Deck Building Costs in Sydney: What You Need to Know


Adding a deck to your Sydney home can open up doorways for more outdoor living, entertaining and play. Just how much money you need to build a deck will depend on what type of deck you want and its placement on your property. In terms of expenses, expect your deck to cost anywhere from $200 per metre for a patio-style deck to in excess of $1,000 per square metre for a premium deck with stairs, lights and seating.

The biggest factor that influences the cost is the timber you choose. For example:

  • Treated pine decking - $300 per m2
  • Hardwood timber decking - $420+ per m2 
  • Composite decking - $450+ per m2 

These differing prices mean you get a lot of flexibility to adjust your deck build to match your financial needs. Having a home that you can be proud of doesn't need to come with over-the-top expenses. This guide will explain what factors you need to take into account so you can get the right deck for your home at the right price by explaining:

  • The purpose of a backyard deck
  • Benefits of a deck
  • Factors that affect deck building costs
  • Decking safety

What is the Purpose of a Backyard Deck?

Outdoor decks are a popular feature of Australian backyards. They provide a flexible space between the indoors and outdoors that are designed for accessibility, relaxation and comfort. They can be used as an additional dining space, lounge space, gym, children’s play area or poolside extension.

Decks are typically a broad, flat floor space raised to sit in line with a house floor level. Many decks act as an extension of the home, attached to a back door so homeowners can walk seamlessly from indoors to outside. This configuration works to increase a home's functional floor space and allow for entertaining, in particular alfresco dining.

Decks can be freestanding, attached to the home at ground level or attached to the second level of a home to provide stunning views. While walls are not a normal part of a deck there can be extra features like railings, inbuilt seating as well as a roof or awning.

You can take entertainment to the next level with the addition of cooking features like a BBQ or pizza oven or recreation features like a pool or spa.

What are the benefits of having a deck in Sydney?

While decks and outdoor living areas are becoming a staple of modern homes, most older properties missed out. As a homeowner you have the opportunity to reclaim that space and enjoy some of the personal benefits of adding a deck to your property that can include:

Expanded entertaining space 

Decks typically have no walls meaning it’s not going to feel cramped when you have people over. Outdoor spaces are also mess-friendly. If it’s a kid’s birthday, Live streamed sports or New Year’s event, you can set everything up outside and not have to worry about the mess.

More floor space without the expense of renovations

Building a deck is far cheaper than renovating a home and you can purpose-build your deck to match your specific needs rather than try to convert a room into something else.

Flexible time outside

When you have a deck you have a comfortable space to watch the kids play, throw the ball to the dog or enjoy a beautiful sunset. You can be protected from the elements in a clean and structured area that allows you to spend more time outside or gives you an elevated view of your surroundings. You can choose to cook outdoors, install an outdoor TV or bring your laptop for some fresh air and a change of pace.

Increased home value

Depending on how your deck is configured and what material you use you can also add value to your home, helping make your property more desirable to buyers when you choose to sell. Some studies have estimated that adding a deck can recoup a return of more than 75% on your initial outlay. You will need to use quality materials as buyers will be put off a worn deck or one that needs replacing.

Factors that Affect Deck Building Costs

The average cost of a deck is around $600 per square metre. How much you spend will depend on a number of variable factors unique to your home, which gives you the flexibility to design a deck that will suit your needs for less, or more, depending on your budget. Here are some of the biggest factors that affect the cost to build a deck:

Size of the deck

While decks can be any size and are easily customised to fit any space, a standard-sized deck is a rectangular 6m x 8m which could cost around $8,500 if using Merbau timber. The smaller the deck the lower the price as the timber makes up the biggest part of the cost. Different shaped decks can also create corners that require more timber to cover and more waste through offcuts. 

Type of decking material

The type of decking material you choose will be the biggest factor affecting your deck building costs. When selecting which material to use it’s important to think of the bigger picture, not just about the price involved. 

Different materials look and feel different so taking the physical appearance into consideration is important for getting a deck that you really love. The other factor to consider is ongoing costs. While some materials are cheaper initially they may require more work and expense over the years to maintain. High-quality timber will last for decades and the more expensive composite decking (made from a blend of recycled plastic and timber) will be maintenance-free and last far longer than natural timber. These will not only save you time and money in the long run but you may also increase the value of your property as well.

Different timber costs

Here are some average prices for what you can expect to pay for your deck per square metre - which includes the decking boards, subfloor frame, screws, bolts and decking tape

  • Treated pine decking - $300 per m2
  • Hardwood timber decking - $420+ per m2 
  • Composite decking - $450+ per m2 
  • Elevated cyclone-rated decking $1100+ per m2

Out of the hardwood timbers, Merbau is the most popular as it is affordable, largely pest resistant and more durable than treated pine. You can also consider Blackbutt, Ironbark, Jarrah and Spotted Gum.

Building materials

Your decking will require a large number of nails and screws to hold it all in place which will add to your build costs. While nails are the cheapest, they are not as strong and are also not recommended for high-quality timber and composite materials.

As well as look and quality you need to factor your local climate and weather conditions into your design plan. If your deck is unprotected consider what exposure it will have to sun, salt and rain that might mean you need to choose certain materials or treatments for longevity. 

Deck height

Costs increase for raised decks as they require more support, more planning, more material, and in most cases, permissions. While legislation differs from state to state, an elevated deck is more likely to need council permission and pass regulations that ensure it is structurally sound. This can include railings, levelling off and specific materials used.

Additional features 

Additional features such as railings, stairs and lighting can transform a deck into a stunning home feature. Even with a standard decking plan, you have a range of choices from stains and finishes to board widths, but you can go a step further to improve the aesthetic appeal and create a deck that aligns perfectly with your home. 

Additional extras can also transform your deck into a comfortable entertaining space to be used day or night, all year round. Some deck additions can include:

  • Railings
  • Awnings or roofing
  • Downlights
  • Water features
  • Dual-levels
  • Concealed storage spaces
  • Separate seating areas
  • Steps
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Built-in fireplace or fire pit
  • Garden planters
  • TV and speakers

Be sure to ask about the extra costs involved in the planning stage to know what will fit your budget and lifestyle.

Decking Safety

As well as increasing the aesthetic appeal, some of these features can also increase safety, such as railings and in-deck lighting that can prevent trips and falls, especially if you have small children living or frequently visiting your property. 

For elevated decking or poolside decks, balustrades or handrails are compulsory.  You will need to check with your local council to know the regulations around deck heights and railing positions. 

Lighting, stairs and railings will add to the cost of your deck build as they will increase both materials and labour. Timber and wire balustrades can look appealing and are priced around $280 per metre while glass balustrades are around $420 per metre.

When it comes to designing and determining the costs of a deck for your home, you don’t have to do it alone. Talk to builders and renovation experts who understand the materials and requirements involved. Intent Building experts can also outline any additional factors that you need to take into account such as slope, council permissions and timber treatments for any of the suburbs in and around Sydney. We can give you the best solutions and contemporary design options that will bring your outdoor space to life.

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