How to Help Deck Builders Deliver an Accurate Estimate

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

Building a deck adds living space and provides your family with the perfect area to relax and play outdoors. Deck builders have an important role in this process and homeowners need to start with an accurate price when designing and budgeting for a new deck.

These tips will help you to prepare the information and make decisions that allow your contractor to price the job well.

Tip # 1 – Think About All of the Possibilities

Spend a decent amount of time dreaming about your deck and the space around it. Many homeowners look at the other decks in the neighborhood and ask for something “just like they have,” without really thinking about their own habits and lifestyle. Your family deserves a custom deck design that suits your property.

Browse the web and look through home and garden magazines to gather ideas. Bring those ideas to experienced Virginia deck builders and find out whether or not the designs will work in your yard and within your budget. Imagine, dream and consider all of the possible deck designs before settling on the ideal layout.

Tip # 2 – Measure Twice

Check the measurements of your house in two different ways.

Find out the actual “lay of the land” by measuring the existing space along your exterior walls. Account for vents, window wells and any other architectural elements that must be avoided or built around when installing a deck. Mark down these measurements and check them against those gathered by the estimator or contractor.

Then, measure and mark out your property lines. In some cases the local building authorities have a setback in place, meaning your deck cannot encroach or approach existing property lines. Use these measurements to consider privacy and access issues. Will your dream deck be in plain view from the neighbor’s yard? Will it provide a vulnerable point of access for thieves? Sometimes deck builders can provide an estimate for a privacy fence, which helps to create a more private atmosphere and enhances security.

Tip # 3 – Choose a Building Material

Homeowners have several options for deck materials, including:

  • standard treated wood
  • cedar wood
  • specialty wood, like exotic hardwoods
  • composite wood
  • vinyl decking

Do some research beforehand to narrow down your preferences. Your deck contractor can give you comparison prices for treated wood versus composite, or any combination of the above materials. But your deck material selection may influence the design.

Consider the railing design as well. Picket railings work well on wood decks, while tempered glass and aluminum picket styles match low maintenance materials like composite and vinyl. Benches and flower pots can also be used for railings.

Although your deck installer can help the decision making process with advice and direction, it helps to be familiar with your choices ahead of time. An accurate deck estimate requires all of the details.

Deck builders offer their design and construction expertise and help homeowners to create the ideal outdoor living space. But in order to deliver an accurate estimate, they need some help from you. Dream big, measure twice and decide on your preferred building material. Your new deck is right around the corner.

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