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Find an addition contractor near you

23 near you

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To set up a consultation or appointment with a general contractor during the COVID-19 pandemic, start by performing an online search for local professionals near you.

Message the contractor, and see if they are willing to set up a video consultation call instead of an in-person site visit. With video chat, the contractor may be able to assess the scale of the project, give you better information on what needs to be done and perhaps provide an estimate. Be sure to discuss virtual payments, as well as general strategies for staying safe.

How can I find out if a general contractor is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?

To find out whether a general contractor is considered essential in your area during the current coronavirus pandemic, visit your city or state’s government website, which will have information on essential services.

Find information on national recommendations by visiting CISA’s Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19 webpage. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure. 

Does a deck increase home value?

A back deck may (or may not) increase your home’s value or attract potential buyers if you’re looking to sell. According to the Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features, a new wood deck with an estimated construction cost of $10,000 recovered $8,000 for the overall recovery of 80%. Still, 9% of realtors suggested that home sellers should add a new wood deck before putting their home on the market, and 4% said this project has helped closed deals. 

The impact of adding a new deck will likely depend on its material (wood, composite, etc.) and where you live. For example, if you live in an area where people rarely spend time outside because of the weather, it’s reasonable to predict that prospective home buyers might not rate a deck highly on their list of must-haves when looking for a new home.  

When in doubt, consult with your realtor or a real estate expert to figure out if adding a new deck to your home is the right move to increase your home’s value. If it is, contact the best deck contractors near you to get free estimates and start planning your project.  

Can I use digital payments to pay for general contractor services?

Currently, many general contractors are using common digital payment services like PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash, Zelle, Google Pay and more. And more will likely adopt these and similar platforms as coronavirus continues to force companies to take on digital capabilities.

Contact general contractors beforehand to discuss whether they accept digital payments, and take all necessary measures to meet social distancing recommendations. You can also compare general contractors side-by-side online to see which ones accept digital payments.

How do I find a contractor to build a deck?

First, conduct an online search so you can see a list of the best deck contractors in your area. This makes it easy to compare the top-rated pros, and you can quickly view their ratings. 

Next, click on several contractors’ profiles so you can read their customer reviews and view photos of decks the pros have completed. When reading the reviews, look for information that highlights the contractors’ quality of work, their ability to build the deck on time and their pricing methods. As you’re looking at the before-and-after photos of completed decks, pay attention to the craftsmanship, materials and style so you can get a sense of the contractors’ skills and experience.

After identifying several deck contractors who seem capable of building your deck, look into their credentials. Confirm the requirements in your state and city, and try to verify the pros’ licenses online. Or, you can ask the contractors to provide you with an overview of their credentials.  

Your last step: start asking for free estimates from several contractors. Give them as many details about your project as possible so the pros can give you an accurate estimate. What type of material do you want for your deck? How big will it be? Where should it be built — your front yard or backyard? When do you need it built?

Make your final decision after comparing quotes and analyzing the research you’ve conducted. Ultimately, you should pick a contractor who has experience building your desired deck, the necessary qualifications, mostly positive reviews and fair pricing.

What should I ask a deck contractor?

One of the first questions you should ask is whether the contractor has the proper license or insurance. To be a licensed contractor in many states, they must have the experience and knowledge to pass the requirements from your state’s licensing board. 

You should also inquire if they have done work related to your specific project. Just because they’re a contractor, that doesn’t mean they’ve built a deck or an addition like yours. Ask for photographs of decks they've built in the past, and go online to read reviews from past clients.

You also need to ask for a free estimate from several contractors so you know how much the project will cost you and so you can pay the best price.

Get started today by contacting the best deck contractors near you

How much does it cost to build a deck?

The cost of building a new deck or porch is $1,500. However, this price can vary depending on a few different factors. The square footage of the space, the type of materials to be used, the intricacy of the project and your specific region can cause the price to fluctuate. To find out how much your new deck will cost, get free estimates from the best deck contractors near you.

For more information, read “How much does it cost to build a deck or porch?

What do construction project managers do?

Construction project managers help in all stages of your construction project, starting from the very first step. Typically paid a percentage of a total project cost, they are part of the design and planning process and help ensure seamless communication between the design parties and the construction team. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, their scope of work includes preparing cost estimates, budgets and work timetables; interpreting and explaining contracts and technical information to other professionals; reporting work progress and budget to clients; collaborating with architects, engineers and other construction pros; selecting subcontractors and scheduling and coordinating their tasks; responding to work delays, emergencies and other problems; and ensuring compliance with legal requirements, building and safety codes, and other regulations.

The work of construction project managers may seem very similar to that of general contractors, but there are some critical differences. One difference is that, unlike most general contractors, project managers are not engaged in the actual construction — they are onsite overseeing the work of subcontractors. Another key difference is that project managers are hired during the design phase, while general contractors are hired after plans have been made. The project manager is generally paid a percentage of the total project cost, while the general contractor is more typically paid according to the bid they gave to build your project.  

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