Tag: deck installation

Residential Deck Builders

Adding a deck to your home is an excellent way to use your outdoor space and add value. However, a new deck must be built correctly and carefully to withstand the elements and serve your family for years. During the interview, ask the contractors about their lead times and whether they guarantee their work. Unforeseen circumstances can cause delays, so having something in writing can help you hold them accountable.

Pro Deck Builders Charleston have websites with customer testimonials, photos of completed projects, and other important information. Taking a few moments to check these can help you whittle down your list of contractors. Also, ask around to find out if any of your friends or neighbors have had their decks built recently and how they worked with the contractors. People are usually eager to share their contractor experiences, good and bad, so this is a great way to get a broader range of opinions about different companies.

If you have narrowed down your choices, conducting brief phone interviews with each is a good idea. You can learn more about each builder’s availability, work style, and product offerings during this stage. You may also be able to gauge whether their design style aligns with your own.

Ask prospective contractors about the steps to prepare and build a new deck. For example, some builders use a special process to minimize the fire risk in their projects by using wood certified as fire-rated. It is particularly important for homes located in areas susceptible to wildfires.

It is also good to see examples of the builder’s previous work before hiring them. It will give you a better sense of their work quality and attention to detail. Look for well-finished edges, sturdy construction, and attractive color schemes.

Meeting your potential contractors in person for an onsite project inspection is also a good idea. It will allow you to discuss further any issues that surfaced during your initial phone conversations and confirm that their lead times and completion dates are realistic.

As you interview potential contractors, ask about their experience and whether they offer an artistry guarantee. If they say yes, ask for specifics, such as what kind of decks are covered and for how long. It is an important question to ask, as it can save you a lot of hassle in the future. For instance, if the contractor offers a warranty on their work but only covers certain materials, this could be problematic.

It is also good to ask how they plan to handle the permit process. Most regions require that homeowners obtain a permit before building a deck. It ensures your deck is up to code and meets local safety standards. Finding a contractor that can get the tickets for you can help streamline the process and ensure that everything is done correctly.

Lastly, be sure to ask about their crew composition. Some deck builders use subcontractors to complete their jobs, while others employ their crews. It is generally easier to work with a company with its employees as you will be more familiar with their skill levels and personalities.

Once you have narrowed your choices, make a shortlist and arrange to meet with them in person. It will allow you to see their work firsthand and determine if their vision aligns with yours. It will also give you a better sense of their work ethic and communication style. Meeting face-to-face will also allow you to ask questions and help you decide which deck builder is right for you.

A top-tier deck builder should be insured and licensed to operate in your area. It shouldn’t take more than two seconds to ask a contractor whether they’re insured and to show you proof of their insurance and licensing. If they stall or refuse, that’s a red flag.

They should also have liability insurance to cover any damages that occur during the construction process. A comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance policy is also important for a contractor’s employees to have, as it will cover any medical expenses or lost wages in the event of an injury at work.

It would be best if you also asked a potential builder what material they’d prefer to use for your deck, as this can significantly impact the cost. Different materials have benefits and drawbacks, and you’ll want to find one that fits your style, home, and budget.

Lastly, you should ensure your contractor is current on local regulations and requirements for building a deck. Your project may require council approval or a permit, depending on where you live. A good deck builder should be able to advise you on the best options and help you sort out all the necessary paperwork.

Additionally, your builder should have a commercial auto insurance policy for their work vehicles, as these are typically excluded from personal policies. It will ensure they’re covered while going to and from job sites and parked on the street. It is a vital protection for any business owner and should be required for all contractors. This type of policy is often called Business owners insurance or BOP coverage and will include general liability, property, workers’ compensation, and more.

Everyone will tell you that when it comes to home construction, always hire a licensed contractor. It’s one of the most basic bits of advice that gets shared more often than anything else. Unfortunately, many homeowners still ignore this recommendation. If you’re looking for a residential deck builder, this is one of the most important aspects you should check for.

A deck is a platform built outdoors, elevated from the ground, and usually connected to a building. It can be used for seating, cooking, and other purposes. It is generally enclosed with a railing for safety, and access can be gained through doors and from the ground via stairways.

Most people enlist local contractors to build their decks or attempt to do the project themselves to save money and time. However, this dangerous approach can result in shoddy artistry and out-of-code projects. Decks not constructed properly can collapse, which can be fatal to anyone on them.

Another problem with going the DIY route is that you can void the manufacturer’s warranty on deck materials if installed incorrectly. Lastly, failing to obtain a permit for a deck or porch can sabotage any future attempts to sell your property.

In short, if the residential deck builder you’re considering has no license, run away as fast as possible. A licensed contractor is familiar with and follows the building codes that are in place for your safety and the structural integrity of your deck. Furthermore, they will have the experience and knowledge to build your deck correctly.

When evaluating your options for residential deck builders, ask for references from previous clients. It will help you get a better idea of the quality of work they provide and their level of customer service. A reputable contractor will be happy to share this information with you, and they will also be willing to answer any questions that you may have.

When choosing a professional residential deck builder, finding one with a strong track record of success and excellent communication with their clients is important. The best way to do this is by asking friends and family for recommendations or visiting local home improvement stores to see what kinds of outdoor living projects they have completed. In addition, it is important to find out whether or not the deck builder has a valid contractor’s license in your state or municipality and if they have liability insurance in case something goes wrong during construction.

Once you have found a residential deck builder that meets your criteria, discuss the project details with them. It will allow you to ensure they understand what you are looking for and that the design will meet your needs. Also, this is the time to bring up any concerns that you may have about the procedure or the overall look and feel of the deck.

It is also a good idea to ask about the different materials that can be used in deck construction and their pros and cons. For example, wood offers a natural aesthetic but can be expensive and requires more maintenance than other materials. It is also helpful to know if the contractor will be handling the permit process or if they will be subcontracting this aspect of the job out to another company.

Deck Repair: How to Repair a Damaged Deck

Deck Repair

Deck Repair is a fairly cost-effective project, depending on what needs to be done. Damage caused by a downed limb will obviously cost more to repair than if surface rot is the only problem.Deck Repair

When replacing a damaged board, use a hammer and pry bar to remove nails or screws and to avoid harming adjacent boards. Make sure the new replacement will span two joist spaces, and mark cutting lines with a speed square and pencil.

Structural damage to a deck can be incredibly dangerous for your friends and family who use it and people passing by. If the structure collapses, it could crush them. There are a number of causes for structural damage, including wood rot and rusted nails and screws. Some of these issues are not easily repaired and will require a full rebuild.

One of the most common structural issues with a deck is dry rot, which occurs when water seeps into the boards and eats away the wood cellulose. It can be difficult to tell if a board has rot, but you can try poking a screwdriver into the area and seeing if it goes in easily. If the tip sinks in, the board has rotted and needs to be replaced.

Another common structural issue is the failure of the posts and beams that support the deck. This can happen for a number of reasons, from weather damage to incorrect construction and installation.

Other issues include the failure of the footings, which are concrete pads that sit underneath the deck to help with support and stability. Many people build their decks on top of these pads, but when they deteriorate, the deck can collapse. Using the proper type of foundation is vital to the integrity of your deck, so it’s important that you speak with an expert before starting a project.

Other structural issues that can occur are termite infestation and damage, rusted fasteners, and deck framing problems. If you notice any of these issues, it’s likely time for a rebuild.

Water Damage

Few things strike fear in the hearts of homeowners like water damage. It can cause mold, destroy building materials, and ultimately weaken the structural integrity of your home. Decks are no exception and can be a breeding ground for water damage that may seep into your house. This can occur at the point where your deck meets your house or in areas around it.

The best way to spot potential problems is with regular inspections. Taking the time to do a visual and hands-on inspection of your deck can help you catch issues before they become serious and costly. If your wood deck boards feel spongy or soft, that is a sign that the wood has been damaged by moisture and may be rotted.

If you walk on a section of your deck and notice that it feels soft or hollow, you should contact a local contractor right away, as this is likely an indicator that the structure has been compromised by rot. You should also inspect the footings of your deck to ensure that they are intact and not showing signs of cracking or shifting.

Another common area where you may find rot is around the nails and screws that hold the decking boards in place. The Family Handyman explains that water can sit around these fasteners and begin to penetrate the joists below and then the decking boards themselves. In severe cases, you may need to replace the entire deck and also the exterior sheathing, insulation, and wall studs of your home.

Deck railings can also be affected by rot. This is often caused by constant exposure to sun and rain and the aging of the wood. It is important to have a professional inspect your railings to ensure that they are safe for children and adults who may lean on them.

Decks can also be damaged by termites, carpenter ants, and woodpeckers. These pests are able to bore holes into the wood and will create a hollow area in the middle of the board. In addition to causing unsightly damage, they can weaken the boards and make them more prone to breaking. In the case of termites, you will need to have a local pest control company come in and treat the area before you can move forward with any repairs.

Staining or sealing

Staining or sealing a deck is a great way to make it look new and protect the wood from the elements. It’s also a good opportunity to take stock of the wood and repair any loose boards, drive down nails or screws that are sticking out, and replace any that are rotting or warped. It’s best to perform this task while the wood is dry and the surface is still pliable enough to work on. Before staining, don a dust mask to avoid inhaling the fine sawdust from sanding the wood. Start by inspecting the deck for splinters and removing any that you find. Then, use a pole sander and 50-grit paper to rough sand the whole deck, including any handrails or balusters you have. Then, wipe away any sanding dust and let the deck dry completely.

Stains are available in many colors and are designed to penetrate the wood to color it, preserving the natural texture of the grain while adding a luster and protecting against sun damage. They can be transparent, allowing the wood to show through for a more natural look; semi-transparent to change color but allow the grain to show; or solid, covering the whole board with one solid color. Many stain products also offer a combination stain-sealant and will adjust the color, but not as dramatically as paint.

Sealants, on the other hand, soak into the wood and help prevent moisture from penetrating the boards and causing rot. They can be clear or tinted, and some even have a pigment to help block UV rays that cause the wood to dry out, crack, and gray. Sealants typically need to be reapplied every 3–6 months, depending on the climate in your area.

Before applying the stain, sweep the deck and wipe down any other surfaces you plan to stain, like railings or balusters, using a damp cloth. Then apply the stain according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Spraying is usually the quickest way to get an even coat of stain on the deck, but a brush or roller can be used as well.


If the damage is extensive, a repair may be less costly than a complete replacement. However, it’s important to check for structural damage before making a decision. For example, if the deck’s ledger board—the long piece of pressure-treated lumber that attaches to the house—is rotted, it could threaten the stability of the entire deck.

If a large portion of the deck has rotted, it’s best to replace it entirely. This is a good time to evaluate the deck as a whole and make any necessary improvements, such as staining or sealing.

Begin by removing the damaged boards, then inspecting and repairing the joists underneath. Look for any rot that has spread from one area to other boards and for any other areas of damage or wear. If you see any, hire a professional to perform repairs and/or replace the affected boards.

Once the joists have been repaired, you can replace the deck boards. When doing this, use the old boards as templates to cut new ones. Make sure the new boards span two joist spaces or more to ensure that the deck is stable. Before cutting, put on eye protection and use a speed square to mark straight cutting lines on the boards or a jigsaw. If using a jigsaw, use a coarse blade to avoid cutting notches into the adjacent boards.

Then nail or screw the new boards to the joists. If you’re installing the boards yourself, drill pilot holes to prevent splitting, especially at the board ends. For added strength and beauty, cleats (also known as “skirting”) can be installed between the joists. These can be made from pieces of 2×4 lumber treated with a preservative, or you can buy them in 12-inch-long sections at most hardware stores.

Before putting the new board into place, examine it to determine whether it has cupping. A cupped board is more prone to rot than a flat board. If it does, position the new board so its end faces up, then fasten it to the joist with 16-diameter nails or 3 1/2-inch deck screws.