How Much Does Deck Repair Cost?

deck repair cost

Deck repair costs vary, but most homeowners pay anywhere from $8 to $22 per square foot. The costs can be as high as $50 per square foot for extensive repairs with expensive decking materials.

The average deck repair cost is usually between $500 and $2,500. Simple repairs can cost as little as $100, but more extensive repairs usually range from $1,500 to $2,500.

Factors in Calculating Deck Repair Costs

You can build decks in various ways, so calculating the cost to repair a deck depends on several factors. The type of decking material, the extent of the damage, and labor costs are the most significant factors influencing deck repair costs.

Type of Decking Material

Various decking materials are used when building and installing decks. Some are strong and durable, while people choose others because of their appearance and availability. 

Whatever the reason, the type of decking material determines the lifespan of a deck, thus influencing your deck replacement cost.

Wood vs. Composite vs. PVC

Wood, composite, and PVC decking materials are the most common. Generally, the more durable a product is, the more it costs. 

Here are the costs of various decking materials, not including installation. 

Decking materialCost per square foot
Wood, low end$2 to $5 
Wood, high end$5 to $20
Composite$8 to $15

Variations within wood types

There is a significant difference in the cost, appearance, and durability of various wood types. Pressure-treated pine is a cost-effective decking material for those working with smaller budgets. 

Exotic hardwoods like ipe are chosen for their beauty, durability, and resistance to rot, insects, and fire.

Severity and Nature of Damage

cost of repairing deck damage

The severity and nature of the damage determine the cost of replacing a deck. Repairs are the least expensive option.

Surface-level damage vs. structural issues

deck removal services

When repairing decks, surface-level damage is the most common. If you can use the same deck foundation and structure, you can save a lot of money. 

It costs more to repair structural issues, such as replacing deck posts and foundations. The cost of replacing a deck is the most expensive because you’ll also have to pay for deck removal. The average deck removal cost is an additional $2 to $6 per square foot.

Another common reason for deck repair is rot and weather-related issues. If your deck wasn’t properly built, it may also cause rotting of your home’s exterior near the ledger board, where the deck is attached to the house. UV and insect damage are also common.

carpenter bee deck damage repair price

There is a significant difference in the cost of repairing minor damage caused by insects like carpenter bees and the elements and major damage to your home’s exterior or the deck’s foundation. 

Labor Rates and Expertise Required

Labor costs influence the overall deck repair cost. The rates for deck repair and replacement vary depending on where you live. You’ll also have to pay more if you need a skilled contractor rather than a laborer.

Basic repairs vs. specialized craftsmanship

Basic repairs to decks don’t require extensive expertise and most skilled laborers can do them. However, some decks have complex designs and require specialized craftsmanship. 

For example, if you have a standard linear deck that just needs new decking material, you’ll pay much less than if you need major repairs to a curved deck with a herringbone decking pattern.

Regional labor cost variations

Consider your regional labor rates when calculating deck repair costs. Urban labor rates are higher than rural. Also, labor costs in your region may be higher than others due to your area’s cost of living, labor shortages, and economic factors.

Additional Costs and Considerations

In addition to decking materials, the extent of damage, and labor rates, there are other factors to consider. Deck inspections, staining, and potential upgrades also affect the cost of deck repair. 

Deck Inspection and Assessment Fees

Do you need a permit for deck repairs? It depends on local rules and regulations, and in some areas, you won’t need a permit if you’re not increasing your deck’s footprint. 

Permit costs vary depending on the amount of work you’re doing and where you live. If you do need one, it could cost anywhere from $50 to $600.

Some municipalities also require deck inspections to prevent code violations. Deck inspections cost $25 to $200. In addition to an initial damage analysis, deck inspections typically include a check of the structural integrity, a safety check, and a code violation check.

Staining, Sealing, or Painting

cost of staining a deck

The average deck refinishing cost is $2 to $5 per square foot. You can save money doing it yourself since the cost includes $1 to $3 per square foot for labor.

Once you’ve repaired your deck, protective treatments that enhance your deck’s appearance will ensure that it lasts longer. You can repaint decks with exterior quality paints, or you can stain and seal them with various finishes matched to the previous deck color. 

Potential Upgrades

When you’re working on your deck, it’s a good time to add features you’ve been dreaming about. However, these new features and potential upgrades will add to the deck repair cost.

Consider the following upgrades when you’re renovating your deck:

  • New deck railing
  • Additional staircases 
  • Deck lighting or fixtures
  • Built-in seating
  • Built-in planters
  • Outdoor kitchen areas
  • Pergolas and gazebos
  • An additional deck level

Decks are much more useful when built around your family’s lifestyle, and these potential upgrades can be worth the extra cost.

Deck Repair Costs by Deck Size and Project Scope

To summarize, here are deck repair costs by size and project scope to help you visualize and calculate the costs of deck repair for your home.

Small Decks (up to 200 sq. ft.)

Depending on the extent of the damage, deck repairs for a small deck of less than 200 square feet range in price from $100 to $4,000. The type of decking materials, labor costs, and other factors influence the overall cost of small deck repairs.

Medium Decks (200-500 sq. ft.)

Deck repair costs on medium-sized decks 200 to 500 square feet are between $100 and $2,500, depending on the extent of the damage and the type of materials used. 

Large Decks (500+ sq. ft.)

Large decks cost more to repair or replace, usually at least $500. Depending on the damage, labor costs in your area, the materials used, and the size of your deck, it could cost up to $18,000 to repair it.

Project Scope: Minor Fixes vs. Significant Repairs

cost of repairing termite damage to deck
Termite damage is a common problem requiring deck repair.

Most deck repairs involve common issues. You’ll pay much more for significant repairs like repairing deck railing than fixing a few loose stair treads.

Here are the most likely deck repairs and their costs:

Common deck repairsAverage cost
Replacing deck boards$1,250
Fix loose stair treads$150 to $300
Fix mold and mildew damage$200 to $500
Repair deck railing$500 to $1,000
Termite damage$100 to $300
Staining and sealing$2 to $4 per square foot
Painting $2 to $5 per square foot

When Do I Need Deck Repair vs. Deck Replacement?

Everyone wants a new deck, but do you really need one? Discover helpful tips to determine if you need a new deck or if yours is worth repairing. 

Evaluating Deck Lifespan and Longevity

The average deck lifespan is 25 to 30 years, but some inexpensive deck materials only last 15 years. Others can last much longer than average. 

When considering the age and general wear conditions of your deck, it’s important to consider the average lifespan of the materials your deck is made of. Here are the expected lifetimes of various deck materials:

Type of deck material Expected lifespan
Pressure treated wood15 years
Composite25 years
Redwood30 years
Plastic lumber (HDPE or PVC)30 to 50 years
Metal (aluminum and steel)60 years or more
Concrete70 years or more
Ipe and other exotic hardwoods75 years

Cost Efficiency Over Time

When considering the cost-efficiency of various deck materials over time, it’s essential to consider other factors, such as the cost of deck replacement. 

Additionally, you must consider maintenance costs. While many inexpensive decking materials like pressure-treated wood have a low upfront cost, you’ll spend money painting, staining, or sealing them every few years. 

Composite and PVC decks don’t require any maintenance, but their appearance will show signs of wear after several years, so the value they add to your property is diminished in those cases.

DIY Deck Repair Costs vs. Hiring a Professional

A simple deck design is easy for many DIYers to repair, but hiring a professional is a good idea if you have a complicated design. Consider the pros and cons of DIY deck repairs versus hiring a deck specialist.

DIY Material and Tool Expenses

You can save a lot of money by doing your own deck repairs, especially if you have the necessary skills and knowledge.

One disadvantage of DIY deck repairs is that you need the right tools, and sourcing materials and hardware can be more expensive for DIYers than for a professional deck contractor. You must also research deck building codes to ensure compliance.

Benefits of Hiring a Deck Specialist

Hiring a deck specialist can save you money in the long run. Consider the pros and cons of hiring a professional for your deck repairs.

Ensuring safety and code compliance

Deck specialists have the experience and expertise to make recommendations you can trust about the safety of your deck, and since they know deck building codes, you can ensure you stay in compliance.

Quality guarantees and craftsmanship

Some materials warranties are void if they aren’t installed properly. Since the cost of decking materials is the most significant factor in deck repairs and installations, it’s essential to consider this.

How to Save Money on Deck Repair Costs

deck maintenance pressure washing

Whether you DIY your deck renovation or hire a specialist, use these money-saving tips to save on deck repair costs.

Regular deck maintenance and cleaning–Regular maintenance and cleaning will ensure your deck lasts longer, lowering your replacement costs.

Off-season or off-peak repairs–Peak construction times for decks are spring through fall, and you may get a price break on some deck repairs during the off-season.

Bundling repair projects–If you have other projects, including landscaping installations or home renovations, you may get a better price on deck repairs if you bundle them together.

Sourcing materials directly or in bulk–Buying materials in bulk is a great way to save money on materials. Obtain quotes from a few lumberyards before you buy to find the best deals.

FAQs About Deck Repair Costs

Can I just replace the top boards of my deck to save on costs?

Deck board replacement, or resurfacing, is a common deck repair. The cost to replace deck boards depends on how many must be replaced. 

How can I determine if my deck’s structural integrity is compromised?

The safest way to determine if your deck’s structural integrity is compromised is to obtain a deck inspection. Deck inspections cost between $25 and $200 and will tell you everything you need to know to make an informed decision about deck repairs. Since the cost to rebuild a deck is much higher than repairing it, getting an inspection could save you a lot of money.

Are there any cost-effective alternatives to wood that last longer?

Several cost-effective alternatives to wood decking are available, including popular choices like composite and PVC decking. 

While the upfront costs of composite and PVC decking are often more than inexpensive wood decking materials, they are long-lasting and durable, so you’ll save on replacement costs over time. You can also consider aluminum and steel decking materials.

How frequently should I inspect my deck for potential issues?

Homeowners should inspect their decks for wear and tear at least once per year. Some common issues to look for include weak railings, missing fasteners, and decaying wood.

Do deck repairs typically come with a warranty or guarantee?

When properly installed using the correct methods and tools, many deck materials are warrantied against premature failure, often for up to 25 years.

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