Go See The Work
Written by Tom Jacques, CEO and Founder, Hickory Dickory Decks
So you want to buy your family a new custom deck and you are wondering how to choose your contractor. This article will discuss the benefits of seeing some work and talking to some customers. The buying process of decks has become a larger and more complicated decision compared to 10 years ago for a few reasons. Number one is probably there is so much choice; which contractor, which products and which design. Education is the answer, and if you want to make the right decisions, you want to get educated on the topic. Our website hickorydickorydecks.com gives thousands of design ideas in seeing real deck pictures. There is lots of information on decking materials and links to manufacturer's sites.
Choosing that contractor doesn't have to be hard. We recommend asking your family and friends for referrals of good deck contractors. For over 20 years now there is an entire industry specializing in decks. The days of getting your renovation or fence contractor to build you a custom deck are gone. Go to the professionals. There are just too many products and code issues to keep up with if you only do one or two decks a year. Who do you call when your toilet is broken? The plumber is the right answer for most and after getting some referrals, the web is probably the next place to look. Type decks in google or yellowpages.ca and you will have lots of contractors to choose from. Do the basics; meet the deck contractor and see if you feel comfortable and confident in their ideas. Check for worker's compensation, liability insurance and their answers on permits. Find design and materials that work for your family and your budget.
Then go see some works. Lots of good things come out of seeing finished decks. Does the deck contractor have someone who has built something like what you require or is it going to be their first? What designs and products have they been using? Is the contractor sending you to his one happy customer, or does he have hundreds or thousands? I would suggest seeing at least two similar projects to what you are planning. Look for the finish details of the work, like mitered corners and sanded top railings. The most important information will come from the customer themselves. Was the deck started on time, finished on time and on budget? Was there good communication before, during and after construction? How did they treat my property? Was the clean up done daily and after the deck was completed? These are all very important factors in a great experience with your deck builder. I know it takes some time to do, but remember the dollars you are investing and remember the last renovation that went bad and do your homework. It isn't complete until you see some work and talk to some customers. It will be worth it when over the years you are enjoying daily the pleasures of a great custom deck!