Brendan Kelly, owner of Archadeck of Louisville, is a man of many talents. Though he holds a degree in graphic design and fine arts, he was eager to find a way to create what he calls usable art.
“I wanted to create a place you can use, but that is also beautiful,” says Kelly, who in 2016 became an owner in the 40-year-old national franchise.
Archadeck of Louisville serves Jeffersontown, Indian Hills, Lyndon and surrounding communities. When Kelly was looking into starting a franchise, he considered what was important to him, and outdoor living topped the list. This endeavor was the perfect fit for his passion, ambitions and diverse skill set.
“I never thought of this work as construction,” he says. “Designing and building decks enabled me to be outdoors and utilize my degree in a unique way.”
Though Kelly is relatively new to the business, his crew is skilled and seasoned, having built hundreds of decks throughout the last 15 to 20 years. For Kelly, maintaining the structural integrity of the product is of paramount importance, and it’s what sets him apart from many other outdoor deck and porch builders. Instead of doing the minimum, he and his crew go above and beyond.
For example, local building code states that decks are only supposed to meet 40 pounds per square foot, at a minimum. Kelly and his crew try to hit 60, which means they do one and a half times what is required. This is important because decks that are built incorrectly simply won’t last.
“I’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands, of decks that have not been built correctly,” says Kelly, who estimates that 80 to 90% of decks are not built up to modern code. “The biggest faux pas is when you have a column and there’s a beam on top of it, you really should notch the top of the column that’s holding the deck up. A lot of times they are bolted or nailed to the side of the post so the entire deck is basically held up by six bolts. You should notch it so the beams are sitting on top of the post. That way the whole post would have to disintegrate for the deck to fail.”
In addition, his carpentry crew is experienced at framing and trim work.
“A deck is structural, yet it has to look nice with finishing touches,” Kelly says.
Specializing in custom decks, open porches, screened patios, paver patios and sunrooms, they also do pergolas and fire features, which have increased in popularity this year.
Prior to owning Archadeck, Kelly was a teacher of religion, having attended seminary and earned a theology degree. He and his wife Leah have three children, Clare (5), Luke (4), and Monica (6 months). He decided to switch gears and try something new, which he admits was a bit nerve-wracking, but he’s been pleased with the result.
“I’m proud of what we can accomplish as a crew,” Kelly says. “I love this business and the people I work with.”