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How to Estimate Deck Staining Costs

calander Jul 20 , 2020 user-iconAnderson Painting
Anderson Painting deck staining services

If you want to continue enjoying your wooden deck, you need to take good care of it, and one of the best ways to do that is to apply a proper coat of stain every 2-3 years or as needed. Some homeowners might try their hand at staining their own deck with mixed results. If you lack experience or just don’t feel all that confident in your ability to perform this task, you’ll want to turn to the experts. At the same time, though, you don’t want to break the bank. To help you plan and budget for this project, here are some tips for estimating deck staining costs.

Know What Goes Into a Deck Staining Estimate

Before anything else, you have to know what factors play into a deck staining project. The two major considerations are labor and materials. If you hire professionals, you’ll have to consider labor costs, which are typically calculated based on time (i.e. hourly rates) and skill/experience. Additionally, a portion (if not all) of the material costs will come out of your pocket, even if your contractor picks up most of the supplies. Note that there may be significant variability in material costs, too. For instance, different types of deck stain may cost more or less based on their composition, quality, and features. It’s worth looking up deck stain ratings and prices before deciding which products you wish to use.

Keep in mind that the condition of your deck plays a role here, too. If your deck is in serious disrepair, the job will require more preparation, more labor, and more materials.

Measure Your Deck

Of course, the time it takes to properly stain your deck largely depends on its size, as does the amount of prep work and deck stain you’ll need. Simply put, the cost of a deck staining job is directly proportional to the deck’s size. For this reason, most estimates are broken down to square footage -- generally speaking, deck staining itself runs about $2-$5 per square foot, sanding costs somewhere between $1-$3 per square foot, power washing around $0.15/sq. ft., etc. By measuring your deck, you can get a stronger grip on what the whole project might cost.

Do Your Research

The numbers mentioned above are just recent average estimates and don’t indicate exactly what your individual estimate will entail. Indeed, prices for deck staining and home renovations more broadly can vary based on the time of year, the region in which you’re located, recent economic development, the contractor in question, and more. With this in mind, go online and look up recent (2019-2020) and local average deck stain project costs, paying close attention to projects similar to your own.

A Little DIY Can Go a Long Way

As with any home project, the more you can do on your own, the cheaper the project will be. Of course, time is money, and DIY projects such as this can take an inordinate amount of your time. Additionally, if you don’t know how to stain a deck, you’ll probably make some mistakes along the way, some of which might end up costing you more time and money in the long run. But if you really want to put yourself to the test and save some money in the short-term, do plenty of research and take your time. Even if you only perform some of the tasks yourself (i.e. most of the prep work), you can enjoy significant savings.

The Bottom Line

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to stain a deck in 2020 falls somewhere between $540 and $1,050. There is plenty of wiggle room within and outside of this range, of course, but these numbers can at least give you a realistic overhead view. And as you prepare for your deck staining project, make sure you:

  • Identify the scope of your project -- know what you want and remember that preparation is half the battle
  • Compare several contractors and receive multiple estimates to get the best outcome for the lowest price
  • Consider the condition of your deck
  • Look for the best deck stain for your purposes, knowing that better products cost more

If you’re ready to get started, we at Anderson Painting can provide you with a free quote for your deck staining project and help you navigate these often confusing matters. For more about us and everything we do, call us today at (919) 610-1855 or email us at info@andersonpaintingnc.com!