A new deck can be an excellent investment that substantially increases the value of your home. When you decide to put in a new deck, however, you want to make sure that you’re choosing the right deck builder to do it. You want to be sure that you’re getting the right value for your purchase: a deck builder who will offer you a high-quality product at a reasonable cost.
If you don’t want to do a DIY install, get a few quotes from experienced, reputable deck builders.
Ready to make that important decision? Make sure you ask these questions to your deck builder.
1. How much decking experience do you have?
When it comes to building on an addition to your home, including a deck, you want a builder with considerable experience. An experienced builder will be able to provide vital advice about the deck-building process, from the materials that are most likely to hold up for the lifetime of your deck to important information like the deck design that will fit your needs or how you can add the most value to your home.
Deck builders with less experience may offer you a lower price to build your deck. But that lower cost comes with a price of its own: the loss of critical experience that could make it easier for you to accomplish your deck-building goals. Discuss the deck builder’s experience and get a good idea of what the individual or company has done in the past before you get started.
2. Can you give a detailed quote?
A vague estimate cost for a deck project can mean a lot of things and it may not include everything you think it does. As you’re considering the cost of your project, make sure you ask your deck builder to break down the estimate so that you can get a clear look at exactly what it’s going to cost.
You need to be able to see what each element will cost, according to the builder. You want to compare apples to apples when it comes to an estimate. Take a look at:
If you have dramatically different estimates for materials, make sure the contractors are contemplating decks of the same size and that they’re using the same materials to put together that estimate. Cheaper materials can help save on your project, but they may also mean that you won’t get the results you’re hoping for. Especially when it comes to the longevity of your deck. Experienced contractors will also include slightly more material than they need in case of errors in measuring or construction.
The cost of labour can create one of the most dramatic differences when it comes time to put together an estimate for your deck project. Some contractors, especially those with more experience, may have higher labour costs than others. Even when calculating labour, however, you want to make sure that you’re getting the same general estimate from each deck builder. Consider factors like:
How many people?
How many people will the company use to complete the project? Multiple people working together may cost a little more, but you may also get you deck done faster.
Does the estimate include the time needed to tear down an existing deck or clear space on your property? Will the builder you’re considering take care of those tasks, or do you need to hire someone else or take care of them yourself?
How long does the builder estimate needing to complete the project? Look at actual man hours as well as a general estimate of how long it will take for you to have a usable deck on your property. Moderately different estimates could be a result of the builders’ varying experience, but vastly different estimates could indicate that one builder has miscalculated. Looking at several different estimates can help you get a better idea of how long it will take to finish your project.
As you’re looking at estimates, you should also consider what other factors go into the proposal. Will the builder take care of getting rid of scrap materials? Who handles cleaning up your hard after the project is done? All these factors can have an impact on cost. And the number of tasks you want the builder to take care of for you could make a difference in which builder you choose.
3. Who sorts the council approval?
Talk with your builder to get an idea of when you may need council approval to complete your deck building project. This may vary based on the area where you live. Without the necessary approvals and permits, however, you may find yourself facing significant fines once your project begins. Make sure you know whether you or the contractor needs to sort council approval. And when you will need council approval to complete your project.
4. What’s the warranty on the deck?
Talk with the contractor to learn what kind of warranty you can expect on both the product and the installation. Our Select range, for example, offers a lifetime performance warranty and a fifty-year stain and fade warranty. Make sure you know what type of warranty your contractor offers and under what circumstances that warranty applies. Check the warranty on materials, as well.
5. Do you have a license and insurance?
Proper licensing and insurance are critical for contractors across the country. Before choosing the one you want to use to complete your project, make sure that the company has the proper license and that they have the insurance they need to cover potential disasters. Insurance coverage not only protects the deck builder, it also helps protect you. Insurance coverage can provide vital protection if. For example, the contractor suffers an injury while working on your property, or if materials for your project are damaged or stolen. Discuss what insurance the deck builder carries and choose a builder who has adequate insurance to cover your potential needs.
Asking questions is important, but so is doing your own research before you hire a contractor. Check out their reviews, websites, and social media. Consider asking if you can talk to past customers. Choosing a deck builder is a big decision, and you want to make sure that you have the right one for your needs. Need a little help? NexGEN can also recommend preferred installers in each city to help you find the right one for your needs. Contact us today for a recommendation to help get your deck installed.