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Question DetailsAsked on 3/11/2016

How much does it Cost to build a concrete deck. Is it more durable than wood deck? Live in Northern Virginia.

I want to build a deck with the future addition of a 4 season room on top and screened in porch below.

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Varies a lot depending on building design and foundation conditions - but since you are talking future addition of a 4 season room on top )I presume you mean directly on top of the "deck" and screened in porch below, this is much less a deck than an open floor or balcony, and should be designed as a structural floor rather than a deck since it will in the future have the 4 season room on top.

Wood deck not more than about 8-10 feet offf the ground commonly runs in the $15-20/SF range at the low to ordinary or pressure-treated wood end, and about $20-40/SF with higher-end materials or exotic woods or metal decking or such.

A concrete balcony like you are talking about would typically run more in the $40-60/sf range, assuming normal conditions and assuming foundation columns and piers into the ground, not cantilevered off the house. In fact, if you are pretty sure you will want the screened in porch below, it would be better to put in the foundations for it at the same time - which may wall be integrated with the deck/balcony foundation, and you won';t be undermining your deck foundations while building the screened in porch - unless for the screened in porch you are just talking on-grade concrete pads or pier blocks, meaning it would not be structrually connected to the house at all if in an area with any frost penetration.

For anything more precise than that you need to get an Architect on the job to develop a conceptual design and preliminary construction cost estimate for probably around $1000 range - then if you decide to go ahead, to develop the full plans and specs you will need for a building permit and to provide to bidders to work from in preparing their bid, and for the successful bidder to build to.

Generally, wood deck (unless treated wood) will commonly need refinishing every couple to few years at a buck or two a square foot and will typically need redecking at about $4-8/SF every 10-15 years (about double that if ground contact rated treated timber), so can commonly end up costing close to the same as concrete in the long run. Concrete should last about 4-8 years between recoatings unless it sees a lot of traffic, and around 20-30 years before significant surficial repairs or resurfacing are needed (much longer if properly maintained), provided it is designed and built right the first time around and ESPECIALLY sloped to drain correctly so there is not standing water on it. And of course, using ice melt on it - well, all bets are off then.

One consideration - since you intend to put a 4-season room on top, I would definitely prefer a steel-framed concrete deck or all-concrete construction, or at a minimum ground-contact treated wood framing and decking, so with luck it will be suitable for overlayment with marine plywood sheathing preparatory to flooring the 4 season room. Obviously, in a semi-outdoor situation like this concrete is more decay resistant than pretty much any wood.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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