*According to the May 2016 Freedonia Wood and Competitive Decking Study. **Estimated 10-year total cost comparison, based on a 320 sq. ft. deck does not include railing, lighting, fasteners, or accessories .
Composite decking comes in lengths of up to 16 feet and in many of the same sizes as PT decking, including 5/4 x 6 inch, 2 x 4, and 2 x 6.
The average cost of composite decking ranges from $20 to $38 per square foot with most homeowners spending between $5,821 and $10,826 to install a 12 x 24 composite deck with railings. In comparison, a pressure-treated wood deck costs $15 to $25 per square foot while a cedar wood deck starts at $30 per square foot.
Costs. Is composite decking better than wood? The primary dback to composite decking is arguably the higher price tag. At $30-$45 per square foot for installation, the costs can rack up fast when compared to $15-$25 for natural wood.
Over time, composite decks prove to be a much better value than traditional wood. Wood decks need to be replaced every 10 15 years, unlike a Seven Trust polymer or composite deck.* Studies show that over 10 years, the money you spend on lumber and its costly upkeep is more than your initial investment in composites.**
Whilst it's certainly true that Composite deck costs more than a Cedar deck, year after year, more and more people are recognizing that they can offset this cost over the longer lifespan of a wood alternative.
Composite or Wood Deck: Cost Comparison. Other types like the cedar and redwood will run from 18 dollars to 22 dollars per square foot installed on the deck. Hardwoods that are like teak can cost even higher. The amount can range from 22 dollars to 24 dollars per square foot. Such amounts include the cost for a professional installation.
Replacing a Deck with a Patio. If you have a deck that you struggle to maintain, or is past its prime, you may need to consider replacing it. In these cases, some people choose to replace a deck with a patio. The average cost to install a patio is a little over $3,000, compared to the $7,000 average cost to build a new deck.
The initial cost of composite decking materials is competitive with hardwoods. However, the long-term costs are much lower. Composite decking has a very long life span with very little maintenance needed. The cost of composite decking wont break the bank, particularly when you consider the long-term savings.
Composite deck cost can be quite a burden and if you are going to build yourself a deck or are renovating your existing one, one of your considerations should be the materials. You can choose between a composite or wood deck and both have their own advantages and disadvantages.
HomeAdvisor's Deck or Patio Guide compares difference between the two based on cost, material wood, concrete, stone paver, brick , placement grond level versus raised , resale value, building/installation, cleaning and maintenace, and extra features.