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Builder and Expert Craftsman Question & answer FAQ with Erik the Craftsman

Q: Do you think its a good idea for customers to do material purchasing their selfs?

A: No, 99.9% of the time its better if I do the purchasing especially for lumber and floor materials.  Things like paint coming from Behr or trusted suppliers like Sherwin Williams, or Bengiman Moore is a little different,  but when it comes to; deck material and other large wood products and similar type building construction materials the answer is NO! Basically you can't beat my deals and I am doing this all the time, I get volume rates you don't get doing a couple jobs every ten years ok!

Read my article on Saving money on building construction materials for more info! Click here!

Q: When is a permit needed for decks?


Typically, in most areas of Canada, a deck does NOT need a permit when:

  • It is no higher than 0.6 m (2’-0”) above grade at any point, and it does not have a roof.

    • If your deck has a roof that is attached to your house, visit the additions page.

    • If your deck has a roof but is not attached to your house, visit the garage, shed, greenhouse, carport page.

  • A balcony will always require a permit.

In most situations decks only require a building safety approval (building permit). If your design or location does not meet land use bylaw specifications you will also require planning approval (development permit).

Call me for residential or commercial decks if you need a deck builder click here!

Q: Which permits are needed for a construction project?

A: The building inspection department, office of planning and zoning, or department of permits in your community will have a list of permits and inspections related to building and zoning codes for new construction or remodeling in your area.   I like to start with a consultation.  I don't do them for free any more, but it is so valuable to a serous property owner or developer.  As I come with 26 years experience including construction management in the far North, the prairies and eastern Canada, I know this country it is dangerous especially to people looking for the cheapest promised price for work and getting things done by people who are just going to get frustrated and leave.

Most small jobs like;  window and door replacements, or new floors, or even kitchen renovations that are small in that they don't need any structural, or electrical or plumbing done or messing with the heating system don't need a permit.

Any work that involves; new structures, new electrical lines, or new plumbing lines requires and inspection any where in Canada.

Q: How do you figure out your pricing system?

A: Our pricing is done by figuring out time plus materials.

Q:What if I am not sure what I want?

A:Consultation time, and design time can be purchased so that you have a pro on your side when putting together a game plan.  Don't just jump in head first, good way to devastate your whole dream.  Take your time, do some research get me board as consultant especially for New builds or renovations - I am getting alot of calls, praise God from people who are getting screwed by the lowest bidders.  To me that is a blessing because it is the industry coming back to reality.  If they are going to sue, go ahead - but it is b.s what the industry top dogs are saying - home depot "do it your self?", Mike Holmes "The Customer is always right"  ya OK Mike, the customer is always right when they are getting high and drunk on site on my time with my crew?  "HELL NO".   OR husband and wife flip that home, ya ok - the number one reason for mental health breakdowns in Canada are from couples that start a dyi renovation together. How is that for flip your house, its really flip your lid! Husband is in the medical hospital, wife is in loonie bin  lol  Another one saving money from not being safe, ya ok there 40 year olds in wheel chairs that's cool. NOT

Q:How do you choose the right bidder?

A:The big successful development corporations who do fair tender and competitions will never higher the lowest bidders, they are always wrong, and problematic.  A good Project Management company, weather it be you and your hubby will understand the laws of averages.  They don't work on lowest bids.  Usually if you get 5 bids the one right in the middle is best unless you are going high end all the way, then the highest is possibly the best.  Don't go because of price, especially if you have a bad feeling.  Just stop the train before you in big trouble. Choose someone that can answer your questions, and prove by reference and history experience.