Gary Marsh

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Pay to Play?

Brian Altmann, owner of Dutchess Building Specialists in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., never used to leave deck plans with prospects, who might turn them over to another, less expensive, builder. More

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Receptionist duties

I'm a one-man design operation now, and because my business is so personal, it's important that my clients hear my voice when they call. Some people have the person who answers the phone screen callers as possible leads. More

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Deck repair or replacement based on resitance and maintenance

Hidden substructure damage often turns a repair job into a full-blown makeover. The deck's far from new, but the client's only interested in having some boards replaced. What now? More

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The Days of Wood-Only Deck Railings Are Gone

The days of the perfunctory wood railing system for a wood deck are gone. A huge variety of materials are now available -- vinyl, steel, aluminum, composites, wood/resin, plexiglass -- to provide safety with a unique look. Of course, wood itself is still available, as well. More

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