Relax and take a few minutes to read this. It is important because this information should save you a great deal of money and more than a little hassle. The following is an extremely accurate, comprehensive and up to date cost calculating tool that I personally use for bidding my company's deck, porch and sun room jobs. This Porch, Deck and Sunroom Price Worksheet is a copyrighted Excel spreadsheet file that you can download to your computer and use (even if you don't have MS Excel).
What It Does
It shows the labor, estimated materials and total costs of a deck, front porch, screen porch or glass sunroom if...
You will have to be able to estimate the area of steps, but I will help you with that. This awesome tool will instantly crunch the numbers and give you the bottom line. You can ignore the deck portion and use it as a screen or front porch or sunroom calculator. It even allows you to include the cost of an accessory of your own (like a new hot tub or even a gazebo)!
To be real honest, one of my main reasons I am making this calculator available is so my customers will use it as a bidding tool. I spend most of my day on the phone giving free estimates to folks who are thinking about using our On Site or Design-at-a-Distance services. Well... now folks can easily use the same tool I use to determine how much their new deck, porch or sunroom will cost. Got a question? By all means call me. Just please work with the calculator first... then call. I have put a lot of time (and money) into it to make it very educational and easy to use. By reading the instructional comments (you MUST hold your mouse over the little red arrow heads to see the hidden comments) and by working the numbers, you will learn a lot about your project (like deciding on size, materials and options)... and it will free me up to do what I do best: Designing decks, porches and sunrooms in my CAD program for my clients!
What Do You Do Then?
Once you have worked out the numbers for the deck, porch or sunroom and you are satisfied that it fits your budget and you can really get a lot more deck, porch or sunroom for the money with us than with other deck firms... then you are ready to start the designing process. Simply fill out and email me a Client Worksheet and be sure to include the Excel file for your Porch, Deck and Sunroom Price Worksheet so I can verify the prices you worked up. You will see how all of this works shortly so don't get excited and just take your time. The more you know, the better it will turn out.
Figuring Stair and Landing Area
To determine the area of steps, first you need to know how many steps... which depends solely upon the height from the deck to the ground at the point the steps will end. Simply multiply this height times 12 and divide the product by 7.5. Truncate the answer (don't panic dude... I'll give you an example if you keep your shirt on). That number is the number of steps needed. Just multiply the number of steps by the width (usually 4') and... viola... you have the area of the steps.
Example: Let's say the deck will be 9' from the ground where the stairs will hit the ground. Let's say you want 4'-0" wide steps with one 4'x4' landing in the middle (very typical). This is how it works:
Now that wasn't too painful was it? By the way... there is a small fallacy in my above logic. Can you find it? I left it in because I don't want to confuse you any more than you already are... and it keeps the estimate a bit on the high side which is good. I would rather be a tad too high than too low and make you mad at me.
So break out your calculator and figure the area of what will be your own stairs and landing(s). Then use that area in the spreadsheet below.
(Don't forget to scroll
down past the porch
One more thing: If you louse the calculator up (yes,
it can happen)...
just close out of the program. Go back in and open the calculator again.
|Right click (don't left click) on the calculator image below or the link below to download the Excel file to your computer. Use the Porch, Deck and Sunroom Excel Price Worksheet... and do not forget to hold your mouse over the little red arrow heads so you can read the comments (these comments are really important).|
If you download this Excel file to your computer, try to open it (usually by double clicking it) and it doesn't work, check to see if you have Excel 2000 (comes with MS Office 2000). If you don't, don't fret. You can download a completely free and fully functional spreadsheet program (compatible with MS Excel) right now from www.openoffice.org.
This program is way cool.
As a reminder... once you have worked this spreadsheet and you realize that my firm really does give you an awful lot of deck, porch and sunroom for your money... it is time to get into my "Design Que". Email, fax or mail me the Client Worksheet. (I really prefer it emailed). I will work with you via our computers and the web and do a custom "design-at-a-distance". I can then email you a contract proposal to build your deck, porch or sunroom!
You can actually relax knowing that you are one of the few who are getting a superior product at a whole lot less than others are paying. In addition, because I have the nerve to publish my prices up front (unheard of I know), you will realize that I do not practice selective and discriminatory pricing. That is, I do not have a standard set of prices that I bump up when I think the client can afford it like so many deck firms do. (Proof: If they give you one price, you don't bite and they come back with a lower price... then you know that they are practicing selective, discriminatory pricing because otherwise they would have given you their best price first. I know how the game is played. I used to play it.) But you get a level playing field from me... everyone treated the same. Everyone gets the same opportunity to save money. Honesty and transparency really are the best policies. OK, enough moralizing.
Email me at...
But don't put this off. We are entering the busiest time of the year.
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