Choosing a Deck Builder: Questions You Should Ask

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Mitchell

Mike Mitchell is an award-winning deck builder and designer who specializes in urban decking, transforming cityscapes with his creative constructions. He is a second-generation deck builder.

Table of Contents

When choosing a contractor to work on a major improvement to your home, it can be difficult to know what you should be asking so you have the best information to reach a decision. We understand how important it is for our customers to achieve the results they’ve been dreaming about, and that can only happen with great communication. Before you hire a deck builder, here are the questions you should be asking.

Project Specific Questions

The projects that deck contractors complete will vary from home to home. From the size and shape of the house to the natural features and landscaping of the yard, there are many details that must be considered to make the project successful. If you have any tricky areas that you think may be a problem, or specific features that you don’t want to be disturbed, be sure to ask the deck builders how they will accommodate.

To get an idea of whether the contractor you’re considering is a good fit for your job, these questions you should be answering for yourself. The most important thing is for you to feel like you can trust the deck builders, so ask yourself if they seem friendly and forthright and that they’re not withholding information or avoiding answering questions. Next, you want to feel like your needs and wishes were heard, and that you have confidence that the services you’ve requested can be delivered.

Questions for Deck Contractors

If you’re not sure what you should be asking to assess each deck builder, here are some questions that you should ask for every project, along with what to expect from the answers:

  • Lumber and Framing. Pressure-treated wood should be chosen for all framing, and any posts that come into contact with the ground should have an added level of protection.
  • Fasteners and Hardware. Pressure-treated lumber requires a specific type of hardware that is approved for exterior use. Make sure that cheaper options aren’t being used.
  • Hidden Fasteners. Every deck contractor will have the option of using hidden fasteners to attach decking to the framing. However, you want to make sure that cost is included in your quote so there are no added surprises down the road.
  • Decking and Railings. While you’ll have a choice in what type of decking will be used (i.e., Trex composite or vinyl), it’s important to ask which brand they will use and spend some time doing your homework to ensure the product has the features and durability you’re looking for.
  • Time frames. Depending on the season and the complexity of your project, building or renovating a deck can take some time. You’ll have to work with your deck builder’s schedule, but if you have a fixed end-date that you’ll need the project completed by (if you’re planning an event, for example), make sure they can accommodate your deadline.

Making the Right Decision

Building a new deck or breathing new life into your old deck is an exciting project. The result should be a beautiful new feature for your outdoor living space that you’re satisfied with. Choosing the right deck contractor will help ensure a smooth project with exceptional finished results, and we hope these questions will help you feel confident when making a decision.