15 Questions To Ask Your Deck Contractor (Before You Get a Quote)

You’ve decided to hire a deck contractor–smart decision! But finding a company you can rely on feels daunting. There are hundreds of deck builders in Metro Vancouver, so how do you know when you’ve found a winner?

Uncovering a few deck contractors with great online reviews or getting a reference from a friend is a good place to start. Once you’ve made a promising shortlist, pick up the phone and get your notepad ready.

Call up your top choices and weed out the duds. Here’s what to ask your potential deck contractor:

What’s your specialty?

Many deck builders only work with one or two types of decking. It’s important to understand how experienced they are in working with your preferred material. You don’t want them learning on your deck, after all. They should be able to tell you about the pros and cons of the deck material you’re considering and help you make an informed decision.

Do you have staff or subcontract?

Some deck builders hire other companies to complete jobs (or portions of obs) on their behalf. While this can mean you get highly specialized trades people working on your deck, it also has the potential to cause communication issues. Deck companies with their own crews are generally more familiar with each worker’s experience and character. They also have more direct control over every aspect of the job, so it’s more likely to go as planned.

Will there be a supervisor on site?

Having a person working on your project with the responsibility of ensuring quality and authority to make decisions has obvious advantages. Knowing how often a supervisor will be present can help you decide between two comparable contractors.

What’s your warranty?

Hiring a deck contractor is an investment in your home. Deck builders should use quality products that carry a warranty and be able to produce that information for you. They should also provide a warranty for their work. Get clear on the specifics of what’s covered and for how long.

Are you licensed and insured?

If the answer is not a clear, “yes,” your conversation can end here. The potential deck contractor should be able to produce their insurance certificate, business license, and Work Safe BC credentials upon request. Any resistance, hesitation, or evasion is a major red flag.

How long have you been in business?

This question helps you understand how experienced they are in the decking industry. Dodgy deck contractors don’t last long in this competitive market. Also, established businesses are less likely to have financial or legal issues that could affect your project.

Do you have references?

It’s one thing to read online reviews, but to  personally speak with a past customer is another level of reassurance. While it’s probably not a good use of time to vet these references before you get a quote, knowing they’re available is promising.

How do you handle it when something goes wrong?

The measure of a company’s worth is not if something goes wrong, but how they handle an issue when it inevitably arises. Every deck contractor has had something go wrong, let them tell you about a specific time and how they made it right.

Will this deck require a permit and do you handle permits?

Permits are often a necessary evil. Your contractor should know when one’s required. While it’s usually best for you, the homeowner to manage the permit, some contractors do offer this service and all should guide you through the process.

Find out if you need a permit for your deck project

Who do you know?

When you’re renovating your outdoor space, there’s often other work on your to-do list too. Quality contractors have a network of trusted service providers that they can refer, saving you time and headache in future projects. Also, if your deck contractor isn’t full service like Citywide Sundecks is, you may need to hire other companies to complete portions of your deck renovation like landscaping and painting.

Do you do railings?

After all, no great deck is complete without beautiful railings. You can get a quote for a railing re-do while they’re completing an estimate on your deck project.

How long will it take and when could you start?

Getting an idea of the timeline for your project is important for your planning. Depending on the time of year, you may be waiting weeks (or months) for an opening. This can be a deciding factor in choosing your deck contractor.

What makes you unique?

Let them tell you how they’re different from those hundreds of other deck builders in Metro Vancouver. Here’s how Citywide is a unique Vancouver deck builder. Does what they say resonate with what you need?

Do you charge a deposit?

Most deck builders do, both to cover material costs, and for client peace of mind. Get details on how much the deposit is; between 10% and 30% is common. There is rarely a legitimate reason for a deposit of more than 30%.

What forms of payment do you accept?

If you’re planning on paying by credit, make sure that’s an option. If they only accept cash, that’s a pretty clear sign that the business is not above board. Sorting out these details in advance of any agreement makes the whole process smoother for everyone.

Now you’ve got a strong feeling for what it would be like working with each of the deck contractors on your short list. Choose your top three and request a quote.

If Citywide Sundecks has made your deck contractor shortlist, fill out the form below or call us at (604) 786-3325.



Citywide Sundecks

Citywide Sundecks

We pride ourselves on our expertise in quality decks and railings for all kinds of homes and venues. Not only are we the top Duradek distributor in the region, but we are also known for offering a wide variety of the latest decking solutions to suit every taste.


  • “My wife and I were very happy with Citywide’s work on our sundeck. Their crew was very professional, courteous and efficient, and completed the work exactly as they said they would. When I pointed out a minor error in their work on our house siding, they immediately acknowledged the issue and corrected it with no argument. We would definitely recommend Citywide to our family, friends and anyone else that needs their decks re-surfaced. Thanks Paul / Citywide!”

    Doug and Audrey – Pitt Meadows

  • “Citywide is a professional company to work with regarding our deck project.  Very reliable, timely results and good customer service. We are very satisfied with the outcome.”

    Karl G – Vancouver

  • “I would recommend Citywide for roofing repairs and Vinyl decks. I appreciated the personalized service and efficient workers. Thanks Paul.”

    Tony W. – Vancouver

  • My experience with Paul and his Citywide Sundeck crew has been nothing but positive. They are on time and completely professional and able to offer solutions to complicated waterproofing challenges.

    Joe C. – Vancouver

  • I’m a general contractor in the lower mainland. I contacted Paul to help us re-vinyl a deck that used to be fiberglass. GREAT customer service, the job was professionally done by 2 of his crew members. When I called 4 other companies to look at the job, no one came or called back. Paul was attentive to our needs & was able to squeeze us in with a 2-3 day lead time.   Thank you so much for your consistent attention to detail, professionalism, & continuous strive for quality.

    Steve – New Westminster

  • Hard working and respectful crew. Deck turned out great. I would recommend Citywide to others who are considering building or replacing their deck.

    Vito – North Vancouver

  • Two years ago we hired Citywide to renovate our sundeck and back porch. We were very happy with the results and we are enjoying them every day. Last month we had them renovate our front stairs and walkway. The result exceeded our expectation. Now our front entrance looks good enough to welcome a queen! I like Paul’s workers they are friendly and able. Also, Paul is one of the most organized and punctual people I have ever known. We have had a lot of problems with tradesmen in the past. It’s nice to know Paul for a change.

    Sadako – Burnaby

  • I had Citywide Sundecks replace the 28 year old Duradeck sheeting with the similar material on my sundeck. The job was completed in one and a half days to my complete satisfaction. The deck looks like new with all the joints and seams glued and heat treated to ensure maximum waterproofing. Stainless steel screws were used throughout in reinstalling the original aluminum railings and stairs to ensure longevity and improved appearances. When the job was completed the installers cleaned up the work site. I was impressed and pleased with this Citywide crew. They were professional.

    Stephen – Richmond

  • We had our hot tub and sundeck replaced this summer. Citywide Sundecks did a wonderful job of the vinyl deck. The installation was complicated by the fact that the hot tub was sunk into the deck and the glass railings had to be removed and replaced. The job was done in a timely manner with great efficiency. We truly appreciated the skill of the workmanship, the attention to detail and the concern for aesthetics.

    McBride – Coquitlam

  • Paul and his team did excellent work with attention to detail. The work was done quickly and we are very happy with the result.

    Lora – North Vancouver

  • Great service and a fair price for the work. Delivered on all their promises and even did a nice job cleaning up. I would definitely recommend them.

    R. B. – Vancouver

  • Amazing service. Friendly, prompt, really good product. The installers are wonderful and skilled, friendly. I really would recommend this company. I like the range of products they offer and they took time to explain all my options.

    A. R. – Vancouver

  • We were very surprised when we were told that they were able to start working on the project within a week of us signing our contract. We were kept updated of progress and appreciated being contacted by Paul to see how they were doing and if we had any questions. The work was completed quickly and efficiently. The fellows who did the work were friendly and cleaned up after they had finished for the day. We were very happy and have referred them to our friends.

    Courtland C. – Delta

  • Paul and his crew were hired to rebuild a terrible deck that was built last year. Citywide Sundecks isn’t the cheapest, but they did the job right and on time, and it comes with a 10 year warranty. We should have gone with hie the first time around.

    Job P. – Surrey

  • Paul and his crew did a great job of taking care of us. We had to replace a deck and deal with some water issues above and below the deck, all which was behind the stucco. This work has been completed and we are very happy. Paul and the crew kept me informed throughout. They were very easy to deal with and answered all my questions as the work progressed. All this was done at what I thought was a fair price.

    Andy Stephens. – Surrey

  • Very happy with our Duradek job.  It was installed exactly as discussed and Paul made sure that we were completely satisfied.

    Rene B. – Vancouver

  • We are very pleased with the restoration project completed by Citywide Sundecks and Railings during the summer of 2015. The beautiful new sundeck was rebuilt in a very professional manner and the installed aluminum railings were a real upgrade on our original wooden ones. We are so glad that we contracted CWS as they were terrific to deal with and they provided quality work from start to finish.

    Bruce & Loreen S. – Richmond

  • I live in Prince George and contacted Paul at Citywide Sundecks to enquire about installing Duradek at my 85-year-old mother’s house in New Westminster. Paul kept us informed every step of the way. His crew was professional and hard working. They completed the job as agreed and ahead of schedule, even throwing in a few extras for my mum at no cost! My mother was very pleased with the outcome and happy to be enjoying her new deck.

    Leanne M. – Prince George

  • We were in a rush to get our sundeck stairs repaired. Paul was very accommodating and had the stairs replaced very quickly. The quality of work was excellent! I would highly recommend Citywide Sundecks.

    Linda & Rob M. – Delta

  • A word of thanks, for the excellent work on my sundecks, stairs, and railing. Your work was done on time and within budget. I must say it’s the envy of my neighbours. They ask who did the work, and of course I tell them Citywide. The house looks great, with the new decks and stairs.

    Tony C. – Vancouver

Email: info@citywide.ca

Best Of TrustedPros.ca 2017

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