beautiful custom deck by Custom Deck Builder at Artisan Outdoor Craftsman
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Ryan Coyle
Ryan Coyle

With 20+ years of experience in the landscape, decking, and construction industries, Ryan is one of the top deck designers in the central Indiana area. He and his companies have garnered several awards for their designs.

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What To Know Before Hiring A Custom Deck Builder

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Thinking about hiring a custom deck builder? There are many things you should keep in mind before making a move.

Not only do you need to choose the right deck contractor, but you also need to think about the type of deck you want. This is key to ensuring your future deck is what you envision!

If you are considering adding a deck or in the process of hiring a builder, keep reading!

a beautiful deck structure completed by custom deck builders at Artisan Outdoor Craftsman

1. Know What Deck You Want Before Looking For A Custom Deck Builder

The first step is to figure out what kind of deck you want. You don’t need to decide everything now, but you should have a general idea. This may seem like an obvious step, but many people don’t take the time to think before starting their search for a deck builder.

When deciding on the type of deck you want, there are many things to consider, such as:

  • The function and purpose of the deck.
  • The size of the deck.
  • The shape of the deck.
  • The material you want the deck to be made out of.
  • The style of the deck.
  • The location of the deck.
  • Additional features (like outdoor lighting).

These factors will affect the cost of your deck, as well as how long it will take to build it. Once you have an idea of what kind of deck you want, you can start looking for a deck builder to bring your project to life.

Do you need help deciding what type of deck you want? Click here to read our resource on what you need to know about custom decks.

2. Do Your Research Before Contacting A Custom Deck Builder

Once you know what kind of deck you want, it’s time to start doing some research on different deck builders in your area. There are a few different ways you can go about this:

  • Ask friends or family members if they have any recommendations.
  • Look online for reviews of deck builders in your area.
  • Visit different contractors’ websites and look for pictures of past projects.
  • Scan their websites for information about their process, warranties, and experience.

Now, make a shortlist of your top picks. Pick your top 2-3 favorite deck builders based on what you see online. (Reviews, website, etc.)

3. Questions To Ask A Builder Before Hiring

When you are considering different deck builders, it is important to know what to look for. Making the right questions will help you find and choose the right deck builder for your particular project. It will also help ensure that there are no surprises later on!

Plus, don’t you want your deck to be what you expected?

These questions are the key to:

  • Choosing the right deck builder!
  • Making sure you both have the same expectations!

The internet is your best friend when looking for a contractor. Research each one online before making any final decisions, and request estimates or schedule consultations with the top picks if necessary!

What Warranties And Guarantees Does The Contractor Offer?

One of the first things you should find out about deck builders is their warranties and guarantees. Most reputable builders will offer some sort of warranty on their work, so be sure to ask the builder what is covered and for how long.

Some offer a warranty on materials, but not all offer a warranty on labor. The best deck builders offer both. We highly suggest you work with a deck builder that gives you 100% reassurance that your deck will last for multiple decades, so opt for long warranties.

What Is The Contractor’s Experience?

It’s also important to know the deck builder’s experience and qualifications. You want to be sure that you’re working with someone who has the required deck building skills and a reputation for providing exceptional services in your area. When researching them, check their accreditations and activity in industry events.

If you want to evaluate your potential deck builders based on the same criteria, ask each one the same questions when you get in touch to ask for answers. Compare their answers to get a feel for the service you will receive and the results you should expect.

What Is The Process Like?

Another important aspect to consider is the contractor’s project management process. Find out how they will be communicating with you during the project and what kind of information they will need from you. Most professional deck contractors have a “process” page on their website with information. If a contractor seems like a good fit, you can ask about the precise details of their process when you contact them.

How Long Does It Take To Build A Deck?

It’s also important to know what kind of timeline you’re looking at for your project. A good deck builder should be able to give you a realistic timeline, especially if you have a good idea of the kind of deck that you want.

Keep in mind that the size and complexity of your project will affect the timeline. If you’re hoping to have your deck completed by a certain date, make sure to ask if delays can be expected, how likely they are, and how they would affect the timeline.

Generally speaking, it can take around 3-8 weeks to design and build a deck.

What Is The Cost Of Building A Deck?

The cost of hiring a deck builder will vary depending on the size and complexity of your project. That’s why it’s so useful to have an accurate idea of the deck that you want.

In most cases, the size of the deck is the main factor in the cost – so including that information will help you get a more accurate estimate. Some contractors will charge by the square foot, while others will put more weight on other factors.

The materials you’ll be using will also affect the cost. Pressure-treated wood is a common material used for decks, but there are other options available, such as composite and PVC. Each type of material has its own benefits, drawbacks, and costs.

During What Times Of The Day Will The Contractors Be At Home?

It’s important to be aware of when your contractors will be working on your home, as this can affect your daily routine. Most contractors will work during normal business hours, but some may start earlier or work later to avoid traffic.

Some may also work in the evenings or on weekends. Ask about availability and what times they’ll be working before you schedule your project.

You should also ask about noise levels and whether there will be any heavy machinery used during the project. If you have concerns about any of these things, be sure to discuss them with your contractor before work begins. Your contractor may be willing to adopt a certain schedule to meet your needs, but this may extend the time it takes to build your deck.

What Is The Expected Outcome?

In other words, can the deck builders that you’re considering bring your vision to life? Will it be the outcome you expect?

Like we said before, you need to have a vision for your future deck. Be sure to discuss your vision with potential contractors and ask for their input. They should make you feel confident that they have the talent and creativity to turn your vision into a reality.

Good deck contractors offer you guidance and clarification if you’re not sure about a decision. It’s not just about building. Your contractor should be a good companion and be able to step into your shoes. It’s your dreams we’re talking about, and they need to be able to understand your vision and dreams to create a space that’s just right for you.

Does The Contractor Offer Deck Financing?

Don’t want to wait to get your new deck? If you’re interested in financing your deck project, check if your contractor offers financing options. Contractors that offer deck financing usually have a section on their website with the information you need to apply and get started with the process.

Do They Offer Beautiful Deck Railings?

A small but important detail, as the railing is an essential feature of your deck and affects the entire look. There are a variety of deck railing materials, such as composite, aluminum, or glass railings.

If you have a preferred deck railing type, make sure to find out about the styles and designs that are available.

Some contractors have more limited design options. If your aspirations are high, and you want a sick-looking deck, make sure your contractor offers gorgeous deck railing designs to choose from.

a beautiful deck structure with spiral stairs completed by custom deck builders at Artisan Outdoor Craftsman

Final Thoughts

Building a deck is a life-changing decision, so it’s important to do your research before hiring a contractor. It’s also important to discuss your expectations for the project and be clear about your needs. With a bit of planning, you can be sure to find the perfect contractor to make your deck dreams come true!

So, What Are The Next Steps?

Now that you know what to look for in a deck builder, it is time to get started.

  • Define the type of deck that you want.
  • Research online and pick the top 2-3 deck builders you found. Try to find the answers to your questions during your online research.
  • Once you have a good shortlist, contact each contractor. Make sure to prepare a list of questions and plan beforehand.

Be sure to ask the same or similar questions to each one, so you can compare their answers. And voilà! You’ll be able to pick the right deck contractor and get the deck experience you’re looking for.

If you live near Fishers, Indianapolis – the next step for you is clear. Request a free estimate to get started with Artisan today!