Can anyone help me with expected cost for a typical deck? Is there a sqft factor that can be used to help determine how large we want to consider before even calling contractors? We realize that height, design and material choices will make difference, just looking for ball park treated lumber deck?
I did a 525 sq ft. deck in Queens, NY for a customer 4 years ago as part of a kitchen bath addition. It was a single level deck on a fairly level lot. Pressure treated 5/4x6" decking with metal balusters and one 5 step staircase and it ran about $12k. But as Atlantic said, conditions, deck specs and your location will determine actual costs.
Before calling any contractors, sit down and do some research on what you want, possible alternate scenarios and deck sizes so you can ask all the questions you need to.
It would help with the estimates if you came up with a specification list that all the contractors would get so they are all bidding on the same thing.
You should know where the frost line is in your area. Ask questions that require specific answers, so you can eliminate the uninformed early on.
It will probably require a permit unless you're in the boonies somewhere.