Couple of Deck questions

Hello folks!

I’m still new around here, but I love the site, lots of helpful hints and tricks to get going. Thanks! I have a few questions for some help. I have been asked to bid a condo complex to strip and seal the decks only. It is a 39 unit complex, with a wooden porch and a rear deck on each unit.
The front porch is a small area(probably around 4x4 or 5x5) with about 1-2 steps for each one.
The rear decks are about 10ft off ground(no ground access) and 12x8 in size.

This is the first condo complex I have bid. I came up with a number in my figuring, but it seems really high. I’m not sure what kind of quote would be outrageous for this type of job, or even too low. Could anybody possibly lend a thought or two about what pricing to bid per sq ft? Or is it best to come up with a per unit price and charge that way?

Thanks for any help!


The type and cost of sealer is a huge part of a bid like this I would think. Did they have a preference? Will you be doing any repairs? What condition are they in? How will you access them? Ladder or Lift? I wouldn’t imagine tenants would want you dragging hoses through their property.

I bet your price isn’t high enough. What did you come up with per unit?

IM still waiting on the stain preferences from the customer. He is looking into it with the HOA. I had thought about using a ladder, but now that you mention a lift, that sounds like a better idea. I’ve not used a lift before, but I’m sure it would make the job go faster. I will be doing some minor repairs, such as a few spindles here and there, but nothing major. The condition is in various states. There a few new(within the last year or so) but most are old and gray. A couple have also been been stained before.

I have not done any official measurements, I will do that on Monday. What I listed earlier was from eyeballing. The figure I got was $275-300 a unit(Off the top of my head) which would put into the park park of $10,000-12,000. Good news is, I haven’t told the customer any figures yet.

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How are you going to prep the wood? How are you going to remove the old stain from the ones that have it? You going to roll/ brush all of it or tape off each and spray? Do you have to move the owners stuff off each deck or are they?

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You should find out what the $ is per sq ft in your area & go from there. Typically between $1.50 & $3.00. Plus the linear footage of handrails & spindles. A lot to figure out when it comes to wood. Don’t undersell yourself. Wood is a niche market. Good luck.

John Devine.

That sounds pretty low to me. You might have $75-$125 in stain alone per deck. Also, depending on the terrain a lift might not be faster, but it could save you a serious back ache. Also, sourcing the water is a big factor in pricing.

That’s just labor. Material is extra.

John Devine.

You can never be too high on wood. If you are bidding to get the job then your bid is too low. I’m not an expert with it. But I do like doing it. If no lift then a ladder and a rope to pull up supplies would work. More labor.

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You mentioned strip and seal only and then later mentioned about them picking out a sealer. Makes a big difference in price if you are doing both. You should come up with pricing per each deck ground and per each deck elevated. You should also break down price for cleaning and another price for stripping be careful here because a lot of commercial properties do want a stripper used. !0 ft. off the ground and less than 20 decks elevated you should not need a lift. Lifts can be tough when working around landscape too. There are tools that help you once you are on an elevated deck for you to do all sides of the balusters while standing on the deck if necessary. We have done as many as 300 decks on a commercial job which included the buildings which we used a pressure washer on about 65% of. There are other factors too like how many people will be working with you? How many man hours are you expecting to put in on this job? Discounted future maintenance? If you want message me.