Summer is just around the corner — it’s that time of year when the patio gets swept and the grill gets fired up. What’s better than cooking and relaxing on your outdoor deck? The only thing is, you might not actually have that outdoor deck — yet. If you’re in the market for a new deck or want to make some updates to your existing one, you’ll need to find a quality deck specialist. The question is, how do you find one? Are there specific qualities you should be looking for?

Here are 3 telltale signs of that your outdoor deck specialist is the real deal, both in terms of workmanship and service.

1. Consistently good reviews

Given the accessibility of information and social review platforms, there is no excuse not to do thorough research when hiring an outdoor deck specialist. Just as you research restaurants before making a reservation, and read movie reviews before choosing what to watch, you should make use of the extensive information and feedback that exists about outdoor deck builders. When looking at online reviews, take time to read both positive and negative comments. Ten minutes of scrolling through reviews should reveal any trends or patterns in customer experiences, allowing you to confidently choose (or eliminate) an option from your list.

2. Personal recommendations from friends and neighbors

People often have success with finding excellent contractors through personal friends and neighbors. If there’s a deck in your neighborhood that looks well built, ask who built it. You’d be surprised at how happy the contractor will be to receive this recommendation, and a quality contractor will strive to deliver equally good results for you.

Another good tactic is to ask any trusted contractor who has done work on your home before. Renovation contractors, landscape specialists or even carpenters you’ve worked with in the past — these people might have some very useful insights when it comes to finding a good outdoor deck specialist in your area. You might even end up with a discount through your referral.

3. Seek honest, objective advice about your project

At the end of the day, you just want to hire a deck builder who will be honest and objective about the details of your project. This means providing accurate and reliable quotes, accurate time estimates, and a budget that’s spot on. If a deck specialist is telling you something can be done in what seems like an unrealistic amount of time, or for a cost that seems suspiciously low, it’s a good idea to proceed with caution. You want to make sure no corners are being cut — otherwise the overall value of the contract won’t be very high at all.

A spectrum of quality

Just like with any service provider, there is a spectrum of quality and cost when it comes to outdoor deck specialists. By following these tips, you’ll be able to find the right people for the job — and walk away with an amazing outdoor deck for those beautiful summer days and nights.

Client Testimonials

J.Widener from Newton, NJ

“Outstanding team. Very impressed with the whole process and the most with my new beautiful deck!”

S.Long from Franklin Township, NJ

“The deck looks FANTASTIC. I still can’t believe that Deck Guardian was able to resurface my old, ugly deck. Our neighbors have stopped by to comment on how great the deck looks. The attention to detail, work ethic and professionalism set this company apart. I highly recommend Deck Guardian!”

M.Lewis from Fleminton, NJ

“We have received numerous compliments from Neighbor’s and friend’s who think that the finished project looks terrific. Not only do I appreciate the “quality job”, but I really appreciate the professional manner Skip handled all the details!”

L.Cohen from West Orange, NJ

“When I came home yesterday, I could not believe how amazing my newly resurfaced deck looked. Crew did an amazing job. It was also a pleasure to work with your salesperson, very professional and knowledgeable!”

S.Smith from Chester Township, NJ

“I’m completely impressed. I have dealt with my share of contractors as I have been updating my home for several years. Deck Guardian gets the gold medal. Deck Guardian restored my 10 year old deck & fence to a brand new condition. I am amazed!”

P.Tang from Westfield, NJ

“Deck Guardian Team did a good and pleasant job to give us a professional service and a beautiful new deck, without replacing it. We love the color and the way it feels like. Highly recommended!”

Kathryn Barchi from Piscataway, NJ

“My husband and I had recently moved into a new home and quite quickly we learned of so many things that both us and the home inspector missed prior to the purchase; the deck being one huge item. We quite desperately wanted to use our deck and know that it was safe for us, our kids, our pups, and our guests, which in the original state, was definitely not the case. Deck Guardian to the rescue! The Deck Guardian team, from the free estimate to the point of project close, were quite wonderful to work with entirely. They even pointed out additional things we had missed with regards to the safety of our deck. Of course, best of all, the Deck Guardian team was able to work within our budget, while giving us back our deck with a new lease on life. Deck Guardian far exceeded our expectations and for that, my husband and I can not thank them enough!!!”

Jessica Ravitz from Skillman, NJ

“Deck Guardian completed an amazing deck replacement project for us in less than 2 weeks after we signed our contract. Not only did they provide an extremely competitive price, we got a beautiful deck that so greatly exceeded our expectations! Everyone at Deck Guardian is wonderful – from the estimator, the crew and the administrative staff – very friendly, professional, meticulous and hard working. We are so pleased and give the highest recommendation!!! Thank you Deck Guardian!”

Paul Cichello from Bridgewater, NJ

“I contacted Deck Guardian and was given an estimate the very next day. The representative was very knowledgeable and fair. The workers were polite and professional. We are satisfied with our new deck and would recommend Deck Guardian to anyone who wants quality work.”