General FAQs

Do you offer finance?

Yes! We offer a variety of financing options including 18-month zero-interest and Quick home equity options that can be processed in as little as 15 days. Let our financing specialists help you find the right product for your needs.

Must my deck and patio contractor be licensed and insured?

Absolutely YES! It is illegal in Maryland to perform home improvements without a license. KP Contracting, LLC is licensed with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) and maintains $1Milllion in General Liability Insurance. The MHIC requires a bond from every licensed contractor and so the MHIC provides recourse if the contractor does not resolve workmanship issues or complete the work in a timely manner. If a homeowner chooses to use an unlicensed contractor, they will bear all the consequences of poor workmanship or incomplete work, and they will have little to no recourse legally or with the MHIC. DON’T RISK IT.

What are the biggest mistakes when selecting a contractor?

Buying for price rather than value. Every contractor has a different business strategy when pricing a job. Some structure their business plan on being the lowest bidder. They are then required to make it up in inferior lumber and staffing / training levels that limit their ability to properly service a customer. At KP Contracting, we started determining the high-quality experience we want every customer to experience. Our pricing strategy then incorporates the material quality, the high-level training and talent of our workers and the staff available to ensure good customer service.

Using a contractor who requires the customer to pull the permit for them.  This should send a huge red flag into the air. There is a high probability that the contractor is asking the customer to pull the permit because there is an issue with either their license or the county that prohibits them from pulling the permit themselves. A contractor should pull their own permits so that they are forever responsible.

Using a contractor that requires the customer to purchase all the materials. This should also put up a huge red flag. This is normally an indication that the contractor does not have the working capital or credit to purchase the materials themselves. It can also indicate that the contractor has too many jobs going or does not have the resources to do the purchasing themselves. This arrangement sometimes works out, but most times results in a contractor walking off the job or stringing the customer out the job far longer than it should take.

Failing to check out the contractor’s online presence. It is a digital world, and it is nearly impossible for a reputable contractor to hide. If you are unable to find them, that is not a good sign. Reputable contractors will nearly always have an online presence to review.

Deck FAQs

Do I need a building permit to build a deck?

Yes! All counties in Maryland require a building permit for a deck. There is no good reason to build without a permit, and it should raise a huge, red flag if a contractor suggests it. Many times, a contractor wants to build without a permit because the builder is either not licensed to pull a permit, or they are trying to shortcut on building codes and inspections. NEVER pull the permit yourself…have the builder do it and be ultimately responsible to the county. The permit and inspections buy you a peace of mind, and it’s not worth saving a couple of hundred dollars for the added risk. More and more, counties are using satellite images to catch unpermitted work and homebuyers are searching online records to ensure work on the home was permitted.

Can I use my existing framing and install new rails and deck boards?

Sometimes. There are occasions when a deck was built using wood decking or inferior materials in which the deck can be economically upgraded with composite decking and vinyl railing. One of our deck professionals can assess the condition of the framing and can provide a recommendation of whether to save the framing or to replace it. The last thing we want to do is take your money for a deck remodel only to have the old framing rot or fail prematurely. Also, many decks were built without building permits or before modern standards were implemented so that the basic framing design does not meet modern building standards.

How long does composite decking last?

Most composite decking manufacturers offer a warranty of 25+ years. The Fiberon decking product that is part of our Signature Series of decks comes with a 30-year manufacturer’s warranty.

What type of framing lumber should I use for my deck?

Never ever settle for pressure-treated lumber from box stores and cut-rate lumber companies that provide treated lumber with the warning label “Not approved for ground contact.” It is an inferior treatment process, and the lumber will not last nearly as long as lumber specially treated to be rated “Ground Contact.” There are only a handful of suppliers in the state of Maryland that carry Ground Contact lumber, and it is obviously more expensive…make sure your contractor uses one of these suppliers so that you don’t regret it a few short years from now!!

What is the best composite decking for me?

There are hundreds of products available today. Trex, Fiberon, and Timber Tech are all great manufacturers, and most customers will be happy with the performance of nearly all composite decking products. The only decking that we recommend against is the budget Trex products sold in box stores. Otherwise, Trex makes great products. We have done the hard work for you and have developed our Signature Series deck where we have selected what we believe to be the best combination of cost, appearance, and performance.