How to Choose a Deck Contractor

What is the process for choosing a deck contractor?  Here are some useful tips:

1. Look at the experience of the deck builder.  Commercial and institutional projects are a good indicator that a contractor is able to deliver high quality product in a timely manner.

2.  How long has the contractor been in business?  Do they have a reputation that they value?  

3.  Is the contractor able to obtain a building permit and buid in accordance with the Ontario Building Code?

4.  Is the contractor certified to work with various brands of composite decking?

5.  Does the contractor carry the necessary insurance?

6.  Are there any references the illustrate that the contractor stands behind their warranty and handles any claims in a timely manner?

7.  Is the contractor flexible enough for possible changes during the project?

Choosing the right contractor is a critically important step in building your backyard deck.  Deck building does not appear to be a very complicated business and it does not require any special licensing.  For this reason, many homeowners hire contractors who do not have the necessary experience and knowledge to properly build a good deck.  If your contractor did not mention anything about a building permit, and over 90% of decks need one - we do not recommend hiring them.  Unexperienced contractors avoid permits because they know they cannot build in accordance with the city's requirements.  Instead of asking for 2-3 references, ask how many decks the contractor builds in a season and then ask to choose your names from that list.  Even bad contractors are able to impress some clients and produce 2-3 good references.  Do not be afraid of large companies and their prices - oftentimes the small, unexperienced contractors charge clients even more than the established the small, unexperienced contractors charge clients even more than the established businesses.