The warmer months are upon us, and homeowners all over the country are making plans for new or resurfaced outdoor decks. Why? Because this is the perfect time to enjoy it. Outdoor entertaining, exercise, relaxing, even setting up an office space in the shade of an umbrella – these are all possibilities when you have a functional outdoor deck.
But what should you look when you research contractors? After all, your decision could mean the difference between a quality outdoor deck that stands the test of time, and a problematic project that ends up being more trouble than it’s worth. Here some qualities to look for in a deck builder.
Any deck builder can say whatever they want about themselves – that they offer the best outdoor decks in your area, that their customers are all happy, and so on. But what are other people saying? More specifically, how have past customers described their experience? Client reviews are ultimately more important than what a deck builder says about their business, so pay careful attention to what other people are saying. If you see a pattern of negative reviews – or even one negative experience that was not resolved by the contractor – consider looking elsewhere.
How long has your deck builder been in business? How many decks have they built, repaired, maintained, or resurfaced over the years? The more experience a contractor has, the more likely it is that your experience will be positive. Years of experience usually translate to higher levels of customer service, and greater skill in the art of deck building. This isn’t always true – there are experienced contractors out there who don’t have very good reputations and are very much “set in their ways” – but most of the time, experience is an indicator of quality and service.
People often don’t think about ‘information’ when they consider who to hire for the construction of a new outdoor deck – but it’s actually a good indicator of a quality business that has your best interests in mind. What do we mean by ‘information’? Basically, anything that helps you learn about outdoor decks and make better decisions regarding their construction and maintenance. The best contractors understand that your success is tantamount to their own success. That’s why they often have web sites full of quality educational information that help people make more informed decisions.
An outdoor deck is more than the sum of its parts
When you look for a contractor to build your outdoor deck, you’re looking for more than just an adequate finished result. You’re looking for your expectations to be exceeded in every way, from the initial planning phase, to scheduling and budgeting, and straight through to the final product. Don’t set your bar too low when you consider who to hire, as there are plenty of outstanding contractors out there who go above and beyond the norm and pride themselves on delivering the highest quality – and the best overall service experience – for every client.