A new porch or deck makes the place perfect. It’s like gaining an extra room—one custom-made for stargazing, BBQing, sunbathing, and corralling kids and pets. Besides the perks it brings to daily life, you get a serious return on investment.
The 2016 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling shows the national cost of a new wood porch averages at $10,470 and brings back $7,850, or a 75 percent recoup of costs. The Pacific, a traditionally sunny region, brings back 88.9 percent with an average cost of $12,930 and a $11,490 return. Heck, it practically pays for itself.
Ready to expand your living space? Devon Taylor of Taylor Made General Contracting LLC serving the Denver, Colorado area (and a highly rated contractor on Thumbtack) gives you the inside scoop on hiring a deck or porch contractor.
How long does the average job take?
The average deck in our area (the Denver region) is usually around 200-300 square feet. Depending on multiple variables the project usually takes around two to three weeks to complete.
How much does the average job cost?
I take each job case by case. I compute the cost of the deck according to design, materials, and size. Composite decking is now leading the industry with no yearly maintenance but comes with the upfront cost of materials. Standard wood decking which requires the yearly maintenance especially in the dry Colorado climate comes with the cheaper upfront cost but can break the bank in years to come from poor maintenance. The average price paid in my area is around $5,000-$7,500. More elegant decks we build have reached $16,000 and up to $24,000.
What happens from start to finish once someone books your quote on Thumbtack?
Once someone replies to my initial message, we set an appointment to come look at the area. After taking measurements and discussing design, size, and material, I respond in about 24-48 hours—depending on project size—to work up a bid. If the bid is accepted I then start work to get HOA (Homeowners Association) approval and the necessary permits required. Once all is set for the green light construction begins.
What should someone ask before hiring a deck or porch contractor?
A question someone should ask is if they’re a perfectionist. I personally am a perfectionist and feel terrible when I see some decks that were built by “good enough” contractors.
What do you wish more new clients knew about the process?
I wish more clients knew HOA requirements and the process required for construction to start on time. It’s a huge relief when the clients gets the HOA approval for us.
Any red flags to look out for?
Contractors who require money up front. We require the material cost, but materials are brought to the job site and the client can see the products for themselves. After completion of the project is when we request the rest of the owning balance.
Where can clients save money?
A tip would be hiring a contractor who gets all material at a lumber yard. We personally use County Line Lumber. Their prices are a little cheaper than big name stores.
Where should you never cut corners financially?
Clients shouldn’t cut corners when it comes to their happiness. When I was 19 years old, I bought a car I wasn’t in love with but just wanted a car. A year later I regretted buying the car because I hated it, but I was stuck with it because I wasn’t going to go upside down on purchasing a new car. The same goes for your deck. Don’t short yourself because you feel it may be too expensive. Buy what you love because that will outweigh the few extra bucks you’re spending. You don’t want to regret something you see everyday just because you saved a few bucks.
What’s your favorite deck you’ve built and why?
My favorite deck we built was roughly 50′ by 22′ and it wrapped a pool. The edge of the deck near the house was roughly 12″ off the ground, but the far end was roughly 9′ off the ground. It was a two tier deck with steps 5′ away from the house leading to the lower tier where the pool is. When looking west past the pool, not only did you see the great Rocky Mountains but also a small lake that reflected the view of the Rockies back to you. Evergreen trees surrounded the landscape in every direction. It was a setting you’d see in a Hollywood film, and we had the pleasure to bring this gorgeous deck to life for the clients.