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Question DetailsAsked on 8/22/2017


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Varies widely - common to see a 3:1 difference between high and low bids, with only a poart of that explainable by the difference on cost structure betwen handyman/individual carpenter or unlicensed bidders versus full-time porch and deck building companies. So be sure you have a detailed scope of work and plans (generally needed to get a building permit anyway) so each bidder is working to the samescope of work and bidding the same materials.

As you can see from the following links, even composite decks can run from around $15-25/SF on up to $50/SF even for relatively simple shaped ones. (Trex says $14 something is average cost of a Trex deck, though I suspect that is trex on conventional wood framing, not solid trex).

My recommendation - use ground-contact treated timber (which can be stained darker if desired) for the framing, and because it is not treated anywhere as deeply as it used to be and the most effective chemicals have been banned, I re-treat the wood before putting the decking on. You can also extend the life of the joists and beams by putting a shield over them during the deck assembly - metal flashing works of course, but ice and water shield is more commonly used - cut in strips that overhang the beams / joists so the drooping edges act as drip edges. (Assuming the underside of the deck is not visually critical). This minimizes the rot of the joists and beams from the dirt and tree debris dropping from above.

I would also recommend doing some research on the problems with plastic decking materials - bleaching, splitting, scratchy fuzzing, warping in high heat/direct sunlight, etc - personally I recommend strongly against it as just not being a suitable product for outdoor deck use, not to mention the very high cost relative to other rot-resistant products.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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