Garden Decking – How Much Should You Pay?

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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 will look 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 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 that fact.

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.

These boards do need cleaning with moss/algae inhibitors and treating with wood stains not only to maintain their appearance but to prevent them from becoming dangerously slippery.

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
  • your options and a suggested premium product
  • a list of materials that used in a typical installation (handy of you are budgeting or considering doing the work yourself)
  • hints and tips on how best to install these boards so they look their best
  • see where you can get great ideas and inspiration

How much does it cost to supply and install timber decking to a typical garden in the UK? See our breakdown of all the costs involved, from the materials, labour charges, waste disposal fees and VAT.

We are a group of individuals who have many years experience in the landscape gardening industry, so we know how much projects like decking should cost you. Explore our cost guides for both cheap mass-produced decking and a more premium Ipe decking system with neatly hidden fixings.

Garden Prices

This guide forms just one part of our series on garden and driveway prices.

Explore our guide to patio prices here.

Here we have explained the typical cost to replace a fence along with some example prices.

On this page, you can see how much block paving costs.

Keep reading to see what the going rate is for garden decking.

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Two Types of Decking

We have provided a cost guide for two different types of decking board; the first is a board typically found in DIY stores and is readily available.

This type of board has grooves throughout the timber and is quite soft.

The second is a premium Ipe product that will need to be ordered from a specialist.

It’s unlikely that you’ll find a good quality hard timber such as Ipe in a general garden centre.

Below is a typical works schedule, the prices listed further down this page include everything in this list:

  • Excavate ground and lay weed proof membrane.
  • Construct frame, supporting legs to be on concrete pad foundations.
  • Secure decking to frame; counter-sunk screws on budget decking and hidden clip fixings on premium boards.
  • Apply oil or colourant as required.
  • Remove and dispose of all waste material.

Cost Guide

Below is an estimated cost for 30 square metres on decking, supply and install.

Expensive high-quality Ipe boards are usually installed by specialists, hence the higher labour costs and profits when compared to cheap installations done by carpenters or landscape gardeners.

High-Quality Ipe

Premium Ipe boards – £2500.00

Timber frame – £300.00

Fixings – £150.00

Membrane -£30.00

Oil – £75.00

Waste removal and disposal – £50.00

Labour and profits – £2500.00

VAT – £1120.00

Total £6720.00

Budget Decking

Decking boards – £700.00

Timber frame – £300.00

Fixings – £20.00

Membrane -£30.00

Oil/preservative – £35.00

Waste removal and disposal – £50.00

Labour and profits – £500.00

VAT – £325.00

Total £1960.00

Our suggested prices above do not include balustrades.

A “Heads Up” About VAT

As you can see from the prices above, VAT accounts for a significant amount of the cost.

Did you know that some smaller firms do not need to charge VAT?

Read our guide to saving money by legally avoiding VAT here.

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 which go directly through the face or side of the decking.

This is not the most aesthetically pleasing finish, 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.

Why We Like Ipe Decking

The colour – Ipe decking is a reddish brown coloured timber with very few knots.

The board is extremely dense and you would be hard pressed to find another board that matches its strength.

One of its key selling points is that it will resist rot for decades.

We love this product because of the way it looks and how long it will last.

However, as you can see, it’s not the cheapest product.

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

The Best Time of Year to Install Decking?

As stated on various other pages in our site; tradespeople who do this type of work are often very busy during the summer but quiet during the winter.

We suggest avoiding the busiest times of year and plan your decking project and source prices in winter with the work completed by the springtime, just in time for the summer.

We have found that during the busiest times of the year, some businesses raise their prices and satisfy the extra demand by outsourcing the work to subcontractors.

Not all companies behave this way but many do.

It’s all a matter of supply and demand.

Get a Decking Price Online

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

Your next step is to arrange a fixed price.

Hit the link below to see how we can help you:

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.

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 - 20 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 August 2019.

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