Entire Deck Remodel – Fixing Other Contractors’ Mistakes

It would be a pleasure to say this doesn’t happen often. However, you’d be startled by the sheer amount of homeowners we get contacted by to fix other contractors’ mistakes. And to completely honest, while we love being busy, this isn’t the reason we want to be busy. As a community of small businesses, home remodeling contractors can really affect each other. One person’s poor communication, bad quality work, and unprofessionalism make homeowners weary of the rest of us. Again, it might not be so, but we run into this more times than we like to count. Take this entire deck remodel, for instance.

The homeowners contacted us because they were just so unhappy with the results of their deck. It was barely a year old when we got to it and had to completely demo it. That might seem extreme, but unfortunately, it wasn’t. The first deck was unstable, unsafe, and a complete disaster. Any trained professional should have been embarrassed to call that their project. But like so many people, the person who built it wasn’t a licensed contractor. And that happens a lot. Many companies can look professional, even say they are licensed, but are not. Here is what you need to know about being licensed.

Why Hire a Licensed Contractor

Experience, accountability, and protecting your investment. Being a licensed contractor in the State of Maryland requires you to have some basics:

  • A minimum of two years experience in home improvement or construction. This can be a combination of education and related field experience.
  • Meet minimum financial solvency guidelines. (This is a fancy way of saying a company can prove they can meet its long-term fixed expenses.)
  • Proof of a minimum of $50,000 liability insurance that in effect at all times.
  • Contractors pay into a Guaranty Fund assessment when they obtain their license. This protects homeowners from bad jobs and their money.

The Maryland Home Improvement Commission is who approves licenses and provides more information on those requirements here. So you can see, not being licensed, doesn’t protect homeowners.

And in the case of the deck remodel we worked on, they had to deal with a horrible deck. As we said, it might not seem bad enough to tear down, but let’s review why we recommended that.

How This Deck Was Unsafe

Here is the original deck they had built by an unlicensed contractor.

The homeowners also said it took months for their deck to be complete, which was a huge red flag. For us, this type of deck and project would take a couple of weeks, not months. And when they submitted to the state to get some of their nearly 18K investment back, they were denied because he was unlicensed. No matter how you slice this, the homeowners got robbed.

The New Deck Remodel

In the end, the homeowners had to cut their losses and like so many, had to learn the hard way. Which is unfortunate and shouldn’t happen. People work hard to enjoy their homes and make the improvements they want. That is why we tore down the old one and did a new deck remodel in its place:

Before Your Start on a Deck Remodel (or Any Remodel)

Please know, these homeowners are smart, caring people. They, like so many others, find themselves in these situations all the time. And it isn’t for a lack of intelligence or research. Even licensed contractors can have varying levels of experience and talent. It’s hard to wade through who is the best at what they do and what homeowners can afford.

We won’t lie, we will never be your cheapest quote when estimating a project. That just isn’t possible. At 7th State Builders, we have the experience, and we tirelessly on delivering quality work on reasonable deadlines. Customer satisfaction is our #1 goal. And to get that you have to make sure the job is done right the first time. That is what we offer. And if you still aren’t sure, do your research, talk to some of our previous clients, or read the online reviews. Our work speaks for itself.

Also, this isn’t a gloat though, because there are many of us out there weeding through bad work and poor professionalism. If anything, we just want you to be educated and informed. Please make sure to verify your contractor is licensed before you let them touch your home or money. And if you have any questions, please contact us.