I have $8000 to put into the house I am closing on. I am going to live in it for a few years. I want to put a 100 sq ft deck and a sliding glass door on it. Can that be done for $5000 or less?
Too vague on your question. From a builders stand point - it depends on what you expect from your deck. How far above the ground will it be? What type of materials do you want? How much detail in the handrails, etc… Yes you should be able to get the deck and a french door put in for half that amount - in Austin, Tx. My recomendation is to try to attend a local REI club mtg. and talk to people there about their similar experiences and for recomendations on a handyman. Also - PLEASE get multiple bids. One guy may come in half price of sombody else and you decide to go with him but then in the fine print it states that his bid is for labor only, no materials. Another reomendation - before you talk to any contractors - write down a scope of work that you can give to each person bidding the work so they are all bidding apples to apples. If 1 guy has something on his bid that you want to include - call the others and see how much they would charge to provide the additional work.
One more thing - DO NOT tell a contractor what his competion bid!! Make him earn the job by telling him you want his best price. Even if they say they’ll beat the other guy by $x.xx. That’s an unethical way to do business and it will get around that you bid shop. Also, be sure to add a line in your contract/ agreement that no change orders are to take place until they are approved in writing before the start of the work or else the contractor has just done it for free. You may get alot more calls about things that come up but atleast you’ll be able to keep your expenses in check.
Sorry for the long response. I’ve just seen too many people get burned by an unscrupulous individual trying to make his new truck payment rather than actually caring about the client. It makes it difficult for us good guys to keep the contractor name in good standing.
Everything Digger has is correct.
Only thing I would add is
If they dont’ have them don’t work with them.
I work almost entirely by referral. The first words out of my mouth is usually, Hi, I got your name from XXX and he recommend I talk to you about blah, blah".