During home inspection while buying our place the inspector underestimated the cost of the job to fix rot that got inside the railing on a tiny (~3'x3') balcony/deck. He said it would cost ~$1000 to fix it and that's what we asked from the sellers.

Turns out that after getting a couple of quotes from different contractors, the cost is at least $2800 and possibly up to $5000 depending on how far the rot has gotten behind.

Part of the problem is that not only the railing but the floor also seem to be affected.

I've been trying to find contractors to fix it, but the price is either unreasonable (I don't get why fixing such an issue would cost $3000 and more) or they say that it's a project that is too small for them to take on.

If I understand correctly, there are actually at least 3 types of jobs required:

  1. The deck/floor itself
  2. The railing
  3. Paint job

What would you do in this scenario? Hire the $3000 bid contractor and hope that they will manage and bring the right people on? Or hire few separate contractors to fix different parts of the issue?

It's the first time I'm solving a problem like that and honestly a bit confused about how to do it right.

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  • 2
    Welcome to homeownership, where everything costs at least triple what you'd expect, and takes five times longer to fix. Get some references from the contractors, and make the phone calls to the past clients. Ask the contractors for some photos of similar past work. Don't always hire the cheapest guy, just because he's the cheapest. Hire the guy you feel most comfortable with, and don't be afraid to voice any concerns. And never forget, they work for you. If you see a problem with the work they're doing, talk to them about it as soon as you see it (don't wait until the end of the job)
    – Tester101
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 18:05
  • 1
    This is the type of project to do yourself and save a lot of money. Low material costs, and doesn't need to be perfectly done just adequate.
    – William S.
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 20:20


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