Most people have no idea how much a deck should cost when they are planning on either replacing their deck or building a new one. There is a lot of bad information and misunderstandings about what the cost per square foot should be and even if is that is all there is to pricing a composite deck.
Let’s start with common sense. If I called you and asked you how much a square foot you charged to install for example Trex Transcends composite decking and you gave me a straight forward answer like $35 per square foot, I would expect to pay $6,720 for a 12′ x 16′ standard size deck, right? WRONG!
Think about all the variables. How many feet off the ground is the deck going to be, in other-words, how many steps will need to be constructed? What size joists will be required based on the height? What size columns will be required? Am I expecting the deck boards to be laid on a diagonal or parallel to the house? What about rail, does the house project around 1,2, or 3 sides of where deck will be built? This affects the amount of rail necessary! There are so many variations of rails with very different price points. What about fascia or trim around the perimeter of the deck? Is it expected to be composite as well? What about lattice or skirting under the deck?
When people ask how much a square foot do you charge and someone answers with a number, that is when you should be very suspect. As you can see from the above scenario, you have little idea what you are going to get based on that question alone. Think through what you really want or consult with a deck expert to get advice to help you better understand what you need and don’t need. The real question is what is the total investment you will need to make in order to get the features and benefits that you desire in a deck. The only way to truly determine that is to ask the appropriate questions. For more advice, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com