decking area with beautiful garden

How To Save Money Building A Deck

A decking area is the perfect place for a table and chairs, sun loungers and even lots of beautiful planters to create an outdoor haven. Don’t sacrifice your dream of having a deck in your garden by thinking about the budget and assuming it’s too expensive. By following some budget-friendly tips, and with early planning, you’ll be well on your journey to have an inexpensive beautiful deck where you can relax for many seasons to come.

decking area balcony

Before going ahead with your decking, you’ll need to choose the right materials. The choice is mainly between composite decking and real wood decking.  There are pros and cons for both of these materials, problems and limitations with each, different price tags and a slightly different appearance too.  These are the sorts of questions we will address in this article to help you make your choice whether it’s ultimately based on an upfront tight budget, or something that is cost-effective in the long run.

So whatever your budget, here are some great tips for saving money when buying your decking materials:

DIY your decking

You don’t need to be a master carpenter to DIY your own decking area. If you have a basic list of tools and are willing to take on this task then I’d say “go for it”. I’ve written a great step-by-step guide to building your own decking area that will help you understand what tools you need and exactly how to build a super strong decking area. You can save hundreds, if not thousands of £££ by taking on this job yourself.

How to build your own deck

Materials can be ordered for delivery so there’s no need for a large van and you can normally order everything you’ll need from the same supplier. Which takes me onto the next money saving tip.

Get all your decking materials in one place

decking boards stack deck build

Sometimes shopping online seems like the cheapest and easiest option, but check out your local landscape yards and building merchants.  Many have sales reps who will be more than willing to compete with other retailers to give you the best price and secure a discount, especially if you are spending a substantial amount.  This is exactly what we did when we built our deck and sourced all our materials from the same business.  They even let us have free delivery and they were nearby in case anything was wrong or we needed some extra materials quickly. Here’s Who we used:

Travis Perkins – Decking section

Even if you’re ordering online, check for discount codes and special offers if you are spending over a certain amount.  If you can’t find anything then don’t be afraid to contact the company by email or telephone to ask if they offer discounts for big spenders or bulk orders.  You never know, they might give you one! And of course, always check for cashback online as you can get quite a percentage back if you’re spending a lot at well-known merchants.

Matching your budget with suitable decking materials

Your budget is a crucial factor in determining the ideal decking material for your project. Here’s a breakdown of decking options that align with different budget ranges:

1. Limited Budget: Affordable and Practical

If your budget is constrained, there are still options that provide durability and aesthetics without breaking the bank:

  • Pressure-Treated Softwood: Despite some drawbacks, such as maintenance requirements, pressure-treated softwood remains a budget-friendly choice for immediate cost savings.
treated softwood decking
Treated softwood decking

2. Moderate Budget: Balancing Quality and Cost

With a moderate budget, you can explore materials that offer a good balance between cost and longevity:

  • Cedar and Redwood: While slightly pricier than pressure-treated wood, cedar and redwood provide natural resistance to decay and add a touch of elegance to your deck.
  • Tropical Hardwoods: Species like Garapa and Red Balau offer impressive durability and an upscale appearance, making them a sensible investment for mid-range budgets.
redwood decking build
Redwood decking build

3. Generous Budget: Investing in Longevity

If you’re willing to invest more upfront for a deck that stands the test of time, consider the following premium options:

  • Ipe and Cumaru: These Brazilian hardwoods are renowned for their exceptional durability and longevity. While they come at a higher initial cost, their minimal maintenance needs and stunning appearance make them a worthwhile choice.
  • Composite Decking: While initially expensive, composite materials offer remarkable longevity and require minimal upkeep. They resist rot, fading, and staining, providing a low-maintenance solution over the years.
composite decking red
Composite decking red

4. Unlimited Budget: Luxury and Beyond

For those with ample resources, the sky’s the limit in terms of material choices:

  • Exotic Hardwoods: Premium exotic hardwoods like Teak and Tigerwood offer unmatched beauty and longevity. These materials exude luxury and elegance, making them perfect for high-end projects.
  • Customizable Features: With an unlimited budget, you can explore custom options such as intricate designs, built-in lighting, and innovative decking technologies that elevate your deck to a true masterpiece.
Teak decking
Teak decking

There’s a suitable decking material for every budget range. By aligning your financial resources with the appropriate material, you can create a deck that not only enhances your outdoor living space but also delivers the desired balance of quality, aesthetics and cost-effectiveness.

Check your measurements

Check your measurements and check again!  As with building the deck, ‘measure twice, cut once’!  The same goes when you are ordering your materials.  Make sure you are ordering the right measurements.  You don’t want to mistakenly order 300 linear feet of deck when you meant to order 300 square feet. Check you have the right measurements when ordering online and use a conversion tool online if you need to convert your measurements.

Finding cheap decking boards

Shop around. The best way to find the best prices and deals is to shop around. Firstly try searching the internet for the best pricing on the type of decking boards you want. Look for deals on eBay and Amazon and sellers listing discounts for bulk orders. You can also do the same for local timber merchants. Once you have the quantities calculated, ring around to find the best price.

It’s also worth asking for a discount when ordering the rest of the materials from the saem suppliers. Often, sellers will offer discounts for complete project material orders.

I tend to avoid B&Q for jobs like this but it can be worth checking their website for sales. They sometimes offer 20% discounts on particular products so you might get lucky. Sign up to their B&Q club to get notified of their latest deals.

I always visit Travis Perkins or Jewsons for the best quality products and deals but you should also ring around your local merchants as they can tend to be very competitive.

Finally, have a quick look on Facebook Marketplace to see if any independent small businesses are trying to sell off excess stock. You never know who is in your local area with a bulk load of timber they are willing to sell off cheaper than the retailers for cash.

Use reclaimed materials

Yes this is possible with a deck!  We created a boardwalk footpath by using reclaimed scaffold boards from a local scaffold board company who let us have them for £2 a piece!  Such a bargain and we could cut each piece to make around three parts of the path!

Building a deck with reclaimed scaffold boards

Of course, this will need maintaining each year, but if you don’t mind a bit of hard work and re-painting every summer, then using reclaimed materials is a really eco-friendly way of creating a new deck for cheap.

We made a footpath, but there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t create an actual seating area using reclaimed scaffold boards or perhaps you can locate some other reclaimed materials from a reclamation yard – maybe even actual reclaimed decking boards!

Prioritise Essential Features

When working within a budget, it’s crucial to start with the essentials while planning your dream deck. Here’s a streamlined approach to ensure both functionality and financial prudence:

  1. Begin Simply: Start with a basic design that fulfills the primary purpose of the deck – a space for relaxation and entertainment.
  2. Focus on Safety: Allocate resources for quality materials, solid framing, and a sturdy foundation, ensuring safety and durability.
  3. Gradual Upgrades: Phase in decorative elements such as railings and seating over time. This approach spreads costs and prevents overspending.
  4. Future-Friendly Design: Plan the layout to accommodate future enhancements like additional seating or extensions without major changes.
  5. DIY Charm: Infuse character inexpensively by crafting planters, seating, and small items using reclaimed materials or budget-friendly supplies.
  6. Budget for Progress: Recognize the deck as a long-term investment. Allocate part of your budget for future upgrades as finances permit.
  7. Seek Advice: Consult professionals or experienced DIYers for guidance on which elements are crucial upfront and which can wait.

By starting simple, emphasising safety, and allowing for gradual enhancements, you can achieve a balanced and budget-conscious deck that evolves over time.

How much does it cost to build a deck?

The cost of building a deck in the UK varies depending on factors like size, materials, location, labor, and additional features. On average, a basic wood deck can cost around £100 to £240 per square meter, while higher-end options like composite decking or premium hardwoods can range from £240 to £590 or more per square meter. Labour costs, permits, site preparation and any extras such as railings, lighting and built-in seating will also impact the total cost. It’s recommended to obtain multiple quotes and consider all aspects to estimate the cost accurately for your specific project.

Decking price comparison

Here are a few options worth considering for your next decking project.

Softwood timber decking 4.8m

softwood timber decking Amazon
  • 5 x Treated Timber Decking Boards
  • A Grade Quality
  • 32mm Thick x 144mm Wide
  • 4.8m Long
  • Pressure treated timber
  • Double sided boards

Tuda Grass Direct WPC Grey Composite Decking

composite decking Amazon
  • 3.6m Board Lengths
  • Non Slip & Low Maintenance
  • Brown, Ash or Grey
  • 30mm x 50mm
  • 10 Years Manufacturers Guarantees
  • Fixing Packs 1 pack of fixings

Leave a Reply