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How to Compare Composite Deck Builders

December 28th, 2023 | 4 min read

By Isabelle Braeutigam

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Are you dreaming of transforming your outdoor space with a stunning composite deck but overwhelmed by the daunting task of choosing the right builder? The process can be like navigating a maze, with various materials, design options, and potential challenges blocking your path.

With over 15 years of deck-building experience, we understand the pain points that homeowners face when embarking on such a significant project. Whether it's ensuring top-notch materials, navigating local regulations, or achieving a design that aligns with your vision, we know which qualities a composite deck builder should possess.

In this article, we'll guide you through the essential considerations when comparing composite deck builders:

  1. Materials and Quality of Workmanship
  2. Previous Work and References
  3. Adherence to Local Building Codes and Regulations
  4. Design Knowledge and Exceptional Aesthetics
  5. Expertise and Qualifications
  6. Handling Challenges and Changes
  7. Pricing Structures and Budget Considerations
  8. Local Community Presence

Let's delve into composite deck building and make your outdoor oasis a stress-free and rewarding experience:

1. Materials and Quality of Workmanship

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The materials used in your composite deck and its craftsmanship are the project's backbone. When considering a builder, inquire about their experience with specific composite brands like Trex or Fiberon.

More experienced builders understand the intricacies of installing these materials, ensuring your deck meets the manufacturer's specifications. Additionally, registering materials with your builder for future warranties is a step that shouldn't be overlooked.

2. Previous Work and References

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Looking at a builder's past work and talking to people who've hired them gives you a real feel for what they can do. Don't be shy about asking your neighbors about their decks – people enjoy showing off their outdoor spaces.

Checking out online reviews and galleries is a smart move. It gives you a good overview of the builder's skills and style. Choosing a well-known builder in your community is a wise move because they can help you pick the perfect composite line for your project.

They'll likely have experience with different lines and know which one will work best for your needs. So, when deciding on a builder, a good look at their past work and reputation in your neighborhood can guide you to the right choice.

3. Adherence to Local Building Codes and Regulations

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Making sure your deck builder follows local rules is important. You want a smooth and legal process when they're building your deck. Check their license and insurance on the LARA (Licensing and Regulatory Affairs) website, and ask how they get the permits needed for the deck.

A builder who knows and follows the rules ensures your composite deck is safe and lasts a long time. It's like making sure everything is done the right way to avoid problems later on.

4. Design Knowledge and Exceptional Aesthetics

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Picking the right builder for your deck is a big deal, especially regarding design. Look at their past projects and see if their designs match what you have in mind.

Another thing to check is if they have their designers. Your deck needs to not only look good but also be practical for everyday use. So, it's crucial to find a builder who can strike the right balance, creating a deck that's not just visually appealing but also stays functional and enjoyable for a long time.

5. Expertise and Qualifications

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Certifications and qualifications speak volumes about a builder's commitment to excellence. Look for affiliations with organizations like NADRA (North American Deck & Railing Association), HBA (Home Builders Association), or recognition as a TrexPro Builder. These certifications show that a builder invests in their skills and stays updated on industry standards, ensuring you receive top-notch service.

6. Handling Challenges and Changes

Construction projects inevitably come with unexpected challenges. A builder's ability to communicate transparently and handle changes professionally is key. Discuss their strategies for unexpected issues and their communication expectations.

A builder who keeps you informed and involves you in decision-making ensures a smoother remodeling process.

7. Pricing Structures and Budget Considerations

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Understanding a builder's pricing structure is crucial for accurate budgeting. Detailed quotes that specify products provide a clearer estimate. Consider whether the pricing structure is fixed or includes allowances.

Transparent discussions about budget ranges help align expectations, ensuring your budget balances with the desired quality and long-term value.

8. Local Community Presence

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Think about how involved a builder is in your community. If they're well-known and have done many projects nearby, it's a good sign. This means they've likely built a good reputation by doing quality work and following the rules.

When builders are part of the community, they care about doing a great job because it reflects on them and the neighborhood.

These builders also understand the local style and preferences. They've worked on projects that fit in with the area's look and feel. So, when you choose a builder who's part of your community, you're not just hiring someone to build a deck; you're picking a partner who cares about improving your neighborhood.

Next Steps to Hiring Your Composite Deck Builder

The pain of navigating the complexities, finding a trustworthy professional, and aligning your vision with the builder's expertise is a universal struggle for homeowners seeking a seamless deck construction process. This journey has addressed those pain points head-on to make this decision-making process less overwhelming and more empowering.

With this knowledge, you are better equipped to make informed decisions and choose the right composite deck builder for your unique needs. The resolution lies in understanding that the process involves a blend of factors, and a reliable professional will navigate these complexities efficiently.

With 15+ years of experience, we’ve navigated hundreds of composite deck projects.  We’ve seen the consequences of hiring the wrong deck builder, which inspires us to ensure your composite deck project is a smooth and informed experience.

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Now that you know how to compare composite deck builders, let’s explore the top unique designs to infuse in your deck’s blueprints, how much your new outdoor living space will cost, and how long it’ll take to build:

Isabelle Braeutigam

Isabelle has worked at Custom Built for 7 years, learning the Custom Built Systems from all sides. She has become an industry advisor in the customer relations software HubSpot, has a keen talent for elements of design, and currently leads the marketing team under the innovative TAYA system.