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cybrshrk 09-04-2010 07:48 PM

Got an estimate on a small 'deck'...
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!

Cork-Guy 09-04-2010 08:00 PM

Well, obviously you location plays a role in pricing; I would make sure you get at least 3 estimates to compare them. Again, price shouldn't be the most important thing; make sure the contractors are insured and bonded with the proper licenses.

Walker923 09-05-2010 08:38 AM


Originally Posted by Cork-Guy (Post 48263)
Well, obviously you location plays a role in pricing; I would make sure you get at least 3 estimates to compare them. Again, price shouldn't be the most important thing; make sure the contractors are insured and bonded with the proper licenses.

Absolutly... But $4000 seems a bit steep. I would definitly shop around, Maybe get some friends and tackle it yourself if you can.

kok328 09-05-2010 01:01 PM

Price is a bit steep.
I assume he's is attaching on side of the deck to your home being that there are only 3 footings involved.
I think you might be able to get away with 2 footings on a 7 foot wide deck.
Also, I don't think 30" is deep enough for the footings, you need to get below the frost line.
Definitely, get more estimates and do you homework so you can have educated conversations with the contractors.

DebbieG 09-06-2010 07:59 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Sounds steep to me too for such a small deck.
Im here in Michigan and we just had our patio redone. It was a 12x14 raised patio with a sagging slab on top. We had the slab replaced with stamped and colored concrete and a 12 x 10 lower addition added. The contractor also threw in replacing a whole section of the driveway, nearest the patio, for better drainage and they also had to replace the whole top course of block due to some being cracked, and we only paid $2600!
I did a lot of research on different materials to replace the old patio and had read that composite really isn't all it's cracked up to can still warp & fade and you can get spotting/staining from water sitting, in spite of what the salesman may say.....some brands are better than others Im sure, but you may want to consider the stamped's pretty maintenance free and long lasting and sounds like it would save u a lot of money.....I think it looks nicer too.
I've attached before and after photos for you to see as well. All in all...we got 6 estimates before we found someone who's been in business for 35 years and he was the only one who really paid attention to the unique drainage issues that our space had. He wasn't the cheapest, but was close.
Check your state licensing board to make sure license is current and the BBB for any complaints.
(Next I'll be staining the block foundation to match and building a Pergola on the top section...It'll be great when finished!)
Good luck!

handyguys 09-07-2010 12:29 PM

yeah, sounds a bit high. Like was said, get three quotes. Your local code people will tell you your footer depth requirements. I'm not far from you and ours are 48" as I recall. Also, I would specify 12" centers for joists when using composite decking.

On the other hand, that may be a great price. There could be factors we don't know. Thats why getting different quotes protects you.

Feetwet 10-08-2010 07:16 PM

I'm a Building Contractor here in South Jersey. The deck you describe is probably priced a bit steep at $81/sqft. Generally speaking, this type of deck is priced from $50-$70/sqft, particularly because you're so close to grade. Not much to the stairs, only 5 risers. I think you need to get a couple more estimates.

I'm more concerned about your footing specs. Frost line here is considered to be 32" so you'll need to be below that to prevent upheaval. As mentioned above, 48" below grade would be fine. It's the diameter that's troubling. Basically, South Jersey is a sandy floodplain. I use spread footings here at the shore to get a more stable footprint. On a deck that's 7' wide, I would use a 24"x24"x 48" deep footing at each corner. Crown the concrete a couple inches above grade then mount a 6x6 post to support the deck beam/header above.

Obviously I don't know your exact situation but slightly over-engineered is better than a collapsed or sinking deck. And make sure they lag bolt the ledger to the rim joist of the house. Nails dont cut it there...
Good Luck.

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