How Much Does Deck Repair Cost?
For the homeowner wanting to get back to entertaining outdoors, the average deck repair cost is just $2,019, though the typical range is between $859 and $3,321.
- The typical range for deck repair costs is $859 to $3,321, with a national average of $2,019.
- The main factors affecting the cost of deck repair are the deck size, deck material, labor and permits, delivery fees, type of damage, time of year, and geographic location.
- Some signs that deck repair is necessary include wobbly steps, unstable boards, loose railings, rotten wood, loose or missing nails, and pest damage.
- Minor deck repairs may be simple enough for a homeowner to complete themselves, but major structural work is best left to professionals.
A deck should be a comfortable space to enjoy those summer evenings with family and friends, not a squeaky or unstable surface. If it seems like the deck is sagging in the center, the boards are uneven, or it’s looking rather unkempt overall, it’s probably time for the homeowner to consider repairing it. The amount of repair a deck needs will be a significant factor in deck repair cost.
According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the average cost can be as little as $859 or as high as $3,321. Most homeowners spend around $2,019 to repair a deck. Aside from the amount of repair needed, it’s also important for homeowners to take into consideration the overall deck size, the deck material, any customizations, and the cost of labor. These and other factors are explained in more detail below.
Factors in Calculating Deck Repair Cost
Decks come in all shapes and sizes, which is why the price range for deck repairs is so wide. The size, materials, labor, delivery fees, extent of the repair, and even location will affect the cost to repair a deck. In some cases, it may be necessary for the homeowner to have the deck entirely replaced.
Smaller decks that measure 8 feet by 8 feet are easier and cheaper to repair or replace than larger 15-foot by 20-foot decks. The first question a deck repair pro asks will likely be about the size of the deck and then the materials, so it’s a good idea for the homeowner to have this information handy. On average, homeowners will pay between $10 and $55 per square foot for deck repair costs.
The material of the deck will also affect the price, since some materials are much more expensive than others; an average range is $3 to $45 per square foot. Many homeowners prefer cedar planks, which are cheaper and fairly durable. Cedar deck repair costs $25 to $55 per square foot. Recycled and composite decking cost more but are able to resist weathering and last longer. Composite deck repair costs $12 to $45 per square foot. The best decking material for a home will depend on the homeowner’s needs and budget. The graphic below shows the average costs for deck repair for different deck materials.
Labor and Permits
Labor will make up a portion of the cost to replace a deck or repair it, and the cost depends on current market rates and the length of time it will take to repair the deck. Usually, deck repair pros charge $100 to $500 for labor, but this cost could increase for a deck replacement. Homeowners can look up “deck repair contractors near me” to get a sense of local prices.
Permits aren’t typically needed to repair decking, especially if the repairs are minor. However, if significant changes will be made, such as increasing the deck size or upgrading it to add utilities for an outdoor kitchen, the homeowner or the contractor will need to inquire with local authorities about permits. Permit costs typically fall in the range of $225 to $500.
If the deck is in need of significant repair, a lot of materials may need to be delivered to the house. Delivery fees could run at least $50. Some deck repair companies will include this in their total prices, or this could be a separate fee if the lumber company delivers the wood directly.
Damage and Repair Type
Some deck repairs are as simple as sanding and staining to restore a weathered deck. Other times, homeowners might need to factor in the cost to replace deck boards if they are warped or damaged. The most expensive deck repairs will involve repairing the joists or the deck’s foundation. In this case, it’s difficult for a homeowner to know how to redo a deck for cheap, but it’s also worth having it done properly to ensure safety down the road. Most deck joists need to be inspected after 10 years. The table below shows the average repair cost by the type of deck damage.
|Cracks||$150 to $500|
|Creaky boards||$150 to $600|
|Holes||$150 to $500|
|Missing nails||$100 to $200|
|Mold||$200 to $600|
|Rot||$300 to $5,000|
|Sagging||$750 to $10,000|
|Screws popping out||$100 to $200|
|Termite damage||$500 to $10,000|
|Wobbly stairs||$200 to $2,000|
Time of Year
It’s common for homeowners to search for “deck repair near me” in late winter or early spring as they look forward to spending more time outdoors. But this is usually the most expensive time of year to do deck repairs, since there is high demand to get decks in working order. Prices may be cheaper in the late summer into early winter when the need for repairs isn’t as high.
While budgeting for deck repair costs, homeowners will want to consider location. The cost in urban areas tends to be higher for construction projects than in rural or suburban areas. It’s also not uncommon for homeowners to see increased prices in areas with a lot of residential construction that puts more demand on resources and laborers.
Additional Costs and Considerations
After having a deck contractor review the current state of the deck, homeowners will have a better idea about any additional costs for their project. Deck repair contractors can help determine whether repair or replacement is best, what prep work is involved, any demolition costs, and other considerations. The following are factors that may not be accounted for by a deck repair cost calculator.
Repair vs. Replacement
Repairing a deck can be a simple process if all that’s needed is a little staining and a new deck board or two. On the other hand, it can grow into a complex project with new stairs, railings, joists, and additional customizations. New materials will always increase the price, especially if any materials are being upgraded simultaneously. But the refreshed deck might be a nice treat to enjoy. Homeowners will need to decide based on these costs whether they want to repair or replace the deck. They can expect to pay between $20 and $62 per square foot for materials to replace the same footprint. Increasing the size of the deck can cost more. Overall, replacing the deck can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $18,600.
A deck pro will be able to estimate how much prep work is needed to start the project. For refinishing, the deck will need to be power-washed and nearby items will need to be removed or covered for protection. Power-washing a deck costs about $100 to $200 on average. But if a lot of the damaged deck will be removed, then the contractor will need more room to work as they remove damaged materials and haul them away. This will involve clearing a larger area surrounding the deck. Removal costs $5 to $10 per square foot. The most expensive prep work is leveling the ground around the deck, which can cost $800 to $4,000.
Deck demolition is sometimes the best route when homeowners are dealing with a severely damaged or neglected deck. This usually involves removing all the old materials and even putting in new joists, as they have probably outlived their prime. Homeowners can expect to pay $5 to $15 per square foot for deck demolition and removal.
Professionals will often need to get the lay of the land before work can start on a deck repair project. Prices can vary, but some contractors may not charge for site evaluation or will include it in the overall repair cost.
Sometimes it’s worth homeowners considering the cost of any customizations to upgrade the deck while it’s being repaired. This could include a wide range of items and conveniences: misters, built-in benches, wider stairs, pergola, kitchen, fireplace, or heaters. Adding a kitchen would significantly increase costs, and anything that requires electricity will require the help of an electrician. Adding elements that are not integral to the deck, such as furniture or the best deck boxes, will not be reflected in the deck repair cost but may come into play in the future.
Some companies will charge for disposing of old materials, especially if the project was a full demolition. This cost could run as high as $500, but it’s best for a homeowner to ask the deck contractor specifically, even if there’s only a small amount of deck waste.
Types of Deck Repair
A deck installer can provide an accurate assessment of the deck’s condition so it’s clear exactly what needs attention. Homeowners can expect the following areas to be assessed for repair or replacement.
|Board replacement||$500 to $4,000|
|Flashing repair||$15 to $30 per linear foot|
|Joist repair||$100 to $300 per joist|
|Mildew repair||$0.25 to $1.50 per square foot|
|Mold and rot repair or removal||$200 to $500|
|Pest control||$200 to $600|
|Pressure washing||$200 to $400|
|Refurbishing||$100 to $2,000|
|Resurfacing||$15 to $50 per square foot|
|Sealing or staining||$540 to $1,250|
|Stair anchoring||$100 to $300|
|Stair repair||$15 to $50 per step|
|Railing repair||$35 to $210 per linear foot|
Homeowners who have spotted a couple of damaged boards might have wondered how to replace deck boards. Sometimes they can be repaired with some sanding and epoxy to fill cracks and holes, but other times they’ll need to be replaced. This can cost between $500 to $4,000.
Like the flashing found on a roof or around windows, deck flashing is a metal material that prevents water from seeping in the space where deck materials meet the home. Damaged flashing can quickly lead to mold and water damage, and flashing repair costs $15 to $30 per linear foot.
Joists that are damaged or have started to rot cost $100 to $300 per joist to repair. Most often this is done by placing a sister joist alongside the original to reinforce it. Otherwise the joist may need to be partially or completely replaced.
Mildew removal is a fairly simple repair that only requires a thorough power wash. Some homeowners feel comfortable renting a power washer and doing this themselves. Rental costs are around $40 to $75 per day and an additional $10 to $30 for the best deck cleaner (or the cost of materials for a homemade deck cleaner). Alternatively, a professional charges $0.25 to $1.50 per square foot to power-wash a deck.
Mold and Rot Repair or Removal
Mold removal could involve a thorough power-washing or full replacement of the affected area. One option is to hire a professional, or some homeowners rent the equipment themselves and purchase cleaning supplies. Replacing the moldy area will be more labor-intensive, especially if the mold has affected any framework. A professional will charge between $200 and $500 for these repairs.
If there’s a pest infestation, it’s important for the homeowner to have a pest control pro inspect the deck. They may charge $65 to $100 for the inspection and report, but the repairs for damaged wood and joists often cost between $200 and $600.
Power or pressure washing usually costs a flat fee of $200 to $400. Not washing a deck before staining it is one of the most common deck staining mistakes DIYers make. Washing is crucial because it provides a smooth, clean surface for the stain, which allows it to last longer for improved deck waterproofing.
Refurbishing a deck is more of a face-lift. Homeowners can expect to pay around $100 to $2,000 for a deck refurbishment, which can encompass the cost to paint the deck, sand and stain areas that need a refresh, replace worn-out nails, or tidy up its overall appearance with a little cleaning.
Resurfacing a deck is like giving it a complete makeover. A deck repair handyman will replace the major pieces like deck boards, stairs, and railings but leave the base intact. The deck will appear brand new and refreshed. This often costs $15 to $50 per square foot.
Sealing or Staining
Sealing or staining a deck is part of proper annual deck maintenance, which is important for making sure the deck lasts for many years. A deck contractor can handle deck repair and staining. The cost to stain a deck is $540 to $1,250, and sealing costs are about the same. Some of the best deck paints can also provide a protective layer when applied.
Stair Anchoring and Repair
Wobbly stairs are a danger for anyone using them, so it’s important to get them repaired and anchored quickly. Stair repairs could cost $15 to $50 per step or $100 to $300 overall to anchor the steps.
Railings take longer to build, so they’re a major part of a deck cost estimator when homeowners are building a new deck. Repairing railings can become costly depending on the type of railings and the extent of the damage. Homeowners can expect to spend an extra $35 to $210 per linear foot for railing repair; the costs for different railing materials are listed in the table below.
|Railing Material||Cost per Linear Foot|
|Cable||$115 to $175|
|Composite||$80 to $165|
|Glass||$140 to $210|
|Metal||$55 to $85|
|Wood||$40 to $60|
Do I need to repair my deck?
Sometimes a deck doesn’t have visible issues like warped boards, broken railings, or mold. However, a deck that’s at least a decade old will need to have its joists inspected to ensure it’s still structurally sound. That inspection could also reveal any hidden pest infestations. Otherwise, most decks will have more obvious signs of repair and getting them back up to par will be essential for enjoying the deck safely and comfortably.
Wobbly stairs are a safety hazard even for people who are steady on their feet. Sometimes a board comes a little loose due to a nail coming loose, but other times, the entire structure of the stairs has become compromised and needs to be anchored again. This ensures safe passage for anyone trusting the step to hold their weight for that crucial moment.
Wooden deck boards will eventually wear out and become unstable. They could warp or begin cracking and peeling, making them risky to walk on. If heavy items are stored on the deck like shelves or an outdoor firepit, those damaged boards could crack even more quickly, so it’s best for homeowners to get them repaired before there’s an issue.
Although homeowners don’t use deck railings as often as they use the rest of a deck, when the steadiness of a railing is needed, it must stand firm. Any significant movement in a railing needs to be addressed properly so that it can withstand anyone leaning against it. For multistory decks, railings are a major safety concern, as a fall from a second story will result in serious injury. Homeowners will want to inspect the integrity of the railings throughout the year so they can be repaired in time.
Older wooden decks are prone to rotting due to the age of the wood. This is especially common in areas with high humidity. Fortunately, wood deck repair is often less pricey than other deck repairs. A rotten deck will need to be inspected carefully to see if the framework is also damaged, as any rot becomes a risk to walk on. It’s also best to see if there is a solution to prevent frequent drainage that causes repeated rotting in certain areas. Solving that will help homeowners enjoy their decks longer.
Loose or Missing Nails or Screws
The mysterious force that causes screws and nails to disappear over time also exerts its influence on decks. The risk of having stairs, deck boards, or railings that are missing screws is how unstable the area becomes. It’s easy to trip on a board that’s not flush with the others, and stairs and railings will grow less stable over time without each necessary screw or nail. Replacing these with the best deck screws may help prolong the life of the deck.
Pest damage can be hard to detect, and it may seem insignificant at first. But when left unchecked, pest or termite damage can ruin the structural integrity of even just a portion of a deck until it collapses under the weight of people or objects.
Deck Repair: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Some deck repairs are quite easy for a homeowner to do as part of their regular maintenance. For instance, it’s a good idea for homeowners to add any missing screws or nails when it’s clear that there isn’t other significant damage that caused a problem. It’s a big job, but many homeowners are able to figure out how to stain a wood deck themselves. And if only a rail or two is damaged, a homeowner who is good at tackling DIY tasks could easily replace a few railings (as long as they install them at the proper deck railing height). It’s even possible for homeowners to purchase helpful tools like composite deck repair kits to make the project easier. Many homeowners also take on the job of power-washing their decks each year. But beyond these basic tasks, most deck repairs are best left to a deck contractor.
Deck installation companies have more expertise at building stable stairs, inspecting joists and frameworks, and installing any customizations. Particularly when there is foundational work to repair, it’s a good idea for a homeowner to have an experienced professional assess and decide the best course of action. The deck might need replacing in some areas, which is a much bigger task. And for those larger jobs, the contractor might be able to get a volume discount on the materials. It’s also helpful that a reputable company will have the time to commit to this project so it can be done quickly.
How to Save Money on Deck Repair Cost
If you’ve researched “How much are decks?” it’ll already be clear that the cost to build a deck averages around $2,019. Fortunately, repairing a deck is much cheaper, but there are still ways to save on deck repair costs.
- Try DIY. Consider whether it’s a simple task you can do on your own, such as cleaning and staining or adding nails.
- Wait for the offseason. Plan ahead and have the deck repaired during the cooler months when demand is lower for contractors.
- Compare costs. Materials may be cheaper when supplied by the deck contractor than if you purchase them on your own.
- Do the demolition. Complete some of the deck demolition on your own if you can do so safely. Keep in mind that you might still need to pay for disposal fees.
- Keep up with regular maintenance. This is the best way to help a deck last longer.
- Shop around. Always get quotes from multiple deck contractors.
- Keep your eyes out for sales. Sign up for newsletters and follow decking companies on social media to watch for sales.
- Ask about discounts. Many companies have discounts available for military members or seniors.
- Buy in bulk. See if the company can offer a volume discount if you and a neighbor need to repair a deck at the same time.
Questions to Ask About Deck Repair
After homeowners look into “deck repair companies near me,” it’s important for them to feel comfortable asking the right questions while speaking with a deck pro. They’ll want to ensure that the company is licensed, bonded, and insured. Then they’ll want to consider which of the following questions can help determine the right pro and the cost and scope of the deck repair.
- Do you have references I can speak with and a portfolio to view?
- Do you provide a free on-site assessment?
- Can I review a line-item estimate first?
- Will any payment be required up front, or will you bill me at the end of the job?
- How can I know whether my foundation needs repair or not?
- Will my deck need repair or replacement?
- What kind of deck materials are you familiar with?
- What are the pros and cons of using the existing type of material for repairs instead of installing a new material?
- What do you charge to demolish an existing deck? And does that include disposal fees?
- What will it cost to repair my deck?
- What kind of issues could arise during the repair, and how would you handle them?
- Will a supervisor always be on-site?
- What if I want to add a new feature or increase the size of the deck?
- Can you also build an outdoor kitchen?
- What do you charge to stain or seal the new deck?
- Will we have to wait after the deck is installed to stain or seal it?
- How long will the repair take?
- Will I need a permit?
- Do you have a warranty or guarantee?
Deck repair costs are fairly straightforward, since there are only so many elements to a deck. Once it’s clear what kind of repair is needed, a deck pro should be able to provide a homeowner with a clear quote and plan for getting the job done. But in case there are unanswered questions, homeowners can read the answers to the frequently asked questions below.
Q. How do I know if my wood deck is rotten?
The first thing to notice is any area that frequently pools with water much longer than the rest of the deck. Then you’ll want to take a small tool like a screwdriver and tap the area. If it feels soft compared to the wood around it, or if it has a mushy sound to it, then that part of the wood is rotten. It doesn’t mean the entire area needs to be replaced, but it’s worth replacing that deck board and inspecting the framework underneath to make sure it’s not also rotten.
Q. Why are my deck boards rotting?
The most common reason for decks to rot is water damage. Even pretreated wood can become a victim of water over time if the exposure is frequent and lengthy. Boards that begin to bend inward are more prone to rotting, since water pools there naturally.
The other cause for rot is a galvanized screw that’s driven deep into a pressure-treated board. The exposure of the chemicals causes an oxidation reaction with the screw or nail and begins to rot the area around the nail. It can continue to spread if the nail or screw is not removed and the area treated.
Q. How can I prevent the deck from rotting?
If you have an area with existing rot, it’s important to inspect any plumbing or structure that’s exposing the wood to water frequently. That will need to be repaired to prevent future issues after the repair. Otherwise, try to keep your deck clean and have it sealed on a regular basis. Yearly staining and sealing is often recommended, though it could also happen every 2 to 3 years depending on the materials used.
Q. How long should a deck last?
Most wooden decks last 15 to 20 years when properly maintained, and composite decks can last 25 to 30 years—sometimes even up to 50 years, depending on the material.
Q. How do I know when to replace my deck?
Obvious signs of damage are the easiest way to know whether your deck needs replacing. That includes broken or warped stairs, railings, and deck boards. It’s harder to know whether the foundation needs replacing too, but a pro can do an inspection to verify its condition. Rotting wood that’s in more than a small location is another serious sign that your deck needs replacing.
Q. How long does a deck last on average?
If you have a wooden deck that’s regularly cleaned and stained, it is likely to last 15 to 20 years. Decks that are made of more durable composite materials last at least 25 to 30 years.