With changing technologies and design trends, the custom decks of today offer outdoor living that looks and feels like indoor living. They open up a whole new lifestyle for most families. But with so many advances, so many decisions, how is the discriminating homeowner going to find the right custom decks contractor in Manassas, VA to navigate the deck design/build process?
Use this handy Hal Co deck building checklist before you start your deck to identify and locate the custom decks contractor in Manassas, VA that is right for your project.
Start talking to colleagues, friends, and neighbors who have finished deck projects you admire. Collect names and contact information, and schedule consultations with at least three decks contractors to meet them and get a feel for how you work together. Some things you want to ask:
- Can I visit your home to see the completed job?
- Were you satisfied with your design/build deck project? Was it completed on time?
- Did the contractor make regular contact about the status of the project, and any problems or changes that arose?
- If there unexpected costs, what were they and how were they handled?
- Did workers show up on time? Did they clean up each day and when the project was completed?
- Would you recommend the contractor or use them again?
In the meantime, do research online about your candidates. Generally, if their website makes sense and is easily navigated, and their portfolio or photo gallery shows promise, then make a note. Get a list of qualified references from clients with similar projects. Make a template of questions you want answered and follow-through so you can make accurate comparisons based on their experiences. Some basics:
- How many similar projects have you completed over the last year?
- Are you licensed and registered to do business with the state?
- How do you handle permits?
- Will you use subcontractors on our project?
Nothing substitutes for experience. Remember, your home is usually your most valuable asset, so you want a decks contractor who knows the business, has hands-on management, and employees who stick around. Ask for copies of current liability, property, and workman’s comp insurance and avoid those companies that can’t deliver.
A capable contractor will pull all the required permits before starting work on your project. Be suspicious if the contractor asks you to get the permit(s).
Materials cost will influence not only the total cost of your deck project, but the time you will spend maintaining your deck over it’s lifetime. Have preliminary measurements and materials picked out, and get a general estimate from each decks contractor. This will give you a baseline cost estimate to work from, and you can add or subtract accessories and finishes to affect the style and performance of your deck.
Your contract is the working legal agreement between you and your contractor. At a minimum it should include the following:
- contractor’s name, address, phone, and license number
- payment schedule
- anticipated start and completion date
- necessary permit obligations for your contractor
- change order procedures for any work necessary to complete your deck after the contract is signed.
- all materials (color, model, size, brand name, and manufacturer)
- warranties covering materials and workmanship
- what the contractor will and will not do – ask for a “broom clause” to make sure the contractor is responsible for restoring your property to its natural state.
- The contract must be dated, show the name and address of your contractor, and must explain your right to cancel.
With diligence and research you can find the right custom decks contractor in Manassas, VA to guide you through the deck design/build process. By doing the leg work up front, you will avoid potentially costly or dangerous construction issues and ensure you find the qualified decks contractor you need to build the deck of your dreams.