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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello everyone. I am new to this site and I think it is GREAT! Anyways my problem is I have a person who wants me to build decks for them and they want me to give them a sq.ft. price for my labor. But theyhaven`t told me details. Like are the poles in ground or on piers,are the stringers precut,are they going to have a handrail around them or a fence. I am having a really hard time figuring this out. I have always figured my material list then times that by 1.25 then added for the extra details what I thought was fair. These will be built around above ground pools. 4 ft off the ground. I have come up with a price of about 18 dollars a square foot for labor. That will include the stairs and handrail or fence. Does that sound way out of whak or not? At that price I would be asking $1728 for building a 8x12 wolmanized deck. Any help would be very appreciated..Thank You
 

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Not familiar with the prices in your area, - - but that sounds cheap, - - mainly because the square footage is so small, - - unless every deck is exactly the same, - - or similar, - - either way you need to find out the details first. Generally speaking, - - the posts would sit on concrete piers. Pre-cut stringers can only work if you're going to base the height of the deck on a multiple of the stringer risers, - - that's a rarity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks

tom, thanks for the reply.actually I didn`t even get any sizes from them. just want a sq ft price. I have been crunching numbers for 2 days now and just can`t come up with a base price to give them. I have built alot of decks when I was working for other GC, before I got my lic. I have since moved to a totally different area and really don`t have a idea what the going rate is here as far as sq. ft. price. I feel very confident in my work which is one of the reasons I went for my lic. I don`t want to cut my own throat on this contract as I was hoping to use it as a way to generate other business in the future. You know the old build the deck then in a couple months come back and roof the garage kinda thing .I have spoke to a couple GC`s in the area and they aren`t sure either they get their price the same way I always have. I just feel unsure for some reason telling them I want $18-$20 a sq. ft. for just labor. But I guess I`d better get over that feeling if I am gonna make this work huh? Thanks again tom and to everyone else who reply`s I appreciate it. Nick
 

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If I was them I would love to get you on a square foot price too. If you were in their shoes wouldn't you love to get you for a square foot price? The benefits are all on their side of the equation, but also it makes for a workable situation for them. How complicated would it be for them to work out every individual deck with you? If you are going to be doing a large volume with them you have to look at the volume and think about some of these decks the $18 sq/ft is going to go in your favor and some it will go against you, over the long term will it even itself out and make sense?

The square footage and by the square and so on is an easy way for the GC to take short cuts in figuring your costs into his projects.
 

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I have a similar thread going and with many of the same situations, I had to get my bid in yesturday, so I could put a bid in for his friend today (more work because of timely response).

My project was for a "friend of a friend/family friend" so I ended up taking my joists, cemet, and rental costs (auger) for my add on section and took the sq. by $12.75 for the deck planks and rails which was recommended. I also got a basic estimate on the total cost of all my materials from Menards (they oversell FYI). The worst I could make out on the deal was my minimum if the job took XYZ hours.

I knew in the end I would atleast meet my minimum hourly, and most likely double that in the end. Plus I gave, what I felt, was a very considerate and thought out bid.
 
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