What is the cheapest material to build a deck?

When considering building a deck, it is prudent to choose cost-effective materials. One of the cheapest options is pressure-treated lumber. Treated lumber (usually Southern Yellow Pine) is widely available and offers a good balance of durability and affordability. While it may not be as long-lasting or aesthetically pleasing as some of the more expensive alternatives. However, proper maintenance and sealing can extend its life.

Another affordable option is composite decking boards, although it is more expensive than wood at first. However, composite decking requires very little maintenance, which saves on long-term maintenance costs. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. The choice therefore depends on factors such as budgetary constraints, desired aesthetics, and willingness to invest in ongoing maintenance.

Choice of Deck Material

If you want to build a deck on a budget, there are many different ways to go about it. To be fair, building a deck out of cheaper materials may save you money at first. However, you may spend more in the long run when it comes time to replace these materials.

If you’re on a budget, wood is one of the cheapest options for building a deck. Make sure you pick pressure-treated lumber. If you use raw wood, you will only be asking for trouble. It is important that the wood is weatherproofed because rain, snow, sun, and wind can damage it. Wooden decks also require regular care and maintenance, and they need to be oiled or painted every year.

Composite decking is another option. This type of decking costs more upfront but requires no maintenance and can last for decades. That means that the longer you use your outdoor deck, the lower the total cost of building composite decking.


Deck Design Ideas – Less is More

If you want to build a deck on a budget, one of the best ways to save money is to use standard-sized lumber and a very simple deck floor plan. Simple designs take less time and materials.

For oddly shaped decks, cutting the boards correctly takes a lot of planning and precision, and many times wastes unusable material. To get the right size, this means more material must be purchased. Therefore, a simple 12 x 12-foot deck will require much less waste, saving you money.

It will also take less time to complete a standard deck if everything is kept simple. So if you hire a deck contractor to build a simple deck, you will save a lot of money on the project. Deck professionals are very good at building decks, so your simple deck can be completed very quickly. Even less time than it would take you to do the work yourself.


Building a Ground-Level Deck

In most cases, a deck that is less than 30 inches off the ground is called a ground-level deck. Decks that are not attached to the house or are higher off the ground require more material and structural support than these types. With a ground-level deck, you also don’t have to pay for a fence or stairs.

If you plan to build a ground-level deck, you’ll be able to do so without having to buy a lot of items. Ground-level decks are also beneficial because they do not have to be attached to the house. You can place them anywhere in your yard. This means that you can turn your yard into a little oasis if you want. When you don’t have a lot of money, building a ground-level deck is a great option.

Off-Season Construction

The cold season doesn’t lend itself to much outdoor work. That’s why building a deck during the off-season is one way to reduce the cost of your deck. Most deck builders are busy in the spring and summer, so if you want to build, try building in late summer or fall, or even before it snows.


Build Your Deck Yourself DIY

That said, whether you choose to build your deck yourself or hire a deck contractor, there are some basics you need to know. If you don’t know much about something, you may miss out on some important information. And this information can help you build a cheap deck. When building a deck, you want a low-cost deck, not a poor-quality deck.

Start by knowing what you want. Save tons of beautifully designed decks on Pinterest or Instagram. Then you need to know how to build the deck and what the deck needs.

Decks can cost anywhere from $35 to $60 per square foot. That’s quite a range! So the first thing you need to do is figure out how much you can spend.

It helps if you understand the pros and cons of different types of deck materials, such as wood and composite materials. In the long run, will you spend more upfront to save money? Or do you need something as cheap as possible and then worry about their long-term cost? How much do you want to spend on your deck? These are all questions you should be able to answer.


There are a few more things to consider before building your deck:


How big of a deck do you need? Is it possible to give up some of the size if you want to save money? If you build a large deck, it may make your home and land worth more. Therefore, if you decide to sell your house, you may still be able to recoup the cost of building the deck. This is worth considering when looking for cheap deck ideas.


Can you build a simple deck that is square or rectangular? Or maybe your yard needs a non-linear deck?


Is it appropriate for the deck to be built on the ground? This is the least expensive way to build a deck. With a raised deck, you will pay more. And you really should ask for help when building a raised deck.


Common lumber has a low initial cost, but it requires regular maintenance and has a shorter lifespan. Composite decking costs more to build than wood decking, but it is strong and durable and has a long lifespan. The low-maintenance benefits can reduce the cost of maintaining the deck later in its life.


Additional Features

What additional features do I need to build a deck? If so, what size stairs do you need? Do you need a fence? If so, what kind of fence? Tin, metal, glass, iron, wood, etc.

Summing Up

In the long run, we recommend composite decking because it will give you a more comfortable outdoor experience, and composite decking materials mean quality, beauty, and minimal maintenance, saving you time and money.

Of course, building a deck is ultimately a choice based on your actual needs. If you have any questions about this, feel free to ask our service team and COOWIN will develop a deck design that meets your needs.

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