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Top 5 Questions you should ask Your Fence or Deck Contractor

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If you're planning on hiring a professional fence contractor or deck contractor, there aren't many questions you'll want to ask prior to getting started. Here are the top five questions you should ask your contractor:

austin fence and deck

1) Ask if a first deposit is required - Reputable fence builders and deck builders will never ask a person for any deposit to begin work. A good contractor should have the financial capability to purchase materials up front, and also the confidence to deliver the ultimate project in order to get taken care of the task when completed.

2) Inquire about insurance and licenses - Getting a "handyman" to build a fence or deck may cost a little less up front, but there are many risks involved if they don't have the proper license or insurance. If somebody gets hurt during construction for instance, you might be responsible via your home insurance. Fence builders usually don't need to get building permits, but deck builders often do - so this will often be a problem for unlicensed deck contractors. Professional fence and deck contractors will invariably carry adequate insurance and the proper local company licenses.

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3) Inquire about extra charges - Sometimes you will receive an "estimate" from the fence company or a deck company instead of a "quotation". Quite often a contractor will add extra charges along the way that may or might not be confirmed using the homeowner first. If you have already devoted to the project having a particular fence company or deck company, it can be harder to contest any other charges along the way. Fence and deck projects have little or no cost changes on the way, so make sure that you are receiving a price "quotation" on paper that will represent the ultimate bill for the project as described.

4) Ask your deck or fence builder when they use screws or nails - Although most wood fence contractors and wood deck contractors nowadays are just using screws within their construction, some companies are still using nails! Using nails is faster than screwing, however it's pretty well known nowadays that nails will fail much soon than screws within the same applications. Proper fence builders and deck builder will never consider using nails. You will need to make sure that you are hiring a company that's only using outdoor screws that are approved to be used within the material being used (usually pressure treated lumber).

austin deck

5) Ask about a warranty - A reputable builder should offer a warranty on the workmanship of the finished project. The fabric warranty, if applicable should also be passed along to the homeowner and can vary in terms and length. The labour warranty should be at least two years to match full exposure to cooler months once or twice - this can expose any workmanship problems that will have to be addressed. Also take into account that a warranty for work performed is just valuable when the company remains in business - a warranty from a very small clients are usually worth a smaller amount than a warranty from the reputable larger company.

Posted May 21, 2012 at 9:40am