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Brian, Architect
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 2153
Experience:  Licensed Architect- 17 years, L.E.E.D. AP
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Im a home improvement contractor .another contractor want

Customer Question

I'm a home improvement contractor .another contractor want me to build some decks for him .just labor price I'm not sure wat to charge.its in jersey and foundations r about 10 feet high from sandy .stairs r about 12 feet long .how much should I charge per square foot .thankyou if u can help me .ray
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Phil replied 4 years ago.
Welcome to Just Answer !

Its never a good idea to figure a custom job on the basis of a price per square foot, especially if its a remodel or addition. More than a few people have gone broke that way.... there is no telling what you will run into on the job.

I have 52 years in the business, let me know if will accept a discussion on how to bid such work successfully or if you still need a price per square foot. I can opt out in that case so others can see your question.

As we go along just keep pressing the 'continue' button until we succeed. There are no time limits here.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
A square foot price would help
Expert:  Phil replied 4 years ago.
Hello again, I would be getting you into a lot of trouble if I gave you a square foot price without seeing the job, and without seeing a city approved set of drawings showing the approved foundations... Jobs involving retrofit construction are much riskier than new construction which can in fact be estimated roughly on a square foot basis... this is retrofit work, any guess on my part will get you in trouble. My guess could easily be too high and cost you the job, or my guess could be too low and you would loose money.

This sort of work has to be seen and the labor estimated from your own experience as to how fast you think you can get it done, and risks involved. Thats how I would bid it.

It would not be honest of me to give you any other advice. I will opt out so that your question goes before our other construction experts who may or may not be able to give you more useful advice.

If you have a city approved set of plans for the work that you can photograph and post here or to a photography web site, and send a link you will get a much better idea of what to charge....

these jobs are never figured on a square foot basis how, but on an estimate of the total labor and overhead costs... and that is variable depending on how far you have to drive and how difficult it is to work on the job site and what sort of foundation work is required, and that varies with the soil and other site conditions..

Typically jobs like this see a 50% variation in price between contractors, sometimes 100% or more variation. People new to this business are often diligently searched out by more established contractors in order that they can be taken advantage of.

Be careful.

I will opt out. lets see what the rest of our crew can do for you if they disagree with my remarks here.

Expert:  Dovetail Greene replied 4 years ago.


My name's Kel.


The advice Phil's given you is spot on.


Do you need some help in developing a step by step approach to bidding a project like this?


If the contractor offering the opportunity is requesting a unit price bid it's easy enough to convert a final bid into a unit price bid. . .


Let me know how you'd like to proceed. . .