Some of you may have read my post back in October that Rylan and I ripped out our aging pressure treated deck and put in a new deck and screened porch (hate those tiger mosquitos). They were about 80% complete back then and I promised to update my blog with the final results and my feelings on the work completed.
The deck project design phase began in August 2008 and demolition started in late September. The bulk of work was completed on-time within the 6-8 week estimate that Denny Contracting had promised. So by Thanksgiving we were down to a small punch list of small items…things like fan installation, finishing a small row of tile and trim in the den room where the new huge door went in and a little painting. But for the most part, it was complete on time.
We did have a few things that did not go 100% correct and this is certainly to be expected of any large job like this. The biggest issue was that one of the four skylights on the low sloping porch roof was leaking. The guys came out within two days of understanding the issue and reinstalled the skylight with extra flashing. But they did not stop there…they also re-installed the other three skylights just in case they would eventually be problems. All of this was done in two days in November.
Unfortunately the same skylight leaked again. After talking with Jason and Norm about the issue, we all came to the same conclusion in that the slope of the roof was just on the border of not enough pitch for the skylights to drain properly. So again, within a couple of days (weather was the issue), the guys were back out. This time they went to the extra effort of building curbs for the skylights (all four) which essentially increased the slope of the skylight to a steeper angle. This solved the issue completely.
We also had another much smaller issue regarding the tile/trim work in the den room. Again, I mentioned the issue to Jason and he was over the next day to check it out. He quickly agreed that he needed to get some new trim and fix the color match issue. Within one or two days, his team was out and had the issue fixed properly.
What impressed me most about these issues is how quickly and promptly (and without debate) Denny Contracting was about fixing obvious issues. Most contractors would have fixed these issues, but some might have been busy “with other things”. Jason and Norm know how to deliver customer service. And for that, they have one very happy customer.
In addition to fixing some issues at the end of the project, I was also very impressed with how knowledgeable and friendly the Denny Contracting employees were. These are not “day laborers”. These are actual employees who have been with Denny Contracting for 3, 4, 5 and more years. They get along well, don’t smoke, show up on time and are very professional. I found myself even becoming friends with the guys and wanting to make them lunch one day (I did) and coffee in the mornings (we did). And at the end of the project, Rylan and I even got them Sears gift cards as a way to say thank you for all their hard work. Definitely not necessary and definitely an unusual thing to do…but it felt good to show our appreciation.
The design of the deck and original ideas that Jason and Norm contributed to our project really made it come together. Instead of the roof just having plywood on the bottom which you would see sitting in the porch, Jason suggested stained “bead board”. The material is only slightly more than plywood but when installed properly, it gives a professional tongue in groove look to the finish. Once stained a dark brown, it gives the outdoor room a whole new look. What a terrific idea and without adding much, if anything to the cost.
Another neat idea was adding a 12″ overhang to the roof. Not only does this add some “handsomeness” to the porch, but it also keeps rain from entering during a storm for the most part. Again, not adding much to the cost…just knowing how to do things right from the get go.
I also admired the creativity of the guys and Jason and Norm when they found issues with the construction. Though we really did not have that many, we did have a few. One issue was an exhaust vent that exited the kitchen stove right in the middle of the screened in porch. I had no idea what to do about it and I did not want it in the middle of the enclosed area. Jason and Norm brought in John Spies (pronounces speez) of Spies Contracting. John and crew found they had just enough clearance in the wall for an oval pipe. I did not even know they made vent pipes in that shape. Anyway, they routed it through the wall almost entirely leaving a small bulk head below the second story plate which the Denny Contracting guys trimmed out. I hardly even know it is even there.
In the end, Rylan and I are completely satisfied with the work. Most everything exceeded our expectations and overall the project went nearly perfectly from start to finish. We have received many compliments from friends and even other contractors/carpenters like my neighbor up the street. The craftsmanship and design are exemplary.
I would highly recommend Denny Contracting to anyone looking to do similar work or even bigger projects. To be honest, this was a fairly small project for Denny Contracting. Most of their work is Kitchen and Bath remodeling, whole house renovation, and new, ground up, construction. But with the level of dedication they showed on our smaller project, I can confidently recommend their services to anyone I know. So in the end, we now have a wonderful deck. Too bad it is supposed to be 5Â° tonight!
Enjoy some more pictures from my construction gallery.