How much does it cost to build a deck?

In New Zealand, with our hills, mountains & rugged coastlines we’re often forced to build on sites with steep contours and unstable ground conditions. We also want to maximise our outdoor living spaces to make the most of our beautiful country, leading to the use of decks as one of the most common ways to build above the ground. But the first question arises, with the unknown answer – how much does it cost to build a deck? 

Decks vs Patio’s

The short answer to this comparison is that patio areas are significantly cheaper. You may prefer the look of a deck, however, a concrete or paved patio is always going to come at a lower cost. 

These do however, require the space around your home to be relatively flat, unless you’re willing to spend the dollars on timber or concrete block retaining walls. 

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Softwood Decks 

Pine is the most common softwood deck used in New Zealand, other softwoods are Cedar, Macrocarpa or Matai, to name a few. Softwood decks (especially pine) are usually cheaper and less durable than hardwood decks, and tend to not give off the same quality look & feel that a hardwood deck does. 


Hardwood Decks 

Hardwoods are timbers like Kwila, Garapa, Vitex & Iroko. These are a cut above the traditional softwoods used for decking, and the price certainly displays this. Hardwoods display a higher quality finish, for homes where you’re looking to add a little more detail to. They also stain a lot nicer than the softwoods and are generally more durable. 

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So how much does it cost to build a deck, per m2, per deck type?

See below some indicative deck pricing, priced in August 2019 from a local merchant. This pricing is only for the decking itself, no piles, bearers, joists, concrete or labour, all of which you’ll need, including an auger or your time & hands to dig each pile hole. 

Timber Decks:
Pine 140×32 – $50/m2 incl GST
Kwila 140×19 – $89/m2 incl GST
Vitex 140×19 – $105/m2 incl GST
Garapa 140×19 – $104/m2 incl GST
Iroko 140×19 – $112/m2 incl GST

Outdure 138×23 – $103/m2 incl GST
Millboard 176×32 – $210/m2 incl GST (and this was a good deal) 

So you can see why, from the above costings why there’s so many Pine decks around. It’s around half the price of any of the hardwoods, and certainly does the trick as a deck. Although, as more New Zealanders are looking to spend a little more money on their living areas and styles, hardwoods are becoming more and more popular. 

Composite decking is still attempting to prove itself, with horror stories of children burning their feet on the plastic composites, the rise and fall of some composite companies (which therefore means you can’t buy the same deck again). However, it does have its place. Millboard decking is an amazing product, formed with Limestone, however its benefits certainly come at a price.  

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Holes, Concrete, Piles, Bearers, Fixings…

As you would know, the actual decking itself is only part of the cost. Whether you’re the hands on type or not, you’ve got to bore the holes, purchase the piles, the concrete, bearers, joists, fixings (nails, screws, bolts if needed) and then factor in your time to build it, or the cost of a builder to put it together for you. 


So then, how much does it cost to build a deck?
Remember, not only is there the install cost of these winter heating 

If you’re looking for a generic,ballpark figure to work off, base your budget calculations off $300/m2 incl GST, for an uncovered deck. That roughly includes all the materials and labour you’ll need to get it finished. If you’re looking to cover your deck, with a gazebo, veranda, pergola or similar, allow $600/m2 incl GST for the deck + covering. These are very ballpark figures and it totally depends on your situation, however it’ll help you get your head in the right space when thinking about building a deck, either including it on your new home or building it beside your existing residence.  

And of course, if you wish to find out more information about building your home, budgeting & the best process to use, get in touch with the  Arcline Team

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