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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am pleased to announce that this spring I have been building decks for thirty five years. Build my first deck in April 1980. Just a basic 10x20.

At one time I had 30 crews going all season. In 1989, my biggest year, we turned $6,000,000.00. We did over 250 private decks and nearly 1000 builders decks.
I reached a point of no diminishing returns, though, and now I have only a couple of staff, and this year I expect to run only 6 crews all season. Much easier on the nerves.
 

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Finishing Carpenter
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holy cow, that must be one heck of a long fence. 35 years and still goin? you must have fenced off Ontario from "that province to the east" LOL
Seriously, congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Congratulations, that is quiet the achievement. Do you have any wisdom to impart to the rest of us about the business?
Wisdom? HA! I have a degree in history of all things, and when my brother and I got into this we had absolutely no clue how to operate a business. Beleive me, I have made my full share of mistakes over the years and it cost me plenty.

A few pearls (take them however you see them):

Look after the customer. Don't cheat. HE is the one paying the bills, and the happier he is, the easier you get paid.

Don't lie, or exagerate.

If you make a mistake own up to it and try to make it right.

Make sure you keep a tidy site. Fabulous workmanship coupled with a messy site: the client only remembers the mess.
PAssable workmanship and tidy site, with everything put away every day and garbage cleaned up: the client can't tell you enough how neat the men were.

PRice a job to make money. Don't give it away.

Keep your overhead down. Don't let a little success go to your head. DOn't incure too much debt. At one time I had 6 brand new trucks that I was making payments on. one summer 3 of them sat unused for weeks at a time.

Don't let pride get in the way of common sense.

Don't take shortcuts on the work. Sooner or later it catches up to you.


The absolute biggest thing: don't forget your family. When my 3 boys were little I went to clients instead of school events or birthday parties or movies. Now I have grand children and I am determined to see them grow up.
On my deathbed, will I regret that I didn't work enough? Of course not. That I never built my dream hot rod, and didn't spend enough time with the kids, different story.

I could probably write a book about this. Suffice to say: common sense, common sense, common sense.

If it looks too good to be true, it is.
 

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Don
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what makes or break a business is family then employees, i got the worst of them both. Steve Congrats on the 35 years and more so i congratulate your family for making it happen
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
what makes or break a business is family then employees, i got the worst of them both. Steve Congrats on the 35 years and more so i congratulate your family for making it happen
My family is great, and we are close. However, after much bitter experience, keep your family out of your business!!
 

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John Hyatt
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Way to go Steve !

Nice site as well. I would like to know more about the 4 Mustangs.

I am coming up on 30 years with my Business. Your long stretch makes Me feel it's possible to keep going !

Let's Go Get Em .

JonMon www.deckmastersllc.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Way to go Steve !

Nice site as well. I would like to know more about the 4 Mustangs.

I am coming up on 30 years with my Business. Your long stretch makes Me feel it's possible to keep going !

Let's Go Get Em .

JonMon www.deckmastersllc.com
2003 Mustang Cobra SVT Vert" sold
2004 Mustang Cobra SVT Vert. Sold Modded to approx 500 rear wheel horspower
2012 Mustang GT Vert. Bone stock

1988 MustangFox body Vert. Needs work: this will be my wife's toy

1989 Fox body hatch. 302 Auto. Converted to 4 wheel discs. Springs shocks; strut tower, subframe k member braces
This year we're turning it into an autocross car

1989 Fox body coupe. Started life as a 4 banger with a sluch box. Converted 6 years ago to 302 5-speed.
Also 4 wheel disc brakes, 17" wheels, 3:73 gears, headers, flowmaster exhaust, intake; springs, shocks lower a-arms; strut tower, k-member and subframe connectors.
This car is more fun to drive than anything else (including race cars) than I've ever driven.
the Foxes are owned by 2 of my sons and my wife.
My other son had a 91 Vert GT that was gorgeous. HE sold it 3 years ago, forced by the unexpected arrival of my first grandchild (who happens to now be a 4 year old Mustang nut!)

Thanks for the comment on my site
 

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John Hyatt
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Sweet !!!

I am a Car guy as well reason I asked. I am just about done with a 96 two door Tahoe I went with Jasper for the motor and tranie. Low end cam just enough to not mess with the factory comp. Bosch for the FI. Nice little 350 for getting around town. Just about done and ready for paint.

See Ford and Chevy guys can be civil to each other. Sometimes. Roush/ Edwards finally won a race again. Jacks ok as long as he remembers to put the landing gear down.

Good to meet Ya .

J.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Actually John, we talked 6 or 7 years ago over this forum. I cmmented (favourably) on your work and you responded.
But yeah, good to meet you.

I was conceived in the back seat of a 50 Ford , which was my dad's first brand new car. So, I was born with Ford BLue in my veins. Been a Ford man all my life.
However, I kinda, sorta like the new Corvette, and I dream often about owning a 55 or 56 Chevy. (with a big motor of cpurse)
 
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