Things NOT To Do as a Homeowner Shopping for a Deck

As a homeowner, it can get overwhelming when shopping for a deck. One contractor could be booked for months while another contractor may quote you $3000 less than the first guy.

Here's a list of what NOT to do when you come across these situations:

  • Don’t fall for cheap products

  • It is enticing to save money but generally, you get what you pay for.

  • You don't have to get the most expensive board that exists, but research a manufacturer's reputation before buying.

  • Make sure whatever product you use, has a warranty.

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  • Don’t be afraid of getting a permit

  • Depending on your location, you may or may not need a permit. Have your contractor research this for you.

  • All good contractors will get the required permit as it helps with easements, set backs, etc.

  • If you don't get a permit and want to move, you'll likely have to pay extra to get a city inspector out to check the project & issue a permit.

  • Don’t choose cheapest contractor

  • This is another instance of you get what you pay for.

  • If someone is quoting the exact same deck, but they come in thousands of dollars cheaper...they’re likely using cheaper product, may not know the best installation standards, etc.

  • Be sure to understand exactly what each quote includes:

  • If there's that large of a difference, chances are you’re not getting the same product quoted.

  • Don’t NOT maintain your Pressure Treated deck

  • That hurt this writer to type; double negatives are weird...but for the sake of continuity, it was necessary.

  • Anyway, what we mean is DO maintain your wood deck.

  • It's necessary to clean, sand/repair, and seal your deck every 1-3 years.

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  • Don’t hire just any contractor

  • Just because an interior trim person is handy, doesn’t mean they’re a deck builder. They could easily be using framing nails to secure the ledger board to the house...we've seen it before!

  • You wouldn't hire an electrician to do your plumbing right? Same principle.

  • Don’t be oblivious to what’s going on with your project

  • Pay attention to the progress – check in every now and then, ask questions.

  • However, a good contractor doesn't need (or want) to be babysat.

  • They should layout generalized progress points & let you know when they have been achieved.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions

  • At any time, ask questions, never assume!

  • Clarity & communication between contractor & client is so important.

  • Don’t grind your contractor

  • This day in age, your average contractor doesn't have much or any room to move on their estimate for you.

  • Instead of asking for discounts, consider changing your expectations such as delaying the privacy screens for now, or having a lesser lighting package.

  • If you must save money, go with the cheaper person.

  • We want to help you & keep you as a client, so we can help you change the scope if you cannot afford the estimated project at this time.

  • Don’t be afraid to wait

  • You may want a deck today but you also may not be able to afford the deck you want today; it’s better to wait & get the deck you want the first time. Don’t settle!

  • Another option is to do it in phases:

  • Deck first, lighting second, privacy screens later.

  • Don’t wait to start the project

  • That hurt to write too, given the previous bullet point. *head implodes*

  • If you do want a deck for this summer, don’t wait until late May to get quotes – because most contractors could already be booked for the rest of the year.

  • Planning is everything!

Summit Outdoor Designs is here to help with the deck building process. From estimate to project completion, we look forward to working WITH you!

Contact us today for a free estimate!

(816) 524-8565

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