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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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?

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

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.  

Is it hard to build a deck yourself?

If you don’t have the skills, experience and qualifications, building a deck may be difficult for you to do on your own.

Structural integrity is key when constructing anything, but especially something you plan to have your family and friends use regularly. The safety of the structure takes careful planning and experience.

Professional contractors have the knowledge to make a safe, beautiful deck for you. They also know the proper permits and insurance required to legally build a new deck or remodel a porch in your city.

When in doubt, contact the best deck contractors near you and start getting free estimates today.

Benefits of installing a patio cover.

Homeowners use patio covers for many purposes. A well-built patio cover can help you enjoy outdoor life even in less-than-perfect weather. 

A patio cover provides semi-permanent or permanent shade for your patio or outdoor living space. It may be attached to your home or stand apart from your home's main structure and typically has a canvas or solidly constructed roof and open sides. Patio covers may have walls, but one side must be open. 

Patio covers can be considered an extension of your home, so it's crucial to get the design right with a contractor, landscaper or architect. The structure should blend with the style of your home and outdoor spaces. 

Patio covers — also sometimes called patio roofs, pergolas, awnings or arbors — use joists to connect posts to create stability. There are no set size guidelines, so you can customize it for your outdoor living space. 

Cost to build a patio cover.

The cost to build a patio cover will largely depend on these factors: 

  • Its size, material and style
  • The work involved to prepare your yard or patio for the cover
  • The final cost of materials, labor and equipment
  • The time of year, demand and economy in your area

Find out how much it will cost to install your patio cover by getting personalized cost estimates from several local professionals on Thumbtack.

Types of patio covers to consider. 

The term “patio cover” covers a range of different types of structures that can provide shade and protection for your outdoor living space. For example, you can consider installing: 

  • A patio awning (either retractable or fixed)
  • Lattice patio cover
  • A canopy
  • A cabana
  • A pergola
  • An umbrella
  • A trellis 
  • A solar screen

Chat with your contractor to find out which type is best for you and your budget.

Patio cover material options.

In addition to the different types of patio styles, there are also many different types of materials that can be used for your patio cover. Chat with your contractor about these options and any others they may recommend for your patio and budget: 

  • Wooden patio covers, which require treatment for weather resistance and regular maintenance. 
  • Aluminum patio covers are lightweight and durable. A faux finish can help it blend with your home's design. 
  • Acrylic patio covers can handle harsh weather conditions and let a bit of light shine through. 
  • Vinyl patio covers are typically low-maintenance and relatively inexpensive.

Tips for hiring a contractor to install a patio cover.

Choosing the right contractor to build a patio cover can seem complicated. bBut you can find top-rated professionals on Thumbtack. Here’s how:

  • Search Thumbtack for patio cover building or patio cover installation near you. Your zip code automatically refines results so you can get in touch with the right contractors in your area. You also have the ability to adjust your zip code.
  • Read the customer reviews for contractors on Thumbtack. Pay attention to both the good and bad reviews so that you have a better understanding of the contractors’ quality of work.
  • Message professionals directly through Thumbtack to find out more about their licenses, insurance experience and availability. Set up a time for an in-person estimate so you understand the breakdown of their costs.

Lastly, don't feel rushed into making a decision. Take the time you need to compare each estimate, review warranties and guarantees, ask questions about what materials will be used, and ensure you get a signed contract before any work begins.

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