of care—some watering, mowing, and occasional feeding.

For those who enjoy a weekend gardening session, it offers the perfect mix of function and natural beauty.

Artificial Grass

If you're looking for green without the fuss, artificial grass is the answer. It keeps your garden looking vibrant all year round, no watering or mowing required. Modern varieties look and feel just like the real thing, making it a smart choice for busy gardeners.

It's an upfront investment that pays off with minimal upkeep, ideal for enjoying your outdoor space with minimal effort.

How Much Does Repairing Decking Cost?

In this section, we break down the cost of different types of decking repairs.

Two 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, the relevant pieces of wood will need to be taken up. The planks should then be turned upside down before being treated with a wire brush to remove heavily eroded pieces.

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.

rotten decking boards

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

A professional may use this approach. However, they might recommend that you replace the decking boards. This can sometimes be a quicker and lower cost option than repairing them.

To have new decking boards installed may cost anywhere from £3 to £40 per metre in length - with a professional charging a minimum of £40 to £50 assuming 2 hours or less of work. Based on this, 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. A two-hour flat rate minimum charge will likely be charged by the tradesperson.

How Much Does Decking Maintenance Cost?

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

Paint, Stain, or 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, and/or oil decking. You should have your decking stained stain at least every two years. Your decking should be oiled every 6-12 months. In terms of painting, it may only be required every several years.

timber treated decking boards

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 paint decking.

Total labour costs will depend on the size of your decking, the ease of access to your garden, and your whereabouts in the UK.

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.

The wood stain paint supply costs for the same area of decking will likely cost you about £40 to £200. Two 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 £2.

clean wooden decking

This means that to have a decking cleaned which is about 20m² will cost 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 and will cost you around £80 to £200 to buy 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. This means that sanding it every 2 years prior to staining or otherwise when needed is required.

person sanding decking

If you wish to have your decking sanded, it will probably cost you £16 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?

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.

removing decking

A professional will probably charge you about £100 to £500 to remove your decking. You may also choose to hire a skip for roughly £100 to £300.

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

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Q: How Many Decking Boards 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 an option 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 - if well maintained.

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 an decking material which is made of plastic.


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.