Those are estimates, not bids (and they are not the same thing)

I visit with potential clients nearly every week of the year offering a free consultation on plans to create new outdoor living spaces. On Monday it may be a fixer-upper redecking project. On Wednesday I could be discussing options for a 3-season room with attached Columbus paver patio and pergola. The range of projects is nearly endless. With all of this experience, you might wonder why I can’t give you a “bid” that you can easily compare with bids from other builders.

12345The answer is that most homeowners don’t have the plans and specifications for the custom project that they want to build. Without the details included in those documents, it’s virtually impossible to give a reliable bid for a job. Anyone who tries has to make dozens of assumptions about the project and its unlikely that any two builders will make all the same ones. It’s the classic problem of trying to compare apples to oranges.

What kind of assumptions do these jobs demand? Here are a few, just to give you an idea.

You want a wood deck made of pressure-treated pine. Is that premium clear pine or normal, builder-grade pine? Will you use nails or screws? What metal are they made from? Polymer coating or ceramic? How long are they? How thick? Is the thread type standard or coarse? How do you want to orient the boards? How much space will be between the joists? What shape will the deck be? How high off the ground? Those are just a few of the questions at the top of a very long list for a simple wood deck. They sound ridiculous and nit-picky when you list them out, but each answer has an impact on the cost and results of the project.

If you are considering a Columbus composite deck, paver patio or screened porch, the number of factors to consider really goes through the roof (so to speak). And those are just the tangible materials expenses for the project. When you hire someone to custom design and build an outdoor living space for your home, you also must look at factors like the builder’s track record in the local area, certifications and references. Do they build to minimum code requirements or do they exceed them? How happy are their past customers? Will you feel comfortable around this contractor and his crew at 7:30 in the morning when you are wearing your bathrobe? Where does he get his carpenters? How long have they worked with his company? If there is a problem or a delay, will he return your calls promptly and work with you to solve the issues that arise? Does the builder offer a warranty?

Archadeck of Columbus is committed to creating outdoor living spaces that are beautiful, durable, safe, and appropriate for how the clients want to use them. It’s about value. I won’t attempt to compete on price, but I stand behind the quality to price ratio on every job I do. Look at photos. Ask for references and go visit those jobs in person. Talk to past customers– both ours and our competitions.  A few extra bucks in your wallet are thin comfort when your major home project doesn’t turn out like you planned.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Contact Archadeck of Columbus today to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at We look forward to your call.

Author: archadeckofcolumbus

I began my association with Archadeck in 2001 when I was working for a subcontractor that Archadeck of Columbus was employing for patio installations. I had been working in the Landscape/Hardscape industry for quite a few years at the time and immediately noticed a difference in how Archadeck operated in comparison with other deck companies that we worked with. Over the years of working with Archadeck on numerous projects, large and small, I came to realize the importance of what they were selling; beautiful designs, top-notch craftsmanship and a world class customer experience. This is what drove me to start working for Archadeck in January of 2011 and eventually buying the company in 2016. My wife, Amber, and my son, Logan, could not be happier to be a part of such a wonderful organization. We look forward to the future as we build the outdoor living environments our customers dream of with the “world class” service they deserve!

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