Great deck builders are few and far between. Let’s be honest, not everyone is a regular Tim Taylor or Mike Holmes. Carpentry, and being that top tier Carpenter comes with years of experience (or just really good sitcom character building). Sometimes it’s best to spend that extra bit of money to make sure your project gets done the way you dreamt it up.
This is especially true when considering something as integral to your home as a deck. You don’t want to be relaxing in your backyard if your deck looks like it was fished up from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, regardless of whether you built it with your hands or not. In many cases, the best course of action is to head to Google and type in “deck builders near me,” browse around and find the right person for a job of this magnitude.
So what steps should you take when considering who to trust with a project as important as this one? We’ve built a comprehensive guide for what sorts of questions you should be asking, what measures you should take, and finalizing a deal for that perfect deck builder.
Before You Look For A Deck Builder
Make sure your project is fully/mostly planned
- Looking for a contractor without having a concrete plan in mind is like going to the grocery store without a list, you’re just winging it, and chances are you’re going to spend way too much money on things you don’t need. As with any big project, careful planning and an understanding of what you want your deck to look like, and how you want your space to feel are key. If you reach out to contractors without having a full grasp on what you want the deck to look like, the deck builder won’t be able to give you a full rundown of estimates, and won’t be able to give you an accurate appraisal. We also have a comprehensive guide on what aspects to consider when building your deck here: (include hyperlink to other blog)
Figure out what materials you intend to work with, and if you’ll include advanced designs
- Some deck builders are also best working in specific conditions and with specific materials. Not every deck builder in Mississauga has equal amounts of experience with specific types of materials. Some may be more suited to working with PVC, others with pressure treated wood.
- If you plan on using advanced or intricate designs in your dream deck, make sure to flesh out those ideas fully before looking for a deck builder. Some deck builders may not be familiar with that sort of design, and would be less suited to a job such as that one.
Figure out what the cost would be to build the deck without a professional
- Going into a conversation with a contractor prepared is key. Of course, it’s going to be more expensive taking the professional deck builder approach, but that doesn’t mean you should leave everything to blind trust. Have an understanding of what it would cost to do it yourself, and go into negotiations with a fair middle ground to work towards in the overall cost.
Looking for a Deck Builder
Word of Mouth
- Word of mouth is the way most Carpenters, especially deck builders, make their money. When it comes to decks, it’s hard for happy customers to not constantly brag about just how gorgeous their brand new deck is, and just how much better it is compared to their neighbours. These satisfied customers are also quick to recommend the same deck builders to whoever asks. If you know anyone that had a project done, especially ones that may look similar to what your ideal build looks like, make sure to inquire with them about deck builders nearby
Reading reviews and websites
- Checking out reviews is essentially word of mouth from people you don’t know. You can figure out a lot about a potential deck builder just by reading the reviews left for them on sites like Google or Yelp. They say a business is only as good as its worst review, so check out what others have had to say about them, and make your decision from there. Keep in mind that everything should still be taken with a grain of salt, and further research can come in handy.
- You should also take the time to check on the websites of the deck builders, as you’ll find a much more comprehensive outline of their services, and what sorts of jobs they’ve done in the past. Check out how long the company has been in business, as older companies tend to have had to stay in power for a reason.
Chat With Your Chosen Deck Builder
So you found a couple of suitable candidates for the job. Now comes the really important part – actually speaking with them, and becoming the boss that you are. You’re essentially interviewing the deck builder for a job, and like any good HR representative, you need to make sure that this is the right person/company for it. Here are a couple of questions you should consider asking during this part of the process.
- Do they have proof of licensing and insurance?
- Is there a regular crew that they work/handle projects with?
- If something goes wrong, how will problems be handled, and how will unexpected costs be factored into the overall work?
- Ask about their building/planning process
- Ask to view some of their previous builds
- Have they done projects similar to this one, and are they capable of handling intricate/advanced designs (if you have them)
- Do they mostly work with suburban or urban houses? A deck builder in Mississauga vs. one in Toronto has more than likely worked on different styles of projects.
- What materials do they have the most experience working with?
- Ask for suggestions/if there’s room for improvement on the build
- What sort of extras/features would work with this build, and do they have experience implementing these aspects into the deck?
- What would be the expected timeline for this sort of project?
You should also make sure to ask for direct references from customers that were satisfied working with these specific deck builders. Online reviews and single cases of word of mouth in some cases aren’t enough to gauge an accurate review of the deck builder’s work.
Getting Down to Paperwork
You’ve found a deck builder that you trust and that you think will be the adequate people for your dream deck. Now what? Well, don’t behave like a middle schooler too shy to ask that girl for a dance, tell them you’ve chosen them as the one you’re putting your dream deck in the hands of.
But in all seriousness, it’s time for paperwork. Make sure you see a copy of their licensing and insurance, as this makes them all the more credible, and should make you all the more reassured. Ask about how payment will work. Is there a payment plan or a schedule depending on the cost of the project? Is there a way to set up that sort of term-based payment system? Lastly, make sure you get a firm price for the deck project.
You did it! Days of relaxation and recovery suddenly seem closer than ever, and all it took was a fair amount of leg work and finding the right person for the job. Rest easy knowing that the days you spend relaxing on your gorgeous deck, Mississauga summer breezes cooling you down on hot days, well they’re not nearly as far as they used to be.
Best part? Not once will you have to swing a hammer, because you placed your trust in the best people at your disposal, Mississauga Decks and Trim.