I am on the Board of Directors for a townhome complex near the San Leandro Marina. Over the years we have had several general contractors make repairs, unfortunately not properly. Then we found Schafer Construction. From the first inspection to the completion of various projects, the process was seamless. They were informative and any questions were answered promptly. The work was completed on time, above and beyond our expectations. I would highly recommend Schafer Construction.

Barbara J. – San Leandro, CA

"Schafer Construction saved our deck and our sanity. We have one of those large decks in Monclair that can only be worked on with scaffolding and we knew that it was beginning to deteriorate and need some major work. I was worried not only about cost and time, but also working with the city on permits and working with a contractor - all things that have been challenging and unpleasant in the past. Rudi Schafer came out to conduct the estimate and was friendly and clear about the process. He gave me a few ideas about how we could improve the deck and not just replace what was there and provided a price comparison for both options."

Lindy and Jake F. , Oakland

"We received the estimate quickly and it was a very fair estimate. Throughout the permitting process, Rudi and his team kept us informed of what was happening and served as our advocates and kept our stress to the absolute minimum. Once the project was underway, Rudi's crew was wonderful to work with - professional, friendly, always kept a very clean work site, tolerated our yellow lab trying to beg their lunches from them! The project was done within the budget that was laid out in the estimate and completed on time. When we had a concern about one of the boards that was included in the deck, it was quickly removed and replaced. The end result is a beautiful, very sturdy deck that we enjoy even on the coldest of days. With our old deck, we barely spent time out there when it was nice. From the first contact through to the completed project, I cannot recommend Schafer Construction enough. "

Lindy and Jake F. , Oakland

Thank you for an absolutely fabulous job on our two decks.

Special kudos to Cal and Frank for their hard work and workmanship, as well as Rudi for his advice and guidance

Aileen and Roger E. , Oakland

Just a quick note to thank you all for the awesome work you did on Ocean View. I received several compliments on the "attention to detail" and craftsmanship that went into your work.

Congrats on a job well done.

Tom W., Oakland

Every time I go to the house I reach the same conclusion and that is how happy I am you are doing the work for us! It’s a rare thing not to see some kind of crap where I say what the hell are they doing. It hasn’t happened yet. I will stop gusting now and say goodnight.

Thanks Rudy to you and your crew. Glen must be one hell of a crew leader!!”

Roger H. , Oakland

Schafer Construction did some extensive dry rot repair on our stucco home in the Oakland Hills. They were very professional, competitively priced, and did great work. On top of that, they worked neatly, have very courteous employees and care about the quality of work they do. You won't know the value of all of these qualities until you work with a company that is messy (leaves the door open while they sand and grind outside covering all of your furniture with a fine dust), doesn't show up for work, does poor quality work, etc.

Schafer took our construction seriously and professionally all the way to the end of the project. If I had the work to do again, I would not hesitate to call them.

If you are looking for a contractor to do repair work, look no further, call Schafer.

Schafer Construction just finished an extensive repair job on my laundry room and I'm delighted with it.

I'd personally like to thank Bob, Kevin, Frank, and Glen, and the rest of the crew for their hard work, commitment to excellence, professional demeanor, and for exceeding my expectations; they consistently went above and beyond.

They were polite, friendly, non-invasive, always cleaned up the work area each day, kept me informed on the progress, and were a pleasure to have around.

Jan H., Hayward

The work completed on my decks by Schafer Construction was excellent and the results look outstanding!

Richard D. Berkeley, CA

Tahoe loves his toys and treats, especially the squeaky squirrel which is now his favorite. He also likes being the “star? of the photo book. Thanks so much for your friendly professionalism and commitment to excellence. We appreciate everything you and your crew have done.

Roger and Aileen E., Oakland


Knowing When You Need Deck Repair

deck repairDecks can be a beautiful addition to any home that can not only serve as functional living space, but also, that can help to increase your home’s value and curb appeal. However, decks can require a fair bit of maintenance, and occasionally, you may need deck repair. Here are a few of the signs you can look out for that can indicate that your deck is in need of professional repair.

Signs of Rotting

Over time, exposure to the elements can cause a wooden deck to decay and rot. This is particularly common in areas that see high rain and/or high levels of humidity. However, this rotting can weaken the structural integrity of your deck, making it important that you have damaged sections repaired immediately. Signs of rotting include warped, water-stained, or splintering boards. Decks that are properly maintained and sealed will be less likely to rot, making proper maintenance critical for deck owners.

Cracking Boards

Boards that are damaged or cracking can also be a sign of problems with your deck. Fluctuations in temperature can cause aging boards in your deck to crack. However, these cracks are not only unsightly, but they can also indicate the weakening of your deck. You will then want to have a cracking deck inspected and repaired as soon as possible.

It is important that you make sure that your deck is in good condition so that it is safe for you and your family to use. Occasionally, this will require that you have an aging deck repaired. Contact us to learn more about deck maintenance and repair.   

Some Clever Deck Construction Ideas to Consider

deck constructionYou can have your deck built to be so much more than just a basic rectangle outside of your home. A deck can, and should, provide you and your family with a comfortable, peaceful, and inviting space to relax and entertain. You should absolutely customize it to fit your needs, wants, and your lifestyle. Check out some of these clever deck construction ideas. 

Corner Style 

There are no set rules on where you have to put a deck. In most cases, people put their decks right behind their homes, but not all houses will allow for that, or even look good with that. Adding a corner deck can sometimes really complement the architecture of your home, especially if you’re able to put it near an entryway. 

Destination Style

And to expand on the idea of putting your deck somewhere other than right behind your home, you can even consider putting a freestanding deck somewhere in your yard. People sometimes refer to this as a destination deck. Add it to your favorite spot in your yard, or even in the middle of your garden. 

Party Style 

If your main purpose of having a deck is to entertain guests, then you should consider building a party deck. This basically means that you can work all of your favorite party ideas and plans into the design of your deck, including things like adequate seating, an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, hammocks, and so much more. 

Petite Style 

If you have a small yard, don’t worry because there are many petite deck designs that will work perfectly for your space, even making your yard appear larger than it really is. Think of it as an extension of your yard. 

Contact us today at Schafer Construction for more clever deck construction ideas. We’re here to help you turn your visions into reality. 


Deck Construction: A Few Good Reasons to Build a Deck

If you’re thinking about new deck construction, but you’re having doubts because you’re not entirely sure that it’s worth the time and the money, you definitely need to take a look at what a deck can really do for you. There are many benefits that you probably can’t resist once you hear them. Take a look at a few good reasons to build a deck. 


Building a deck can add notable value to your home. It will not only add value to your home, but it can significantly increase your chances of selling your home in the future. A nice deck is a huge selling point for potential buyers. A deck will give you a bigger return on your investment than any other home improvement project will. 


A deck is basically an expansion of your home. It is the least expensive way to add square footage to your home and increase your living space. And not only are you increasing the size of your home, but you’re adding a space where you and your family can eat, relax, and spend quality time together. 


Whether you’re entertaining your immediate family or a large group of friends, having a deck is a great place to do it. It’s the perfect place to hold birthday parties, BBQ’s, and just about any type of celebration. You can design it with parties in mind by adding lots of seating and amenities. 

There is something about a deck that really just makes a house a home. Contact us today to find out more about why building a deck is a great choice for you and your home. 

Maintaining Decks In Moist or Damp Areas

Decks are among the most beneficial additions you can make to your property. Decks provide additional living space outdoors that can be used for recreation and entertaining when the weather permits it. Additionally, decks can prove to not only be functional, but can actually increase the value of your home. However, once you have a deck, it is important that you take the right steps to protect it. This is particularly the case for those with decks in moist or damp areas, as wet climates can be particularly damaging to wooden decks.

Keep Water off of Your Deck

A critical part of ensuring the longevity of your deck if you live in an area that sees a lot of rain is making sure that your deck is not exposed to any more water than is necessary. This will mean doing what you can to keep excess water off of your deck by making sure that you have sufficient gutters to direct as much rain water away from your deck as possible. Water running off of your roof can prove to be fatal to a wooden deck, which makes it crucial that you not only have gutters, but that you keep them cleaned out so that your deck is as protected as possible from the elements.

Making Sure Your Deck is Protected

However, no matter what you do, and how good your gutters are, it will be impossible to completely prevent water from getting to your deck in a wet climate. One of the most important things you can then do to protect your deck from the moisture of your environment is to make sure that you have your deck professionally sealed on a regular basis; generally every other year. Having your deck sealed regularly will protect it from the water that comes in contact with it, and should prevent it from rotting.

Ultimately, there is a bit of work involved in maintaining a deck in a wet environment, and keeping your deck in pristine condition will require that you keep on top of routine maintenance. Contact us to learn more about the steps you can take to protect your deck from the moist environment of your area.

3 Reasons Why DIY Deck Repair Might Not Be Your Best Option

With so many DIY fixer-upper ideas when it comes to home improvement, you might be inspired to do some upgrades of your own. While decorative renovations can be easy projects, sometimes it is a good idea to leave structural work such as upgrading your deck to professionals. Here are three reasons why DIY deck repair might come back to haunt you.

1. It Might be Harder to Sell Your Home

While you might want to tackle deck maintenance on your own, there might be more to this type of project than you realize. There are permits that might be needed and building codes to follow. You will have better luck bringing in a professional contractor to repair your deck correctly. You’ll then have the back-up documentation on work done when selling your home down the line.

2. You May Not Use the Right Materials

If you’ve never worked on your deck before, you might not know the best supplies to use, and you might not get a good deal on those that you do find. The wrong building materials can lead to further repairs and safety issues later on. Contractors know what they are looking for and can keep your deck repairs safe and material costs down.

3. DIY Deck Repair Might Not be Worth the Effort

If you like to take on weekend DIY projects around the house, your deck might be an area that is more than you can handle on your own. Working quickly during the right season is key, and is something a team of builders can do efficiently. If you are working on your deck for weeks or months on end, this can bother neighbors as well.

While projects such as sealing and painting your deck can be DIY, if you need to replace beams, work with cement, or replace your deck entirely, it is a better idea to work with a deck contractor. If you need help with an upcoming deck project, contact us to help.

Preventing Deck Rot From Destroying Your Deck

While no deck will last forever, an ounce of prevention will save you the time and money required for repairing and rebuilding it. The key here is preventing wood rot, which is a fungus that feeds on wood. It only takes a few spores finding a moist home inside your deck from which it begins eating it from the inside out. When this happens you’ll need to conduct deck repair. This means replacing the various parts of the deck or even the entire deck.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent wood rot:

  • Use Cedar, Redwood, or Composite wood for building your deck. These woods aren’t only sturdy and beautiful, they’re also resistant to rotting wood.
  • Keep your deck dry because this fungus thrives in moist environments. Fortunately, there are many good sealants available that work great and are easy to apply too. When applying a sealant make sure you cover everything, especially between the boards and at each end. Reapply this annually.
  • Although people don’t want gaps in their deck, you should know that wood that fits snugly together is a breeding ground for wood rot spores. With a slight gap there it’s also easier to apply sealant. A huge one isn’t necessary, just a small gap will make all the difference. Keep this in mind when installing a new deck and save yourself many problems in the future.

By taking these steps your deck won’t wood rot and none of this takes much effort. For more information about maintaining a beautiful deck, contact us. We look forward to helping you enjoy a great deck on which you can barbecue with your family this summer or watch the sun set this winter.

Building a Deck On Your Sloping Backyard or Hill

If you have a sloped backyard, you may have thought that you have no chance of building a beautiful deck upon which to party, gather, and rest. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Whether you want to build a deck on your sloping backyard or you want to build a deck overlooking a hill, or small canyon, it’s possible and easy. A deck overlooking a hill will give you a beautiful view whenever you go out.

You can build your deck on posts, or you can give it a raised cement foundation from the ground. You can create a traditional railing, or you can create a sloping garden down the side. You can even create wide garden steps, covered with grass, that will lead people down from the deck onto the ground below.

If your deck will be built on posts, it is still a good idea to have these posts rest on concrete footing that is embedded into the ground. This, of course, is quite difficult to do without a contractor.

There are many other reasons why you need a contractor. A contractor has the right connections to help you get the services you need to create a beautiful garden deck, tiled deck, or any design that you may wish for.

It will also guarantee that the deck is built in a totally safe manner. While doing it yourself may seem clever because it saves some money, the truth is that the deck is very likely to break in the future, which will just raise repair costs, not to mention safety issues.

To get your beautiful deck done the right way, just contact us.

Constructing Decks on Difficult Slopes: What You Need to Know

You can’t always control the grounds that your home is situated on, but it doesn’t mean that you’re unable to have a deck built just because the grounds are not even. Decks are the perfect way to relax, unwind, entertain, and spend quality time with friends and family. Not to mention the added style and value that they give to your home. Even on a bumpy surface, decks are still attainable. Let’s take a look at how constructing decks on difficult slopes is entirely possible.


The trick to building a deck on a difficult slope is to actually make the deck part of the slope, rather than just on the slope. The deck should belong to the slope when completed, and not just be a structure that is sitting on it. The deck should not dominate the slope. You actually want it to become one with it.


Building a deck on a difficult slope is something that requires a lot of careful planning and preparation. It’s definitely not something that you want to consider doing yourself. There are certain issues and problems that may present themselves during the process, and a professional has the knowledge and the training to handle it all.

Adding a deck to your home can create years of wonderful memories, and the shape of your land shouldn’t be something that stops you. Contact us today at Schafer Construction to talk more about how our skilled professionals can help you with all of your decking needs, even if it means building one on difficult angle.

Deck Construction: Advantages of a Cedar Deck vs. Composite

Homeowners are often encouraged to choose a composite deck over a wooden one to avoid extensive maintenance. Doing so may not be necessary, as a cedar deck could be every bit as easy to maintain for a number of reasons. Keep these four things in mind when determining which type of deck construction is best.

Replacing Damaged Boards 

Composite decking materials are made from some type of plastic such as polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride. Most composite planks used in construction are hollow, as solid ones are far more expensive. Hollow boards may shift in one area, leaving gaps in the floor of your deck over time. Hollow composite planks may also hold water and can therefore be prone to warping. When either of these things happen, the need to replace boards can become just as apparent as if you were using cedar lumber.

Keeping your Deck Clean

Mold and mildew can grow on composite decking just as it does any other surface. As such, the idea that a vinyl deck is maintenance free is not really accurate, since both types require regular power washing. Even so, cedar lumber is more resistant to staining. If you are using your deck for entertaining, you won’t have to worry as much about spills with cedar. This wood is not very porous, which means it will not absorb liquids easily.

Painting or Staining

Many people choose composite decks because they believe they never need to be painted or stained. That’s not exactly the case, as vinyl or plastic materials fade in direct sunlight, and must be painted from time to time to keep them looking like new.

Repairing Scratches and Dents

Unlike cedar, plastic or vinyl decking is especially vulnerable to scratches, dents, dings, and other minor damage. Fluctuations in temperature can also cause planks to crack as the material expands and contracts. This type of damage is challenging to fix because it cannot simply be sanded away.

These are just a few ways in which a cedar deck could be a better choice. Cedar’s timeless beauty and rugged durability make it an excellent choice for any type of outdoor building project, particularly decking. For more information on cedar decks, please contact us.


Deck Repair: Your Deck Inspection Checklist

Having a deck means also having the responsibility of keeping it in good condition and preventing any unnecessary deck repairs from occurring. It only makes sense to want to protect your investment. Check out what a good deck inspection checklist should look like.

Environment and Weathering

Take a look at the type of environment that your deck is in. What is your deck exposed to every day? Maybe it’s mostly the sun, or maybe it’s mostly shade. Is it subjected to a lot of rain? It’s normal for a deck to naturally weather over time, but you want to pay attention to how it is weathering. If your deck doesn’t seem to be weathering well, then that is definitely a cause for concern.

Excessive Moisture 

Excessive moisture can wreak havoc on decks. It’s inevitable that debris will get stuck in between your deck boards, and the debris can eventually form into sponges that can easily absorb the moisture from rain and fog. When left in place, these sponges will start to form decay on your deck. Look for the beginning signs of decay, and notice what stage it is in if you see it present.


You always want to check the hardware of you deck to make sure that it is holding up well. This includes all bolts and fasteners. Over time, hardware can shift, which can compromise the integrity of your entire deck if not noticed and taken care of.

Contact us today at Schafer Construction for more information on deck inspections and repairs, and to learn about our services!