Finding a reliable deck builder is like finding a partner for a business deal. While price and timeline are important, there are many qualities you should evaluate in your partner. After all, some deck builders with low prices may have poor work quality or ethics. Before hiring a contractor, here are six important qualities to look for in a custom deck builder.
1. Perfect Planning
Planning is the first step for any major construction project. Having a good idea of what you’re looking for will help you hire a good deck builder that can address your needs.
Think about how you’d like to use this new deck. A space that will be used to entertain guests requires a different design than an area for sunbathing. Shade is also a factor to consider along with the overall size and shape of the completed project.
Make sure that your backyard contractor is capable of providing exactly what you need and can incorporate the features you want.
2. Good Communication Skills
Good communication skills are the foundation of any relationship. While that may sound like the beginning of a self-help book, it’s as true for construction work as any area of life.
Imagine a contractor who is too afraid to tell you that his estimate was off. Imagine if you arrange your schedule to stay out of his way but he shows up several hours late. Pay attention to your initial conversations with potential deck builders to see if they communicate well.
If you’d really like to be sure, here are some great topics to address during your initial interview with a contractor:
- Requesting proof of licensing and insurance.
- Review their planning and building process.
- Inquiring about their experience.
- Asking for basic designs or portfolios of similar previous work.
- Discussing their preferred materials and construction options.
- Getting a detailed cost estimate.
- Asking for direct references.
3. Proven Track Record
For many contractors, word of mouth is their bread and butter. Anyone can say they use the best materials and consistently complete the job on time and under budget, but previous customers often provide the best feedback.
Can your potential deck builder show examples of completed work? Are there glowing reviews or testimonials on the builder’s website? Satisfied customers typically have positive stories about their contractors. If a company can’t even find a few clients to give testimonials, what does that say about its work?
Carefully read through the reviews to see if they mention the qualifications you want in a builder. If you are looking for reliable, validated reviews for a potential contractor, Guild Quality can help.
4. Proof of License and Insurance
Every builder should be able to produce a contractor’s license and insurance before building a deck. If a contractor can’t provide proof of these two items, you should consider that a major red flag. You don’t want to find out your deck wasn’t built correctly when you’re trying to sell your home.
Even worse, without insurance, you could be on the hook for any damages during construction. Beyond damage to your property, do you want your loved ones to be on a deck that’s potentially unsafe?
Regardless of the situation, there’s no good substitute for experience. When you’re wondering what to look for in a deck builder, experience is the foundation of professional ability.
While a job may seem straightforward to you, an experienced contractor can recognize potential issues before they become major problems. A veteran deck builder will also be more accurate when providing bids and estimates.
Furthermore, certain contractors may have expertise and experience in handling specific materials. If you know the material you would like your deck to be built with, look for deck builders with manufacturer certifications. This may also help with warranty concerns after the project is completed.
6. Knowledge of Project
Beyond general experience, it’s always good to have a builder who knows your project type. If you don’t have a perfect mental picture of your desired deck, the builder should be able to help fill in the blanks. They can also suggest useful add-ons that fit your scheme. A contractor who’s unfamiliar with a complicated deck design may not build it correctly.
Work with a Builder with These Qualities
When selecting a deck builder for your backyard project, it’s important to vet them for any potential issues. Breyer Construction has decades of combined experience in designing and constructing decks for our customers.
We consider ourselves successful not only for the number of decks we’ve built, but from the number of clients who are happy with our work. If you are interested in building a deck for your home, contact our team today. See how we can help build the deck of your dreams.