- We do as much communicating as possible with our customers through email. That way, all discussions are in writing so both parties can always look back to remember what was said, what was promised, and what may or may not be included in a bid. Please read all of the information below and on the other pages of this site. It will save everyone a lot of time during future communications.
With a hectic schedule, a family, and an already heavy workload at his desk, it is hard for Chris to find the time to send explainations of "How it Works" to each customer. Most every question or concern you may have is already answered somewhere in this web site; if not, feel free to bring it up with Chris. PLEASE familiarize yourself with how this company operates now so there won't be any delays when we are all ready to get started.
- When a homeowner contacts us, Chris personally attends to the call
and sets up an appointment time. In some cases, after a message is left
at the office phone, the office manager may return the call. Chris will
then meet with the homeowner to inspect the residence and begin the free
- During the first appointment, we start by listening to the homeowners
needs and ideas. We no longer bring one of the many portfolios
of our work to show our quality and help with ideas; There are more than enough pictures of our work on this site and other sub-sites (like www.facebook.com/customdeckworks) that you can review before hand our even during the appointment with Chris. Before leaving,
we discuss the techniques that set us apart from the competition, give
professional input on design, agree on what the “first draft”
should be and take exact measurements of the project location in order
to produce scale drawings.
- Usually within a few days Chris is ready to schedule a second appointment
where we’ll give the homeowner a copy of the scale drawing and/or
3D renderings (or provide it in an email), provide an exact and itemized price and go over potential
options or changes that can be made. Custom Deckworks understands that
you have to live with the finished product for many years and that you
deserve to be happy with it. We’re not satisfied unless you’re
satisfied. So, we will go back to the drawing board
and continue to meet with you as many times as it takes for you to be
sure you’re getting what you want. If there are budget constraints,
we can scale down the project while trying to maintain design quality
and any special accessories the homeowner
- We do not charge for any appointments, drawing of plans, or pricing.
The price you are quoted by Custom Deckworks is for actual work to be
preformed at your residence. Each price is good for 30 days and can be
“locked-in” by signing a contract for the job within that
time. Lumber prices fluctuate and prevent us from honoring an un-signed
quote for longer than 30 days.
NOTE: If after meeting with Chris
and receiving one or more of his drawings and quotes you, for some reason,
decide not to hire Custom Deckworks, please have the simple common
courtesy to at least email him with the news. Because he actually cares
that you are, for once, getting a chance at a quality structure, he will
hang in there with you until you give up. So, please let him know when
that is so that he may move on to help the other customers that need him. Thanks!
- After a specific plan is agreed upon, a contract is drawn up specific
to the job. The plan is a part of the contract as are any additional Bid
Sheets we may present, any emails we send to you, along with the text on this site at the time. Between these items, everything is made perfectly
clear and upfront for the security of both parties. The total price on
the contract will be the final and complete price. There are, however,
two situations that can add to the final price: Any additions or changes
made by the homeowner, which will also be in writing and signed for, and
any unforeseen repair work to the house due to damage or rot from a preexisting
structure. In the event that we believe there may be preexisting damage
that can’t be seen before we begin work, we always quote an “estimate
range” that the repairs should not go over.
NOTE: Keep in mind that if, during the job or anytime before the final draw is paid, you decide to delete an item from the Contract and the Scope of the Work (for instance - you no longer wish to have lights installed), then we will delete the amount we charged for that individual item from the final draw. Most times we give customers a "Total Price" for all of the items to be built/installed during the job and you may have never been told an "itemized price" for a certain item; you simply agreed to the total for all work listed when you signed the contract. But when you decide to delete something, we will be deducting the amount that CHRIS had in his notebook when he initially figured the bid for your project - we will NOT be deducting the amount that YOU think is a fair price for that item. This also applies to items that you special ordered that have not arrived by the time the rest of the work is completed - we will be asking for the final draw minus what CHRIS had in his notebook for that item. Even if you are afraid that we may not come back to install that item when it finally arrives (which we always will), we will NOT be deducting the amount YOU think it will take for someone else to come install it - we will only be deducting the amount WE had in the bid for it. We price many of these items (light installs, built-ins, etc.) at a highly discounted rate because we are planning to do it while we are there doing the main work. We do not calculate each individual item as if it were something we were tooling-up to come out and do as a stand-alone item; that would not be fair to you in the initial bid. And it is not fair to us to hold out more money than WE had figured for a given item if it hasn't arrived yet or if you delete it from the Contract.
- Upon the signing of the Contract, the first draw will be due. We must have money to buy your materials and get them delivered, or no work can start. We have done it this way since our very first job in 1997, and we are not the only construction company to do so. Thousands of customers have trusted us with their money, and thousands more will in the future, even if you don't. We can't speak to the ethics of other companies or how you may have been "taken" in the past, but WE are not the Bad Guy.
If you've ever had carpeting, roofing, windows or siding installed or appliances delivered, then I bet you've paid at least half (if not all) up front. If you are someone who has somehow managed to work it out so that you've, so far, never had to pay anything up front for work to be done at your house, and you can find someone who can produce our same quality without paying anything down, then by all means hire them. But there is a reason you are on our site and reading this page. You probably already know someone who has used us, and you probably already know that our company is one-of-a-kind. For every person that is "a little uncomfortable" giving us a first draw, there are 100 more that don't bat an eye about it. And so far, not one of those "uncomfortable" people have let it be a deal-breaker for them in the end. Please keep in mind that we pay cash for your materials, and doing so keeps any material suppliers from ever having cause to file a Material Lien on your property. If you base the faith you're putting in a contractor solely on the fact that he seems like a professional because he has accounts open all around town, then you are simply praying that your job is not the one he is on when all of his "check kiting" and "financial maneuvering to stay afloat" comes crashing down! We pay all of our bills up front so that no one can ever come after us (or YOU) in the event we fall on hard times.
When you write us a check for the first draw, we cash it or wait for it to clear and then pay for & order your material to be delivered directly to your property. If in a few days you decide
you don't want to use us or do the project at all, you have material sitting there, in your possesion, that can be picked up by the lumber company for a return of your money. We cannot pay thousands of dollars for YOUR material, move to get our workers and equipment to your house, and arrange our schedule with all of our other faithful & trusting customers all in the HOPE that you (the customer that doesn't have a researchable 17 year track record) will write us a check that is good. The faith & trust works both ways here. WE have been scamed before too (out of thousands of dollars on a final payment). Not that we think YOU will do that to us, but realize this: You pay for your material up front. The minute our crew gets there, we are on the hook for payroll to those guys AND they are cutting up material that we then can't take back and will have to pay for if you aren't happy with something. So, by doing things this way, the customer & contractor are investing equally in the endeavor.
And actually, it's not equal. If you pay for your material up front, we do the job, and then you don't pay the final draw, then you got a deck for WAY cheap. But you got something for your money. What did we get out of the deal? We paid our insurance & licensing fees, we paid our crew
for the time spent on your job, we paid for your nails & hardware, we hauled your old deck to the dump, we spent hours drawing you plans & working with you over the phone & through email, we cleaned up your property, we invested in expensive gas money to get there everyday - all for NOTHING.
You write a check for an amount high enough that it will be a Felony if I run off with it.
You call the cops, do a quick report over the phone using the cancelled check & the contract for someone else (Attorney Genral on the taxpayers dime) to pursue me on your behalf. All total you are out a few minutes of your time in dealing with me & the cops and you get your money back soon, all while my business is featured on Seven On Your Side, I go to jail and my career is over. But if I cover YOUR costs on the project and MINE, and you don't pay (even partially), then I am out many HOURS of design, prep & planning time, I'm out many thousands of dollars for your project (not to mention the inablility to cover the same for my next customer), I could face mechanics liens from my crew if I can't pay them, you & I both could face material liens from the lumber company, I would have to hire an expensive attorney to try and enforce the contract, and again, my career will be over because I don't make enough to absorb such a thing. So please understand: If I ask for 50% upon signing the contract, even if I ask for the check be made out to me personally, you are still more protected than I am and you will be doing what thousands of satisfied customers have done since 1997.
- You will never be asked for access to your house by any employees.
We only need access to an outside water source and, occasionally, the
electrical breaker box. We recommend keeping your residence locked anytime
you are not there. If we leave the site while you are not home, your property
would be unprotected.
- During the construction process and long after, if you have any concerns,
about anything, you will always be able to reach Chris either on the job
site, by email, or by phone. Custom Deckworks is dedicated
to quality customer service.
Contact us today to get started
on the deck of your dreams.