Originally published in March 2020; Updated September 2023

Adding a deck to your home is an exciting prospect! A deck provides you with a space to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and entertain friends and family. During the warmer months, a deck essentially acts as an extension of your home.

Naturally, you want to make sure your deck build is done properly and to your satisfaction. And unless you’re building your own deck, the first step in the process will be hiring a deck contractor. 

Before you hire a contractor for your next deck build, here are a few key things to consider.

Decide What You Want: Questions To Ask Yourself

Before you call a contractor, you first need to decide what you want in a deck. There are a multitude of options not only for the materials your deck is built with, but also for deck accessories like lighting, built-in seating, and more.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your deck build:

  • What is your budget?
  • What size and shape deck do you want? 
  • What type of deck railings do you prefer?
  • Where would you like your deck to be placed in your yard with respect to your home?
  • Do you have a preference for what type of material your deck is built of? Think about both appearance and how much time you want to spend on maintenance.
  • Are there any specific design features you want, such as levels, built-in seating, lighting, gas line for BBQ, privacy screens, fire pit, and so on? 

These elements will all impact the cost, design, and/or timeline of your deck, so the more specific you can be, the more accurate your quote will be. 

Have a small yard, and not sure if a deck will work in your space? Check out our blog on Deck Ideas for Small Yards!

Understand the Process: Questions To Ask Your Contractor

Of course, if you’re not sure about some of these things, the team at Outdoor Solutions will take the time to answer your questions and make sure you know about all your options before we design and build your deck.

In addition to these details, here are some important questions to ask before hiring a deck contractor:

  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • How is the permit process handled?
  • What are the different types of materials available to use in building my deck? Do you specialize in a particular type of decking material?
  • What warranties are available for materials and workmanship?
  • Can I see examples of your previous work?
  • Can you provide references from previous clients?
  • When can you start building, and how long will it take?
  • Will there be a supervisor on-site during construction?
  • How much will it cost, and what is the payment structure? (Always get a written estimate for your deck project!)

Talking through these questions with your contractor will ensure that you understand what to expect during the building process. 

Did you know that fall isn’t too late to have your deck built? It’s true. Learn more in our recent blog.

Sign the Contract and Let the Building Begin!

Once you have all your questions answered, you’ll sign a written contract (having things in writing will prevent any confusion or issues later on). A few things that should always be included in your contract are:

  • The total price, including materials and work
  • What work is being done
  • Estimated project start and end dates

Once you sign on the dotted line, your deck project can be scheduled. Before you know it, you’ll be sipping a cool drink with friends and family on your new deck!

Adding a deck to your home is a big investment, so it’s important to understand your options and what the building process will look like. At Outdoor Solutions, we’re always happy to answer any questions you have. Take a look at our deck gallery for inspiration, and give us a call when you’re ready to talk about building your deck!