Deck and Sunroom FAQ’s

Is a building permit needed to build a deck?

Yes, permits are required, even if you’re just replacing the decking and nothing else.

Who acquires the building permit?

Whoever is doing the work should acquire the permit. If you, the homeowner, are doing the work yourself, then you’ll need to acquire the building permit. However, if you’re hiring some to do the work, that contractor should acquire the permit – which places the liability on the contractor. If a contractor recommends that a homeowner needs to acquire the permit for work that he will do, that’s a red flag that the contractor is likely not licensed.

Does a building license ensure quality in the work?

No. A building license enables someone to acquire a permit, and a permit ensures that the job will meet the building code requirements.

Are you insured?

Yes, we are insured and provide proof of insurance upon request. Proof of insurance is also required to maintain a license with the building department.

What is the typical warranty on decking?

Warranties vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, you’ll want to verify the warranty prior to choosing a product. In general, most composite and PVC decking manufacturers offer a 25-year “manufacturer’s warranty”. Manufacturer’s warranties cover factory defects only like splitting and warping. If products are installed incorrectly, the warranty is voided – thus it’s imperative that you or your contractor is familiar with the product being installed. In addition, most manufacturers’ warranties cover the cost of replacement materials and not the labour to remove the damaged decking and install the new.

What type of maintenance do composite/PVC products require?

Typically, the only maintenance needed is cleaning.

How do you clean composite/PVC decking products?

You’ll always want to defer to the manufacturers’ cleaning recommendations prior to using anything other than mild detergent and water. Some cleaning products could damage your decking.

Can we use any type of floor mat on our new composite/PVC deck?

No. Again, check with your decking manufacturer to verify the type of floor mats that are compatible with your decking product. For example, some rubber-backed floor mats will react with PVC deck boards causing discoloration. Also, keep in mind that although most decking products don’t fade nearly as much as they used to, fading in most products will still occur. A floor mat will obviously limit fading underneath it.

Should we stain or paint the underside of our deck structure?

No! If you stain or paint the underside of your deck, moisture will still enter into the wood from the top, but now the moisture becomes trapped, accelerated rot is the result

How much does a deck cost?

The price of a deck can vary greatly. Things such as size, shape, height off the ground, types of materials used, extras such as benches and planters, will all affect the price.

Is a new deck a good investment?

Most definitely yes! A new deck on a home here in Nova Scotia will add great value to the home. Usually you can expect to recoup at least 80%-90% of the cost of the deck upon resale of the home.

How do I protect my deck from the elements?

There are many schools of thought on this subject. We recommend a deck be cleaned every year to remove moss and algae and re-stained as needed. Even the low-maintenance composite products, such as TREX, require regular cleaning to prevent the build-up of dirt which can lead to algae growth. The composite products however, do not require a protective stain.

Can I put a hot tub on my deck?

Yes. Decks are not commonly built to accommodate the weight of a hot tub. We always recommend a strengthening of the framework below where the tub will go or the addition of a tub support.

What is a “code” railing?

A railing that meets the building code is one that has no openings on the railing greater than 4 inches. In other words, if a 4-inch ball can be pushed through your railing at any point it does not pass code.

I want a big deck with lots of different levels but cannot afford to do the entire project at once. What are my options?

This is a common problem. We recommend if your project exceeds your current budget that we spread the project over more than one season. As long as the master plan is complete and allows for the addition of more deck levels or areas in the future, it is easy to tailor the construction over a period of time. This also gives you the opportunity to decide if you really want that large of a deck by using what is currently built for a season to get a feel for your use of the deck.

I have a picture from a magazine of the type of deck I want. Can you build it?

Yes. If you show us a picture of a deck, rail, trellis, bench, planter, pergola, or any other component of a deck, we can certainly build it.

Renovation FAQ’s

How can I, as the home owner, help ensure a smooth renovation?

Here are some factors that will help you smooth out the renovation process:

  • Clear work areas of furniture, drapes and art. Make sure to cover anything remaining that could be harmed by dust
  • Make early product selections
  • Be available to your renovator on short notice
  • Keep changes from the original plan to a minimum
  • Discuss your concerns as they arise
  • Accept the unpredictable with grace

Is it important for the contractor to carry the proper insurance?

This is perhaps the most important question, as an uninsured contractor is a recipe for disaster. If anything goes wrong at all, you’d have practically no recourse against an uninsured company. All-Craft Renovation carries full liability insurance.

Does a contractor need to provide a Worker’s Compensation Board clearance letter?

A contractor may represent themselves as being registered with the WCB, but unless they can produce a clearance letter confirming this, you may be liable for WCB claims made against the contractor. All-Craft and all of our trades are covered by workers compensation.

Is All-Craft a member of the Better Business Bureau, and do you have a good rating?

BBB Accredited Businesses undergo a detailed review process and must commit to abide by a set of ethical standards for marketplace conduct. The BBB also has a rating system for businesses based on their history of customer complaints, and more importantly, the company’s response to those complaints. All-Craft is a member of the BBB and carries a rating of A+.

Can we contact some of All-Craft’s past customers for references?

Speaking directly to other homeowners that have direct experience with the contractor can go a long way in helping to decide if that contractor is right for you. You may find useful insights into the contractor’s work ethic, scheduling skills, style of communication, and other qualities that are difficult to determine any other way. All-Craft can provide requested references.

Do we need our own plans or can All-Craft provide them for us?

All projects need plans. This helps eliminate confusion for all involved in the renovation project (the clients, project manager and trades people). All-Craft will work with you to construct and provide a full detailed plan.

Will the renovation require permits?

For decorating, you don’t need a permit as long as you are not moving or adding anything. If plumbing, electrical components and gas lines require movement then you need a permit. All-Craft will take care of the permit process for you, and coordinate the inspections.

Will I need to sign a contract?

Yes, you should always have a written agreement between you and your contractor which outlines the scope of work, warrantees, timelines, budgets, liability etc. There needs to be a clear picture of what the contractor is providing. All-Craft Renovation team will supply you with a detailed and agreed upon contract.

Will I be provided with a detailed renovation schedule?

Yes, you will be provided all details of the schedule that will be followed.

How long will my project take?

Once the design has been finalized, we can give you a good estimate of when we’ll finish your project. As a guideline, renovations take several weeks to several months depending on many factors including the level of detail, size and complexity of your project.

How can I get an estimate?

For a complimentary in home consult please call 902-576-3363 or email info@allcraft.ca.

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