If you’re shopping for a Salt Lake deck contractor, we recommend you ask a lot of questions. Don’t just ask us questions, ask us and any other contractors you are considering, too. Specifically, make a list of questions, and ask each contractor the same questions so you can make a valid comparison. While personalities and assurances are great, this is not the time to hire a deck builder because they are nice and promise they do good work. Even knowing that a friend or acquaintance has used them is not enough unless you know that homeowner thoroughly vetted the contractor before hiring them.
It’s more important than ever to vet your contractor. Right now, the market for outdoor living structures is booming in the Salt Lake area. It’s a great time to be a deck builder. But how do you know which one to trust? If safe deck building is important to you—it’s your family’s home, right?—it’s best to be cautious.
Who will you hire, and how will you choose? Do you want the best price, or do you want the safest and most well-designed deck? I’m going to tell you, right now, you won’t get both at once. Do you want the soonest start time, or do you want the most well-constructed deck that also comes with a warranty?
Questions you can use to find a contractor invested in safe deck building:
1. Are you licensed and insured? What kind of license(s) do you have? What insurance do you have? Are your subcontractors licensed and insured? Please provide proof of the license(s) and insurance.
The license: You want to make sure the contractor is a licensed contractor and the electrician is a licensed electrician. If one person is performing both functions, he needs both licenses. This applies to plumbing, too.
The insurance: Your contractor needs to show you that he has general liability insurance and that his crew is covered by workers comp insurance. A reputable builder will never mind being asked for proof of insurance. If anyone gives you a hard time for asking, you should walk away.
2. Will you handle the permit process? This may include HOA approval, which is necessary before your contractor can get the required permits from your city or county building department. Archadeck of Salt Lake helps you with HOA approval and handles all permitting. If the contractor says permitting for your project isn’t necessary, make sure you understand why. Most projects require permitting with the exception of re-decking or addition to existing structures. If the contractor can’t explain why and prove that a permit is not required, walk away.
Why is permitting necessary? Besides avoiding fines, if you know the contractor is getting the required permits, you know the work will be inspected by qualified city or county building code inspectors. That’s part of the process. Without that step, you are putting your family’s safety in the wrong hands. If your project isn’t permitted, you may be fined and required to have the work torn down. It’s that serious.
3. Will you provide references, the names and phone numbers of prior clients? It’s up to you, the homeowner, to actually check those references. Ask the prior clients if the contractor seemed to have as much experience as he claimed. Ask if they would hire this contractor again. Ask what problems they ran into, if any.
4. When can you start? This is a trick question. You want to hear that the contractor has a waitlist. A reputable deck builder, this time of year, is booked for the next 2 or 3 months at least. If the contractor can start right away, that is not a good sign. Walk away.
5. Have you built a project like this one before? How many times? If you already know you want your deck built with composite decking products, make sure the contractor has a good bit of experience working with these materials. Working with composites is different than working with wood. You don’t want anyone learning on the job at your job.
Along those lines, if you want an outdoor fireplace on your deck, or a hot tub or an outdoor kitchen, ask about their experience with a project like yours. Specify that you want to speak with a prior client who had a project like yours.
Enjoy peace of mind with a reliable Salt Lake deck contractor
Your safety and that of your family and guests at your home is more important than saving money on a new deck or getting it built right away. If hiring a substandard or inexperienced contractor is the only way you can afford a deck right now, give us a call anyway to talk about that issue. We may have a solution you’re not aware of. For example, we offer a phased building program, usually applicable for combination projects, that allows you to budget for part of the work to be built now and part later. We also consider redecking if you have an older deck that you want to replace. If the deck’s substructure is sound, chances are good we can remove the surface materials and use the existing substructure. This saves you money while giving you a deck surfaced with all new materials. Finally, we can also give you access to apply for financing through our approved vendor.
Investing wisely in long-term safety and quality construction is more important than having your deck built sooner or at a lower cost. At Archadeck of Salt Lake, we design and build each deck with longevity and safety in mind. We custom design each project because each house, each property and each homeowner’s needs are different. We commend you on carefully selecting an experienced deck contractor who specializes in designing and building outdoor living structures. That effort will pay off in ways you may never know. Who tells a story about the time their deck didn’t collapse?
If you’re looking for an experienced, licensed and insured, quality deck contractor that is breaking the mold with oodles of integrity, we are your best choice. Call today for a design consultation. 801.683.2355
Read more about how Archadeck of Salt Lake is a great choice as your deck contractor.