Local deck builder wins design award
WEST WHITELAND >> Juan Cardona doesn’t have to go far to be reminded of work.
The owner of the Arachadeck franchise in Chester County simply gets in his car and takes a drive.
“I like the feeling of driving around town and seeing my work,” Cardona said of the decks, sun rooms and screenedin porches his company has built in the area. “It’s very satisfying. I’m really glad I did this.”
“This” was leaving his corporate job 11 years ago to pursue the deck business. Cardona comes by the desire to build honestly. His father and grandfather were both carpenters.
He must have received their building genes. Cardona recently was awarded Archadeck Outdoor Living’s Design Excellence Award in the porches and rooms category. The contest recognizes design excellence in several project categories among its franchises. The Richmond, Virginia-based company bills itself as North America’s largest custom designer and builder of outdoor structures and spaces, with a franchise network of over 50 locations across the United States and Canada.
Given out annually, the Archadeck Design Excellence Award is awarded in different project categories including decking projects, hardscape or patio projects and porch and room projects. The winners of those categories are then entered to win the Design Excellence Award Grand Prize, which is determined by a collective vote by the Archadeck franchisee network.
Cardona said he won for a project just outside of West Chester – a porch with a roof and a deck.
“It was a brand new home and there was a 10-foot drop to the yard,” Cardona explained. “The customer wanted an outdoor space. We designed and built the space.”
The final design includes an open porch with an outdoor fireplace and an open deck for lounging and cooking. Timbertech decking and railing was used to create a relatively maintenancefree space and the design was developed leaving the possibility of future enhancements.
“The main stairs provide access to the future patio area, which the clients will add on in the next phase of the project and the secondary stair set provide access to the driveway side of the property,” Cardona explained.
A stone walkway was also incorporated to provide the driveway access.
Cardona emigrated in the United States from Spain when he was 11, not knowing any English. His parents were leaving a struggling Spanish economy in the 1960s in search of a better life, he said.
After college, Cardona, 59, worked in sales and marketing for New Jersey Bell, AT&T and Verizon.
“I kind of got tired of the corporate rate race,” he recalled.
At the same time, one of his daughters who worked in the publishing business was researching a book on decks and encouraged him to take a look at the business. His territory includes Chester County, the Main
Line, Delaware County and northern Delaware.
Cardona said his franchise does 40 to 50 projects a year. The average price per job is $20,000 to $25,000. Cardona said he has three full-time employees and uses contracting
crews when jobs call for it.
“The focus is always on quality projects,” he said. “It seems that people are moving less and upgrading more and that’s been good for our business.”
There is one certainty for men in the field, including himself, Cardona noted.
“When you get into this business, the wife just has to have a new deck,” he laughed, showing off the creation outside of his house.
Juan Cardona, owner of the Archadeck of Chester County near West Chester, was awarded Archadeck Outdoor Living’s Design Excellence Award in the porches and rooms category.
The before photo of Cardona’s award-winning project.
The after photo of Cardona’s award-winning project.