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Frequently Asked Questions


DO I NEED TO HIRE AN ARCHITECT OR AN ENGINEER?
No, we have talented designers (WITH DESIGN DEGREES) that are highly skilled in creating a perfect back yard environment.  Since we are a “Design / Build” company, it is only necessary to design conceptual, therefore saving thousands that an architectural firm would need to charge.

DO I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE PERMIT PROCESS?
No, we take care of this complicated application and drawing submission work for you.  We only ask that when the permit is approved, the customer picks it up and pay for it.

DO I NEED A PERMIT?
Yes, in most cases.  However, some townships do not require one if deck is low to the ground or a detached structure.   Always assume you need a permit, but you can usually find out on the township’s web site for sure. 

ARE YOU LICENSED WITH THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA?
Yes, our License number is 16028.  It is unlawful not to have a license in the state of PA.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS SPECIALIZING IN OUTDOOR STRUCTURES?
Deck the Yards was founded in June of 1989.  We set out to be the best in the industry specializing in outdoor design and construction.  We have specialized in this niche and have much experience with best construction practices.  Pittsburgh is very challenging with it’s extreme climate conditions from hot to cold, wet and dry.  Outdoor materials react differently than your indoor stable condition.  We try to anticipate extreme thermal changes and moisture changes.  We have built hundreds of projects from small to extremely large and detailed. 

DO YOU CHARGE FOR YOUR DESIGN?
Yes, you get what you pay for.  Free design estimates are usually worth what you pay for them.  We put a lot of consideration, thought and experience into our designs to set us apart from the free designers.  It’s not just installing a structure to the back of your house but a flowing integral part of the architecture of your home.  Form and function, and correct proportions of scale all need to come together for a design to be great. 
 
I ALREADY HAD AN ARCHITECT DESIGN MY PROJECT, WILL YOU WORK FROM HIS DESIGN?
Yes, and if we can enhance it even more for your benefit, we will let you know.

DO YOU CHARGE FOR YOUR COST ESTIMATE?
No, to give you a contract in writing is no charge.

DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE?
We carry all required liability insurance for protection to the customer, worker compensation insurance to protect our workers and the customer, and vehicle insurance for all business vehicles.  A certificate of insurance can be provided at any time.  Contractors insurance is required to obtain permit.

HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE?
Cost of a project is relative to the detail and size of the build.  We are always seeking new ways to become more efficient while delivering the same or better product.  The cost may vary from project to project.

I HAVE A STRICT BUDGET, CAN YOU WORK WITH ME?
Yes, we offer different ways to accomplish what you want by possible value engineering.  However, sometimes it is better to wait and do it right by saving a little more money.  We will never try to push a customer to do a project just to get the sale.  Our policy is the customer’s best interest always takes precedence over our own interest.  This policy has served us well in the past.

HOW DOES YOUR PAYMENT TERMS WORK?
We require a 10% deposit to hold schedule position, then progress payment keeping even with the projects benchmarks of completion. 

DO YOU ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS?
Credit card providers charge approximately 2 to 3% which would need to be added to the cost of the project.  This could add significantly to customer’s cost, therefore we rejected the idea. 

DO YOU OFFER FINANCE?
No.

DO YOU GIVE DISCOUNTS OR SPECIAL DEALS?
We refuse to insult your intelligence by raising our price then turn around and offer a discount “Today Only”… and tomorrow if you go with us, we will rip you off.    How can that be right!  We are, and will always be straight shooters with our prices.  Our prices reflect what it takes to do the project right and without cutting corners and to make a reasonable profit for the health of the company.  If costs come in too high we will work with you to find another option through value engineering if need be.

DO YOU HAVE PROJECTS I COULD LOOK AT OR CAN I CALL A PAST CUSTOMER?
Yes, we however have clients who are very private and ones who are more open to people visiting their home.  We respect our customer’s privacy; therefore some projects may not be accessible.  We will try making arrangements to see projects that are similar to yours for the best evaluation.

DO YOU START MY PROJECT THEN LEAVE AND DO SOMEONE ELSES AT THE SAME TIME?
We are committed to doing your project once we get started.  A crew is assigned to your project and will be there till completion.  At times we may pull off while waiting for other trades to do their part.  The sequences of the trades are very important in obtaining the best outcome.  Occasionally there is a time delay waiting for schedules to merge. 

WILL YOU GUARANTEE A START DATE AND A COMPLETION DATE?
We start projects after fully completing the client before.  Our main focus is the project at hand and completing it correctly.  Sometimes we get last minute add-ons or unworkable weather may push us back.  Our policy is to not let the schedule dictate our quality, but our quality dictates our schedule.  This however does not mean we are lax about trying to keep a schedule on track.   We do like to know if there are special events, graduations, etc… that we need to accommodate.  It is always best to allow additional time to get projects done if timing is very important.

CAN I CHANGE MY MIND ON OPTIONS AFTER WE START THE PROJECT?
Yes, sometimes if made early enough in the production and does not cause a rework or stop of production, it is never a problem.  However, if the production needs to stop and things need reworked, additional cost may occur.

WILL MY YARD BE TORN UP AND WILL I LOSE MY SPECIAL TREE?
Depending on the type of project we are doing.  Usually there is a disturbance of grass around the area of work that will need reseeding by others.  We try to minimize unnecessary destruction of lawn.  If the project requires equipment on site for excavation, you will have lawn restoration needed for sure.  Shrubs may be isolated to some degree from being destroyed.  We ask that the customers tell us of any shrub, tree or plants that is very important to them and requires saving.  We will also let the customer know ahead of time of anything that will be destroyed.  Sometimes transplanting can be done by others ahead of time.

DO YOU BUILD USING LOW MAINTENANCE MATERIALS?
We try to use the latest and greatest of low maintenance materials.  Our objective is to provide architectural correct designs, with minimal amount of maintenance.  Nowhere is there a product that is truly “maintenance free” despite of what ads say.  Most of our projects require very little maintenance compared to real wood of days gone by.  Like anything else, it is mostly periodical cleaning that is required.



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