Thinking of hiring a deck builder this summer? Before you dive in, here’s what you can expect regarding timing, price, options, quality, warranty, and more.
If you’re determined to tick a deck project off your to-do list this summer, hiring a deck contractor is a smart call. A professional deck builder can help make the process simple and low-stress and ensure that your time and money result in a good-looking, durable, safe deck that’s up to code.
Because it’s not everyday that you hire a decking company, here’s a refresher on what you can expect (and what to watch out for):
The big question on everyone’s mind is “how much is this going to cost?”
Luckily, it’s standard for contractors to provide an estimate free of charge, so you can find out exactly how much you should plan to spend. We recommend getting three estimates from well-reviewed companies.
But don’t make your decision based on price alone. Pay attention to the details of the quote, the attention and communication of the estimator, and the following factors when choosing your contractor.
In spring and summer, reputable decking companies book up quickly. From May until September, expect to wait a day or two before an estimator can pay you a visit and one to four weeks before your project starts. Most deck renovation projects take 1-3 days to complete. Deck construction can take 1-3 weeks or more, depending on the circumstance.
It’s worth the wait for a quality deck installation company. A well-built deck will last decades, whereas a rushed job or one completed by amateurs will likely last less than half as long–costing you much more in the long run.
Not all decking contractors are created equal. Most smaller companies specialize in one or two materials, such as wood and vinyl, and either don’t offer more options, or subcontract that work out (i.e. higher cost and less control).
Larger companies have diverse crews of installers that can handle all types of decking materials including cedar, pressure-treated wood, vinyl, composite, fiberglass, liquid-applied membranes, and more. When you’re not sure exactly what you want or need, it’s helpful to get a quote from at least one of the larger companies in your area to explore all your decking options.
To have a deck that lasts, it should be built with quality materials and workmanship
Ask contractors quoting on your project what brands and processes they would use to build your deck and make sure those details are included in your written estimate. Look for name brands like Duradek vinyl and TimberTech composite and research the reputation and durability of processes they describe.
To get a feel for the quality of the company, research their reputation online and as for past client references. You can also request to visit recent work they completed in your area.
Along with licensing and insurance, making sure your deck contractor offers a warranty is essential. When you choose a vinyl or composite deck, these materials come with a manufacturer’s warranty of 10-15 years and 15-30 years, respectively.
Ask your contractor about the specifics of these product warranties and also about their own workmanship warranty. A good company warranty will rage from 1-5+ years, depending on the type of work being done. Get all warranty details in writing before the project begins so you have peace of mind when you sign the dotted line.
With this refresher in mind, you’re ready to start your contractor search.