The Cost to Install Timber Decking

All you need to know about the costs of installing timber decking including materials, labour and time frames.

Timber Decking Cost

What the job entails

This page is all about timber decking and is part of our series on landscape gardening costs in the UK. The cost to have timber decking installed in your garden will obviously depend on the quality and type of the timber products you choose. there are a number of different types of decking available, the cheapest of which are pressure treated pine products. Pine is affordable, popular and easily fixed with nails and screws - however they can suffer badly from splits and cracks. Premium decking products can be made from Cedar or tropical hardwoods and although they cost more they are not that much more expensive. You can also get composite decking boards nowadays which are made from timber fibres and plastic, or even 100% plastic decking.

Timber decking is environmentally friendly too as the wood used comes from responsible producers who insist on the conservation of forests through the use of sustainable forest management and renewal through planting schemes. Timber is the only mainstream construction material that is a renewable resource. Timber decking can also be customised to your own tastes with a wide range of additional design features including balustrades, pergolas, trellises, steps and much more. Decking is almost infinitely customisable and can be extended, or feature different levels to further make it your own individual design.

The construction of low level timber decking is a project that is well within the scope of most DIY enthusiasts, but when building the deck, it is important that the recommendations of the product manufacturer are always followed, the correct tools are used and the appropriate safety precautions are taken. If you are planning a raised deck or decking with multiple changes of level, specialist expertise is required to ensure the deck is structurally safe for people walking on it. Raised deck structures should be built by experienced installers to ensure that the deck is safe and fit for purpose. Raised decks will also perhaps need planning permission so it is always wise to consult a professional in any case.

There are specialist companies who do nothing but install timber decking, but many landscape gardeners will also carry out decking installations, in fact a some of the more popular garden projects, many landscape gardeners rely on this type of work as one of their main sources of income. The colour of real timber decking can fade with exposure to Sun's UV rays, this is completely normal and many in fact prefer the look of slightly weathered decking.

In terms of ongoing maintenance, the decking should be kept free of leaves and dust so needs an occasional sweep up, plus a chemical fungicide can applied once every year to prevent mould, moss, algae and lichen growth (use a product specifically designed for decking to ensure it will not discolour the timber). Decking can be pressure washed, but this should only be done on the lowest possible power setting.

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Cost to Install Timber Decking

The average cost to install timber decking is typically around £1000-£1500. This price assumes installing approximately 20 square metres of budget-medium qualiy timber. Premium timber (£100 per square metre) will increase the price considerably, up to around £2500. The average price can vary greatly depending on location, preparation or excavation work and the price of the timber decking.

A decking specialist will normally charge around £150 per day to install timber decking. Tradesmen will often work in pairs but can also work on their own and will on average take 2-4 days to complete the job dependng on the area size and if any excavation work is required.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a decking expert to build a timber decking:

Timber Quality Area Size Avg. Cost Duration
Budget (£15 / sq m) 20 square metres £900 2-3 days
Medium (£50 / sq m) 20 square metres £1600 2-3 days
Premium (£90 / sq m) 20 square metres £2400 2-3 days
Budget (£15 / sq m) 40 square metres £1400 4 days
Medium (£50 / sq m) 40 square metres £2800 4 days
Premium (£90 / sq m) 40 square metres £4400 4 days


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs for hiring a decking specialist to install 20 square metres of medium quality timber decking - Total Cost: £1600

65%

Materials
£1040

35%

Tradesmen
£560

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

The decking installer should have used a weed control fabric between the ground and the decking to prevent weed growth, so this should not be an issue.
Timber decking should last for decades if looked after but expect at least 15 years before any repairs are needed.
Decking boards are only slippy if mould, moss and algae are allowed to flourish. Use a chemical fungicide annually to prevent this and the boards will be perfectly safe to walk on in all weathers.
Hot tubs can weigh several tonnes, so a standard timber decking installation may not have been designed with this weight in mind. It is highly recommended that the decking is reinforced before adding a hot tub or the decking may collapse under the stress. If you are planning on installing a hot tub, ideally you should let the installer know beforehand and incorporate this into the design and build, rather than trying to reinforce the decking afterwards.
Yes, oils and treatments can be used to colour the decking and seal it and repel water. These treatments will need to be re-applied at intervals. You should speak to your decking installer to find out the best treatments for your specific decking.
No, this could allow water to come into contact with the wall above the damp proof course. You should always leave a gap between the decking and the wall. If decking is to be installed level with doors or patio windows above the damp proof course, then a minimum gap of 10mm to allow water to run freely down the wall should be included and this gap should be kept clear of leaves and other debris which might bridge the DPC. The framework should also have a fall of 1:100 away from the property and the boards should be fitted at right angles to the wall and with a 6mm gap between each board.
In some cases, you will need planning permission because the timber decking is elevated, especially if your decking overlooks a neighbouring property. Always check with your local authority before planning any decking installation. However, timber decking is a permeable surface so can play a valuable role in sustainable drainage, to help reduce flooding and pollution.