Send an email to:
firstname.lastname@example.org and provide your name, address, phone #, a brief description of what you want, and the best days and times you have to meet.
If you have a deadline the project has to be completed by, this is the time to let me know that. We are usually pretty booked and if you don't tell me about a deadline upfront, it may waste both our time.
I'll respond as soon as I can. Admittedly, sometimes it may not be as quickly as most people would like. But I WILL get back to you and we'll set up a time to meet at the project location.
I try to set up appointments for the mornings, before I get dirty at the job site, if possible. But any time can work. On cold days I like to do appointments around lunch if possible since it may be warmer then.
When we meet, you can show me what you already have and tell me as much as you can about what you want. I'll take notes and get measurements and pictures of the entire site. I'm happy to give suggestions and discuss options while I'm there.
Be sure to let me know of anything that could cause issues (vacations, neighbors, pets) during construction. And if you want multiple quotes (pine, composite, special railing, etc.) this is the time to let me know. Feel free to ask me any questions while I'm there! You should always have some tough questions prepared for contractors!
I'll then go back to my desk to produce a scale drawing - trying to capture what we discussed. When I'm actually working on the drawing is when I sometimes come up with better ideas than I do while first standing in your yard.
I then email you the drawing with a complete total price and an explanation of the design. It could be days, or a week or more, before I get the drawing & quote to you. Just depends on current work load.
You then review the drawing and let me know of any changes you'd like to see and I'll make them - until it's the right deck for you!
and I hope our economy allows me to get back to that at some point.
But currently, based on what's been happening in 2020 & 2021, I have no choice but to reserve the right to re-quote your project all the way up until we sign a contract - which will lock in your price.
Beware of Deck Builders that want your money months early just to hold your spot.
If they are truly in demand
then it won't hurt them if someone cancels.
We don't get any money from you until about a week before we are ready to start your job. But when we do get about a week or less away from being able to start, I will need your First Draw so I can pay for most of your materials and get on the lumber company's list for deliveries.
The only exception is if you want a special order material or item (composite decking, etc.). In that case we will present you with a contract that has a little different payment schedule - the cost of the special material only will have to be paid earlier so it can get ordered.
And don't worry, after the initial email exchange you will be able to call or text me for little things - quick questions, tell me you're running late or where the breaker box is, etc.
But for the important stuff.....
One reason I like to communicate via email as much as possible is that it protects both of us. I can only fit so much into our contracts and keep them to one sheet of paper. So having emails to remind us of what you wanted and what I promised can be the thing that keeps us friends!