There is no better time than summer to spend long afternoons and evenings outside on your deck. Building a deck is a big investment, but it can add tremendous value and enjoyment to your home. So how do you know if your new deck is built right? If you’re not an expert, it might seem like a difficult thing to gauge. Use the three guidelines below as indicators for quality workmanship you can trust.
1. You hired a good contractor with written guarantees
As with any home renovation project, you want to make sure you’re hiring only the best contractor to build or repair your deck. Depending on the landscaping around your home and the type of deck you choose, poor workmanship can not only be an eyesore but a serious safety concern.
When choosing a contractor to build your deck, start by asking around for recommendations with friends and neighbors who have high quality and long-lasting decks. Get quotes from prospective contractors for the project you have in mind. Don’t forget to ask questions! Finally, when it comes to making a decision and drafting up a contract, make sure you hire a specialist with written guarantees. This way, if anything does go wrong down the line, you have the damage covered.
2. It stands the test of time
Over time, decks will show wear and tear and will need to be repaired and eventually replaced. That said, a newly constructed deck should still feel new during its first few years of use. All decks eventually begin to show their age, but a well-built deck will look fresh for a longer period of time, and should remain structurally sound for a decade or two.
If you find, after three years of regular use, that your deck has weak or creaking boards (or handrails coming loose), it probably wasn’t built right to begin with. Avoid this scenario by making a plan with your contractor about how long a new deck should last — and who will be responsible for repairs within a set period of time.
3. It stands up to regular use
There’s no sense in building a new deck unless you are going to use it. From sun bathing to outdoor grilling with friends, the best outdoor ecks are those that get used all the time.
That said, the more you use a deck, the sooner it is likely to show wear. A well-constructed deck will stand up to this regular use. You shouldn’t notice splintering wood or loose boards in the first several years with your new deck. At some point you will need to reseal a wooden deck, but with regular maintenance, the structure should stay sound no matter how much use your deck gets. Composite decks have even lower maintenance requirements, and more homeowners are choosing them for this reason — but it’s still important to find a contractor who exemplifies great workmanship. Otherwise the great benefits of composite material will be lost.
Moving forward with your outdoor deck plans
If you’re considering a new outdoor deck, avoid the unpleasant surprise of poor durability or construction. How? Simply by hiring an experienced and trustworthy outdoor deck specialist. That way, you and your family can rest easy, knowing that your deck is safe and will hold up to years of use and enjoyment.