Choosing to build a new deck and update your outdoor living space is an exciting endeavor and one that will help you create lasting memories with friends and family for many years to come. 

At 13TEN Renovations, we know that searching for a high-quality, and trustworthy deck builder can feel overwhelming at first given the sheer number of choices. It can also feel overwhelming because of the significance that comes with choosing the right and best contractor for you. It can truly make or break your home improvement experience. 

In this guide, we share helpful methods and tips for finding the best deck builder in Richmond, Virginia

Deck Builders Richmond VA

Begin With a Google Search

A Google Search is a great place to start your research. Using specific keywords in your search will help guide you in the right direction. You can use keywords like “deck builders in your specified area” or “deck contractors near me.” For more specific results, include terms such as “wood deck builder” or “composite deck builder.” This helps filter out contractors who may not specialize in the material or style you prefer. Remember, the more precise your keywords, the more relevant your search results will be.

No matter what keyphrases you use, this will give you a good starting point for your research.

Read The Reviews

While you’re performing your Google searches, you’ll be able to see the Google Reviews for each business. Take the time to browse the reviews to rule out any businesses that have low client satisfaction. You can also look at other platforms like Facebook or other social media accounts, but Google Reviews are a great place to start at this phase of the process. 

You can also sort the Google reviews by newest, top rated, lowest rated, and most relevant to easily sift through the reviews. 

Review Websites

A thorough review of the builder’s websites can reveal a lot about their business philosophy, range of services, and quality of work. Look for details about their experience, specialties, and any certifications or awards. An extensive gallery of past projects can give you a clearer idea of their capabilities and style. Also, check for customer testimonials and information about their work process, including planning, construction, and post-construction services.

Take your time reviewing their websites and make a list of the top 3-5 deck builders that you feel could be a great fit for you, your needs and your personality. 

Utilize Social Media

Social Media is another great tool to explore the various deck builders that you are considering. It’s a great place to get to know the business a little more and see their personality shine. 

Most websites will provide direct links to their social media platforms at the bottom of their websites. Here, you can find additional photos and videos showcasing their projects, tips, and behind the scenes content. You can also use the search bar on the social media platform and look up keywords, similar to making a Google search, to find other contractors.

Platforms like NextDoor can also be an excellent resource for finding local contractors as well. Post a request for recommendations and read through discussions in your neighborhood. You may come across homeowners who have recently completed deck projects and can offer valuable insights.

Ask For Recommendations from Friends and Family

Word-of-mouth recommendations are incredibly valuable. When asking friends or family, inquire about the specifics of their experience: How was the communication with the builder? Were there any delays or issues, and how were they handled? Would they hire this builder again? Personal anecdotes can provide a more nuanced understanding of what to expect.

You may find that their recommendation is already on your list, or they may provide the name of a business that wasn’t on your radar yet. 

Licenses and Insurance

It’s essential to work with a deck builder that has the proper licensing and insurance. Verifying licenses and insurance is crucial for legal and safety reasons. A licensed builder is more likely to adhere to building codes and regulations. Insurance protects you from liability in case of accidents or property damage during the project. 

There are also different levels of licensing. Not every licensed contractor is capable or qualified to do every type of project. At 13TEN Renovations we hold a Class A Contractors license, which means we are legally able to do all types of projects within all types of budgets. 

We recommend asking the deck builders that you are considering, to provide you with a copy of their license and insurance. You can also use resources like Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) to verify information. 

Ask The Deck Builder for References

Requesting references is a critical step in selecting a deck builder. It offers an opportunity to hear directly from past clients about their experiences, which can provide invaluable insights into the builder’s workmanship, reliability, and customer service. 

Schedule Consultations

These face-to-face meetings are invaluable for gaining a deeper understanding of each company’s approach and determining if they’re a good fit for your project. Here are some key aspects to focus on during these consultations:

  • Preparation: Before the meeting, prepare a list of your requirements, preferences, and any specific questions you have. Bring along any inspirational images or sketches that convey your vision for the deck.
  • Project Discussion: Use this time to discuss your project in detail. Share your design ideas, size preferences, desired materials, and any unique features you want to incorporate. Be as specific as possible to see if the builder understands and can fulfill your vision.
  • Budget Discussion: Be upfront about your budget. A reliable builder will be honest about what can be achieved within your budget and suggest ways to maximize value. They should provide a detailed breakdown of costs, including materials, labor, and any additional expenses.
  • Timeline: Discuss the projected timeline for your project. Understanding the start and completion dates is crucial, especially if you have specific deadlines. Ask about their policy regarding delays and how they handle unforeseen issues that may impact the timeline.
  • Communication and Responsiveness: Evaluate their communication style. Are they clear, concise, and attentive to your needs? Do they take the time to listen and understand your ideas? The builder’s ability to communicate effectively is essential for a smooth project.
  • Experience and Expertise: Inquire about their experience with projects similar to yours. Ask for examples or case studies. This can give you confidence in their ability to handle your project.
  • Permits and Regulations: Discuss how they handle permits and compliance with local building codes. An experienced builder should be familiar with the necessary legal requirements and ensure that your deck is built in compliance. If a builder is requiring you to pull your own permits, it probably means they do not hold the appropriate license for your project, and is worth looking into. 
  • Material Options: Explore the materials they recommend and why. Ask about the pros and cons of different materials, maintenance requirements, and longevity. This discussion can help you make informed decisions about the materials best suited for your deck.
  • Personal Rapport: Assess your personal rapport with the builder. Trust and comfort with your builder are crucial as you’ll be working closely with them.
  • Observation and Intuition: Finally, trust your instincts. Pay attention to how the builder makes you feel during the consultation. Are they professional, respectful, and enthusiastic about your project?
  • Exercise Caution with High-Pressure Sales Tactics: High-pressure tactics often involve persuasive gimmicks or insistent persuasion by sales representatives, designed to compel quick decisions. Remember to take your time, consider your options carefully, and don’t allow yourself to be rushed or manipulated into making a purchase that you may later regret.
  • These consultations are not just about gathering information; they’re also about building a relationship with your potential deck builder. The right builder should not only have the skills and experience to bring your vision to life but also the communication and professionalism to make the process enjoyable and stress-free.

Comparing Proposals From Multiple Contractors

When hiring a deck builder, you will likely interview several candidates to find the right fit for you. A crucial tip during this process is to ensure you are truly comparing each proposal against the same parameters. While one quote might appear to be more cost-effective, it’s important to understand the reasons behind this pricing. Consider factors that contribute to the price point: What is the quality of materials being used? Is the scope of work the same?

Additionally, when evaluating these proposals, pay close attention to the methods of installation. This includes cosmetic items, such as picture framing and how fascia boards are installed and confirming manufacturer’s recommendations for installation. 

Deck Builders in Richmond, VA

Finding the best deck builder near you may take some time and effort, but it’s a crucial step in ensuring the success of your outdoor renovation project. By following these steps – from conducting thorough research to seeking recommendations and verifying credentials – you can confidently select the right deck builder for your needs. Remember that investing time in the selection process will ultimately lead to a beautifully crafted outdoor space that you can enjoy for years to come!

Contact us at 13TEN Renovations if you have an exterior renovation project. We handle various renovations such as decks, porches, sunrooms, pergolas, gazebos, patios, pavers, and more. Consider us if you reside within Chesterfield, Richmond, Henrico, and Glen Allen, VA.