Now That Spring Is Here…It’s Time To Replace The Deck
As we slowly head into spring, the list of chores that need to get done gets longer and longer. The first thing on the list is a new deck. Our current deck was built by the previous owners, and while it is bigger than most, he cut costs by not using treated lumber, so it is showing its age and needs to be replaced. My husband and I discussed what we would like the deck to look like and whether we should use wood or composite. We don’t want a fancy deck or one that is so nice to look at your afraid to use it. We want one with clean lines and to move the stairs from the side to the middle. I also want a privacy wall on one section that faces the neighbor’s house. We would prefer composite decking mainly because they come in many colors to choose from and we don’t have to worry about having to stain it every few years. I have stained decks and fences before and I will pay not to have to do that again.
When it came to getting estimates, it was apparent that the contractors who actually called us back were trying to lead us to the high-end of composites. They soon realized that we weren’t stupid or uneducated about decking and finally got down to putting together an estimate based upon what we want. One person didn’t even come out while we were at home. He wanted us to tape our design ideas to the patio door and he called in the estimate which was nearly double the others. Seeing as he didn’t even remove the paper from the door to read the back, we eliminated him pretty quickly. Two others were near each other in price, but then when we said no, they sent another quote, lower than the first. My question was, why didn’t we get your lowest price to start with? I don’t like playing those games.
The person that we ended up going with was a small contractor that we have used before so we knew the quality of his work. He came in under his estimate on the last job and our price reflected that. For this job he gave us his lowest price from the start. He was open about his pricing and informed us that while he has jobs for April and May, he could use work now. He explained that while he could give me the black spindles that I asked for, he thought the bronze would go better with the almond railings and brought me samples to look at. And he was right. So with the weather cooperating somewhat, he began work last Monday and the deck is coming together nicely. We are without stairs right now, which means the pug needs to be on a leash in the front yard, but that will only be for another day or two and then he can explore his backyard again. Now if we can only decide on furniture.