Hiring deck builders in Annapolis can be an exciting time for a homeowner or commercial property investor. A new deck can offer more enjoyment in the warm months and provide more livable space.
There are many parts to consider when hiring a deck contractor though. Unless you get the facts ahead of time the project can be costly, disappointing, and even dangerous.
There are horror stories where just a partial deck collapse hospitalized as many as 10 people!
The good news is if you follow these tips early you can get a great value on your deck:
1. Safety First
When hiring local deck builders you can’t sacrifice safety. The news is filled with people getting seriously injured from decks collapsing.
Protecting your family, friends, visitors, tenants, and property needs to be your first priority. The best way to get a quality contractor is to study their safety record.
Find out more about their OSHA reports, safety training, and safety equipment. You want to hire an outdoor deck builder that also places safety first.
With a solid safety program and a clear track record of outstanding safety performance, you can rest easy that you’ve made a great choice.
Ask for references. Your contractor shul be able to provide an extensive list of satisfied customers.
There is nothing that will prove the work will be done right as clearly as client satisfaction. It’s important to also make sure these references match the type of project you have in mind.
If you are electing to build a deck with multiple layers, stairs, or special features get references that reflect these projects.
No 2 decks are the same. But you should have confidence from the references that your contractor can handle the job. It’s wise to also take a look at online reviews to see how the general public feels.
Don’t just settle for the references your contractor provides.
You need to be cautious of safety issues for your building as well as for your contractor’s staff. The job and the company need to be properly insured.
Ask for a copy of their current certificate of insurance. This way you will be protected if there is damage to your home or property during the job.
In addition, with proper insurance, you won’t be held liable if your contractor’s staff is injured during the construction. Asking directed questions about insurance coverage, limits, and liability before selecting a contractor can offer significant protection for you during the job and after.
You can also ask about recent claims against their insurance. This is a good way to find out if they have had an accident recently.
If they are uninsured it’s important you go elsewhere.
4. Staff Experience
It’s one thing to find out that the company you are selecting has experience as an outdoor deck builder. But are their staff experienced as well?
You don’t want to go through a lengthy and thorough selection process only to find a novice staff report to your project on day 1.
Find out about the experience of the workers who will be assigned to your job. Are they licensed tradespeople? Have they built outdoor decks before?
Every answer you receive during the selection process should reassure you. If your contractor is reputable and experienced they will have a staff that is well trained and experienced.
5. Permitting & Inspection
Who handles the permitting needs when it comes to your deck project? Many homeowners and property owners are disappointed to discover that their contractor doesn’t handle permits.
Or if they do handle permits they haven’t included the cost. This can lead to work delays and cost increases.
Your contractor may charge you extra for getting the permit down the road. Or they may leave your project, halfway through after you’ve paid a sizable down payment.
All of this stress can be relieved by getting a firm understanding of the permitting process and responsibilities.
Find out who is responsible and when this will be done in the process. Do the same with the inspection.
6. Subcontractors and Part Time Labor
It is important to find out if your contractor will be self-performing the work. Make sure you haven’t done all of this background work only to find another company doing your work.
The same is true for part-time or day labor. Even experienced contractors may bring in less expensive part-timers or day labor during the job.
You may not get the same level of experience and craftsmanship. These workers may be untrained and covered by different insurance.
7. Budget, Payments & Time
Can your contractor guarantee a completion date? How does payment timing work?
You don’t want to have to make unexpected payments for materials, supplies, or labor mid-way through the project. And you don’t want to find that work will stop if you don’t make these payments along the way.
Your contract should have clauses for work delays or stoppages. You want to make sure once the work commences it will be completed professionally and on-time.
Ask how often your contractor’s projects go over budget. This might be a good referral to ask for as well.
Why not talk to that customer to see how the contractor handled changes to budget and timeline?
Get The Best Deck Builders in Annapolis
Finding the best value in deck builders in Annapolis requires a bit of homework. You need to check their experience, customer satisfaction, and safety record.
We have 8 skilled office employees, a construction crew of a dozen plus members, and a clear record of client satisfaction. Our customers recommend G. H. Clark Contractors because of our professional service and beautiful results.
You don’t have to look far to find a deck contractor that can help you with every part of design and installation. Our team has completed over 3,000 projects for the benefit of our clients.
Don’t risk choosing a contractor based on unrealistic promises and costs. G. H. Clark Contractors offers the best value because we deliver as promised.