Expert Advice on Improving Your Home
Home Decking

Decking

A deck in your backyard can make any outdoor living space more comfortable and inviting. Decks come in all shapes and sizes, from multi-level decks to attached pergolas. Many decks are DIY-friendly, but many homeowners work with a professional contractor for their decking needs.

The Basics of Decking

The most common type of decking is pressure-treated wood because it is resistant to both rot and insects, but there are other decking materials used by homeowners who want to create a new deck or replace their old one:

  • Bamboo: This is one of the cheapest deck materials available and is ideal for dryer climates as it is susceptible to rot.
  • Cedar: Cedar may be soft and susceptible to scratches but naturally rot-resistant.
  • Composite: This eco-friendly decking option is made from recycled materials and wood byproducts.
  • Ipe: Insect-, rot-, and weather-resistant, this hardwood is among the most expensive deck materials.
  • Pressure-treated lumber: The most common type of decking material, pressure-treated lumber is an economical option.
  • Redwood: This type of lumber is a mid-grade material resistant to insects and warping.

Even though the cost of decking materials ranges from $3 to $15 per square foot, labor costs, at $8 to $22 per square foot, often account for half or more of the total cost. Installing your deck yourself can save you a lot of money.

A local contractor will give you an estimate if you want to have your deck installed by a professional. However, it is always advisable to get several quotes, as the cost may vary depending on the company you choose.

If you want to learn more about installing your deck, maintaining your existing deck, or finding a local contractor, check out the resources below for more information.

Decorate concrete along a home's exterior

DIY ‘Mix and Match’ Patio Project

To fix their home's ugly concrete perimeter, Lisa Young and her husband used SpreadStone™ Decorative Concrete Resurfacing Kits.
Home addition with wood deck

Solved: How to Fix a Failing Covered Deck | Ep. 143

This week on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast, we’re talking about how to fix a failing covered deck — specifically, one with a damaged end beam.
Replacing deck boards

Tips for Replacing Old Deck Boards | Ep. 118

Wooden decking that has rotted needs to be replaced. Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for advice on that and more home improvement tips!
Above ground pool, seen with composite decking

Choosing the Best Decking for Above Ground Pools | Ep. 115

Many people with an above-ground pool want to add decking to enhance this recreational area. Wood is a favorite, but don't count out composite.
wood deck with cable railing system

Building a Wood Deck with Stainless Steel Cable Railing

Denver and Kara Hawsey's light brick home had no place for entertaining. Now it has a rustic wood deck with cable railing that ensures unobstructed views.
Deck stairs leading up to a townhouse with vinyl siding

5 Tips to Keep Your Wood Deck Looking Its Best

A wood deck requires a lot of upkeep. Follow this simple checklist for the basics and your deck will have a long life.
Wood deck at Emily Cottingham's home

Tips for Cleaning, Stripping and Maintaining Decks | Ep. 75

People are building decks, stripping them and renovating them, so that’s how we’ll kick off this week’s episode of the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.
Peeling deck

Deck Resurfacing: What to Do About Peeling and Bubbling | Ep. 69

If your deck looks worse for the wear, listen to this week’s Today’s Homeowner Podcast to learn what you can do about it. We’ve also got a lot of other home improvement tips!
Composite deck with chairs in winter

How to Replace a Worn-Out Wood Deck with Composite Decking

Michael and Jessica's old deck had strong bones. We're just replacing the boards with composite material that will last for years to come.