7 Tips For How to Choose The Right Deck Builder

When it comes to building a deck, you can choose to do it yourself, or you can choose a professional deck builder to do it for you. Unless you’re a skilled DIYer or handy person, hiring a deck contractor, like Olympic Decks, is the way to go. So how do you know how to choose the right deck builder?

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When looking at the pros and cons of hiring the right deck builder, consider that the best deck contractors in Washington at Olympic Decks will give you a beautifully designed, masterfully crafted, expertly executed deck that you can enjoy for decades to come.

Building an attractive, high-quality deck that is reliable is no easy feat. Take it from our experts at Olympic Decks, who are true masters of their trade. Here are 7 top tips for how to choose the right deck builder for you.

Olympic Decks

Tip #1

Experience Matters

How To Choose The Right Deck Builder

When it comes to deciding on what deck contractor to hire, experience matters. Having the right deck company to build your new deck, patio, or porch or resurface an existing deck can take all the guesswork out of the process for you.

An experienced deck contractor in Washington will have the knowledge to know what challenges may arise when building a deck. Issues and complications come up, and an experienced builder will know exactly how to handle things like:

  • Knowing Proper Building Codes: Staying up-to-date with local building codes and regulations ensures that your deck project is compliant with safety standards and legal requirements. It guarantees a secure and worry-free outdoor space for you and your loved ones.
  • Building Ideal Post Footers: Strong and stable post footers are the foundation of a durable deck. Properly constructed footers distribute weight evenly, preventing structural issues and ensuring your deck stands the test of time
  • Proper Beam Placement: Precise beam placement is essential for a structurally sound deck. Professional builders ensure that beams are correctly positioned to support the load-bearing requirements of your design, safeguarding the integrity of your outdoor oasis.
  • Regular Spacing of Joists: Consistent spacing between joists is crucial for a sturdy and safe deck. Professional builders meticulously align and secure joists, ensuring uniform weight distribution and preventing sagging or warping over time.
  • Using the Right Materials or Deck Boards: The choice of materials, such as quality deck boards, impacts the longevity and aesthetics of your deck. Professionals select the right materials that are not only visually appealing but also durable and resistant to environmental stressors.
  • Ensuring Dryer Vents, AC Units, Exterior Outlets, or Water Faucets are Free and Uncovered: Deck builders take care to maintain accessibility to essential home elements, such as dryer vents, AC units, exterior outlets, and water faucets. This ensures convenience and functionality while preserving the deck’s appearance.
  • Using the Correct Fasteners: The selection of appropriate fasteners is critical for the structural integrity of your deck. Professionals choose the right fasteners that resist corrosion and ensure a secure connection, contributing to the long-term stability of your outdoor space.
  • Installing Handrails Properly: Properly installed handrails provide safety and peace of mind. Professional builders ensure that handrails meet safety codes and are securely attached, enhancing the usability and safety of your deck.
  • Ensuring Weatherproofing is Done Properly: Effective weatherproofing safeguards your deck against the elements. Professional deck builders expertly apply weatherproofing materials, protecting your deck from moisture, UV rays, and other environmental factors that can lead to wear and tear.

Mistakes happen, but a mistake as simple as using the wrong type of fasteners can spell disaster for your deck. Hiring deck builders can make this a problem you never have to deal with.

The experts at Olympic Decks have over 10 years of experience in the construction business and have seen every possible deck challenge. Because of this experience, we know how to overcome any obstacle that may be faced on your project. Things don’t always go according to plan when building a deck. Hiring deck contractors with experience and expertise takes the stress off of you and guarantees you get a safe and beautiful deck for you and your family to enjoy.

When choosing the right deck builder, experience is key and considering a deck company’s reputation and reviews will help you know if they can build decks that last. Olympic Decks knows how to build decks that are structurally sound and will live up to their warranties.

Tip #2

Credentials and Licensing

How To Choose The Right Deck Builder

The first and most important step when you hire a Washington deck contractor is to verify that it has all the legal requirements it takes to start construction. A reliable deck contractor will have:

  • General liability insurance: This will cover any potential damages during construction.
  • Proper licensing: for the work they are doing.
  • Worker’s compensation insurance: to ensure the safety of the workers.

These are essential requirements for protecting you from substantial culpability in the event of an accident. Before excavating frost footings, your contractor will need to secure a construction permit and pass all necessary inspections to ensure compliance with IRC rules. He or she will also be responsible for locating utility lines.

Keep in mind that all respectable contractors will be aware of local rules and regulations and should be eager to answer any questions. To avoid confusion, most contractors advertise using their license numbers. These components should be explicitly specified on the contract so that you have a record of their qualifications.

Tip #3

Portfolio and Past Projects

How To Choose The Right Deck Builder

Having a large and diverse portfolio of completed projects allows deck-building companies to demonstrate their experience and build confidence in their soon-to-be clients. Access to pictures, testimonials, reviews, and a gallery of previous projects is always a good sign of a reliable builder.

Olympic Decks has a fantastic online showcase that even features before and after photos so you can see the difference a premier deck builder can make. They also have a mobile showroom for clients to see and feel different products in real-time. Having access to past work is a great way to showcase a builder’s skills and style so make sure when choosing a deck builder, you check out previous projects.

When evaluating a deck builder’s portfolio, it’s essential to look for the following:

  1. Experience in the industry
  2. Licensing and insurance in place
  3. Client services available
  4. Customer reviews
  5. Warranty on products and services
  6. Quality of craftsmanship
  7. Customizations available
  8. Specialized services offered
  9. Detail and trim work
  10. Appropriate safety regulations are followed
  11. Different design options are available

Knowing more about the previous work and experience of a builder will definitely help in deciding if they are the right fit for your project.

Tip #4

Client References and Reviews

How To Choose The Right Deck Builder

A lot of great businesses do well because of word-of-mouth. In today’s day and age, we use a similar metric to find good businesses using customer reviews. Take one of the best deck contractors in Washington, Olympic Decks, for example. When you look at their website, it is crystal-clear that they have spent the time to share valuable information about their services with their customers.

Not only do they showcase some of the excellent artistry of their top deck builds, but they also provide customers with relevant information about the materials they use and their process, from first contact, through consultation and design, and finally, installation.

On top of all this, Olympic Decks offers customer reviews right on their first webpage. Their reviews are not just one-sentence, generic comments. Olympic Decks’ customers spent the time to share their real experiences because they were so pleased with the quality of work provided by the best deck contractors in WA.

If you continue to look up reviews about Olympic Decks on other websites, you will see the same 5-star reviews time and time again. No matter how amazing a company is, there is bound to be some mediocre or negative comments. The key to finding a reliable certified deck contractor is that the majority of their reviews are positive, and their customers would recommend them.

When reading some of the negative ones, consider if most are based on things out of the contractor’s control, or if a mistake was made, how the company responded to the complaint. Those are all important things to factor in when deciding which top deck builder you want to hire for your deck project.

When looking up how to find a deck contractor, try to take a thorough and in-depth look at the reviews from different sites. Calling the contractor and asking for references is also a good way to get a more personal look at previous customers and their experience. The top deck builders will be transparent and honest with potential clients at all times.

Tip #5

Communication and Transparency

How To Choose The Right Deck Builder

Speaking of transparency, some contractors think that because they are the experts, it is your responsibility to listen to them rather than the other way around. They may ignore your suggestions, or they try to persuade you in a certain way.

Olympic Decks is known for its excellent communication with customers throughout the entire building process. The greatest contractors pay close attention to what you’re saying and work hard to discover solutions that offer you exactly what you want.

When inquiring how to find a certified deck contractor, it’s important that you have some kind of vision of the deck you want before approaching them. Of course, Washington-certified deck builders would be able to share hundreds of ideas with you too, but it’s always good to come in with a game plan.

Having a vision will also help guide professional deck builders to help design your deck exactly as you want it. Here are a few considerations to think about when deciding your vision of your new deck:

  • The size of space and location for your deck
  • The type of material your deck will be made of (wood or composite decking material)
  • Type of pattern for the deck boards (diagonal alternating, staggered, etc)
  • Partial or surrounding deck for hot tubs or spas
  • Type of railings for your deck (wood, glass, aluminum, etc.)
  • Accessibility features like stairs or ramps
  • Deck furniture placement
  • Built-in features like privacy screens or louvered roof
  • A new deck versus resurfacing or remodeling

Understanding your vision and being able to communicate openly about how you wish your new deck to appear will make finding a top Washington deck builder an easier task. Communication and transparency are so important when working with an artistic endeavor and a large investment in your home like a new deck.

Tip #6

Local Knowledge and Regulations

How To Choose The Right Deck Builder

Building a deck isn’t such a straightforward process. That’s why deciding how to choose the right deck builder will involve having local knowledge of building codes and regulations to ensure your deck is built correctly. In Washington, you are required to have a building permit to build a deck. Although it seems simple, it’s a bit more complicated than just getting a piece of paper.

The type of permit required will depend on the type of deck you are building. If it’s a new construction project, or you are repairing an old deck or making modifications to an existing structure, you will be required to follow a different process depending on the type of build you are undertaking.

There are a variety of steps you will need to go through when applying for a building permit. There are forms to be filled out and documents and paperwork to be submitted. Hiring a deck contractor can alleviate this cumbersome process by taking care of this step for you.

A premium deck builder in Washington will have extensive knowledge of this process and will know the appropriate time frames for this initial step before building. This will help create a smoother client process for their customers and a more efficient schedule.

Tip #7

Cost vs. Quality

How To Choose The Right Deck Builder

If you are looking to build a deck on a budget, one of the biggest secrets to saving you money is choosing a very simple deck design using standard dimensional lumber. A simple design requires less cutting, less waste of material, and ultimately less costs for labor.

Irregularly shaped decks involve a lot of careful planning and precision in order to correctly cut the boards, and there are sometimes wasted materials that cannot be used. This means more material is being purchased in order to fit the required dimensions. So it makes sense that building a straight-forward 12 x 12 ft deck would require a lot less waste, thus saving you money.

It’s also important to consider decking products when sticking to a budget. When it comes to a decking product that is attractive, durable, and cost-conscious, pressure-treated lumber is the way to go. Being exposed to rain, snow, sun, and wind will do a number on wood that is not properly weatherproofed.

Something else to consider is that sometimes a less expensive product may cost more over time with maintenance. Wood will need to be sanded, stripped, and stained or painted on a regular basis. Although composite decking products are more expensive up front, they require very little maintenance and can last decades.

The Best affordable deck builders, like Olympic Decks, have various options of high-quality mineral-based and wood-composite boards to choose from. Call Olympic Decks today to find out if there is an option to fit your budget.

Your Blueprint to Finding the Perfect Deck Builder: Olympic Decks

Decks are meant to be enjoyed and can add a lot of value to your home and enjoyment for your family. Many special events are celebrated outdoors on a deck or patio, so building a beautiful deck can enrich your life significantly.

So, when choosing the right deck builder, make sure you make use of these top tips to help find the best choice for your project. Experience and credentials are a great place to start. Looking at customer reviews and past projects will help you learn about the builder’s reputation.

Making sure the contractor has excellent communication and transparent pricing is a must. Finally, asking questions about following local building codes and regulations and ensuring there are cost-conscious options will most definitely set you on the right path to finding an exceptional deck builder in Washington.

While searching for how to find a deck contractor, we hope you found some inspiration and have created your own vision of what kind of space you want your deck to be. Let the top deck builders at Olympic Decks make that vision a reality for you. Give us a call today or fill out the form to get your FREE estimate.

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