How to hire the right deck contractor: A simple checklist

Trusting a stranger with your hard-earned money and your home is a lot to ask. That’s why so many people have trouble hiring a deck contractor. If you’re looking for a reliable deck builder, we’re here to make your quest much easier.

Use this simple checklist to hire the right company:

Know what you want

If you’re having a deck built, figure out how big you want it to be, what materials you’re interested in, and what features you would like. Vinyl and composite decking are popular options, along with aluminum railings. Consider features like lighting, awnings, and built-in seating to make your outdoor space a dream deck.

Find top deck builders

Finding a great deck contractor can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. To make your search easier, find top-reviewed companies online. Check out listings on RenovationFind and use popular contractor review sites like Homestars and TrustedPros.

Look for companies with a ton of great reviews, and a few average ones mixed in–this shows they’re real! Pay attention to how contractors respond to both positive and negative comments and is they seem like someone you would want to work with.

Get quotes

Based on your research and conversations, choose your top three companies to request a quote from. The best companies will be busy during spring and summer. Allow up to a week for scheduling an in-person quote. Aim for a time where you can be home to meet the estimator and get a feeling for how they do business.

When they come out for the quote, accompany them outside to your current or future deck area. Give each quoting company as much detail as you can so that they are able to provide the most accurate pricing possible. When they ask good questions, it’s a sign that they care about providing you what you want and need.

Choose a deck contractor

After getting quotes from your top three deck contractors, there may be a clear winner, or you may be debating two contenders. Before you jump into an agreement, consider the following:

How do the written quotes compare to each other? Quotes should be detailed and clearly outline the scope of work being done and various costs. Vague quotes leave room for interpretation and issues later on.

How was the estimator to work with? Was he or she on time, respectful, knowledgeable, and professional? Most companies are put their best face on when trying to get your business. If this is the best the company has to offer, are you going to be happy working with them?

How does the pricing compare? Are all the quotes in the same ballpark or are they all over? This could be a sign that these companies are using different products or quoting on totally different scopes. Follow up with the outliers to understand why their price is different. Be hesitant to choose the lowest quote, strictly on price–you usually get what you pay for.

Finally, check your top companies’ references. Ask for the contact details from their most recent jobs that are similar to your project.

Sign a contract

Now that you’ve decided on your deck builder, it’s essential to draw up a written contract. This document should include the following:

  • A total price and a breakdown of deposit and payment terms
  • The complete scope of work
  • Warranties
  • The start and estimated completion date
  • Details on securing permits
  • Clean up details and crew rules
  • A statement of responsibility for any damage to the property
  • Signatures

When you’ve both signed on the dotted line, you’re set! You can be confident that you’ve chosen the right decking company for your project.


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