After getting quotes from a number of different renovation companies, carpenters and "handyman" services, I settled on Brian's Handyman Service. Brian got back to me with drawings for his proposed deck and cover along with information on the various building codes. He explained how he would tie in the deck roof with the main structure so that water would not get in behind the siding where it met as well as ideas for future changes (like a stairway down the front to a fire-pit!). He also broke down each days worth of work in terms of what he expected to complete. In addition, throughout the project he gave me a detailed break down of material costs and labour. Brian is a friendly and approachable fellow who is easy to work with.
The deck itself is beautiful and the way he built it you can now tell it will outlast the house itself unlike the other DIY deck the previous homeowners built that was rotten throughout and built with untreated 2x4's!!! His attention to detail is amazing and I've had many people who visit us ask who did our deck as they love it.
As for Brian, you can tell him what you want and he won't give you any static in terms of telling you how you should design your project, rather he takes your information and then goes through everything with you making suggestions along the way (unlike like some of my other contractors who didn't realize I was paying THEM not the other way around!).
We had some issues with the pine board we used for the deck ceiling to give it a finished look and Brian came back and fixed the issue very quickly. The choice of materials was ours and probably not appropriate for the application but Brian made it work and ensured we were happy.
I will be bringing Brian back for a number of other project as we are very happy with the deck he built and know we'll get an awesome result when he's finished.