What to Expect from Your Patio or Deck Builder?
Raise Your Expectations to Lower Your Fear
Any home project can strike fear in a homeowner’s heart. The cost, the mess and the duration of the project are just some of the variables causing hesitation in beginning a project like building a patio or deck.
There are some things you should expect from anyone you are considering to build your patio or deck. A builder who meets or exceeds your expectations will ease the stress and your fears.
A Deck Builder Who Communicates
You should expect your builder to call you back within a reasonable time and immediately if there is an emergency. A builder should have direct line to him or her you can call during the project or, at the very least, an office manager who can reach the builder by cell phone.
A Deck Builder with References
You, as a potential customer, should be given a list of past clients who will vouch for the builder. The builder should also be able to show you a recent project where you can inspect work. Talking to past clients about the builders’s honesty, work, timetable and personality will go a lot way in helping you make a decision.
A Deck Builder with Proper Licensing
Proper licensing is key because, depending on where you live, a builder may have to pull permits from the local government codes enforcement office. He or she should have a business licenses, liability insurance, workman’s compensation for workers, a state or county builder’s license, and be in good standing with the state revenue department.
A Deck Builder with Verified Craftsmanship
Over the past 20 years, builders have gained a reputation for hiring people who do not have construction experience and presenting them as craftsmen. They did this to lower costs, but in the end, work suffers. Ask if the employees are trained in specific areas, such as carpentry, rock and bricklaying, electrical and plumbing if any of those are going to be a part of your project.
A Deck Builder with Exact Plans
A solid builder will be able to present exact plans to you with a solid time frame for constructing various sections. The plan should include identification of water, sewer lines, electrical, and exact dimensions of the project and property elements. Typically, this happens after you hire them, but you should ask in your initial discussion if they will submit plans to you for final approval before turning them into permitting. Look at past plans.
A Deck Builder with a Vision
Many builders understand clients can’t see the design they are envisioning. To help with that, many are investing in 3-D software where they can create the design with your specifications on a computer. Being able to see the completed project in color before it starts helps clarify any uncertain areas and make any changes.
As a customer, asking the right questions and verifying experience, work quality and identifying plans, costs and time frame in the beginning will help ensure you are left with a beautiful patio or deck the whole family will enjoy.