When hiring a deck builder, asking the right questions is the best way to make an informed decision and set your mind at ease. Here are five questions to ask potential contractors that will help pave the way for a smooth project.

Q. Have you ever built with Trex decking before?

While wood composite decking doesn't require special skills to use, we recommend finding a builder who is experienced with Trex. Even better, hire a TrexPro builder and you'll be assured that they have completed installation and product training on our products.

Q. Are you licensed and insured?

If your potential builder can't produce a license and insurance paperwork, run and don't look back. In the event of an accident or other problems, you'll want to have peace of mind that your builder - and all subcontractors - are covered in the state in which you build.

Q. Will you handle the permit process?

Your deck project will most likely require a permit from your local building department and, if you belong to one, permission your local homeowner's association. If you elect to skip this part of the process, you could face a fine and possibly run into problems when you try to sell your home. If your builder doesn't handle the permitting, then take care of this step yourself.

Q. Can you share references?

Never hire a professional without first speaking with past clients. An experienced and competent deck builder will be more than happy to provide a list of references and examples of previous builds. Be sure to ask former clients if they would re-hire the builder.

Q. Will you register the Trex material warranty?

Trex decking and railing both come with a 25-year Limited Residential Warranty against materials defects and the decking has added 25-year fade and stain protection. Find out whether your contractor will register warranties or if you need to. It's easy to do at trex.com, and it's protection you won't want to pass up.