A deck is like an addition to your house and entails lots of additional expenses and considerations. All of these expenses could also add value to your home and make it much easier to justify the extra cost.
You will need to consult the local building inspector’s office to determine if a permit is required, and depending on the elevation, if you will need to consult a structural engineer. Both of these costs will vary by region but prepare for a few hundred dollars in professional expenses for engineering and inspections for the project.
Another consideration is whether or not your homeowner’s insurance will cover it automatically. How will building it affect your property taxes? How much excavation will it require?
Excavation will depend on the area where you are building and how big you are planning to make it. Hot tubs, whirlpools, saunas, and pools will add tremendously to the weight if on, or attached to the deck. You will likely need a structural engineer’s analysis to determine how deep the footings will need to be and the support beam’s structure as well.
Soil Type for Piers & Footings
One cost factor for deck and porch footings is the equipment needed to excavate the holes and how much each hole will cost to drill/dig. A two-person post-hole digger will cost about $20-40 per hole.
The cost to dig larger footings using an auger on a bobcat or tractor is about $30-40 per hole. The type of footing will dictate the size of the hole, and large holes will require a bobcat/tractor mounted auger.
In bedrock or an area with large boulders, you might need a truck to drill the holes, in which case it could cost $50-200 per hole. Hard to get at areas that require hand digging with a jackhammer could cost upwards of $500 per hole.
However, if you can move some fencing temporarily can get the backhoe or auger in to dig, it would be easier and cheaper to backfill if necessary.
Types of Footings
The type of footing required will impact the cost of labor and materials. Some footings require more material and less labor, some require more labor and less material, and some require more or less of each.
There are several options for precast footings. They are an attractive option because they require less labor, don’t require a concrete delivery and pour, and require less downtime for the concrete to cure. Precast footings usually cost about $200 – $300 each for the material, but require less labor. They may or may not be an option depending on the structural requirements of the project.
Cast in Place
Cast in place footings might cost less for the concrete material itself, but require a form and more labor to pour. Plus, casting footings usually requires a few days of downtime while the concrete cures.
The type of footing will also inform the size of the hole that needs to be excavated. Full pier and bell pier footings might also require more excavation than a tube pier due to the wider base. These types of footings may also require more concrete to fill.
Concrete for a poured deck footing usually costs $50 to $100 per footing, depending on the diameter, depth, and size of the base. Try our concrete calculator to estimate how much concrete is needed to pour a footing, which will help estimate the material cost of the project.
Many of the different types of footings will require a form, which is another expense to consider.
Ultimately, the type of footing needed will depend on the size and layout of the deck and soil conditions. Remember the longer the support beams, the fewer holes you need. But, that too, depends on the overall weight of the deck.
Adding a deck is the same as adding a room to your home. You will need to do the same careful planning. Ask the right people about permits, insurance, taxes, and structural guidance. We strongly recommend getting estimates from decking professionals in your area.
As you’re planning out your deck project, try estimating other material costs using our decking calculator.
All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.