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Deck And Porch reviews in Sonoma

  • A
    Creative Exteriors Construction
    Our 2000 sq. ft. deck was a big reason we bought this house. We loved spending time on our deck. She gave us years of relaxation, great parties, morning and evening meals under the great oaks that the deck surrounded. She didn't complain until old age started getting the best of her. A creak here, a board there that would sag down when stepped upon, and brown stain that needed renewing. We hoped we could replace the beams and joists that had seen better days and re-use the railings and portions of the deck that were OK. We have pride in our home and we wanted our restored deck to show that. We wanted quality work. We did not want her new "make-up" to arrive before she did.
    We asked a contractor or two to take a look and give us an idea what needed to be done and how much it might cost. They poked around, looked at her underside with a flashlight, and gave us vague descriptions of what they thought she might need. They told us they could not provide  a detailed description of what was needed until they pulled up some deck boards and got into our deck's innards. They said "at least" when numbers passed their lips. The numbers were not terribly large for the size of the deck.
    I found Chris Haggin here on Angie's list. I liked his reviews. One described a deck rebuild similar to what we wanted to do. Out with the too old and re-use the not-too-old parts. I gave Mr. Haggin a call. He came over and checked things out like the other contractors had done. Then he did something none of the others had done. He chose a deck board that unquestionable needed replacement and pulled it up. He exposed the rotting joists and beams in their dark hiding places. The dry rot was everywhere. He showed us why trying to save a portion of the deck here and replace boards and beams there could end up being more expensive than replacing the entire deck. The labor to do this would be enormous and we would be using old, worn, nail-hole filled boards co-mingled with new lumber. It would be a face lift; OK if you don't look too closely and good for a year or two but it would not reflect the quality we wanted nor the pride we wanted to feel when we had friends over to share a summer evening. A mix and match solution would be a fool's errand.
    We agreed about 1500 sq. ft. had to go to the deck graveyard. Mr. Haggin gave us a firm figure to do this and rebuild with the understanding more surprises could be discovered under the remaining 500 sq. ft. He understood the build quality we wanted and he assured us he would provide that quality. We did not want just "standard" construction. We wanted angles to be precise. We wanted all surfaces where a hand might touch to be sanded smooth for the painter. We wanted the rows of screw nail heads on the deck to run in perfectly straight lines. We wanted changes from the old deck since we would be starting anew, but we were not sure what some of those changes should be. This is why I did not fill in a dollar amount in this review. We were not looking for a low price. We wanted a fair price for what we wanted done. Mr Haggin and his band of craftsmen provided us with everything we wanted, and more, for a fair price. The "more" he provided was ideas. A new design for the railings. Built in benches which we had not thought of. When we found a design for benches on the web we liked and showed it to Mr.Haggin. he improved it. He eliminated the engineered look and replaced it with a clean look, almost a Bauhaus look. He changed the design of the bench face to make it artful and more pleasing to the eye and he tied the whole thing in visually with the railing.
    His craftsmen began work the first thing on Monday and went to work with their saws-alls. It was sad to see the old lady go but I knew she would like how she was about to evolve. After that first week it was time to build.
    Mike was usually the first on on site in the morning. I knew he enjoyed his work because for the first hour of the morning he whistled and sang as he went about his business. Buddy knew everyone in the Sonoma Valley and they all knew him. Jarred was Mr. Haggin's master carpenter and job boss when Mr. Haggin was off-site. The entire four man crew was a band of clean-cut. skilled, professional craftsmen. Whereas I wanted to have pride in my new deck, they had pride in every measurement, every mitered angle, every nail driven. The finished deck shows this. It is perfectly level in its entire expanse. Every cut angle meets its board-mate perfectly. There are no disappointments.
    Mr. Haggin had good ideas and I accepted them. I had changes I wanted done and Mr. Haggin's crew built them. In the end the new deck costs several thousands of dollars more than I had thought it would in the beginning. And what my wife and I ended up with is much more than we imagined it would be in the beginning also. Truly skilled craftspeople like these expect to earn a fair wage for their labor, as they should. Did we get fair value for our dollar? You bet.
    Mr. Haggin has my permission to refer potential clients to me to see the Higgins crew���s work first hand. I���d be proud to show you around.
    - Craig S.
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Deck And Porch Contractors in Sonoma

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