Deck-Porch-Gazebo

Custom Building Plans

(Please be sure to read the entire page, including the Important Notice at the bottom.)
  • Building a deck yourself?
  • Or hiring a contractor to do it?
  • Perhaps you want us to build it?
  • Need a set of Custom Building Plans?

Then we can help...


We offer two different custom design services to help you come up with the right design and a clear set of comprehensive and code compliant Custom Building Plans for your deck, porch, sun room or gazebo:

 



"Design-at-a-Distance"
Service
For the homeowner (or Builder) who will become interactively involved with the Design work (see "Design-at-a-Distance"), Virginia Decking will work with you via phone and email.  We will: 

 

  • Provide a custom Preliminary Plan, tailored to fit your house, your terrain, your lifestyle, and your budget. Once this Preliminary Plan is just the way you want it, we will...
  • Generate a detailed set of (CAD) Custom Building Plans which will be used not only to construct your project, but also these Custom Building Plans are necessary to obtain a Building Permit.  Also, we will...
  • Submit a bid to you for one of the fine deck firms we represent to build your project.  This bid will include several prices: 
     
    • 1)  If one of our deck firms build it and they buy the materials. This is the full service "turnkey" approach that every deck firm offers. (By the way, one big danger here is that your builder could cut corners on the quality of materials.)
    • 2) If the deck company builds it and you buy the materials. This is a service whereby you act as your own General Contractor. (Please read the "Save a Bundle" page on how this service saves an average of $4000 on the typical pressure treated project.)
    • 3) An estimate of the current market price for those materials... what you should expect to pay if you purchase materials directly. (By the way, this material estimate can be used to protect yourself against a builder cutting corners on materials)


 

But you may also want to use these Custom Building Plans to secure bids by other contractors which should lower their bids considerably.  Why?  They will not need to pay a Designer's commission (typically 10% of contract price).  Neither will they need to employ the services of a Draftsman to generate the Custom Building Plans which typically saves another $500. 

 


 
"Design-at-a-Distance" Preliminary Plan
Design Fee Retainers
**
Custom Deck Plans
*$600
Custom Screen, Glass or Front Porch Plans
*$700
Custom Gazebo Plans
*$700
Custom Shed Plans
*$650
Custom Deck and Porch Plans
*$750 
Custom Deck and Gazebo Plans
*$750
Custom Deck, Porch, Gazebo Plans
*$900
Custom Deck and Shed Plans
*$700
Custom Deck, Porch, Shed Plans
*$850
Custom Deck, Porch, Shed, Gazebo Plans
*$1000

*This Design Fee Retainer is simply credited
toward your initial payment when you contract with us.

 
Important: Work with our Excel Price Worksheet and then call us for a free estimate first. We can confirm over the phone what your labor and materials will run. Just be sure to have a realistic idea of the size of your deck and/or porch, height and materials you might like to use.

Or... better still...

As if you needed more information to confuse you, now I'm going to give you a smart and accurate way to figure labor, materials and "turnkey" prices for your new deck and compare the costs in pressure treated, composite (like Trex or GeoDeck®) or Ipe (Pau Lope). Just click the link for our copyrighted...

"Comprehensive Deck Cost Calculator"


"On-Site Design" Service
For the homeowner (or Builder) who wants to use our On Site Design Service, our Designer will make an appointment to personally visit your home where he will:

 
  • Take a photograph of the back of your home.
  • Make a careful sketch on 11x17 grid paper of the area in question, using measurements to draw your house windows, doors, heat pump, trees, etc to scale.  He draws what most folks would call a cross sectional "blueprint" of your house.
  • Provide you with hundreds of color photographs of work that we have done for folks all through Virginia and Maryland.
  • Work with you, incorporating his expertise and your ideas, always mindful to stay under the budget you give him, drawing (and erasing), until you both have developed the deck or porch of your dreams... for the price you want to pay!
  • Provide a bid to you with several prices: 

  •  
    • 1)  If a deck firm we represent builds it and they buy the materials. This is the full service "turnkey" approach that every deck firm offers. (By the way, one big danger here is that your builder could cut corners on the quality of materials.)
    • 2)  If the deck firm builds it and you buy the materials. This is a service whereby you act as your own General Contractor. (Please read the "Save a Bundle" page on how this service saves an average of $4000 on the typical project.)
    • 3) An estimate of the current market price for those materials... what you should expect to pay if you purchase materials directly. (By the way, this material estimate can be used to protect yourself against a builder cutting corners on materials)

 
 
     If you decide to contract with us, the Design Fee Retainer (fee schedule below) is simply deducted from your initial payment.  For an additional drafting fee, our Drafting Department can then generates a detailed (CAD) set of Custom Building Plans from the Preliminary Plan your Designer drew up at your home.  This set of Custom Building Plans is then used to obtain a Building Permit
     If you decide not to use one of our fine deck firms for construction of your project, the Design Fee Retainer (fee schedule below) and Drafting Fee (normally $400) has purchased both the Custom Preliminary Plan and also the detailed and complete set of Custom Building Plans used in construction and necessary for obtaining your Building Permit.  

 


 
"On-Site" Design Fee Retainers**
Custom Deck Plans
*$700
Custom Screen, Glass or Front Porch Plans
*$800
Custom Gazebo Plans
*$800
Custom Shed Plans
*$750
Custom Deck and Porch Plans
*$850
Custom Deck and Gazebo Plans
*$850
Custom Deck, Porch, Gazebo Plans
*$1000
Custom Deck and Shed Plans
*$800
Custom Deck, Porch, Shed Plans
*$950
Custom Deck, Porch, Shed, Gazebo Plans
*$1100

*This Design Fee retainer is simply deducted from
your initial payment when you contract with us.

 

Important:

Work with our Excel Price Worksheet and then call us to confirm your prices first. We can confirm over the phone what your labor and materials will run. Just be sure to have a realistic idea of the size of your deck and/or porch, height, and materials you might want to use. This Excel Price Worksheet is accurate. And it will really give you the tools to make a much more informed and intelligent buying decision.

 

Important Notice
     Incidentally, we believe it is important to point something out at this time.  Virginia Decking has known for several years that charging a Design Fee Retainer is the most professional method of doing business for three excellent reasons: 
  • First, you purchase a valuable item worth much, much more than what you paid for it. A caller told me that she paid an architect $2000 for her deck and screen porch plans, something for which we charge $900-$1050. Another caller told me she paid a FRIEND who as an architect $4000 to design a porch.
  • Second, our Designers put no pressure on you to buy because they are being compensated for their time and efforts.  Therefore, they concentrate on helping you find just the right plan, rather than on trying to "sell" you.
  • Third (and most importantly), charging a retainer allows us to lower our "build" prices to you.  How?  We do not have to charge you for the time we spent with the folks who did not buy.  When you buy from a company that does not charge a Design Fee Retainer, by default your contract price must include your Designer's expenses (travel time included) for those 2 or 3 appointments that did not buy.*

 

*How We Make Our Money

There is actually more to it than this. Here is the full story of why and how we can afford to give away an average of $4000 on a typical PT deck (and easily $10,000 and more on a composite or Ipe deck): It is very true that the Design Fee Retainer we charge is extremely important to help defray our overhead expenses. It DOES help us so that we do not have to charge you the buyer for the two or three other people who did not buy... but it is not enough. We have to make up some of that lost profit another way.

Fortunately for our clients, we have struck deals with several very excellent Material Suppliers (GeoDeck, Gossen & Azek-Procell PVC, vinyl railings, Ipe) who have agreed to let us make a sales commission out of their profit whenever one of our clients buys from them. That's right. I save the supplier a lot of time and hassle because we hand them an order. My suppliers are happy to let me make a sales commission out of their profit for this service. This way I make up lost profit on the BACK end instead of charging you on the FRONT end. So what I don't make from you the homeowner on the front end, I partially make up for on the back end from the supplies. Everybody wins. The supplier makes sales and saves time. I make sales and make some money on the labor and some from the supplies. You save a bunch of money on your deck. Make sense?

But this way we are able to make ends meet so we can afford to offer you these very unusual methods of saving a lot of money.


 

Ordering Information

To order the "Design-at-a-Distance" Service
(you can be located anywhere), we will need four (4) items:

  We Need 4 Things to Start

  • 1) Fax a copy of your House Location Survey (plat) to 540 786-3324 day or night.  Just be sure not to enlarge or reduce it or cut off a portion (it must contain the round seal).  If you cannot fax it without changing the scale or cutting it off, you will have to mail it to us. The local Zoning folks get very particular about this. Incidentally, to avoid a lot of possible grief, please be sure to read this very important note before you proceed any further.
    -
  • 2) Two house photos where the deck or porch will go (one from the back that takes in the whole house if possible and one photo from the side).  Please email house photos inside the Client Worksheet form below or mail them.  Faxing photos doesn't work well.
    -
  • 3) A rough sketch of the house which includes dimensions showing exact locations of doors and windows.  Include the deck, porch, and/or gazebo and your ideas of what you want.  Please use my Client Worksheet form below. (This is the fun part... you'll like it)
    -
  • 4) Design Fee Retainer in personal check texted to 540 840-7243 or by PayPal sent to email address below.
    -

To make this whole process go a lot smoooother, please download a MS Word "Client Worksheet" form (be sure to "enable macros" when asked). It walks you step by step through all of the above 4 things I need. If you are diligent and fill out everything that pertains, it will give me just about all of the answers to questions that I normally ask you on the phone (some of which I typically forget to ask). This way I can spend more time designing and less time fumbling around for answers... and you can get your deck or porch that much faster. Helpful hint: Right click and download the DOC file to your hard drive. Filling it out in Word is easier than working with it in your browser. And be sure you are online when filling it out.


You can fax and/or email or mail the above information.  See all of our contact information below.

If you wish to order the "On-Site Design" Service (if located within 75 miles of Fredericksburg, Virginia) for a deck, screen/glass porch, gazebo or shed (or any combination), simply call, fax or email us below.  We will need your VISA or MC information.  Or you are welcome to pay by check (which means I don't pay a credit card Merchant Fee).

The owner, Mike French, will call you back to discuss and clarify all of the details.


------ Non-Performance Surcharge ------

**
Please understand that the $400 Drafting Fee mentioned above is acts as a Non-Performance Surcharge if you are obtaining these plans to do it yourself or to contract it out to another firm (someone other than a firm I represent). The reason is because the above Preliminary Plan Design Fee Retainer prices protect me against lost time and added expenses only. They just allow me to break even... to pay my expenses (time, maybe some travel, and drafting fees). They are not sufficient to make a living. [To prove this statement, get a bid for plans from an architect.] The additional $400 is necessary to make it worth my while if we won't be building it for you.

Thanks for your understanding!

 

Disclaimer:
(You really should read this)

We work very hard to insure that our clients are 100% satisfied with their Preliminary Custom Plan that we work up together before it goes to Drafting. But once you give us your approval, then the preliminary design goes to Drafting and "the dye is cast". We cannot refund your money if you change your mind. Why? We have invested a lot of time in your Preliminary Custom Plan and more time and money in drafting your Custom Building Plan. On the other hand, if you change your mind before the Preliminary Custom Plan goes to Drafting, here is our Refund Policy.

Also (pay close attention now), we do our dead level best to provide you with a clear, comprehensive, code compliant set of Custom Building Plans, but we are human and we can make mistakes. Therefore our Custom Building Plans are not warrantied against errors or omissions... either express or implied. For that reason I also state on all plans that the “Buyer agrees that building from these plans is acceptance by buyer of full responsibility for meeting all building code requirements and buyer will hold Designer harmless in the event of errors and/or omissions.”

Why do we do this? Well, think about it... one of the big reasons is because, if another builder other than a Virginia Decking authorized builder is doing the construction, we have no quality control. We have no way of knowing if the construction techniques used are acceptable or not. (In other words, we don't know if you know one end of the hammer from the other.) You (or your Builder) may be able to read Building Plans... and you may not... in which case mistakes will be made. No offence intended, but I hope you understand that, in this sue happy country of ours, this type of disclaimer is totally necessary.

But you can go a long way toward catching any errors and/omissions by submitting your Building Plans to your local county or city Plan Review. Always submit your Building Plans to Plan Review. You pay their salaries! Make 'em earn it.

 

Whether we build your deck or not, we are a factory trained and authorized distributor for Super Shield... the only deck sealant and finish that will make a wood (or composite) finish last 10-30 years with little to no maintenance. At about $2/SF materials to seal a deck floor w/o cracking, peeling, fading, chipping or discoloration for many years... you really owe it to yourself to check this out.

Really no sense in spending all that money and energy for a beautiful new deck/porch only to:

  • Watch it deteriorate with time... or
  • Spend your precious free time working on it... or
  • Pay good money each year to make it look decent again...

Now there is a Permanent Maintenance Solution.


Non-slip wet or dry
No fungus, mold or mildew
One time application
Self-cleaning in the rain!

Alternative Solution:

Old pressure wood deck or dock getting you down?
Splintering? Gray and weathered? Cupping and warped?
Don't replace it. Resurface it for a fraction of the cost.

 

Untitled Document


 
 

 

 
Virginia Decking & Remodeling LLC
PO Box 41157
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
 
 
 
 
Telephone numbers below:
 
   
 

Note: If you are calling for a telephone estimate, that's great. I only ask that you first work with my extremely powerful Excel Deck, Porch and Sunroom Price Worksheet. Then call.

Thanks!

 

General Inquiries

540 786-3534

Design & Build Projects in Maryland
540 786-3534
Design & Build Projects in Northern Virginia

703 494-6556

Design & Build Projects in greater Fredericksburg, VA
540 786-3534
Design & Build Projects anywhere USA
540 786-3534
Fax
540 786-3324

 

 
 
 
 

(Type email address into your email program. This is a spam stopping technique.)
 
 
 
 
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All prices are subject to change without prior notice (duh).

 
Copyright 2006-2013 by Mike French
DBA Virginia Decking & Remodeling LLC
All Rights Reserved

 

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