I'm located in San Jose, CA. and have several questions on deck renovation
My deck is pretty old wooden construction and I'm planning to replace it
completely including the frame. Probably will do composite for the surface
and redwood frame. Deck is about 1000 sq.ft and is elevated about 1ft above
the ground, no stairs, just couple of steps to the backyard.
What is the typical cost of deck replacement labor?
Which composite material would you recommend? I'm thinking of Monarch Exotic
Tigerwood, which I found from local dealer for $2.85/ln.ft
Would really appreciate good advices and approximate estimates.
Cn't really help you with much of that. I am not familiar with the
'composite' material you are using, I presume it is some form of plastic
laminate board. Whatever you use check that it is sustainably harvested, FSC
Forest Stewardship Council type approval.
I'm on the east coast, so I can't help you with an estimate. I can
give you a couple pointers.
When choosing the material, make sure you can see & feel it before
buying. Ordering from a catalog can be a serious disappointment. I
am not big on the composite decking, but it's a preference thing. If
you can touch it and you like it go for it.
When choosing a contractor to do the work, put price second. Choose
someone who you are comfortable with, and who will let you go see
other projects they're working on in your area. Try to get someone
who a friend of yours can recommend from experience. If you want a
deck, ask to see another deck they've done recently. A good
contractor will have a relationship with customers who know, like and
trust him and will have no issue putting you in touch with a past or
repeat customer who can give you a testimonial & let you see some of
their work. Photos are nice too.
If the guy that did my balcony has any similar jobs in my area, he can
send them to see the work they did here. I think after seeing my
balcony & talking with me about the job, they could use this
contractor with confidence.
The guy who did the work next door would never be able to show that
work to a potential customer. The customer would see the shoddy
carpentry and my neighbor may tell them about the unpleasant
experience of the project. That dudes price may be low, but I
wouldn't call him a bargain.
Saving a couple hundred dollars and ending up with a hacked porch,
destroyed lawn and cracked siding from the install isn't much of a
saving at the end of the day.
Last time I priced decking, Ipe was 2.09 and mahogany was 1.99 a ln.ft.
That may be higher now as it was over a year ago. When pricing material, be
sure to consider all factors. Some composites require supports to be spaced
every 12" instead of 16" adding to the total cost and labor time.
I'd hesitate to guess at labor since there are so many factors. Complexity
of the railings, number of steps, built in seating, etc. Is the deck a
straight walkout from a kitchen or family room? Personally, I'd consider a
concrete patio that will last a lifetime with no maintenance.
Labor is going to depend on how complex your deck is. If the deck is
just a square box, a couple guys a couple days should do it. Call it
$1000 in labor. If you want angles and levels, it might take a couple
guys a couple weeks, or $6000 to $10,000 in labor. Concealed fastener
systems are labor intensive, but they sure make pretty decks.
$25 a square foot for a simple composite deck with a couple of benches
is a starter, materials and labor. Fancier decks may use 10% more
materials and up to 10x the labor. Draw some plans and get estimates.
If you use redwood, get 30 lb. shake felt and drape it over the
supporting members before you screw down the composite. Redwood sap
wood is not that rot resistant, and they aren't logging many old growth
redwoods for heartwood any more. Your deck will last a lot longer if
you use ground contact treated wood.
For email, replace firstnamelastinitial
with my first name and last initial.
Labor is always a local issue regarding cost and availability of that labor
at any given time.
Folks at alt.building.construction newsgroup can probably help on material
selection. They will ask for more details than you've provided here.
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