This Cost Calculator is designed to estimate the cost of using environmentally preferable recycled plastic and recycled wood/plastic composite lumber, rather than conventional virgin wood, for building a new deck. The Cost Calculator demonstrates that environmentally preferable decking options are very cost competitive. In many cases, initial costs for environmentally preferable products are compable to conventional wood. Where initial costs are higher, they are made up for by savings over time.
Based on the size of the project, the Cost Calculator tab estimates the initial, 3 year, 6 year, 10 year, lifetime, and average annual costs for each of the four most common decking materials (recycled HDPE plastic, recycled plastic/wood composite, cedar/redwood, and pressure treated southern yellow pine). To use the Cost Calculator, input the area of the deck under consideration into the blue ""Input"" box at the top of the worksheet. This is the only information that you need to provide to use the Cost Calculator.
In the Cost Data tab, EPA provides national averages or ranges of costs. Cost data collected from sources dated before 2006 are adjusted for inflation. If you prefer, you can substitute your own cost data into the green cells. If you have a single cost estimate instead of a range, input it in both the Low Cost Estimate and High Cost Estimate cells. Lifespan ranges provided are widely agreed upon for products analyzed; we do not recommend changing lifespan information and the calculator may not work properly if lifespan information is changed.