Build A Solid Relationship With Your Contractor: Three Things To Discuss Before Work Begins

contractorA deck is a fantastic addition to your home, raising the value of the home, while also giving you and your family a place to gather and have fun.  You can try to do the work by yourself, but the headaches and costs that come with a DIY project are usually not worth the savings, so you will need to find a contractor who can do the work for you.  There are a lot of characteristics that make a good contractor, but even if you find someone who meets all of those requirements, you may not have someone that you feel comfortable working with.  As you look to start your deck project you need to build a solid relationship with the contractor, and that means going over some specific issues before the work even begins.


The biggest issue that you are going to face is the cost of the project.  No matter how well the deck is planned before construction begins, there are going to be some slight changes that have to be made to the budget.  Talk to your contractor about the cost of the deck and what additional costs the contractor thinks might come up.  Be proactive and understanding when the contractor goes over this information with you, because as much as you are affected by the changes to the deck budget, the contractor is just as affected.  When you are calm and open when issues occur, the contractor will feel comfortable talking to you about potential problems, rather than hiding those problems or trying to cut corners to meet a budget.

Design Ideas

Another important step in building your relationship with your contractor is discussing the design and installation of the deck.  As the homeowner you have final say over all of the design decisions, but your contractor should feel comfortable making suggestions as well.  The design should be a discussion about what you want, as well as what will look good in the yard and what the contractor can produce on the budget and timetable that you have provided.  At the same time, make sure that you can tell the contractor “no” when something does not feel right to you, or the contractor proposes something that you do not want.


Finally, you need to have a frank discussion about the warranty.  Ask the contractor, in writing, what things are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, and what the contractor covers under his own warranty or workmanship guarantee.  This will let you know ahead of time where you will have potential liability as the deck ages, and it will give you some insight into what kind of value the contractor puts on his work.  Know that most of the time the warranties that you get on a deck are not going to be very comprehensive, and workmanship guarantees are hard to enforce, unless there are very obvious mistakes made by the installers.  What you are trying to discover in this conversation is more about whether the contractor will be around once the deck is completed, or if they are a builder that will just disappear when the project is over.

Building a deck on your home is an affordable way to add a gathering space to your home and to provide your family with outdoor comfort.  When you pick a contractor make sure that they are someone that you can speak to freely and also make yourself open to their suggestions and concerns.  When you do so, you will have a much better deck installation experience and you will be pleased with the results.

I am Morgan Turner, and I wrote this article as someone who is a former contractor and deck builder.  Too often problems in deck construction come down to homeowners and contractors not discussing the important issues and making too many assumptions about the project.  The staff at Deck Craft Custom Decks are the ones that I recommend to my friends and family now that I am retired.  I highly recommend Deck Craft because of their quality work and their communication throughout an entire project.



Charlie is a content writer

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