Things to Consider Before Investing On A Deck

A deck is a wonderful addition to your property. Besides the many benefits that it will bring to your lifestyle, it will also increase your property’s value. Decks come in all shapes and sizes. Though it seems like a manageable project to tackle on your own or to let a neighbour do for you, it should really be handled by a professional contractor.

If your deck is worth the money to plan and invest in, it is worth going the extra mile to hire a professional to build. But before you call the installer, there are a few things to research and consider. As in any permanent investment, there are plans to be made and all angles should be considered.

1. Study Your Landscape

Before planning your deck, consider your landscape’s special needs, weaknesses, and strengths. Where do you want to have your deck installed? What purpose will your deck serve? Will it get a lot of sun?

Though decks can be installed anywhere, certain areas in your yard need special accommodations to support a deck properly. Is the ground especially soft? Is it prone to flooding? If so, a raised deck will be needed. Is the ground uneven or on a hill or slope?

If so, you may need to have a multi-level deck installed. Do you have trees in the way? Will you want them removed or will you want to build the deck built around them? Look at the space where you want your deck installed. Plan a deck that will fit your yard’s specifications yet also one that will fulfil your needs and desires.

2. Plan Your Deck

Would you like a covered patio deck or a garden deck? What about a wrap-around deck or pool deck? Keep in mind that you may be able to add stories, coverings, and staircases. What materials do you want to see used? Do your homework and study the wide range of options available. Do you want to use natural wood or man-made composite materials?

Each provides specific advantages and absolute elegance. When choosing your materials, keep your location in mind. Is it mostly in the sun or in the shade, choose your materials accordingly.

Research how your deck will need to be maintained using the materials that you choose. You want to have a deck that you will easily be able to manage in the years to come. Do you want railings?

What about special features such as a lattice roof, built in benches or fire pits? Do you have a specific design in mind? Draw out a plan as to what you want and the price you want to spend. Set your budget realistically and give yourself room for add-on fees that might apply later.

Also, check your local building restrictions to see if your design will meet building codes. Are you able to build a deck? Are there restrictions on size, design or materials used? Know your boundaries as you plan your deck to alleviate frustration later.

3. Hiring the Right Installer

Next, you need to hire your installer. You can try to install your deck yourself but it is best to go through a professional contractor. They will make sure your structure is as sturdy as you need it to be and will withstand years of wear and tear. But do your research and pick the installer that will be best for you and your property.

Also, make sure that your contractor has had years of experience with ready recommendations to show for him and his company. Check their licensing before you hire them. It is perfectly fine to interview different installers. Ask them if they are insured and for the name of their insurance provider.

Ask they if they offer a warranty on their deck and installation. Take your plans with you. Make sure he offers you the same wide range of options that other local installers do and that he can deliver on his promises in an efficient time frame to meet your needs. Sit down with the installer and show him your deck plans.

Get his take on your project and what he can realistically do. Does he offer useful insight and advice? Does he offer options of other materials that might be better or more cost-effective to save you money? Is he willing to take the time to discuss your project and give you a fair estimate on the cost?

4. Get an Estimate

Get a written estimate from two or three contractors and choose the one you like the best. The estimate should include a detailed breakdown of materials to be used and their cost separate from the hourly cost for labour. The estimate should also entail any landscaping that may have to be done to install your deck.

Also, pay close attention to whether the estimate includes clean-up in its total. You will want them to also haul away any rubbish and debris.

5. Choosing Your Installer and Getting to Work

When you have studied the estimates, and have chosen your installer, it is time to sign contracts for the project. Read the document carefully. It should include the following:

  • The total price with a detailed breakdown of deposits to be made and final payment terms.
  • Any chance of cost changes or fees added as your project develops should be detailed here.
  • A copy of your builder’s insurance documentation and licensing.
  • The date of project completion. Will here be fees added for delays?
  • Information on obtaining permits and approvals for the design of the project.
  • Clean up details clearly laid out.
  • Make sure there is also a statement that clarifies that the installer is responsible for any damage to the home or property for the beginning of the project to its completion.
  • A list of ground rules that the crew must adhere to.

With a little planning and research, you will know what to expect from your contractor. You will know better questions to ask and be far more prepared for your project and its completion.