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Designing a Deck and Choosing a Builder

Posted by tim_pool_newbie (My Page) on
Mon, May 18, 09 at 23:16

I'm unsure what the right process is to designing the deck I want to build and hiring the right contractor to do the job. To me it's a little like the chicken and the egg scenario - which comes first?!

Do I hire a contractor to do the work and then let him come up with the design I want? Or do I get someone to design it first? My thought is that I could wind up paying several different people to design the deck before I finally settle on the right design.

I think of those home improvement shows where the homeowner gets a full landscape design presentation from 3 different designers and then picks the one they want to go with. But unless I want to pay 3 different designers (which I don't), I'm not sure how to approach this.

Can anyone help put me on the right path to getting this project under way?!!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Designing a Deck and Choosing a Builder

You must have something general in mind already just draw up a sketch on a yellow pad. Then call up the Contractors and get bids and ideas.

On the first pass this is what I usually find. I make a few sketches while Im out there but I take them with me then I call in the bid when accepted I bring the plan and the contract with me for the first draw. J.

RE: Designing a Deck and Choosing a Builder

Tim, you may not need this bit of advice, but I have just come through a total house reno with included a few hundred sq.ft. of decking which was all on paper by an architect and submitted to the Historic District and approved. Still the carpenters building it took it upon themselves to deviate from the plan (my version, not theirs) and they built decks I didn't want, long staircase with no landings, a small balcony turned into a larger unsightly deck with posts and long stair runs in front of windows and blocking views from virtually everywhere. Then they were furious when I had them take it down at my expense.

This all happened when I was away for a few days, so don't leave the site if you can help it and make sure they understand NOT to devitate from plans without checking with you first. Seemed these guys thought "if a little is good a lot will be even better."

Now I'm back to the drawing board and hoping to get one small deck in Ipe or Garapa instead of this hideous PT which is a mess already at less than 7 months old.

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