How To Hire A Deck Building Contractor

A well-constructed deck can add function and design to an existing home. It offers outdoor space for entertainment and some much needed R & R. But to build a structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing deck, a contractor who brings the right skills and tools is necessary.

Start Your Search Locally

There is no simpler way to find a service provider than to test out the waters locally. Contact at least three different deck builders and ask them questions like how much experience they have and how much they charge. Find out if they have any references you can follow up on. Previous projects can say a lot about a service provider’s qualifications. Even if they have experience in deck building, does it fit your preferences or needs?

Follow Up On References

Simply asking for references won’t prove anything until you actually follow up. Previous clients are one of the most vital resources that will help you find the right deck builder. Since their clients have already seen the builder’s work firsthand, they can advise you on whether or not you should go and hire the contractor. Furthermore, they can give you useful advice on how well they are enjoying their deck and how they’ve been able to maintain it.

Check Their Credibility

You can search reviews of deck building contractors via websites that specialize on rating service providers. Most states also enforce licensing requirements for deck builders, so find out your state’s requirements, and then check if the contractor has complied to all of these requirements. If a contractor can’t show proof of his/her qualifications based on state requirements, look for another contractor who can proudly show off his/her certification and licensing paperwork. Most contractor offices even have their licenses framed and posted around their lobby walls.

Know Your Price Points

Before heading out to find a deck building contractor, figure out how much money you can burn for the project. Decide the maximum price point you are willing to accept from your service provider. If this point is surpassed, find another contractor who is more affordable. Research the average service charges on deck building services within your area to avoid setting too low of a budget limit. Once you have a number in mind, request a written estimate from prospected deck builders.

Establish Rapport

Find a contractor who you connect with on a personal level. You don’t have to be best friends, but at least establish a relationship where there are clear lines of communication. The contractor should be able to understand your concepts and what you want to achieve. They may have the right experience and skill set, but if they rub you the wrong way, there are always alternative contractor choices out there.

Things To Steer Clear Of

Like other markets, contractors also have their individual gimmicks that you should watch out for. Do not hire a contractor if he/she requires upfront cash or is pressuring you to sign something that will bind you to their services. If they can’t provide any paperwork, such as insurance or license, and are giving you all sorts of reasons as to why they cannot, walk away. Other contractors try to get you to do the permits, which can be a hassle. Work with a contractor that provides a full service and can do all the related physical work and paperwork.
Deck projects are labor-intensive and can take weeks, even months, to finish. The right deck builder can speed up the process without affecting quality or cost. Be as patient as possible when vetting the range of contractors available. Taking shortcuts will only affect the project’s completion time, quality, and cost.

1 Comment

  • Simon B.

    It really is important to try and establish the lines of communication that the article talks about between you and the deck builder. You want to make sure that your needs are clearly conveyed and, more importantly, that you’re able to easily talk with them about the ideas you have. Of course, you have to be open on your end of the communication as well and take in their professional opinions about what can, and cannot, be done with a deck for your house.

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