deck boards
Redwood Table

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To the Facebook Page!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Decks
"Installing a deck may be the most cost-efficient way to add square footage to your house, and of all the outdoor home improvements except painting, it may be the most reliable value. Decks average $6,304 and generally recoup 104% of their value. That may not sound terribly impressive, but other touted outdoor improvements fare much worse."
--SmartMoney.com
   June 2004

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

For the purposes of clarifying any "Deal" or coupon:
A "Deck" or "New Deck Installation" is defined by anything that is over 200 sf. and includes stairs and railing. Anything less may be defined as a Porch, Platform, Stoop or landing. Furthermore, sf. rates are higher for smaller items to cover set up costs; standard volume discounts on sf. rates apply to larger structures on top of any "Deals" or coupons.

 

 

 



 

Why is this guy SO insistent on Email???

 

Why can't we just call him like we do every other company?

 

Short Version:

When we respond to your initial email, our return email will include our phone number and if we end up working together then you will be able to reach me by phone (or at least leave me messages). Most every minute of my days are very busy and most times it may be nearly impossible for me to answer a call (already on the phone, in a meeting, hands full on site, or on a ladder with hands full).
The best times for me to talk, answer questions, and be able to think or focus on what you may be calling for are usually first thing in the morning (if I am able to start the day at my desk instead of the job site) or later in the evening after I am no longer on site deeply focused on the project of the current client. And sometimes those "late evening" calls are too late and that is why email is best.

I am an Owner/Operator that works on-site and gives priority to the current client - whose money/project I am curently managing. It will be the same when we start your job - you will have the majority of my attention. We have tried using receptionists, appointment schedulers, and even using others besides me to come to the initial appointments and draw plans. It doesn't work for our type of business. Things get confused and the quality and attention/care to the client suffers.
Also, please don't text me initially. For me to remember to ever respond, contact needs to come through the one way I can keep up with - Email.


Long Version:

Please know that I don't have a secretary or "office workers" and that, especially during the busy time of year, I may not be able to get to the message before my phone system cycles it out and deletes it due to high call volume.


Some things to know about "the phone" before we move on to why email is best:
I am an Owner/OPERATOR. Which means that not only am I speaking with clients in person or on the phone but I, too, am on ladders, carrying boards, holding the other end of beams or various assorted other things that keep my hands from being able to answer a phone. I am helping on the jobsite and figuring things out and answering questions my crew may have. I am also not sitting by my notebook all the time where I can write down the things you tell me on the phone. I can write your info on the side of the ladder or on a scrap piece of wood, but then those get wiped off or lost and are just not good business practice.

Sure, there are times when I CAN answer the phone. But I pretty much fill every minute of every day with something for my hands to be doing. I am never idle. I can talk to you while I'm driving, but I can't write anything down. And between Feb and August the calls come in literally every 9 minutes or so and I would never get anything else done if I answered every one. When I'm on YOUR job I feel like you'd like me to be getting some work done for the money you have paid.

Due to purposefully posting my phone number all over the web so you can know we exist, the Do Not Call Registry doesn't do me much good. So I get solicitors calling me during the other 8 minutes that clients aren't calling. There is some strange loophole that if you post your number to the public you are agreeing to get calls from everyone - thereby making it ineffectual to be on the list. Ending up on the phone with solicitors REALLY takes up so much time that I'd never get anything done. And most solicitors call from out of state numbers. So...... those of you that want our services but have an out of state number (non-501 area code) will, in all likelihood, not get your call answered. Some solicitors are even buying 501 numbers to fool us into answering the phone - so we can't win. I don't have time to be tricked by constant telemarketers.


It is usually at least 10pm before I am able to slow down enough to check messages and emails. By then it is too late to call you back. BUT...... I can respond to an email and you will get it at YOUR convenience. Could I call you back the next day? Sure. But again, the call-back list can be long and those are the hours that I am needed to be actually doing work. It may take a few days of back & forth to work out an initial meeting time through email, but this is better than not connecting with you at all. And this is also why I ask you to give me as much info as possible (including your address and best times to meet) in your first email to me - to save time.

If you don't already know: A small business owner is never off work. All day, all night, whatever it takes. And like many, I have a family too. Help kids with homework, go to school functions and doctor's appointments. When I get home (where my desk is) the family thinks it is their turn for my attention. And sometimes it has to be their turn. But sometimes I have to shoo them away so I can work on YOUR stuff - calls, plans, bids, etc. I miss dinner sometimes due to meeting with you about your project during the only hours you have available (5-7pm). Sometimes I don't get to see my family or talk to them for days even though I am just in the next room. A vacation? Ha! We don't know what that is. My kids are growing up as the kids of a deck builder - which means no money or time for such things. What have I put ahead of my family? You.
The fear of a bad review keeps me bound to your service. I know it doesn't seem like it when it takes me so long to get back to you, but that just shows how MANY people are contacting me about decks and other work. I could run 3 crews and still not keep up. But, as I mention elsewhere on this site, the quality would suffer so I don't do it.

Many days I have to decide if I should let a job take longer by not helping so I can go to appointments or draw plans instead. If I never help get jobs done in a timely manner then the money runs short and we risk not being around to even go to any appointments or do any drawings. Appointments and drawings that, by the way, I do for free - all not knowing if we will get the job or not. And each appointment takes 30 min to an hour and each drawing & bid can take 2-3 hours. So I give a LOT of time away for free each year!

 

For the second time in 18 years.......

I completely missed an appointment! It was mid April 2015.
I have just been so busy and trying to adjust to the last 4 months of snow/rain. I'll set an appointment and then the rain causes us to scramble to beat it that day or get prepared before it comes the next day. By the time I got back to my desk and realized I had missed the appointment, it was too late to call the guy to apologize. And he just happened to be one of the few that called initially and I answered & set the appointment- instead of emailing me initially. So I didn't have an email address for him and couldn't shoot him a quick email at that late hour to apologize and reschedule. I then plan to call him the next day during decent phone hours, but when I'm going 100mph the day passes and the call doesn't get made and then it's late again and I still don't have his email address. So I just look like I don't care. I do care. And... I'm terrified that he will leave me some horrible review somewhere.

Morning appointments work best for me. I know that doesn't work for some of you. You have to be at work early and then you get home around 5pm. But for me, once I get on a jobsite or get involved anywhere with tools out & production happening, not to mention getting dirty and worn out, it is seriously unproductive to have to stop and shift gears & focus on an appointment. As I have said, I WILL meet you in the evenings or on weekends if I need to, but the appointment is less likely to be missed or rescheduled if it's set for the morning hours of a weekday.

I sincerely appreciate all of the people who want to use us over any other contractor. Along with the many other messages I get, I have gotten 5 messages in the last 4 weeks from people that have specifically said 'Due to your reviews, your website, your reputation, etc., we already know we want to use YOU to build our deck.' This is before they have met us or received a quote! We even have people driving around trying to find us. While it is wonderful to be that sought after and have that sort of reputation, it can be ruined by something as simple as me not getting back with people in a timely manner. I ask that you help me in that goal - the goal of retaining our reputation - by having a little understanding and patience.

Please start by sending me an email. Provide all the info you can in that email - especially if you have a deadline for wanting the work completed. I will try to get back to you quicker if you (genuinely) have a deadline. Allow me some time to respond. If you know we are the company for you, then just keep knowing it and know that I WILL respond. We WILL be here for you. Your email is one of at least 5 (not to mention the ones who call) that come in DAILY. We are NOT advertising so we are not doing things to make this worse. It's just that after 18 years of doing great work & treating people right the word gets around. Plus.... it isn't helping that all other contractors in this area are STILL refusing to meet these standards we call "good business". If they were you'd have more choices and wouldn't have to wait on us.

Now, at the same time, if you feel it has been too long since you've heard from me - Send another email.

I apologize to anyone that I haven't gotten back to yet. To further explain why we don't do some things differently to solve this dilemma...

The things that some other local companies do that we don't include: hiring a phone answerer/appointment scheduler, hiring a person specifically for appointments & figuring bids, having more crews.
Our prices go up if we hire a phone person. Plus, that person can't really know when I'm available for appointments due to previous appointments running longer than expected or me unexpectedly needing to stop by the jobsite to deliver something or help out.
Having a person do the appointments, draw the plans & figure the bids that doesn't know how to build and doesn't experience that daily will just make mistakes and cause further problems. And... our prices have to go up to cover it.
More crews mean more overhead (that YOU have to pay for) and it means more chances that I can't monitor the quality of the work being done. This is not siding or roofing; it is custom carpentry. And no other company builds things the way we do (and you find out why that's a problem when you call us to add more deck or a roof to a deck that someone else built). So, it takes years for me to be able to train a guy so that he is able to take a plan I've drawn & build it with our proven quality without me standing over him.

Upon meeting with some clients I hear things like, 'I called three other companies and no one would call me back or come out to look at our project. So since you came out you must be the only one wanting any work.' Let me just say that this happens to us too. There are homeowners somewhere telling another contractor the same thing about us. Everyone is BUSY right now. Keep in mind that we work all winter too! You sometimes get better deals if we can build for you in the winter.

We have the reputation we have, the one that keeps us busy with NO advertising, the one that makes you want to use us over everyone else, due to everything that makes up Our Business Model. Staying small enough to manage & maintain our proven model also has the drawbacks of making clients wait on us for responses or bids or even start-work dates. But once we do get to your bid you will appreciate the design & price you waited for. And once we get to your work you will appreciate the quailty and attention you waited for.

 

Still hard to believe that someone is SO busy they can't answer a phone or quickly return a call or email? Well.... I'm right there with ya! Every single day I marvel at just how much I was doing every single minute and at just how much I still didn't get accomplished. It's actually a wonder I can keep things together as well as I do.

Thank you all for making Custom Deckworks the Go-To deck builder in Arkansas!
With your help (comminicating through email and having patience) we can keep that title and be here for you for years to come!

 

 



Important News & Updates. Please Read!

 

Members - Click Here!
MUST READ for Angie's List Members!

 

Before you sign a Contract!

Must Read!

 

Spring 2013 :   BEWARE! Scam Alerts....

- Don't ever say you weren't warned!

 

 

Spring 2012 :   Pricing Information....

"The Bitterness of Low Quality Remains
Long After the Sweetness of Low Price
is Forgotten!..."

 

 

Spring 2009 :   Apples to Apples in a Bad Economy....

...It could be a mistake not to read this.

 

 

Update: 2012

Arkansas Code § 17-25-501 thru 17-25-515. Act 1208 of 2011 Summary:

ANYONE performing work at a Residence, when the project is $2,000 or more, labor & material,

IS required to have a license from the Contractors Licensing Board

starting January 1, 2012!

 

In most cases this does not apply to the Homeowners doing work themselves.

But if you hire someone to build your deck that does NOT have a license,

you may be breaking the law and will have very limited recourse in the event of a dispute.

If they don't have a REAL license, DON'T HIRE THEM!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

__________________________________________

Businesses We Support!

 

 



Voted BEST by us!




For when you just have to have Composite!