A good deck contractor can help you build a sturdy and beautiful outdoor structure. However, you have to carefully screen potential builders before hiring one.
A reputable builder will answer your questions clearly and honestly. They’ll also tell you about any issues that may arise and how they plan to address them. Read this first!
The more experience a deck contractor has, the more capable they will be. This is important because building a deck is not an easy task. It requires specialized tools and materials. A professional will know where to get these things and can build the deck in a timely manner.
Inquire about the contractor’s previous work and request references. It is also helpful to visit a few of the projects they have done so you can see how their workmanship looks in person.
Ask your potential deck builder to meet you at the site of your new deck project. This will allow them to evaluate the unique characteristics of your property and ensure that design attributes match reality. It will also give them the opportunity to review the specific materials and inventory needed for your project.
You might have heard friends and family members tell you to hire a licensed deck contractor. This is sound advice, as it protects the quality of the project and prevents the homeowner from being held liable for any issues. It also ensures that the contractor has insurance and is familiar with local building codes.
Many municipalities require a permit for any new construction or major repairs. A permit also helps homeowners comply with safety requirements for their neighbors and anyone who visits the property.
Homeowners who go the handyman route and skip the permit process may face fines or even be required to remove the deck. They might also be unable to claim any added value when they sell the house, or they might run into problems with inspections and appraisals.
Many cities require that a deck has a building permit to ensure that it adheres to setback regulations and other building codes. This helps protect you and your family, as well as ensure that your home will be able to increase in value in the future.
If your contractor does not get a permit for the work they do, it could lead to legal issues or even a disaster. Building a deck outside of code means that it isn’t safe for anyone to use and could potentially collapse or cause a fire.
Some contractors offer to help homeowners through the permit process. This can be a valuable service, as it takes the hassle and stress out of navigating zoning laws and structural requirements. They may charge extra for this service, but it’s worth considering when hiring a contractor.
Deck contractors need to have access to the materials necessary for your project. Some lumber may be out of stock or back-ordered, and this can cause delays in construction. A reputable contractor will be able to explain these issues and work to ensure that all requests are fulfilled in a timely manner.
The material you choose for your new deck will affect the overall cost. Most builders prefer pressure-treated wood because it is resistant to rot and insects. However, this type of wood will need yearly maintenance such as sanding and staining.
Piers or footings are the foundation of your deck. They transfer the deck’s weight into the ground and should be specified in your deck drawings or local building codes. You’ll also need to specify the size and number of joist hangers, which are code-approved fasteners used for attaching joists to the ledger and rim joist.
Once you have narrowed down your list of candidates, be sure to ask about their pricing structure. They should be able to clearly explain the work they are going to do for you, including a scale drawing and dimensions. The quote should also include the specific materials that will be used and their quantities.
Different deck builders will have their own processes for designing a deck. It is important to find out what this is so that you can feel comfortable working with them.
It is also a good idea to inquire about any extras that may be included in the project. For example, adding a pergola or planter box can add to the overall cost. It is also helpful to know what the contractor’s policy is on delays. Next article.