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Cost of Composite Decking in Canada: An Overview of Composite Wood Deck Prices

Updated

6/17/2024

Table of Contents

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Absolute Home Services is here to help! Whether you're in need of expert landscaping, handyman services, deck and fence work, or painting, our team has the skills and experience to get the job done right. Don't wait any longer to start creating the home you've always wanted.

Dreaming of a stunning, low-maintenance deck that transforms your outdoor living space and lasts for years? Composite decking could be the answer you've been searching for. While the initial investment might be higher than traditional wood, the durability, longevity, and minimal upkeep of composite decking can lead to significant savings over time.

In Canada, the average cost of a composite deck typically falls between $30 and $45 per square foot. However, the final price for your dream deck can vary depending on several factors.

Understanding these factors is key to planning your budget and making informed decisions about your decking project. At Absolute Home Services, we specialize in both fence and deck services, and we're here to guide you through every step of the process, from design to installation.

Cost of Composite Decking in Canada

Investing in composite decking is a smart choice for Canadian homeowners seeking a durable, low-maintenance deck that can withstand our harsh climate. Below, we break down the average prices for different types of composite decking materials in Canada.

Cost by Material

The type of composite deck boards you choose significantly impacts the cost.

Here are some of the popular options with approximate price ranges:

Material Type Key Features Price Range per Square Foot (CAD)
Polyethylene Good performance;
Typically less expensive;
May not be as durable as other materials;
May be susceptible to scratches and dents;
Can fade over time.
$3.60 - $12.00
Polypropylene Good performance;
Typically more durable than polyethylene;
May be more expensive;
Often resistant to scratches and dents;
Can fade over time.
$6.00 - $24.00
HDPE Good performance;
Budget-friendly;
May fade over time;
Good moisture resistance;
May be less durable;
Susceptible to scratches and dents.
$8 - $14
PVC Exceptional durability;
Moisture resistant;
Stain and fade resistant;
More expensive;
Can be difficult to work with.
$11 - $16
Capped Composite Most durable;
Stain, fade, scratch, and moisture resistant;
Often more expensive;
May have a more complex installation process.
$14 - $21

Important considerations:

  • Warranty: A longer warranty often signals higher quality and confidence in the product's longevity. While premium composite decking materials with extended warranties might come with a higher upfront cost, they can offer significant long-term value and peace of mind.
  • Aesthetics: Capped composite decking typically boasts the most extensive range of colors and the most realistic wood-grain patterns, allowing you to create a deck that seamlessly blends with your home's architecture and your personal style.
  • Environmental impact: Some brands use recycled materials to produce decking, which can be a factor in your decision.

Remember: Composite decking prices can fluctuate based on brand, specific product lines, retailer markups, and your location in Canada. Always conduct thorough research and compare quotes from multiple suppliers to ensure you're getting the best value for your investment.

Composite Decking Cost by Deck Size

Composite decking is typically priced per square foot. However, the size of your deck can influence the overall cost due to factors like economies of scale in material purchasing and labor efficiency.

Here's a general idea of composite deck costs based on size:

  • Small decks (up to 100 sq. ft.): Even a small deck can represent a substantial investment due to the cost of composite materials and labor. Be prepared for a project cost of several thousand dollars, whether you choose professional installation or DIY.
  • Medium decks (100-200 sq. ft.): With a mid-sized deck, the long-term benefits of composite decking, such as low maintenance and durability, start to outweigh the higher upfront cost compared to wood.
  • Large and complex decks (200+ sq. ft.): As deck size and complexity increase, so does the overall cost. Factors like multiple levels, intricate designs, and additional features will significantly impact your budget.

Below you will find a table with composite decking average costs by size.

Deck Size (Sq. Ft) Approx. Deck Size (Feet) Material Cost Range (CAD)
64 8 x 8 $860 - $2,770
80 8 x 10 $1,080 - $3,460
96 8 x 12 $1,300 - $4,030
100 10 x 10 $1,370 - $4,390
144 12 x 12 $1,980 - $7,010
150 10 x 15 $2,055 - $6,570
192 12 x 16 $2,620 - $8,430
196 14 x 14 $2,700 - $8,680
200 10 x 20 $2,740 - $8,790
224 15 x 15 $3,040 - $9,710
256 16 x 16 $3,430 - $11,040
280 14 x 20 $3,840 - $12,310
300 15 x 20 $4,110 - $13,160
400 20 x 20 $5,480 - $17,550
500+ Varies $6,850+

Please note:

  • Use the provided price ranges as starting points. Market conditions, retailer markups, and your specific project details will influence the actual cost of your composite decking.
  • Deck dimensions are approximate – many different size combinations can result in the same square footage.

Prices of Composite Decking by Design

While a simple square or rectangular deck is the most budget-friendly option, adding design elements naturally increases the cost.

Prices of Composite Decking by Design

Here's what you need to know:

  • Curves and angles: These features demand more intricate cuts and additional labor, adding approximately 10-20% to your decking project costs (around $1.50-$3.00 CAD extra per square foot).
  • Built-in features: Benches, planters, or other integrated features require additional materials and construction time, potentially doubling the price of a simple deck.
  • Railings: The design and material of your railings can significantly impact the cost. Expect to budget an additional $12-$28 CAD per linear foot, depending on your choices.

Framing: The Foundation of Your Deck's Cost

The choice of framing material beneath your composite deck boards is a major cost factor. More expensive framing options typically result in higher labor costs due to their complexity and weight.

Each option has distinct advantages and price points to consider:

  • Pressure-treated wood framing: This traditional choice is the most economical option. However, it requires regular maintenance to prevent rot, decay, and mold growth. Expect to pay $2-$4 per linear foot for pressure-treated lumber.
  • Metal (aluminum) framing: Renowned for its durability and moisture resistance, aluminum framing is an excellent choice for long-lasting performance, particularly in harsh climates. However, it comes at a premium, averaging $3-$7 per linear foot, and may require specialized installation techniques.
  • Hybrid framing: Some projects utilize a combination of wood for the main structure and composite materials for joists and beams directly under the decking. This hybrid approach can offer a balance between cost and durability.
  • Ground-level vs. raised decks: If budget is a primary concern, a ground-level deck typically requires less complex framing and can be significantly less expensive (up to 50% less) than a raised deck.
Framing: The Foundation of Your Deck's Cost

Composite Decking Costs: A Closer Look at Top Brands

The brand you choose plays a significant role in the final cost of your composite decking project.

Let's compare some of the most popular brands available in Canada, along with their typical price ranges:

  • Trex, TimberTech, Azek: These brands are recognized for their exceptional quality, fade resistance, extended warranties, and a vast selection of colors and finishes. However, this premium quality comes at a higher price point, often exceeding $20 CAD per square foot.
  • Fiberon, Fortress, Deckorators: These brands strike a balance between quality and affordability, offering excellent performance and durability at more competitive prices. Expect to pay $12-$16 CAD per square foot for these mid-range options.
  • MoistureShield, Cali Bamboo: If your budget is a primary concern, these brands provide decent quality and features at a lower price point. You can typically find their products for $8-$12 CAD per square foot.

Important Note: Market conditions, retailer markups, and regional variations in material and labor costs can all affect the final price you pay for your composite decking. It's always wise to obtain multiple quotes and compare prices from different suppliers before making your final decision.

Additional Cost Factors: Beyond the Decking Itself

Beyond the cost of composite decking, several factors influence your composite deck project's final cost.

Consider:

  • Site accessibility and preparation: Difficult sites with slopes, obstacles, or limited access can pose challenges for installation crews, requiring additional labor and potentially specialized equipment, which can increase costs.
  • Design complexity and features: Complex shapes, multi-level decks, and intricate railing designs will require more materials and labor. Additionally, optional features like stairs, built-in seating, lighting, pergolas, and other amenities will naturally add to the total expense.
Additional Cost Factors: Beyond the Decking Itself

Decking Material Showdown: Composite vs. Wood vs. Vinyl

Choosing the right decking material is crucial for both the aesthetics and budget of your outdoor living space.

Let's compare popular options:

Composite Decking

Pros

  • Low maintenance: Forget about annual staining and sealing. Composite decking resists fading, rot, and insects, freeing up your weekends for relaxation, not deck maintenance.
  • Durability: With a lifespan of 25 years or more, composite decks are built to last, offering exceptional value over time.
  • Variety: Composite decking comes in a vast array of colors and styles, mimicking the look of natural wood or offering more contemporary aesthetics.
Composite Decking

Cons

  • Higher initial cost: Composite decking typically costs more upfront compared to wood.
  • Heat retention: Some composite brands can get hot under direct sunlight, although newer formulations are addressing this issue.

Wood Decking

Pros

  • Timeless aesthetic: Wood offers a natural warmth and charm that many homeowners adore.
  • Budget-friendly: Wood is often the most affordable option upfront.
  • Accessibility: Readily available at most building supply stores.

Cons

  • High maintenance: Wood requires regular staining, sealing, and repairs to maintain its appearance and prevent rot and insect damage.
  • Shorter lifespan: Compared to composite, wood decks typically last 10-15 years, requiring sooner replacement.

Vinyl Decking

Pros

  • Minimal maintenance: Vinyl decking is virtually maintenance-free, resisting stains, fading, and moisture.
  • Affordable: Vinyl is a budget-friendly alternative to composite and wood.
  • Heat resistance: Vinyl stays cooler under the sun than composite, making it a comfortable choice for bare feet.

Cons

  • Limited options: Vinyl offers fewer color and style choices compared to composite.
  • Durability: Vinyl may not be as durable as composite or wood in extreme climates, potentially becoming brittle in extreme cold or warping in intense heat.

Composite vs Wood Decking Prices

  • Upfront: While wood may be the more budget-friendly option initially, with a lower cost per square foot, it's crucial to consider the long-term financial picture.
  • Long-term: Composite decking emerges as the winner over time. Its lower maintenance costs, extended lifespan of 25 years or more, and superior resistance to damage translate to significant savings in the long run.

Composite vs Vinyl Decking Prices

  • Comparable costs: Both composite and vinyl decking can have similar price points.
  • Prioritize your needs: Your decision should hinge on your individual priorities, weighing factors such as durability, desired aesthetics, and preferred level of maintenance.
Composite vs Vinyl Decking Prices

Additional Costs Associated with Composite Decking

Beyond the initial price per square foot of composite decking, it's essential to be aware of several additional expenses that can significantly impact your overall project budget:

  • Demolition and disposal: If you're replacing an existing deck, factor in the cost of dismantling the old structure and responsibly disposing of the debris. These costs can vary depending on the size and materials of your old deck.
  • Site preparation: Your deck site may require grading, leveling, or excavation to establish a stable foundation for your new deck. These preparatory services will add to the overall project cost.
  • Unexpected repairs: During the demolition or inspection process, underlying damage to your home's structure or existing framing may be discovered. Addressing these repairs is crucial before proceeding with your new composite deck.
  • Building permits and inspections: In most regions, permits and inspections are mandatory for deck construction to ensure safety and compliance with building codes. These fees vary based on your location and the scope of your project.
  • Local taxes: Don't forget to account for potential sales tax on the purchase of composite decking and any additional building materials.
Additional Costs Associated with Composite Decking

Pro Tip: To avoid unexpected costs and ensure accurate budgeting, always obtain multiple detailed quotes from reputable contractors. These quotes should clearly outline all potential expenses, including materials, labor, and the additional factors mentioned above.

How to Decide Whether to Hire a Contractor or DIY Your Deck

Before you make a decision, here are some factors to consider:

  • Project complexity: Are you envisioning a simple, ground-level deck or a more elaborate multi-level structure with intricate design elements? Simple designs are often more suitable for DIY enthusiasts, while complex projects typically require professional expertise.
  • Your skill level and comfort: Be honest about your carpentry skills and experience. If you're not confident in your ability to handle the various aspects of deck construction, including framing, installing railings, and ensuring structural integrity, hiring a professional might be the safer and wiser choice.
  • Budget: Professional labor comes at a cost. Assess your budget and determine if you can afford to hire a contractor without compromising on the quality of materials or desired design features.
  • Local regulations: Some municipalities have strict building codes and permit requirements for deck construction. A professional contractor will be well-versed in these regulations, ensuring your project complies with all local laws.

Here are some additional tips if you choose to hire a contractor:

  • Get multiple quotes: Don't settle for the first contractor you find. Obtain detailed quotes from several reputable contractors, comparing their prices, experience, and proposed timelines.
  • Check references and portfolio: Ask for references from past clients and review the contractor's portfolio to assess the quality of their workmanship.
  • Communication is key: Maintain open and transparent communication with your chosen contractor throughout the project. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and can address any issues that arise right away.

No matter your decision, thorough planning, and research are key to a successful deck build!

DIY Composite Decking Cost

Building your composite deck yourself can potentially save you a significant amount on labor costs. However, it's essential to be realistic about the time, effort, and additional expenses involved.

Let's break down the key considerations for DIY composite decking:

  • Tools and equipment: Factor in the cost of purchasing or renting necessary tools like saws, drills, levels, and measuring equipment, unless you already own them.
  • Consumables: Budget for fasteners (often specialized for composite decking), joist tape, flashing, and other essential materials required for proper deck construction.
  • Hidden costs: Permit fees, which can range from $100 to $500, waste disposal fees, and potential repair costs for unexpected issues should also be considered.
  • Your time investment: Remember that time is valuable. DIY projects can significantly extend the timeline compared to a professional installation.
DIY Composite Decking Cost

Labor Cost to Install Composite Decking

Professional deck installation adds substantial cost to your project but offers benefits.

Labor costs are influenced by:

  • Deck size and complexity: Labor typically accounts for 30-50% of total project costs. A simple deck might incur labor costs of $10-$20 per square foot, while a complex design could cost $30-$40 per square foot or more.
  • Location: Labor rates differ across regions. Obtain multiple quotes from local contractors for the most accurate pricing.
  • Experience: Highly skilled and reputable contractors may charge higher rates, but their expertise often translates to faster project completion and superior craftsmanship, ensuring the longevity of your investment.
  • Warranty: Some contractors offer warranties on their labor, a benefit not available with DIY.

Important: Regardless of your choice, obtain detailed written estimates outlining all costs – materials, labor, permits, and potential additional expenses. This will help you budget accurately and avoid unexpected costs, ensuring your dream composite deck becomes a reality without financial surprises.

Smart Savings: Building Your Dream Deck on a Budget

Building your dream deck doesn't have to break the bank. Creating your ideal outdoor oasis doesn't have to mean draining your bank account. With a bit of savvy planning and smart decision-making, you can build a stunning composite deck that fits your budget without sacrificing quality.

Here are strategies to save money without sacrificing quality:

Design Matters

  • Smaller footprint: Every square foot adds to material and labor costs. Carefully consider if you can achieve your desired functionality and aesthetic with a slightly smaller deck.
  • Simple shapes: Opting for a classic rectangular or square deck can save you money. Complex curves, angles, and multi-level designs often require more intricate framing and labor, increasing overall costs.

Material Choices

  • Framing: Pressure-treated wood remains the most affordable option for framing. While it requires more maintenance costs over time, it can significantly reduce your initial investment.
  • Decking: Consider mid-range composite decking brands that offer a good balance of quality, features, and price. Keep an eye out for sales or discounts, especially during the off-season.

DIY Strategically

  • Realistic assessment: Be honest about your DIY skills, time commitment, and available tools. If a full DIY build seems daunting, consider a hybrid approach where you handle some aspects yourself and hire professionals for others.
  • Demolition and disposal: Save on labor costs by taking charge of demolishing an existing deck and disposing of the debris yourself.
  • Thorough research: Arm yourself with knowledge to avoid costly mistakes. Numerous online tutorials and resources can guide you through the deck-building process, ensuring proper techniques and a successful outcome.

Timing Is Everything: Smart Scheduling

  • Off-season construction: Consider building your deck outside of peak construction season (typically spring and summer). You might be able to negotiate lower labor rates and secure discounts on materials during these times.
  • Permit timing: Inquire about the timing of permit applications. Some municipalities offer reduced fees during certain periods.

A word of caution: While saving money is a priority, never compromise on safety or structural integrity. Always adhere to local building codes and follow proper construction techniques to ensure your deck is built to last.

Timing Is Everything: Smart Scheduling

Conclusion

A beautifully crafted, low-maintenance composite deck is an investment that enriches your home and lifestyle. While the initial cost might exceed that of traditional wood, composite decking's exceptional durability, minimal upkeep, and extended lifespan make it a compelling choice for many homeowners.

Ultimately, the decision to invest in a composite deck is a personal one. By carefully weighing the costs, benefits, and your specific needs, you can confidently choose a decking solution that transforms your outdoor living space and adds lasting value to your home.

If you're ready to create the deck of your dreams or simply need expert advice on repairs and replacements, Absolute Home Services is here to help. As a top home improvement contractor in Canada, we specialize in designing and building exquisite outdoor spaces that perfectly complement your home and lifestyle.

Get a free estimate today!

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Ready To Start Your Project?

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