Outdoor spaces, such as patios and decks, are a way to extend the space in your home for entertaining, relaxation and outdoor meals. If you're thinking about adding a deck or patio, don't forget to consider cost. The price of a patio or wood deck can vary significantly according to size, materials and finish. Learning about these factors can help you choose the right one for your needs and budget.
The cost of a deck depends on the size, complexity and type of lumber used. According to CostHelper, a 10-by-12-foot home-built deck made from pressure-treated lumber costs between $500 and $1.000 as of February 2011. If a contractor does the work, the price of this basic single-level deck doubles to between $1,000 and $1,900. A 20-by-20-foot deck can cost more than $6,000 when installed by a professional.
According to the Concrete Network, a simple concrete patio costs between $6 and $10 per square foot, making a 10-by-12-foot patio between $720 and $1,200. Patios can cost less if you do some of the work yourself, since the concrete itself costs about $75 per cubic yard. One cubic yard is enough concrete for 2/3 of a 10-by-12-foot slab 4 inches thick. Other costs include colorants, forms, texturing material and sub-base materials like rock and sand, but most of the price of a concrete patio is labor.
Better quality materials increase the cost of both patios and decks. For instance, according to Scott Schuttner's book Building a Deck, clean Alaska yellow cedar or high-quality redwood decking costs twice as much as pressure-treated yellow pine. Engineered decking materials can cost even more. Colored concrete or concrete decks made of material designed to resist freeze-and-thaw cracking can greatly increase the price of a patio. Expect to pay as much as $12 per square foot for concrete with decorative exposed aggregate or integral color.
Decks and patios also increase in price as they increase in complexity. Adding multiple levels, lighting, railings and stairs can increase deck price significantly. A 25-by-25-foot contractor-installed deck with multiple levels, stairs and railings can run more than $16,000. Concrete patios have labor costs, too. Choose a custom patio design with borders, multiple colors or saw-cutting and you can expect to pay up to $15 per square foot.