What to look for in a deck contractor

Note: As with any construction project, it is a good idea to check the references of any contractor you are considering. You should also never hire the first person you find in the phone book. Try to get references of three or four contractors.

In general, anyone associated with a deck project has some sort of association with the business.  These relationships can range from being professional business partners to being employees or subcontractors. If you are considering hiring a deck contractor, find out what their current or past employment status is.  If the contractor is not allowed to work on decks, but his employees are, there are a few ways to ensure you are hiring the right person for the job.  The following three questions should be demanding of the Deck Builder you choose:

  1. What is your background?
  2. What kinds of decks do you design and build? (i.e. wood or vinyl)
  3. How are you paid? (Check contractor’s sources for their pay?)

Deck on back of house

The type of deck design you choose is very important to the longevity of your deck.  If you have a deck that is outdoor living room and you are only limited by the amount of shade, any full deck contractor could do most any type of deck knocking project.  Installing a product like this on or adjacent to your deck may not be the best solution for your climate.  So, call around and get a few bids from different deck builders.  Do not let price be the deciding factor.  The most important factor of this contractors ability to take the time & research your requirements.  Many contractors are willing and able to create a custom deck in around 6-8 days; some can do the deck in only a couple of weeks.   Other deck contractors can take up to a month to bring a deck to life.  These are the kind of deck contractors you want employing.

None of these actions can negate the importance of checking the references of deck contractors you are considering.   Any contractor worth his salt will be able to provide you names & phone numbers for projects worked and to verify his or her references.  Do not be afraid to call these references.  Go to your local StormazingBCyard.ca.  Check on the job started and completed. Do not rely on the local ads.  A recent expires business address may not be operating out of the city any more. You can find out local companies though the BBB, Angie’s List.  The last resort is Google, no filter results giving you a quick local search.   Testing and confirming their references etc.  This is especially important if they are not available in the phone book.

Onboarding

A deck manufacturer or a deck construction company should hand over all construction paperwork to you with a copy of the deck code or the deck construction drawings.  They should even be ready to seal the drawings and tear out in order to create your deck.  Make sure the deck supplier has plenty of project references readily available.

Discuss the deck financing with the deck construction company.  A deck construction company can help give you both the options of building your deck on your own and a business loan that will be equal to the cost of the deck (less full payment) vs. using a contractors loan to purchase your deck.  A deck loans specialist will be able to provide you an estimate of the required process to get your wood framed and added, but it can also be done on your own.  It all depends on your project scope as well as the amount of money that you believe you can and are ready to spend.

It is always suggested that you remain as involved as you can during the planning & construction process.  This means that if you are required to make changes to your original deck design or you need to relocate your deck because of the weather or any other reason, don’t rush the process and get all your ducks in a row.

Finalize the deck design before any deck paint, stain or waterproofing plans are placed in place.  There is no sense in having a beautiful deck that will fade, sink or crack in the future!

Finalize your decking & deck paint color options.  If you decided in the beginning that deck stains are not your style, now is the time to reconsider.  The moisture from the deck will be absorbed throughout.  However, if you decided to use deck paint after the deck has been built or is in the process of being built, most deck paint products will require a primer.  Ask your Deck Builder for the best colors that will last.  Ask your deck supplier to provide you eco-friendly deck paint or stained materials that do not harm the wood.

Pricing

The most important thing to remember when selecting a deck contractor is that you get what you pay for.