How To Calculate Linear Feet For Decking: The Easy Way


So, you want to know how much decking you need for your decking project. You could do the math yourself or use a lineal foot calculator online. Which approach you choose depends on how complex your project is!

There are two ways to do the calculations:

  • You can use a linear foot calculator to figure out the linear feet of materials you need for your next project. Some find it much easier than doing math by hand, especially with more complex scenarios. If you want a more comprehensive analysis of the total likely cost, then this is the way to go.
  • For a simple rectangular area you want decking material for, you can measure linear footage without a calculator. It is just the sum (in feet) of all the sides of the space you need the material for. So for example, if you wanted to know the linear footage for material to cover the floor of a 10′ by 8′ deck area, just measure the perimeter of the area in feet and you’re done. In this case, it would be 10′ + 8′ + 10′ + 8′ = 36 linear feet as you sum each side of the perimeter. If you do the measurement by inches instead, just divide by 12 to get a final linear foot value.

The good thing about the standardised way to measure such building materials in linear feet, is that you don’t need to worry about the width of the decking board materials – so regardless if you choose 4 inch decking boards or 6 inch boards, you’ll still be talking apples and apples when you discuss with the supplier how much you need for the project.

As a note of caution, you do need to allow for wastage when you calculate the materials you need for a project. There are always off-cuts and the odd mistake you’re likely to make. Depending on the complexity of the area you want to cover, this is going to be from 5% to 10%, so make sure you allow for this.

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