10 Qualities to Look for in a Deck Specialist

10 qualities look for deck specialist ma

With so many decking contractors out there, it can be difficult to make a choice, let alone feel confident in your decision. However, taking the time to research various providers will pay off in the end. You may be tempted to aim for the cheapest service or the first that shows up in an online search, but beware—deck contractors that undercut the competition may be cutting corners elsewhere. You must pay attention to a number of other factors if you want the best results. So, let’s go over 10 qualities to look for in a deck specialist.

1. Committed to Safety

Since it’s currently Deck Safety Awareness Month® (May), this is the perfect time to discuss the importance of deck safety. More to the point, the best deck contractors make safety their top priority. The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) claims that approximately 30 million decks in the U.S. (half of the total number) are past their usefulness and require repairs or replacement. Whether you hire a deck specialist to install, fix up, or replace your deck, it’s crucial that every step they take contributes to the deck’s overall structural integrity so you, your family, and your guests are safe whenever enjoying your deck. If you hire a NADRA-certified specialist, you already know they’re committed to deck safety.

2. Licensed and Insured

Avoid any deck contractor that lacks licensing, insurance, or both. Why does this matter? Licensed contractors have proved their expertise in their industry. And insured contractors provide protection to their workers, so in the event of an accident, you can rest assured that the contractor is responsible for any associated fees or legal issues.

3. Always Improving

Ideally, your deck specialist should always be on the cutting edge of recent technologies and trends and investing in its workers’ education, training, and advancement. This mindset of ongoing improvement results in more efficient processes, safer outcomes, and better results overall.

4. Versatile

The best deck specialists are jacks of many trades within the world of decking. In other words, they provide multiple services to enhance the integrity, safety, and appearance of decks beyond mere installation and repair, such as outdoor deck lighting, deck design, pergola roofing, walkways, and more. Additionally, they should be able to install and repair various decking materials, such as composite, pressure-treated wood, PVC decking, masonry, etc.

5. Proven Results

When researching decking providers, prioritize those that show off examples of their previous work. The best specialists should be proud to put their hard work on display, and in doing so, you can get a better idea of their capabilities and offerings. Also, look for reviews and testimonials to gain perspective from past customers.

6. Sustainable

As we become more environmentally-conscious, contractors must try to adapt by making their processes more sustainable. Consider whether a specialist is committed to reducing waste and deforestation and tries to minimize the use of hazardous materials. These matters aren’t just important for the environment at large—they also pertain to your deck’s safety.

7. Highly Communicative

It’s important for you to know exactly what needs to be done (and what is being done) to construct, restore, or repair your deck, and equally important that your contractor fully grasps your needs. As such, your deck specialist should retain strong communication with you at every step of the process, from creating the initial quote to wrapping up the job. Someone should always be on hand to answer questions and address concerns.

8. Respectful of Client Property (plants, pets, etc.)

Not only should your deck installer properly communicate with you—they must respect your property and wishes, whether or not you’re there while they’re working. The best contractors will do their best to not disturb your plants or other landscaped areas and make sure to leave the site as it was after the job is done. Additionally, they will take extra care to ensure the safety of your family and pets, keeping gates locked, securing work areas, etc.

9. Detail-Oriented

Whether installing a deck or making deck repairs, attention to detail is of the utmost importance. Even small mistakes or missed details (i.e. slightly misplaced fasteners, improper spacing between boards, off-kilter gates) can lead to poor outcomes and safety concerns. Of course, it takes more time to nail all the minutiae, but this extra effort is always worth it in the long run.

10. Ethical

Lastly, your contractor should display a great deal of integrity from the outset. Avoid those with sketchy marketing practices, odd pricing methods (too low or too high), lack of transparency, etc. If you’re looking for an easy way to spot ethical deck specialists, look for NADRA-certified businesses, as these all operate by a standard code of ethics to which they pledge upon becoming members.

Picking the right decking contractor requires some due diligence on your part, but knowing which qualities to look for can help speed up your search and guide you towards a worthy partnership. If you’re looking for such a provider in the Massachusetts area, consider working with us at SEAL-A-DECK. We are NADRA-certified and take pride in all that we do. To learn more about us or to schedule a deck check-up today, give us a call at 978-538-7325.


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