Ask a Contractor – Deck Edition!

A Deck or Patio space is an excellent addition to any home during a warm WNY summer! When it comes to building or replacing your deck or patio space, why not ask an expert contractor the right questions!? Our Project Developer and Expert on Decks, Patios and Patio Roofs, John Rizzotto is here to answer!


I’m ready to build a deck or patio. How do I know which option is right for me?

First, determine whether you want your space to be covered. If you want protection from the sun or rain, it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. We do a lot of patios with roofs to create a full, livable, outside experience.

But patios and decks are technically different, right?

Yes, technically any structure that stands approximately 13 to 16 inches off the ground is considered a deck, whereas a patio is a concrete slab you’re walking onto right out of the door.

So if the door to my backyard isn’t at ground level, I probably need a deck?

Potentially. You need at least 16 to 20 inches of clearance from the threshold of the door to the ground, because the substructure of the deck takes up that much room. With a big enough space, we can add steps and a landing to accommodate the door height.

Once I know what I need, what’s the next step?

Again, think of your roof first. You want to build your roof and substructure at the same time, because when you start digging piers, there are different codes for roofs and decks. If you decide you want a roof after your deck has been built, it will cost more time and money.

Couldn’t I install an awning after the deck or patio is built?

Sure, but then you’re stuck with exposed aluminum poles when it’s down for the season. We’re seeing people move away from awnings and opt for a complete, fully furnished outdoor experience. A lot of our clients watch HGTV shows where people are building these gorgeous outdoor areas—outdoor kitchens, outdoor firepits—so when they come to us, that’s what they’re looking for.

What are other materials you recommend for an outdoor living pace?

We’re a certified AZEK dealer. AZEK is a brand name that’s synonymous with all forms of composite moldings, exterior decking, and railing lines. While AZEK is more expensive, it’s high-quality and they stand by their warranties.

You love AZEK, but there are other alternatives?

Yes. AZEK is pricier, but it has a more diverse and colorful selection of composite materials that are completely maintenance-free with multiple collections that can reach everyone’s price point – from premium to entry level. With pressure-treated lumber, you need to stain your deck, and even then it still might bleed, warp, or splinter. Also, AZEK allows us to showcase our design features online, so we can show customers what their deck will look like.


Walk us through the construction process.

When the contract is signed with a preliminary drawing, we send an architect/engineer to create a final engineered drawing. Once the client signs off on it, we take it the town for its permit approval. By the time we start construction, all the right checks are in place. It usually takes three to five days to finish a project, but some projects could take up to eight days.




With our current schedule for construction, right now is the perfect time to get on our schedule to enjoy your new outdoor space in Spring / Summer 2022! Plan ahead with Kaz! Give us a call at 716-674-7288 or fill out our Consultation Form to get a Free Consultation!