11 Tips for finding the right deck contractor

By Danae Ingram

The pandemic has played havoc with all of our lives and countless plans were put on hold or lost altogether. Vacations were not taken; socializing with your circle of friends was put on hold, holidays and occasions with family were skipped for at least a year.

Now that the world has opened up again, family and friends are meeting up in person. Some people feel traveling is still not ideal so they are choosing to renovate their homes instead.

If it’s a new deck you want so that you can begin to host those social events, here are a few tips to help you find the right contractor for the job.

  1. Now is the time to start planning for the summer season. The supply chain is still an issue contractors are dealing with, so get your order in early for a timely summer installation.
  2. Get two or three written quotes. Having some important points to compare will give you an informed set of details and figures to make the right choice for you. Be sure those quotes will be held for at least 30 days, to give you plenty of time to come to a decision.
  3. Do your homework and ask lots of questions. How long have they been in business? Do they have a website? Is there a gallery or portfolio of Before and After pictures that you can see? Have they done an appropriate number of jobs considering their number of years in business? Do they specialize in building decks or do they offer multiple services? Do they have dedicated teams of trained workers or do they hire freelance sub-contractors for each job?
  4. Ask for referrals from people and websites you trust (friends, neighbours, social media). Every business has a few unhappy customers. If there are no negative comments in their reviews, ask yourself if their many five-star reviews are too good to be true or have they been stacked to look better than they actually are. It happens.
  5. Are they in good standing with any trade organizations? Will you see them on site at trade expos? When a company invests in ways to source clients and be part of their business community, it’s a positive sign.
  6. What materials do they use – are they low maintenance and environmentally friendly; what is the projected cost recovery; do they have samples?
  7. Are they Licensed and Insured? No one likes to think their job will go wrong or that an accident on the job site might happen, but in the event of such a thing, you don’t want to be liable for damages or injuries. How much coverage do they carry and exactly what is covered? Ask if they will leave a printed copy of their insurance and liability with you.
  8. Get a copy of their Warranty in writing. In fact, you will want a written contract detailing everything you’ve discussed so there are no questions later about exactly what you’ve agreed to.
  9. Ask about their project timeline. If they hop back and forth from one job to another, it can impact the length of time your project will take. Their time is your money.
  10. Do they clean up after themselves? It shows great respect for your property when they do a daily cleanup on the job. It also minimizes risk of accidents or injuries between their visits.
  11. Communicate your expectations clearly with your contractor and stay in contact. A good contractor knows that the most interested and detail-oriented homeowners are their best customers.

The list may seem long, but it’s time well spent. A good contractor will want you to be an informed partner in this project. Their bread and butter depends on your satisfaction with their work. One place to begin is a visit to decks.ca for comprehensive information to get your project started. Then you can start putting a guest list together for your deck-warming party!

If you need help getting summer ready, visit Hickory Dickory Decks online here to view their projects and book your next project.

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