“I’m so excited, we’re getting a deck!” Bobbie said. “It’s going to be great. We have an awesome backyard, and I can’t wait to get out there and enjoy the sunshine. Now here’s the tricky part: I’m looking for a deck contractor near me, and I’ve never hired any building professionals near me. How will I know who’s good?”
Choosing a deck contractor is a major decision. You’re going to be spending quite a bit of money on a new deck, and you want to be sure you get your money’s worth in terms of the quality of building materials as well as the craftsmanship. Be aware that the reviews of contractors you find on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List are influenced by a number of factors, including advertising dollars – while many are legitimate, some are not. While considering these sites is important, you don’t want to rely on them as your only source of information – just like you wouldn’t want to trust Wikipedia as the definitive answer on anything. It’s always a good idea to research further and verify what you’ve learned.
One way to do to that is by asking friends, neighbors, coworkers, and anyone else you know locally who’s had a deck built who their contractor was and what their experience was like. Facebook now has a looking for recommendations feature that is very useful if you prefer not to have these conversations in person. The social network Nextdoor is also useful if you’re interested in the opinions of local residents.
When you’re considering a deck contractor, ask to see examples of their work and for references. Look at the examples carefully and with a critical eye. If you’re not pleased with their work on one job, you might not want them to work on your house. On the other hand, if you like the quality of their work, it should be an easy decision!