How do I get a decking quote
How do I get a decking quote
Do you ask yourself “How do I get a decking quote”, “who do I ask”, “What’s involved”…? This is an introduction to explain some of the processes involved to help you streamline the early stages of your decking project.
Decking builders in my area
Decking projects are usually installed by Professional decking companies – Deck Pro’s, some are done by Professional Landscapers and the rest done by Carpenters or builders.
The best decking projects are usually carried out by people that constructed them week and week out. Experience is key to a successful investment for your new terrace. The people can be stereo types as follows
Deck Pro Builds decking platforms everyday
Pro Landscaper Builds decks on most landscaping projects as part of large works
Carpenters Build decks infrequently
Builders They will sub the work out … no idea to who
To fully understand a quotation for decking we should consider who you are getting the quote from in the first place.
Decking installation company
There are many companies offering decking installation services, and they fall into a few categories.
- One man band
- Small team of 3 or so
- Medium team of 6 or more
- Large company set up with multiple teams
They all operate with a different set of services and expectations. They all have overheads and need to make a profit. The smaller companies are usually working many hours onsite and when they get home, they work most of the evening too. It’s when they can get time to consider quoting the next job, answering your questions, or drawing up a project. They can’t do this in the day as they are building your deck.
The small team is fairly similar as they perhaps have a team of three with the company owner spending their day answering your questions, drawing up the next project, writing a quotation or seeing the next client.
A large company may have a quantity surveyor, site manager and a designer in the office, someone seeing clients and of course they guys onsite building your deck.
They all charge different rates and can build your decking project at different speeds due to how many personal they have and how they operate.
So why do quotations vary so much?
Type of quotation
There are a few different ways to expect a quotation to be presented to you. But really there should only be one.
Your quotation should have everything in words that you understand.
The quotation should be based on a specification and refer to it.
The quotation should refer to drawings with dimensions on it.
Everything included in the quotation should be listed and also items that are not included.
It should say how long the project will take
It should have VAT included
You should be expected to pay a reasonable deposit with either staged payments through the project or the balance at the end. These terms should also be on your quotation.
There should be a copy of the companies’ terms and conditions for you to sign.
All of the above will protect you and the company if anything were to deviate from the expectations of both parties.
“If your quote is by text then it’s a simple case of caveat emptor, buyer beware… You know this is junk so don’t expect anything more than that to be built.”
Why are your decking quotes higher than expected?
The Information provided to your contractors
When you go meet the various contractors it really does help both parties if the client has a full understanding about what they want.
Every contractor will have their own ideas on how to interpret your brief. They will also offer their chosen materials. Some prefer the better products like Trex® Millboard ® and the like. Some offer cheap inferior products (Editor’s note: I’m not saying all other decking materials are inferior) This may have a difference of £50 or so per square metre and based on 50 square metres that an easy £2500.00
If you know what materials you require, you can easily ask if they install it during the initial phone call. If the contractor doesn’t offer that type of decking, then you’ve wasted no one’s time.
“It should be reasonable to appreciate if you get something for free its probably going to be done very quickly and may not be of the quality you are expecting”
You’ve told your contractors too much
If you have asked your contractor to allow for lighting, planting, irrigation and maybe some paving too, this may be too much information. Not all decking companies offer landscaping services, to be fair, not all Landscapers do decking either.
It may help if you keep the initial meeting relatively simple until you have chosen your preferred contractor. Then you can then explore the nitty gritty with one company.
You haven’t told your contractor enough
“I think I might want a deck”, “I’m not sure how big it should be”, “I don’t have a budget are all indicators that the contractor will have to do a lot of guessing. This will certainly result in a wide range of quotes coming back to you. Some will assume a smaller deck than you are expecting and thus will appear to be a cheap quote. Some may assume it’s much larger and thus their quote will be quite expensive by comparison.
Your contractor is too busy
If your contractor is booked up for 6 -12 months then you may get an over inflated price. They may see your proposition not worth their while making your deadline for no additional reward. Good Contractors have the same rate no matter what and they will always be honest about when they can start.
The price isn’t really that high
You have received your quotation and you think is much more than it should be. You may have a perfectly reasonable quotation and its simply not within your financial investment expectations. It may be best to suggest your expectations from the outset. During the initial phone call, it would assist you both if you were able to say, “its 30 sq m, so roughly how much would that be”.
Tips on “how do I get a decking quote”
Stage one “I want a deck”
Get some samples from the many manufacturers, some are free online, some you have to pay.
Get recommendations from the manufacturer’s Pro installer schemes.
Make sure the manufacturer offers a warranty.
Consider a professional to design your project
Stage two “The decking design”
Be prepared to pay for a design, why should you expect 3 or so companies to invest in design time with no reward.
Ask them to design within your budget, they should tell you the approximate rates and what your decking should cost before anyone designs you a deck that maybe over your budget.
The designer should write a specification, it helps all parties concerned if this is to a particular standard. The best standards are those from The Association of Professional Landscapers. You can download them for free here.
Stage three “The quotation”
Send your design to local companies (Or ones that the manufacturer recommends) and request a quotation.
Your quotation should include reference to CDM regulations… If your contractor doesn’t understand these ,then maybe, they shouldn’t be installing you anything at all.
Ask for their insurance too, not just public liability, they should have Professional Indemnity too, especially if they are designing something.
Ask for references from recent projects…
Thank you for reading “How do I get a decking quote”