The contractor you hire for your decking installation project has almost as much to do with the project’s success as the materials they use. That’s because rookie decking contractors can build unstable decks, damage your home’s exterior, or fail to complete the job. If you’re planning to hire someone to build a deck, this list of questions can help you understand how to choose a contractor and ensure you’re working with a quality one that excels at craftsmanship.
1. Are You Licensed & Insured For Deck Installations?
One of the biggest expenses a contractor has is the cost of their insurance. Contractors that fail to carry an adequate amount of insurance are a liability. Without this, if a worker is injured working on a project, the homeowner can be forced to pay their medical expenses. A contractor’s license demonstrates that a contractor has met the proper criteria and can meet building code requirements.
2. Who Is Responsible For Pulling Permits?
It is a red flag if a contractor asks a homeowner to pull the permit of their own project. This makes the homeowner accountable for the caliber of work the contractor performs, including any elements that do not adhere to building code. When the homeowner pulls the permit, it creates a scenario where the contactor can hire unlicensed subcontractors to perform mediocre work.
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3. What Materials Do You Recommend & Why?
In the realm of decking, a variety of materials are available. Take the time to ask your contractor about the materials they are suggesting for your project. Why do they feel they’re the best fit over others in the same category?
4. Do You Employ Your Deck Own Installers Or Are They Subcontractors?
Some decking companies may hire subcontractors to complete their projects or portions of them. This can lead to loss of control of the project and extended timelines projects.
5. What Type Of Deck Warranty Do You Offer?
A reliable decking contractor should be able to clearly state in writing the types of warranties they offer on both the materials they use and their workmanship.
6. How Much Will It Cost To Build A Deck?
Decks come in a variety of price points. If you receive a bid that is substantially higher or lower than others, investigate why. It’s in the homeowner’s best interests to pay no more than 1/3 down on their decking project. This allows the contractor to secure materials but still offers motivation to complete the job in a timely manner. Be sure you understand the acceptable forms of payment and if the contractor offers financing.
7. Can I Speak To Your References?
Vetting should be done by asking a contractor’s reference questions about their experience. Get in touch with a contractor’s past customers and ask them about how their project went. Were the satisfied with the clean-up? Would they use the contractor again? How do they feel about the materials that were used and the craftsmanship? All these elements should influence which decking contractor you partner with.