As is the case with any two parties working together, homeowners and deck builders don’t always see eye to eye. The cause of these disagreements can vary, but there are common reasons the two groups may disagree. Our readers offered their insight regarding disagreements between homeowners and deck builders. Keep reading to see where they say the problems start.

Volodymyr Barabakh

Volodymyr Barabakh

Volodymyr Barabakh is the Co-Founder and Project Director of building contractor Structural Beam.

Changing Time Frames

A common dispute which arises between homeowner and deck builder is when agreed deadlines are missed. This can be frustrating as it sets your end date back, and it also leads you to pay for more hours of labor. Remember, however, that it can be difficult to stick to an exact timeframe since this type of construction can be affected by weather and is, therefore, harder to predict.

If you are concerned that your contractor is taking advantage of you, there are a couple of steps you can take to ensure tasks stay on track. Ask them for an updated end date and request a plan which they will follow in order to keep to the new deadline. Once agreed upon, discuss how any future delays will be handled. If necessary, outline a budget cap.

Timeline Conflicts and Miscommunications

Being in the interior designing industry, I have personally witnessed several instances where there are conflicts between homeowners and deck builders because the project is not being completed on time. There can be several reasons for that. For example, labor is delaying the end result, resources have a delayed delivery, or holidays were not taken into account.

Permits for significantly larger installments might take a longer time. Usually, the homeowners are not even aware that permits are required, but that is where the deck builders need to fill them in and inform them. It is important that adequate communication is occurring, otherwise that might lead to serious misunderstandings.

Homeowners might inform the deck builders about the type of deck they want for their home. But the duration of the project and lack of overshadowing by the homeowner might lead to different end results. The information delivered to the labor should be clear so there is no miscommunication and homeowners can get the decks they are paying for.

David Mason

David Mason

David Mason, Owner of The Knobs Company.
Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton

Zac Houghton, CEO at Loftera.

Communication is Key

There are many reasons a homeowner may disagree with a deck builder. Often, these disagreements arise from miscommunication or even no communication at all. Before construction begins, it’s important to have the scope of work outlined in your contract and reviewed between you and your contractor. This can prevent any potential misunderstandings that may arise during construction.

  • Here are some common disagreements we’ve seen among homeowners and deck builders:
  • Miscommunication regarding the scope of work before construction begins
  • A change in taste or wants of either party during the project
  • Lack of communication between parties throughout the project
  • Inappropriate expectations based on homeowner research as opposed to what is possible due to their home’s unique conditions

Age-old Debate about Safety and Aesthetics

One of the most common disagreements between homeowners and deck builders is aesthetic. While deck builders know exactly how things have to be done, homeowners don’t always. This can lead to disagreements between the two, with homeowners relaying unrealistic expectations about how the deck should look and the deck builder having to explain why it’s not entirely possible. It is the age-old debate between safety and aesthetics.

Andre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski, CEO, Improovy

Dan Belcher

Dan Belcher

Dan Belcher, Founder, and CEO of Mortgage Relief.

Risky Deck Designs

Homeowners build decks for a variety of reasons. Decks are usually a hardwood platform that is raised above the land and attached to the main structure. It simply increases the amount of outdoor living area in a home. The two most crucial people in deck construction are the homeowner and the deck builder.

However, I’ve seen that conflicts arise frequently when creating a deck. The most common disagreement I see between homeowners and deck builders is when the design takes precedence over the safety of the deck. Some homeowners want a deck with a design and materials that deck builders consider risky.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors' statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.


  • Nate Barrett

    As the President of SRI Decks, my greatest satisfaction comes from the immediate sense of fulfillment that our work brings. From the initial design discussions with our customers to the moment we capture the final project in photos, I feel an immense pride in my team for their dedicated efforts. My passion for hands-on work and outdoor projects is matched only by the joy I derive from seeing a delighted customer when we’ve successfully completed a job. Fun Facts: I like hot chocolate in my coffee. I’ve been with SRI for 12 years, prior to ownership. I have a daughter, 3 dogs and a loving girlfriend.

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