There are many choices to be made if you’re installing a deck or outdoor living space.

Ask yourself: Is it something you are really considering?

One important issue is at the top of this list:

How do I select a reputable deck builder?

This search is crucial since your project’s result will be greatly influenced by the knowledge and moral character of your builder.

Ace of Decks has created a checklist to aid you in the selection process for deck builders. The checklist is based on our experience assisting a variety of individuals who discovered us online in search of a reliable deck and outdoor living builders in their region, as well as working with over hundreds of deck clients throughout Chicagoland suburbs.

Therefore, this checklist will assist you in identifying different variables to consider when choosing your outdoor living specialist. Regardless of where you reside or whether you are searching for a wood, composite, or PVC deck.

So let’s get started right away!

The Definitive Checklist for Vetting Deck Builders

Company/Contractor Name: _________________________________________

1. Business Details and Experience

________ The business is authorized and covered by insurance.

Note: Confirm that the name on the license matches the name of the business.

Find out why if not.

Find out how long the company has been in operation.

Years in Operation: _____________

Note: 43% of businesses that start out as contractors fail within the first three years.

2. Reviews and Ratings

________ The deck and outdoor living constructor has at least a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative reviews overall.

________ When appropriate, they reacted to bad evaluations in a reasonable manner.

3. Products used by Deck Builder

________ The deck and outdoor living builder employs items that have received favorable ratings from customers.

________ Customer references have given the materials used by the builder a rating of positive satisfaction.

________ The items are supported by competitive warranties.

4. Workmanship Warranty

It should be noted that a craftsmanship warranty would cover any problems like township building code compliance, loose connections, faulty cuts, improper installation per manufacturer etc.. In most states, there is a one-year minimum workmanship warranty mandated by law.

________ How long is the craftsmanship warranty offered by the company that built the deck?

________ What specifically is covered by the craftsmanship warranty offered by the deck builder?

________ What takes place if a repair is required? (Who foots the bill to boards, hardware, ect.?)

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5. Installation Practice

Are there any installation or construction methods that set the deck and outdoor living builder apart from the competition?

Are these procedures current?

6. Design and Project Planning:

________ Before the project starts, the deck and outdoor living builder will show you a plan that includes the following:

  • The exact placement of your deck.
  • Color Specifications
  • Location of Amenities
  • Where the stairs will be located.
  • How high the deck is in relation to your current yard.
  • The location of the construction access.
  • The design of the railing.
  • If necessary, the placement of deck covers/overhangs.

7. Pricing and Contract

________ The cost of all work is, whenever possible, specified in the contract or, at the very least, as a formal quote.

Note: Be careful not to sign a contract with the knowledge that the cost of a patio, retaining wall, fence, lighting etc. will be determined after the project has started. This is a trick some builders employ to make the project’s initial cost appear smaller than it actually is.

________ The contract contains an estimated completion date.

________ The contract contains a list of all “throw-ins”.

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8. Matters that don’t really Matter

  • The Company Size: Excellent deck builders come in many shapes and sizes.
  • In-house vs Subcontracted Work: Great deck and outdoor living builders get the job done regardless of whether it is done internally or through subcontractors and will ensure your satisfaction at the end.
  • Web Presence and Promotion: Shiny brochures and fresh Facebook postings are wonderful, but they don’t always represent honesty or competence.

We sincerely hope that this will be useful to you in your search for the ideal deck builder.

Check out our deck and outdoor living design ideas if you want to see a variety of design options:

Here are some useful links:

Hit the link below if you are ready to get your design started today!