A new deck or replacing an existing building can be a major undertaking. Begin your decking construction by taking the time to analyze your entire outdoor environment to choose which sort of decking material is appropriate for your yard. You’ll select materials, textures, and colors as you design your deck layouts. Furthermore, consider the size of the deck, its height, and any architectural aspects of your home or other property fixtures you might wish to match. By using our calculator, you can check how many boards and screws you are going to need, and so much more.

While you are here, do not miss our other calculators such as Pay Rise Calculator, Exponent Calculator With Solver, and so much more.

Decking – Definition

Decking is the material of a timber platform fastened to the floor in a yard or other outdoor space and used for walking. We use decking as the base for a building’s outside space. Because you put boards together to make a deck, it will immediately stand out from any neighboring structures constructed of cement blocks, rock, or other materials.

Deck Components and Material

In the past, choosing a decking material used to be a straightforward task since wood was the only option. Other possibilities today include composite, plastic, and even metal. Traditionalists always regard wood as the only natural decking material, but emerging alternatives offer a slew of appealing features, including low maintenance and longevity. The essential materials are: joists, header joists and ledgers, deck boards, drainage system, hidden fasteners, railing, as well as stairs.

Composite Decking vs. Wood

Wood decking is popular among homeowners since it is familiar, easily available, and inexpensive. However, wood decking issues include splinters, decay, and excessive maintenance. Even though composite wood decking is less expensive to install and maintain than wood, some homeowners are concerned that composites will not look as good as wood. On the other hand, composites have been developed to mimic the lush, organic natural look without the problems of preserving a wood deck.

Here are some crucial factors to consider when deciding between wood and composite decking: look, moisture, maintenance, insect damage, splinters, price, workability, as well as surface temperature.

Cost to Build a Deck by Size – Table

Here are the most typical deck sizes and their average construction costs, based on a variety of materials from basic to premium:

Deck SizeSquare FeetAverage Cost
8×1080$1,200 – $2,800
10×10100$1,500 – $3,500
10×12120$1,800 – $4,200
12×12144$2,160 – $5,040
12×20240$3,600 – $8,400
14×20280$4,200 – $9,800
16×16256$3,840 – $8,960
20×20400$6,000 – $14,000

Types of Decking

Softwood, hardwood, and composite decking are the three common decking materials available in any store.

Softwood decking is made from fast-growing trees, such as pine, and may be easily replaced. This makes this the cheapest decking material, but it does have certain disadvantages. Softwood decking is less durable than hardwood and composite decking. Also, it demands the most upkeep.

Hardwood decking boards come from tropical forests and are more valuable than pressure-treated wood. They are inherently resistant to warping, splitting, and rot, but they still need to be maintained regularly-one of the gorgeous decking materials on the market.

Composite boards seem to be the new kids on the block, made of a wood-flour and recycled plastic blend. Most composites have a capped exterior to guard against mildew, insects, and moisture, making them extremely low-maintenance. So several retailers are sure of the product’s quality and provide lifetime warranties.

How to Build a Deck?

If you’ve always wanted to build your deck but have been scared to take on such a massive, complicated project, you have come to the right place.
All you need for a successful DIY deck project are simple carpentry tools and a willingness to put in some effort. There are seven steps that you need to follow in order to build a deck:

  • Firstly, attach the ledger;
  • Secondly, protect the ledger;
  • Thirdly, set footings and piers;
  • Moreover, install post bases and side rim joists;
  • Then, install front rim joist, beams, and interior joists;
  • Furthermore, install front rim joist, beams, and interior joists (continued);
  • And finally, attach trim and decking.

Decking Calculator – How to Use?

Calculate the length and width of your deck by setting pegs in the corners of your specified building area, stringing among them, and calculating the length of the string with a measuring tape.

In the decking calculator, enter the values. It will give you the size of your deck in square feet.

Enter the dimensions, width, and cost of the decking boards you want to buy. Then, the floor area of the boards will be calculated using the calculator. For even better experience, you can see our Board Foot Calculator to quickly calculate the volume of board lumber alongside with price.

Choose the sort of fasteners you’ll be using, and the deck price calculator will tell you how many you’ll need.

Examine how many screws, nails, or concealed clips you’ll need. Then, enter the average price with an equal or greater quantity in the deck material calculator. The calculator shall give you an estimate of how much it will cost to create your deck.

Practical Example

Read the example below if you want to know what calculations the deck cost calculator employs or if you would like to calculate the cost yourself:

Let’s assume you want a 35-foot-long, 15-foot-wide deck. Multiply the two numbers together to get the square footage of the deck:

35\;ft \times 15\;ft = 525\;ft^2

You decided on a board that is 6 feet long and 4 inches wide. Divide the amount by 12 to change the width from inches to feet:

4\;in \div 12 = 0.33\;ft

Let’s see how to figure out how many square feet one decking board has:

6\;ft \times 0.33\;ft=1.98\;ft^2

Now we can figure out how many decking planks we’ll need. To account for waste, we split the square deck footage by the board square footage and add 10%:

(525\;ft^2 \div 1.98\;ft^2) \times 1.1 = 291.7

We will need 292 boards if we round up the result (it is preferable to have more than less).

We use the rule of thumb of 350 screws per 100 square feet of decking when determining the number of screws (or nails) required. Let’s say that for 1 square foot, we require 3.5 screws if we split those figures by 100. That means the number of screws is 3.5 times greater than the square footage of decking. The formula would be:

N = 3.5 \times d

Multiply the floor area of your deck by 3.5 to get the number of screws:

525 \times 3.5 = 1837.5

If you go for hidden fasteners, you’ll need half the number of the screws:

1837.5 \div \;2 = 918

We need to multiply the expense of one board by the total number of boards to get the overall cost of the boards. For example, if a single board costs $10, the following equation can be used:

292 \times \$ 10 = \$ 2920

So, the boards will cost $2920.


How do I calculate how much decking I need?

The first step in figuring out is to compute the square footage of your deck by multiplying the length by the breadth (L x W).
Secondly, determine how each length will fit into your deck structure and whether or not each board will require a cut – the fewer the cuts, the better.
Thirdly, after you’ve decided on the board length, the following step in figuring out “how to determine how much decking I need” is to compute the board’s square footage. To do so, multiply the board’s length by its width.
Moreover, subtract the square footage of the deck from the square footage of the boards. To figure out how many deck boards you will need for your project, multiply the size of your deck by the board area.
Furthermore, the distance among all deck boards spanning the deck surface will account for this amount of overall square footage.

How much wood is needed for a 12×12 deck?

A deck of 12 by 12 feet will require 144 linear feet of decking. The number of individual boards required will be determined by the size and style of decking you select, as well as the amount of space you intend to leave between decking boards.

What is the spacing between decking boards?

After the decking has dried out, appropriate wood deck board spacing should have at least a 1/8 inch space. If you’re installing your wood or treated deck boards while they’re still wet, be sure there’s no space between them.

What happens if you don’t leave gaps in decking?

If there isn’t a way for water to drain off the deck, it can damage wood decking. When there are no spaces between the boards, moisture is trapped between them, leading to rot and mold.

What decking boards are best?

Wood is the finest option if you’re looking for authenticity. The most common wood is pressure-treated pine, while cedar, redwood, and exotic hardwoods are more expensive possibilities.
There is another type which is composite decking. It is the best way to get the look of wood without staining it. It’s constructed of plastic and wood fibers, and you may stain it to modify the color. Thirdly there is plastic decking. It is the best for weather resistance without discoloration. PVC and polyethylene are two options. It’s also very light. Toughness, stiffness, and slip resistance are all important characteristics that you can find in aluminum decking. The baked-on or anodized finish should last a long time, and the rough surface provided extra traction in our tests. Sections may interlock to prevent rain from dripping through.

Is composite decking better than wood?

While more expensive than wood, composite materials promise greater longevity and require less upkeep. Wood is the most popular decking material, although it isn’t indestructible. Composites may be more resilient, but they may not have the natural appearance and color you desire.