Garden Decking Cost: Our 2022 Price Guide

Update 2022: The cost of home improvements such as garden decking have skyrocketed over the last 18 months with some suppliers reporting price increases of over 50% for timber products. This has been widely reported in the UK media and confirmed by our own research. The decking prices on this page were updated in 2022 and reflect the current market prices.

I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with garden timber decking.

On the one hand, a premium top quality product that’s installed by an attentive professional often looks exquisite and can transform any garden.

The photo below is a very good example of what I’m referring to:

Garden decking ideas

This is just my opinion but I love decking that is made into a feature without overwhelming the garden. The lighting is a bonus. Photo credit – Homedit

Unfortunately, however, there are mass-produced products that look exactly as they are; cheap and nasty.

In my opinion, even a lick of wood stain cannot change the fact that they look this way.

Cheap boards coupled with poor quality installation methods, such as driving screws and nails through the face of the timber, can absolutely ruin the product, leaving the garden looking less than desirable.

Then there’s the maintenance.

Garden decking boards do need cleaning with moss/algae inhibitors and treatment with wood stains, not only to maintain their appearance but also to prevent them from becoming slippery and dangerous.

Personally, I have always found that decking works best if it’s a feature and doesn’t take up too much space in the garden.

Regardless of how you feel about decking and how it compares to other options such as patio slabs and blocks, on this page, you will find:

  • A guide price updated for 2022.
  • Your options.
  • Hints and tips on how best to install these boards so they look their best.
  • See where you can get great ideas and inspiration.

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We are conducting research into how much people think garden decking costs.

The question below is optional, but if you answer the question, you can see how others voted:

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Garden Decking Installation Cost Per Square Metre

In 2022 we contacted 11 garden decking installers and asked them how much an installation to our 3-bed property would cost.

We supplied them with photos, the type of decking we wanted and specifications such as the size of the area.

Below is a table showing how much we were quoted, the figure is an average and calculated per square metre:

Budget softwood decking, no handrails, standard installation£130 per square metre
Hardwood decking, no handrails, discreet fixing clips£185 per square metre
Arrange a custom price:Get a Quote Online Here

The decking prices above are based on an area of 18 square metres, due to the economics of scale, smaller projects may cost more per square metre and larger projects less. We asked for two prices; one for reasonably cheap softwood budget decking sold at £40 per square metre and another for a much better quality hardwood product sold at £90 per square metre.

Included in the Decking Prices Above

The following was included in the prices:

  • Materials collected from the supplier.
  • Excavation of the ground and concrete foundations.
  • Laying of a weedproof membrane.
  • Construction of a timber frame.
  • Fitting of the decking and edges.
  • Hidden fixings for the premium decking
  • Wood staining.
  • Waste removal and disposal.
  • VAT if charged by the installer.

What Isn’t Included in The Prices Above

No two decking installations are ever the same and the prices above do not include:

  • Steps.
  • Handrails/balestrudes which are sold at around £40 – £200 per linear metre depending on whether you choose timber, composite or metal.
  • Elevation beyond 500mm above ground level.
  • Multiple levels.
  • Lighting.

Choose From These Three Types of Decking

Decking can be manufactured from three different materials, each has its own price point and pros and cons:

Softwood Decking

Softwood timber is always used in the manufacturing of budget decking that’s often found in DIY stores although there are some stunning cedar softwood decking products out there if you hunt around. Shelf prices range from £30 per square metre for the cheapest products up to around £60 for a better quality product.

Hardwood Decking

Hardwood decking is much more durable and is your best bet if you want to invest in your garden for the long term. Prices range from £80 to £130 per square metre.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is made from wood fibres and plastics and is usually priced somewhere between softwood and hardwood decking – around £60 to £100 per square metre.

If you would like to know more about the different types of decking and their pros and cons, explore these articles:

Wood vs Composite Decking: Let’s Compare

Hardwood or Softwood Decking?

Improve the Appearance of Your Installation With Hidden Fixings

Cheap mass-produced decks that are typically seen piled up high in stores like B&Q are usually secured to the frame by way of screws that go directly through the face or side of the decking.

This is not the most aesthetically pleasing finish and can split the board, but there are other options.

Premium hardwood decking systems such as Ipe are usually manufactured with a hidden groove on the side of the board.

A hidden clip is then used to hold the board to the frame below.

The end result is a sturdy decking system with a smooth surface and no screw or nail heads visible.

Below is a video showing how it’s installed:

There are other types of hidden or partially hidden fixings for different timber boards, so whatever product you choose, do first look into the fixing options. While they cost more, the finished decking will look so much better without nails or screwheads through the surface.

Where’s The Best Place to Find Ideas and Get Inspiration?

As frequent visitors to this website will know, we absolutely love Pinterest and use it as a source of inspiration for many home improvement projects, ranging from decking and patios to flooring and ponds.

If you are in need of a little inspiration, go check out the link below:

25+ Garden Decking Ideas on Pinterest

Get a Decking Price Online

As you can see from our examples above, we have researched the price to supply and install timber decking in 2022.

Unfortunately, prices are unpredictable at the moment due to supply chain issues and other factors.

Tap the link below and fill out the contact form to get an up to date price for your project:

Get a Quote Online


We are a small group of individuals who renovate properties in the United Kingdom. We created this website as we wanted to explain the costs involved with various projects around the home.

We have fitted decking boards ourselves and also employed experienced people to do it for us as well, so we believe we have a good idea of how much this work costs.

To compliment our experience we also source prices from installers and calculate an average price.

Yes and no

There are plenty of "how to" video guides available and anyone with reasonable carpentry skills could create a simple frame and fix these boards to it.

Creating curves and other unusual shapes in a hard decking such as Ipe will require specialist cutting equipment and skills.

Incorrect handling and storage of timber decking can lead to warping, bowing and bending which could be almost impossible to correct.

We therefore do not recommend "DIY" installations for boards that cost thousands of pounds like Ipe.

Apart from the appearance, the more expensive boards are usually harder, less likely to become damaged or rot and have a consistently smooth surface. The premium boards are usually thicker and less likely to split.

Decking boards that are properly maintained will not be slippery, even when wet. It's the algae, mould and moss that grows on the surface that is slippery.

Hard decking boards with a smooth surface such as IPE will generally dry out quickly after rainfall and slippery mosses, mould and algae shouldn't grow on it.

Cheaper softwood boards don't hold up so well, especially if they have grooves in the surface as they tend to hold water and are a perfect breeding ground for algae growth.

Regardless of the type of board, a good moss-killing fungicide applied twice per year should prevent any algae from forming.

Cheap boards have a life expectancy of around ~15 years. The average is 15 - 25 years while good quality composite boards may last up to 25 years.

If the decking needs replacing due to age or wear and tear etc then no. Claims from foreseeable accidents, lack of maintenance or negligence are also unlikely to be successful. However, if the decking has been damaged due to an unforeseeable accident such as a healthy tree falling onto it or a house fire, then you may be able to make a claim.

Below you can find a link to our recently updated trade day rates page:

Day Rates For Tradespeople

This guide was written by and was last updated in April 2022.

Don’t forget; we have price guides for hundreds of home improvement projects.

Explore our full list of detailed price guides here.

Author - Danny Woodley
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