How Do I Find the Best Contractor for My Outdoor Deck?

Whether you’re refinishing your outdoor deck, resurfacing it, or building a brand new structure, you’ll probably be hiring a contractor to do the work for you. You might go the DIY route if you’re experienced, ambitious, or just have a lot of time on your hands—but in most cases, you’ll need professional help. In fact, many states and municipalities have strict building codes that prohibit the average homeowner from building an outdoor deck without proper training.

So the question for most homeowners is not if they should hire an outdoor deck specialist, but how to find the best possible contractor for the job. We conducted our own research and complied some tips to help you find the best contractor for your outdoor deck project. Here’s what we found:

Ask friends, family, and acquaintances

Yes, this is still one of the best ways to find a good contractor. You get the real story from past clients, and in many cases you can see the workmanship with your own eyes. If you know someone who has recently had work done on their deck, be sure to ask them who they hired and how they would rate the overall experience.

Check out the contractor’s website

Many contractors have their own sites which detail their qualifications, display pictures of their past work, and give customer testimonials. They will often choose the best reviews to put up, but web sites are still full of valuable information. They’re also a great indicator of the overall level of professionalism you can expect from a deck specialist. If the web site is shabby and disorganized, other aspects of the business may be as well.

Focus on deck specialists instead of general contractors

A general contractor with an excellent reputation is certainly an option for your outdoor deck project, but many homeowners find it useful to focus on specialists who know decks forward and backward. Deck specialists will be familiar with the newest materials, technologies, and building code requirements. They might also give you ideas and advise you hadn’t considered before you decide which way to go.

Consult with multiple contractors

Most people find it’s a good idea to shop around. Reach out to at least three contractors before selecting one, and ask them all the same questions: How much experience they have, whether they’re licensed and insured, whether they have a list of references, and any other questions specific to your project. It’s also a good idea to ask how busy they are right now, as this could affect the level of service they can offer. Try to have preliminary materials and estimates figured out before you talk to contractors, so that you’re able to compare those numbers with your own.

Check references

Don’t just be satisfied with the fact that an outdoor deck specialist has handed over names and numbers—follow up on these references! What their past clients say should have a lot of bearing on your decision. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not they stayed on budget, were dependable and efficient, and maintained a professional standard of service across all aspects of the project. Most importantly, they can tell you whether they’re happy with their deck and the condition it’s in now.

Make sure you get along well

You’ll be working with your deck specialist closely—not to mention giving them a lot of money. Having a good rapport is important. If a contractor or staff person rubs you the wrong way, it’s often a sign that you’ll have other problems. Adding or resurfacing an outdoor deck can be stressful enough without unnecessary negativity.

The right contractor is out there

If you put in the legwork, you’ll be able to find the best contractor for your outdoor deck. It may seem like a lot of effort at first, but it will quickly pay off once the project gets underway and everything runs smoothly. Remember—the foremost regret of homeowners who pay for outdoor deck work is that they didn’t research all of the options available to them, and ended up contracting with someone who didn’t meet the highest professional standards.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck finding the right deck specialist for you!

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.”