Decks and patios offer homeowners a relaxing outdoor space and improve the value of properties. Building a deck, however, can be a challenging task, and so many homeowners choose to rely on a professional Maryland deck builder for the project.
Like any other home improvement, the key to choosing the right deck builder is to be as informed as possible before signing off of construction. Before you set a date for deck construction, look for the signs of a reliable, professional deck company and be on the lookout for red flags.
Red Flags: When Not To Hire
For the most part, it’s best not to trust deck builders and other home improvement companies that go door-to-door offering 50% off if you hire them that very day. Reputable home improvement contractors typically don’t cold-call potential customers. They rely on the quality of their work to speak for itself, and on their customers to recommend their services further on.
For the same reason, avoid hiring any deck company in Maryland that is not licensed by the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC). Deck builders are legally required to be licensed for their work, and working with a contractor who isn’t licensed makes it very difficult to get your money back should something go wrong.
Fortunately, you can look up contractor license numbers on the MHIC website, so don’t hesitate to ask and verify – you can do it while you’re on the phone with the contractor.
Ask About Full-Service Contracting
One of the important questions you should ask any Maryland deck builder you’re thinking of hiring is whether the service they offer is complete or not. Complete deck building, for instance, involves a unique quote for a customized design based on the architecture of your home – the contractor should show you some blueprints or renders of the finished project.
Another often-overlooked element of full-service deck building is contacting utility companies to mark underground lines. Accidentally cutting through your water main will not make anyone happy.
Also, ask whose responsibility it is to apply for and obtain permits for home improvement. Your HOA wants to know what you’re planning on building, and can make life hard for you if it finds out you haven’t submitted a permit for your home improvement construction project. At the same time, you don’t want to have to handle the paperwork yourself – your Maryland deck contractor should.
Ask About Insurance
Many people fail to ask about contractor insurance because it feels impolite. That’s not the case when it comes to reputable contractors. Anyone who went through the trouble of obtaining general liability and workers compensation policies will be happy to demonstrate the point.
Furthermore, if it turns out your deck contractor in Maryland isn’t insured, you could find yourself in a very expensive and complicated situation if something goes wrong on your property. The risk simply isn’t worth it – just ask for proof.
North American Deck and Patio, LLC specializes in the creation of customized decks, patios, porches, gazebos, pergolas, fences, and sunrooms in Maryland. Ask for a customized quote on your planned home improvement project today!