The backyard is an accessible, entertaining space. It is where countless family dinners, barbeques with friends, and summer nights are spent. Finding a home with the perfect deck can be a big selling point.
But, what if your home doesn’t have a deck? Or, you have great plans for a new deck? A contractor can help. Avoid becoming part of a construction horror story by finding a quality contractor you can trust.
Here are five things you should look for, exactly, when choosing between potential custom deck builders to ensure you get what you envision.
- Check their licensing and insurance. Anytime you hire someone to do work on your home, you should protect yourself by making sure they are licensed and insured as well. Licensed contractors have to adhere to building codes, ensuring they don’t cut corners in their work. Insurance protects you should a worker become injured while on the job or in your home. Don’t hesitate to ask to see proof of both these documents before you sign a contract.
- Read reviews and look at previous work. You also want to make sure the deck builders you hire does an excellent job. One way to do that is to read online reviews. You can find reviews of contractors across any areas of the internet. You can also ask them to provide a list of references you can contact. It’s also a nice idea to look at pictures of their work or if they can give it, drive-by previous projects.
- Get multiple quotes. Many businesses have a rule that you need to get three quotes before starting a job. This rule is good to follow when it comes to home projects, such as adding a deck to your home, as well. By getting multiple quotes, you can ensure you are paying a fair price. This is also when you will discuss what you want, including the materials used. Make sure your chosen builder can envision what you want, so you both are on the same page.
- Check their waiting list. Some deck builders may be able to work year-round, weather conditions may limit others. Some may be busy and booked out for months or longer. Before deciding which deck builder you want to hire, inquire about the potential start date. How soon after signing the contract can they get started? Make sure their start date fits into your desired timeline.
- Read and sign the contract. Before any work starts, make sure you get a copy of the contract (and the contractor’s insurance and license paperwork). The agreement should cover multiple things, including:
- The start and completion dates (this may include a range of dates)
- Scope of work (what they will cover with their fee)
- Project specifications (including schematics and drawings)
- Cost and payment schedule (this will include consult fees, labor, and more)
- Terms and conditions (this often lays out how disputes will be handled and resolved), and more
Your vision, your deck
One of the great things about using custom deck builders is that you can create the deck you’ve always envisioned. But, it is important to protect yourself and make sure you hire a reputable team that brings your vision to life.