Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Getting Decked

So, as you all know, we've been looking at replacing our deck. My suggested method for this was:
  1. Hire a designer to do the design
  2. Get three contractors to bid on the exact same design
  3. Pick the one we liked the best
The Mrs., on the other hand, decided that the proper method should be:
  1. Buy a hot tub that we can't install until we build a place for it
  2. Invite out-of-town guests and promise them a new deck and hot tub
  3. Call up the general contractor guys that rebuilt our shower that leaked, and then still leaked, and then still leaked, and now is fine, tell them that they have the job already, and then have them design the deck and give us a bid.
Naturally, this method produced an eye-poppingly high estimate. The guys predominantly do kitchen and bath remodels. I think they bid our deck at the kitchen $/sq. footage rate. It also produced a design we were not happy with. So The Mrs. changed up a lot of stuff including reducing the size by ~150 sq. ft., changing from stamped/stained concrete to redwood, moving the hot tub closer to the electrical supply, and deleting some of the built-in storage.

The new bid came yesterday - it was 20% lower. Which makes it about double what the consensus estimate of people around town who have had decks done think it should be. We're talking about $60 sq/ft. Now, granted, included in the non-itemized bid is some electrical work for the hot tub, a 9x9 concrete pad, and a pergola. But its hard to imagine how these three things add over $20k to the price. Seriously, the new bid came back with five digits and starting with a 3. For a 600 sq. ft. redwood deck.

I think I can build a garage or an addition on the house cheaper than that.

So now we're playing phone tag with deck contractors.


Conrad Contractor said...

Good Grief - Always get at least 3 estimates. If somebody did shitty work the first time, don't let them screw something else up. kwuob

wife said...

They didn't do bad work. The shower just leaked in more places than one could imagine. He patched the ceiling better than anyone I've ever seen.