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By Author: Blue Star Carpentry has been specializing in custo
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So you’ve decided to build a new deck or upgrade your existing deck. You’ve got lots of options ahead of you, like whether you’d like to build with composite decking or wood, and how you want your deck to look (the Fiberon deck designer can help.)

One of the most important decisions will be whether to put your DIY skills to the test and build it yourself, or to hire a decking professional. If you’ve chosen to leave it up to the experts, we don’t blame you – there are lots of details to think about when building a deck beyond the decking material. The fact that composite decking is low-maintenance and never needs staining or refinishing may make the material decision easy, but you’ve still got a lot to think about.

Choosing a qualified decking contractor takes some effort; however, finding the right person for the job can spare you frustration and save you time and money in the long run.

Owning a gorgeous and relaxing outdoor space starts with choosing the right professional for the job. Shown above: Fiberon Horizon Decking in Ipe with Horizon Railing in black. Deck built by Chattanooga Exteriors.

How to Find a Qualified Decking Contractor

Finding a decking contractor may sound easy, and in some ways it is. Vetting can be done similarly to other products and professionals you’d search for. Still, there may be a couple of steps you’re missing if you’ve never sought a deck professional specifically. To ensure you’re choosing the right person for the job, consider these five steps:

1) Ask around

Know someone with a fabulous deck? As them who built it. Personal recommendations are a great way to forge connections with reputable contractors.

2) Check them out online

Consult online forums or research tools to read reviews of local deck builders. Reputable resources like the Better Business Bureau are great for background research. A word of caution: Don’t rely exclusively on online information. Not all reviews are completely objective; some may even have been paid for.

3) Conduct phone interviews

Once you’ve narrowed down the search, make some phone calls to discuss availability, confirm that the contractor is licensed, and discuss the scope of your deck or porch project to determine if it aligns with your plan. Ask for references; then, call the references to discuss the project. If possible, visit the homes to see the decks firsthand.

4) Meet in person

Schedule time with prospective contractors to visit your home and see the project site. This will give you an idea of the working contractor-customer dynamic and allow the contractor to confirm that the project is a good fit for his or her skill set. This is also a good time to evaluate if you are comfortable with this individual and if you’d be able to effectively communicate with each other throughout the project. Remember: the contractors you meet with are evaluating you, too.

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