How much does a deck cost in Boston?
John Tartaglione spent 26 years in the Navy, flying F-14s aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and as a F/A-18 test pilot.
Who we talked to
Following graduate school, he "fell into" the construction industry and has been helping people improve their homes ever since. In 2003, he started JMS Partners Inc.
"Residential construction is my avocation and my passion," Tartaglione says.
Why should I consider adding a deck or porch to my home?
"Decks and porches expand people's living space. People like these spaces because the focus of activity in your home is in the kitchen, and often a deck or porch becomes a natural extension of that space."
Are decks or porches more popular?
"Lately, it's been three to one in favor of porches, and 70 to 80 percent of those are three-season porches. In New England, our warm weather is brief, and people can enjoy an enclosed glass porch when cabin fever sets in. You feel like you're outdoors, but you can kick off your shoes in the middle of winter.
An enclosed porch costs more money, but you get more flexibility out of it, and they have a much greater resale value. A porch is sometimes less maintenance, too, since it's protected from the elements."
What's the average price for a new deck or porch?
"We give free estimates, but because we do custom work, every job is different. It depends on the topography of the site, how difficult it's going to be to build it, if it's more than one level, and if it has stairs and a railing.
A real rough number for a deck is about $35 per square foot. An example of a screened porch we converted to a 225-square-foot three-season porch was $30,000.
That included heat, wall-to-wall Anderson windows with shades, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors and beaded pinewood planking on the walls."
What advice do you have for someone thinking about installing a new deck or porch?
"You should consider hiring a designer or architect to get a much nicer project. It may cost more, but you'll have a better outcome.
Also, before hiring an architect and contractor, you need to check Angie's List, check a company's references and trust your gut. It's important to have good chemistry with the people you're hiring.
We're licensed, bonded and insured, and you should always make sure to double check a contractor's credentials."