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Old 09-04-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
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Small deck estimate.

Hoping someone here is in the business and can give a hand. We got an estimate on a very small 'deck' of $4000. The deck is roughly 7'x7' with floor level about 3' above ground level. There will be one 4' wide set of stairs to get down to ground level. We have asked for PT lumber framing with composite decking and vinyl railings, post covers and post caps. The estimate calls for (3) 8"x30" round footings. Does that price seem reasonable. I have never had any work done on my house other than what I have done, so I'm not familiar with going rates. The contractor checks out great...I just want to make an educated decision. The work is being done in South Jersey. Thanks!


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Old 09-04-2010, 10:04 PM   #2
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hey there cyber,
i've built a few decks and porches up here in MA where the footing requirements are a bit deeper and wider.
the price seems a little high to me considering the tiny size. then again, labor is expensive and i'm used to doing things myself.
it's hard to imagine the materials would add up to even $1,000. that leaves 3K for what should take someone like me alone no more than 3 days work.
most of that labor will be stairs and railings, so maybe it's on the upper range of a "reasonable" quote, i would say.

if the contractor is well respected, you should trust him.
otherwise do it yourself and save at least 3K.


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Old 09-05-2010, 04:40 PM   #3
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not sure the OP will get off with material prices of $1k. Composite deck and vinyl rails, post covers and caps will add greatly over a wood deck.

get a second, or third estimate if you have doubts. Building costs are very area specific so what somebody else on something such as a forum may give you may be very inaccurate for your area.

If nothing else, go down to the local lumber store and price out the materials and then go from there.
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Old 09-05-2010, 08:16 PM   #4
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I am in the process of developing plans and estimating for a 200 square foot deck, 40 feet of railing, which I will build myself. For materials only, my estimate runs about as follows:

Deck lumber, black locust, $5 per square foot
Top and bottom railings, $12 per foot
Balusters, aluminum, $8 per foot
Framing lumber, PT, $2 per square foot of deck
Posts and footers, $2 per square foot of deck
Staircase, all materials, $250
Stainless steel screws $150
Post caps, copper, $250

Total cost 200 ($5 + $2 + $2) + 40 ($12 + $8) + $650 = $3250

Your deck is about 1/4 the size, however due to scaling you might figure the material cost at about 1/3 of my total, or about $1100. This means your contractor is charging almost $3000 for labor.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:32 PM   #5
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Materials alone would probably be around $1,500. I don't think $4,000 is a high price but it's not low either. Get a couple more estimates to compare. Plus, you can always negotiate the price.
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