Panel detail on custom privacy screen in Columbia, SC.
THE SEVEN KEYS TO FINDING A GREAT CONTRACTOR
PART SIX: ATTENTION TO DETAILS
This is our sixth installment in our series about the Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor. This certainly applies to our business of building premium decks, porches, and sunrooms, but really these principles apply to almost any area of work you might have a contractor perform services for you.
To review, the seven keys are:
- Customized Product
- Attention to Details
- Warranty & Protection
Notice the detailed parting board on this AZEK deck in Northeast Columbia, SC.
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
– John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach, winner of ten NCAA national championships
This statement is true in life, and it’s true in the construction business. There are thousands of little details that go into a building project – some that you see, and some that you don’t. But their sum total makes up the look, feel, and underlying quality of the project as a whole.
One of the little things we do behind the scenes at Archadeck to ensure the details are properly followed is to generate actual blueprints of every deck, porch, or sunroom we design. Our carpenter uses these plans in the field to eliminate questions and to avoid the “personal interpretation” that can occur if the project that the salesman and the customer agreed to is not clearly communicated to the guys actually doing the building. Together with these blueprints, we have a Construction Master File that details exactly how each feature of a project – railings, steps, footings – are to be built. Without this common reference, each carpenter would be left to build in the way that he sees fit, which is not a recipe for consistency or quality.
Beautifully detailed deck in NE Columbia, SC.
There are many other details – both aesthetic and structural – that come as a result of having built thousands of projects. For example, on our deck and porch structures, our standard is to run the decking boards diagonal to the framing boards. This gives the deck an interesting and distinctive appearance, but that’s not why we do it. We do it because running the decking on the diagonal gives the structure a bracing effect that exponentially increases the resistance to any horizontal or vertical stress shifting that could occur. This results in a surface that feels much more solid and tight as you walk on it.
Saluda River deck in Columbia, SC.
Other examples of details built into our construction: hiding the board ends with trim to achieve a more finished look, use of stair risers to give stairs the same appearance as you have inside your home, and the use of screws, rather than nails, in the decking. These features all go towards giving your project a professional, finished look, and also they are what give our projects a distinctive “Archadeck” look that is consistent across the country.
This discussion has been somewhat internally focused on the way we do things at Archadeck, mainly because that’s what we know. As it relates to the theme of Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor, these same attributes are universal for any construction project. Not so much the details such as running decking boards on the diagonal, but rather the level of thought and effort that has gone into defining what details will and won’t be followed. Sometimes the only way to determine a contractor’s attention to detail is to look at his work and compare it to the work of others. If you don’t have an experienced eye for noticing these details, your prospective contractor should be able to easily and proudly point them out to you. But I bet that you can tell by looking at some examples of projects if they display the style and touches that you expect, even if you can’t put your finger on exactly what those touches are.
The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu
Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project is built with attention to even the smallest details. Call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation at or email us at email@example.com.
Please visit our extensive outdoor structure galleries located on our website for more examples of our lovely designs.