Virginia Decking & Remodeling LLC

(Homeowner Interactive Savings)


"I'll save $4000 on an average deck!?!"

    For those folks who want to become interactive in the Design and Build process of their new deck, porch, or gazebo project, Virginia Decking & Remodeling LLC offers you something no one else does... a way  to  save  hundreds... no, thousands of dollars.... and  still  be  assured  of minimal risk because one of Virginia's finest deck builders or porch builders will be doing the work.    You will be acting as your  own  General Contractor.    You save in at least three ways.   Here's how it works:

Deck with gazebo, lattice skirting

Go to "Virginia Oaks (4)" 
Deck-Gazebo Plan


Deck Building Cost

(Deck Materials)

If you contract with a deck builder to build a deck on your home, you pay them to buy the deck materials.  (Just like you paid your mechanic to buy the water pump he put on your car.)  But you pay a marked up price for the materials. Typically there is a 40-50% markup, sometimes a lot more.

Click sun room photo to enlarge

Click here to view sunroom plan and deck plan
Enlarge All Season Glass Porch
George Stevens Reference Information

See next sunroom photo in George Stevens sunroom series.

Click here for next porch in series.

If total deck materials cost about $8.00/SF (this is a good average cost as of the fall 2011 for PT decks, then you pay an extra $3.82/SF to your deck contractor to get him to do what you could do:  Answer a phone call from our supplier who calls you to arrange for payment.  On an average pressure treated deck of 600 SF, that means you would save $2292 for taking the phone call!  On an Ipe deck, you'll typically save over $5200 for just paying for the Ipe materials yourself!

In addition, you get to keep any left over wood... or call the supplier for pickup of extra wood and receive a refund)   My firm will allow you to act as your own General Contractor and save this money. 

But we make it even easier for you because we will call in your order for you and the Material Supplier will call you to arrange for payment and delivery. We use and recommend only one Material Supplier for all pressure treated wood, fasteners, concrete and miscellaneous building materials because the one we found has the best prices, absolutely sweetest looking wood, and exemplary service. For Ipe and all other exotic, tropical hardwood decks we automatically use our one of a kind Network of Ipe Suppliers who will competitively bid on your Ipe wood materials thereby saving you a TON over what the local lumber yard would charge you (because they buy from our suppliers anyway).

Incidentally, Mr. George Stevens acted as his own General Contractor on this beautiful glass sunroom and deck that you've been looking at.  He did it to save a great deal of money and yet not risk quality.



If your deck company obtains your Building Permit, you can bet they aren't doing it for free.  We know that actual permits cost anywhere from $50 to $100 typically.  Therefore, we charge $500 to cover the cost of the permit itself and to pay someone to get the permit.  Why not drop the permit information off at the county (or in some cases, walk it through) and save yourself another $500?

We will provide you with everything you need to get the Permit including a computer generated set of extremely clear Building Plans and House Location Survey with deck drawn to scale.  You drop it off (or walk it through in some cases), and save money.  Be there at 8:00 am Monday-Thursday and in Fairfax and Prince William, typically you'll be out by 9:30... Permit in hand.


In addition to this, you know and I know that no one works for free.  If I come out to your place and design a deck, porch, or gazebo for you, I will factor into your price the value of my time.  Time is money, and it's the buyer who

Click glass sunroom photo to enlarge

Click here to view sunroom and deck plan
Click to enlarge Glass Porch
See next photo in George Stevens sunroom series.

Click here for next porch in series.

pays for this time. But nobody sells everybody.  The average is one out of three.  Therefore, if I spend three hours with a neighbor, and two hours with another neighbor, then three hours with you and you buy but they don't... guess who pays for the eight hours of my time plus travel expenses to and from each appointment?  You do. The buyer pays. Remember: Nobody works for free... nobody.  I don't.  You don't.  My competitors don't.  Everyone has to factor into their prices these expenses because they are real expenses. But you do not have to incur these expenses.  If you and I work together and I design your deck, porch, or gazebo from the comfort of my office so that I never have to leave my fax machine and computer, I will pass an additional 10% savings on to you.  10% of the contract price is a typical commission paid to in-home Designers for this type of work. If the average deck is 600 SF and we normally charge $25.48/SF (in-home design, full service price), that means you save 10% of $15,288 or $1529 more or less depending on the size of your project.  Not bad for a very little work on your part. 

Click to enlarge sunroom photo


Click here to view sunroom and deck plan
glass porch sun room
See next photo in George Stevens sunroom series.

Click here for next porch in series.

How much work is "very little"?  We need four things to start including a rough sketch of the back of your house such as this sample below, along with a copy of your House Location Survey (your "plat"... normally kept in with your house closing papers) so I can see if you have enough room to build without infringing into zoning setbacks... and we're in business! 


Print Out this Sample Sketch
       To: Mike French                                                          From: John & Marsha
       Re: Our deck drawing                                              Date:  8/15/08

       Home Phone (540) 786-xxxx       
       Work Phone  (703) 690-xxxx (John)

  ......Dear Mike, 

     We entertain 10 to 15 folks at a time, and also do lots of outdoor barbecuing.  We also have a toddler. Can you put a gate at the top of the steps and keep the handrail pickets about 4" apart?  Also, can you design in a sunken octagon at the southern corner of the deck to hold a future spa? 

     I read on your site that you and your wife bought a spa from ThermoSpas.  We're also thinking about buying one. Factory rep meeting with us on Saturday. How do you like yours? 

     If the money holds out, how about an overhead trellis over the octagon?  And we REALLY like that new maintenance free GeoDeck composite you folks like even better than Trex. According to your Excel Price Worksheet, I should be able to afford Fairway Vinyl Railings and white vinyl trim all around.

Info from homeowner


     Also, we have about $30,000 to spend on this deck project.  Our VISA information for the $500 Design Fee Retainer as well as house photos and House Location Survey have been inserted into your Client Worksheet

     Please, email back your custom design asap.  Also, I understand that my $500 Design Fee Retainer will be credited toward my contract when I contract with one of your deck firms.


                                              John & Marsha

PS - By the way, thanks for the link to your CAD program (DesignCAD Express 15)! It was easy to figure out and actually fun to use. We measured where our windows and doors are on each wall and drew them to scale in DesignCAD. Then we just put in our ideas about the deck, hit save and attached it to our email. You have a gift for empowering people with just the right tools to really help them. Thank you so much.



These folks will be very pleasantly surprised.  With their involvement and interactivity in this deck design, they will not need this much money. See
my Excel Price Worksheet for details. Also, I took their DesignCAD Express 15 file and zipped it so you can use it as a "template" in DesignCAD Express 15 for your own house walls and deck. It's actually a lot of fun to use. Just right click and download PP4CW.ZIP to your desktop. Unzip it and it should open right up in DesignCAD Express 15 (fully functional 30 day trial copy).


   You tell me how much you want to spend, about where you want your deck, some things you enjoy doing on your deck (cooking/eating/sunbathing/partying, etc.) and I'll draw up some ideas to fit your budget,  your house, your terrain and even your life style

Click to enlarge sunroom photo

Click here to view sun room and deck plan
Interior of Glass Sunroom
See next photo in George Stevens sun room series

Click here for next porch in series.


After I've got the initial design drawn up in my computer's CAD program, I will email it back to you for revisions. You save a LOT of time, still get the benefit of a first class Designer (me), don't have to put up with pushy salesmen who make you mad and sweat all over your dining room table. And you save a lot of money.  So, let's review and conclude this so you can fill out your Client Worksheet and email it to me.
You'd better leave right now!

Not without your money!


Average deck is 600 SF x $25.48  =    $15,788 (full service typical price - includes $500 Permit)
$3.82/SF x 600 SF  = - $  2,292 (average savings if you buy materials)
You get Building Permit  = - $     500 (our charge to obtain Permit)
You help design deck/porch  = - $  1,529 (save salesman's 10% commission)
TOTAL average cost to you  =   $  11,467 ($4,321 of real savings  -- 27%)

  (This savings will easily double to over $8000 for a composite or Ipe deck)

   This works out to an average of $19.11/SF actual cost to you ($11.11/SF labor and $8/SF estimated materials) for a professional and well thought out design, a computer generated set of Building Plans, no surprises with materials, and some of the best workmanship money can buy... deck firms I sell for.  We charge you only $11.11/SF (labor) for a typical pressure treated deck (as of 8-22-11).

Incidentally, there are two very good reasons why I can afford to give away $4321 on an average deck... money that other deck firms are not able to give away... and I will tell you both reasons shortly. (Don't you just love it when the anticipation builds?) Impatient are we? All right. Jump ahead and read the Consulting Services & Prices page. You will find it there.

Click to enlarge sunroom & deck photo

Click here to view sunroom and deck plan
Sikkens Stained Deck beside Sunroom

Click here for next porch in series.

"We Frame - U Finish"

Want to save more?  If you're pretty handy with a hammer, you might want us to do everything except the decking and railings (the easy part).  In that case, we will charge you only $7.50/SF "labor to frame" and you will save another $3.61/SF or $2166 on an average 600 SF pressure treated deck. Check out our new online Deck-Porch-Sunroom Calculator. Along with giving you costs of pressure treated, composite and Ipe materials, it will also give you the Labor to Frame. For a real life example of how this worked for one gentleman, see "The Bautch" porch and deck plan. This smart homeowner figured out how to get a composite porch and deck for $4600 LESS than pressure treated!

   You won't find a better deal anywhere.  Check out the "We Need 4 Things to Start" list below so we can start working on your design.  Hint: Print out this page so you can use the sample sketch above as a guideline to go by.

Deck Barter

Want to save still more?   You might be able to barter (swap) a portion of the deck price if you have an item of value that Mike would like.  "Are you serious?"  Yup.  I've done it many times and it works like a charm.  Click on the Deck Barter link to see why and how.  (And, yes, it may seem a little "hokey"... and, no, it's not for everyone... but you know what?  It's just what some of us are looking for in order to comfortably afford that new outdoor project... so stop chuckling and start thinking about what you have of value that you've been wanting to sell or get rid of.  Ask me.  I might surprise you and work out a deal.  Awhile ago a lady called and rather tentatively asked if I would consider trading a portion of the deck cost for something they owned.  I admit I was a little surprised, but after thinking it over I said sure!  So think "outside the box".  Be creative and inventive.  

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 or VISA/MC/DISC.

To make this whole process go a lot smoooooother, 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.

One more hint: I upgraded this Client Worksheet to a MS Word interactive form. If it gives you a fit, download and use the original Client Worksheet and let me know what wouldn't work for you in the form. Thanks.

Are you ready to order a Design and also receive a bid? No? Still not convinced, huh. Check out a sample contract. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.


And don't forget: For 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 the new and wonderful...

"Comprehensive Deck Cost Calculator"
["Where are the bugles and trumpets?"]



For a detailed description of our Design & Build services,  along with our Prices and Ordering information,  please read our Consulting Services & Prices page now.

This page also contains a full explanation of how in the world I can afford to give away so much money when other deck firms can't.



Still undecided?   Why not read what some of our interactive and "Design-at-a-Distance" clients are saying about their personal experiences with this exciting, new deck-porch-gazebo service?  And feel free to call them.  They've given me permission to give out their contact information...  and they love to talk about our work.

Sikkens Stain, Sealer, Wood FinishA Word About Staining & Sealing

For many years we recommended only one deck stain-sealer: Sikkens. Don't get me wrong. Sikkens is good. But we have found something much, much better. This is a totally different technology that produces a stain-finish-coating that is harder and lasts years longer than Sikkens or anything else that we know of. Sikkens lasts 2-3 years tops. This product lasts 10-20-30 years. Read all about it at Super Shield. Why spend all that time and money building a deck that becomes a part time job to maintain? Know what I mean?

Virginia Decking & Remodeling LLC is actually the only deck firm on the planet that can offer you design, build and sealing of a wooden deck whose finish will last 10-30 years with little to no maintenance.

(I love audacious claims... when I can back them up.)



golden teak
rich exotic ipe

Ever think you could have a real wood deck that looks this good?
And won't require you to cash in your 401K?
And lasts way longer than a Trex composite deck?
For about $2/SF in materials to finish the floor with Super Shield...

Super Shield stain seal fluoropolymer

Deck sealer w/o equal
20 year formula...
Stunning results...
ADA non-slip
wet or dry



For a detailed description of our Design & Build services,  along with our Prices and Ordering information,  please read our Consulting Services & Prices page now.

This page also contains a full explanation of how in the world I can afford to give away so much money when other deck firms can't.





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.



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
540 786-3324



(Type email address into your email program. This is a spam stopping technique.)
Nation's First Deck-Porch-Gazebo Company on the Web

Navigational Links to All of Our Services
One Time All Purpose Super
Shield Deck Sealer-Finish
Terrible Composite Decking Problems
Deck and House
Power Washing
Design-at-a-Distance References Ordering Standard Plans Gazebos Kits & Plans
Catalog (1st Edition)
On Site Design Client Testimonial Letters Money back guarantee
for Standard Plans
Gazebo Pricing
Gazebo Ordering
Design/Build Anywhere USA
"Have Nail Gun, Will Travel"
Fact Sheet
(Our Credentials)
Sample Building Plan Ipe Decks & Ipe Wood
Composite Decking-Railing Fairway Vinyl Railings Hints & Tips Starting a Deck Business?
Hidden Fasteners Transform funky area
below your deck
Deck Cost Calculator Financing Available
Materials Discount Links of Interest Composite & Ipe Deck
& Porch Photo Gallery
Personal note
from the owner
Site Map "How to Plan a Deck" "How to Build a Deck" Client Worksheet
(4 things to get started)
All prices are subject to change without prior notice (duh).

Copyright 2006-2012 by Mike French
DBA Virginia Decking & Remodeling LLC
All Rights Reserved


Deck Plans | Building Decks | Deck Builders | Screen Porch | Front Porch Designs | Porch Designs | Ipe Decking Deck Design
Deck Planning
| Composite Problems | Additional Resources | Deck Cleaning Services