Wood vs Composite Deck Cost: The Surprising Truth

Deck fiberon Goodlife Bungalow project near Tapwingo KC

Details Matter When Comparing the Cost of a Wood vs. Composite Deck 

If you’re like many homeowners in the Midwest, you may be dreaming of finally installing that new deck to make the most of this summer. If so, chances are you’re comparing two primary options: traditional wood vs. composite decking. Overall, this choice is often difficult for homeowners, as they must compare the advantages of a composite deck vs. the comparatively lower cost of wood.

However, the true cost of wood vs. composite for a new deck may not be what you think it is. Not only do composite decks last longer, but they have lower maintenance demands—and the price of lumber has risen dramatically.

As the Midwest’s leading composite deck builders, our team at Xtreme Exteriors has often surprised clients with how much more affordable composite can be. So today, we’re comparing the cost of a wood vs. composite deck and breaking down the key factors to know.

Wood vs. Composite: Upfront Cost

Overall, the average upfront cost of a wood deck is somewhat lower than that of a composite deck. According to Remodeling Magazine, the average cost of a wood deck addition in 2023 was about $17,000, while the cost of a composite deck was around $23,000 in the United States. 

Ultimately this is a difference of around $6,000 or 33% when considering the upfront cost alone.

The Price of Lumber Has Closed the Gap

That said, while the average upfront price of wood decks still tends to be lower, we often find homeowners are surprised by how small the gap is. In addition, the true price of a wood deck has been much more volatile in the last couple of years. Supply chain shortages persist across many industries, and many Americans are all too aware of the high cost of wood these days. 

While wood prices have certainly declined compared to their recent peak, most experts agree we are unlikely to see wood prices drop back to pre-pandemic levels. 

closeup of a wood deck

Maintenance & Repairs: Composite Wins Out

In addition to comparing the upfront cost, however, it’s crucial to evaluate the expected cost of maintenance and repairs. After all, all decks will require some form of maintenance during their lifespan, and regular maintenance is the key to maximizing the lifespan of your deck no matter what kind you have.

In comparing the cost of a wood vs. composite deck, this is where composite really stands out. Most wood decks will need to be stained every other year, while composite decks never need to be stained. Wood decks are more susceptible to storm damage, while composite decks are much more durable. In addition, wood decks are more vulnerable to rotting, warping, and UV damage than composite decks.

Overall, this means that composite decks will require significantly less annual investment in terms of time (if you opt to stain your deck yourself) and/or money.

Does a Wood Deck Cost Less Than Composite? 

Overall, the best way to evaluate the true cost of a wood vs. a composite deck is through total cost of ownership, or TCO. TCO encapsulates the cost of your deck across its entire lifetime—including materials, installation, ongoing maintenance, and repairs.

In looking at total cost of ownership, we’ve found that the answer is pretty decisive: a composite deck costs less than wood across the total expected lifespan of the deck. In other words, a composite deck will more than make up for the higher upfront cost when considering the much longer lifespan and the reduced maintenance demands.

Xtreme Exteriors: Your Go-To Composite Deck Experts

Composite decks have come a long way over the years. Not only do modern composite deck products beautifully emulate the look of natural wood, but they last longer and are much easier to maintain over the life of the system.

At Xtreme Exteriors, we’re known as the top composite deck builders across the Midwest. Our team is committed to quality, and our unique deck building approach ensures you’ll be grilling and gathering on your deck for decades to come.

Ready to make the most of summer? Reach out to our team today to get started or find an Xtreme Exteriors location near you: 

Nixa, MO | Shawnee, KS | Rogers, AR | Pittsburg, KS | Goodlettsville, TN