Your deck can be a great place to entertain family and friends, especially if you have a great view. However, if it has seen better days, it might be time to start thinking of a renovation project. A well-executed renovation project can add another 10 to 15 years to the lifetime of your deck, and bring back its luster and shine.
Wood decks also add to the overall value of your home, which is one more reason to replace any rotting boards. Before you start your deck renovation project, here are some things to consider.
1. Set a Reasonable Budget
One way to ensure you don’t fall into the trap of cost overrun is by placing a budget and sticking to it. A budget not only helps you keep the contractor in check, but it also forces you to list out your must-haves when discussing scope with the contractor.
The budget must be reasonable, especially if you want to have quality work done on your property. You want to make sure the contractor is using good materials, and sometimes this means paying a little bit more. Of course, budgets are good to decide what aspects of the renovation process are must-haves and which aspects you can live without.
Tip: You should also include a contingency fund in the case of a cost increase you can’t avoid.
2. Find The Right Contractor
Once you have your budget (including the contingency fund), It’s time to draw up a list of contractors within your locality. Your ideal contractor should have excellent communication skills and considerable experience building and renovating decks. The best Los Angeles deck builders should also be able to share a detailed project plan with you that keeps you informed throughout the project.
You should put together a list of at least 3-5 contractors, and then select based on your budget and must-haves.
3. Consider Maintenance & Long-Term Needs
You always need to think long-term when considering material requirements. The materials you go with should be easy to maintain and durable. Have an honest conversation with your contractor about the materials, your long-term view of the house, and how it might affect your overall material choice. You want to go for materials that will increase the value of your home.
Also, discuss your current maintenance schedule and see if it fits the material choice you two are about to make. Most importantly, these conversations need to align with your budget so that you don’t have any cost overruns or project creep.
4. Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Expect anything – from delays to a change in material requirements. Things happen, and you need to be prepared to deal with changes. Yes, you have done all the work of vetting the contractor and agreeing on a budget and project plan, but that doesn’t stop problems from arising. The best advice here is to be flexible.
Preparing yourself mentally for situations like these ensure your stress levels are low and you don’t get into any unnecessary fights with your contractor. After all, they are working on your property, so you want to keep them on your good side.
5. Agree on Communication Lines
Constant updates or communication is the secret to a successful renovation project. However, this has to be defined from the start. Discuss with your contractor on how and when you want to be updated on the status of the project. Agree on communication channels and who to reach if you are not available. Doing this before the project removes all ambiguity and keeps you free of stress.
These five steps are a great way to start planning for your deck renovation project. You’ll discover that the process of planning is not only more straightforward, but the project seems to fly by so fast that you are done in no time. Deck renovation projects don’t have to be hectic – you just have to plan for them!