A basic deck or pergola outdoor landscape design in New Zealand is likely to cost in the region of $10,000 - $20,000. We take a look at some of the factors you need to consider before building or if you are looking to spend a bit more, read how much it cost for a mid-range pergola and deck and for a more polished look and finish read our high end deck and pergola project estimate.
The first step when planning your deck is to think about how you’ll be using it. Do you just want a small, private spot to enjoy a morning coffee? Or something big enough to invite a dozen people for a barbeque? If you have young kids, you might also want to use it as a safe play area.
Next, assess the best place to locate your deck. Ideally, you’d want a north-facing aspect that catches plenty of sun, is out of the wind, and offers privacy from neighbours. Also check whether you have services running through underneath – such as piping, drainage, sewage or power cables.
When it comes to size, there’s a simple rule of thumb. Start with a sketch showing the different activities you’ll use it for (e.g table and number of chairs, barbeque, sun lounger etc). Then allow extra space for traffic flow around those areas.
Our landscape designers recommend a minimum size of 4m x 4m, if you want to accommodate a standard 4-seater outdoor table and chairs.
For a simple deck that doesn’t require a permit, many a keen DIY-er will want to save on labour costs by building it themselves. Any deck over 1.5-metre in height will require a building consent, and a licensed builder to carry out the work.
New Zealand’s big hardware stores offer DIY advice on building your own deck, (plus you’ll probably get no shortage of advice from well-meaning mates). And while a capable handyperson may well be up to the task, there are some things to consider.
The vast majority of entry-level decks and pergolas in New Zealand are built from pine. As the most affordable option, a simple pine deck can be finished and installed from around $500-$600 per square metre for decks under 1m,
and around $600-$1,000 per m2 for decks above 1m. This includes labour.
Likewise, a simple open-frame 2.4 x 2.4 pine pergola will set you back around $800 for timber and fixings. Also, allow for painting or staining costs. Choosing shades complement or contrast with your house colours can make all the difference (think a fresh white pergola, or a moody designer black).
If you’d prefer some all-weather cover, there are many ready-assembled frame-with-roof options on the market, though you’ll have to extend the budget.
One thing to bear in mind is that most pine in New Zealand is CCA-treated, which means it is preserved with Copper Chrome Arsenate. If you’d prefer to avoid arsenic in the home environment, and are prepared to spend a little more, there are alternatives. For instance, Abodo offers a product called Sand Decking, which uses a copper base treatment that’s free from chrome and arsenic, prefinished with plant-based oil; and is priced at around $70 per square metre.
Macrocarpa is another softwood that’s often used for decking in New Zealand. Like pine, it’s economical and easy-to-source; but is not as enduring as the more expensive hardwoods (which we cover in the Mid-range article).
Although wood is the most common material for decks, it isn’t the only way to go. Matt from Zones Landscaping suggests a level surface of pebbles and stones, with waterproofing plastic underneath, is an option that’s “cost-effective and can look really good.”
You will need a depth coverage of at least 50mm. For prices on pebbles and stones, check out your local hardware store or landscaping supplies.
Another option is to use large-format pavers or coloured concrete. Or to make your own cost-effective pavers that are super hardwearing, you could pour a slab of coloured concrete and cut it into squares.
Natural Paving can give your deck, patio or pergola amazing charm and character as well as a natural look, feel and even, sound.
Whether its an English estate look and styling, a secluded retreat from the hustle of daily life or a family area of natural charm and character, there are local and nationally available stone and techniques to create the area of your dreams.
The honey comes matrix of Natural Paving lock in loose pebbles making them firm and supportive, even traversable in high heels, road bikes and of course wheelchairs and walking aids. The thermally bonded geotextile keeps them hidden, preventing them from coming to the surface, their high attenuation and permeability mean even on a wet day there will be no puddling or runoff.
Natural Paving can be used with many edging options. Sleeper edgings offer a strong complimenting contrast between wood and stone and with some clever planting, lush greens can bring out even greater depth to the area. The Zones team will work with you to design and manifest your vision and see if Natural Paving is an option that will help bring it into reality.
Starting at around $90.00 per m2 depending on your choice of stone and edging, Natural Paving is a cost-effective option giving a magical finish.
Just because you’re not spending big bucks, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a style statement.
“Just be creative and incorporate a few surprising design elements – it will make all the difference,” says the Zones Landscaping Specialist.
Even if you’re using low-cost materials, you can use them creatively to add a bit of wow factor. One example is running your timber in different directions, and/or forming interesting borders. You might want to build in some basic cut-outs, and use planting or hedging to create focal points.
Even for the budget-conscious deck builders, there are certain things you shouldn’t scrimp on. Good quality deck fixings are one of them, says Ben Campbell, technical director at Abodo.
“We see lots of weird and wonderful fixings out there! But if you’re investing money in labour and materials, it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars on quality fixings.”
Ben recommends stainless steel fixings, or at least hot-dipped galvanized ones. You should also use proper decking nails or screws that are purpose-built for the job.
If you would like to discuss options and ideas for your outdoor renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your landscaping design and builds. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
All Zones Landscaping franchises are independently owned and operated.
Please fill out your details in the online form provided and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.