Engineered Deck Gazebo - Decks & Fencing - Contractor Talk

Engineered Deck Gazebo

 
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:41 AM   #1
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Engineered Deck Gazebo


engineer, a plumber, and a carpenter walk into a bar....no wait. that not how it goes....that's how it should end!!

one of my customers tells me I'm too high on the deck I am finishing up. I do a little of everything, so with deck building, I only end up doing a couple every year. This one was for a plumber "friend of a friend" of mine. I have done work for him before, replaced a patio door for a song, put in laminate flooring at a good price, fixed his garage/kitchen wall at 11pm for free after his daughter ran through it with the car. So I guess I set him up thinking I was cheap. I've also given him 3 plumbing jobs, and his business partner a heating job on an investment house I have. So that's the background.

Now, he asked me to do his deck(16x20 not attached to house because of house cantilever, higher LL of 60psf) with a gazebo on one corner with a roof(12' octagon one step up from the main deck) and an L-shaped stair( deck 8' off ground). He wanted the gazebo to have only 4 posts under it, rather than 8(had to get engineer to approve my design). 16 footings, 1 was 26"x10", one was 20"x10", rest 18"x10", all with 12"x37" tall tube form on top.He dug the holes. He also bought materials, I only charged labor and a few miscellaneous materials. He chose Eon decking(which I disapproved), and timbertech railing. pressure treated structure below. got his lumber from menardsstore. (i disapproved again, 3/8" to 1/2" difference in withdths(9 1/4) of the 2x10's and 2x12's).
Also, the top decking and railing had to be don within 1 1/2 weeks for graduation party. design,draw,engineer,permit,poor,inspection,build. I did it, but had to pour on a friday before inspection because it was a holiday weekend so nobody worked monday and I like to give at least 4 days for concrete to cure.

we had to reinforce the beams with knee braces to give it stability, for those that have worked with engineers know what looks good on paper, doesn't always feel stable on the jobsite, even though it may be structurally sound. I had not dealt with eon decking before, or timbertech railing(only experienced with timbertech decking). owner said railing should be a breeze to put up railing because it was predrilled. That slick railing was impossible to hold in place and the predrilled holes were easier to skip and predrill our own. The eon decking ran the 20' direction, and had to be gapped alot for expansion and contraction. stuff will probably fall off the rim joists during winter contraction. crazy, man, crazy. Not to mention losing the structure usually given by screwing a solid decking board down to the joist.

blah blah blah. ok, done rambling. labor $10,300. am I crazy, or is that a great price.
i'll attach some earlier sketches and pics if i can figure it out. and what do y'all do to your pricing when installing composite as opposed to wood. this eon is way different than a trex of timbertech or the like. Now that I'm running my business full time again. I need to get back on track with this kind of thing. Any advice and opinions would be great.
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engineered deck gazebo-gaz-deck.jpg   engineered deck gazebo-gaz-deck-2.jpg   engineered deck gazebo-gaz-deck-3.jpg  
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Old 07-19-2006, 12:58 PM   #2
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


According to the bottom pic, it looks like ya already have her about done. So, I assume, you didn't have a figure hatched out in your contract, or did ya not have a contract?

Good luck.....and for what it's worth the figure sounds a little high, but not bad for custom sale/design/build.

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Old 07-19-2006, 01:47 PM   #3
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


hmm...little high, huh?
no, i didn't have a contract, I have never done any advertising, strictly word of mouth, and very rarely give estimates. I run a small company, myself and one guy helping during the day, and two guys to run evening shift till about 9pm. most people are referrals, and usually just give a key to there house. town is about 200,000 people, but feels smaller. I am thinking of advertising, which would change how i do business and how many estimates I put out. So trying to get a better grasp on things. been in business here for 7 years, south dakota for 5 years before. In the building industry for 19 years. Now it's probably time for me to grow.
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:52 PM   #4
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


Labor only .....Just a little .....but that's just my take ....some of the other fella's will be along.

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Old 07-19-2006, 05:34 PM   #5
 
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


I don't think that is high at all. You said you designed it, got an engineer to approve it ( I'm assuming he paid the engineer.), pulled permit, poured footings, got the inspections, had to use HO materials ( that is always a premium ), and got it done for graduation. Sounds like he got a good deal. How much of a discount would he give you? Probably nothing.
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:25 PM   #6
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


Sounds high to me but then again everyone around here are cheap anyway.

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Old 07-19-2006, 09:11 PM   #7
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


[QUOTE=

blah blah blah. ok, done rambling. labor $10,300. am I crazy, or is that a great price.
i'll attach some earlier sketches and pics if i can figure it out. and what do y'all do to your pricing when installing composite as opposed to wood. this eon is way different than a trex of timbertech or the like. Now that I'm running my business full time again. I need to get back on track with this kind of thing. Any advice and opinions would be great.[/QUOTE]


how long did it take? how much did you pay out in labor? and yes eon sucks, TT rails are time consuming, and please dont use beams for stair landings anymore.
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Old 07-20-2006, 12:02 AM   #8
 
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


sounds really good. Looks great. Price is tricky because you know that you could have done it for less if you would have been given boards with constant dimensions, common materials instead of composite, an attached design and not a free standing. Many varibles. I've done plenty of the homeowner buys the cheap timber jobs and a few where I actually had to pull nails and reuse the lumber. In the end it always proves that you will do more work than you had originally planned when the comsumer chooses "save" money on materials. Any rate looks like about 3 weeks work plus the aggrevation of unfamilar materials. Don't know your hours, overhead, profit, but could very well be $10,000. Let this be a lesson to both of you to be more up-front with the money end of the deal. Know the homeowners idea total price, and buget. Let them also know a base price for this knd of job(deck, gazebo, 8' + above ground, # men in crew). Let them know of anything that is not included in this base price such as; original design, drawn set/s of plans, consultation fees and that you work on their job even when they do not see you at their home. My secretary does tons of work in the office that I myself would never get to, But you can't see those kind of cost by looking at the job site. I still have to dish out portions of the spoils to everyone involved and then make my own profit. Before you deside to take a lower price on this job make sure that you would not have walk in the beginning at that price.
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:04 AM   #9
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


lol!!! yep, no more beams for stair landings. HO wanted to help that day. He insisted it would be better. gotta let'em have some input to keep'em happy sometimes.
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Old 07-20-2006, 01:08 AM   #10
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


gettin late, i'll let ya know what kind of labor breakdown i got tomorrow.
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Old 07-20-2006, 04:46 AM   #11
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


I don't think it's high at all either. A lot of work went into that. I agree with the girders under the stair landing, what was the homeowner thinking, maybe an elephant was going to use those stairs?

you have two guys do an evening shift until 9pm and homeowners don't mind you working that late when they are home and trying to live in their house?

EON does suck, my lumber yard had so many problems with it being noisy that they just stopped carrying it.
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:51 PM   #12
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


$10 k is cheap for that! Good looking product, too. Probably would get twice that around here..
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:57 PM   #13
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


On the way home tonight I was thinking about this thread and remembered back in '91 I framed a 4800 square foot house for $10,000 and now you can make that framing a deck. Talk about inflation.

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Old 07-20-2006, 10:31 PM   #14
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


Wow!
Dave, that floored me! so crazy how prices change. guess that takes me back to grandpa's stories of $350 new car. (not saying your old, just interested in the change in times.) I think gas in 91 was about $1.05/gal if i remember right.
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Old 07-21-2006, 12:33 AM   #15
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


paid out about 3500 in labor. taken about 3weeks of billable hours. waiting to finish up the roof on the gazebo because the engineer desiged it a little weak. I was going to put some 45 degree braces from the top plates to the posts to try to stiffen it up. the eight gazebo posts are only tied into the floor joist since it is sitting on only 4 posts below the floor. so 8' 4x4 and a roof held stable by the bottom 7" of 4x4 attached to the joists by 3 lags from 3 different directions. since we are using eon decking, the joists don't have the little extra support of solid decking boards screwed to the top, and of course the timbertech railing adds nothing to structure. was going to make some steel brackets, but pressure treated wood doesn't work well with steel anymore. open to suggestions on this.
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:18 AM   #16
 
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Re: Engineered Deck Gazebo


10,000 seems reasonable to me you mite ad some brigeing between joist where the 4/4 s are (as if ading more lumber and labor to the total will make the costomer happy )

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