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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)



Haven't been quoted on materials yet, but I'm probably going to be building this next weekend for a neighbour of mine. It'll be built on the front of the house, replacing the existing 8x12 deck that is falling apart.

Have you guys got any suggestions? I thought about "radiusing" (is that a word) the front, but I've done that on two other decks. How can I spruce this thing up on a budget? I'm really not excited about all the plain jane rectangular decks everyone around here builds.

Thanks for your input!

Kevin

Edit - Here is my joist plan.
 

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In my neck of the woods, that would run in the $3500-$4000, labor & materials, if we're talking about regular treated lumber.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wow. Can you break that down for me?

The materials are going to cost me about $1000 CDN. Everyone around here expects to pay double what the materials cost, and I've priced it close to that.
 

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Got this from another member here:

basic no frills standard PT deck
materials run about $7/sq./ft. and I charge
$8/sq./ft. labor.


For a standard cedar type deck with PVC railing system I can still charge
$15/sq ft and make good money for a standard deck since we use PT base and cover with cedar,
but for more stairs, sq ft., design, we get upto
$18-20/sq ft.

And from another member here:

I use:
$1.00 per square foot on the frame,
$1.00 per square foot on the surface (PT pine),
$19.00 each per tread on the stair and
$6.50 per lineal foot on the rail.
Heres a quick bid I did for a family friend:

21 by 15 deck

Frame Addition
Total Rental: Auger and Cemet Mixer is $120
Total Cemet Cost: $120
Total Joist Cost: $288
------------------------
$528

Entire Deck
3701.25
-555.1875 (Friends / Family Discount)
----------------------------
$3146.0625


Total Cost of Project
----------------------
$3674

(Labor will take out $1358.21)
(Materials will take out $2195.79)
(Rentals will take out $120)

Total of 54 hours to meet minimum costs
First Day: 12 hours total (4 hour day)
Second Day: 24 hours total (8 hour day)
Third Day: 18 hours total (6 hour day)
 

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Kevin,

If it isn't too late, here's about what I would price it at...

$2600 for the deck & stairs (you have to take into account the extra labour for doing the picture box for the deck boards)
$600 (approx.) for basic railings

Total: $3200 + GST

Also, you could "spruce it up a bit" by changing the railings - without adding too much cost for the customer.

You have to remind yourself and your customers that "cost times 2" doesn't factor in your tools, expertise, skill, etc. You have to price things to give yourself profit above your wages. It is a hard lesson to learn but an important one.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
DecksEtc said:
Kevin,

If it isn't too late, here's about what I would price it at...

$2600 for the deck & stairs (you have to take into account the extra labour for doing the picture box for the deck boards)
$600 (approx.) for basic railings

Total: $3200 + GST

Also, you could "spruce it up a bit" by changing the railings - without adding too much cost for the customer.

You have to remind yourself and your customers that "cost times 2" doesn't factor in your tools, expertise, skill, etc. You have to price things to give yourself profit above your wages. It is a hard lesson to learn but an important one.

Terry, I'm presently employed full time. I'm taking on these jobs (while making sure I don't compete with my employer) to gain experience. This job is literally 2 blocks from my house, and I've got a month to build it. I hope to be done in a day and a half, but the point is: experience! I need it badly. I have a good idea what I'm doing, but I need to learn the little tricks/tips that make each job that much easier. I've found Professional Deck Builder magazine to be a pretty good resource.

I know that when I really get into this seriously I'll need to take into account things like: overhead, my wages, my profit, tool replacement, my expertise etc in order to do well, and I've been reading the business board quite a bit here, as well as doing lots of other business related research. I will make this work!

Thanks for your input, and please don't hesitate to send me any advice you've got, as I hope to avoid as many pitfalls as possible.

Kevin
 

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Wow. I sure am glad I built my deck myself those are fairly heavy sounding prices for a small pressure treated deck. I am glad you guys are getting the $ you deserve for your work. I built my entire 13x8 solid cedar deck, joists, supports and all for about $700, all of which material. Thats with 14" cedar steps, and cedar rails.
 

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I hope you plan on putting the spindles closer together than your rendering shows- there's more than 4" between them in that drawing. Of course, maybe you Canucks do it differently up there?

Bob
 

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Bob, Re: spindles. I'm sure Kevin is doing them at 4" or less as it is the same building codes "up here" - lol

Kevin, we've had a few side-bar conversations and I realize you are starting out part-time. I did the same. You were asking for advice/pricing and that's what I gave you according to what I would charge. Of course, every job has variables that only the person quoting can see. My price was a rough estimate for the information you provided. Whaen I was part-time, I didn't price as high as I do know as I couldn't do each job start-to-finish and I therefore priced things accordingly. Now, being full time, if I did factor in profit, I'd have been out of business in less than a month. As you know, I haven't had a free day since April 1st! (I know, lucky me!).

canada4, I can't comment on the price you got your cedar from but when I built my own 12' x 14' cedar deck with custom railings, solid skirting and picture box frame and 45 deg. decking, the materials cost me over $2,500, including the cement piers. And, I would have charged over $7,000 due to all the custom work I did on it. Pricing things at 2 times cost is a sure fire way to lose money in the market I am in. Aside from factoring in profit, I take into account my time for plans, material list, ordering material, floating MY money until the materials are on site, etc.

A couple of examples of my quotes/jobs are: 1. I recently did a solid board cedar fence with 1 ft. of custom lattice at the top of the fence and priced it at $65/ft. - the owners didn't even hesitate to sign the contract. 2. I did a 366 sq. ft. cedar deck that was 8 ft. above grade with 50+ ft. of custom railings and a set of stairs with railings on both sides - all for over $15,000 - I was able to under bid a large franchise on price and with my "customer service" during the consultation. I'm not saying all of this to brag or put down your comments, I am just trying to point out that there are a lot of variables in pricing/quoting jobs aside form just price. By the way, I've given out my share of quotes that I didn't get too. No one method is fool-proof, it's been a constant learning process for me. I'm also learning to weed out the "PIA" clients pretty good now too - now, there's an art form!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Terry, thanks for you input. I appreciate it as always.

Bob Kovacs said:
I hope you plan on putting the spindles closer together than your rendering shows- there's more than 4" between them in that drawing. Of course, maybe you Canucks do it differently up there?

Bob
Bob, local code says that if the deck surface is less than 24" off the ground, you don't need a railing, and if you do install one, spindles have to be less than 4" or more than 8" apart.
 

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hey, last fall i did a 12'x16' pressure treated deck for a close friend very similar in design to this. the only real difference was i didn't need the big concrete piers, 4x4 posts in quicrete are code in alot of places. i charged her $700 for labor, and her materials were only about $2,200. also while building this deck, i was approached about 15 times for bids just by people passing by! i ended up doing 8 decks in a 3 block radius about the same size for 21/2-3 times the money i made on my friend's deck.EACH.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The deck is complete, the customer is happy, the wife has a new camcorder, and I managed to get the impact driver I wanted. All is well. I'm itching to quit my day job.
 
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