When homeowners do a project themselves – whether it’s a bit of masonry work or a new outdoor deck – they expect to make a few mistakes. It’s standard practice to buy at least 10% extra building materials to account for breakages and errors. Even then, the process usually doesn’t go exactly as planned. Part of the joy of building a DIY outdoor deck (at least for a lot of people) is the satisfaction of knowing that you completed the project yourself, and that your family can now enjoy the results. A few imperfections or mistakes may be a fair trade for those who want the satisfaction of DIY.
But when you hire a professional to build an outdoor deck, do you expect mistakes to be made? If it’s a reputable company, the answer is definitely no. The reason you hire professional in the first place is so you can rest easy, knowing that your new deck is in the hands of a professional. You want to be able to focus on things like design, materials, staying on schedule, and staying under budget – not whether or not the deck will be technically and aesthetically sound.
The reality is, however, that many outdoor deck builders do make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes are noticed and corrected without even telling the client. Sometimes they’re noticed by the client and covered by the contractor’s written guarantee. In other cases, months or even years could pass before the mistakes are discovered. So what are the most common mistakes made by outdoor deck builders?
1. Not measuring properly
Could a professional deck builder make a mistake as basic and rudimentary as not measuring properly? Actually yes – it happens more often than you might think. There is a wide spectrum of quality when it comes to deck builders, and it’s important to hire one that has years of experience and the right arsenal of tools to get the job done right.
2. Using sub-standard materials
Believe it or not, there are deck builders out there who try to improve their own bottom line but using cheaper materials and hoping the client won’t notice. Big mistake. Reputable builders only use the finest decking materials, and will never change materials without the client’s express consent.
3. Covering up mistakes
Disreputable deck builders probably think it would be bad for their reputation if they admitted to making mistakes. The reality is that not admitting to (and correcting) mistakes is much worse. It costs the homeowner over the long run, and it costs the deck building company dearly in terms of reputability.
Making sure your deck is mistake-free
A new outdoor deck is a promising addition to your home, but it can quickly turn frustrating if your contractor makes key mistakes like the ones mentioned here. To avoid this, the best approach is to hire a company with an impeccable track record and high review scores. Years of experience and a written guarantee are also important things to look for. The more thought and care you put into choosing your deck contractor, the less likely you are to end up with one that makes mistakes.