Adding a deck to your home? Let BBB help

A new deck on your home can provide extra living space. It also can improve your home’s value. According to Remodeling Magazine, about 85 percent of the deck building cost could be recouped during resale, compared to 78 percent for a bathroom remodel and 69 percent for a family room addition. If you’re considering this addition, your Better Business Bureau says do your research first before hiring a contractor.

Last year, your BBB recorded more than three million inquiries and almost 5,000 complaints nationally about general contractors. Locally, your BBB recorded about 20,000 inquiries about this industry.

When searching for a reputable deck contractor, your BBB offers these tips:

• Shop around and compare several contractors. Request written bids detailing the work to be done, materials needed, cost, payment terms and length of time to complete the job.

• Get recommendations from friends and family. If they’re pleased with their contractors, most likely you’ll be too.

• Attend home or tradeshows to meet contractors.

• Ask for references. A reputable company will be happy to provide you with a list of previous customers. Don’t be afraid to contact them or even ask to look at the work completed.

• Find out if the contractor is a member of an association like the National Association of The Remodeling Industry (NARI). A company belonging to such an organization shows commitment to professionalism.

• Consider reputation, years of service and services provided, as well as cost. Remember, the cheapest bid is not always the best.

• Be wary of a contractor asking you to pay for the entire job upfront. A reputable contractor won’t do business that way. However, some contractors may ask for a small percentage upfront to help with the cost of materials.

• Be sure contractors are properly licensed, insured and bonded and determine if they’ll pull required permits. If you build a deck without proper permits, you may be required to tear the entire deck down and start over.

• Review warranty coverage. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions.

If you have any questions about deck contractors, you can always get help from your BBB, such as a list of BBB Accredited contractors and business reviews on ones you’re considering. Also, be sure to click the trust button on business reviews of companies you trust and work with. For more information, visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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