Pricing a deck??

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Old 08-29-19, 02:31 PM
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Pricing a deck??

I need a deck on my house. It's a walk out basement and I have 2 sliding doors, one in the kitchen and one in the living room facing the road. If you step through them, you drop apprxo. 8' down.

Can't afford to do both so I went to Mendards and they gave me a list of parts for a 12' wide by 10' long (out away from the house) just basic wood treated deck.

Cost was $842. So, I called a person up who does decks for people in the area. He came today to look at the job and he wanted to do it by the hour. $35 per person. I'm uncomfortable with that as not knowing the total, I may not have enough money. Told him that I need it priced by the job. We talked about design and making it a bit different from what Menards' had it. Said he would get back with me.

It is normal for people to pay by the hour for a job of this type?
 
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Old 08-29-19, 02:50 PM
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Depends on if they know what they are doing or not. I will sometimes offer to do a job by the hour if the customer is unsure of what they want.

If they don't know what they are doing or if they milk the job, then you could possibly get taken. Some guys work by the hour because they don't know how to successfully bid a job. (Horrible estimators).

Another positive thing about working by the hour is that IF they know what they are doing, you get the best deal when working by the hour. If I have to bid a job, guess what, I'm bidding high because I'm not taking it in the shorts if your project takes longer than expected. That's just the way it works.

Bad thing about paying 2 people $35/hr is that you better hope they are 2 equals... otherwise one guy is making $60/hr and his rookie helper is making $15/hr and you can bet it will take twice as long.

I often feel people out and can get a sense when people want a bid or when they want an open ended contract. And then some people just feel that it's going to take as long as it takes so they don't mind by the hour. Just depends.
 
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Old 08-29-19, 06:52 PM
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I'm wondering because this guy appears to know what's he's doing talking about other jobs. He can get to this one in about 30 days, end of Sept. he thought.

I've asked other builders and they are all booked up till next summer. But they building pole barns, houses etc. This is a 12x10' deck, no stairs, up about 8' tho.

Thanks for the insights! It's rough around here. Being a single woman, I always feel I'm taken advantage of unless it's a friend or a friend recommended. I gave it up to him as to how to build it, not necessarily by Menards diagram.

I'll see when he gets back with me.
 
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Old 08-30-19, 05:04 AM
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I'm a painter not a carpenter but generally I prefer to do a job for a fixed price and not by the hour although I have occasionally done jobs by the hour. Personally I'll work just as hard by the hour as I would by the job. The big thing is have you checked out this guy's references!
 
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Old 08-30-19, 06:33 AM
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Being a single woman, I always feel I'm taken advantage of unless it's a friend or a friend recommended.
I can understand your position, I see this happening to my wife occasionally and it really pisses me off.

So the remedy is to be educated, you got a material list and basic design from a big box store so that will give you a ballpark labor price for the basic deck then you can add in the cost of the changes you want.

But you need to talk to several contractors and get really good at knowing what you want and what others are quoting, you dont need to be an expert but you need to be knowledgeable!
 
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Old 08-30-19, 05:54 PM
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Thank you for the good advise!
 
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Old 08-30-19, 08:20 PM
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deck

Do you have "home adviser" in your area? If you're not sure, try to get him to narrow it down, best case, worst case. Are you getting a permit ? Are you installing handrails 8', you should. I priced a deck last year about the same size with no rails and it was about the same price that you have. Working 8' up adds quite a bit to the install due to the height and extra bracing. Are you nailing or screwing the deck boards. What is the ground like where the deck will be ? Rocky, clay, sandy any tree roots ? How accessible is the job site ? Can the materials be dropped off at the site or do they need to be carried from the road around to the back of the house ?
All things to consider in the cost
2 guys, two days, $1120, three days, $1680 ish
 
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Old 08-31-19, 04:50 AM
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told him I want the deck boards screwed. did not mention permit (can't see the house from the road?). yes to the handrails?? (so far up has to have railing). I'm wanting it strong and safe. ground is loamy soil, may be tree roots but pure sand after about 12". materials can be dropped at the site.

2 guys, two days, $1120, three days $1680 ish -- does this include materials or just the labor?

don't know about home advisor, will look it up.

Thank You!
 
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Old 08-31-19, 05:18 AM
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there is home advisor and contacted 2.
 
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Old 08-31-19, 06:38 AM
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At $70/hr, one 8 hour days' labor will cost you $560, 2 days $1120, 3 days $1680... so no that does not include materials.

you need to ask him how many days he thinks it will take.
 
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Old 08-31-19, 07:21 AM
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Helpful, thank you, still in price range for me : )
 
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Old 08-31-19, 07:07 PM
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The guy called me today and said it would take 2 guys about a week (or more). $2,000 for labor.

Was hoping total cost would be $2,000 or less with labor and materials.

This is a basic, 12' along the house by 10' out and approx. 8' high with no stairs and a 4' railing around 3 sides. Treated wood, screws on deck boards.
Does this seem right?

I did contact home advisor and have a couple of leads, waiting to hear back.

This price is too much with materials on top. How long should it take two experienced guys to do this size deck? Top soil, about 4" of hard pan, then pure sand, maybe a few tree roots.
 
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Old 09-01-19, 02:49 AM
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There are a lot of little things that can increase the price of a job. The best thing to do is get multiple quotes.
 
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Old 09-11-19, 05:52 PM
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Went to Lowe's and had a much better time of it. Guy designed it for the rails to be attached to the support post (strong). He designed it how I wanted it without talking with me. Just said I want it safe and strong. Price for 10'x16' was $1,200 for materials.

The handyman I'm going to use is also someone I like who did the drywall in my bedroom ceiling. He said he's built a lot of decks. His price for the 10' x 16' deck is $1,600 and will have a contract for me to sign. Said it would take approx. 3 days. Lowe's has rails already made, just need attaching to the supports. Total should be approx. $2,800.

I did have another quote by a local contractor who came out and saw the site for $3,600 labor only. Another contractor called and gave me a quote over the phone (ah, almost hung up on him as he was so arrogant) for $4,800.

Very excited! Thanks all for the great advice!
 
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