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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Cedar Deck

Cedar Deck Cost


How Much Does a Cedar Deck Cost?

 
low costDo-It-Yourself: $1,600-$4,800+ for 16'x20average costInstalled: $6,400-$24,000+ for 16'x20'
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A deck adds outdoor living space to a home, and cedar gives that area a warm, high-quality appearance. Cedar has a natural resistance to insects and rot, as well as a glowing color and good-looking straight grains. A cedar deck can be left untreated to weather naturally, and typically lasts 20-30 years.

Typical costs:

  • A cedar deck can cost $20-$75 or more a square foot ($6,400-$24,000 for 16'x20'), depending on the quality of the lumber, the complexity of the project, and whether construction is by casual labor or a licensed contractor. CostHelper readers report paying $6,651-$10,324 materials and labor for a cedar deck, at $23.09-$71.69 a square foot, with average costs of $41.05 a square foot.
  • Although it is sold nationwide, the red cedar commonly used for decking is native to the Pacific Northwest; price and availability vary by region. Lumber prices change daily, and overall they hit an eight-year high[1] in spring 2013.
  • Other factors affecting the total cost include the height; shape; railing length, material and style; steps, stairways or landings; built-in benches, lighting or other features; and if an old deck needs to be demolished and hauled away.
  • Do-it-yourself materials can cost $5-$15 or more a square foot ($1,600-$4,800 for 16'x20') depending on the quality of the lumber and the complexity of the project. DIY Network has a video of a cedar desk with hot tub[2] .
What should be included:
  • Typically a cedar deck is supported by an understructure of pressure-treated wood, while the decking, railings and other visible features are cedar. BobVila.com offers a video illustration[3] of building a cedar deck.
Additional costs:
  • Depending on local regulations and the size and height of the structure, adding a deck often requires a building permit. Most contractors will coordinate any permits and inspections, but the homeowner is often responsible for paying the fees, which can be nominal or pricey, depending on local regulations.
  • The permit process typically requires detailed plans and drawings, to show that the deck will be structurally sound and meet or exceed local building codes. Many contractors include the cost of a plan in their bid.
  • Depending on local regulations, after the project is complete the local tax assessor may calculate how much the property has increased in value; the amount of tax increase varies significantly by location and the value of the addition.
  • Once the deck is completed, contact your homeowners' insurance company ; explain how much it cost to build the new deck, and they will determine the cost to add the deck to the existing policy.
  • A cedar deck should be cleaned annually ($0.25-$1.50 or more a square foot). If it is not allowed to weather naturally, it should sealed (averages $2-$3.50 a square foot) or stained ($0.50-$2.50 a square foot) every one to two years.
Shopping for a cedar deck:
  • The Western Red Cedar Lumber Association offers cedar deck ideas[4] , a free planning/design tool[5] and the ability to search for a local cedar retailer[6] .
  • Check that the wood has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council[7] , which identifies lumber that has been legally and sustainably harvested.
  • A cedar deck can be installed by a landscaping contractor, a general building contractor (who may sub it out to a specialist) or a decking contractor. Ask family, friends, neighbors or the staff at local hardware or home improvement centers for recommendations. For larger projects, search for local members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry[8] , and look for "deck contractor" listed among each company's specialties. Ask for and check references from satisfied customers; look for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau[9] ; and confirm that the company is properly insured and licensed[10] .
  • Ask for a detailed explanation of the work to be done and the materials that will be used. If there is an existing deck, make sure demolition and debris removal are included. HGTVremodels.com lists questions to ask a decking professional[11] .
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External Resources:
  1.  money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=691b3718-a10f-453c-bfd6-41702b2ba853
  2.  www.diynetwork.com/videos/cedar-deck-with-hot-tub/99044.html
  3.  www.bobvila.com/sections/tv-shows/projects/37-victorian-kitchen-bath-remodel/episodes/4...
  4.  wrcla.org/cedarprojects/cedardecks/overview.asp
  5.  www.wrcla.org/deck_designer/
  6.  wrcla.org/purchasing_cedar/retailers.asp
  7.  us.fsc.org/
  8.  www.nari.org/search/address/
  9.  www.bbb.org/en/us/search
  10.  www.contractors-license.org/
  11.  www.hgtvremodels.com/outdoors/hiring-a-decking-professional/index.html
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