If you're a homeowner, chances are you know all about home improvements. Sometimes they're a necessity; sometimes they're more of a fun upgrade. One home improvement that generally falls into the fun category is exterior hardscaping, like decks and patios. Since these types of home improvements are exterior to the home, there's a tendency for homeowners to be less vigilant in their research on patio and deck contractors than they would be on kitchen or bath remodelers, for example.

Even though this type of home improvement is exterior to your home, it's no less important to the safety and functionality of your home. In fact, decks and patios are highly visible, frequently used, and exposed to the elements all year long. Those factors all make it important for homeowners to choose the best local patio contractors because professional, top-quality construction is a must.

One of the biggest challenges to finding great deck and patio builders actually may be in the sheer number of them that are out there. It's hard to walk through a neighborhood in summer and not see some type of exterior home improvement project going on. But, just because your neighbor is using a certain contractor doesn't mean you should. Always take the time to do your own research so you are confident of your choice of contractor.

We've assembled a list of 5 must-do's when researching patio & deck contractors to help you get started.

5 Tips for Selecting Deck and Patio Builders

You can find local patio contractors by getting referrals from friends and neighbors or even signs you see as you travel around town. You can also hop online and a quick internet search will bring up several local options. Once you have made a list of potential contractors, dig deeper to make sure they're the best match for your needs. 1. Check Reviews. You should always check reviews of deck and patio builders. The internet makes this so easy that there is no reason to skip this step. Check sites like Houzz, GuildQuality, Angie's List, Facebook, and Google for reviews about different companies to see what others are saying. Pay particular attention to reviews related to the type of work you want to have done. Many patio & deck contractors do other construction work too; it may not be relevant to base your decision on their basement remodeling reviews if you're interested in adding a deck to your property. 2. Visit Their Website. Again, there is no excuse not to visit the company's website. Visit the site to view their portfolio of work and see if you like their designs. You should also be able to find out what kinds of materials they use and if they are the materials you want for your new deck or patio. The company website is also a great place to find certifications, years in business, and testimonials. 3. Ask Questions. Of course, you'll want to talk to contractors before you select one. Write down a list of all of your questions and make sure they get answered. You want to know as many details as possible about the contractor, their experience and approach to projects, and how they can help you. If a contractor isn't willing to answer many questions, brushes you off, or makes you feel like a pest, move on to another contractor. Customer service and communication are important in any construction project; you need to find a contractor that values this and with whom you feel you can form a good business relationship. 4. Carefully Review Bids. Talk to several contractors and get several bids or quotes. Review them carefully to see exactly what is included and if it meets your needs. Be careful about choosing a contractor based solely on the lowest price. While it's understandable to have a budget and keep that in mind, blinding accepting the bid with the lowest price may come back to haunt you. Remember, you get what you pay for and many times an overly low bid is a red flag. 5. Shop Local. Pay attention to where a contractor is located and try to choose a local deck or patio builder. Not only do local contractors hire local people, they will be familiar with local building codes and permit requirements, and will be easily available to you down the road if you ever have a problem with your new deck or patio or need a repair made.

Contact Erdmann Exteriors' Deck and Patio Builders To Schedule a Free Consultation

If you are looking for patio builders with a great reputation and the experience to back it up, look no further than Erdmann Exteriors & Construction! We have been improving Chicagoland homes – inside and out – since 1982! Our family owned and operated business has helped thousands of homeowners make the most of their yards with new decks and patios. Call 1-847-357-9607 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today!