If you’ve decided to install a deck and you care about the results, ask questions first to be sure your decking material suits your needs and that trustworthy decking professionals are building your deck.
If you do some research first, you will be more informed when you get your quotes for decking supply and install.
Questions to ask your decking supplier
1. What decking material options can you provide?
Ask if they supply both timber and composite decking; many suppliers cater for only one specific material.
2. Do you offer material warranties?
Ask what sort of guarantee they can offer you on the decking material. Remember that this will be different between wood and composite depending on what they choose to supply.
3. What kind of fasteners do you recommend?
Many suppliers recommend certain methods or products for the structure and fastening of your deck material. Usually, these are advantageous to the installer. Klevaklip is used for quick and easy installation of Trex composite while hardwood generally requires stainless steel screws.
4. Does it come in different colours?
If you have a particular material in mind, ask what range of colours they carry and how long it would take them to order a specific one in. There are many different hardwood species, and composite also has a wide range of natural colours.
5. How hard-wearing is the material?
Ask if they have Australian fire-ratings and slip-testing results for the materials and don’t be afraid to ask what the test results mean; the material must be a good fit for your needs. Composites and wood will perform differently in specific areas such as around a pool.
6. Does it clean easily?
Find out whether the material will suit your lifestyle. Different materials have benefits depending on how you plan to use them for your deck surface.
7. Are samples available?
Many suppliers make samples available, so you can take them home for visual comparisons in-situ and find the perfect match. Decking colours often look different in the showroom or gallery compared to the lighting in your own home.
8. If there are any problems, who do I call?
If your products come from an unregulated overseas country and you have an issue with your decking, the manufacturer will sometimes deny the complaint from the distributor, who is free from recompense. Choose a supplier who will cover any decking problems that may arise.
9. What is the waste factor of the decking?
A higher waste factor means you will have to buy more material to install your entire deck. The product with lower waste percentage would likely be a higher quality product and may be more affordable overall. Ideally, suppliers should remove the waste so you get good quality pieces for installation.
10. What is the average length of the deck boards?
The longer the decking boards, the better the deck looks in large spaces. Timber decking is usually sold in random lengths (mainly shorts these days) as it is tough to get in long lengths unless it is engineered and finger-jointed. A process where short pieces are glued together in one long piece.
Merbau is a particular favourite for this process. It does produce longer lengths, but you will see a lot of joins. Composite on the other hand is available in regular lengths of up to 6.1m.
11. Do you warrant work done by installers?
If the supplier and installer aren’t under the same umbrella, it’s important to now know who to speak to if there are any issues with the material or installation.
12. What grade is the decking?
Timber has different grades of materials and composite is into its 3rd generation. Ask your supplier what they carry.
13. Will you send an estimator to quote me for how much decking will be required?
Before you speak to a decking installer, you should have a good idea about whether you want to use composite or timber; they then will help you finalise your plans and give you a quote based on any recommendations they may have.
Questions to ask your decking installer
1. Are you licensed and insured?
Anyone can build in WA if the project is under $20,000. That’s why there are so many ‘cowboys’ in the industry, anyone can pick up a hammer and say they are a professional decking installer. Ask if they have a license or if they are insured.
2. How long have you been in business?
Experience is necessary; ask how long they’ve been building and how long they have been dealing with your specific material.
3. Do you offer a warranty?
Ask up front what is required to maintain your warranties, what sort of service guarantee they offer, and the appropriate steps if an issue should occur.
4. What are the steps needed for council approval and can you take care of it for us?
Your deck pro may not be able to complete the council approval process for you, but they should know about any licenses your project will require.
5. Can you provide us with references of your previous work?
Ask to see testimonials or pictures online of recent projects; some will happily let you call a homeowner to ask about the installation and service.
6. Will you give us a detailed quote that includes all materials and labour costs?
There are cheaper installers out there who will cut corners and often there is no way of knowing you have a reasonable quote unless you have more than one.
Decking Perth offers three decking quotes from our exclusive list of handpicked Deck Pros.
7. When can you start work and how long will the project take to complete?
If an installer is organised, they should be able to give you a rough timeline of when your project will be finished.
8. Will you work with the decking material I choose?
Some carpenters prefer to work with a specific material that they know how to produce great results with. If they are not comfortable or inexperienced with using a different material, you may need to seek a different professional to complete your project.
Your initial quotes may not reflect the final cost of your deck; the installer will want to inspect your site before they give you a definitive quote. Conscientious decking professionals will tell you everything you need to know, even if the price is higher than the initial quote.
Choosing the right people to work with for your deck project is essential, as it will affect the ultimate enjoyment you’ll get from your deck.