Custom Deck Construction in the GTA
Buidling decks is our passion and our specialty. We have worked on outdoor projects which include large multilevel decks, decks over ravines, docks, rooftop decks. We are able to design and build decks with conventional wood frames and custom engineered metal fames.
Composite Decks Builder in the GTA
We specialize in composite decks (see our portolio here) and we are certified to work with all major brands of composite decking which include Fiberon, Trex, Wolf, Azek and Timbertech. Working with a certified installer helps the clients ensure that the installation methods will not void the manufacturer's warranty. Delta Decks also remains the largest installer of Ipe decks in Ontario, since 2005 we have installed hundreds of Ipe decks, more than any other deck company.
Deck Types We Build
In terms of the types of decks - we build rooftop decks, ground decks, backyard decks, second story decks, multi level decks, steel frame decks, pool and hot tub decks. We also build custom gazebos, cabanas, pergolas and custom sheds.
The Cost to Build a Deck: What to Expect
The price for a project depends on the scope of work. Our project minimum is $5000. A general rule of thumb - plan to spend about $80/sq. Ft. for a composite or an Ipe deck (this figure includes railings, screens, steps). For a custom shed/cabana - plan to spend about $100/sq. Ft. It is hard to give a more precise figure without obtaining the exact project requirements. You can always get in touch with us to set up a time for an in-home consultation or even get a ballpark figure for your project over the phone. The pricing depends on the materials chosen, the size of the deck, additional items such as railings, steps and site conditions.
What is Needed to Build a Deck?
To start deck construction in some cases you need a deck permit. Please check in with the city regarding this requirement for your project. You need to finalize your design and quote, and give a deposit on your project. We typically take 10% to lock in an installation date for our client. Following that - the deck company will take care of all the items relating to deck construction - starting with getting locates prior to doing installation of the deck footings. Following the completion of deck footings, the next stage is framing and then finishing. If the deck has a permit, the deck company would typically schedule the needed inspections and take care of all the interactions with the city officials.
Are deck permits included in the price?
The deck permits are priced as a separate line item on the quote. Our company is able to do deck permits in house because we have a full time BCIN designer on staff. The charge for the drawings varies, but typically falls within $1000-1500 price range. The city fees are not included in the quote and typically they range between $200-300. The client is responsible for the city fees. The permit applications are typically submitted by the deck company to the city.
The homeowner needs to sign some forms that accompany the deck permit application. The deck company typically handles all the communication with the city and our company designer acts as an applicant on the homeowners behalf. Should the permit not be granted due to zoning requirements or conservation requirements - there are additional fees for drawings and the homeowner may need to get more involved.
How long does it take to build a deck?
The time it takes to build a deck depends on several key factors relating to the project:
The overall size and budget of the job
Does the deck have a permit?
Are there any special order custom items? (i.e. rare color decking, custom railing, custom glass components, custom metal components)
To give you a rough idea, assume 1 week of construction for every $10,000 of the deck budget. Allow 3-4 weeks to have permit drawings prepared and permits issued. Add another week to the project after it starts if the project has a permit. If you have custom metal railing - expect to wait 3 weeks for its manufacture. Inquire right away about the materials you are choosing - are they readily available from the suppliers? If your contractor is short a few boards, how long would he have to wait to get them?
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Contractor
How long have you been in business? It is important to get an experienced contractor and many companies simply lie about the time they have been in business. There are few ways to check this information - check the age of their company domain, run the company name through the CRA database or look at the time stamp on the reviews.
Where can I read the reviews on your company? A typical source would be Google or Homestars. Some companies have fake reviews on Google, Homestars does a better job at filtering our fake reviews. Do not be fooled by “many reviews” you can have one company doing many small projects and working extra hard to get reviews, giving homeowners incentives to write reviews while another working on a few, large projects a year and not putting any effort in collecting reviews. Pay attention to reviews by people who have similar projects completed to what you are looking for.
Do I need a building permit? If the company tells you you don’t need a permit, when in fact you do, it’s a red flag. If your deck is over 100 sq. ft. in size OR over 24” above grade OR attached to the house - you most definitely need a building permit in Ontario. If the company tells you that you need a permit, but not to worry about it and tries to avoid it - make sure they also tell you that you as a homeowner are responsible for any consequences relating to building without a permit. It is not the contractor’s responsibility to obtain the permit, but the homeowners. In most cases, when the project is complete and the homeowner faces an issue relating to the deck permit (i.e. when a neighbour complains or when they are selling the house) - the deck company that was paid long time ago will not get involved. We have seen many cases where the contractors first assure the client that “it will be fine” and later on disappear when the day of trouble comes. Getting the building permit is one of the best ways to have insurance that the deck will be built properly. Without the permit - the contractor can cut many corners and the homeowner would not even know about it.
Do you have WSIB and Liability insurance? It would be nice to ask for those certificates, should a serious accident take place on your property - it’s good to know you are covered.
Can you provide a list of references? It would be best if the company could provide a long list of available names and allow you to choose a few to get in contact with. It is understandable that calling 20 people would put too much strain on the previous clients, but calling a couple of people from a large available pool - is a good idea. Also, keep in mind, that even the worst companies are able to produce 2-3 good references. I think it is also important to respect the privacy of the previous clients, so I suggest only calling the previous references when there is nothing else holding you back from signing up with the company. Do not make your decision on the deck company based on the references, it would take up too much of the previous clients’ time.
How long will the project take and what will happen if you are not meeting the deadlines? It is important to discuss that beforehand. Many possible issues can come up, but these things are best discussed first. If for instance the project is expected to take 4 weeks, but after 8 weeks it is still not completed - it would be reasonable to bring in another company at this point to complete the project and adjust the final billings accordingly. If the situation is such that no other company can do it quicker and the delays are outside of the control of the contractor - the homeowner needs to understand that also. The expectation from the contractor is such that he is always trying his best to push the project forward and there is no other deck company that can do it better.
What are your payment terms? It is best to pay “in good faith” no more than 10% of the project value. When you sign up and reserve a date for the start of your project, you should pay no more than 10%. After the project starts, a reasonable payment schedule would allow the homeowner to pay after material is delivered and progress is made on site. The final payment should also be around 10% - in this case the contractor is completely finished and he is trusting you to make the 10% payment. Do not pay for the project until it is 100% complete and the site is cleaned. If you do, you may be chasing after your contractor for a long time for small touch ups.
Have you completed projects that are similar to mine? Ask for pictures, possible locations where these projects were completed. If for example you are looking to get a deck done with composite decking materials of a rare brand such as Zuri and with custom metal railings and custom tempered glass - see if there is a project that a potential contractor has completed that would illustrate his competency in this field. The contractor may have rave reviews online, but building mostly small pressure treated decks and he has never worked with a rare composite or PVC material and has never worked with custom glass and metal.
How long is your warranty and what does it cover? Ask for specifics of the warranty coverage and see if material and labour is included. Important items to keep in mind is possible shift in the foundation, wood warping which results in structural damage, fasteners coming apart, pieces falling off due to thermal expansion and contraction. Ask the contractor what warranty issues they had to deal in the past. We have been in business for 15 years and each year we learn something new in regard to how the decks should be installed when we receive a call back. About 10-20% of the customers will typically call back for a repair. If the contractor tells you they never have any call backs - it is a red flag.
How many people would be working on my site and how consistently? You want to hear that a team of at least 2 people would be assigned to your project and they will work on your site every day, when there is work to be done. There may be gaps in the projects when waiting for custom made materials or inspection results, but when the work is there - the expectation is that the team would be working consistently. Some companies overbook and they work two job sites simultaneously, running between two sites to keep up with the promises they made initially. Or what some companies do is they “squeeze in” a client who is willing to pay the extra dollar to get their deck started sooner and as a result those clients who have been waiting patiently for their project to start - suffer.
Additional Helpful Tips And Tricks
If you decide to go with a composite decking material, visit a showroom of a deck specialty store that carries different brands and promotes all the major brands. Ask where the decking is manufactured. If someone is trying to sell you a Chinese-made product at a price that is equal or even higher than that of a major North American brand - run from these people. The truth is many companies and contractors know that the homeowners are not educated in these products and they push inferior products at inflated prices and many homeowners fall for that. Our sister company, Decks Toronto (see www.deckstoronto.com) carries all the major North American brands (brands that account for over 80% of the overall composite market!) - please call them or visit them and speak to the pros, but even better visit the showroom and see/touch the product in person!