Tips for Hiring a Deck Builder

With Summer fast approaching, now is the perfect time take advantage of all that extra outdoor space by adding a deck! Having a deck will give you a great place to relax and entertain guests. Having a deck will also increase the value of your home. There are a number of things to take into consideration before hiring a deck builder. There are online resources that can make it easier to narrow it down to the ideal contractor for you. Here are some tips on how to choose the right deck builder:
  1. Check Reviews. You should check online reviews on individual deck building companies, and also check if those you are interested in can provide samples of their work. Keep in mind that not all deck builders have the same level of credentials. If possible, you should visit their offices, talk with their suppliers and former customers when you are able.
  2. Insurance and Licensing. Many people fail to ask their contractor about insurance, whether they feel it is impolite or simply didn’t realize you should. However, anyone who went through the trouble of obtaining the necessary insurance with general liability and workers comp policies will have no problem discussing it. It is important to take every step possible to make sure you are only in contact with builders who are qualified and reputable. You can look up contractor license numbers on the MHIC website, so don’t hesitate to ask and verify.
  3. Don’t Pay Large Deposits. Although deposits are required by most companies, asking for more than 50% of the bid is a sign that the company is not doing well financially and may also be a sign that the company won’t get the build done in a timely manner. Many states regulate what a builder is allowed to ask for as a deposit, so check with your local government for the rules in your area. Specifically in Maryland, paying more than a third of what you’re overall cost is for a down payment is not permitted.
  4. Get Everything in Writing. Yes, everything. It’s important to have every document in writing. Verbal agreements may be legally binding where you live, but there is nothing more legitimate than having a contract that protects both you, and the builder, from any miscommunications or misunderstandings. It’s important to have the bid, the contract and the construction schedule in writing before beginning the job.
  5. Compare Companies. Once you’ve found several candidates for your deck construction, you should make some basic comparisons between them. Compare their licensing and insurance, references, online reviews, and estimates.
The Dan Banks Company is a licensed general contractor serving all of Cecil County, including Elkton, North East and Rising Sun. Call us today at 410-392-9700 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation and estimate.