There are as many possible deck designs as there are houses and people who own them. If you can imagine it you can build it; within reason of course. Where things get tricky is when homeowners begin to think of deck building as a DIY project or a project for the local handyman. It’s tricky because, unlike refacing kitchen cabinets, there are lives on the line when you’re talking about backyard decks, especially if you want one that’s elevated.
The Importance of Professional Deck Builders
Hiring a handyman to help you with kitchen countertop replacement can be a smart way to save money. When it comes to adding structural elements to your house however, there are just as many compelling reasons to leave it to the pros. Here are some, but certainly not all.
- Quality – As mentioned in the opening to this post there are lives on the line when it comes to deck building. If the handyman messes up your kitchen countertop no one dies, yet every year nearly 3 dozen people lose their lives in deck collapses in North America and hundreds more are injured. Most of those casualties take place on decks built by DIYers, the local handyman or discount contractors who cut corners to turn a profit.
- Speed – Experienced professional deck builders have built dozens if not hundreds of decks over the years. They know what they’re doing and aren’t going to waste their time or yours having to figure things out as they go. If it’s March and you want your deck ready for that big get together you have planned in May a pro will have your deck ready to handle the crowd.
- Beauty – Professional deck builders know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the look of your deck. Even if you come to them with your own design they’ll be able to make suggestions that will make it more beautiful and effective. You’re spending a lot of money on a deck. The last thing you want is one that looks cheap or like it belongs on a different house.
- Accountability – Professional deck builders have reputations to protect, the handyman doesn’t. If the deck he builds you collapses the liability is yours and he’s off to clear somebody’s drain. If a professional deck builder does substandard work or cuts corners on your project word will get around and they’ll be out of business.
There’s a difference between fly-by-night deck builders and the real deal. Discount builders are often worse than amateurs because they’re willing to cut corners and ignore building codes to turn a profit. A reputable deck builder won’t. Here are a few questions to help you separate good from the shady.
- How many decks have you built?
- Are you a licensed contractor and if so, can I see the license please?
- Can I see photos and have the phone numbers of some former clients?
- Can you provide proof of liability insurance and workman’s compensation coverage?
- What guarantees do you offer?
If your prospective deck builders balk at any of these questions you likely have a fraud on your hands and should give the pros at Toronto Decks and Fence Company a call instead. We’re fully licensed and insured and have built scores of decks across the GTA during our more than 10 years in business. We’ll be happy to provide you with references and answer any questions you may have. Don’t entrust the safety of your family and friends to a handyman with no accountability. Let Toronto Deck and Fence build you the deck of your dreams at a price you can afford.