Ultimate Guide To Cheapest Decking Timber NZ

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on finding the cheapest decking timber in New Zealand. Decking is a popular addition to many Kiwi homes, offering a perfect space for outdoor relaxation and entertaining. However, with the variety of materials available, choosing the right timber that balances cost, durability, and aesthetics can be challenging. In this post, we’ll explore the most affordable decking timber options, weigh their pros and cons, and provide practical tips to help you make an informed decision without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or planning to hire a professional, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

The cheapest decking timber in New Zealand is typically pine, known for its affordability, ease of use, and availability. Pine decking offers a budget-friendly option without compromising on quality, making it a popular choice for Kiwi homeowners looking to create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces.

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Factors To Consider When Choosing Decking Timber

When embarking on a decking project in New Zealand, selecting the right timber is crucial. Here are some key factors to consider to ensure you make an informed decision that balances durability, maintenance, aesthetic appeal, and environmental impact.

Durability: The Importance of Long-Lasting Materials

Durability is perhaps the most critical factor when choosing decking timber. Given the unpredictable weather conditions in New Zealand, your deck needs to withstand everything from scorching sun to heavy rain. Durable timber not only ensures the longevity of your deck but also saves you money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs and replacements.

Timbers like Kwila, Vitex, and Garapa are known for their high durability. They are resistant to rot, insect attacks, and wear and tear, making them ideal for outdoor use. Investing in durable timber might cost more initially, but it pays off with a deck that looks great and performs well for many years.

Maintenance: Costs and Efforts Associated with Different Types of Timber

Maintenance is an ongoing consideration that significantly affects the overall cost and enjoyment of your deck. Some timbers require regular staining, sealing, and cleaning to maintain their appearance and structural integrity. For example, softwoods like Pine need frequent maintenance to prevent decay and damage from moisture.

On the other hand, hardwoods like Kwila and Vitex require less frequent maintenance but still benefit from periodic oiling to preserve their natural color and protect the wood. Considering your willingness and ability to commit to regular upkeep can help you choose a timber that fits your lifestyle and budget.

Aesthetic Appeal: How Appearance Affects Choice

The visual appeal of your deck can greatly influence your choice of timber. Each type of wood has a unique grain pattern, color, and texture that can enhance the overall look of your outdoor space. For instance, Kwila offers a rich, reddish-brown hue that darkens beautifully over time, adding a warm, inviting feel to your deck.

If you prefer a lighter, more modern look, timbers like Vitex and Garapa provide pale, creamy colors that complement contemporary designs. Consider how the timber’s appearance will integrate with your home’s architecture and landscape. The right aesthetic choice can transform your deck into a stunning focal point that adds value and beauty to your property.

Environmental Impact: Sustainability Considerations

In today’s eco-conscious world, the environmental impact of your decking timber is a significant factor to consider. Opting for sustainably sourced timber helps reduce deforestation and supports responsible forestry practices. Look for certifications like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) that indicate the timber comes from sustainable sources.

In New Zealand, locally sourced timbers such as Radiata Pine can be a sustainable choice due to the reduced transportation emissions and support for local industries. Additionally, some hardwoods like Kwila and Vitex are available from certified sustainable sources, allowing you to enjoy their durability and beauty without compromising on environmental responsibility.

Choosing the right decking timber involves balancing these factors to suit your needs, preferences, and values. By considering durability, maintenance, aesthetic appeal, and environmental impact, you can make a well-informed decision that ensures your deck is both functional and beautiful for years to come.

Choosing the right timber for your deck is crucial to ensuring durability, aesthetic appeal, and overall satisfaction with your outdoor space. In New Zealand, several types of decking timbers are popular among homeowners and builders alike. Here’s a detailed overview of the most common options, including their pros and cons, and average cost ranges.


Pros and Cons:

Kwila, also known as Merbau, is a hardwood that is highly valued for its durability and rich, reddish-brown color. One of its significant advantages is its resistance to rot and insect damage, making it an excellent choice for outdoor use. Kwila weathers well, maintaining its structural integrity even in harsh conditions. However, a downside is that Kwila can bleed tannins, which may stain surrounding areas if not properly sealed. It also tends to be more expensive than other options and can be challenging to work with due to its hardness.

Average Cost Range:

The cost of Kwila decking in New Zealand typically ranges from $120 to $150 per square meter. This price reflects its premium quality and long-lasting nature, making it a worthwhile investment for those seeking a high-end deck.


Pros and Cons:

Pine, especially Radiata Pine, is a popular choice due to its affordability and availability. Treated pine is resistant to decay and insects, offering a budget-friendly option for many homeowners. It is also easy to work with, making it suitable for DIY projects. However, pine is softer than hardwoods and may not be as durable or long-lasting. It requires regular maintenance, including sealing and staining, to extend its lifespan and preserve its appearance.

Average Cost Range:

Treated pine decking is one of the most cost-effective options, with prices typically ranging from $40 to $70 per square meter. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking to build a deck on a tighter budget.


Pros and Cons:

Vitex is a lesser-known hardwood that offers a balance between durability and aesthetics. It has a light, yellowish-brown color that weathers to a silver-grey over time. Vitex is naturally resistant to decay and insects, making it suitable for outdoor use. One of its main advantages is that it does not bleed tannins like Kwila. However, it can be more expensive than pine and may require more effort to source.

Average Cost Range:

The cost of Vitex decking generally falls between $100 and $130 per square meter. Its unique appearance and durability make it a desirable option for those willing to invest a bit more in their decking material.


Pros and Cons:

Macrocarpa is a type of cypress native to New Zealand, known for its attractive grain and natural resistance to decay. It has a distinctive, golden-brown color that adds warmth to any deck. Macrocarpa is relatively easy to work with and can be left untreated for a rustic look. However, it is softer than hardwoods, which means it can be more susceptible to dents and scratches. Regular maintenance is required to keep it in good condition.

Average Cost Range:

Macrocarpa decking typically costs between $90 and $120 per square meter. Its unique characteristics and local availability make it a popular choice for those looking to use native timber.

Composite Decking (as a comparison)

Pros and Cons:

Composite decking is a man-made product combining wood fibers and plastic. It is highly durable, resistant to rot, and requires very little maintenance compared to natural timber. Composite decking comes in various colors and finishes, allowing homeowners to choose a look that suits their style. However, it can be more expensive upfront, and some people feel that it does not have the same natural look and feel as real wood. Additionally, composite materials can get quite hot in direct sunlight, which may be a consideration for some.

Average Cost Range:

The cost of composite decking in New Zealand ranges from $140 to $200 per square meter. Despite the higher initial cost, many homeowners find the low maintenance and long lifespan of composite decking to be worth the investment.

Choosing the right decking timber involves considering various factors such as budget, aesthetic preference, and maintenance requirements. By understanding the pros and cons of each type, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs and enhances your outdoor living space.

Cheapest Decking Timber Options

When it comes to building a deck on a budget, choosing the right type of timber is crucial. In New Zealand, there are several affordable options that do not compromise on quality or durability. Two of the most popular choices are pine and macrocarpa. Let’s explore why these timbers are considered the best budget-friendly options, what you should keep in mind regarding their quality, and where you can find them.


Pine is often regarded as the most economical choice for decking timber. This affordability can be attributed to several factors:

1. Abundant Supply: Pine trees grow quickly and are abundant in New Zealand, leading to lower production costs.

2. Ease of Treatment: Pine is relatively easy to treat for durability, which enhances its resistance to decay and pests. This treatment process is cost-effective, making pine a more affordable option.

3. Versatility: Pine is a versatile wood that can be used in various applications, from decking to framing and beyond. This widespread use helps keep the cost down.

Quality Considerations

While pine is budget-friendly, it’s important to consider its quality:

Treated Pine: Always opt for treated pine for outdoor use. Treated pine is resistant to rot and insect damage, ensuring longevity.

Grade Selection: Pine comes in different grades, with higher grades offering better appearance and fewer knots. For decking, a higher grade may be desirable for aesthetics, though it will slightly increase the cost.

Maintenance: Regular maintenance, such as staining or sealing, can extend the life of a pine deck. Proper care will prevent the wood from warping or cracking over time.

Where to Buy Affordable Pine Decking in NZ

Finding affordable pine decking in New Zealand is straightforward. Several suppliers offer competitive prices:

Bunnings Warehouse: Known for its wide range of building materials, Bunnings offers treated pine decking at various price points.

Mitre 10: Another popular home improvement store, Mitre 10 provides a selection of pine decking options.

Local Timber Yards: Often, local timber yards can offer competitive pricing and personalized service. They may also have special deals on bulk purchases.


Macrocarpa, also known as Monterey cypress, is another excellent choice for budget-conscious deck builders. While slightly more expensive than pine, it offers unique benefits that can justify the cost.

Cost Benefits

Macrocarpa offers several advantages that make it a cost-effective option:

Durability: Macrocarpa is naturally resistant to rot and insects, which means it doesn’t require chemical treatment like pine. This natural durability can result in long-term savings on maintenance and replacement costs.

Aesthetic Appeal: Macrocarpa has a beautiful grain and color that can add a unique aesthetic to your deck. Its appearance can enhance the overall value of your property.

Durability and Maintenance Tips

To maximize the lifespan and beauty of a macrocarpa deck, consider the following tips:

Proper Installation: Ensure that your macrocarpa deck is installed correctly, with adequate spacing between boards for ventilation and drainage. This prevents moisture buildup and extends the deck’s life.

Regular Cleaning: Keep your deck clean by sweeping away debris and washing it periodically with mild soap and water.

Staining: Applying a protective stain can help maintain the wood’s natural beauty and protect it from the elements.

Sources for Buying Macrocarpa in NZ

Macrocarpa can be sourced from various suppliers in New Zealand:

Specialty Timber Suppliers: Look for suppliers that specialize in native and exotic timbers. They often have high-quality macrocarpa available.

Local Sawmills: Purchasing directly from local sawmills can be a cost-effective option, and you may be able to get custom sizes and finishes.

Online Marketplaces: Websites like Trade Me often have listings for macrocarpa decking, providing a convenient way to compare prices and options.

In conclusion, both pine and macrocarpa offer excellent value for those looking to build a deck on a budget in New Zealand. By understanding the benefits and considerations of each, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and ensures a durable, beautiful outdoor space.

Cost Breakdown: What To Expect

When planning to build a deck in New Zealand, understanding the cost breakdown is crucial for budgeting effectively. Let’s dive into the various cost components you should consider.

Initial Purchase Price

The initial purchase price of decking materials can vary significantly depending on the type of wood or composite you choose. In New Zealand, the typical cost per square meter for different decking materials is as follows:

Pine Decking: Pine is one of the most affordable options, costing around NZD $40-$60 per square meter. It is widely available and treated to resist decay and insects.

Kwila Decking: Known for its durability and rich color, Kwila decking is more expensive, ranging from NZD $90-$150 per square meter. Its high cost is justified by its longevity and minimal maintenance requirements.

Composite Decking: Composite materials, which blend wood fibers and plastic, offer low maintenance and durability, priced at NZD $120-$200 per square meter. These are an excellent option for those looking to avoid the regular upkeep of natural wood.

Installation Costs

The next significant cost factor is installation. You have two main options: DIY installation or hiring professionals. 

DIY Installation: If you have the necessary skills and tools, you might consider installing the deck yourself. This approach can save you a considerable amount on labor costs, but it’s important to be realistic about your abilities. Improper installation can lead to long-term issues and additional expenses down the road.

Professional Installation: Hiring professionals ensures the job is done correctly and efficiently. The average labor cost for professional deck installation in New Zealand ranges from NZD $50 to $120 per square meter. Factors influencing these costs include the complexity of the design, site accessibility, and regional labor rates.

Maintenance Costs

Maintenance is a critical aspect that can affect the long-term cost of your deck. Regular maintenance ensures your deck remains safe, looks good, and lasts longer.

Regular Treatments and Care: Natural wood decks require periodic treatments to protect against weather, insects, and decay. For example, pine and Kwila decks typically need staining or sealing every 1-2 years. The cost for these treatments can range from NZD $20 to $50 per square meter, including materials and labor.

Long-Term Cost Savings with Proper Maintenance: Investing in regular maintenance can lead to substantial long-term savings. Well-maintained decks are less likely to need expensive repairs or replacements. Composite decking, although higher in initial cost, requires minimal maintenance—usually just occasional cleaning—resulting in lower long-term costs.

By understanding these cost components, you can make an informed decision that fits your budget and long-term needs. Proper planning and maintenance can ensure your deck remains a beautiful and functional part of your home for years to come.

Tips For Saving Money On Decking Timber

Building a deck is an exciting project that can enhance your outdoor living space, but it can also be a significant investment. Here are some practical tips to help you save money on decking timber without compromising on quality.

Buying in Bulk

One of the most effective ways to reduce costs when purchasing decking timber is to buy in bulk. Many suppliers offer substantial discounts for bulk purchases, allowing you to take advantage of lower prices per unit. By purchasing a larger quantity at once, you not only save money but also ensure that all your timber comes from the same batch, which can help maintain a consistent look across your deck.

When considering bulk buying, it’s essential to accurately measure the amount of timber you’ll need to avoid excess. Most suppliers will provide a detailed quote based on your measurements, so be sure to have your deck plans handy when you approach them. Additionally, some suppliers may offer financing options for large purchases, making it easier to manage your budget.

Off-Season Purchases

Another savvy strategy to save money on decking timber is to buy during the off-peak seasons. Timber prices often fluctuate throughout the year, with higher demand during the spring and summer months. By planning your purchase during the autumn or winter, you can take advantage of lower prices.

Off-season purchases not only save you money but also give you ample time to plan and prepare for your decking project. This period allows you to secure the best deals, research different timber options, and even start preliminary work like clearing the deck area or laying foundations, ensuring a smoother installation process when the weather warms up.

Local Sourcing

Sourcing your decking timber locally can lead to significant savings, particularly on shipping and handling costs. Local suppliers often have lower transportation fees compared to those located farther away, and you might even have the opportunity to pick up the timber yourself, eliminating delivery costs altogether.

Additionally, local suppliers are more likely to understand the specific requirements of your region, such as climate considerations and local building codes. This expertise can help you choose the most suitable timber for your deck, potentially increasing its longevity and reducing future maintenance costs. Building a relationship with a local supplier can also open up opportunities for future discounts and special offers.

DIY Installation

One of the most substantial ways to cut costs on your decking project is to take on the installation yourself. While hiring a professional can ensure a high-quality finish, DIY installation allows you to save significantly on labor costs. With the right tools and a bit of patience, many homeowners can successfully build their own decks.

Start by researching the process thoroughly. There are countless online resources, including video tutorials and step-by-step guides, that can help you understand the basics of deck construction. Investing in a good quality toolkit and taking the time to plan your project meticulously will pay off in the long run.

If you’re unsure about tackling the entire project on your own, consider a hybrid approach. You could hire a professional for the more complex tasks, such as laying the foundation or handling electrical work, and take on the simpler tasks yourself, like assembling the deck boards and applying finishes.

Saving money on decking timber is achievable with a bit of strategic planning and effort. Whether it’s buying in bulk, taking advantage of off-season discounts, sourcing timber locally, or opting for DIY installation, there are numerous ways to keep your project within budget. By considering these tips, you can create a beautiful, cost-effective deck that enhances your outdoor space and adds value to your home.

Real-Life Examples And Case Studies

When considering decking materials for your New Zealand home, hearing about real-life experiences can provide valuable insights. Let’s delve into two detailed case studies that highlight the pros and cons of using pine and macrocarpa for decking.

Case Study 1: A Family’s Experience with Pine Decking

The Smith Family’s Pine Decking Journey

The Smith family from Auckland decided to install a pine deck in their backyard to create an outdoor space for their children to play and host family gatherings. Pine was chosen primarily due to its affordability and availability.


Initial Cost: The initial investment for the pine decking was relatively low. Pine is one of the cheapest decking options in New Zealand, costing around $50 per square meter.

Installation: They opted for professional installation, which added to the cost but ensured the deck was built to high standards.

Maintenance: Over the years, the maintenance costs included regular staining and sealing to protect the wood from weathering and insect damage. 


Durability: Despite regular maintenance, the pine deck showed signs of wear and tear after a few years. The family noticed splintering and warping in some areas.

Weather Resistance: Pine, being a softer wood, is more susceptible to moisture and can deteriorate faster in wet climates, which was a concern for the Smiths given Auckland’s frequent rainfall.


Aesthetics: Initially, the deck looked great and added a warm, inviting feel to the backyard. However, the appearance started to decline after a few years despite diligent upkeep.

Usability: The deck served its purpose well for about five years, providing a great space for family activities. But as it aged, it became less comfortable to walk barefoot due to splintering.

The Smith family’s experience with pine decking highlights the importance of considering long-term durability and maintenance when choosing decking materials.

Case Study 2: A Homeowner’s Journey with Macrocarpa

John’s Macrocarpa Decking Adventure

John, a homeowner in Wellington, decided to use macrocarpa for his new deck. He was drawn to macrocarpa for its natural beauty and durability, making it a perfect choice for his seaside property.

Initial Investment

Cost: The initial cost of macrocarpa was higher than pine, around $100 per square meter. However, John believed the investment was worthwhile due to its longevity.

Installation: John opted for a DIY approach to save on installation costs. He found macrocarpa easy to work with, thanks to its stability and workability.


Upkeep: Macrocarpa requires less maintenance compared to pine. John applies a protective oil once a year to maintain its natural appearance and to protect it from the elements.

Longevity: So far, the deck has shown excellent resistance to weathering. The natural oils in macrocarpa help protect it from rot and insect damage.


Aesthetics: John is delighted with the deck’s appearance. The natural grain and color of macrocarpa add a touch of elegance and blend seamlessly with the coastal environment.

Durability: After several years, the deck remains sturdy with no signs of warping or splintering. It has stood up well to Wellington’s windy and damp conditions.

Overall Experience: John feels that the higher initial cost was justified by the low maintenance requirements and the deck’s long-lasting performance. He enjoys the peace of mind that comes with knowing his deck will remain beautiful and functional for many years to come.

These case studies demonstrate that while pine may be cost-effective initially, it requires more maintenance and may not last as long as higher-end materials like macrocarpa. On the other hand, investing in macrocarpa can provide a beautiful, durable decking solution that withstands the test of time and elements, making it a worthy investment for homeowners seeking longevity and minimal upkeep.

Environmental Considerations

When planning to build a deck, it’s essential to consider the environmental impact of your choices. This not only helps protect our planet but also ensures the longevity and sustainability of your decking project. Here’s a deeper look into the key environmental considerations to keep in mind:

Sustainable Sourcing

Importance of Choosing FSC-Certified Timber

One of the most significant steps you can take towards environmentally friendly decking is opting for sustainably sourced timber. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification is a globally recognized standard that ensures timber is harvested in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable manner.

Why Choose FSC-Certified Timber?

1. Environmental Protection: FSC-certified timber is sourced from forests that are managed to preserve biodiversity and ecological processes. This means that when you choose FSC timber, you are supporting forestry practices that maintain the health and diversity of forest ecosystems.

2. Social Responsibility: The FSC certification also guarantees that the rights of indigenous peoples and forest workers are respected. It promotes fair wages, safe working conditions, and community benefits, ensuring that your decking project supports ethical labor practices.

3. Economic Viability: By choosing FSC-certified timber, you are supporting sustainable forest management that ensures forests can continue to provide resources for future generations. This helps create a balanced approach to forestry that considers long-term ecological and economic health.

Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Exploring Sustainable Decking Options

While traditional timber is a popular choice for decking, there are several eco-friendly alternatives that offer durability, aesthetic appeal, and reduced environmental impact. Here are a few sustainable decking options to consider:

1. Composite Decking: Made from a blend of recycled wood fibers and plastic, composite decking is a low-maintenance option that mimics the look of natural wood. It’s resistant to rot, insects, and weathering, making it a durable choice that reduces the need for chemical treatments and frequent replacements.

2. Bamboo Decking: Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource that grows much faster than traditional timber. It is strong, lightweight, and highly resistant to pests and moisture. Bamboo decking offers a sleek, contemporary look while minimizing environmental impact due to its quick regrowth cycle.

3. Recycled Plastic Decking: This option utilizes post-consumer plastic waste to create a durable, low-maintenance decking material. Recycled plastic decking is resistant to UV rays, moisture, and insects, providing a long-lasting solution that helps reduce plastic pollution.

4. Thermally Modified Wood: This type of wood is treated with heat to improve its durability and resistance to decay without the use of chemicals. The process enhances the wood’s stability and lifespan, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional pressure-treated timber.

Incorporating environmental considerations into your decking project is a responsible and rewarding approach. By choosing FSC-certified timber and exploring sustainable decking options, you can create a beautiful, long-lasting deck that aligns with your values of environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Not only will you be contributing to the health of our planet, but you’ll also enjoy the benefits of a high-quality, sustainable outdoor space for years to come.

FAQs: About Cheapest Decking Timber NZ

What is the most affordable decking timber in New Zealand?

The most affordable decking timber in New Zealand is typically pine. It is widely available, easy to work with, and offers a cost-effective solution for decking projects.

Is pine decking durable enough for New Zealand weather conditions?

Yes, pine decking can be durable if it is properly treated. Treated pine is resistant to rot, decay, and insect damage, making it suitable for New Zealand’s diverse weather conditions.

How does the cost of pine compare to other decking timbers?

Pine is generally cheaper than other decking timbers like kwila, vitex, and Macrocarpa. Its lower cost makes it a popular choice for budget-conscious homeowners.

Where can I buy affordable decking timber in New Zealand?

Affordable decking timber can be purchased from local hardware stores, timber merchants, and online suppliers. Buying in bulk or during off-peak seasons can also help reduce costs.

What are the maintenance requirements for pine decking?

Pine decking requires regular maintenance, including cleaning, sealing, and occasional re-treatment to maintain its appearance and durability. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your pine deck.

Can I install pine decking myself, or should I hire a professional?

Pine decking is relatively easy to work with, making it suitable for DIY installation. However, hiring a professional ensures proper installation and may save time and effort.

Are there any environmentally friendly options for affordable decking timber?

Yes, you can choose FSC-certified pine, which ensures the timber is sourced from sustainably managed forests. This helps reduce environmental impact while still providing an affordable option.

What are the pros and cons of using macrocarpa as decking timber?

Macrocarpa is more affordable than some other timbers but slightly more expensive than pine. It is naturally durable and resistant to rot but requires regular maintenance to keep it in good condition.

How does the initial cost of decking timber compare to long-term maintenance costs?

While pine and macrocarpa have lower initial costs, they do require regular maintenance, which can add to long-term expenses. Higher-priced timbers like kwila may have lower maintenance costs over time.

What factors should I consider when choosing decking timber?

Consider factors such as durability, maintenance requirements, aesthetic appeal, environmental impact, and overall cost. Balancing these factors will help you choose the best decking timber for your needs and budget.


In conclusion, when choosing the cheapest decking timber in New Zealand, it’s essential to consider both immediate and long-term benefits. We discussed various cost-effective options such as pine, macrocarpa, and eucalyptus, each offering unique advantages. While initial affordability is crucial, it’s equally important to factor in durability, maintenance needs, and overall lifespan. Opting for cheaper materials may save money upfront, but considering the long-term investment can lead to more satisfaction and fewer repairs down the line. Ultimately, striking a balance between cost and quality will ensure you select the best timber for your decking project, providing both value and longevity.

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