10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Deck Builder Contractor
Hiring the right contractor isn’t always easy. With so many options, fake reviews, and confusing rates, it can seem impossible to know if you are truly hiring the best deck builder contractor for your backyard. Here’s our advice for ten things you can ask to ensure you’ll end up with a new custom deck design you love and a high-quality finished product.
Do you design custom decks or have pre-designed options?
Most deck contractors offer a limited number of designs. Sometimes, they can make small customizations to make your deck inviting, but this kind of team is very different than what you get with a custom deck designer. Even if their work is high-quality, you won’t get a deck that perfectly fits your needs and your home’s aesthetic. We highly recommend choosing a contractor who has experience designing customized decks for every client, like we do here at Structurally Speaking.
What is your deck design process?
It’s important to understand the entire process if you’re going to be working with a design team for your new deck. We can’t speak for other companies, but we always start with a free consultation so we can get to know a little about you and your project. Then, we’ll create design options for your new backyard living space, complete with multiple views so you can get a feel for what your deck will be like once built. We don’t start construction until you are completely happy with the design.
Can I see multiple design options?
Don’t settle for a company that isn’t ready and willing to customize a few different designs for your backyard deck. We show you several different design options and are happy to make changes based on your feedback. If you have a specific idea in mind, we’d love to help you bring your dream to life.
Do you have insurance and can I see the paperwork?
Always ask a deck builder contractor for their insurance information before you hire them for your backyard renovation. Insurance doesn’t just protect the contractor. It also protects you. If a worker gets hurt on the job, the contractor’s insurance should cover the injury. However, if they don’t have insurance, the injured employee can actually sue you, the homeowner! The same is true if there is any kind of accidental damage to a neighbor’s property. You always want to make sure your deck builders have insurance that covers any problems during the build.
Who would be actually building my deck?
Some companies just design the deck. Then, they pass the building process on to a subcontractor team. The problem is, without the original designer on site during the deck construction, the subcontractor team might not translate the design from paper to real life or they might cut corners to save money. Here at Structurally Speaking, we do all the building work ourselves, so you never have to worry about this issue.
What kinds of projects have you worked on in the past?
One easy way to narrow down your deck contractor choices is to look at their past work. This can give you an idea of not only their skills, but also their experience with different deck styles. You can review our portfolio here, and we’re happy to show you specific examples if you are looking for certain deck features.
Are there certain materials you use for your decks?
There are three main types of decks most people get: pressure-treated pine, exotic woods and cedar, and composite decking. They all have pros and cons. For example, composite decking typically lasts longest, but can be more expensive than pine. You can read more about decking materials here. Make sure you work with a builder who can get the type of material you want while staying within your budget.
What are your customers saying about your work?
Reviews are super important when you are comparing different companies to choose someone for your new deck. Don’t let one or two bad reviews scare you, because it’s impossible to make everyone happy, but be wary of companies who don’t have any reviews at all or have mostly negative reviews. Here are some of our recent reviews from clients:
“Very happy with the results of our new deck and porch replacing our old deck which was destroyed by a fallen tree. Want to say that communication about the details from design to estimate to implementation was fantastic. Jim Brennan(and his staff) took the time to answer all our questions before, during, and after the project was completed. Would recommend Structurally Speaking to anyone wanting a new deck and or porch.” – Todd Jacobs
“Deck looks great. Thanks for your work and design. I think we will enjoy this set up for years to come, it really preserves the view from the dining room window and opens up to the back yard on the upper end.” – Brian Fork
How long will it take to build my new deck?
Timelines can vary based on weather, material availability, the season, and the complexity of your deck design. A high-quality deck takes time to build. However, any deck designers should be able to give you a basic idea of the timeline and their schedule.
What will a new deck cost?
When you get a quote from a deck contractor, it should reflect the actual cost of building your new deck. Some contractors give you a low quote and then inflate the price during construction. With Structurally Speaking, the price you see is the price you get. We work hard to stay within your budget.
A Few More FAQs for Your Deck Builder Contractor
We are happy to answer any more questions about your deck builder contractor that you have during your free no-strings-attached consultation. Here are a few to get you started:
What time will the deck builder contractor team show up?
We make sure you know exactly when to expect our team. While weather can cause delays, we stay in close communication. You won’t be left waiting for us for hours, wondering if we are going to show up at all.
Can I change something about my deck I don’t like?
During the design process, we are happy to make any changes you’d like. We want you to love your deck. During the building process, we can also make changes as well, but be aware that changes at this point may affect the timeline and price.
What areas do you serve?
In the Triangle, we serve Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Apex, Hillsborough, Carrboro, Holly Springs and Garner.
What should I do if I have other questions about my new deck?
Simply give us a call or send us a message any time. We are happy to answer your questions and get you on our schedule for a free consultation with an experienced deck builder contractor.