A deck is truly an extension of your living space. And if you want it done properly, with professional finish and a structure you can count on, it makes sense to hire a deck contractor. That doesn't mean you will end up paying a fortune. By doing your homework, avoiding surprises and knowing what you want as well as what you need, you can save money on your deck project.
Do Your Homework
As with every major home improvement, it pays to conduct a little research before you sit down with a deck contractor to talk about price. This can be as simple as walking through your local building supply store and jotting down lumber and component prices. Often the larger lumber yards will have ready-made packages for deck lumber that gives you a base square footage price.
Understand that the supplies you are pricing at big box lumber yards may be a lower grade than the product used by a professional decking contractor. They will also add labor charges and, if they are a custom builder, other specialty items that will make your deck stand out from the crowd. But having a basic idea of what lumber costs are will provide you with some knowledge.
Make sure that you go over every detail of the job before the deck contractor starts. Ask about building permits and whether the cost and service of applying is included in your quotation. Find out whether utility locates need to be done and whether that will incur any extra charges to you.
Basically you want everything out on the table, for your sake as well as for the contractor's. It costs everyone money when surprises come up, so do your best to avoid them by going over details ahead of time.
Know What You Want
Have a look through a variety of deck design books and magazines before you talk to a deck contractor. Browse through local contractor's portfolio (often found on their website) and pick out features you want to include on your deck.
Be flexible and work with the deck designer's suggestions while you are obtaining your deck quote, but having a list of the things you want on your deck will eliminate some of the up-sell factor and help you to spend your hard earned money on exactly what you want for your outdoor living space.
Know What You Need
Have a basic understanding of the local building codes. Then you can be sure that your deck contractor is installing the footings, beams, ledgers and joists as needed. Avoid problems with the building inspector by having all of this spelled out ahead of time.
Invest in a deck design that delivers what your family needs. Don't spend money on a glass railing if your ground level deck can be left open. Opt out of the planter boxes if no one in your family is a gardener. Steer clear of wide, decorative stairs if you just need something functional. Understanding your priorities will allow you to make good decisions about the construction and design of your deck and ultimately save money.
Investing in a deck is a wise decision and hiring a professional deck contractor to complete this job for you is the smart way to go. With some research, a list of your priorities and dreams and an eye for detail you can save money hiring a deck contractor and look forward to many days and nights in the backyard.Posted by: TrustedPros