deck boards
Redwood Table

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To the Facebook Page!
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Decks
"Installing a deck may be the most cost-efficient way to add square footage to your house, and of all the outdoor home improvements except painting, it may be the most reliable value. Decks average $6,304 and generally recoup 104% of their value. That may not sound terribly impressive, but other touted outdoor improvements fare much worse."
--SmartMoney.com
   June 2004

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"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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For the purposes of clarifying any "Deal" or coupon:
A "Deck" or "New Deck Installation" is defined by anything that is over 200 sf. and includes stairs and railing. Anything less may be defined as a Porch, Platform, Stoop or landing. Furthermore, sf. rates are higher for smaller items to cover set up costs; standard volume discounts on sf. rates apply to larger structures on top of any "Deals" or coupons.

 

 

 



 

~ Some things you'll see in our Contract ~

 

Article 7. Additional Terms, #4 of our contract states: All pertinent content on Contractors website (www.customdeckworksusa.com)
is a part of this Contract as is the text in any email Contractor has sent to Owner before the contract is signed.

 

There is too much information that could protect you, and protect us, to put it all on the contract. Sadly, most people don't even read the contract when hiring us.
That is why we have this website; so that you, the customer, can be fully informed BEFORE you sign a contract with us.

 

~~ The following may not be considered very nice by some and is in response to some of the customers we've experienced. ~~

 

Most of the people we work for are extremely decent people who understand that WE are the deck building professionals and that we have their best interests in mind while building their deck. However, from time-to-time there is someone who believes that they are smarter than we are when it comes to deck building, and yet they still hire us. Why would they do this? Why would they hire someone they think is incompetent or out to get them by cutting corners? Why wouldn't they just build it themselves?
Well, we don't know the answer to that one. But we know this: We are not here to be abused. We know what we are doing, we are not out to do anyone wrong, we go above and beyond to make sure each customer gets the very best product for the very best price. We have never had a deck collapse, never had a footing fail, never had anyone be hurt due to our work, never cost our customers any extra money or any pain or suffering, and we've never even had a bad review. We are the good guys. We know that if we do things wrong we are ruining our own future business and actually, our own personal lives.

 

Some of the following are in the contract, some are not. But this is how we operate.
It is probably too much information, again, but it is very important. Consider it ALL a part of the contract before you sign.

 

  1. We order extra material to pick through in an effort to provide you with the best quality and best looking boards available in this region of the country at the time of construction. At the end of the job, we will be returning the extra boards for credit (our credit); they are not for you to keep - you did not pay for them. Again, we order extra to pick through as a courtesy. Hiring us is a direct sale of a deck; you are paying for the finished product, not a stack of boards. All natural, organic lumber is created by the earth and milled by timber companies. We have no control over any of the characteristics of natural lumber or the treatment that is applied to pine. The lumber company doesn't care what boards they send out to the job site, but don't worry when you see ugly boards in your driveway - we WILL be inspecting each and every one of them. We have over 20 years of daily experience in choosing the best boards for a project and this is something that can safely be left to us to handle. If YOU want to inspect each board, then I must respectfully ask that you hire someone else or build the deck yourself.

2. We put all of our support posts in the ground in concrete (unless they land on an existing slab, footing or solid wall). We mix the concrete in a wheelbarrow before putting it in the holes around the post. There is no actual 'load' resting ON the concrete we pour because we put a rock or a block in the hole, pack it down, and let the post sit on it. Then the concrete is poured in the hole to prevent the post from twisting or allowing settling due to wash-out. So, since there is no load on this new concrete, there is no need to worry about the fact that we continue to work while the concrete is curing. We do this like everything else we do - at or above industry standards & building codes. And there is no need to question whether or not the concrete has reinforcing steel or any additives since IT IS NOT load-bearing. Slabs, walls, and load-bearing footings do need reinforement added, and if we do one of those items for you, it will also be done to industry standards. Also, there is no need to worry about what the temperature is while your concrete is curing. We know what to do in every situation. The way we build a deck takes this into consideration and there is no need for us to delay construction while concrete cures. Therefore, we will NOT be delaying our progress just because we poured concrete around deck posts. When we build a fence, we do allow at least 24 hours before nailing anything to the posts.

 

3. Our warranty is very standard for this type of construction. In fact, we have a reputation for taking care of issues years after the warranty has expired, even if the issue is not our fault. When it comes to decks that are exposed to the elements, our written warranty period is more than long enough for you to see if the materials and our workmanship are going to hold up. Arkansas weather has some great extremes and if there is going to be a problem with a deck that we build, it will become evident in plenty of time. And again, we are in the business of taking care of our customers (even if that means years later) and all you have to ever do is call us if you encounter a concern. But... if you have any specific requests where you might want us to do some things differently than we have outlined in this website, then you must mention them BEFORE we sign a contract. Because after we sign a contract and you have secured a fair price for your project, we will not entertain changes without additional fees. Once we start building, if you are afraid that something we are doing will not perform as expected then you will need to let us get finished, pay us the final payment and then IF it doesn't perform, call us with a warranty issue. As the customer, you are protected in MANY ways (contract, insurance, bond, etc.) against faulty workmanship. You also have the leverage of the BBB, Angie's List, Facebook, other social networking sites, general word-of-mouth, etc. when it comes to getting a contractor to stand by their work. We already know how powerful this is and that is just one of the reasons we do things right the first time. And WE, Custom Deckworks, don't have any recourse (except the contract) if YOU don't perform as expected.

 

4. Delays can happen during construction. Weather, strikes, unavailability of materials, sick workers, unexpected events such as funerals or broken vehicles, etc. I try to leave enough room on the contract under 'Time of Completion' for such things. Your job probably won't take as long as I state on the contract. However, I do have other jobs scheduled in tight succesion, sometimes jobs that are to start before the end date on your contract. And this works because I can control some of the delays that occur and make up for them (get material somewhere else, get extra helpers for the day, work longer hours). But I can't control YOUR delays.
Please don't sign a contract for a specific time period if you are not really ready for construction to begin. If something comes up that is unavoidable for you, then we certainly understand. But if you cause delays in our progress and schedule then we will have to charge a fee for that. If we aren't working, we are losing money. Believe it or not, there is only a TINY bit of profit in each job - usually just enough to survive until the next job starts. That being said, if you think you want to have us start your job, then you pull us off so you can wash your house, or you want to watch our concrete cure, or you schedule another contractor to come do something that will cause us to be in their way, or you want time to look over the boards, or rake/mow your yard, or any other thing that doesn't have to be done during our work hours then we will charge $40 per hour (not to exceed 8 hrs per day) that we miss due to YOUR delay.
This is not a "Hobby" for us. We are a real business that has to pay real bills and stay on a real schedule with other real customers that are expecting us to start their job on time. Our crew is paid by the hour and it is not fair for me to tell them that we have a job to go do and then they can't get more than a few hours in a week because our customer keeps making us pull off the job. I will lose money regardless, but my crew should not have to suffer because of YOUR delays. Sorry to sound so harsh (and this has only come up about 4 times in 17 years) but PLEASE be ready for us to come do what we do before you agree on a start date with us. If you need to do something to your house/property, please do it before or after we build your deck. Please don't 'help' us with the know-how or construction of your deck - you hired US to be the expert. Once we agree on all the terms (in the contract & this website) and sign the contract, all you need to do is pay the installments on time, tell us where we can access outside water & power sources, point out obstacles to watch out for, tell us where you'd like the lumber to be placed and then stand back while we do what we do. We will move any patio furniture, we will accomadate your dog needing to go out to the bathroom by closing gates or even stepping out of the yard for a few minutes, we will stop what we are doing to move vehicles or lumber that could be in your way, or anything that is in the normal course of business and life. But we can not simply miss HOURS of work.

 

5. If we agree to include installation labor of an item at no charge (such as installing special order balusters, lights or other items that YOU have ordered and paid for) then we will need to get paid the final payment on the contract when due whether those free-installation items have been done by that time or not. We offer to do this as a courtesy to you while we are there working on the other, main project. Situations where this could be the case include: if you order something and it hasn't arrived yet; if you decide that you want to stain the deck (yourself or hire a stain contractor) before we install the item; or anything that is not our fault that could cause the free-installation to not be done by the time the contracted work is complete. Some folks have the tendancy to want to hold out money until we come back to complete the free-installation. This is unaccceptable because the money they would hold out is money that was for work that WAS completed. Free means free. If we never come back to install the item (the item that you bought and have in your possession), then you are no worse off than you were before we offered to install it for free. But... we have an interest in coming back, even to still do it for free, because that can help secure a favorable recommendation or review from you. Plus, we WANT to see a completed job and happy customer.
At the end of the contract, WE may offer for you to hold out some money for the free-installation of an item, but it will be in the amount we specify. The insistance of holding out any more than we offer is offensive, rude and not good business; especially at that stage where we would have already proven to you that we care about you and your project and that we are not "the bad guy".

 

These are just a few of the things we've encountered over the years where we feel like we've been abused by our own customers. We know full well that there are scammers, general idiots and bad contractors out there, but we have spent the last 17 years proving day after day that we are NOT one of them. We say it numerous times on this website and our customers say it everyday - that we are true professionals and experts at what we do. We respect our customers like they are family and go the extra mile like no other deck contractor in this region. And when, in turn, we get treated like scum it hurts and makes us not want to provide this one-of-a-kind service any longer.

 

All we ask is that you don't hire anyone, EVEN US, until you are really ready, until you know what you are getting, or if you can't let go of a little control to the experts. This relationship will go well as long as we all understand each other. Again, sorry for the harsh tone or if we seem as if we don't like our own customers. We do!
99.999999% of them are quality people!
The sad reality is that customers treat contractors badly more than the other way around; at least in our experience. But we're not sour to the point of doing bad work; just to the point of being cautious. Even when treated badly we excel FOR the customer. Maybe it's just that people are scared that every contractor is an unqualified scammer; and we understand that is real concern. But......... WE are not them.

Thanks for listening.

 



Important News & Updates. Please Read!

 

Members - Click Here!
MUST READ for Angie's List Members!

 

Before you sign a Contract!

Must Read!

 

Spring 2013 :   BEWARE! Scam Alerts....

- Don't ever say you weren't warned!

 

 

Spring 2012 :   Pricing Information....

"The Bitterness of Low Quality Remains
Long After the Sweetness of Low Price
is Forgotten!..."

 

 

Spring 2009 :   Apples to Apples in a Bad Economy....

...It could be a mistake not to read this.

 

 

Update: 2012

Arkansas Code § 17-25-501 thru 17-25-515. Act 1208 of 2011 Summary:

ANYONE performing work at a Residence, when the project is $2,000 or more, labor & material,

IS required to have a license from the Contractors Licensing Board

starting January 1, 2012!

 

In most cases this does not apply to the Homeowners doing work themselves.

But if you hire someone to build your deck that does NOT have a license,

you may be breaking the law and will have very limited recourse in the event of a dispute.

If they don't have a REAL license, DON'T HIRE THEM!

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Businesses We Support!

 

 



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