Your home is your castle. It’s the place where you are in total control — the master of your realm. And like a good and benevolent overlord, you are always looking for ways to improve what you have. Kitchens, bathrooms, and flooring tend to get a lot of attention, while people tend to neglect the opportunities for remodeling and building outside of the four walls of their home.
Decks, gazebos, pergolas, and even performance platforms are all great ways to improve your outdoor space, increase the value of your home, and level up your hosting and entertainment game with friends and family. After all, when you are lucky, or hard-working enough, to live in a beautiful and temperate city like Fort Collins, why would you spend all your time indoors anyway? In today’s blog from JJ Fencing & Deck in Northern Colorado, we’re going to talk about how to choose the right deck builder for your Fort Collins home.
If you’re already in the market for a deck builder or fencer for your home, then reach out to us online, or give us a call, and schedule a free estimate with JJ Fencing & Deck today.
Consider Their Experience
When you start doing your research to determine which local deck builder in Fort Collins is going to be the right choice for you, industry experience is one of the first things that you want to look at.
Successful deck building is a combination of math, precision, quality materials, and teamwork. This is one of the reasons that do-it-yourself deck installation is so difficult. But it’s also why there is such a big gap between deck builders who are just starting out and those who have taken their lumps already.
An experienced deck builder has learned from their mistakes, understands how to deliver based on quality and customer desires, and can tackle any project that you put in front of them. Sure, an experienced local deck builder may charge a little bit more than the new kids on the block, but when it comes to home improvement, don’t you want the certainty that comes with choosing an elite team?
JJ Fencing & Deck has over 15 years of experience in Northern Colorado and has worked on projects ranging from small, quaint decks for enjoying the sunset with a glass of wine to multi-level decks designed for supporting and entertaining dozens of people.
Examine Their Work
Another great way to vet your potential deck builder in Fort Collins is to actually examine their work. Consider any friends or family who you know that have recently had a deck built at their home or business. Go take a look and see if the work looks well done, feels stable, and ask if the new deck owner is happy with the estimate, sales, and deck installation process.
If you don’t have the opportunity to ask friends and family for referrals, then there are a few other ways to determine the quality of work that a local deck installation company is capable of.
First, make sure to look at their online reviews. Holistically, how do they stack up on Google, Top Rated Local®, and the Better Business Bureau? A preponderance of testimonials that are either positive or negative can be quite telling.
Another great way to see the craftsmanship is to check out a deck builder’s gallery on their website. See the work done by JJ Fencing & Deck by visiting our online gallery.
Ask For Proof Of Insurance
One way that homeowners can get into trouble with their deck installation is by failing to request documentation of their deck builder’s insurance, licensing, and accreditations. Believe it or not, not all deck builders in Fort Collins are licensed, and not all of them carry builder’s insurance. In short, that means that if you hire a company like that, you, as the homeowner, have complete liability for the crew, your family, your future guests enjoying the deck, and every other situation where someone could be hurt. At JJ Fencing & Deck, we know that’s not what you’re looking for.
The best time to ask for proof of all of these documents is when you request an appointment for an estimate. Simply make sure to add a line or two to your online estimate request, or in the case of a phone call, make sure to mention that you’d like to review those documents when your estimate takes place. Simple, easy, and best of all, this step protects you and your family.
Ask a Few Questions
At the end of the day, you have to trust your gut. You know when you have a bad feeling about something or someone. So when you finally contact a local deck builder, or a couple of them, to get an estimate, make sure that you give whoever comes to your home a brief, but intentional interview. It’s up to you what you might like to ask, but just making sure to have a conversation will tell you a few things you want to know.
First, is this someone who you feel comfortable having around your home, your pets, and your family? An old roughneck with 30 years experience might be a great deck builder, but if he drops the F-bomb six times during the estimate, are you sure you want him working around your children?
Next, consider if they seem knowledgeable. Do they ask you any questions about your project, like whether you would like a two-rail fence or a three-rail fence? Do they inquire if it matters whether or not they use nails or screws? Can they tell you the benefits of using a four-inch slat over a six-inch slat or vice versa? If you don’t get the sense that the person doing the estimate understands fencing more than you do, then it’s time to move on to the next local deck company on your list.
Pay Attention To Turn Around Times For Your Estimate
Finally, the last thing we encourage you to consider is the turnaround time for your deck building estimate. While many deck builders in Fort Collins will do a good job of getting back to you within a professionally acceptable amount of time, many others will not. At the end of the day, this only says one thing about a business — your job is not that important to them.
Maybe it’s not important because they are already booked for the summer. Maybe it’s not important because they somehow misplaced your file after creating it. Maybe they just aren’t very good business people. It really doesn’t matter. When you reach out to a local deck builder and ask for a quote, you should expect to be contacted by someone within two business days at the most.
Once you have scheduled your estimate, pay attention to whether or not the worker performing it shows up on time. Of course, if they are late because of an accident that you also drove by on your way home, please be forgiving, but otherwise, expect them to keep their appointments.
Make sure to ask how long it will take to receive your estimate, what will be detailed in it, and how you will receive it. If they tell you three-business days by email with a full breakdown of material costs and labor and it shows up seven days later with a single line item on it, look elsewhere your local deck builder.
Let JJ Fencing & Deck Help
We hope that your found this guide to choosing the right local deck builder in Fort Collins helpful, and we also hope that you’ll let the team at JJ Fencing & Deck show you how it’s done right. We’d love to help with your deck, fence, gazebo, or pergola project. To schedule a free estimate, visit us online, or call us directly at (970) 669-3642.