Frequently Asked Questions

The first step in your journey to your new deck is to call Masterpiece Construction for your no obligation, free estimate. Please have an approximate size ready for us so that we may give you a more accurate quote.
You can do this by measuring and marking the grass with white spray paint to get an idea of what’s realistically possibly for your home. Don’t want to go through the hassle of marking and measuring your property?
No problem! Call us anytime at 908-246-6544 and we will be happy to come out to your home for a free consultation. Deck projects are priced per square foot for the floor area and per linial foot for the railings.

For a small fee Masterpiece Construction also offers design services. The first step in this process is for us to set up an initial meeting. During this meeting we arrive at your home with samples of flooring and railings for you to look through and choose from. The materials list is also available on our website to make it easier for you to see the numerous high quality and long lasting products Masterpiece Construction has to offer. We work in conjunction with both our designers and you to design a deck capable of incorporating your grill, table and chairs and umbrella locations. We also incorporate stairs, wherever needed, so that you may have easy access to garages, yard tools and equipment. Keeping traffic patterns in mind we place the stair location closest to the home, and far away from the seating areas when possible. Your basic size deck is 12×20. This size is the most financially practical because most materials come in even sizes. Building a deck of this size avoids costly cutting of materials. Decking boards come in 12, 16 and 20 so by sizing your deck correctly there will be little waist and therefore less cost to you! The maintenance free materials are expensive initially so by keeping your deck design smaller, the overall cost of the project will be cheaper.

Here at Masterpiece Construction the options are endless and can get very confusing. That is why we keep it simple by recommending our most popular types of flooring materials and railings. The most scratch resistant materials are Azek, and Trex. All flooring materials are not created equal, so beware. Azek has over 20 years of experience in building quality cellular pvc decking materials. Trex has been in backyards for over 16 yrs and we highly recommend their new decking called “Escapes”. Similar to Azek, It’s cellular pvc, scratch, stain and mold resistant. All other materials don’t stack up! Evergrain decking by Epoc is a composite decking with a deep molded grain which is a bit more slip-resistant then the others , but does have a balanced mixture of plastic and wood fiber making it a great third choice for you! Timbertech is another great company with numerous flooring and railing materials to choose from and carries a 15 year proven track record of quality and dependability. Their new grooved decking is fantastic for those looking to avoid screw holes. Timbertech railing systems are also a great choice because they match their flooring colors. Check out their websites for color options, warranty and cleaning information.

After the first visit we return to the office and draw up a design to fit your home and budget. We then email or fax your design right to your home. It’s as simple as that! We draw around five different designs to start, and can do more until we get just the right one for you. Once you have a design and your material choices have been selected we can price the project, and send a proposal. We need no money up front except the no obligation small initial fee for the design work which ranges from 50 to 150 dollars.

If and when you choose Masterpiece Construction for your deck building needs your next step is to dig up your original survey drawing, and pick up a building permit from your local town building department. We then set up a meeting and fill the forms out together as we both have to sign areas of the application. The next step is to drop off all the necessary paperwork for review from the zoning, and building department which takes about 5 to 20 business days. Once the permit is ready for pick-up either you or I can pick it up and pay the fees which range from 75 to 400 dollars based on the size of the project.

Once the permit is issued we can then schedule your project. In most cases we can start right away. In some there is a small delay depending on the time of year, but we will let you know before signing the contract. Our busiest time is June and July so try to schedule your project before or after those two busy months.
Who will be building your deck? I Bill Lobdell am the owner and full time employee of Masterpiece Construction and will be there from start to finish making sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions, changes to the original design, or you would like to add benches or planter boxes and you would speak to me any time from 8 am to 6 pm daily.

How can I make my deck look different than a typical deck?
Unlike other deck companies or home supply retailers, Masterpiece Construction never uses stock deck designs. Every deck is custom designed and tailored to your unique needs and desires. You can also choose from a variety of design details including different deck shapes and patterns, inlays, unique railing styles,  illumination for evening, etc.


Who do we pay and when?

We expect the first initial payment of 40% once materials are on site. Checks can be made out to Masterpiece Construction or your welcome to use a credit card at the lumber yard as materials are about half the total costs. Your payment will be written on your proposal in both when and how it was payed. The next payment is usually a 33% deposit after the decking is installed and you can walk on your new deck! The final payment is due upon a final inspection and approval only from your local building department. It’s a state law that contractors are not to be paid in full until an approval for the final inspection.
How many inspections are there, and who calls for inspections?
There are three inspections. Footing, framing and a final inspection. We call and schedule all inspections for you and meet with the inspector with the plans on site.


How long does it take to build our new deck?

Good question! Depending on the size of your project it will take from 5 to 20 business days to complete. The weather does play a role in timing as we do not work outside (for safety reasons) if rain is in the forecast.


Who removes the debris?

We keep your yard virtually free of debris. We also organize and tidy up after each work day. At the end of the project we have a licensed garbage company remove all debris and legally dispose at approved landfills in the area.


Is garbage removal paid by us?

No unless stated in the contract, all debris removal is paid for by Masterpiece Construction.
The written contract will have all important information on it ranging from materials and the size used to the payment arrangements.


Where do you get your supplies?

 We at Masterpiece Construction only use the best products available.  Our decking and railings also come from Decks and Docks in Sarasota, Florida.


Do you put gravel under the deck before you build it?

Putting gravel down first is the right way to build, but most of our decks are built over your original grass unless the deck is too close to the ground and would be impossible to add gravel later.


Do you still use pressure-treated wood for the deck floor?

If you’re on a low budget, and don’t mind small cracks and splits in the wood then pressure-treated may suit your needs. Keep in mind it is southern yellow pine and may shrink split, check or warp. We do not warranty our workmanship because of the initial shrinking that accures with this wood.


How do you feel about IPE?

IPE is an exotic hardwood that is an extremely dense, tight-grained wood. It’s guaranteed for 20 yrs without preservative treatment. It is a rich brown color that does turn to a silver if left untreated. The silver is dead wood fibers, and can be power washed to bring back the natural beauty of the wood. I personally like IPE over all other woods for the flooring surfaces as it’s one of the strongest wood in the world!


Will my new deck get dirty?

Yes it will! It will need to be cleaned at least once a year in most cases. Depending how many trees are near the deck. Trees are dirty and the leaves do leave markings on all exposed surfaces. A small electric power washer will work great on composite decking and railings and are not powerful enough to hurt the materials.


Do you install hot tubs?

We do install hot tubs! We work with hot spring spas only as they make the most efficient hot tubs in the world.


What other exciting things can you do with our deck?

Masterpiece Construction works extremely hard with different distributers like Certainteed,and Culpeper for mixing some materials together to create one of a kind projects. We incorporate plastic stone columns for decking and fencing applications. We also use solar lights from Aurora deck lighting for accent points and stair locations! On top of that we also use Sikkens, who offer solid colors and clearwood finishes using some of the finest stain available today. And lastly we work with the very popular Timbertech curved railings as seen here on our website in the portfolio section.


Are you insured?

Yes we have liability insurance to protect your home up to 1 million dollars and worker’s compensation on all employees.


Will my home be worth more with a new deck?

Yes it will. By adding a new deck you’ll recoup up to 100% of your initial costs and you can enjoy it for years to come. Kitchens, bathrooms, decks and landscaping are proven to add value to your home.


Do you just build decks?

We are extremely passionate about using the latest materials and innovations in the industry to create a custom built deck that’s unique in design, character and can withstand the test of time. We are committed to excellent customer service and superior workmanship with all residential alterations, remodeling, additions and fine carpentry projects big and small. With over 35 years experience in residential construction we are confident and proud of all our completed projects.


Do you have references?

Yes we can provide a reference list of satisfied customers located in and around Sarasota County area.
In some cases Masterpiece Construction has done work within a mile from your home!


Why choose Masterpiece for your project?

There are hundreds of carpenter contractors out there that claim they can do your project only to disappoint you with the end result. We make sure your educated in every way so that you fully understand the process and can enjoy it! We take the guess work out so you can focus on more important things like enjoying your new deck!