F.A.Q.

Frequently asked questions

1. Are you licensed by the state of Massachusetts?

2. Do you carry liability insurance?

3. Do I need a permit? If yes, who submits the permitting paperwork to my town?

4. Do you guarantee your decks?

5. What materials do you use for your decks? Is one material better than another material?

6. Do you charge for estimates?

7. Do you charge for a deck design?

8. Do you provide referrals for your work?

9. Do you provide a square foot price for a deck?

10. Where do you do most of your work?

11. Do you build anything other than decks?

12. When can you start building my deck?

13. Do all towns require a survey? Who takes care of this process?

14. What will make my deck last longer?

15. Will sub contractors build my deck?

16. Is there a standard sized deck?

1. Are you licensed by the state of Massachusetts?

Bear Wood Designs currently has two Massachusetts licenses:

· Building License #047265 certifies that the license holder has knowledge of and/or access to all Massachusetts building codes and practices.

· Massachusetts Guarantee Fund License #117609 protects against fraud.

2. Do you carry liability insurance?

Yes, Bear Wood Designs maintains liability insurance.

3. Do I need a permit? If yes, who submits the permitting paperwork to my town?

Massachusetts requires permits for many building projects. However, it depends on the town and the project.

Permits provide protection for the homeowner by requiring that a building inspector oversee the project and protection from the state guarantee fund via the building permit records.

4. Do you guarantee your decks?

Bear Wood Designs provides a standard one year workmanship guarantee and a three year structural guarantee on all work performed by the company. In addition, most building materials include their own guarantee. For instance, pressure-treated lumber carries a lifetime warranty.

5. What materials do you use for your decks? Is one material better than another material?

We use the material preferred by the homeowner, this includes pressure-treated lumber, hardwoods, redwoods, cedar, and/or composites.

When compared to each other, deck materials have benefits as well as liabilities. For example, composite decks are long lasting and maintenance-free. However, they may become much hotter to the touch at mid-day than a pressure-treated deck. On the other hand, an unprotected pressure-treated deck ages to a silvery grey color and splinters with mild warping and cupping.

6. Do you charge for estimates?

Bear Wood Designs does not charge for estimates.

7. Do you charge for a deck design?

Bear Wood Designs does not charge for an average deck design. However, we charge $45 per hour for custom designs that require more than an hour to prepare. We deduct this fee from the total cost of your project when you choose us to build your deck.

8. Do you provide referrals for your work?

Bear Wood Designs provides referrals upon request.

9. Do you provide a square foot price for a deck?

Material pricing changes constantly and all deck designs are unique. Because of these variables, we cannot provide a square foot price for a deck prior to the estimation process.

10. Where do you do most of your work?

Bear Wood Design builds project mostly in the metro west area of Boston, including Newton, Wellesley, Needham, Waltham, Lincoln, Lexington, Weston, Natick, and Wayland.

11. Do you build anything other than decks?

Bear Wood Designs builds almost anything, including:

· Decks, pergolas, pool decks, walkways, handicap ramps, sheds, and children’s playhouses.

· Additions, garages, dormers, and screen porches.

· Kitchen renovations, basement renovations, and attic renovations.

12. When can you start building my deck?

Upon receipt of a signed contract, Bear Wood Designs begins the permitting process. If the project requires a survey, we recommend that the homeowner start to process, which ties in with the permit. The project commences upon permit approval in the signed contract date order.

13. Do all towns require a survey? Who takes care of this process?

Not all cities and towns require surveys. Check with your building department to find out if your city/town requires a survey. A few Metro West cities/towns that usually require surveys are Newton, Wellesley, and Needham.

If a survey is required, we suggest that the homeowner hire a survey company directly. By doing, you speed up the entire permitting process.

14. What will make my deck last longer?

Deck longevity depends upon its maintenance and material.

· If the deck is made of a composite material, then it is virtually maintenance free.

· If your deck is made of pressure-treated lumber, it requires some maintenance. If you do nothing to your deck, it will last for many, many years but as with any unprotected wood, it will weather by turning a silvery grey, warping, and splintering slightly. However, if you coat your deck with a stain or some other UV protection, weathering is much less noticeable and may not occur at all.

15. Will sub contractors build my deck?

Bear Wood Designs does not use sub contractors for decks or other small projects. In fact, the owner, Kerry Reitz, is a builder and master carpenter; he will either be on the job from start to finish or directly supervise his crew.

16. Is there a standard sized deck?

Because most homes are unique, a standard sized deck is hard to define. However, a 16-foot by 12-foot deck is a good size for comfort because it provides ample space for a table and chairs.