Frequently Asked Questions

 

Below is a list of questions I often get asked. Click on a question to see the answer, click again to hide it. If your question has not been asked already, feel free to send me a message and I will look to answer it as soon as possible.

1. Questions about quotations (4)

Am I obliged to buy anything if I get a quotation from you?

Certainly not. Site visits, discussions and quotations are completely free of charge with absolutely no obligation on your part. However, be aware that my formal quotations are very detailed and take me a few hours to prepare. For that reason, what I usually do is pay a site visit, discuss your requirements, then provide a reasonably accurate “ball park” estimate based on the area. If that is within your expectations or budget, then I will go away and prepare a formal, fixed price quotation which you can peruse at your leisure.

Permalink.

Is there a cooling off period?

Yes of course. By law, under the  ‘Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008′ you have a seven-day cooling-off period during which you can cancel. However, I go much further than this. Firstly, I would never ask a customer to sign anything when I visit, so at that stage, no contract, either written or verbal exists. Secondly, once I have submitted my quotation, you can peruse it at your leisure for as long as you wish (although, if you came back to me several months later, I would reserve the right to submit another quotation if there had been any significant increases in the costs during that time) . Finally,if you decide to proceed, then we will agree a mutually acceptable start date, but no deposit is required. Effectively, you can cancel at any time up until the day when work commences, with no penalties.

Permalink.

I just want a rough idea of cost, can you do that?

Yes indeed. All I do is build decking – nothing else. A quick look at the gallery will give you an idea of how many decks I have build to date. So with some basic information, such as size and complexity, I am able to give a reasonably accurate (but non-binding) estimate of cost. A site visit is best (free of charge of course) but I have in the past, worked from dimensioned sketches and/or photographs. Just give me a call or send me an e-mail.

Permalink.

Do you need a deposit or an “up front” payment for materials?

Absolutely not. You will not pay for anything before you have received it. My payment terms are negotiable but by default, if it is a small job, taking less than 7 days or so, then I would simply require payment to be made in full, on completion to your satisfaction. If it is a large job, then I may require stage payments towards the cost of materials as and when they are delivered to site (but never before then). The balance of the materials and all labour costs would be due on completion. Once the materials are on site, they belong to you and it helps my cash flow if I can have some of the money back that I would have spent by that time.

Permalink.

2. Questions about deck construction (4)

What type of wood do you use?

All framing timber is stress graded and tanalised. Usually usage class 3 but posts which might be subjected to standing water could be usage class 4. Deck planks are also tanalised, and guaranteed against rot and insect infestation for 15 years. By default, I use the “York” profile by “Q-Deck” which is the thickest at 33mm, although I can supply and fit any of the profiles from the Q-Deck range.

Permalink.

What type of fixings do you use?

I only use screws or occasionally bolts, never nails of any sort. All screws and bolts are exterior grade, either stainless steel or coated.

Permalink.

Can you supply and fit hardwood decking?

Yes (but are you sure you want it). To expand on that, it really makes no difference to me as I earn my living from the labour content of building decks. However, I do want my customers to be happy with the end result. Strictly, by definition, Balsa wood comes from deciduous trees so it is a hardwood. However, assuming that we are not talking about the dictionary definition, hardwood is more durable than untreated softwood. However, it is not necessarily more durable than tanalised (pressure treated) softwood. The decking I use is usually Scandinavian Redwood and is guaranteed for 15 years against rot and insect infestation. Hardwood (which is invariably never treated) has no such guarantee. Hardwood is also invariably supplied in much thinner section. Most importantly, it is about 4 times more expensive, and if you want it to maintain its’ colour and appearance (like how it looks in the glossy brochure on the internet, be prepared to oil it every 6 to 8 weeks throughout it’s entire life. But yes, if you insist, I’ll build you a deck with hardwood planking.

Permalink.

What about composite decking – can you supply and fit this?

I no longer fit composite decking. The main advantage of composite is that it will retain it’s colour without further treatment, whereas any timber, hardwood or softwood will eventually go a “silver grey” colour unless it is occasionally treated (I recommend a coat of decking oil once a year for softwood). The disadvantages (and these are my personal views), are that it is inherently weaker than timber and needs more support. Being  hollow, it does not lend itself to be being cut around obstacles like drain pipes nor at an angle to the deck frame. It is almost impossible to cut and fix small pieces as may be necessary in the corners of irregular shaped decks. It still has to be fixed to a timber frame so the finished deck won’t be any more durable. It is usually fixed with clips in such a way that it is impossible to replace a damaged plank without removing all the planks from the edge of the deck up to the one that needs replacing. Finally, like hardwood it is about 4 times more expensive.

Permalink.

3. Questions about decks or decking in general (3)

What maintenance does one of your wooden decks need?

The short is answer is “None at all” (unless you have hardwood decking). That is to say, you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. The timber is guaranteed by the suppliers/board manufactures for 15 years against rot and insect infestation. A properly constructed deck, built clear of the soil, with plenty of room for air to circulate, will last many more years than this.

However, any timber, hardwood or softwood, when exposed to the elements, will eventually turn a silver grey colour if untreated. It can also develop small splits and cracks when it is really dry. This does not in any way detract from the strength or integrity of the deck but may not be aesthetically pleasing. So, to maintain it’s appearance I usually recommend giving it a coat of decking oil once a year. There are various proprietary brands on the market, tinted as well as clear.

The only other thing is to keep it clean, especially if it doesn’t get much sun, and starts to get a green algal coating. This can be slippery when wet. Again, there are various products available but I find a pressure washer works well and doesn’t do any harm.

Permalink.

I’ve heard that decking is slippery, is that true?

It can be but ther are simple and effective solutions. Wet timber isn’t terribly slippery (think about wooden piers, boat decks and so forth). What can happen however, is that if the deck is shaded and receives very little sun, it can get an algal or fungal growth on the surface, especially in the winter months. It is this algae which is slippery when wet and it applies to any surface, not just timber. So the easy solution is simply to keep the deck clean. There are proprietary products available but in my experience, a pressure washer works well and does no harm. Decking can be very slippery when it has a frost on it though. Personally, what works for me is a sprinkling of rock salt on the decking steps at the front of my house. An expensive but effective remedy is to fit non-slip pads or strips which fit in the decking grooves.

Permalink.

I’m concerned about the environment, is decking “eco friendly”

In my view it is, especially when compared to any other form of hard landscaping. The vast majority of the timber I use is Scandinavian Redwood and comes from well managed, renewable sources.  The manufacturing process uses very little energy compared to the manufacture of cement or bricks.  The deck construction is done using manual labour with the aid of battery powered cordless tools, rather than petrol driven cement mixers and such like. And of course, you don’t have a mow a deck every week in the summer (that was a tongue in cheek comment).

Permalink.

4. Questions about P.E.G. Services (4)

I don’t see you listed in “local\trusted\rated” – “traders\people\businesses”

As the title suggests, there are so many of these things and they all cost money to join and an annual membership fee. These costs ultimately would get passed on to my customers, and many of these schemes have dubious entry criteria. It’s easy enough to get friends, family and all their mates to say they recommend you. The testimonials on this site are all linked to actual past projects which you can view, so (hopefully) you will believe that they are genuine. There is one scheme that I am looking into, which is backed by Northampton Trading Standards. I’m only hesitating because it is an extra business expense. I’m looking for feedback so send me an e-mail. Which would you rather have, a deck that is (say) £10 cheaper or a deck that is built by someone who is a member of “Trusted Traders” backed by Northampton Trading Standards?

Permalink.

I’m confused about P.E.G. Services and pegdecking

It is simple really. My name is Ian Pegg and I established my business in 1997. At that time, I did consultancy work in the automotive industry as well as building decks. So I chose P.E.G. Services as a sort of “catch all” but meaningless business name. As a sole trader, they are essentially one and the same – Ian Pegg trading as P.E.G. Services. Later on, I decided to concentrate solely on building decks and set up my web site, which needed a more specific name. pegservicesdecking.com would have been a bit much, hence I settled for pegdecking.com (I also have the domain pegdecking.co.uk which is linked to this site).

Permalink.

What area do you cover?

I live in Denton, just a bit south east of  Northampton and like to spend no more than about 3/4 hour travelling. That takes 1 1/2 hours out of a day when I could be being productive (and Diesel isn’t cheap either). So it’s roughly the area shown on the map in the side bar. To date, I have been kept busy working within this radius, but if the level of business falls off, then I might be tempted to travel further afield. So, if you are outside this radius, it’s always worth contacting me.

Permalink.

How many people do you employ?

None. It’s just me. I am the salesman, the accounts department, the buyer, the estimating department, the transport manager, the IT department, and any other hat you can think of (as well as being the guy that actually builds decks).

Permalink.