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Looking for a good deck builder

By ozmackem - 12 August 2009 16

Anyone have any reasonably recent experience of having deck/veranda designed and built?

We picked two companies from the phone book and received, after lengthy consultation, two very similar designs that looked like huge wooden rectangles with a few steps stuck on the end.

Surely there must be some carpenter/builder types in Canberra with a bit of flair?

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Looking for a good deck builder
Dan41 6:05 pm 11 Aug 11

I too am looking at getting a deck put on, but have no idea where to start, or what to pay. So far, Luke from Mode Decks and Pergolas seems the most reasonable, but sometimes the best guys are hard to find, so if you know anyone, please speak up 🙂

nunchuck101 5:55 pm 12 Jun 10

i had Danny from Currall Constructions build me a deck reciently. it was an irregular shaped deck that wrapped around the back of my house with closed in sides and wide stairs leading to the garden. when he came to give us a quote he had heaps of ideas of what could be done in the area available and also recomended which timbers would suit the colours of the house and it turned out fantastic!
he gave us a great price, he turned up when he said he would and cleaned up every day before he left (which is the part i liked most considering i have 2 young kids).
i also liked that the guy who came and gave us the quote was the same guy who built it.
Danny was easy to talk to and listened to what we wanted.
if you want a quality deck built by an honest, reliable tradesman then i would recommend giving Danny a call on 0410 665 172.

TAD 1:44 pm 12 Aug 09

I went through the Grey Army and was more than happy with the job provided.

Out of the three quotes I got, it was the only reasonable one where the builders didn’t appear to be complete shonks.

http://www.greyarmy.com.au/index.php

cartdiggidy 1:41 pm 12 Aug 09

Trevean Constructions… top notch work! The guy Ben is a true craftsman.

Get a quote… tell him Cart sent you.

ozmackem 1:09 pm 12 Aug 09

Cheers for all the advice.
As for building it myself, that’s a no go as I struggle to help my son with his lego problems.
I’ll try some of the people suggested.

Keep the suggestions coming.

Thanks again all 🙂

Danman 12:41 pm 12 Aug 09

If you’re building your own deck, sink the holes for the uprights, build the frame and joists first and then attach your stirrups – level it all, supporting the frame around the edges and middle with scrap and then pour the cement into the holes around the stirrups.

Leave it for at least 48 hours to cure before you start up again…

This method is much easier than trying to get each stirrup and post level with the last.

Gungahlin Al 12:34 pm 12 Aug 09

Dan Currall 0410 665172.

Did our deck for a fraction of other quotes, but no loss of quality. Built in bench, seating, steps, storage lockers, etc.
Came when he said he would, did what he said he would, cleaned up every day, always courteous.

And helpful: when we told him we didn’t want any rape-a-rainforest merbau or such, he tracked down some blackbutt from Monaro Timbers – has a great golden look that is such a good change from the red stuff you see everywhere now, and is plantation grown in south east Qld, so reduced transport impact too.

Clown Killer 12:22 pm 12 Aug 09

Different decks have different requirements for planning approval; from memory, I think that anything higher than a metre needs to be approved by ACTPLA, and accordingly, you will need to endure the painful planning process (which includes an ACTEWAGL inspection) before you procede.

That’s why you should get the ACTPLA information sheet when you’re in the planning process. There are different requirements but an inspection would be unusual. In most instances you just have to meet building code requirements – which are a piece-of-piss. It’s slightly more complicated if you want a pergola or if it’s free-standing (not attached to the house) – you just have to do your homework.

The deck I recently built was 9.5m x 4.0m timber framed with jarrah decking and it cost be a tad under $6000.00 which included about $1200 worth of new power-tools (honestly Mrs Clown Killer I needed them for the job!). I doubt I could have got a chippy in to build it to the standard that I did for twice that price.

deezagood 11:19 am 12 Aug 09

Different decks have different requirements for planning approval; from memory, I think that anything higher than a metre needs to be approved by ACTPLA, and accordingly, you will need to endure the painful planning process (which includes an ACTEWAGL inspection) before you procede. I would advise against building illegally, however tempting. If something should happen to a guest whilst on your deck – you are screwed. Also – if you ever want to sell your house, you’ll need approvals anyway.

We engaged a professional deck building company to do ours and it was a HORROR. Seriously – a horror from start to finish (and by horror, I mean that an unqualified apprentice with three weeks experience was left, on his own, to put up our deck – resulting in posts that were crooked, floors that looked as though my child had installed them etc… etc…). It all got fixed after we sourced legal assistance, but tread very, very carefully. Ask to meet the actual builders, ask how often they will actually be at your house, ask to meet the various tradespeople involved, ask for recent references from customers, go and look at their decks if you can – and be very, very careful who you engage.

Don’t get suckered in by the nice, professional guys who give you the quotes – they probably won’t even be there when your deck is being built. Our quoter was lovely; the carpenter that was in charge went to the Chisholm pub each day on opening and left his apprentice by himself. Dodgy. I literally felt unsafe (and unsafe for my kids) with the carpenter in my yard.

If you need a good deck builder who is reliable, professional, very reasonably priced and a respectable human being; try Lindon (0413 701 073) or Ray (0408 639 845). I found them AFTER our deck was built, but they have both done work for me since and we have been very happy. I particularly like Ray; he came to tear down one of our walls and build a few steps and offered us a range of (free) helpful advice about a bunch of other things in our house. He is a champion, and a lovely bloke to boot.

For a more complicated deck building project (or house extension); I thoroughly recommend James, on 0438 543 027. James just put up our extension (with some decking adjustments) and his work is beautiful (and about $40,000 cheaper than the nearest other quote) and all of his trademen are really, really nice blokes.

Good luck!

Clown Killer 10:01 am 12 Aug 09

Tempestas, in reality the framework isn’t any more complicated or difficult than the decking. Getting everything level and square takes time and some attention to detail but it’s by no means rocket surgery. If I had one piece of advice though, it would be: never assume the building you are working with is in square – measure everything, including existing features. You’re deck might be perfect, but it will still look funny if the house isn’t square.

Thumpers suggestion about the Bunnings “how to” pamphlets is a good idea as they provide all the information on what you need to do to meet building code standards. ACTPLA also have information sheets on what needs approval and what dosn’t.

Shop around for timber – there’s plenty of choice and prices will be significantly cheaper than Bunnings.

When you’re sitting on your deck, having just finished it and enjoying a beer, you’ll be glad you took it on.

Tempestas 9:22 am 12 Aug 09

The DIY option is one I keep thinking about, so to add to the original question, is there any who will do the important that its straight and level bits (ie posts and joists) and leave the “just get the apprentice to do it” bits for the budding DIYer?

misspris 9:16 am 12 Aug 09

Thumper said :

+1 for what the clown said. It’s a bit of work and a bit of planning but really, it’s not that difficult. Head down to Bunnings and grab one of their how to do it pamphlets.

And there is something quite special about sitting back on your deck drinking a beer after you’ve finished it …

Unless you’re married to someone who has trouble hanging a clothes dryer on a wall, in which case you’re better to employ someone who knows what they’re doing 🙁

You could try Pete or Jared Watt on (02) 6294 2014. Pete does some really creative things with decks.

Thumper 8:31 am 12 Aug 09

+1 for what the clown said. It’s a bit of work and a bit of planning but really, it’s not that difficult. Head down to Bunnings and grab one of their how to do it pamphlets.

And there is something quite special about sitting back on your deck drinking a beer after you’ve finished it …

jmac 8:30 am 12 Aug 09

I got a bloke called Ricky from Jim’s fencing to do ours, he came recommended from a friend, and although we didn’t get anything too fancy, he did a fantastic job. Would you like the contact details?

Clown Killer 8:23 am 12 Aug 09

You could have a go at it yourself. It’s not that hard and You will have an excellent idea of what exactly you want.

Have a close look at stuff that you like, get some advice from ACTPLA on what’s required in terms of technical specs and building codes and get going.

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