Navigating the Labyrinth: Choosing the Right Contractor for Your Outdoor Living Space



Starting a new outdoor living space project? Eager to enjoy those serene mornings on a deck or in a screened porch? We understand your excitement. But, before reaching that dream, you’re faced with the daunting task of sifting through estimates, vetting contractors, and making significant decisions.


The Allure of Three Estimates
It’s common advice: “Get three estimates.” But, as you unroll each one, with varying figures and details, the process becomes less about choosing and more about decoding. Are you even comparing similar projects across these estimates?
The Role of Design and Drawings
If your project demands a design or a drawing, this becomes even more crucial. Why? Because it ensures that every contractor envisions the same outcome. Without a cohesive design, one might picture a simple wooden deck, while another envisions an intricate, multi-tiered wonder. It’s not just about ensuring you get what you want; it’s also about making sure contractors are pricing the same thing.
Decoding the Maze
Facing different numbers can be bewildering and even frustrating.
Estimate vs. Quote: This is your first puzzle. While they might seem synonymous, they’re not. An estimate is an educated guess, a ballpark figure. A quote? That’s a firm price. The difference can greatly impact your project’s final cost.
Value Over Price: Not all estimates reflect the same inclusions. Some might add in high-quality materials; others might cut corners to give you a lower price. It’s pivotal to know what’s behind each number.
The Pitfalls of Bargain Hunting
In a world where everyone’s looking for a good deal, it’s tempting to go with the lowest price. But remember the adage: “You get what you pay for.” Our most satisfied clients are those who wanted their project built right the first time. Opting for the cheapest company might feel like a win, but what if they’re unreachable when a problem arises later? Or, even worse, they vanish or continuously dodge your calls? The initial savings can lead to larger costs down the road.
Vetting: Beyond the Numbers
This is the real legwork.

  1. Licenses: Always validate the contractor’s license. A quick check on sites like the MHIC can save you a lot of future headaches.
  2. Reviews and Websites: A company’s digital footprint speaks volumes. Dive deep into reviews and browse their website. Consistent positivity and a professional online presence often hint at reliability.

It’s overwhelming, we know. But once you’ve done the legwork, trust your instincts. Merging fact-based research with your intuition often leads to the best decisions.
A Uniform Scope
A significant point of potential confusion: Did every contractor receive the same brief? Any variation can lead to skewed estimates. Uniformity is key.
Concluding Thoughts
Yes, starting an outdoor living space project can be both exhilarating and intimidating. The process, laden with decisions, can be a maze of confusion. But remember, the goal isn’t to find the cheapest option, but an option that offers value, reliability, and peace of mind. After all, the dream isn’t just to build but to build it right.