Put a solid deck underfoot without paying too much in overheads with our complete composite decking price guide to support your next project.
These boards are renowned and popular thanks to a wide range of features, perhaps most well-known being its splinter-free yet wood-look quality.
That sounds like the best of both worlds to us!
Made from recycled materials but designed to look exactly like natural wood timber, composite decking is more popular than ever here in Sydney, and with many good reasons. But how does this material compare to itself (there’s more than one type) and traditional timber? Are you paying a premium to walk around shoeless? Or is there much more to it than that?
While these decks are a premium product, they’re also an investment. Let’s look at how this material compares to timber decking and what you might expect to pay per square metre, on average, for some of the most popular options in Sydney.
Why go with composite over true timber?
Composite decking has several benefits over timber.
Even price is an advantage, even if it might not seem like it at first blush. Sure, timber costs 30-40% less than most materials. Still, you will spend much time and money maintaining and, ultimately, replacing your timber materials as they wear over time. A timber deck could last up to 10-15 years, whereas a composite deck will last for 25-30 years, minimum.
Composite, then, should be seen as an investment. Future potential buyers for your home will also see it mainly in this light, too. A virtually maintenance-free deck built to last can appeal to even the most indoor-inclined buyers.
But you’re not updating your deck today for someone else. You’re doing this for you and your family. And you’ll reap the benefits of a nearly carefree space to hold your outdoor gatherings. Just rinse with some water (a simple garden hose will do nicely), and your deck should look fabulous for years to come.
This low-maintenance cleanup compares starkly to timber, which requires frequent cleaning and sealing to make it last as long as possible. After all, natural materials degrade over time, especially when facing the many elements and oddities that nature throws its way.
Oh, and did we mention that this material lasts so long because it’s rot-proof and termite-proof, too?
Can’t choose between these two materials? Check out our comparison guide here.
Factors that go into estimating your composite decking cost
You’re convinced that composite is the way to go.
Now you’ll want a quote for your project from a professional designer and installer. But what do these pros base their estimates on, and how can you be sure you are getting a fair shake? It comes down to a few key factors.
The materials are priced in square metres, which tells the installer how much material they’ll need to order to get the job done right. The bigger the deck, the more you’ll pay, no matter what it’s made of. Remember that fancy designs, angles, and finishes can add to the cost since more material will be needed to achieve these looks. You’ll also want to iron out whether you need to consider edging, fascia, and other trim work since this will also go into the costs at a per m2 rate.
Next comes your actual choice of material. While all composites are not timber, not all are the same. Different brands approach creating the look of wood with other materials, grains, and mouldings used to make the right look for your deck.
Trex, for example, is the largest manufacturer of extruded timber products. While they’re 95% recycled, they look 100% top-notch and come with a wood-gain finish in a number of colourways. Another premium option is millboard. This type of deck achieves the wood grain look through designer moulds that impress the shape of a timber board into the outer cap for a truly natural look.
We mentioned fascia and edging earlier when considering the size and amount of material needed for your deck. But size and level of detail (i.e. intricate cuts and angles) will take time to achieve correctly – and that time costs money.
When you are looking at the cost of a composite deck (or any deck, for that matter, your installer will also have to factor in the costs for the installation work itself. That comes separate from the material costs (which you’ll see outlined below).
The costs of composite decking in Sydney by material type
So how much does a composite deck cost?
As you can tell by our explanation, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer since every deck is unique. But there are different cost levels for the brands outlined in the table below to help you estimate your costs.
- Trex Transcend range
- Millboard Enhanced range
- Millboard Weathered range
- Azek Vintage
- Timbertech Pro – Legacy
- Timbertech Reserve
Board only costs per sq metre
Remember: These costs do not include screws, substructure materials, and fees or rates for installation and labour. On average, deck installation labor costs between $200 to $450 per square metre.
You may also need to ask your installer about waste removal if you have an old deck or existing materials that you are replacing. These should be hauled away and recycled properly, but there could be additional fees associated with this that can be passed on to customers who are unaware.
Choosing a professional for your decking project
There are a lot of aspects to consider when building out a deck, starting with permits and material orders, ending with designer up lighting, and encompassing every detail in between.
That’s why it matters exactly which professional installer you choose for your job. You might know which material you want to move forward with, but you’ll want the pros to measure, order, and install it properly.
So how do you choose a decking professional and builder?
You start by looking at how much experience they have in the business. Go with someone who has at least 5 years of practice building in your area, where they will be familiar with all of the permit and council requirements that are needed to start with.
Then, ask to see a portfolio (hint: you can check out ours here). While a deck is a structure, it’s also a means to express yourself and add a little designer flair to your home without breaking the bank. A builder with an extensive gallery of project photos can give you an idea of whether their aesthetic matches yours and what you can ultimately expect them to design and build for your property.
If you’re happy with the experience and portfolio, it’s time to ask some more probing questions:
- “Can I speak to any customer references you might have?”
- “How long does a project like mine typically take to complete?”
- “Do you order all of the materials or do I need to manage that separately?”
- “Do you offer free estimates or quotes?”
- “What warranties or guarantees do you back your work with?”
- “Do you take care of any permits or permissions required?”
Putting it together with decking from UrbanArch
These decks may not come cheap, but they do come with a bevy of benefits that simply can’t be overlooked by homeowners today. That’s why these decks are continuing to spring up all over Sydney and the surrounds, as a maintenance free, splinter-in-the-foot free way to make the most of the outdoor spaces that we have. And depending on the size and complexity of your project, you may not need to break the bank to get the deck of your dreams.
The pros at UrbanArch can also work with you to design a deck that optimizes your space and limits material waste, driving down costs as much as possible. We’re experts when it comes to design and installation of decks of all shapes, sizes, and materials.
We’ve been helping homeowners across Sydney add decks, porches, and patios to their homes on time and within budget. Every UrbanArch project starts with and follows a plan specific to each client’s unique needs so you always know where things stand and so we pay attention to every last detail. To learn more about the decking design and installation options we offer, call us on 0413 185 735 for a fast free quote today!