McAffee hits the decks with new license
When Kellen McAffee started Park City Deck Stylists in 2003 he had a general painter’s license and about four years of experience in the industry.
He did a lot of deck maintenance, mostly sanding and refinishing and grossed $30,000 that summer.
With the large number of decks in harsh environmental conditions, Park City is a great place to specialize, McAffee said Monday. That’s made it possible to expand services over the years to survive the recession and grow his client base, he said.
He recently made the strategic move to obtain a B100 General Contractor’s license in time for summer. That means he could build a house if he wanted to, but what he really likes to do is see decks in prime condition, he said.
Sometimes the last part of a home to be built, decks are often installed with less care than the actual house. "Cutting corners" creates problems as the wood weathers and McAffee specializes in correcting that.
Sometimes even well-built decks develop serious problems because the installers and the people treating the wood work for different contractors, he said.
If wood isn’t treated on the end grain or in places like where it connects to trusses, water damage begins there and will spread.
McAffee said he treats all six sides of every board.
Also, he cautions, professional painters don’t always use the proper finish on the wood, which can cause problems later.
Park City Deck Stylists use translucent, penetrable oil coatings. It won’t crack, doesn’t wear and soaks into the wood. He recommends getting a cleaning and recoating every 18 to 24 months. For the price, it’s a bargain to maintain the life of the deck.
The UV light at elevations this high is really hard on wood as is the cold and precipitation. It’s important to use the right treatments, he said.
Despite his new ability to create staircases, rebuild decks, repair major damage and assess structural stability, McAffee said a lot of his business is still restoration.
There’s no reason hardwood floors outside the home can’t look as good as those inside, he said.
Another new offering is more sustainable products. He can recommend several lines of sustainably-grown or reclaimed wood that have more character than regular 6 x 2 redwood planks, he said. He also has several lines of non-toxic VOC deck stains in a variety of colors and stocks environmentally-friendly cleaning products for decks.
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