How Much Does Deck Repair Cost?
$750 – $2,400
Average Cost t0 Repair Your Deck
Most homeowners pay about $28 per square foot to replace damaged deck boards when a pro does the work. Treated lumber repairs cost less; High-end composite and aluminum will cost more. DIY deck repairs cost about $18 per square foot for the materials such as deck boards, rail balusters or panels, stairs and stair treads and deck cleaner and stain.
The average cost for railing is $40 – $65 per linear foot for the most common materials and professional installation. Again, you’ll save about half that cost if you make the repairs yourself. See our Project Costs and Retail Material Cost below.
Overview of Deck Repairs
You’re probably searching deck repair cost because your deck has serious issues – boards, steps or railings that need replacement or rot/insect issues rather than a few loose pickets or screws. Or maybe it is due to be stained and sealed.
This cost estimate, or Costimate, for deck repair pricing addresses one of the hottest outdoor projects of the season. It covers issues ranging from the major ones mentioned to more minor repairs. It includes cost factors, common deck repairs and their cost ranges, retail pricing for many repair materials and homeowner submitted costs for specific projects. All are designed to help you nail down where your deck repair cost might fall.
Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details
Deck Repair Cost Factors
Deck repair cost factors discuss the scope of the project and help define what pricing you’re likely to see when you get estimates or plan DIY repairs. Home Guide suggests a cost range for most repairs of $511 – $2,572, a little broader than our range. Home Advisor gives an upper end that’s even higher, with a range of $757 – $2,696. We focus on a narrower band of “average” costs and make the argument that at some point, considering deck replacement vs deck repair might be a cost-effective solution.
Some factors address materials and and others focus on labor.
- Size of the Damaged Area – Replacing an entire section destroyed by a downed limb will clearly cost more than if just a few planks must be replaced.
- Whether Railings or Stairs are Involved – Material and labor costs go up when the deck has railings or steps that are part of the affected area.
- Type of Material – Most decks are still built with affordable treated pine or cedar. The cost to repair them is less than if the material is composite decking, aluminum or something exotic like ipe. The same is true for railing. Aluminum, cast iron, wrought iron and composite rails cost more to replace than treated lumber.
- Damage to Weight Bearing Posts – If there is rot in weight-bearing support posts or beams, the repair will be more extensive and expensive than if surface rot on a few planks must be removed and filled.
- Like New or Good Enough – In the example of surface rot, removing it and filling the void with wood filler costs less than full board replacement. The same idea holds for wood planks. New wood looks decidedly different than planks that are 10+ years old, and that fact is quite visible when the two are mingled. How you approach the repair depends on what you’re willing to live with in terms of appearance.
- Deck Complexity – The more trimming and angled cuts required, the higher the cost will be.
- Substructure Material – Most decks built with aluminum, composite or exotic wood deck boards have a pressure treated pine substructure, just like a treated deck. Some composite decking brands make composite and steel substructure material that costs two to three times more than treated lumber.
- Who Does the Work – You’ll save labor costs, outlined below, with DIY repairs. Even if a deck contractor is going to install the new materials, removing the old yourself will save you money. For example, while a new set of stairs isn’t an easy DIY project, removing the old set can be done quite easily. The same is true for deck and porch railing.
- Time of Year – Deck repair is most in demand in spring and summer, and that is when repair estimates are highest. If it’s not a safety issue, and the repair can wait until the off-season, you’ll probably get lower prices.
- Where you Live – A higher cost of living on the Coasts and large metropolitan areas means deck repair costs are higher there than in small towns and rural areas.
Cost of Various Deck Repairs & Supplies
This section itemizes deck repair costs in two ways – Pro deck repairs and the cost of materials for DIY repairs.
In the pro repair section, we’ve listed average repair costs for the common repairs. Specific price depends on how much of the deck is damaged, of course. Typically, it is a small section up to about 40 square feet. Once you get beyond that size, in most decks, it’s time to consider complete deck replacement. That’s discussed below.
Deck Board Replacement
Deck Stair Repairs
Deck Railing Repair
Repairing Deck Rot and Mold, Pressure Washing
Staining, Sealing and Other Repairs
Deck Repair vs Deck Replacement
Repairing a deck costs more per square foot than building a deck from scratch.
Factors to consider when deciding to repair the deck or replace it include:
- Whether the damage is caused by general wear, tear and aging of the deck or by a one-time event. If the deck is generally in good condition but a limb fell on it or the turkey fryer got out of control, then repair is probably the cost-effective choice. Just consider whether you’ll be OK with the different looks of materials of different ages, especially if it is wood.
- The age and overall condition of the deck. If a large section of the deck is failing and repair costs amount to a third or more of the cost of a new deck, then replacement should be considered. After all, the remaining areas of the deck will continue to age, and the process seems to speed up as the years go by.
Cost of Disposal for Damaged Decking
Often, a deck contractor will ask if you want the cost of disposal included. It’s certainly the most convenient route, but might not be the cheapest.
Whether your remove the damaged decking yourself, you might save on disposal costs in one of two ways. First, if it is a small amount of material, you might be able to get rid of it a little at a time in your weekly garbage pickup, if you have it. If it’s plastic, vinyl or metal, your local recycling facility might take it.
If you have to pay for disposal, consider a Bagster from Waste Management or a dumpster with capacity appropriate for the amount of material – decking and other stuff you want to get rid of.
Our dumpster cost estimate has full details.
Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 – $150 | If the repairs are minor, then no permit is required. Your city or county might prefer you get a permit when substructure, railings or stairs are involved. They’ll want to send an inspector out to check that the repairs ensure the safety of those using the deck. Talk with your contractor or local building department, and if you decide to get a permit, costs start at about $30. Your contractor’s estimate might also go up. Some contractors don’t prefer to pull a permit because it slows down the work waiting for the inspection.
Related Costs and Installation Time
We’ve included deck repair cost per square foot and per linear foot above. Those prices worked out on an hourly basis look like this:
- $35 – $85 per hour | Deck Repair Labor Rates. If a licensed carpenter is doing the work with a laborer/helper, each might be billed at a different rate.
Here are typical time frames for common jobs.
- Up to 1 Day | Replacing up to 150 square feet of deck boards or 50 feet of railing.
- 1-2 Days | Major repairs to deck substructure.
- 2-3 Days | Replacing all deck boards up to 500 square feet
DIY or Hire a Pro?
If you’re handy and have done other carpentry projects, repairing your own deck can be an option. It’s a good money-saving option because, as noted, deck repair cost per square foot is always higher than initial build cost.
When cutting out damaged boards, be sure to make the cut over the middle of a joist. This gives the end of the new board room on the joist to be fastened to. Here’s a brief tutorial from Home Depot with good tips on how to successfully make this common deck repair and the tools you’ll need.
Any time the supporting substructure is damaged, you might want to have a pro look at it to advise you how to best make the decking safe. This is also true if you believe you have extensive damage caused by termites.