With the very high house prices in Vancouver your home is probably the largest investment you will make. Just as you make sure that your car is regularly serviced and maintained, it makes sense that you regularly service and maintain your house to avoid rotting, mildew and loss of value. If you do this, your investment should continue to appreciate over the years.
We have found that price is a large factor when a person is choosing a deck contractor. When comparing prices, however, you must be very careful that you are comparing apples to apples. The lowest price may not be the best value.
Factors that you should take into account when choosing a decking contractor.
Quite often there needs to be repairs or complete replacement to the deck, or structural upgrades to the existing framing. If this is not done your new deck could experience a failure in the waterproofing, or worse case your deck could fully collapse. Your deck contractor should be a ticketed carpenter and have years of structural and waterproofing experience behind him.
Although not all rot can be detected at the estimate phase there are certain indicators that should be apparent to your contractor and can be budgeted for.
Surface preparation, such as removing old decking, railings and replacing plywood when needed, are an essential part of having a beautiful trouble free deck. This should be detailed and included in your estimate by your deck contractor.
There are many different qualities of vinyl decking on the market. When comparing quotes, compare the vinyl quality when factoring in the price. The thickness of the vinyl should be a minimum of 60 mils (mm), have a 15 year warranty and be certified by the roofing association.
Beware of a deck contractor/handymen that charge very low prices, people are in business to make a profit, if there only way to make a sale is by being the lowest price estimate they will have to make sacrifices in the quality of material that they use and the experience of their workers will usually be below proper standards.
CUTTING COSTS in the decking business means:
• Using cheaper vinyl
• Eliminating surface preparation
• Using very low paid unskilled workers
• Not having the knowledge of the B.C. Building Code
• Not paying for mandatory WCB coverage
• No liability insurance
• Installing new vinyl decking over old existing vinyl
When it comes to work place safety, you may say, why is that my problem? It can become your problem if your Vancouver deck contractor is not WCB covered and has an accident on your job, you will be held liable. You can easily check if your contractor has coverage and is up to date on their payments by checking with Work Safe B.C. and asking for a “Clearance Letter”.
If your deck contractor causes damage to your property or your neighbours property, liability insurance will cover the costs so you don’t have to. Commercial Liability Insurance is a must for any contractor working on your property. If your contractor has no liability insurance your house insurance won’t cover you, making you solely liable for any and all incidents.
An honest and experienced deck contractor will provide you with a detailed quote and give you some options to tailor the job to your needs and desires.
Arbutus Sundecks Ltd.