You’ve decided to finally go for that new outdoor deck, and you can’t wait to start enjoying it. You’ve got a basic design in mind, and you’ve even brought a contractor in for estimates. You’re just about ready to start. You choose a deck builder, sign a contract, and set a date for the work to begin. Now all you have to do is wait for your brand new deck to take shape.
Are you forgetting something?
Many homeowners find themselves asking this question as they prepare to take the leap and build an outdoor deck. It doesn’t seem like the kind of project that would require a lot of detailed planning, but if you want results of the highest professional standard, it’s important to get things right. There are dozens of crucial details, and they slip through the cracks more often than you might think. The results can be disappointing for homeowners who want to make the most of their outdoor deck investments.
Here are five things many homeowners forget during the process of building a new outdoor deck.
1. Composite materials save $$$ in the long run
People are sometimes put off by the higher immediate cost of composite decking materials. Natural wood also sounds appealing and looks great. But if you figure in the maintenance requirements of natural wood, including the cost of refinishing over year or two over the long run, you’ll begin to see the cost savings of composite decking. These materials also last longer; it’s common for composite decks to last two or three decades, if not longer.
2. Different contractors produce different results
Picking a contractor’s name out of a hat is no way to protect an investment that totals thousands of dollars. Some homeowners just want to get the job done, so they rush the important step of selecting a contractor to handle the construction of the deck. They forget that reputable contractors are reputable for a reason, and not every decking company is equally reputable.
3. You might not need a new deck
Have you considered professional deck resurfacing? Don’t forget that if the frame and underlying structure of your deck is in good shape, that warped and unattractive surface (including handrails) can be totally replaced at a fraction of the cost of a new deck. Don’t let a contractor talk you into a new deck until you’ve completely ruled out the possibility of resurfacing. Levels of customer satisfaction for resurfaced decks are very high.
4. Verbal guarantees don’t hold water
It’s all fine and good if a contractor says their work is “absolutely guaranteed” for a period of one year, or two years, or five years. But is this guarantee included in the written contract? If not, there’s no legal way to enforce it. By choosing a contractor who offers proper written guarantees, the deck you’ve worked so hard to build will be protected against defective workmanship or other errors.
5. Decks don’t have to be plain
Have you seen some of the things people are doing with outdoor decks lately? From outdoor kitchens to built-in seating to attractive water features, today’s outdoor deck can be a lifestyle hub rather than a plain, flat surface. And these extra amenities are often more affordable than people suspect. Don’t forget to consider all options while researching and budgeting for your outdoor deck.
Ensuring the success of your project
Your new outdoor deck may seem like a straightforward project, but it’s possible to lose track of important details that end up costing you down the line. Ask yourself what you might be forgetting, and go over the details two or three times before taking the leap. This is a good way to ensure the overall success of your outdoor deck construction process. Good luck!