Some deck contractors specialize in designing and building with a specific material such as cedar. Others are much more versatile and offer a diverse range of choices. Unless you already know exactly what you want, it can be very helpful to have a variety of options. Each material offers a set of unique characteristics to a project. Some are advantageous, others are problematic. A good contractor will be able to explain the differences and share his knowledge to assist you in making an educated decision. Look for contractors that offer a variety of extras like low voltage lights, custom planters and benches that can help set your deck apart from the crowd. Trying something different can make your deck special. Most contractors are always up for a challenge in order to make a deck interesting. However, going outside a contractor’s comfort zone, such as selecting a material that is unfamiliar to them, will likely increase the cost of the project.