16' x 16' Pressure Treated Wood Deck = $10K? WTF?

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The Warden decided she wants me to put a deck on the back of the house. I won't pretend that I'll do it myself. I want to write a check and watch someone else build it while I tackle bathroom renovations.

All I want is 16' x 16' square, steps on either side, handrail, and it needs to be built to code. We're not planning on staying in the house for more than 5 years, after which we may rent it out or sell it depending how the market goes.

Had a couple of contractors visit and the first guy gave me a quote last night. $10K give or take. This seemed very high for cheapo materials, a standard size, and no frills. I was expecting closer to $6K - 7K. Which one of us is nuts?
 

gene

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If it's any consolation I had a guy quote a changing out a sliding window for me, standard sized
3x3 and his quote came back at $1200.00. Another guy quoted 8 sections of 6" high stockade at $2200.00. I think there are some contractors out there that are bidding the same as they did during the housing boom when you couln't get a contractor. Last year I had 2 seperate contractors bid on my house roof replacement. The first came in at $11,000, the second came in at $7300.00. I hired the second after checking references which were great and they did a superb job for me.

Best advice is to get three quotes!
 
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Best advice is to get three quotes!
Indeed. I am putting in my own porch (of roughly the same size) after receiving a quote in that ballpark this summer from a contractor who hadn't yet changed his calendar to reflect the current month and year.
 
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Indeed. I am putting in my own porch (of roughly the same size) after receiving a quote in that ballpark this summer from a contractor who hadn't yet changed his calendar to reflect the current month and year.
I'm just curious, what will materials cost you for something like that?

Also, I'd recommend going with Trex or one of the other composites for the actual decking.
 

icyclefar

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FWIW - when you build a deck, stairs and railings account for about half the total cost. If you are able to build your deck 2 steps off the ground and eliminate the need for railings (continuous step all around) you'll save yourself ALOT of money.
 
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Trek deck!

seriously, dont do presure treated. go with treks (or similar product).

Presure treat for all the other stuff, but use treks for the decking. never paint, finish, deal with splinters... blah blah blah... and it looks freaking great. wish i had a pick handy.

I would give you my guy... but he has been laid up with some medical issues and not sure when he would be back in action. But we did a 24' X 12' for somewhere around $5k (now that was about 5 years ago, but still)...

I would say 10K is high... or the contractor didnt really want the job.
 
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jar

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I've had great luck with getting contractors from servicemagic.com. You put in the parameters of your job, and you'll get about 3 calls the same day.
 
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I'm just curious, what will materials cost you for something like that?

Also, I'd recommend going with Trex or one of the other composites for the actual decking.
If you are doing trex or other composites materials will cost you a lot more than you think.

I just had a deck put on in the back of my house and a farmers porch on the front. The price was phenomenal. PM if you want my guy to come by and give you a quote.
 
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I would check out Lowes.com. They have free deck planning software online and if I'm not mistaken, they give you a complete materials list at the end if you want to build it yourself. You can easily see what the material costs will be based of the list.
 
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one thing i will say is that contractors will over price a job if they really dont want it (because it is too small a job for them)

When we replaced out steps and put a walkway in our front yard... i had quotes that ranged from $4,800 to $10K. yes... the $10k guy seemed annoyed with every little question i asked him.

I would say your guy did the same thing.

Good thing to do is this... get a detailed material list in the quote... take it to lowes, cope code lumber or where ever and price out the materials.

Labor is typically 2x's to 2 1/2x's the materials.
 
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Great replies so far. Thanks.

The deck will be about 3 feet off the ground. We wanted PT wood because we won't be there long enough (hopefully) to enjoy synthetics or composites and justify the higher materials cost. The next owner of the house can upgrade.

Hadn't considered a wide open stairway. That's an interesting option and if done right can look very nice. Never realized that look was done to minimize cost. Good tip.

If the cost doesn't come down the deck will have to wait. Bathroom is higher priority. A fella's got to have a sanctuary.
 

gene

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I've had great luck with getting contractors from servicemagic.com. You put in the parameters of your job, and you'll get about 3 calls the same day.
Thats also how I got my roofer!
 
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Paul: the materials seem to add up to about $4K but since I am doing it and using vacation time to do so, I should consider the opportunity cost as well.
 

dreppucci007

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Get a few buddies together.

Buy a couple cases of beer and cold cuts.

Buy the materials and build it yourself.

My father, his neighbor, myself and one other guy built my neighbor's deck for him over a weekend. It's just a matter of having a good set of plans that are easy to follow, buying good materials, and making sure you're all there to do the job. It'll cost you a percentage of the $$$ you would've spent and you'll get some quality guy time with your buds.

Also, especially if you do it yourself, use Trex decking or something similar to it. Not only will it last a lot longer, but it's one of those things that'll look good in a resale.
 
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Paul: the materials seem to add up to about $4K but since I am doing it and using vacation time to do so, I should consider the opportunity cost as well.
Ok, thanks.

On the opportunity cost, another way to look at it is you're paying yourself what you would have been paying in labor. Plus, that will be tax free. So, if labor costs in the estimate were $6k and it takes you 100 hours, you're getting $60/hour with no income tax.

Of course, using up your vacation for that kind of sucks.
 
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Ok, thanks.

On the opportunity cost, another way to look at it is you're paying yourself what you would have been paying in labor. Plus, that will be tax free. So, if labor costs in the estimate were $6k and it takes you 100 hours, you're getting $60/hour with no income tax.

Of course, using up your vacation for that kind of sucks.
Good points. Actually, what I need to do is take Dreppucino007's advice and get some buds together for the weekend and just get it done. The house is on Cape Cod so you'd think that wouldn't be too hard. Perhaps I'll try that when this poison ivy clears up. I'd invite the NES board but anyone who lives or spends significant time at the tip of the cape knows that you can't even shoot off your mouth out there much less anything with powder.[grin]
 

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I've been told sometimes if a contractor doesn't need the work (aka they have current jobs) they will tend to quote really high prices (1.5-2x) and if you accept it, they'll gladly find time to do it or subcontract it.
 
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Good points. Actually, what I need to do is take Dreppucino007's advice and get some buds together for the weekend and just get it done. The house is on Cape Cod so you'd think that wouldn't be too hard. Perhaps I'll try that when this poison ivy clears up. I'd invite the NES board but anyone who lives or spends significant time at the tip of the cape knows that you can't even shoot off your mouth out there much less anything with powder.[grin]
I'm thinking that if there's a way to make it some weekend fun with the family...many of us would come up.

Bring up the family, let them go to the beach. The guys work on your deck...we cook out after....find a way to sleep...and finish up on Sunday...then drive home.

I can see me doing this to help out...I'm sure that there would be many more...more so if you can find a way for us to be put up. Maybe yard space for a tent....pick up a pony keg, a box of burgers, and a block of cheese...just a thought.
 

ArmedMainer

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Get a few buddies together.

Buy a couple cases of beer and cold cuts.

Buy the materials and build it yourself.

My father, his neighbor, myself and one other guy built my neighbor's deck for him over a weekend. It's just a matter of having a good set of plans that are easy to follow, buying good materials, and making sure you're all there to do the job. It'll cost you a percentage of the $$$ you would've spent and you'll get some quality guy time with your buds.
I put a 20' x 22' addition on my house in Maine in three weekends. The carpet, interior trim and mudding took another 18 months though.[smile]
I've still got to do the farmers porch but the rest came out pretty nice.
 

JoeT

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a straight PT deck should run about $28-$30 a sq ft. so 16 x 16 = 256sqft, so at most $7680.

as you add "extras" like trex or fancy railings price goes up. If you're looking it to do it for short money AND don't plan on staying, I was in a grossmans outlet the other day and they have "no name" composite decking for 99 cents a lin. foot. I wouldn't put it on my home (unless I was moving in a year or 2)
 

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Composite decking (Azek, Trex, Fiberon) is nice BUT, you should space your framing at 12" on center rather than the manufacturer recommended 16". Also, use deck clips or composite specific screws rather than the trim-head SS screws some lumberyards recommend. Ask me how I know.

I'd go with Dave's recommendation. A few cases of beer, some pizza, and a few buddies will build a fine deck over a weekend.

Chris
 
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I'm thinking that if there's a way to make it some weekend fun with the family...many of us would come up.

Bring up the family, let them go to the beach. The guys work on your deck...we cook out after....find a way to sleep...and finish up on Sunday...then drive home.

I can see me doing this to help out...I'm sure that there would be many more...more so if you can find a way for us to be put up. Maybe yard space for a tent....pick up a pony keg, a box of burgers, and a block of cheese...just a thought.
Perhaps your right. I do have extra bedrooms and plenty of camping space. Let me think about it. Perhaps, even if the porch doesn't work out, it would be fun to have a cook out/camp/beach weekend for NES members...

wheels turning....
 
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I'm just curious, what will materials cost you for something like that?

Also, I'd recommend going with Trex or one of the other composites for the actual decking.
I did a 12x20 addition to an existing 10x10 a few years back. We did "TimberTech" decking and railings (including recovering the 10x10 section). Total for materials came to ~$4-5k as I recall.

Only thing with the symthetic decking is it needs to be pressure washed regularly because of mildew that it tends to hold.
 
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