By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Redwood is the top of the line of natural deck materials because even under the worst conditions it resists decay, insects and weathering – and it always looks good. It's not a trivial expense, but consider it a long-term investment in the overall value of your home.
To build a small, one-level, 300-square-foot redwood deck with corrosion-resistant, self-tapping deck screws, a deck contractor will charge $5,739, which includes the material and labor. If you have carpentry experience and tools, you can buy the lumber and fasteners for $2,500 and build it yourself, pocketing a 56 percent saving. You can find redwood lumber at lumberyards, but depending on where you live, the material may have to be custom ordered.
To finish a redwood deck naturally the California Redwood Assn. suggests using clear water repellent finishes or preservatives containing mildewcides to help preserve the natural appearance of redwood. Apply the finish directly to the lumber covering all sides, edges and ends before construction. After the deck is built, we recommend a second application. Also consider space for furnishings, outdoor cooking gear, planters and whatever else you want to include.
| || DIY Hassle Alert|
When planning a deck, check your property survey to make sure you know where your property line begins and ends, and ask the local building department about restrictions and requirements. Also, check with your local utility company to find out if there are service lines or pipes where you plan to dig the deck footings. Before the material is delivered designate a storage area where it will be on a dry flat surface that's near the location for the new deck.
The average price to build a redwood deck noted above is cost data to compare a contractor’s estimate with doing it yourself. Tweak the data by adding your ZIP Code to find a local cost.
Cost updated 2013