Having a deck added to your home is a great way to create a beautiful outdoor living space. Not to mention, decks provide an excellent return on investment, should you ever choose to sell your home down the road. Before you sign a contract with any deck builder, however, there are some important questions you'll want to ask:

What Type of Material Will You Use?

When most people think of a deck, they tend to think of wooden construction. If you are having a wooden deck installed, you'll want to know exactly what type of wood is being used so you know more about its durability and how you'll need to maintain it. Ideally, the wood used in your deck construction should be pressure-treated for maximum durability. For lower maintenance, you might also consider a composite deck material, which will never need to be stained or sealed.

What Does Your Quote Include (And Not Include)?

Be sure to find out exactly what is included in your quoted price, as well as what you may need to pay extra for. For example, will your quoted price include clean-up of leftover debris and other materials? What about sealing the deck when the time comes? Some companies will even include some basic landscaping around your new deck space, so don't hesitate to ask.

What Type of Warranty or Guarantee Can You Provide?

Any reputable deck builder should be able to provide you with some kind of guarantee on their work. This should include not only the materials used to build your deck, but the labor involved as well. Find out exactly how your builder will stand behind their work and for how long before you sign a contract of any kind.

How Will Payment Terms Be Arranged?

Payment arrangements can vary greatly from one deck builder to the next. Some will require a small deposit up front and the rest upon completion of your deck, whereas others may request installment payments as the project progresses. Just make sure you're familiar with the terms your deck builder has set, and that you're comfortable with them as well.

These are just a few of the most important questions to ask a deck builder before signing on that dotted line. By getting the answers to these and other questions related to your project, you can move forward with confidence and end up with a deck you love.