How Much Does It Cost To Build A Ground Level Deck

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Ground Level Deck

A ground-level deck is an excellent addition to any property. It provides space for outdoor living, including cooking, dining, and entertaining. The best part is that it can be easier and cheaper to build than an elevated deck. The question is, how much does it cost to build a ground-level deck? Well, the cost of building a ground-level deck depends on several factors. In this article, we will explore those factors to give you an estimate of how much you can expect to spend on your ground-level deck project.

Factors that Affect the Cost of a Ground-Level Deck

1. Materials
The materials you use for building your deck can significantly impact the overall cost. The most commonly used materials for ground-level decks include composite, lumber, and PVC decking. Composite decking is the most expensive, with prices ranging from $10 to $25 per square foot. Lumber is more affordable, costing between $6 and $12 per square foot. PVC decking is cheaper than composite decking, costing between $8 and $12 per square foot. The type of railing, fasteners, and other materials you use can also affect the total cost.

2. Size
The size of your deck will also affect the cost. The larger the deck, the higher the cost of materials and labor. The cost per square foot typically decreases as the size of the deck increases because of economy of scale.

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3. Site Preparation
The ground where you plan to build your deck must be level and firm. If your yard is sloping, you might need to excavate and grade the area or add retaining walls to level it. Site preparation can add to the cost of your project.

4. Labor
Labor costs depend on the complexity of the project, the location, and the experience of the contractor. Ground-level decks are relatively easier to build than elevated decks, so labor costs are typically lower. A DIY project can save you on labor costs but requires specific skills.

Calculating the Cost of a Ground-Level Deck

The cost of a ground-level deck can vary based on the factors discussed above. The average cost of building a 200 square foot ground-level deck is approximately $7,000, but this can range from $4,500 to $10,000, depending on the materials and site preparation required. A standard 12′ x 16′ ground-level deck with wood decking can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000.

To calculate the cost of your ground-level deck, you can use the following steps:

1. Determine the size of your deck in square feet.
2. Pick the material you want to use and find the cost per square foot.
3. Add the cost of railings, fasteners, and other materials you will use.
4. Add the cost of site preparation, including grading, excavation, and retaining walls if needed.
5. Add the cost of labor if you plan to hire a contractor.


1. Do I need a permit to build a ground-level deck?

The regulations regarding permits for building decks vary depending on your location. Some areas require homeowners to obtain permits, while some do not. It is best to check with your local municipality to determine if you need a permit.

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2. Can I build a ground-level deck myself?

If you have the proper experience and tools, you can build a ground-level deck yourself. However, if you lack knowledge and experience, it is best to hire a professional contractor.

3. Can I use composite decking for a ground-level deck?

Yes, composite decking is an excellent choice for a ground-level deck. It is durable, requires little maintenance, and can last for many years.

4. How do I maintain a ground-level deck?

The maintenance requirements for a ground-level deck depend on the type of decking material you use. Wood decks need regular staining and sealing to protect them from moisture and rot. Composite and PVC decks require much less maintenance but still need periodic cleaning to remove dirt and algae.

5. Can I add a roof to my ground-level deck?

Yes, a roof can be added to a ground-level deck. A covered deck can provide shade and protection from the elements, making it suitable for outdoor activities. However, adding a roof can significantly increase the cost of your project.


Building a ground-level deck can provide you with an excellent outdoor living space at an affordable cost. The cost of building a ground-level deck depends on several factors, including material, size, site preparation, and labor. To get an estimate for your project, you can use the steps outlined above. Always remember to check with your local municipality regarding permits and building codes before starting your project.

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