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9 tips to remember when using a contractor

Wood deck featuring LED post cap lights

  1. Get Involved & Stay Involved – even if it is walking the job on a daily basis the more you are involved the more input you will have to ensure the job is going to meet the same expectations. Your level of involvement in the project will determine the outcome of the project.
  2. Researching Your Contractor – avoid using discount and free sites like Craigslist and Angie’s List.  We have found in some cases that these contractors are unlicensed, uninsured, and underqualified.  You really want to look at each company’s website and review previous jobs that they have done.  Those that have invested to create a good quality website typically do good quality contracting work.
    • You also want to understand who is going to be doing the work.  We find that Owner-Operator companies are the most reputable and the highest quality since they will be doing the work themselves.  TIP! – These people are not available two weeks out.  You need to be booking with them a few months in advance.
  3. Get Everything in Writing – verbals Can Kill – sign off and initial on the plans as well as any changes to the plans.  Again, ensuring that everyone has the same expectations.  Also, ensure that there is a schedule.  Weather Happens – so make sure that you build out your schedule in milestones, not just a beginning and end date.  Before issuing a deposit check make sure you have a contract, a schedule and schematic of the project.
  4. Choosing Quality Materials Is Key – don’t take the low-end route.  Low price almost always means low quality and while it sometimes looks good in the showroom that is something completely different than how it holds up to the elements.  Pay more now and less on repairs later.
    • For decking products consider composite materials over traditional wood materials.  They are UV stable, don’t warp, swell, they retain their color, are slip-resistant.  The only downside really is that they heat up.  We recommend Trex as one of the top products on the market.
  5. Accessories and Originality – customizing your project with your own unique touches keeping your deck from looking like your neighbors.  DEKOR offers a multitude of different lighting and deck railing options like post caps, balusters, etc, make sure to differentiate.
  6. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting! – the most important part of the project because you can provide a beautiful ambiance for the space you’re in.  If you’re comfortable in a space you’ll be more likely to spend more time there.
  7. Controls – hopefully you took our advice on point number 6 and added lighting, now it’s important to understand how to control those lights. DEKOR offers a multitude of different options including handheld controls, smartphone and smart devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Control4, and more through the DEKORKONNECT WiFi-enabled controller.  We also offer products like the EZ motion sensors to automatically light your space to provide safety and security.
  8. Closely Check for Issues/Flaws – make sure that your contract includes a note that final payment is due upon your satisfaction.  Develop a punch list of tasks that need to be completed prior to signing off.  Do not get pressured into doing this in a short amount of time.  Take a weekend to develop this list and use another set of eyes if available.  Then go through this with your contractor.
  9. Warranties – warranties protect you against unexpected happenings.  Reputable contractors will typically have a warranty on labor and workmanship for at least a year.  Material warranties will be carried by the manufacturer and those are typically carried for 5-10 years. Make sure that the warranty is in writing.  Lastly, get a ‘lien release’ from the contractor and subs.  An example is 6 months after your job is done by a subcontractor that wasn’t paid by the original contractor and now they can put a lien on your house for non-payment of the work.

 

Please contact our Customer Care team for questions about products, installation tips, and more.

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