deck builders

How to Hire a Reliable Contractor to Build a Deck

You have a new deck in mind and you want to hire a reliable contractor to build it for you. There are several things you should consider when selecting a contractor. If you follow these guidelines, you will be able to find a contractor who can do a good job.

Questions to ask prospective contractors

There are several key questions you should ask a prospective deck builder. These questions will help you make a well-informed decision. You don’t want to end up with a deck that doesn’t meet your expectations. It is also important to find a reputable contractor who is easy to work with.

Obtaining references can give you a better idea of the quality of a potential contractor’s work. Most contractors will have contact information for previous customers. This is a good sign.

Before you hire a deck builder, you need to ensure they are licensed. Some contractors have additional licensing and insurance requirements. Choosing a reputable home improvement company will ensure you are protected against any liabilities.

You should also consider the materials used in your deck. Materials vary in durability and cost. Ask your prospective builder about their preferred materials. Many companies stick with tried and true methods, while others are on the lookout for innovative and less expensive materials.

Protect yourself from liability

One of the best ways to protect yourself from liability when hiring a contractor to build a deck is to get the contract in writing. Not only will it help you protect yourself, but you’ll also be able to keep a record of your contractor’s activities.

The other best way to protect yourself from liability is to make sure that the contractor you hire has general liability insurance. This will help you cover any medical costs and damages if a worker has an accident on your property.

You should also look into whether or not the contractor has workers’ compensation and auto liability. These types of insurance are helpful for contractors who are loading materials onto your property.

Another thing to consider when protecting yourself from liability is a hold-harmless agreement. Typically, this clause will limit the amount of damage a contractor is held liable for, and it can be added to any contract.

A hold harmless letter can also reduce the cost of legal defenses. It’s not required for every contract, but it can be a good idea to have it on your side when dealing with high-risk projects.

Negotiate with a contractor

One of the most important steps to take is to get a free bid from several different contractors. This is especially important if you live in a colder climate. Once you’ve decided on a contractor, you’ll need to double-check the numbers and make sure they are correct.

Another way to improve your chances of getting the most bang for your buck is to make a list of deck materials that you plan on using for your project. Most contractors will have a list of their preferred suppliers. If they do not, you might be able to haggle.

As for the actual project cost, you can usually expect to pay the contractor a lump sum at the end of the project. Alternatively, you might be able to save some cash by paying your contractor on a payment schedule, as opposed to upfront.