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Question DetailsAsked on 5/21/2017

What should I charge for building a 12x50 covered patio with stairs and handrails all around attached to the house?

With me picking up all materials and delivering..

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1 Answer


What it costs for the materials handling, construction, cleanup, probably lost effort - plus all applicable overheads, and profit. Asking on the web what to charge, or using web sites typical costs might tell you what that sort of project might typically cost - but if the number is too high for the particulars of the job you are actually looking at then you lose the bid, and if too low then you are "giving away" $ or "leaving $ on the table" and possibly going to lose your shirt.

Cost to do a particular job can easily vary 25-50% from the "average" or "normal" cost because of site conditions or customer selected options or materials - and more in extreme cases. I have seen a lot of jobs where the reasonable cost for a job was 100-500% the "normal" cost due to special materials, limited access, permit restrictions, local code restrictions (especially environmental or historic building types), etc - so you need to figure out the time for YOU / your subcontractors / employees to do the work, then figure the cost of that work and applicable overheads and profit to work up your bid. For a single example - if they want full foundation under the porch versus piers on pedestals that might add 20-30% to the cost by itself. Glass railings or metal decking could easily increase the cost (assuming you are buying the materials) by 100% or more over plain wood, so there are FARRR to many variables for any response to your question to be meaningful to you putting a bid together.

And you said you are "picking up the materials" - if you mean you provide them, then you need a markup to cover your pickup/delivery time (if not figured as direct labor) and financing cost till you get paid for them.

There are just a ton of consideration in preparing the bid - are there plans or are you having to get the permit and plans made up, what is the condition of the house at the connection point, how is the roof extension from the house being handled and is there adequate clearance to continue the existing slope or does it need a Teed-out gabled roof extension on each side, how are gutters being handled, what is the support system for the porch, what type of materials and expected quality of construction, foundation bearing conditions and code requirements for foundation depth in your area, expected weather in your area during then construcrtion period (i.e. how much lost work time is expected for this mostly outdoor job), utility locations to be watched for or relocated or provide access to for shutoff and cleanouts etc that will be under the porch, etc, etc.

If you are unable, based on experience (and your crew foreman's if you have one) to do this estimate with confidence, then you are probably not qualified to do the job and would be biting off more than you can handle at this point safely without risking losing your shirt or failing to complete the job, which would do a lot more damage to your future (via bad repuation and poor reviews) than passing on a single job. Granted you have to start somewhere, but if you cannot figure the cost of doing a job yourself then you are biting off more than you can chew by yourself.

Also - 12x50 covered patio with stairs - patio usually means on-grade so usally no stairs, unless you mean just one or two low brick or paver steps due to grade - otherwise you mean a covered porch, which I presume is what you mean if it needs handrails. 12x50 - 12' wide is pretty wide for an all-around deck but some are - but 50' long sounds awfully short (12' square house ?) unless you mean this is a 50x50 bungalow so actually 4x50' with all 4 sides counted - though for measurement and materials purposes actually probably 2 sides @ 50' and 2@74' in that case (figuring the outside dimensions of the porch).

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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