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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Deck and Patio Contractors Rated Highest in Quality?

Only the best deck and patio contractors in Napa County have earned the Diamond Certified award by scoring Highest in Quality in the most accurate and rigorous ratings process anywhere. You’ll never be fooled by fake reviews, since all research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed. Most companies can’t pass this test. That’s why you’ll feel confident when you choose a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor listed below. Simply click on the name of a Diamond Certified company below to read ratings results, informational articles and verbatim customer survey responses.

Thousands of customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program cuts out mediocre and poorly performing companies. If you want quality, you’ll have confidence in choosing Diamond Certified companies. And you’re backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Napa County – Decks & Patios CATEGORY

Weston Leavens is a 29-year veteran of the decking industry and owner of Deckmaster Fine Decks, a Diamond Certified company since 2009. He can be reached at (707) 902-3955 or by email.

Weston Leavens

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Weston Leavens: Deck Master

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SEBASTOPOL – Weston Leavens always knew he wanted to work with wood for a living, but he also wanted to find an industry niche that offered the best of two scenarios. “I discovered that as a carpenter, you basically have two choices,” he explains. “You can be a framer, which enables you to work outside but all your work gets covered up, or you can be a finish carpenter, in which case your work remains seen but you’re stuck inside all the time.” Eventually, Weston found that building decks offered the happy medium he was looking for. “With deck building, I was able to work outdoors and create products that didn’t get covered up at the end of the job.” Twenty-five years later, as owner of Deckmaster Fine Decks, Weston continues to enjoy the balanced benefits that come with being a deck builder.

Weston’s major contribution to his industry is a groundbreaking technique that literally takes an inverse approach to traditional deck building. “As I spent more time in the industry, I found I was replacing a lot of decks that weren’t really that old,” he says. “In many cases, I found this was the result of water penetrating the nail and screw holes in the deck, which then caused its understructure to rot prematurely.” Weston surmised that if he could devise a way to attach the deck boards from below, he could avoid this issue and improve the deck’s aesthetic quality at the same time. “We ultimately came up with the hidden bracket system, which revolutionized the deck industry and is still the best way to build a deck.”

Originally from Southern California, Weston moved to Sonoma County in 1996 with his wife, Jenny, after deciding it was time for a change of scenery. “We were sick of city life and wanted to relocate to a more rural area,” he says. The Leavenses found just the atmosphere they were looking for in the small town of Sebastopol, where they continue to appreciate its characteristic tranquility and natural beauty.

Outside of work, Weston participates in everything from daily yoga to outdoor activities like kayaking and walking his dog, Bo. One of his lesser-known hobbies, however, is competing in chess tournaments. “I’m no Bobby Fischer, but I’m not bad,” he laughs. Weston also likes to hook up his camper and hit the road on occasion, which he says is the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow. “Jenny and I enjoy taking road trips to remote locations, so I think if I retired we’d plan a longer, more elaborate trip and check out some new places we’ve never been to.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite tree?
A: Redwood.

Q: Ever had a conversation with a famous person?
A: I once did a project for Lance Alworth, an NFL Hall of Famer who played for the San Diego Chargers. I actually didn’t know who he was at the time. I noticed he had some silver football trophies on his mantle, so I said, “It looks like you’re into football,” to which he casually replied, “Yeah, I played for the Chargers.”

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: I have no idea—I’m still trying to figure out how to stay in the present!

Q: What’s your favorite animal?
A: My dog, Bo. Everybody wants to know what his breed is, so we call him a Sonoma Shepherd because he’s just a mix.

Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: Scrambled.

Q: Who makes you laugh?
A: Bill Cosby and Eddie Izzard.

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A Cutting-Edge Product for Non-Wood Decks

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SEBASTOPOL — Many people love authentic wood decks, but not everyone wants to deal with the maintenance they require. That’s why, over the last two decades, we’ve seen a profusion of non-wood or “composite” decking materials hit the market, each of which… Read more

The Benefits of Hidden Brackets

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SEBASTOPOL — If you’re in the market for a new deck, you may find yourself overwhelmed with choices, as material options range from composites and synthetics to hardwoods and softwoods. However, an equally important factor to consider is how you want… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: A Better Product for Composite Decks

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Complete Video Transcription:

SEBASTOPOL — Host, Sarah Rutan: When planning to build a composite deck, it’s important to purchase a high-quality product. Today we’re in Sebastopol with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

INDUSTRY INFORMATION - Napa County – Decks & Patios
  • Kohler

  • Grohe

  • Hansgrohe

  • Benjamin Moore

  • Anderson

  • Marvin

  • Gastite

  • Kichler

  • Azek Deck

AITC American Institute of Timber Construction (http://www.aitc-glulam.org/)
APA EWA American Engineered Wood Association (http://www.apawood.org/)
AWC American Wood Council (http://www.awc.org/)
CRA California Redwood Association (http://www.calredwood.org/)
CSLB Contractor State License Board (http://www.cslb.ca.gov/)

DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov)
DIA Deck Industry Association (http://www.deckindustry.org/)
HPBA Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (http://www.hpba.org/)
NADRA North American Deck and Railing Association (http://www.nadra.org/)
NAHB National Association of Home Builders (http://www.nahb.org/)
NCBE North Coast Builders Exchange (http://www.ncbeonline.com/)
WRCLA Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (http://www.wrcla.org/)
WWPA Western Wood Products Association (http://www.wwpa.org/)

Know What You Want
Questions For You to Answer Before Hiring a Napa County Deck and Patio Contractor

You need to decide and list the details of your deck or patio project. Be prepared to discuss the building material you have chosen. Other issues you will want to address the are the colors you are looking for, the style and the timeline you are considering. Here are some questions that you may want to ask:

  1. Do I want a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  2. Are there any changes or repairs I need to make to my house before the deck and patio contractors start their work?
  3. Is this within our budget?
  4. Am I planning on living in this house over the long-term or am I going to use it as rental property?
  5. What personal and professional characteristics would I like my Napa County deck and patio contractor to have such as good communication skills, timeliness, honesty, integrity, and reliability?
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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask In Person With A Deck and Patio Contractor in Napa County

After you have narrowed your choices to a few of the best Napa County deck and patio contractors, visit a few of these in person to meet their representative. These are some questions to include when you visit a Napa County deck and patio contractor:

  1. Will you provide a written or a verbal estimate?
  2. When will you clean up?
  3. What kind of warranty or guarantee do you offer?
  4. What does you warranty cover?
  5. How many deck and patio jobs have you completed in Napa County?
  6. Will you provide a written contract?
  7. Can you provide us with 10 recent references?
  8. Will you need permits to begin this job?
  9. If permits are needed, who is responsible for getting them?
  10. Will you be hiring any subcontractors for any of the work on the deck or patio?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions to Ask References of Napa County Deck and Patio Contractors

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a deck and patio contractor in Napa County in the cities of St. Helena, Calistoga and Yountville and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your deck and patio contractor. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the deck and patio contractor are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are hand-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, ask specifically for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    1. Were you satisfied with the services from this deck and patio contractor?
    2. Did they finish the deck or patio on time?
    3. Did you feel the deck and patio contractor cleaned up satisfactorily after they completed your job?
    4. If you live in a smaller area such as Angwin, Deer Park and Oakville, were you charged extra for the deck and patio contractor’s travel?
    5. Did they communicate well with you and keep you updated on the status of your deck and patio project?
    6. Did the deck and patio contractor show up on time?
    7. What type of deck did they do for you?
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  • Review Your Options
    Consider These Questions and Review Your Options to Get a Good Deck and Patio Contract in Napa County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of a deck and patio contractor is an important decision. So before deciding on the best deck and patio contractor in Napa County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions.

    1. What does this deck and patio contractor offer that is specific to what I need?
    2. Does the deck and patio contractor offer a written warranty to back up their work?
    3. Do I have enough budgeted for this deck or patio project?
    4. Can the deck and patio contractors in Napa County meet your needs when it comes to scheduling, customer service and experience?
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  • How To Work With
    Accurate Estimates for a New Deck or Patio From a Napa County

    Building a new deck or patio doesn’t need to be a major financial setback. Plan your budget and stick to it. After you have found a Napa County deck and patio contractor that you can trust, you will have peace of mind having your deck or patio built.

    Meet with the contractor and outline what your specific plan is for your deck or patio. Use the notes that you have taken so you can accurately describe any concerns that you have. Be as detailed as possible and don’t rush into the project. It is as important for you to hear their suggestions and observations as it is for them to hear you. If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation. You need to completely comprehend the plan and any problems or concerns you have.

    Be sure to get all estimates in writing before any of the deck work begins. The estimate should include an itemized list of the cost of the building supplies and the labor. Don’t ever sign a blank estimate.

    Finalizing a Napa County Deck and Patio Contractor’s Contract

    When you feel satisfied with the information you have received from your Napa County deck and patio contractor, sign the contract. Make sure that they have a phone number where you can be reached at all times.

    Expect the contractor to stay within the estimate. However, if the actual building costs exceed the original amount of the estimate, the deck and patio contractor must get your approval before moving ahead.

    Getting Ready for Your New Deck and Patio

    Professional deck and patio contractors are able to handle the very small to very large aspects of their work. However, there are some things that you can do to prepare for them and to make their progress in building your deck and patio go more smoothly and more quickly. Doing these things may even cut down on their labor costs and can keep your home and belongings from being damaged.

    Remove any furniture or movable items from the deck and patio area. Before they begin work on your deck and patio, remove anything that may be in the way such as barbecues or lawn chairs. The more you do the more quickly they can get to work.

    Trim plants and bushes that are in the way of your new deck and patio area. You can save money and time by preparing the area for building by trimming or removing any plants, trees or bushes that are in the way. Ask your contractor what they recommend and the amount of space they require.

    Keep your pets and children away from the area. Your deck and patio contractor will be focused on building your deck and patio and should not have to watch out for your pets or children at any time. This not only prevents accidents and injury but also any expense that comes from accidents that may happen because of children and pets being in the way.

    Provide parking space and room for their work vehicles to maneuver. Some deck and patio contractors have large vehicles that require more space than average. Contact your contractor before they begin building and ask them how many parking spaces they need and how much room they need for oversized vehicles. It is also helpful to walk through the area with your contractor so any hazards or clearance issues can be pointed out before the actual building of your deck and patio begins.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    It’s About Being a Good Napa County Deck and Patio Contractor’s Customer

    It's the deck and patio contractor’s responsibility to put in a quality deck or patio using the best possible installation techniques. But you also play a big part in the success of the building of your deck and patio. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Napa County deck and patio contractor.

    • Be clear and upfront with the deck and patio contractor. Let them know what you want, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Pay your deck and patio contractor promptly.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Ask your deck and patio contractor if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re building your deck and patio. The work will move along more smoothly if your deck and patio contractor can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • Before you hire a deck and patio contractor in Napa County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the deck and patio contractor’s representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local deck and patio contractors occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the building of your deck and patio on schedule.

    We all want to be good customers. Deck and patio contractors in Napa County and the cities of Napa and American Canyon appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. This help things go smoother and also helps you resolve  problems.

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Check The Work
Checking the Work By Comparing the Invoice With the Completed Deck and Patio

When your deck or patio is complete, most contractors will give you a written invoice that details the completed work. Your invoice will include:

  • The contractor’s name, physical address and license number.
  • A list of all services performed.
  • An itemized list of all the building supplies purchased.
  • The total cost for supplies, including the amount due for labor.
  • Any applicable warrantees or guarantees provided by manufacturers or the company.

It is wise to compare the completed work with the written invoice. Ask your contractor to walk through the deck or patio with you and show you the work. Check the work with the invoice. During the walk-through, ask if there are any special instructions for maintaining your new deck or patio. If you have any questions about the work or materials used to build the deck or patio, now is the time to ask.

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Written Warranties
Be Sure You Receive Written Warranties On Your New Deck or Patio

Most good deck and patio contractors offer some time of warranty on the deck or patio and the materials that are used to build it. Ask that the details of the warranty be provided to you in writing. This information should include:

  • The contractor’s name and physical address.
  • What products and parts of the deck or patio are covered. This should also include whether the contractor will replace or repair your deck or patio in the event of a product failure.
  • Your responsibility if you place a warranty claim (i.e., if you have to pay for labor or materials, or if you are required to pay a prorated amount).
  • Terms, limitations and exclusions on the materials and workmanship.
  • If the warranties are transferrable to the new owner if you sell your home.
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Top 10 Requests
Top Deck and Patio Requests

Is it time to replace your deck or patio or to add to your home by building a deck? You will want to know which type of deck is right for you. Deck and patio contractors in Napa County offer a variety of materials for building your deck or patio. Some are more popular than others and the maintenance requirement also varies. The following are the most familiar requests.

Eco-Friendly Vinyls and Composites
Many homeowners are interested in building decks with green materials. There is a variety of materials that meets the standards of these homeowners. Probably the most eco-friendly material for decks is wood, but there are also many composites that are made up of a high percentage of recycled materials. Vinyl is also available that meets this criteria.

Untreated Softwood
Untreated softwood is inexpensive. Softwoods include pine and fir. Although it is inexpensive, it will be necessary to treat it every two years or so with stain, paint or sealant. A problem with untreated softwood is that it is susceptible termites.

Solid Composite Wood
Composite wood gives you the look of natural wood, however the maintenance is much easier. A composite wood deck is made of a blend of wood fiber with plastic. This type of wood comes in different colors and it is very durable. Solid composite wood decks expand and contract as the weather fluctuates. The plastic gives this deck more durability.

Pressure Treated Lumber
Many consider this a very affordable option. It does require some maintenance and although it is pressure treated, it needs to be taken care of. With regular maintenance, this decking will last and look great.

Vinyl
Vinyl is a durable option for decks. It is lower in maintenance than wood but does give more of a contemporary look. Its appearance is more man-made. One of its greatest benefits is that it does not warp or rot and it is not subject to mold. Most vinyl decking comes with a lifetime warranty.

Tropical Lumber
Tropical lumber or exotic imports are considered heavy hardwoods. This can include mahogany or ipe. This lumber is resistant to insects and damage from weather.

Aluminum
Aluminum decking is very low in maintenance however it is not inexpensive. It is recyclable. One of its positive aspects is that it is almost indestructable and even fireproof. Aluminum may cost several times more than exotic lumber. Homeowners choose it because it is so easy to take care of.

Cedar and Redwood
These woods are very popular because they are naturally beautiful. They do require regular maintenance and, unfortunately, they are liable to damage from insects and the weather. With proper maintenance such as staining and sealing, this decking can last for many years.

Natural Wood
This is probably the most popular material for building a deck. It is naturally beautiful and also quite affordable. While it is cheaper than composite material, the maintenance requirements for wood are greater than for composite. Another reason homeowners choose wood is that it is more versatile and can be stained a different color.

Hollow Composite Wood
Hollow composite wood does not have quite the natural look of wood as the solid composite. You will also find that it is less durable; however, hollow composite wood costs less than solid composite wood. Hollow composite wood decking is stiffer than solid composite wood and allows you to run wires for lighting or speakers.

Top 10 Brand Requests

  • Choicedek
  • Evergrain
  • EverNew
  • EZ Deck
  • GeoDeck
  • Nexwood
  • Oasis Decking
  • Timbertech
  • Trex
  • Weatherbest
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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms for Decks and Patios

beam
A beam supports the joists and spans between the posts.

building a deck
Building a deck is the construction of a patio or deck, typically outdoors.

Also known as: deck construction, deck building, patio deck construction

covered decks
Decks that are either partly enclosed or just covered with a screen or built in top.

Also known as: covered patio

custom decks and patios
A deck or patio that is made to order for a particular customer.

Also known as: custom decks, custom patios

deck contractor
A deck contractor is someone that installs decks.

Also known as: deck builders, deck building contractor, wood deck contractors

deck designer
A deck designer designs a deck specifically for a particular customer and it is usually designed specifically for an individual.

deck designs
Deck designs are the plans for a deck that have been developed by a deck designer for a specific customer.

Also known as: deck design, deck plans

decking boards
Deckings boards are the floor surface of the deck.

decks and patios
Decks and patios are traditionally an open space outside of a house which may be directly attached to the home or detached. They may be designed with the landscape of the yard in mind.

Also known as: decks and patio, deck and patio, deck and patios, outdoor decks, outdoor patios, backyard decks, backyard patios

decks and patios plans
Decks and patios plans are plans for decks or patios that are designed with location, materials and maintenance considered.

Also known as: deck plans, patio designs, deck designs, patio plans

decks and patios remodeling
Decks and patios remodeling is changing the structure or form of an existing deck or patio.

Also known as: deck and patio remodeling, deck remodeling, patio remodeling

fascia
Fascia are boards that are put around the sides of your deck and attached. They also cover ends ends of the boards around your deck for decorative use.

footings
Footings are made of concrete and are put in the ground for support of decks.

joists
Joists are supports for the boards of decking.

joist hangers
Joist hangers are fasteners that are made of metal and they attach the joists.

ledger board
Ledger boards are attached directly to your existing structure.

patio
A patio is a paved outdoor area near or next to a house.

Also known as: patios

patio contractor
A patio contractor is a person that contracts to provide labor and materials to build a patio.

Also known as: patio designer, patio builders

piers
Piers are concrete blocks that are above the footing of your deck.

posts
Posts support the beam and they are on the piers. Posts are vertical supports used on many types of decks.

post anchors
Post anchors attach the deck posts to the piers by metal brackets.

rim joist
Rim joists are usually on the side of the deck furthest away from the home. They butt up to the joist ends.

Also known as: perimeter joist

wood decks
Wood decks are decks that are attached or next to a house that are constructed of wood and used for outdoor space.

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Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions for Good Deck and Patio Contractors

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a deck and patio contractor with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country's most in-depth rating process. Only deck and patio contractors rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award.

Most companies can't pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoingresearch and ratings. And your purchase is backed by theDiamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you'll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified deck and patio contractor.

Q: How much does an average deck or patio cost?
A: Every deck and patio is unique. There are many variables which are factored into the price of your project. The price will depend on the materials you choose, the railing systems, and if any plants or trees need to be removed. All of these are figured into the price of your project.

Q: What decks are maintenance free?
A: Most people consider composite decks fairly maintenance free. They do not need to be stained or painted. If these composite decks are cleaned and taken care of, they will last for many years and look very similar to when they were first installed. Other benefits from composite decks are that there are no slivers to get into bare feet and it is less slippery when wet.

Q: Do I need a permit to build a deck?
A: In most cities a permit is required because a deck is considered structural. This means it carries weight other than itself – the weight of a person. Because of the way some decks are built – high off of the ground – they require structural building to transfer the weight of the load to the ground.

Q: What happens if I build without a permit?
A: We highly recommend that you do not do it. Getting a permit isn't that difficult and it will save you the hassle of any difficulties that arise from not having a permit. Without a permit, you could be fined or not able to sell your house until the permits are obtained.

Q: Is it necessary to maintain my wood deck?
A: If you want your deck to look good and keep it from rotting or splitting, then, yes, you need to maintain your wood deck. Regular maintenance will keep your deck from showing signs of deterioration from the water or sun. In time, without maintenance it will eventually rot or the wood will split.

Q: When should I seal my wood deck?

  • After your wood deck is completed, wait six to eight weeks to seal it. Sealing your wood deck will keep it from discoloring and it will also keep the wood from splintering.
  • All wood decks need to be cleaned. Power washers do not damage wood when they are used properly. However, power washing decks and patios may raise the grain of the wood. Before you seal your deck, you will need to sand this down.
  • Seals are a protection for wood that works by penetrating the wood fibers. This slows the water absorption causing the water to evaporate before it is absorbed.
  • Many types of sealant are an oil-based covering that protects wood. It not only protects but improves the appearance of decks and patios. Deck sealing lasts for several years depending on weather conditions.
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