This article was originally written by Jon Nunan and published at servicemagic.com.
Though their presence is sure to be noticed, deck building companies are much less intrusive than many other home improvement contractors. Since deck building companies and deck contractors are going to be working almost exclusively outside, the hammering, cutting, and overall mess they’ll bring to your property isn’t likely to affect your daily life as much as a kitchen or bathroom remodeling crew would. While deck contractors are not as disruptive as many other contractors, developing a positive and mutually respectful relationship with your deck building company is still important if you want the project to go smoothly and produce the results you want. The following tips and advice about dealing with deck builders are going to help you establish the kind of relationship you want with your crew, and get you the deck you want with as little headache as possible.
What Deck Contractors Expect from You
Dealing with deck contractors is easy when you start off on the right foot! Most deck building companies are well-equipped to do their job without much help from the homeowner. However, there are certain things that deck contractors will need from you, and offering these things up on the first day will make the project start smoothly.
In most cases, deck contractors are not going to bring their own power source, so it’s a good idea to point out any outdoor (or easily accessible indoor) power outlets when your crew arrives. Though it’s not as important in deck building as it is in landscaping, having an outdoor water source can certainly come in handy. If you have an outdoor spigot or garden hose, let your deck contractors know. While some deck building companies will include the cost of a port-a-john rental in the project price, others will not. If you have a bathroom that you don’t mind sharing, offering it up can be a sign of good will that will be both appreciated and noted (though you might want to lay some carpet remnants on the path between the bathroom and the outdoors to avoid unnecessary mess). Also, deck builders are likely to carpool, but having a convenient parking space or three that are near the worksite is likely to make everyone’s life a little easier.
What You Should Expect from Deck Building Companies
Courtesy and respect are great things to have on any jobsite, but your deck building company is there for a specific purpose: to fill your needs. Now, this doesn’t mean you should have your deck contractors bringing your garbage to the curb or washing your dog! What it does mean is that any house rules you have normally should be respected by your deck contractor. Is part of your property (like a garden or pool area) off-limits? Are smoking or swearing strictly prohibited? Are there any situations dealing with pets, children, or neighbors that you want your crew to avoid? If there are, letting your deck contractors know right from the get-go will prevent any accidental rule breaking.
Set Up Meetings with Your Deck Contractor
Now that your deck builders are aware of your rules (and you’re aware of theirs), it is a good idea to set up a regular meeting with your crew leader to make sure that everything continues to go as planned. If your project is extensive, meeting once or twice a week may be ideal; for projects that will be over in a week or two, you might want to make the meetings more frequent. Having these meetings will allow you to check on progress and air any issues or concerns you have with how the project is going (and give your crew leader the same opportunity to voice any concerns he or she has). Your regularly scheduled meeting is also a great time to show some deck contractor appreciation. If you see a good job being done, let them know you’ve noticed their efforts. Some homeowners have gone the extra mile by providing cold drinks on hot days or even pizza for lunch as the project moves along, but you’ll be surprised at how much a simple compliment or two will go to keep things moving and maintain a positive atmosphere!
Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.