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-   -   Blow That Dough! -2021 (https://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f29/blow-that-dough-2021-a-107327.html)

skipro33 03-11-2021 09:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 2574932)
If you bought the S&P with that money, you would have $513K now. And it does not require costly maintenance like that chopper.

Even with sleepy Wellesley MF, you would have $361K.

Very roughly speaking, I would have also been billing at $850 an hour. I probably would have around 500 hours a year for around $400,000.

skipro33 03-11-2021 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Finance Dave (Post 2575011)
skippro, wow that's extreme...I'd hold off if you can. But you're right, never know if it may go even higher.

No one knows what will happen with lumber prices...so it's a tough call...but I'd be looking for other options or waiting. What about a concrete patio instead?

The lay of the land makes concrete not practical. The slope is about 2:1 every 2 feet out the ground drops 1 foot. The deck is 20' wide, so while it starts at essentially ground level, the far end is 10' off the ground.

These steps lead down to where the new deck would go in. The yellow rope defines, very roughly, the deck in relation to the trees. I placed the rope to give an idea of the elevation change from the ground. Also roughly speaking the weed killed area would be the deck area.

My goal was to use steel and composite decking because this is California and I'm in a stage 3 fire zone, highest rated risk. I'd rather it be something not wood.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw...-no?authuser=0

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw...-no?authuser=0

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw...-no?authuser=0

Music Lover 03-11-2021 10:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2574914)
Looking to build a 1,000 square foot deck out back of our house. First priced last March at $25,000. Lumber prices have shot up over 140% since then and we are now quoted over $75,000 for the same deck. I looked into composite decking and steel framing. Cost is $80,000. For $5K more than conventional wood, this would be indestructible and maintenance free. The problem is that it's still $80 a square foot for a deck that 1/3rd that just a year ago. One contractor suggested I look at it this way; my house is now worth over $375 a square foot, so $80 a square ft for a deck is in line. This includes the deck stairs and railing. Turn key solution.
I'm just struggling with all the things I could buy with $80K other than a deck though. I made the mistake in 2006 on not going forward with buying a helicopter, a Bell Jet Ranger 206, for $125,000. (It's a long story about starting a side business in retirement) The same airship now sells for between $500,000 and $700,000. Will the price of deck materials and construction go up where I'll be glad I bought in at $80K, or will I look the fool to spend that kind of dough on a deck I really don't NEED but really want?

Wow, that's expensive.

FYI, I just priced out a basic 16' x 30' deck (480 sq ft) for a friend's cabin. At current lumber prices it's about $5000 (PT wood) with an aluminum spindle railing, deck pads, nails, etc. We'll probably add a basic barbeque station and a bench along one side and a couple planters but that will add less than $1000 to the build. We're building it ourselves.

EDIT* I hope I didn't come across as overly critical. I was comparing a basic deck to something that was probably a work of art with a lot of very nice features. I'm sure I could easily rack up a material list for a 1000 sq ft deck of $20k or more without even trying that hard.

skipro33 03-11-2021 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Music Lover (Post 2575204)
Wow, that's expensive.

FYI, I just priced out a basic 16' x 30' deck (480 sq ft) for a friend's cabin. At current lumber prices it's about $5000 (PT wood) with an aluminum spindle railing, deck pads, nails, etc. We'll probably add a basic barbeque station and a bench along one side and a couple planters but that will add less than $1000 to the build. We're building it ourselves.

So $6,000 for 480sqft complete. That works out to $12,500 in materials for a 1,000sqft deck. Labor would double the cost I figure. Simply look where the footings have to go in at from my photos. I need to go 2 or 3' deep to anchor this thing right. So figure around $25,000 for a turn-key basic wood deck. My deck has 3 levels and 3 octagon shapes incorporated. Not sure how much that would add.
I appreciate your reply.

Music Lover 03-11-2021 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2575216)
So $6,000 for 480sqft complete. That works out to $12,500 in materials for a 1,000sqft deck. Labor would double the cost I figure. Simply look where the footings have to go in at from my photos. I need to go 2 or 3' deep to anchor this thing right. So figure around $25,000 for a turn-key basic wood deck. My deck has 3 levels and 3 octagon shapes incorporated. Not sure how much that would add.
I appreciate your reply.

I edited my comment to be less critical, looks like we cross posted ;)

3 levels, octagon, pilings, etc...angles and levels take more time and more material and that's expensive. And I just looked at the photos, definitely a lot more work is involved.

One thought...is the deck 3 levels because of the slope and aesthetics or because there are different levels of the house requiring access? Almost everyone I know with a multi-level deck spends most of their time on one level and if they had to do it again would go with one level. YMMV of course.

skipro33 03-11-2021 10:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Music Lover (Post 2575227)
I edited my comment to be less critical, looks like we cross posted ;)

3 levels, octagon, pilings, etc...angles and levels take more time and more material and that's expensive. And I just looked at the photos, definitely a lot more work is involved.

One thought...is the deck 3 levels because of the slope and aesthetics or because there are different levels of the house requiring access? Almost everyone I know with a multi-level deck spends most of their time on one level and if they had to do it again would go with one level. YMMV of course.

3 levels for the looks. The stone steps from the backyard is 5 steps, 35" drop. This goes to the main deck out to the trees with octagon deck extending around each of the two trees. Then 5 steps to the right coming down stone steps to a 14' octagon deck that will have a propane fire ring feature and seating. The other end of the main deck will have 5 steps up to another octagon deck that is flush with the new driveway going in. I can walk from the driveway onto the deck, down stairs, cross main deck and up stone stairs into the back yard. Or down 5 more steps to the stand-alone 14' octagon deck with fire ring.

RunningBum 03-11-2021 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2574914)
One contractor suggested I look at it this way; my house is now worth over $375 a square foot, so $80 a square ft for a deck is in line.

Make your decision on something other than a contractor's sales pitch.

finnski1 03-11-2021 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RunningBum (Post 2575233)
Make your decision on something other than a contractor's sales pitch.


+1

finnski1 03-11-2021 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2574914)
Looking to build a 1,000 square foot deck out back of our house. First priced last March at $25,000. Lumber prices have shot up over 140% since then and we are now quoted over $75,000 for the same deck. I looked into composite decking and steel framing. Cost is $80,000. For $5K more than conventional wood, this would be indestructible and maintenance free. The problem is that it's still $80 a square foot for a deck that 1/3rd that just a year ago. One contractor suggested I look at it this way; my house is now worth over $375 a square foot, so $80 a square ft for a deck is in line. This includes the deck stairs and railing. Turn key solution.
I'm just struggling with all the things I could buy with $80K other than a deck though. I made the mistake in 2006 on not going forward with buying a helicopter, a Bell Jet Ranger 206, for $125,000. (It's a long story about starting a side business in retirement) The same airship now sells for between $500,000 and $700,000. Will the price of deck materials and construction go up where I'll be glad I bought in at $80K, or will I look the fool to spend that kind of dough on a deck I really don't NEED but really want?

Let's assume your first quote was 1/2 labor and 1/2 materials. Therefore materials were $12,500. If they shot up 140% that would be $30,000. the labor should be the same. So seems like $42500 would be the new quote. Contractor just upped his labor/profit by an additional $32500. Something isn't right.

Leo1277 03-11-2021 11:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2575178)
<snip>
My goal was to use steel and composite decking because this is California and I'm in a stage 3 fire zone, highest rated risk. I'd rather it be something not wood. <snip>

Very beautiful setting, and a very nice home from what one can see, congratulations! However, about that fire danger: I read somewhere that while these composites don't outright burn like wood, the do smolder, and they produce some poisonous combustion gases in the process. You may want to look into this, and it may also depend on the exact product. So speaking a bit sarcastically, while it may prevent the house from burning, it may kill off the occupants... reminds me of this old saying about the then-new technology of the neutron bomb: kills grandma, but spares the TV.

Music Lover 03-11-2021 11:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by finnski1 (Post 2575249)
Let's assume your first quote was 1/2 labor and 1/2 materials. Therefore materials were $12,500. If they shot up 140% that would be $30,000. the labor should be the same. So seems like $42500 would be the new quote. Contractor just upped his labor/profit by an additional $32500. Something isn't right.

Certain contractors are a lot more busy due to Covid and deck builders are in that group. With a long list of people not traveling and wanting to fix up their yards instead wait times of several months or longer are the norm and they can raise their prices and still never run out of work.

That being said, even though I'm not sure how much the labour cost is on a multi-level deck I do agree with your math that the price of lumber doesn't correlate to such a huge increase.

unclemick 03-11-2021 12:05 PM

New Septic tank new location at The Farm. The 30 plus year old Blue Spruce grew up and defeated 'da Roto Router'. Grin.

DW nixed my thoughts on a new age composite toilet.

Heh heh heh - ;) Can I hear a 'yes dear.' :dance: :dance: ;D

Finance Dave 03-12-2021 03:48 AM

skip, thanks for the pics...you obviously have a unique layout on the hill. Hopefully you can find a solution that works for you. You have a great view too!

Only other thing I can think of would be to go to your contractor (or maybe a different one) and say "Listen, I like you guys and want to use you...but the price is just out of this world. What if I were to give you flexibility on scheduling whereby you could do this job during your slow season or when you don't have other jobs, in exchange for a 15% discount on the labor?"

Something like that.

skipro33 03-12-2021 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Finance Dave (Post 2575558)
skip, thanks for the pics...you obviously have a unique layout on the hill. Hopefully you can find a solution that works for you. You have a great view too!

Only other thing I can think of would be to go to your contractor (or maybe a different one) and say "Listen, I like you guys and want to use you...but the price is just out of this world. What if I were to give you flexibility on scheduling whereby you could do this job during your slow season or when you don't have other jobs, in exchange for a 15% discount on the labor?"

Something like that.

He is a good guy contractor, a neighbor in fact who lives just down the road from us. He has a lot riding on his reputation with the other neighbors who will see his work and his prices and consider him for their jobs as well.
From the start he told me he would work for materials and labor, meaning; that all material costs he would simply pass along to me. When he told me the cost of materials, a little over $60,000, he said that was his cost and that I would see all invoices from the vendor or I could pay the vendor directly with a credit card on file if I chose. His labor would be either a fixed cost or hourly, my choice. I would probably come out ahead on hourly, but I do want him to make this worth his while and not take advantage of his neighborliness and pay him his quoted labor. He roughly estimated labor at $20,000. He uses a crew of 3 to 5 guys and he said the majority of the labor will be sinking the footings into that hillside. Very rocky and needs 3' holes with concrete tubes as forms with steel to make this stand the test of time on a hillside like this.

Quote:

I read somewhere that while these composites don't outright burn like wood, the do smolder, and they produce some poisonous combustion gases in the process.
The deck is not attached to the house, it's about 50' away across a yard and down some stone steps to one of the few areas near the house that has trees. After the fire, all the trees surrounding the home were lost. Further away, many survived since they hadn't the heat from the structure burning. It is why I chose that area for a deck, someplace to enjoy outside that was shaded, not in the hot sun.
The decking I'm looking at is called Timber Tech AZEK. It is the most fire resistance decking material available at this time and has a Class A flame spread rating index 0-25. Class A = Flame Spread Index of 25 or less; the best possible rating, awarded to fire-retardant building products like concrete.

skipro33 03-12-2021 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unclemick (Post 2575278)
New Septic tank new location at The Farm. The 30 plus year old Blue Spruce grew up and defeated 'da Roto Router'. Grin.

DW nixed my thoughts on a new age composite toilet.

Heh heh heh - ;) Can I hear a 'yes dear.' :dance: :dance: ;D

Did a new leach field get installed as well? I suppose now you'll tell everyone your Chit don't stink. Ha!

oiseux 03-13-2021 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2575643)
He is a good guy contractor, a neighbor in fact


extensive snip


The decking I'm looking at is called Timber Tech AZEK. It is the most fire resistance decking material available at this time and has a Class A flame spread rating index 0-25. Class A = Flame Spread Index of 25 or less; the best possible rating, awarded to fire-retardant building products like concrete.


I think you pretty much explained your own answer. You've got to use the most expensive of materials at a time of high demand. A lot of people are doing major home projects as they've spent a lot of time at home. It has pushed up demand and mills have restricted supply. Hence, the rise in all times of lumber. Then, locally you are in one of the fastest growing construction markets in the country, so trades and labor are at a peak.

Found this relevant article: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/10/lumb...ing-costs.html

skipro33 03-13-2021 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oiseux (Post 2576353)
I think you pretty much explained your own answer. You've got to use the most expensive of materials at a time of high demand.

Contractor gave me the billing invoice quotes. The 1,000sqft deck boards are around $13K. The steel framing is around $27K and the railing is around $17K. Misc. hardware, tax, etc took the total to $61K for materials.

1st option; pressure treated wood using 6x6, 6x8 framing instead of steel. Price reduction of $13K, roughly half the cost of steel.

2nd option; pressure treated wood 4x4 4x12 framing instead of steel. Price reduction of another $5K from 1st option, for $18K less than steel.

3rd option; railing deleted. Railing was to be horizontal steel cable between metal posts for a cost of $17K. Contractor says we can design our own from raw materials and save at least $10K.

So, if I went with 6x pressure treated lumber on the framing and custom build the railing, not kit from dealer, the material costs can be reduced from $61K down to $38K. Far as looks goes, nothing that is visible will change.

4th option; redwood deck boards. Cost for 2x6 redwood is around $3 to $4 a square ft., roughly $3K to $4K. A reduction from $13K for composite decking, so another $10K, bringing the deck down to $28K.

So, $28K for a conventional wood deck w/6x6 lumber or $61K for steel and composite. I could replace the wood deck twice over during the lifetime of composite/steel. That still leaves the maintenance I was hoping to avoid.

A year ago, the composite/steel was around $20K for materials and wood was half that.

A lot to consider. It's hard to accept the cost of everything construction doubled in a year.

street 03-13-2021 08:03 PM

skipro33 >> sounds like a beautiful deck plan. The landscape is beautiful! Would you consider doing the work yourself?

skipro33 03-13-2021 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by street (Post 2576518)
skipro33 >> sounds like a beautiful deck plan. The landscape is beautiful! Would you consider doing the work yourself?

That was my intent. I've built all the outdoor work you see so far, all my own design. The stone wall is over 60,000 pounds of stack concrete stones I hand carried and laid myself last year. The house I designed but played general contractor, hiring the subs for the various trades.

The problem with doing this deck is that I was diagnosed with cancer and just a bit weakened by it. Doc says it's incurable, but treatable. Anywhere from 5 to 15 years depending on how well my body responds to the chemo I'll have to endure every 2 to 5 years.

Talked it over with the wife this evening and we are now of the mind to go forward with a conventional deck; construction heart redwood at $5 a square ft for deck and a whole lot less for framing since the composite required 12" joist spacing and lumber can get away with 16" up to 20" spacing. I can get the deck materials for half the cost of composite/steel. It just won't last as long and look as nice through the years as composite and steel. I've seen composite decks 7 to 8 years old that look like they were installed last week. Stuff really holds up!

I have 3 other major projects I need done before calling it quits; my driveway, this deck, my barn and a deck off the 2nd story studio apartment I had completed 2 years ago for a future live-in care provider. The deck provides discrete access without trapesing through the living quarters downstairs. My plan was to do one project a year while I was able. I enjoy building and landscaping, but reality has a way of modifying plans.

Here's a sketch of the deck. The red area is the stone wall and steps shown in previous photos.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw...-no?authuser=0

Music Lover 03-13-2021 08:31 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by skipro33 (Post 2576511)
1st option; pressure treated wood using 6x6, 6x8 framing instead of steel. Price reduction of $13K, roughly half the cost of steel.

2nd option; pressure treated wood 4x4 4x12 framing instead of steel. Price reduction of another $5K from 1st option, for $18K less than steel.

3rd option; railing deleted. Railing was to be horizontal steel cable between metal posts for a cost of $17K. Contractor says we can design our own from raw materials and save at least $10K.

So, if I went with 6x pressure treated lumber on the framing and custom build the railing, not kit from dealer, the material costs can be reduced from $61K down to $38K. Far as looks goes, nothing that is visible will change.

My opinion, if you can't see it and there's no performance issues, there's no need to pay more. PT wood can last decades. For example, the deck at my parent's house is 35 years old and the PT joists and beams are still in perfect shape.

I made this railing for my deck, 3 pieces of PT 2x4 and aluminum spindles. It cost roughly $10 per foot. But you might want something nicer...or a lot nicer :)


Attachment 38191


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