Keeping Our Word

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The Best Piece Of Business Advice I Ever Got Was From My Dad When I Started This Deck Company 25+ Years Ago:

“You’ve Got To Do What You Tell People You’re Going To Do”

A Message From Dale Ervin, Owner & Founder of Custom Decks

In 1996, I was 21 years old and was feeling a little stuck.

While many of my friends had gone to college, graduated, and were finding purpose in their careers, I had made the choice to work for a deck company in my teens and early twenties. That was going fine… until one day I showed up to work and discovered my employer had gone out of business.

That left me dangling and unsure of my next move. My dad could see that uncertainty, and he said to me, “Why don’t you start your own deck company?”


Me? I was 21.

“How could I start and run a business?”

His answer changed my life.

“To run a successful business, you’ve got to do what you tell people you’re going to do.”

He went on to explain that it really wasn’t much more complicated than that. All people want is for a contractor to keep promises and deliver the results that the customer paid for.

I realized he was absolutely right and if I stayed focused on this one principle – keeping my word to customers – that I could actually do this.

Still, It Wasn’t Easy At First…

Okay, so I now had a rock-solid principle that I would use as the foundation of my business. And I had deck building experience.

The only problem was I didn’t have much else, including money.

My mom & dad helped me out by giving me a $500 loan, and I went in search of jobs. I heard “NO” 56 times (give or take!). In fact, I had become so used to hearing no, when I finally got a yes, it took me a minute to realize the customer had actually agreed to hire me!

While that first year was definitely a little lean, I’m happy to say I generated enough business to stay afloat, and from there, things took off.

Fast Forward 25+ Years

Today, Custom Decks is nothing like my little one-man operation launched in 1996. Now I have a full team of professionals – designers, installers, customer service specialists, and more. We have a big, beautiful showroom and have won national awards for the beauty of our decks.

All that growth happened because we’ve never lost sight of that simple principle my dad gifted me decades ago: keep your word and always do what you say you’re going to do.

Do We Sound Like Your Kind Of Company?

If you want a beautiful new deck, patio cover, pergola, or outdoor kitchen from a company that always keeps its promises, reach out to my team for a free consultation.


Dale Ervin, Owner & Founder

Custom Decks = The Best Deck Company Serving 4 Metro Areas:

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