Q: Should I try to build my deck myself?
A: Most decks are not extremely difficult to build. A ground level deck is perhaps the easiest of all to construct. If you have the proper tools, expertise and most important, a lot of time, you could build your own deck. Hire us only if you lack any of the above or if your deck is upper level and complex.
Q: Do I need a building permit for my deck?
A: Most ground level decks do not require building permits but any deck structure more than 30″ off the ground will require a permit. Building codes do vary in our different cities and towns and our estimators will let you know if a permit is required when we visit your home.
Q: If a permit is required, who gets it?
A: We would be happy to apply for and secure a building permit for your project. If you would like to get your own permit, we will give you some guidelines that will help speed the process.
Q: Do all deck contractors use company employed carpenters?
A: No. Most deck contractors use sub-contractors to actually build your deck. There may be a company-employed foreman checking in on your job from time to time, but the sub-contractor is responsible for the quality and structural soundness of the project. We use all company-employed carpenters at DECKS by JRW to insure the quality of our final project and to protect our customers from costly liens. Be sure to get lien releases from anyone using sub-contractors.
Q: Do you guarantee your work?
A: Yes! All our work is completely guaranteed. If anything goes wrong with your deck and it is due to the materials we used or the way we put it together, we will fix the problem. All we ask is that common sense is used. Everyone knows that wood outside will shrink and swell with the seasons. Wood also will crack and split at different times of the year, this is a natural occurrence. Severe cracking and splitting should not be expected unless the wood is left unprotected from the sunlight, (protection is usually provided by deck stains or sealants). With proper maintenance, your deck should last and perform for years to come.
Q: How much does a deck cost?
A: The price of a deck can vary greatly. Things such as size, shape, height off the ground, types of materials used, extras such as benches and planters, will all affect the price. We can usually quote ballpark per square foot cost figures over the phone if you are able to answer a few simple questions. Please call if you are interested in getting a rough phone estimate.
Q: Is a new deck a good investment?
A: Most definitely yes! A new deck on a home here in the Pacific Northwest will add great value to the home. Usually you can expect to recoup at least 80%-100% of the cost of the deck upon resale of the home.
Q: How do I protect my deck from the elements?
A: There are many schools of thought on this subject. Most professionals agree that cedar, being the most popular wood for use on a deck, requires a protective stain applied at least every 2-3 years. We recommend a deck be cleaned every year to remove moss and algae and re-stained as needed. Some products such as Trex and Pacific Coast Cyprus don’t require as much staining and therefore are easier to care for.
Q: How long does it take to build a deck?
A: That depends on the size and complexity of the project. An average deck should take about 4-6 working days to complete.
Q: Can I put a hot tub on my deck?
A: No. Most decks are not built to accommodate the weight of a hot tub. We always recommend a strengthening of the framework below where the tub will go or the addition of a tub support. A tub can sit on a concrete pad built into a ground level deck.
Q: What is a “code” railing?
A: A railing that meets the building code is one that has no openings on the railing greater than 4 inches. In other words, if a 4-inch ball can be pushed through your railing at any point it does not pass code.
Q: I want a big deck with lots of different levels but cannot afford to do the entire project at once. What are my options?
A: This is a common problem. We recommend if your project exceeds your current budget that we spread the project over more than one season. As long as the master plan is complete and allows for the addition of more deck levels or areas in the future, it is easy to tailor the construction over a period of time. This also gives you the opportunity to decide if you really want that large of a deck by using what is currently built for a season to get a feel for your use of the deck.
Q: I have a picture from a magazine of the type of deck I want. Can you build it?
A: Yes. If you show us a picture of a deck, rail, trellis, bench, planter, pergola, or any other component of a deck, we can certainly build it.