All you need to know about the costs of installing timber decking including materials, labour and time frames.
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.
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|
Individual costs for hiring a decking specialist to install 20 square metres of medium quality timber decking - Total Cost: £1600