Unfortunately this happens to all of us at one time or another.  For whatever reason we take a chance or blindly believe what the “guy that showed up” has to say.  Well I have bad and good news for you.  It is common for somebody to not have facts, really understand your needs or simply just need to make “the sale”.

Good News!  There are several things you can do about it, easy to do yourself and very little if any cost.  These steps will most likely save you plenty, money, time and frustration.

First off if you think that your deck is just some hunk of wood hanging off the house to hold up your BBQ you might want to reconsider.  At least in our area when somebody says “deck” the most common picture that comes to mind is a redwood/cedar deck with all those slots between the boards. Those gaps between the boards are there for a good reason, they let the air circulate around the boards so they can dry and maybe last longer.  This also allows them to shrink, you have wondered why the gaps got bigger, the wood has gotten smaller. At first you go out diligently ever spring, sanding and staining the surface so it looks new again.  Don’t forget to get all those little gaps too.  Then as you get a little older and you time could be spent out with family or friends the upkeep fades and soon you find it better to just keep the door to the deck.

So to correct this problem and add some life to your deck you can use a composite material rather than wood.  Sounds like a great idea!  These composite boards won’t rot so they must be better, right?  Better than wood, yes they are.  Much more expensive too. And only the composite boards are not going to rot from the water, but all the other wood like the joist or beams and the supports will rot.  Use pressure treated lumber (common suggestion) and they are right those take longer for water to damage but they are full of chemicals and those chemicals will leach into the ground during every rain storm causing who knows what type of reaction.  The other big draw to this particular product will be what you want the look to be.  There are all sorts of different patterns and colors or designs that can be made.  This is where some customers will begin to think more about appearances than what they want / need the deck to do for them.  Wonder if these will splinter, shrink, twist or become deformed after a few years?  Oh, he says they won’t.

Perhaps those wants and needs are what should be most important?

We get lots of calls about decks.  What is the best kind of deck to build? How can I fix my deck? Will you come stain our deck?
Of all these calls the ones that become our customers are the ones that say “Can you waterproof my deck?”  This is a customer that has learned, usually the hard way or possibly through a friend that wood, composite and liquid applied decks do work, but there will be ongoing costs and repairs with them as well.

Duradek is the leader in Canada and the USA when it comes to not just waterproofing but giving allowing you to use ALL of your homes space.  If the real estate fairy stopped by tonight and asked if you wanted 500 more square foot of space would you want it?  I am sure we all would say yes please!
Well with Duradek you not only get the 500 SF but at no additional cost you also get the 500 SF below your deck too!  It now become dry usable space great for storage or simply making room in the garage so you can park the car in there.

So how do you protect yourself and get what you want?

Decide what it is that you want to use your deck for.  If the answer is “a place to keep our BBQ” then a wood deck maybe the best for you.  If you have some extra, disposable income then a composite can take care of that too.

If your considering how to really get some use of the deck area then think about outdoor flooring / outdoor entertainment areas where you will  enjoy inviting the family and friends to dine with you in the great outdoors.

Take a minute and look into the product and company that your considering.
Was the installer trained by the company? (this is much better than having your bother show you)
Is the “sales guy” a company employee or are they an independent rep making commission on your sale?
What does the warranty say? Read it, many don’t even cover what you think is important.
Is the product your using repairable? How? Will the repair look different than the rest of the deck?
What’s the life expectancy without any additional cost or maintenance?
Is the product made to and proven to handle this climate and temperature variance?

Most important is ASK, then ASK. then ASK and ASK some more if you want, your the customer.
Ask for –

  • Installations details, printed out copies for you to keep.
  • Copy of the warranty before the work is done
  • References of work similar to yours, not just something typed up on the internet.
  • Verify how long has the product and the installer been around?
  • Who do you call in two or three or ten years after the job is done for assistance?