Andrew York was just scraping by in his first year of solo business when he appeared on the DIY Network as a contestant challenged with building a gazebo is six hours.
York won, and the event was televised nationally. The exposure wasn't great, but he caught a lucky break: A man who owned a nice beach house saw the show and wanted to contract with York.
At the time, Trex's composite decking had featured a lot of East Coast homes, and California-based York decided to pitch the company the West Coast beach house. Trex agreed to supply the material in exchange for the rights to take pictures.
That opportunity led to ProDeck building a number of display decks in San Diego County, and business took off.
Before starting ProDeck, York spent a lot of time around construction, working summer jobs in high school and dabbling in woodwork. He went to school for business management and was hired to run the decking operation at a landscaping company out of college. Two-and-a-half years into that job, he figured he could make it on his own.
ProDeck typically runs two jobs at a time, and each job usually takes two weeks. York likes to swing by each jobsite at least once per day. He spends the rest of his time ordering materials, marketing, and performing other administrative tasks.
The amount of work ProDeck has right now is at a solid equilibrium, York says. But in the future he hopes to train another project manager so the company can tack on another crew and expand. York is also considering extending the types of work that ProDeck does, but he plans to use subcontractors in those cases.
People advised York not to name his company ProDeck, since that would limit him to decks, he says. And “it’s true, I’ve thought of it myself. But we get so much business because we’re highly specialized. I’m one of the few guys out there who just does decks.”
- ProDeck uses fixed-price bidding on all projects, which helps ensure customer satisfaction. York would rather take a hit on profit than a demerit on ProDeck's upstanding reputation both among homeowners and vendors.