Help!!! Is This Cost To High?

by Mark Tobin
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

I own a duplex and contracted to build two decks the main floor deck is 280 sq ft (20x14) and the upper deck is 140 sq ft.

Both these decks were tied into existing staircases. I hired someone to build my deck and was quoted $8,250 for labor and spent another $7,000 on materials and rentals total is $15,250 or 36.31/sq ft.

I feel this is high can someone give me some feedback. All pressure treated material.

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Apr 29, 2017
Doing it right costs
by: Anonymous

It would depend on rail style and material pt lumber, plain jane deck and rail a 12x12 looking at $1729.45 just for lumber. Then there is landscaping fabric for weed control(and yes this is important for longevity of the deck. Grass is acidic. Park you car in the grass and then look at your brake rotors just over night there will be a skim of rust). And here we require 6 inch of gravel beneath the deck and proper slope under the deck to direct water etc.

There are a lot of builders that will cut corners to build a cheaper deck but even 12x12 can have over 50 people on it and if there are guys like me thats 12500 lbs. So one big party and you will be glad you didn't skimp and that you followed code or better.

Jun 14, 2016
Happy carpenter
by: Steve

I've been building decks in Nova Scotia for 20 years and normally your labor cost will equal material cost. There are only two of us on my team and charging $50/hr for my labor is common for a straight forward quality deck with rails. If there are angles and any added features such as privacy panels, benches, planters you can expect the labor cost to be higher.

Dec 03, 2012
Deck pricing--quality costs
by: Anonymous

I just posted on my 16 x 16 two level deck, and yes you can save money if you shop, but to do the job correctly. Our build was for the "wow" factor when it comes time to sell, it pays to insure you are getting the best materials you can, and the correct procedures for longevity are followed.

The deck we removed was less than 12 years old and it was crap.

Jul 11, 2012
Where you shopping???
by: Tim

$13.70 A square foot will not get you pressure treated material in PA. Don't know where you are shopping!

Jun 11, 2012
High priced deck
by: Anonymous

Get another estimate. This price is ridiculous.

Oct 24, 2011
You paid too much for this
by: G.O.R Construction

The cost for this type of deck all P.T is around from $12.50 to $18 when its na average deck, but when is a luxury deck meaning that you want to add a patio cover, composite decking, vinyl railing.

That is when the cost per square feet is rises to around $28 to $39. If you got charged $36.50 for an average deck meaning all pressure treated wood, you got ripped off.

I live in California and I am a general contractor and have een in the business for the last 25 years. So be careful who you hire for your next home project. Make sure theses people have a license and are insured with the state.

Jul 10, 2011
Time to get real!
by: ernst

I'm a contractor here in Montreal and $ 10k isn't too far off.

I think people reading the posts don't understand that rebuilding a balcony and deck on a duplex or triplex here is nothing like a deck of a split level or bungalow out west.

First of all, I'm doing demo and building on scaffold 18-24 feet off the ground! The joists are usually rotten, and are married to the floor joists on the interior of the building.

That's a royal pain to repair!

The brick usually needs re-pointing and the height requires columns of steel since 4x4's tend to twist and check at that length.

The buildings are architecturally protected and the city only allows rebuilding in the original materials and footprint. This means T&G white pine select or better for the decking as well as pine bead board for the soffits. These are expensive materials.

Usually there is only resident parking by permits and 300-400 dollars of parking tickets can be incurred during a project. Many of these neighbourhoods have no driveways!

Cost of disposal of demolition runs $40/cubic meter at the city run dumps. This whining about $ 19.00 sq foot is ridiculous!

Most of this work costs $ 40-50 sq. ft and the carpenters make $ 25-30 dollar per hour. Forget shopping for your contractor by the square foot and speak to some neighbours, get referrals,and look at the projects they've had built. Then call me!

Aug 19, 2010
Help from Ottawa
by: AH

We need a rebuild of our front deck and balcony. Both the deck and balcony are 14' X 6' for a total of 168 sq feet. According to the prices quoted here we should be paying 168(19) = $3,192 for parts and labour.

The quotes we are getting are in the $15K to $20K range. We finally got a quote closer to $10K and we were thrilled! Anyone know why it's so high?

Apr 11, 2010
by: Wade

I am amazed. One of the things I do to make a living in British Columbia is building decks. Lots of them.

If I was making this kind of money, I would be living in a warmer climate having cold beverages delivered to me along the beach by now. In my opinion, I don't care where you are in provincial Canada, I think you have been ripped off.

Have a look at the average cost of decks that I borrowed from a website on deck building, (attached) which shows Ontario at 19.00 per foot; close to half what you paid. As you can see, the Yukon is the only one close to 37 bucks a foot.

I cannot imagine what you spent 7 G's on for materials, and your contractor must be charging a hundred bucks per hour. But hey, if you can get it and sleep properly at night. . .

Cost Per Square Foot State/Province Materials Materials & Labor USA Illinois
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
CANADA Alberta
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia

Feb 26, 2010
Labor is a Killer !!!!
by: Anonymous

Its not the materials that cost so much its the labour.... You are mostly being charged too much labour.... My 14 by 14 foot deck cost me 4700 dollars Canadian.. Was told by another builder that i over paid by 1000 dollars....

Hope that helps your decision...

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