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  So, you have made the big decision to add an outdoor deck to your home.  You want to have a place where you can sit and enjoy the great outdoors.  You want a place where you can take your morning cup of joe, and listen to the birds begin their busy day; or perhaps you want a place where you can have friends and family gather together, as you dine on hot dogs, potato salad, and s’mores.  For whatever reason you want to add a deck to your home, this is a decision that should be taken seriously, because you want to build an area that you can be proud of, and that will bring you many years of pleasure and enjoyment.

Hiring a professional contractor to build your deck is a decision that you must begin with, and one of the best ways to find a good contractor, is to ask your friends and neighbors if they have any recommendations.  In addition to asking around for some advice, you should also seek online reviews of local companies, so you can compare and contrast the different contractors, and find the one that is going to work best for you.

Many homeowners will inquire into a few different contractors, and meet with each of them, in order to learn about their different techniques, deck ideas, scheduling, and pricing of the work to be completed.  You can also usually get a feeling during these meetings, which companies have your best interest in the forefront of their mind, and who will provide attentive customer service to you.

Once you have weighed all of the options, and you have narrowed the contractor options, then it is important for you to ask for their credentials, and ensure that the company is covered with insurance.  If the company subcontracts with other companies, during the deck building project, then you may also want to ensure that those companies are covered completely, as well.  For example, sometimes a deck contractor will subcontract with an electrical company, for installing lights, fans, or other electrical equipment.  This is good information to find out, prior to the commencement of the project.

Another thing that you should investigate with your chosen deck contractor, is the type of materials that are going to be used in the construction process, and if there are certain elements of the project that you need to make informed decisions about, prior to the installation.  The type of decking material, the design of the deck, the type of rails, the number of steps, the color of the stain, the appearance of underneath the deck, and anything else relating to the deck and the surrounding area, should be discussed, prior to you signing the contract, and prior to the beginning of the work.

Lastly, you should work with your deck contractor to decide when the work will begin, ensure that you are on their calendar, and determine how long the project will last.  Of course, there may be some fluency, due to weather conditions, or untimely problems, but it is a good idea to have some framework in mind, before completing the final contract.