Bringing in outside expertise for home improvements is bound to come with questions and doubts, fears and uncertainty. We compiled all of your most frequently asked questions and went right to the source, straight to your DEKTEX advocate and designer, Olivia. Allow her to set your mind at ease and prepare you for what lies ahead on your journey.
What basic information is needed from a client when approaching you?
A clear vision of what the client wants is most helpful for me to do my job. With that I can design a 3D model, and work with them to fine-tune it, suggesting any additions that may benefit the project. If the client hasn’t come to a clear vision yet, Pinterest is a great place to start for ideas and focus.
What would you say is the biggest mistake clients make when coming to you with their vision?
Generally we encounter one of two hurdles:. Either the client wants to do too much in too small of a space, or their vision is beyond the limits of their budget.
In regard to space, fortunately design is ever-evolving, and my job is to create a design that the client will love, whether it be very simple or more adventurous. One way or another we will find a way to make our clients happy despite size constraints.
For budgetary issues, I want homeowners to remember that these projects are custom built. There comes a point with many builds when either the vision needs adjusting or the budget does, and often times the best solution is to alter the size. We never advise compromising on the quality of the materials being used, since the lifespan of the finished product is of such importance to both the client and us.
Suppose a client has decided they want a new deck, but this is the only detail they can provide. How do you guide someone who only has a vague idea of what they want?
During the design process, we generally want to begin with how our client will be using the space. My follow-up question to any inquiry will involve digging into the kind of lifestyle we are looking to accommodate. For instance an entertainer would be better suited in a larger space, a homebody might prefer more of a cozy nook.
Functionality and features are all centered around the client, and what makes most sense to them. Design is personal. How we use our deck is personal. Those spaces reflect and communicate someone’s personality and lifestyle, so we try to build from there. From that point we dive into fun details like color, texture, form, views, and so on. We are there to wade through the minutiae to come to something customized for each client.
What can a client do to reduce cost while still loving their end result?
I urge my clients to pursue what they want, but if budget is of concern, compromise on the overall size. For example, one of our hotter offerings as of late has been the StruXure Pergola, which is beautiful and offers some impressive capabilities. Such a cutting-edge option can come with a commensurate expense however, so often we will instead incorporate a smaller pergola in keeping with the budget.
Sometimes we will receive comments during the process such as, “Wow, that’s expensive,” or “Does it really cost that much?” We work with our clients so that they understand much of what is rolled into the overall cost isn’t simply material expenses. Assembling a team who each acquired exemplary skills, tools, and creativity, and providing the time and quality resources needed to deliver your project beyond your expectations, well, those things come with a cost, too. So rarely is the turn of phrase untrue that you really do get what you pay for.
What is the payment schedule like for a proposed outdoor upgrade? When is a deposit due versus final payment?
When signing on with DEKTEX, the down payment will cover the total cost of all project materials and about 10% of expected labor fees. This deposit will be due upon receipt of the contract, after which your project would be locked into our calendar. Final payment is due after the project and final walk-through with Russ, the owner of DekTex, is complete.
Tell us what the permitting process is like.
Fortunately for the homeowner, the permitting process is a breeze. Why? Because we handle everything. Our job is to create the construction drawings, submit them to the designated municipality, and make changes should they request any.
The permitting fee, which is built into your contract, covers your project building permit, your zoning permit, and the final construction drawings for you to keep with your home’s blueprint records.
Who would be my primary point of contact throughout the build?
That’s me, Olivia! I can answer any questions related to the schedule, material orders and delivery, status of the crew, and what to expect next. Before your build launches, I do my best to communicate where we are in the process, and keep you as informed as possible.
What sort of life adjustment can a client expect while waiting for work to be completed?
Throughout the duration of the build, a client should expect their property will house construction equipment and materials, tools and machinery, and any crew vehicles.
There may come a time along the way that field changes may be necessary for a project to succeed. A recent example I can think of involved a pergola with some unexpected height issues. Quickly we came to a solution that involved dropping a portion of the deck seven inches to accommodate the larger structure.
Of course these changes will never occur without advising the client, and we love interacting along the way, and welcome any questions while we are working. In fact, access to you, the client, is vital should we require discussion around a complication or needed alteration.
How many people will be working on site? What sort of equipment will it entail? Where will everyone go to the bathroom?
Our crew consists of four gentlemen, with DekTex owner, Russ, as their lead. This past year we experienced tremendous growth however, and we are in the process of adding two additional members to our team.
Equipment will vary, but for each project we employ a small Bobcat Pile Driver to install Helical Piles. We might use an equipment lift should your project include a larger piece, such as a pergola.
Our crew does not set foot in your home unless you specifically request it, and arrangements are always made for our team to answer the call of nature off-site. The privacy of your home will remain just that for the duration of the project.
What if something goes wrong during the building process?
I would be hard-pressed to think of a build without complication. This is something every contractor has come to expect, since there are unknown variables for every job site. As a business, our ability to overcome complications is what sets us apart. We work as a team for creative solutions, and always over-communicate our status with our clients for full transparency.
What kind of timeline can a client expect? Has Covid-19 caused any shortage or delay in materials?
Our schedule can fill up quickly, and currently we are seeing projects fill up our calendar 9 to 10 months down the road. Ideally we will improve our timelines as our team grows.
What we ask from our clients most of all is patience and understanding, since construction projects involve a lot of moving parts, and things can get messy. Most of the time we have to coordinate with multiple contractors for materials, each with their own schedules and timelines. I often say it’s a work of art to coordinate so many individuals and bring them together for a deadline. But that’s why you hire us! It is our job to rally everyone around your goals.
Much like any business, Covid-19 has certainly caused issues with the supply chain, but we are starting to see a lot of improvement as things normalize a bit. For most projects, we can expect the following lead times:
- Pergolas: 12 weeks
- Decking Materials: 3-4 weeks
- Lumber: 1-2 weeks
What if there is a problem long after the project is complete?
DEKTEX is a proud Timber Tech Platinum dealer, which includes a guaranteed 7-year installation and craftsmanship warranty. Hopefully this assures our clients of the longevity and quality into what they are investing.
Additionally we extend a 90-day warranty on material installation and unexpected defects. If an issue does arise, we ask that you notify us right away so that we can correct it quickly and to your satisfaction.
More than anything, we want our clients to have peace of mind that their build will stand the test of time, and be something they will love. Our clients’ excitement is what drives us, and it motivates us to work hard and deliver excellence every time.