3 Tips for Planning Custom Decks

Posted 23 February 2017 11:01 AM by Jase DeBoer

Deckorators® surveys show that your clients want personalized decks with outstanding appearance, performance and value. Use these three tips to plan outdoor living spaces that check every box on their wish list.

 1. Evaluate Your Product Options 
With so many composite decking brands and products to choose from, contractors should start their planning with research. Dig into new product information and talk to your local dealer about the available options. Compare the features and benefits of the latest offerings from different manufacturers. Make sure you get informed about:
• On-trend decking, railing, balusters, post caps, and accessories.
• Decking performance characteristics, including strength-to-weight ratio, thermal expansion/contraction, and stain-, fade- and scratch-resistance.
• Compatible deck fasteners.
• Warranty coverage for decking and railing.
• Price in relationship to looks and performance over time.

This knowledge will help you make better building material recommendations and selections in the future. As you evaluate your product options, consider signing up for a preferred-status program with business benefits tied to product usage, such as the Deckorators Certified Pro program.

 

2. Get to Know Your Customers
All of your clients have their own unique home styles, tastes and interests. They want beautiful outdoor living spaces that blend with their homes and enhance their lifestyles. To plan these personalized decks, learn as much as you can about your customers up front. It starts with finding out how each client plans to use the deck. Ask lifestyle-related questions that stretch the homeowner’s imagination, such as:
• Will you frequently entertain large groups?
• Do you plan to grill and cook on the deck?
• Are you interested in having multiple levels?
• Do you want to utilize the space when the sun goes down?
• Will children or pets use the deck?
• Would you like to use the space underneath your deck? 

Once you understand how the customer dreams of enjoying the space, move into detailed questions about material, color, texture and style preferences. Use the insight you gain to identify upsell opportunities and drive deck design.

3. Visualize the Possibilities
Whether you’re looking to explore your own design ideas or create vivid previews for your clients, a deck design program is a powerful planning tool. Use a web-based deck visualizer and complementary mobile application to make deck plans come alive. As an example, the free Deckorators Deck Visualizer enables you to design with the full line of Deckorators products in a 360-degree environment. The program features versatile tools such as picture framing, board angles, unique shapes and multi-level options.

A mobile application such as the Deckorators Deck Visualizer app for tablets is ideal for on-site consultations with your customers. Available for free from iTunes or Google Play, the Deckorators app works seamlessly with the desktop version of the program. You can save back and forth between versions and download reports with materials lists and building plans to set your projects in motion.

Follow these three tips to plan personalized decks that look amazing and deliver years of enjoyment. As you create, keep in mind the benefits of working with an innovative brand that offers a full line of customizable products, a proven track record of performance, and the peace of mind of a strong warranty.

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