Building a deck is a fantastic way to transform your outdoor living space into a personal haven while also boosting the value of your property.

The key to achieving this enhancement lies in partnering with the right deck builder—a decision that requires careful consideration and thorough research.

With countless options on the market, identifying a reputable and skilled professional can seem overwhelming.

To simplify the process and ensure you make the best choice, we’re sharing essential tips to guide you in selecting the perfect deck builder for your project.

1)) Ask For Recommendations

One of the best ways to find a reliable deck builder is by asking friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations.

If someone you trust had a positive experience with a deck builder, chances are you will too.

Tips for Asking for Recommendations:

  • Leverage Social Media: Utilize platforms like Facebook, Nextdoor, or local community groups to ask for suggestions and read reviews from others in your area who have recently completed deck projects.
  • Attend Community Events: Local fairs, home improvement shows, and community events are excellent places to meet contractors and get firsthand recommendations from attendees who might have used their services.
  • Check with Local Businesses: Hardware stores and lumber suppliers often have connections with reputable contractors and can provide suggestions based on professional relationships.
  • Consult Online Review Sites: Websites such as Yelp, Angie's List, or HomeAdvisor are valuable resources for checking reviews and ratings of deck builders in your vicinity.
  • Reach Out to Homeowner Associations: If you live in a neighborhood with a homeowner's association, they may have a list of approved or recommended contractors who have previously worked on homes in your area.

By taking advantage of these resources, you can gather a list of potential deck builders that come highly recommended by people you trust and within your community.

This foundation will significantly boost your confidence in moving forward with the next steps of your selection process, ensuring you find a professional who can bring your vision to life with quality craftsmanship and reliability.

2)) Check Online Reviews

In addition to personal recommendations, be sure to check online reviews on websites like Yelp, Google, and Angie's List.

Reading about other customers' experiences can give you valuable insight into the quality of work and customer service provided by different deck builders.

Tips for Checking Online Reviews:

  • Look for Consistency: Pay attention to patterns in the feedback. Consistently positive reviews across multiple sites can be a strong indicator of a reliable and high-quality deck builder.
  • Consider Recency: Prioritize recent reviews to ensure that the feedback reflects the current performance and practices of the deck builder.
  • Check for Detailed Comments: Reviews that provide detailed experiences and specific outcomes are often more trustworthy and informative than generic positive or negative statements.
  • Watch for Red Flags: Be cautious of repetitive complaints about issues such as missed deadlines, poor communication, or subpar workmanship. These can be significant indicators of potential problems.
  • Evaluate Reviewer Credibility: Assess the credibility of the reviewers. Reviews from verified customers or those who provide photographic evidence of the completed work are particularly valuable.

By thoroughly checking online reviews, you gain an encompassing view of the deck builders' reliability and the quality of their work from an unbiased perspective.

This step is crucial as it complements personal recommendations and provides a broader understanding of the builder's reputation in the market.

With this valuable insight, you can make a more informed decision, increasing the likelihood of a successful deck project that meets your expectations.

3)) Verify Licensing And Insurance

Before hiring a deck builder, make sure they are properly licensed and insured.

This will protect you in case of any accidents or issues that may arise during the construction process.

Tips for Verifying Licensing and Insurance:

  • Request Proof: Always ask the deck builder to provide copies of their current licensing and insurance certificates. Verify the authenticity and validity of these documents with the issuing authorities.
  • Confirm State Requirements: Research your state's specific licensing requirements for contractors. Ensure the deck builder complies with local regulations to legally perform the work.
  • Check for Worker’s Compensation: Ensure the builder’s insurance policy includes worker’s compensation. This coverage is crucial as it protects you from liability if a worker is injured while on your property.
  • Liability Coverage: Confirm that the builder's insurance includes general liability coverage. This protection is essential in case of accidental damage to your property during the construction process.
  • Consult the Better Business Bureau: Use resources like the Better Business Bureau to check the builder's licensing status and to see if any complaints have been filed against them. This can provide additional peace of mind regarding their professional standing.

Taking the time to verify licensing and insurance ensures that you are working with a legitimate and responsible professional.

This step not only safeguards your investment but also provides peace of mind, knowing that you are protected against potential risks.

By confirming these credentials, you can confidently proceed with your deck project, assured that your chosen builder meets industry standards and legal requirements.

4)) Look At Portfolios

Take the time to look at portfolios of past projects completed by potential deck builders.

This will give you an idea of their style, craftsmanship, and attention to detail.

Tips for Looking at Portfolios:

  • Diverse Range of Projects: Ensure the portfolio includes a variety of project types and styles. This demonstrates the deck builder's versatility and ability to adapt to different design preferences and requirements.
  • Quality of Workmanship: Pay close attention to the quality of the finishes, such as joints, railings, and materials used. High-quality craftsmanship is evident in the details and overall presentation.
  • Before-and-After Photos: Look for portfolios that include before-and-after photos. These images can provide insights into the builder’s ability to improve and transform outdoor spaces significantly.
  • Client Testimonials: Check if the portfolio includes testimonials or feedback from previous clients. Positive comments regarding the builder’s attention to detail, punctuality, and professionalism are valuable endorsements.
  • Consistency in Style: Assess whether the deck builder's style aligns with your vision. Consistency in design and execution across multiple projects can assure you that they can achieve the look you desire.

Reviewing portfolios is an essential step in selecting the right deck builder, allowing you to visually assess their capability and suitability for your project.

By examining a range of past works, you can gauge their style, attention to detail, and overall quality of craftsmanship.

This process ensures that the builder's aesthetic and execution align with your vision, thereby increasing the likelihood of a satisfactory and well-crafted deck.

5)) Get Multiple Quotes

It's always a good idea to get quotes from multiple deck builders before making a decision.

This will not only give you an idea of pricing but also allow you to compare services offered by different professionals.

Tips for Getting Multiple Quotes:

  • Detailed Request: When asking for quotes, provide a detailed description of your project, including materials, dimensions, and any specific design elements. This ensures that all builders are quoting on the same scope of work.
  • Compare Inclusions: Examine what each quote includes beyond just the price. Look for aspects such as warranties, clean-up services, timelines, and any additional services provided.
  • Ask for a Breakdown: Request a breakdown of costs within each quote. Understanding the cost of materials, labor, and other fees helps you identify any significant price differences.
  • Evaluate Communication: Pay attention to how responsive and detailed each builder is during the quoting process. Prompt and clear communication is a good indicator of their professionalism and reliability.
  • Negotiate and Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions or negotiate the quote if needed. Clarify any uncertainties and ensure you are comfortable with all aspects of the proposal before making a decision.

Carefully comparing multiple quotes is a crucial step in selecting the best deck builder for your project.

This process not only highlights competitive pricing but also clarifies the range of services each builder offers.

By meticulously reviewing and negotiating quotes, you ensure you receive the highest value for your investment, ultimately leading to a well-executed and satisfactory deck construction.

6)) Ask About Materials

Make sure to ask potential deck builders about the materials they use for construction.

High-quality materials are essential for building a durable and long-lasting deck that will withstand the elements.

Tips for Asking About Materials:

  • Durability and Longevity: Inquire about the durability and lifespan of the materials. Opt for materials that offer high resistance to wear and tear, as well as environmental elements such as moisture and UV rays.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Understand the maintenance needs of different materials. Some materials may require regular upkeep, such as sealing or staining, while others may be more low-maintenance.
  • Eco-Friendliness: Ask about environmentally friendly options. Sustainable materials such as composite decking made from recycled content can be a great choice for reducing your environmental footprint.
  • Aesthetics and Versatility: Ensure the materials align with your aesthetic preferences and allow for versatile design options. Some materials may offer a wider range of colors, textures, and finishes.
  • Cost vs. Value: Evaluate the cost relative to the value provided. Higher-quality materials may have a higher upfront cost but can save money in the long run through durability and reduced maintenance needs.

Carefully considering the materials for your deck project is fundamental to its long-term success and satisfaction.

By exploring options for durability, maintenance, eco-friendliness, aesthetics, and cost-value balance, you ensure that the chosen materials meet your needs and preferences.

This thoughtful approach will contribute to creating a beautiful, resilient, and environmentally conscious outdoor space.

7)) Inquire About Permits

Depending on where you live, you may need permits for building a new deck. A reputable deck builder should be familiar with local building codes and regulations and help guide you through the permitting process.

Tips for Inquiring About Permits:

  • Check Local Regulations: Research local building codes and regulations to understand the specific requirements for deck construction in your area. This will help you have an informed discussion with your builder.
  • Ask About Experience: Inquire about the builder's experience with obtaining permits in your locality. Builders with a proven track record are likely more familiar with the process and can expedite it effectively.
  • Understand the Timeline: Ask about the expected timeline for obtaining permits. Permitting processes can vary in length, and knowing this upfront can help you plan your project schedule accordingly.
  • Clarify Responsibilities: Determine whether the builder will be responsible for obtaining the permits or if you need to handle this yourself. A reputable builder will often include this as part of their service.
  • Verify Permit Costs: Ensure that all permit-related costs are clear from the beginning. These costs can sometimes be incorporated into the overall project estimate, but it’s important to verify to avoid any surprises later.

Ensuring that you have the necessary permits for your deck construction is a vital step in the process.

By thoroughly understanding local regulations, leveraging your builder's experience, and clarifying responsibilities and costs, you can navigate the permitting process smoothly.

This will help to prevent any legal issues and ensure that your deck is built safely and to code, providing peace of mind and a solid foundation for your outdoor space.

8)) Communication is Key

When interviewing potential deck builders, pay attention to their communication skills.

You want someone who is responsive, clear in their explanations, and willing to listen to your ideas and concerns throughout the project.

Tips for Effective Communication:

  • Responsiveness: Ensure the builder is prompt in their replies to your inquiries, whether via phone, email, or in-person meetings. Quick responses indicate they value your time and are committed to clear communication.
  • Clarity: Look for builders who explain their plans and processes in clear, understandable terms. This minimizes confusion and ensures you are fully aware of each step of the project.
  • Active Listening: Choose a builder who actively listens to your ideas, preferences, and concerns. They should be able to incorporate your input into the project effectively.
  • Transparency: The builder should be transparent about costs, timelines, and any potential issues that may arise. Honest communication builds trust and helps manage expectations.
  • Regular Updates: Opt for a builder who schedules regular updates and meetings to keep you informed on the project's progress. This helps address any issues promptly and keeps the project on track.

Good communication is essential in ensuring your deck project runs smoothly and meets your expectations.

By selecting a builder who is responsive, clear, actively listens, and provides regular updates, you can foster a collaborative relationship.

This approach not only helps to avoid misunderstandings but also ensures that the project stays on track and aligns with your vision, leading to a successful and satisfying outcome.

9)) Check References

Don't hesitate to ask for references from past clients who have worked with the deck builder you are considering hiring.

Talking to previous customers can give you valuable insights into their overall satisfaction with the services provided.

Tips for Checking References:

  • Request Multiple References: Ask for contact information from at least three previous clients. This will give you a broader perspective on the builder's performance and reliability.
  • Ask About Project Satisfaction: Inquire about the overall satisfaction of the clients with the completed project. Find out if there were any unexpected issues and how they were resolved.
  • Evaluate Timeliness: Ask references whether the builder completed the project within the agreed timeline. Timely completion is a key indicator of a builder’s reliability and efficiency.
  • Assess Communication: Find out if the builder maintained good communication throughout the project. This includes being responsive and transparent about any challenges encountered.
  • Quality of Work: Ask clients about the quality of workmanship and materials used. High marks in these areas suggest that the builder takes pride in their work and delivers results that meet or exceed expectations.

Gathering references from past clients provides crucial insights into a builder's reliability, communication skills, and overall workmanship.

By thoroughly evaluating multiple references, you can make an informed decision about whether the builder is the right fit for your project.

This due diligence helps ensure that you select a builder who delivers quality work, respects timelines, and maintains clear and transparent communication, leading to a successful deck construction experience.

10)) Trust Your Instincts

Trust your instincts when choosing a deck builder. If something doesn't feel right or if you have doubts about their professionalism or expertise, it's better to move on and find another professional who meets your criteria.

Tips for Trusting Your Instincts:

  • Initial Impression: Pay attention to your first impression of the builder. If they seem disorganized, dismissive, or unprofessional, this may be a red flag.
  • Comfort Level: Consider how comfortable you feel communicating with the builder. If you find it difficult to express your concerns or ideas, they might not be the right fit for you.
  • Consistency: Trust your instincts if the builder's actions and words don't align. Inconsistencies between promises and behavior can indicate potential issues in the future.
  • Reactions to Questions: Observe how the builder responds to your queries and concerns. Being defensive or evasive can be a sign that they might not be forthcoming or transparent.
  • Gut Feeling: Always listen to your gut feeling. If something doesn't feel right, even if you can't pinpoint why, it's better to err on the side of caution and keep looking for a builder who puts you at ease.

Trusting your instincts is a crucial component in the process of selecting the right deck builder.

Your initial impression, comfort level, and gut feelings can provide valuable insights into the builder's suitability for your project.

By acknowledging and respecting these intuitive judgments, you ensure that your choice aligns with your expectations and personal standards, paving the way for a smoother and more satisfying project experience.


Choosing the right deck builder doesn't have to be an overwhelming task when you are armed with the right knowledge and guidelines.

By following these top ten tips, you can navigate the selection process with confidence and ease.

Diligent research, thoughtful questions, and trust in your instincts are critical steps that ensure you select a reputable, skilled professional.

With the right deck builder, your vision of an elegant and functional outdoor living space can become a reality, offering years of enjoyment and adding significant value to your home.

So take the first step today and start your journey toward creating the perfect deck that complements your lifestyle and enhances your property.

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