Seeking deck builder / Composite recommendations

tim_pool_newbieMay 8, 2009

I am going to be building a new inground pool in my yard, but must also install a raised deck off the back of the house as well. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good (but reasonably priced - hopefully starving for work!) deck contractor in the Lehigh Valley, PA area?

Also, I am pretty sure I want to use a composite material rather than wood, but don't know much more than the brand name Trex. What other options are available?

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momof3kids

I did a lot of research and just put in an Azek deck around a sunk in hot tub- I chose this 100% pvc decking because it would be wet all the time and composites have wood particles in them and there were lots of law suits due to them getting moldy - so far, I love it- it is not slippery and looks great- we'll see in the long run- my contractor really liked the way it went in- no pre-drilling like some others- and the price was around $28 a 12' board-not too far off from composite. I called around and the prices were all over the place. Sorry-Can't help you with a contractor- I'm in N. IL.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 10:55AM
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platebreaker

My architect specified Azek for our porch/deck (it will be covered, but my husband wants deck boards instead of T&G). The porch will be 30' wide x 12' deep, with composite railings and columns to support a future porch roof. We are having stone stairs installed (not decking stairs).

The reason I'm writing this in reply to your question is that your wanting to find a "starving" contractor is pretty funny to me - we just received 3 bids for this porch - all coming in at around $50,000.00. Maybe they're all starving and need lots of money??? This works out to be $200/sq foot for a DECK!

I'm thinking this is way out of line - the house is on the Jersey shore but we're not that rich!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 5:18PM
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srercrcr

I built a Trex deck four years ago...love it.
You are right to avoid T&G, you want breathability and shed that water and leaves.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 7:00AM
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tim_pool_newbie

$50,000 for a deck?...WOW!! I understand that composite decks cost more, but seriously that much more?!!! Can anyone else share what they've seen as the average cost for a composite deck? That is definitely not the number I had in my mind for this project!!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 1:33PM
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aidan_m

Plate,

Cost per square foot is irrelevant for your project. For decks, construction unit price figures are for standard jobs without compounding site conditions which include:
Accessibility, height above ground, slope of the grade, soil conditions, existing structures, flights of stairs...etc. Actually you are getting a bid for 3 separate jobs.
1. The foundation (to support a future roof). The details required by the engineer or building dept. are unique to the job. This is really not an ordinary deck footing. The foundation alone may be $15K. You are at the Jersey shore which probably has poor, sandy soil.
2. The stone stairs. This is not deck building. You may find a better deal if you get bids from a mason.
3. The actual deck. Your deck is 360 sq ft. A close to ground level deck with no railings, regular pier footings, made of PT could be built for under $5K. High end material, still under $10K.

I agree $50K seems high for this job if the deck is the main cost factor. I suspect the foundation plus masonry stairs are more than the deck itself. I don't know how you calculated $200/sq ft, the math doesn't work out. If you know what has to be built, you could run the project as your own GC and get bids from different subs to knock the price down.

Right now I am building a two level wooden deck that serves as an exit stairway for a small commercial building. The 3 landings total 300 sq ft, but the lower landing is completely concrete. So really the wooden deck area is about 180 sq ft plus two flights of wooden stairs connecting a total of 12' elevation change. The foundation and slab designed by the engineer contains almost 9 yards of concrete. The Simpson hardware spec'd by the engineer cost $5k alone. This deck is costing well over twice as much as a similar deck for a residential application. My point is building cost is highly variable and unit prices really only work out for jobs that are broken down into parts.

I visited the Jersey Shore last summer. Nice place to have a summer vacation home, or just go to live if your work and lifestyle permit. The only thing I got tired of hearing was the ubiquitous expression "OH GAWD!" It reminded me of listening to my Grandmother converse with her sister ;^)

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 5:43PM
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