The State of the Deck Business in 2021 (Ontario Canada)

Toronto deck with overhead canopies

How much do decks cost in Ontario 2021?

Material Availability

Pressure Treated materials here in Ontario are plentiful– However, it is still on the expensive side. Spruce lumber prices have crashed, but pressure treated remains elevated. Pressure treated has come off about 30% since the high. Since most retailers are sitting on many lifts of stock that arrived early and mid-summer at top prices, none of them are willing to take the loss to bring in affordable materials. (Including the big box stores). 

The press parroting headlines about how enormously expensive building materials spooked the decking market. In mid-June, the phones went quiet. 

Cedar lumber is the same story– there is plenty available but the price of it will make your head spin. After folks used up all the pressure treated they noticed that red cedar was about the same price early in the pandemic. That was all restocked at higher prices. It could be years before WRC Lumber drops in price. 

Railings and Composite Decking are all taking months to obtain through our suppliers. What I mean is, when it comes to planning, from booking the job to delivery of railings and composite or PVC decking is normally about 2 months. 

Installation Timing

Most quality builders can initiate work within a couple of months. Some budget builders are booking next spring. Many newer deck companies closed up business this summer. Some locked in pricing with clients and ended up working for free. Most builders just cannot withstand a financial hit like that. We have had a few calls from clients that booked work and the contractor didn’t show. Handymen are always taking on decks, and, as long as they build to code that is fine. It’s when people think they are getting the deal of the century and what they build isn’t fit for the task that we take issue with them. 

Our crew in Kitchener is booked out for about 2 months. Mississauga has a slot open in 3 weeks and our Barrie crew is booking 5-6 weeks out. 


Budget Bumps  

Pressure-treated decks are up about 45% from last year. Cedar Decks are up about 70%. We do have access to another species of Cedar that can be had for about the same numbers as Pressure Treated. 

Composite and Railings are up about 35% from last year. We’ve seen bumps in railing, glass, and decking costs recently, and it looks like this is the new normal. 

Cabanas and Outdoor Structures are only up about 20%. Many of these structures utilize less expensive SPF lumber for the structure. 


How Much Do Decks Cost in 2021?

There is a big difference between a simple “Deck” and a “Dream Deck”. 

We offer a “Green Deck”, locally sourced materials, (from local mills)– in Pine, Cedar, or Hemlock with Hemlock Joists. They are long lasting, (20-30 years), but these decks appear more rustic. These start at about $35 per square foot. (platform only). You can dress them up just like other decks, but, to remain to look clean and finished, these decks will require maintenance. Most people leave these decks to grey. 


Standard wood decks are a bit more pricy starting at about $45/foot. These have pressure-treated understructure and pressure-treated, Alaskan cedar or western red cedar tops. Most people pair these basic decks with aluminum railings and often have us frame to easily upgrade to composite or PVC. You have to add some budget for the frills like skirting, rails, and staircases. 

Composite/PVC decks will start at about $60/foot. When you add glass guard rails, curves, canopy systems, and elaborate staircases and borders you can easily run into the 2-300/ square foot range and that gets you into “Dream Deck” territory. We upgrade the joist and beam size and add joist protection to all Composite and PVC decks. There is no point in putting 40-year materials on a deck frame that will only last 20 right?