Deck Pricing Info

"It's unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything; because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the job it was bought to do. The common law of Business Balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It cannot be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run; and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."
- John Ruskin (1819-1900)

The short version is:
You WILL get the best bang for your buck with Custom Deckworks!

For a company that pays ALL the insurances, licencing fees,
and all other things needed to have a legitimate business
(which is what you want in your yard!)
we have the lowest labor rates we can possibly have.

Doing an internet search for Deck Prices in Arkansas doesn't produce real results. You get tons of clickbait and and vague answers. This is because the lumber prices are constantly fluctuating and any disruption in the economy can affect labor prices.

Furthermore, all decks are custom - even if they don't seem like it. The same square deck with 5 steps on your house will cost different on a house 2 counties over where the house and lot are harder to get to and work on, and tons of other details that affect price.

But I understand that many people don't have big budgets and really need some sort of idea of what a deck might cost. So if it could save us both some time, here goes.....

In Arkansas in 2024, a treated pine deck can cost you anywhere from $25-$60 per square foot. 

If the deck is close to the ground, easily accessible, standard railing, easy old deck tear-out, etc. then it may be about $25 psf. So a 12x16 with around 5 steps, Our Standard Railing, we can get vehicles and materials pretty close, no hills to carry stuff up & down, no strange issues about the house or anything special to work around, then it should cost about $5,400.

Put that same deck on the 2nd story or above, we have to tear the old deck out from way up there, carry everything around the house up a hill, you need a trap door for the water faucet that is coming out of the house where the deck needs to attach, we can't leave the gate open or the dog will run out, you have tons of wires attached under the old deck that we have to work around and reattach, or you have one of those mini-sprinker networks to all your potted plants on the deck, we have to build or bring scaffolding, your house was rotten behind the old deck, we have to get approval from your HOA and get a building permit from the city, the new deck has to have 20' 6x6 posts, you live on the side of a mountain where the digging of footings will all be boulders and barely any dirt, there's no flat place for me to be able to unhook my trailer so it means I am trapped there while the tear-out is being loaded, there has to be far more stairs and therefore one or more landings, then it could be $60 or more psf - or around $10k.

Features and Additions - 
■ A Roof over part of the deck can be $25-$65 per square foot. 
■ A Pergola can be $10-$20 per square foot.
■ Built-in benches, tables, planters, gates, etc. could be FREE to whatever's fair to you depending on the rest of the design. From $100 to several hundred depending on size.
■ Screening in under a roof can be $18-$30 per square foot depending on a few things.

Composite Pricing -
As always, it depends on several things. But being that we've built more composite decks in Arkansas than anyone else, we have some numbers we can share with you.

We start by showing you the all-treated pine price of the design we've prepared for you. Then we show youwhat it would ADD if we used a certain composite. And most times since you choose composite for low/no maintenence, you will also want a composite or aluminum railing. 

So a deck with composite decking & fascia and some version of a non-wood railing can cost 2-3½ times as much as the all-pine version. This depends on how high off the ground the deck is and how much we have to cover with composite, if it's low and you want composite skirting, exactly which brand of composite and railing you choose, and if you choose things where we can get it ALL from our distrbutor to take advantage of it all shipping together or if we have to get it from more than one source. When I quote someone for a composite deck and it comes out to 2½ times the cost of the all-pine version, I am thrilled because that means theirs worked out better than 60% of the ones I quote. And if they don't jump at that and decide to stick to pine instead it's just so sad - because I know how close they were to not hating their deck and the money they spent on it.

Summary - 
Figure what your approximate square footage is (example: 12x16=192sf), add something for any additional features (and tear out of the old deck), and based on the explanations above get your total. Of course this is just to give you an idea. I will have to come measure in order to give you an exact quote. And once you have your approximate total, if you want composite then see what it looks like if you double it, and what it looks like if you triple it. If just doubling it blows the budget out of the water then we probably don't need to spend time finding you an exact quote for composite (it is not a quick process).

And don't put too much stock in the ranges I've given here because.......
It may not be 2024 anymore and I haven't updated this page in a while, or
Due to it being an election year "they" could play all kinds of tricks with our economy like they did in & after 2020 where they pretended there was a lumber shortage (there wasn't) among other things. Bottom line is, this page will help you realize that you can't get a deck built for a little as you think you can after you look at a few shelf tags on lumber at Home Depot and assume the whole project couldn't possibly be very much. If your budget is still in the game after looking at the ranges on this page, then shoot me an email and let's work out a time for me to come give you an exact quote!

Feel free not to read any more.

Things that could affect your sf price (or a pricing rant you don't have to read):
Then imagine what I might have to add to the cost if during the design phase you had me price out every type of composite decking and specialty rail, wanted to see how much a roof or pergola or benches or planters would add, THEN told me that was all too much and to just go back to using all-treated pine & no extra features, asked for the design to be modified to show a larger area, and then asked what it would cost if we only built half the original area, told me halfway into it that you insist we use screws in everything instead of the nails we trust, told me that you would have another contractor there at the same time in our way and parking would be a nightmare, ran me around by asking me to breakdown my price to show materials & labor separately (which I will never do) because you know someone at the lumber company and you might be able to get a discount (which is usually a wrong assumption, and even if true ends up costing you FAR more than if you just let me handle it all). You may never realize it, but your sf price will be higher so I can try to recoup some of the massive time that was wasted. To avoid extra charges like this, tell me all of this up front. I can do better by running at it all at once than I can by you pulling me back & forth over the course of weeks or months.

During the design phase, the price works out better for you if you tell me everything you want UP FRONT and I draw & price the largest, most comprehensive dream-deck the first time and then we work our way down from there. And my pricing stays fair to you if we go in one direction (from largest to smallest and stopping on the one that works for your budget). If you have me reduce the size of the deck a time or two, then go back larger and do the whole back & forth thing with me, you'll notice the cost (per sf) go up every time.

If you offer to help do the work or procure some of the materials (other than a screen door, low-voltage lights, post caps, or things that are "after the fact" items) then you'll see the price go up. If you ask me to "sharpen my pencil" on your quote then you'll see the price go up, not down. I have this entire process streamlined to take up the least amount of time for both of us and to get YOU the best deal you will ever get on a quality deck in Arkansas. I start off with the lowest price I can give you and still stay in business. I don't play any games - and certainly not the slimy, time-wasting game of charging you a high price to give you something to negotiate me down from. 

Unlike most of the contractors I've seen, when I come to your house to meet with you about the project, I do NOT factor in (or even care about) what you do for a living, what cars are in the garage, what nice antiques you may have, what other costly construction you have had done, what private school your kids go to, or any other thing that may indicate how much money you may have. I may comment on some of those things to be nice, but I'm not hearing "cha-ching!" in my head. 
In actuality, I try to ignore those things because there is a very real chance that they simply mean you are like me - just about out of money or in debt thanks to those things and therefore have a tiny budget for a deck. So it is nothing but a waste of time for a contractor to assume anything based on what they see at your house (but many do it!). I simply price your project like I do everyones project: Materials it needs, labor we have to have to survive while we do it. So don't worry about hiding any assets from me; I'm not that guy. 

If the quote I give you is too high we can take away some accessories/features or we can make the deck area smaller. Or we can wait until a later date when your budget is different. Any quote I give you is already just above the line where we'd lose money. It may not seem like it to you, but my quotes are far more fair to you than they are to me. But it's worth it to us because we love to be able to continue doing what we love, and we love to make you happy with our craft!

Lets get you an exact quote !