Depending on the status of your deck, you might not be ready for all the grilling, chilling and relaxing this summer. If your deck is beyond what a simple staining can do, it might be time to consider a new one.
But before you hire someone to start digging and building up a new deck, make sure they are qualified. Vet contractors and consider the following points to make sure you have the right professional for the job.
- Is the contractor insured and licensed? Make sure the contractor you choose has insurance and the required licenses to obtain permits by calling his or her insurance company for verification. Without these, property damage or injuries that occur on your property could render you accountable.
- How will the permit process be handled? Nearly every deck building project requires a permit. If you build without the necessary permits, you may have issues with paperwork or have to pay a fine when you try to sell your home. Most deck builders handle the permit process but be sure to obtain a copy for your records.
- What decking materials do you work with? Your deck is a permanent addition to your home that affects its value, so it's important to choose a contractor who is skilled and comfortable working with your preferred material.
- Can you provide references? It's one thing to read online reviews, but personally speaking with a previous customer offers another level of reassurance. Once your preliminary questions have been answered and you feel comfortable with the contractor, take the time to contact a few references to ask questions about the quality of work and overall experience to help ensure you are making a good hiring decision.
- Do you offer a warranty? Typically, contractor warranties only cover structural damage related to the construction of the deck. Reputable builders should provide a written statement that spells out the type and length of time they will guarantee their workmanship. Be sure to also inquire about any manufacturers' warranties on the products being used.
By following these tips and conducting your own research, you’ll be well on your way to finding a local, licensed, insured and vetted contractor that will assist you with all your deck needs and have you on your way to wonderful summers for years to come.