A mid-range deck or pergola outdoor landscape design in New Zealand is likely to cost in the region of $20,000-$30,000+. Stepping up your budget will bring more design freedom – taking your deck to greater heights, split levels, or built-in features like seating or planters.
You might choose to trade in the trusty pine for hardwoods, or perhaps a low-maintenance wood composite.
If you are looking to spend a bit more money and have a more polished design in mind, read more about high-end deck and pergola cost estimate and; for more cost-consious budgets there is always a way to achieve these features with our basic deck and pergola project estimate.
While a simple ground-level deck can be built by a DIY-er; things get more complicated (and costlier) the higher you go.
If your deck is more than 1.5 metres above ground level, you will need a building consent. And there’ll be no DIY allowed here – you are required under the Building Code to use a licensed builder.
For safety reasons, a deck of more than 1 metre must also have a barrier in the form of a fence, balustrade or railings.
If you’re building a deck within a certain distance of a boundary, or over a certain height, you may also need resource consent. These requirements can vary depending on your region; so make sure you check with the relevant building or planning unit of your local council.
Feel a ‘red-tape headache’ coming on? Then you might want to employ a professional landscape designer or specialist. They’ll advise on the best strategy for your project, and even get the consents sorted on your behalf.
Ben Campbell from Abodo encourages home-owners to seek out a specialist deck builder.
“There are lots of them out there now. They’re building decks every day, so they know of what works; and they may offer a better level of finish than a general builder.”
So to sum up, if you want a deck over 1 metre, you’ll also be raising your final bill considerably. Ben Campbell says you should budget an additional $150 per square meter (over and above your basic decking costs) to cover the extra materials and compliance costs.
As outlined earlier, softwoods (pine and macrocarpa) are the most budget-friendly options.
With a little more to spend, most home-owners will step up to a hardwood. Among the lower-cost hardwoods are saligna, which is a NZ-grown eucalyptus species; or Fiji-imported mahogany, which is currently enjoying popularity.
If you prefer to stick with pine, a premium or clear-grade version is also a good option. Because it is free of knots, you can emulate the look of a high-grade hardwood by applying a decking oil.
The most commonly-used premium hardwoods are the well-known brands, Vitex or kwila.
For those dreaming of a low-maintenance deck, another option in the mid to upper-range price bracket is a wood composite decking product.
Stepping up your budget will also mean greater design freedom, says Designer Jules Moore. You can create some interest with split levels, built-in features, and balustrading.
“If you have a reasonable-sized area, do a boardwalk to take you down to a lower level, or create some additional floating deck areas,” advises Designer Jules.
“You could also design in some internal seating, or cut-outs for plantings and perhaps a water feature.”
Don’t get so carried away, though, that you compromise your useable deck space. There’s no point having lots of small clever spaces, for instance, if none of them can accommodate a table and chairs.
Built-in seating and planting offers lots of advantages - including clean design lines, and all-weather durability. Of course, you’ll also save money on buying (and replacing) outdoor furniture and planters.
According to Abodo’s Ben Campbell, it will also help keep your deck in better condition.
If you put a planter box on top of the deck, it will damage the surface over time. It’s therefore better to design those elements into your deck before you start building. Likewise, it’s important to allow airflow through the underside of your deck.
If you’re using a quality decking material, it’s better to continue the aesthetic and design your seating, walls or screens.
Pergolas are very cost-effective compared to a Louvre system. For a simple little 2.5 x 2.5m cubed pergola with a frame around the whole structure you are looking to spend between $2,500 - $3,500.
Landscape Designer Jules Moore is a self-confessed pergola fanatic – believing no deck should be without one.
“I’m big on pergolas – they add structure, support and balance to the whole design. Without one, the look of a deck can sometimes fall a bit flat.”
The style you choose should reflect the style of the house. A modern home needs a very sleek look; while a character home needs its own style.
“I’ve just finished an outdoor landscape job that had a Spanish theme. For the pergola, we used recycled pile-type posts that had been under the sea. They were pitted and weathered, and looked absolutely fantastic...”
Again, a bit of creative flair can go a long way.
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 build. 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.
*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Zones landscaping specialist. All Zones franchises are independently owned and operated.
All Zones Landscaping franchises are independently owned and operated.
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