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Thread: Yikes! Just got an estimate to refinish my porch

  1. #1
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    Yikes! Just got an estimate to refinish my porch


    Just got an estimate to sand and stain my porch floor. It’s 9’ x 30’ plus five stairs each 7’ x 1’ and currently has a Benjamin Moore stain on it.
    The estimate is $3092 which seems like a lot to me.
    I’m thinking about doing it myself. I can rent a sander for about $70/day
    So just let me guess at costs:
    Sander for two days $140
    Sandpaper $100
    Stain $200
    Who knows what else $150
    Total $590
    So do you think this is a do it yourself project?
    What do you think of my cost estimates/guesses.
    What stain would you recommend?

    Thanks
    Last edited by dennis thompson; 03-21-2021 at 7:39 AM.
    Dennis

  2. #2
    Well, I'm with you as I think 3k is a lot of money. Just like any other project, you have to ask yourself if it's worth your time. Things to think about....

    Time to pickup sander.
    Time to buy paint, sandpaper, other supplies.
    Time to sand, clean, prep, and stain deck.
    Same for stairs.
    Time to clean up.
    Time to return sander.

    Also, do you need to sand the deck? Would a good pressure wash be good enough. I've never used an industrial sander before so I'm not sure how easy or hard they are to work.

  3. #3
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    It can certainly be a DIY project but keep in mind that if the sander gets away from you, it can seriously damage the floor. These sanders are also very heavy, so you may need help moving it from the source and on/off the porch. It might be a good idea to get a couple more quotes, if you only have that one, to see if the cost is in line with local reality. Most of that quote is skilled labor. You could also consider the intermediate step of having the professional do the sanding and you do the finishing and see how that affects the cost.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #4
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    well. at 40 let me at it. at 53 might be getting second estimate.

  5. #5
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    At ~68, my grandson helped me dismantle and rebuild two porches with pressure treated lumber.

    It cost less than your quote even after paying my grandson a decent wage.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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  6. #6
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    The floor drum sanders can do a lot of damage. Rental places often have a multi-disk random orbital type floor sander option. Not nearly as aggressive as the drum sanders. A third option is a large square flat floor sander rhythm uses a single piece of sandpaper but they are best suited for light use rather than finish or stock removal. Think of the multi-head sanders as 3 or 4 random orbital sanders on one unit. They are a happy medium between the other two options. One advantage of them over the drum type is that they sand very close to the edge so a special edge sander may not be necessary. Clarke, U-Sand and maybe Bona make them. I have antique pine floors and plan to rent that option. Pics of the Clarke and U Sand units.899FA746-D150-462B-B223-F448001B2A58.jpegF2EFE3E3-3BD5-4F4D-96C0-2A094C9FABF9.jpg2C84D495-602E-434E-86B9-5957964514BD.jpegB8DFF32C-F8EA-48A0-AAF5-5ACE8EEE0A5F.jpeg
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post

    Just got an estimate to sand and stain my porch floor. It’s 9’ x 30’ plus five stairs each 7’ x 1’ and currently has a Benjamin Moore stain on it.
    The estimate is $3092 which seems like a lot to me.
    I’m thinking about doing it myself. I can rent a sander for about $70/day
    So just let me guess at costs:
    Sander for two days $140
    Sandpaper $100
    Stain $200
    Who knows what else $150
    Total $590
    So do you think this is a do it yourself project?
    What do you think of my cost estimates/guesses.
    What stain would you recommend?

    Thanks
    That may be the "I really don't want the job, but if you insist, I'm going to make a really good profit from it", price.

    Sanding decks can entail a lot more work than you might think. The deck boards are likely cupped and won't clean up evenly. Any popped fastener will destroy a sheet of sand paper in a hurry. Cracks and splits in the decking will be unsightly once the surface is cleaned up. Removing railings and other obstacles plus putting them back takes far more time than most people think. Screws are likely heavily rusted and will be nearly impossible to remove without damage.
    Lee Schierer
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  8. #8
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    For just the floor? I'd give it a shot myself. I just had my whole house painted for $4500, with the caulking and scraping that a house painting takes.

  9. #9
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    I would do it myself but I don't think I would use a drum sander. I'm assuming that the flooring is pine which a drum sander would eat up in a hurry even with a finer grit. I think I would go with a orbital sander. Even a 9" disc sander would probably work just fine.

  10. #10
    Dennis, having suggested this a number of times...ain’t gonna use much ink. I would sand it some. Glue down some canvas . Paint it .
    Varnish it. An old proven practice that will last a long time.
    Last edited by Mel Fulks; 03-21-2021 at 11:33 PM.

  11. #11
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    Having sanded and refinished 800 sq ft of maple flooring at my place at age 45 I'm pretty sure I'll let someone else do it next time. Incredibly hard work to get it right.

    As far as stains go, I'd look for a either retailer that can tint PPG Proluxe SRD RE (not Home Depot) or a Sherwin Williams store that carries their Woodscapes Solid Color Alkyd material.

  12. #12
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    Stan's house paint for $4,500 is a Kansas City number. Yours is probably ok for New Jersey. Get another quote.

    Reread Lee's post, he has good points. Think about pressure washing instead of sanding. It's a deck and will not look like interior flooring.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the advice
    What I didn't mention was that I also needed to have some of the boards replaced . I had some replaced about a year ago , so we decided to just have the whole porch redone with Trex or something similar.
    Any thoughts on whether we should use Trex, Fiberon, Timbertech/Azek or some other composite?
    Dennis

  14. #14
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    If you are in a neighborhood you can get on the Nextdoor app and get local labor easily. Around here we have some motivated teenagers and even their Dads that will do almost anything. If you are not in a neighborhood find someone that is and ask them to post your job. Supply all materials and tools and show them how to do it. So far I’ve only hired out some yard cleanup after a tropical storm but soon will be hiring out more.

  15. #15
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    A neighbor replaced his porch steps with IPE. Looks very nice. Also known as Brazilian walnut.

    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    Thanks for the advice
    What I didn't mention was that I also needed to have some of the boards replaced . I had some replaced about a year ago , so we decided to just have the whole porch redone with Trex or something similar.
    Any thoughts on whether we should use Trex, Fiberon, Timbertech/Azek or some other composite?

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