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 became an owner in the 40-year-old national franchise in 2016. 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.”
Kelly’s crew is skilled and seasoned, having built hundreds of decks over the last 15 to 20 years. For Kelly, maintaining the structural integrity of the product is of paramount importance, and frankly, it’s what sets him apart from 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 minimal. 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 them are not built in accordance with 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 – the big 6”x6″ posts,” Kelly says. “A lot of times they are bolted or nailed to the side of 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 stellar 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 become popular this year.
Prior to owning Archadeck, Kelly was a religion teacher, having earned a theology degree and attended seminary. He married his wife, Leah, and now has four children. 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.”