Adding a new deck or screened porch to your home is a big investment. Finding the right contractor for the job is a high-stakes decision. It’s not something you want to take lightly. As you start the process of researching local contractors to consider, you’ll probably come across some companies that specialize in outdoor projects specifically.
Considering contractors that specialize in outdoor living projects is a natural enough impulse. You probably figure that you can’t go wrong with hiring someone that’s an expert on the specific type of work you need. But when it comes to exterior construction projects, going with a contractor that focuses exclusively on outdoor projects can actually present some issues.
5 Reasons to Hire a General Contractor with Indoor and Outdoor Experience
Outdoor specialists will have experience building decks and porches, for sure. But plenty of general contractors will as well. And if you find a good builder that has years of experience tackling indoor projects as well as outdoor ones, they bring some unique benefits to the process.
1. They’ll make sure your deck matches your home.
Most deck specialists that only work on outdoor projects tend to keep their focus only on the outside part of your house. Maybe that doesn’t seem like an issue—your porch or deck will be entirely outside, after all. But one of the benefits of having a deck or screened porch to begin with is so your experience of your home is no longer neatly divided into inside and outside. You want to be able to move seamlessly between the two.
Outdoor specialists mostly think of the outdoor addition as its own thing, and choose their materials and design accordingly. A general contractor that also has indoor experience will look at your deck as part of the larger whole with your house. They’ll design your outdoor addition to aesthetically match the inside of your home, and they’ll have experience with the best materials that look good enough for the indoors, while still offering the resilience required for outdoor structures.
2. They’ll have a better handle on the transitional spaces.
A deck or porch may be an outdoor addition, but it needs to connect to the interior of your home. That means including at least one door, and possibly some windows that connect to both the house and the outdoor structure. For these transitional parts of the project—the ones that are as much about the inside of your house as the outdoor space, it pays to have someone who understands both equally. A general contractor with plenty of indoor and outdoor experience will have the knowledge to help you figure out the right style of doors and windows, and know how to install them so they work well from both sides.
3. They understand your home’s structure.
An outdoor addition may seem like its own thing, but anything that attaches to your house needs to be built in harmony with the main structure. If not—in a worst-case scenario—your new deck or porch could be built in a way that affects the structural integrity of your home. A deck or porch that’s designed without thought to how it relates to the existing structure could load too much weight on the house, more than your current foundation can handle.
A contractor with more comprehensive construction knowledge will recognize the risks of such a design. They’ll know how to either amend the plans so the deck can be added safely, or know how to shore up the house’s structure to match the support the new addition requires.
4. Your deck will (probably) look better.
Outside projects often aren’t designed with the same standards for beauty as inside ones. For some homeowners, that’s fine. Maybe you don’t care if the overall look and feel of your new deck and porch is on the rougher side But for anyone that wants their outdoor living space to feel high end—as comfortable and beautiful as the inside of the house—you want a deck that’s built to the same standards of any home improvements you take on inside.
The right contractor won’t treat the looks of your outdoor project as an afterthought. They’ll make sure the design makes it look as good as any room in your house, and help you find materials that combine beauty with durability.
5. You can start a relationship that pays off for all future projects.
The process of finding a good contractor takes time and energy. And if you’re hiring someone for the first time, it means putting your faith in someone new. Why make yourself go through all that again the next time you have a project?
If you go with a general contractor that has the skills to take on all your future home improvement projects—not just the ones for outdoor additions—then you can skip the research process next time you have a project in mind. Once you know a good contractor you can trust, you can go straight to them for all the future work you do on your house. It saves you time and energy, and means you always know going in that you’re hiring someone reputable.
Get Started with a Respected North Carolina General Contractor
To find someone that’s as skilled in outdoor living projects as indoor home improvements, check their website and peruse their portfolio. Any company that has experience with both will be able to share photos and testimonials from a variety of project types.
For homeowners in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, Fineline Construction has a proven track record of a wide variety of home improvement projects—both indoor and outdoor. And many of our clients reliably come back to us for each new project they have after the first. If you want to discuss the details of the deck or porch project you’re envisioning, get in touch.