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MuleShack

Deck building...Would a contractor do?

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We wre thinking of putting up a deck on the house. I dont mind doing the work, but thinking the four 8x8 posts and the quadruple width beam and joist hanging will be too much for one guy. It is a 16' x 22' square plan with no stairs, 4 posts and the footings and patio are already in down below.

Do you think a contractor would do a job if it only entailed the beam and posts and joists?

I can handle the rest by myself. I know there are some contractors on here, just wondering how you would feel about bidding on a partial job? It shouldn't make any difference if people are looking for work.

I have not gotten any estimates yet, just trying to get a feel for if some one would want to bid on a partial job.

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I did my deck a couple years ago by myself. And even tho my was not as large(20X12), I did all the work myself. Find a friend or neighbor to help with the post and the main beam. The joists shouldn't be too bad if you use joist hangers and are laying them on top of the main beam.

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A contractor would balk if they were asked to bid on an started project thats messed up. That could be a number of things. Wrong placement of posts, poor layout or structurally poor planing where the project couldn't pass inspection.

Or having them stop at a point and letting you finish that might effect their work or cause the project to fail an inspection or code violation.

Otherwise the job is what you specify. Partial or whatever.

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If you can handle the job and know what to do why not ask a couple of friends/neighbors to help you. Offer them a fine 'T' bone on the grill dinner with happy hour after the work is done.

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I know for sure there are at least a few companies that will do partial builds on a deck. However, they usually will do the footings, posts, and frame and then leave you to do the flooring and railings.

The fact that the footings are in might make them pass on the job if they are not done correctly. I would call around to see what companies are willing to do partial builds and then talk to them about your specifics. If they come out and check the footings and find that they were done correctly they may be willing to do the job. If they are done incorrectly them may still take the job but require the plan to be altered so they can dig new footings that are done right. At least that way you can be sure its done right.

With that said I would personally do the work myself or with a few buddies. If you have the skills this is a good project where you can save some money.

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its not too bad doing that, a friend and i built many decks over the past two years, and it was just the two of us. some tips:

Scab on 2x4 "legs" to your post angled out to give it support to stand on its own. (the blocks the lumberyard sets down to fork your material onto works great for this) then get all of your posts standing, then add 1 ply of your beam at a time. make sure you crown them properly, and screw/nail them to laminate them together each time you add a ply. next put up the end joists, giving the correct overhang, and toenail them to the beam (if you're overhanging the beam, if not then joist hangar to the beam)

from there its simple, just keep adding joists.

its easily a 2 person job if you use some mechanical assistance.

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The footings were permitted and inspected by the county when I put them in while I was putting in the paver patio a few years ago...so they are all legal.

Now you guys got me thinking about tackling it myself. I built the last deck on our old house, but that was smaller. Could probably swing it if I worked smarter and not harder. Good Idea about the bracing crothmeier.

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smarter not harder. theres something to live by.

take your time on it and im sure all will go well. you can always find a willing buddy if a case of his favorite beer and maybe a steak is plopped down on the finished deck!

(dont drink prior, or during construction!!! haha)

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We're actually by Fish lake. If we decide to start it this year, it wouldn't be till October. I'll keep you in mind.

Thanks for the offer.

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Muleshack,

The problems that I see with having a contractor do partial work on your deck is this:

1. MN state code requires that the homeowner or the contractor doing the work must pull the permit for the work that is to be completed, with this being said I have never heard of any city allowing a contractor to only pull a permit for the framing portion of a deck.

2. I would want to know if the footings have been inspected before they were poured (the footings are to be 42" deep and belled out to the specs that are set by the building offical) as this is required per code also.

3. There are three parts to deck inspections, the footing inspection, the framing inspection and the final inspection; if any of these inspections "fail" the person or company whom pulled the permit is "liable" to correct any of the issues that the inspector may find.

4. As a licenced contractor I would never subject my reputation or my licence to any mistakes that are out of my control, this info is just F.Y.I. and is only my opinion.

Chad

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That is understandable.

My footing holes were inspected by county and permit signed, so that is all good to go.

I would have no problem pulling the permit for the entire deck being I would be doing the finish part anyway, and let the contractor do the framing.

I was just looking for someone qualified to get it started with the heavy lifting so to speak...and so that it is level and square when it is finished. grin

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Keep in mind that you will have no legal recourse if something were to go wrong (i.e. contractor didn't use the correct fasteners to nail all the joist hangers on) Please don't mistake my concerns for me trying to talk you into hiring a contractor but with this economy everyone can build anything, having been in the trades for the past 16 years I am truly tired of "pete and his pick-up" trying to be my competitor

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Keep in mind that you will have no legal recourse if something were to go wrong (i.e. contractor didn't use the correct fasteners to nail all the joist hangers on) Please don't mistake my concerns for me trying to talk you into hiring a contractor but with this economy everyone can build anything, having been in the trades for the past 16 years I am truly tired of "pete and his pick-up" trying to be my competitor

Against the contractor...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH there I think I'm done laughing.

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chasineyes,

I'm a little confused as to what you are trying to say?

Are you implying that a homeowner has no legal recource?

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