Often cited as one of the best deck builders in Kansas City, the team at All Weather Decks takes great pride in delivering a quality experience for our clients from beginning to end. Unfortunately, this is not always the case when a homeowner hires the wrong contractor for the job. It happened more than you might think! In this blog post, we’ll share the top three factors we believe you should consider when hiring a deck contractor. By following these guidelines we hope that you align yourself with a reputable contractor that can exceed your expectations – whether you choose the All Weather Decks Team or someone else.
Experience and Reputation
Perhaps the most important indicator of whether you’re considered the “right” contractor is their level of experience and reputation among those they’ve served in the past. You’ll want to look for deck builders who have a long and proven track record of completing deck projects like the one you have in mind. You can do this by gathering information in these four areas:
- Their past work: Request a portfolio of their previous work. A reputable contractor should be proud to showcase their completed projects, allowing you to judge the quality of their workmanship and design capabilities. If you visit a contractor’s website and see little evidence of actual completed jobs, consider this a red flag.
- References: Ask for references from their past clients. Speaking directly with homeowners who have worked with the contractor can provide great insights into their professionalism, reliability, and the overall satisfaction of their customers.
- Online Reviews: Check online review platforms and the contractor’s website for customer reviews. Positive reviews and feedback from previous clients offer a good clue that they’ll most likely be able to meet your expectations.
- Years in Business: While newer contractors may still offer quality services, a long-standing presence in the industry indicates stability, reliability, and a consistent commitment to customer satisfaction. Competition is fierce these days and the transparency of a contractor’s work (good or bad) is high. So if they’ve thrived over the years, that tells you a lot about their organization and the quality of their services.
Licensing and Insurance
Making sure that the deck contractor you’re considering is properly licensed and insured is a crucial step in protecting yourself from unauthorized entities. A reputable contractor should be able to quickly provide evidence of the following:
- License: Verify that the contractor holds the necessary licenses required by your local municipality. Licensing requirements vary, so check with your local building department to confirm the specific credentials needed for deck construction in your area. You can search for contractor licensing information in Johnson County, KS right here. (NOTE: You can find us by searching “All Weather Services”)
- Insurance: A reputable contractor should carry both liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Liability insurance protects you in case of damage to your property during the project, while workers’ compensation insurance covers the contractor’s employees in case of injuries on the job. Request to see their insurance certificates to ensure they are current and adequate for the scope of your project.
Clear Contract and Communication
A transparent and detailed contract is essential for a successful working relationship with your deck contractor. Before signing any agreement, consider the following:
- Scope of Work: The contract should clearly outline the scope of work, detailing the materials to be used, the project timeline, and any specific features or design elements.
- Payment Schedule: Establish a clear payment schedule that aligns with project milestones. Be cautious of contractors who request full payment upfront.
- Warranties and Guarantees: Ensure that the contract includes information about any warranties or guarantees provided by the contractor for both materials and workmanship.
- Change Orders: Establish a procedure for handling changes to the project scope. Clear communication and documentation of any changes ensure that both parties are on the same page and avoid misunderstandings.
- Permitting: Confirm that the contractor will obtain any necessary permits for the project. A responsible contractor will be familiar with local building codes and ensure that all required approvals are obtained.
Hope this helps! If you’re considering an outdoor living project (including decks, patios, covered decks, outdoor kitchens, or stone masonry) we’d love to talk with you! Just call us at (913) 206-1974 or contact us online today!