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10 Questions to Ask a Deck Contractor Before Hiring Them

October 30th, 2018 | 3 min read

By Michael Flory

Composite deck with seating area under a green umbrella

Planning to enhance your outdoor space with a beautiful new deck but not sure where to begin? The prospect of hiring a deck contractor can be both exciting and overwhelming. With so many options available, you want to ensure you make the right choice for your project.

At Custom Built, we are the authority when it comes to deck construction and remodeling. With 15+ years of hands-on experience and a proven track record, we're here to share our insights and knowledge.

By the time you finish reading, you'll be armed with the essential questions to ask a potential deck contractor, and we'll provide expert guidance on what answers to look for.

Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and confidence to make an informed decision and lay the groundwork for a successful deck project. So, let's dive into the top 10 questions to ask a deck contractor before bringing your outdoor dream to life, with Custom Built leading the way:

Deck Features: Knowing What You Want

To be able to have an intelligent conversation with a contractor, or even know which contractors to contact, you need to know some specifics about what you want your project to look like. It’s okay to have some details up in the air or want a professional opinion on things like materials to guide your decision. But you should have an idea of what you’re asking a contractor to do.

Some things to consider are:

  • How many levels will your deck be?

  • How big do you want your deck to be?

  • What do you envision the deck looking like?

  • Where will the railings be?

  • How will it be laid out?

  • What type of stairs do you want?

  • Are you interested in special features like fireplaces or built-in seating?

  • What materials are you considering?

  • Roughly how much do you want to spend on this project?

Researching Deck Contractors

There are many ways to find a good deck contractor, but nothing beats personal recommendations. If you have friends or family who recently had remodeling work done on their house then ask them how it went and what kind of experience they had with the company in question - was everything completed when promised at an affordable cost? Did anyone show up exactly as scheduled so there would be no surprises down the line? These questions can help weed out any bad-apple contractors before they get started!

10 Questions to Ask Any Deck Contractor Before Hiring Them:

1. How long have you been in business?

A reputable composite deck builder should have a track record of successful projects. Firms with several years in the industry often have the experience to handle various complexities. Longevity suggests stability and a history of client satisfaction.

2. Do you have a portfolio of past projects?

A portfolio is essential to gauge a builder's style and quality of work. By reviewing previous projects, you can assess their design capabilities and see if their work aligns with your vision for your composite deck.

3. Are you licensed and insured?

A professional builder should hold the necessary licenses and insurance to protect both parties. Licensing ensures they comply with local regulations, while insurance covers any accidents or damages during the project.

4. What is your estimated timeline for the project?

An estimated timeline sets expectations and helps you plan accordingly. Experienced builders can provide realistic schedules and stick to them, minimizing delays and disruptions.

5. What kind of materials do you recommend?

A reliable builder should offer guidance on materials based on your project's needs and your preferences. They'll explain the pros and cons of various composite decking materials, such as durability, maintenance, and aesthetics.

6. How much experience do your employees have?

Skilled workers are crucial for a quality build. A builder with experienced employees is more likely to handle challenges efficiently and produce a well-constructed deck.

7. Will you be doing the work yourselves or sub-contracting it out?

Some builders use subcontractors, which can be fine if they have a trusted network. However, clarity about who's working on your project is vital. Make sure you're comfortable with the arrangement.

8. What kind of warranty or guarantee do you offer on your workmanship?

A good builder stands by their work. Inquire about warranties or guarantees on their craftsmanship. This ensures you're protected if any issues arise after the project is complete.

9. Can you provide references from past clients?

References offer valuable insights into a builder's performance. Talking to past clients can help you understand their experience, from communication to project satisfaction.

10. Do you have any promotions or discounts currently available?

Inquire about any ongoing promotions or discounts. These can help reduce project costs. While cost is a significant factor, remember to prioritize the builder's quality, reputation, and experience to ensure a successful composite deck project.

Next steps to hiring a deck contractor

Whether you've been dreaming of peaceful evenings on your deck or the perfect spot for gatherings, this project is a significant investment. By asking these questions, you are ensuring that the contractor you choose can transform your vision into a tangible, breathtaking reality.

Remember, the key to a successful deck project lies in the details, and those details often start with the questions you ask your contractor. Seeking the right information and selecting a contractor who aligns with your vision will set the stage for a smooth and satisfying experience.

In this article, we've explored the essential questions to ask a deck contractor, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate the process and make the right choice.

At Custom Built, we understand that a deck isn't just an extension of your home; it's a place where memories are made. As professionals in the field with over 15 years of experience, we've not only shared these vital questions but also ensured that our services address each one. We're committed to delivering your dream outdoor space.

custom built design and remodeling deck builders michigan

Michael Flory

Michael brings over 2 decades of building and remodeling experience to his position as the Owner and Visionary of Custom Built. Michael’s passion to make an impact on the home building industry has led him to serve for over ten years at the local and state Home Builders Association, culminating as President of the HBA of Michigan in 2020.