You face a number of decisions when building a fence or deck, including what style you want it to be, what kind of building material to use and how much money to spend. Well, picking the right contractor is just as important. An inexperienced or untalented contractor can waste both your time and your money. Choosing the right one, however, will make any fencing or decking project a real treat.
Here are five things to look for when choosing a contractor:
1. Check for proper licensing. Find out whether the contractor is licensed and bonded in your state. If not, go elsewhere.
2. Ask for a project proposal. Any legitimate contractor will be willing to submit a fence or deck project proposal before starting work. A proposal should estimate how much time the contractor expects to spend on your project, how much material will be needed and what you should expect to pay.
3. Request contact information. Don’t use a contractor who is difficult to reach. A valid cell phone number and email address should be part of every project proposal. If a contractor makes it difficult for you to get in touch with him, chances are he has unhappy people trying to reach him and is screening calls.
4. Pay the correct deposit. An industry standard for a deposit is 1/3 the cost of the total project. Be wary of any contractors asking you to pay more than this.
5. Check the materials yourself. Legitimate fencing and decking contractors will usually have a place of business, or at least a place customers can go to inspect the decking or fencing materials before building. If your contractor doesn’t have either of these, or refuses to let you inspect the materials, find a new contractor.