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The Hidden Expenses Behind Wood Deck Cost

February 2, 2022
Wood deck cost by TimberTech

You’re thinking about building an outdoor living space — but before you get started planning your build, you need to understand the costs associated with your project. While upfront material costs will likely be one of the first things you think of, it’s hardly the full story, especially if you choose to build with traditional wood decking. When it comes to wood deck cost, both upfront and long-term costs significantly affect your overall deck expenses.

Get an Estimate on Material Costs

Use our Cost Calculator to get a sense of what your deck build will cost you.

Upfront Costs for Your Deck Build

The upfront costs of any deck build — whether wood or engineered decking — include the expenses you pay to get the deck built (think materials, labor, and more).

Learn What Influences Deck Cost

Get more insight on the factors that contribute to upfront deck cost.

But upfront costs aren’t the only expenses you have to worry about — all decks will require long-term maintenance costs. And wood decks? They require the most (and costliest) maintenance of all.

The Long-Term Expenses Related to Wood Deck Cost

Traditional wood decks demand significant investment year over year for regular maintenance as well as any needed repairs or replacements.

Your Budget Line Items for Wood Deck Maintenance


$ Harsh chemicals to remove mold and mildew from your deck surface

$ Rented or purchased pressure washer

$ Brush used to apply the cleaner


$ Rented or purchased power sander

$ Sandpaper

Staining & Sealing

$ Gallons of your preferred stain and sealer

$ Proper brushes and/or rollers to apply the stain and sealer

When you think about repeating these expenses every year, it’s clear to see why wood deck cost piles up quickly. Not to mention all the time and effort this kind of maintenance schedule requires — say goodbye to relaxing weekends. 

Don’t Forget Repairs & Replacements

While repairs and replacement may not be needed every year, as your wood deck gets older, the greater the likelihood of costly repair work. This may include the following expenses:

Maintenance is a big part of wood deck cost

$ Materials for any replacements (deck boards, fasteners, joists, etc.)

$ Any rented or purchased tools for the work, such as cutting tools or drills

$ Possible hired labor, unless you plan to DIY the job

Why Is Wood So Costly?

As an organic material, wood — whether pressure-treated or a dense hardwood like Ipe — is vulnerable to the elements. UV rays cause the pigments in the wood fibers to change, resulting in fading and discoloration, while moisture creates the perfect environment for mold, mildew, and rot to thrive.

What this means for you: You’ll be spending a lot of time and money to ensure your wood deck retains its appearance and is protected from the elements. But in the end? Your wood deck cost will inevitably include repairs and replacements, too, due to wood’s short lifespan.

And it gets worse. Wood doesn’t only incur costs to your budget sheet; it also has a high cost to the environment.

Composite image of a lush forest and one devastated by deforestation

Organic Doesn’t Always Mean Sustainable

All traditional wood options contribute to deforestation, taking a serious toll on the environment — sometimes in the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems.  

Wondering if there’s a better low-maintenance decking alternative without all these long-term expenses and environmental costs? Luckily, there is.

If you want the beauty of wood, without the deforestation, you want TimberTech.

A Better Alternative to Wood: TimberTech® Composite Decking

Composite vs wood deck cost shows composite saves you in the long run

TimberTech composite decking delivers the natural beauty of real wood looks without the hassle or costs of rigorous wood maintenance, and without the cost to the environment.

So how do we do it? It all comes down to innovation.

Composite vs wood deck cost shows composite will last longer and save you from replacement costs

Innovative Decking With Superior Protection

TimberTech capped polymer and capped composite decking is encapsulated with a proprietary blend of polymers that lock in rich color and resist moisture and UV rays.

The result? Decking that’s designed to resist weathering agents and stay beautiful for years to come.

And with innovation comes greater convenience for you.

Save Time & Money With Low-Maintenance Decking

TimberTech decking maintenance is not only simple; it’s affordable, too.

Here’s what you can expect in terms of the cost and labor:

What You’ll Need

  • A broom…
  • A plastic shovel for colder climates (stay away from metal-tipped shovels)…
  • The right brush and TimberTech DeckCleaner
  • A garden hose…

Why You’ll Need It

  • …to sweep off dirt and debris from the surface.
  • …to remove snow accumulation.
  • …to scrub and clean your deck.
  • …to rinse the surface.

Compared to the long list of wood deck maintenance costs, and you can already see the savings — for both your wallet and your weekends.  

Composite vs wood deck cost shows you get real wood looks with staining costs

Decking Without Compromise

Our boards feature the real wood looks you love so you get high-performance, low-maintenance decking that doesn’t come with a catch.

TimberTech Decking vs Traditional Wood Deck Cost

So how do the upfront and long-term costs of TimberTech decking compare with traditional lumber?

Just compare our TimberTech EDGE® and TimberTech AZEK® decking lines with their traditional wood counterparts.

NOTE: The estimated average cost of capped polymer deck boards, Ipe hardwood, capped composite deck boards, and pressure-treated lumber decking costs are based on the national average for a 16’ x 20’ deck. Meant for visual representation only. Actual costs may vary.

The takeaway? TimberTech composite decking costs are comparable upfront to traditional wood options while also boasting serious long-term savings thanks to minimal maintenance needs.

Dive deeper into deck cost factors to better plan for your deck project. LEARN MORE

Skip the Hidden Expenses of Wood Deck Cost With TimberTech

TimberTech composite decking is a greater value than traditional wood

Save yourself the time, money, and worry of wood deck cost by opting for higher-performance, lower-maintenance TimberTech decking.

Get a better sense of how to budget for your TimberTech deck build by launching our Cost Calculator, which gives you a broad estimate of your project’s costs.   

Crunch the numbers on your project

Jump into our Cost Calculator to figure out the material expenses for your deck remodel.

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