Outdoor Living, the Missing Link

I got into this business somewhat by accident a little over 7 years ago.  I had an interest in architecture when I was younger.  As I became a Des Moines-area homeowner (in a completely different career path) and started (keyword being “started”…not “finished”) various projects around my homes, I always imagined that if I had become an architect, it likely would have been more as a landscape architect than as a traditional commercial or residential architect.  I enjoyed planning and developing outdoor areas…and always envisioned really cool deck and patio spaces on my homes…though never achieved that.  Mainly because I didn’t have the skills or tool box to do it myself and didn’t know people (I trusted) to do it the way I envisioned it.

Fast-forward several years…my younger brother, David, is the primary deck builder for Archadeck of Des Moines.  Fast forward a few more years and David asks me about buying the local Archadeck business as the then owner was intending to sell.  I looked at it with David – wow!  All those outdoor dreams I’ve had…this (Archadeck) is how it gets done!  Not only for me, but for everyone like me.  Fast-forward a few more years and David and I have owned Archadeck of Central Iowa for 7 years and we’ve designed and built hundreds of outdoor living spaces – decks, porches, patios, pergolas, gazebos, outdoor kitchens – all around the Des Moines and Central Iowa area.  Including – finally – that cool space I always wanted in my own backyard!

Why am I telling you this story, you ask? 

One reason is to say that I really am like most of you in that I am not a “qualified” Do-It-Yourself-er (DIY-er), nor do I fool myself into thinking that I am.  I, myself, am not a deck builder.  Maybe you find this surprising since I own a deck building company. 

Wm. "Harold" Harrison; Proprietor, DX Service Station; Fairfield, IA; circa 1955

 But, I have a pathetic collection of tools, many from my grandfather’s DX service station collection (and when was the last time you saw a DX service station?) and most of those designed for an auto mechanic…which I am also not.   I scare my wife, children, dog and neighbors when I pull out the one power tool I own.  I have ideas, I have visions of what I (you) want…and I’m pretty good at taking whats in my head (and also in yours) and putting it to paper (or a computer).  But…what it takes to actually make that happen…I was like most of you:  looks easy, but really…how to do it?   Therefore, it didn’t get done.     

The second reason I’m telling you this is:  It was really the professionalism of the Archadeck organization that sold me on this business…in becoming an owner of this business.  There really is a “structure” behind the Archadeck name and brand.  And a very professional one, at that.  The management team of our franchise office is dedicated to the concept of “outdoor living,” doing it “right” and doing it in such a way as to add value to your home and your lifestyle at home.  This dedication shows in many ways from the support they provide us in concepts ranging from design to sales to business management to the relationships they foster for us across the decking, railing, porches, patio, outdoor kitchen and related product markets.  Running parallel with that is a franchise network of approx 70 other Archadeck offices across the country.  More importantly, there are 70 other professional business owners doing the same thing I do…all with varying backgrounds…all in different geographic markets from Des Moines and Central Iowa.  The support we provide each other through our experiences and insight helps us directly as well as through influences we have on the Archadeck business as a whole through our franchisor.  This support comes from variety of sources:  training, on-line exchanges, phone calls, regional and national meetings and a variety of volunteer committees and other activities.  This professionalism, this support network, is what makes Archadeck the nation’s leading resource for the design and construction of outdoor living spaces.

So, if you’re like me…the old me…no DIY intentions/capabilities, have ideas (maybe…its not a requirement) and know you want something better in your backyard (or front), but don’t know how to go about it, don’t know who to trust to work with to get it done…I offer Archadeck as your strongest choice to actually bring it to fruition for you. 

Of course, not being a DIY-er means having to hire/pay someone to bring it to fruition and I do realize Archadeck is not your only choice as that “someone.”  You may have or know some DIY friends who will gladly build you a deck over the weekend for all the beer and brats you can feed them.  Your neighbors may have hired someone to build their deck; maybe he is still in business and you can find him.  You may find a carpenter who, when not framing houses for a builder and when not remodeling bathrooms, for instance, may find time to build a deck or two.  You will find your choices in experience, integrity, quality and pricing will vary widely; sorting that out and getting apples-to-apples comparisons can be difficult.    Two recent and nice blog postings by a couple of my Archadeck co-horts may help shed some light on this for you:

I offer Archadeck of Central Iowa as your strongest choice for your outdoor living enhancement project.  Not because I now make my living “selling” Archadeck.  But because I am one of you and have truly experienced – both personally and professionally – the “missing link” that is Archadeck…filling the gap between the backyard you have today and the outdoor living space(s) you want tomorrow.

Enjoy the home you’re in.  Start living outdoors.

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