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Decking in the Midwest

3169 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  BrosBuilding
Had a family friend contact me about "adding on" to his exsisting deck. Its a little guy on the back side of his pre-fab house in subburbia. The deck is currently around 15ft(w) x 8ft(l), he wants us to take the deck to 21ft(w) x 15ft(l).

He wants to upgrade the deck planks from his current ones to all new cedar. I was thinking that I will simply add new footers (4) and tie into his exsisting joists to extend the deck. The only decks I've done in the past were based on hourly wages - my old billing method :) Deck building is not something I am extremely excited about, but I can build them - I just finished two at another job.

I assume the entire deck (footers), joists (pt), deck planks (cedar), stairs (cedar), and railing (cedar) will take 3 days. $3382 (I thought this might be kind of low)

I took another persons suggestion on the boards from Iowa and did the square feet by $15 per sq. and got $4725 (that seemed a bit high, but maybe in the end thats right)

What would you folks suggest on a proper bid? And I getting close or under selling myself?
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Decks are really tough to figure just by the square foot. You really need to break them down to unit pricing for everything, right down to the hangers, nails and screws. (Per footing, framing, stairs, railing pattern, railing materials, posts, up charges for patterns of decking, heigth off the ground and especially the decking material and the related extra labor related to each.)

Plus don't forget the family and friends surcharge of an extra 15%.
10 a SF if your having lunch at the local soup kitchen.

13 to 17 a SF if you plan on going on to the nest job.

17 and up if your going composit, working up high, or getting giggly on the creative nerve.

Mike is right though, take the time to break that baby down to the nail.

I'll try and use the basic figures for estimating future jobs, I know I'm getting the job so I guess I will go off unit price estimate. (A little more work for me, but I guess thats what I get paid for).

FYI, I just started reading Markup and Profit, great book! Someone on this forum suggested it, and I found it at my local library.
Ok deckman is here for the answers you need . Extended to 21' i would tie in existing deck on the joices . Charge only for the board footage as if you where framing it for them . That it self is a unit price that Mr Sewall explained , On the surface boards i would take all the SqFt on that and as a change out gos i would charge them 11.75 a Sq If he's your friend i would auto give 20% and or trade him on the good deed level . Say hey let me borrow your boat ect . Oh by the way how high is the EL?
You said 3 days? I can build a 2k SQFt home in a day and a half with 2 guys . You might want to get you a laborer to help you . I take it you are new to the world . My addvice to you while you are still young is to run and get a good job this one will starve you sometimes . Im 30 and building is all i know . So if your young grab some books buddy and prepare for war if you plan on holding this title "BUILDER"
AdamMeider said:
...if you're young grab some books buddy and prepare for war if you plan on holding this title "BUILDER"...
Good advice.
Thanks for the advice Adam.

The esl is only a foot or two.

Also, I am grabbing a lot of books. I joined into a company that is 5 years running, I'm on a heavy learning curve.

My addvice to you while you are still young is to run and get a good job this one will starve you sometimes
Ironically I just left a masters program in the medical / administration field. I'm used to starving, now I'm finally eatting - and I'm not saying this to be rude or crude. This is a thought out, life long plan. I appreciate all the advice, big or small.
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