Hiring a contractor
Building or remodelling your porch or patio
Adding a deck or porch (or expanding your current one) is the perfect way to add space to your outdoor living area. Of course, the process of designing and building one can be tricky. To guarantee that you end up with the porch of your dreams, the most surefire way is to hire a pro! Hiring a contractor is a process in itself, so we’ve gathered some industry tips to help you out.
This may sound obvious, but it’s still worth saying. When you seek out a contractor, be sure that they are licensed, bonded, certified, and insured in your state or province. This will ensure that they know and follow building laws and codes so your deck is safe. Insured contractors will also take care of any employees injured on the job- if this unfortunate scenario were to occur. You can rest easy knowing that your contractor will take care of any unexpected situations! Be sure to receive a copy of all the building permits your contractor gets. Building without a permit can add on complications when it comes to sell (and sometimes even before that!) Be sure to have them handy, just in case.
2. Portfolio and References
When interviewing potential candidates, ask for references and a portfolio of their work. This will likely be in the form of blue prints and photos. These are also great to give you inspiration for your own build or remodel- and see if the contractor’s vision and strengths align with yours. It is likely that the contractor will specialize in a specific look or style, so this is an important part of the process.
Also, be sure to follow up with their list of references. Be sure to ask specific questions like if repairs needed to be made, how long the job took, and of course how the final product turned out. If reviews are consistently negative, run for the hills!
Discussing the timeline for completion is incredibly important, because there is nothing more frustrating than a project which takes way longer than you expected to complete. Do be aware that there are many unexpected occurrences which can delay the project, like weather. If the contractor includes time on their bill, be sure to have a discussion about these kinds of delays so you aren’t shocked by unexpected charges. Also, discuss payment schedule beforehand so that you can find a mutually beneficial arrangement (and so you don’t run out of cash before completion!)
4. Talk about your needs
Are there specific materials you’d like to use? Let your contractor know the types of woods, finishes, and other features you’d like to see utilized on your porch. If you plan on adding retractable screen systems to your porch now or in the future, you’ll want them to factor that into the design as well. For example, your contractor can work with the installer of large motorized screens to recess all tracks and housing inside your porch or deck structure. Once you’ve choses the wood you’re going to use, you can be sure to implement that into your retractable screen systems. Phantom Screens offers a variety of wood grain options so that your screens blend in with your home design. Your window screens can feature the same wood as your new deck, tying the whole look of your house together.