An interview in 2015 with A-Affordable Decks owner, Frank. Frank who started A-Affordable Decks in 1992, takes on some tough questions and answers them with his usual candor.
We like what we have been reading. How do we go about getting an estimate? I'm glad that what you have been reading, is making some sense. I will be glad to come out to your home, introduce myself and find out what your decking needs are. If it is the kind of project that makes sense to both of us, I will prepare a formal quote, design and set up a return trip where we can go over all the details in depth. Unless you are anxious to get on my calendar. We can do it in one trip.
We received a couple of prices on a deck and pretty much know what we want. Will you beat the other estimates? My pricing is very competitive for my outstanding quality! It is not however, my goal to beat anybody's estimate! I am out to build a solid, good looking deck that will be problem free for twenty years. It will meet or exceed the national building codes and you will pass my business card along to your friends and associates with confidence.
Are you listed with Angie's List or any of these type of organizations? Bottom line: Contractors pay thousands to be listed prominently on Angie's List. I'm taking a break this year from Angie's List. I don't feel like I have to spend $4000+ to attract good customers that appreciate my awesome quality, business ethics and value. I had (at last check) an "A" rating with Angie's List & an "A+" with the Illinois Better Business Bureau.
We know this carpenter across the street who said that he would build the deck for us but, we're not sure. What do you think? All I can tell you is that I have torn out many decks that had been built by supposed good carpenters. They can generally build a sturdy deck, but often make mistakes in the overall design that make for problems or premature failure. I am a specialist, when I hire carpenters from time to time, they marvel at my methods. Not just about the efficient techniques but also at the solutions to standard design flaws that my designs incorporate. As I stated elsewhere on this website, decks have become a niche. As of today Feb. 20, 2015 you run a big risk of major screwups hiring a carpenter to engineer and build your deck. They require supervision! That's my job.
This is a stressful process and we don't particularly like nor trust contractors. Neither do I! Many, I think, should live in a zoo.
What's better cedar or treated lumber? Treated is stronger, and cheaper. Cedar holds stain better and is more stable (less warpage). Cedar is more prone to insect infestation: carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and woodpecker attacks. Pressure treated is going to split and crack as long as it is in a sunny location. (nothing you can really do to prevent it). So, it's your call as to what's better. Excessive shrinkage, warping, you name it!
I've heard and read that decks are one of the easier projects for a homeowner with limited skill and experience to tackle. Why should I consider hiring your company if I can save a whole lot of money and do it myself? You're right ! Go for it ! And thanks for saving me the gas and time to come to your house. We are faced with replacing our deck (or having major repairs done) before putting our house on the market. Apparently, the building inspector didn't catch all of the mistakes made by the contractor that we hired, eight years ago. The boards are popping up all over, the balusters are warped and becoming crescent moon shaped, there are squeaks and rattles when you walk across the deck surface, and if it is a windy day, it seems like the deck moves with the breeze. Are we able to go back and complain to the building department? Don't count on a building inspector to protect you from an unscrupulous or dumb contractor. If a guy building a deck wants to "cheat" on the use of materials to save time and money, you're screwed. Sorry! First and foremost, hire an individual that you trust. That is more important than the materials and design. Are you on the job supervising your crew every minute of the day? No, If they needed supervision to that extreme, they wouldn't be working for me! I go to the jobsite everyday and communicate with my lead carpenter as needed.
Get the information you need PHONE MY OFFICE TODAY! (630) 620-4130 but, email is better! I am probably not in,
please leave a concise message (I'll be supplying material to a job, applying for permits, estimating, digging holes, writing & sending contracts, performing a deck inspection, reading a story to my kiddies, singing a Sinatra tune in a nightclub, and just generally running around like a maniac. Like most people.)