Building a deck yourself, or contracting with a deck builder to get the job done, can be one of the most rewarding projects many homeowners will ever undertake. A source of immense pride, a well planned and built deck can also increase the value of a home and expand usable space in a backyard for years to come.
As the Greater Toronto Area’s premier deck design company, Toronto custom decks has built hundreds of decks and patios over the years, and strives to exceed all expectations with outstanding designs, professional installation, and outstanding customer service.
Part of the reason we’ve been so successful for more than 20 years is because of the relationship we have with our customers, and the effort we take to educate them about what qualities to look for in a landscaping company.
Here are the top five questions we recommend consumers ask when they’re thinking of hiring a deck builder:
- How long have you been in the business? The hallmark of a reputable, successful business is a long history in its chosen profession, whether it’s cleaning windows, plowing snow, or deck building. At ME Contracting, our designers and installers have been working as a team since 1992.
- Do you require a deposit to begin work? This is especially important. An established deck builder will always have the financial resources to purchase the necessary building materials, pull construction or other permits, and pay designers and installers until a project is finished. A homeowner should never have to pay up front for work to begin in earnest.
- Do you have insurance and licenses? Hiring a “handyman” to build a deck may cost less in the long run, but the homeowner is assuming a fair amount of risk in return. If someone is injured on the job, the customer’s homeowner policy will pay the cost of treatment, lost wages, and so forth. If the deck is built without a building, electrical, or other license from the local municipality, the homeowner will be responsible for not only inspection fees if someone “official” finds out about the project, but the permit fee and the cost of possibly tearing the deck down and starting from scratch. A professional deck builder like ME Contracting will always carry proper insurance and the appropriate local business licenses.
- Are there extra charges? At ME Contracting, we always provide customers a written estimate for the project that includes the plans, a materials list, estimated date of completion, and information about warranty and ongoing maintenance. That way, there is never a “gotcha” moment with unexpected charges for other building materials, fees, or anything else left off the original estimate.
Finally, many customers ask: Do you provide a warranty? The answer is yes. A reputable deck builder should offer a warranty on the workmanship of the finished project. A warranty on materials, if applicable, should also be transferable to the homeowner and will vary in length and terms. Ideally, a warranty should also cover labour for a minimum of two years to allow for exposure to all four seasons a few times – potentially exposing any workmanship issues that would need correction.