Bottom line: I have a beautiful deck and I would work with Donald again.
My wife and I had been thinking it was time to redo our rotting deck and a postcard arrived at the door from Urban Decking depicting several unconventional deck designs that we both fell in love with. I sent an email to the address listed and could find little online about this company. This is why I am investing the time to write this review. I do this for your benefit.
Donald called us back on a Sunday afternoon and over time and several discussions and a site visit or two it became clear that Donald’s work is mainly word of mouth from other satisfied customers who were not looking for an assembly line deck created in two days, rather a craftsman who takes pride in his work and delivering something that both he and the customer can be proud of for years to come.
Some tips for having a successful project with Donald - or any contractor for that matter:
• Get him to sketch or model it for you. He has 30 years of experience and a great ability to visualize what will work best in his mind, but you, like us needed to see the vision for ourselves before committing (e.g. we oscillated on how high our privacy screen should be and which direction the boards should run. Donald was able to simulate the effects so we could more easily visualize what the end product would look like)
• Be clear on what your constraints are for timing and scope of work. Having a clear conversation up front with Donald about your needs will prevent complications downstream (e.g. we had an end of summer party we were planning as well as another renovation we needed so sync certain elements of Donald’s work with. He did this happily)
• Be part of the solution. Properties and projects have unexpected variations that all need to be prepared for. Donald was committed to overcoming the challenges on my lot and we all benefited to working together to understand the constraints and to develop a plan to overcome them. (e.g. I moved my natural gas furnace exhaust after the old deck was torn down to a better location…and that created some challenges for Donald’s original deck design. But we worked together to overcome them and I’m thankful for the flexibility)
In conclusion, we are very pleased with our deck and happily recommend Donald and Urban Decking.