Award-Winning Boutique Backyard Resorts
“If you cut your fingers off neither of us are going home.” That’s what Sean McAleer, CEO of DeckRemodelers.com, grew up hearing from his dad, a 2nd generation carpenter and Irish immigrant raising a family in New Jersey.
Sean’s father ran a woodworking and architectural shop, doing high-end installs in commercial spaces and corporate offices, and it was from him that Sean learned the skills and values that later powered his nationally acclaimed outdoor remodeling business.
Fortunately, Sean kept his fingers and his dad his marriage. Sean recalls, “It was like Karate Kid and ‘wax on, wax off.’ My dad would have me sand this, cut that, sometimes 500 times in a row. I was cutting wood with a jigsaw by 7 or 8 years old.” Along the way, Sean learned the trade from his father and quickly rose to become a 3rd generation master carpenter in his 30s.
I wanted to move on from wood, which needed a lot of maintenance that people didn’t want to keep up with. I started experimenting with different methods and materials.Sean McAleer, CEO, DeckRemodelers.com
Sean worked with his father during the summers and in the winters he worked his way up in restaurants starting as a dishwasher. He ended up on scholarship at the Culinary Institute of America after excelling at the Culinary Olympics.
Though he enjoyed his time in the kitchen, Sean went back to pursue a four-year college degree and graduated Suma Cum Laude. During that time he realized he missed construction. He got a job working for his father’s friend at around 20 years old, and by the ripe old age of 22 he was building houses.
As it turns out, building houses and going to college at the same time was a challenge so Sean scaled back to focus on exteriors only and found his true calling. Sean recalls, “I loved making decks that looked awesome using advanced techniques and emphasizing quality of design. I was doing combo screwing/plugging, my decks had no visible nails. It looked like furniture. I was doing layered profile fascia 15 years ago that is now used by top deck builders across the country. We won first place in a national competition for IPE decks, and went on to win a lot of additional awards for our work.”
Trouble was, though he loved building decks, he found a lot of the materials at the time lacking. That’s around when the 2008 financial crisis hit and the lower-end of the decking market fell away. Sean saw the writing on the wall as to the industry’s direction. He sold his deck maintenance business and started anew, this time with an emphasis on creating boutique backyard resort experiences using vendors he knew and trusted to meet his exacting needs.
Adds Sean, “I wanted to move on from wood, which needed a lot of maintenance that people didn’t want to keep up with. I started experimenting with different methods and materials. I used Composite Trex, Azek, and Wolf. I wanted to know all about the companies and people I worked with, to understand their vision for the products they were selling. I wanted to become a partner and have someone to talk to about quality control and testing. I was building natural kitchen extensions with real stone veneers, along with privacy walls where I wanted to incorporate a scrolled iron look.”
It was privacy walls that lead Sean to Acurio. He loved our high-quality, durable PVC lattice products but also the direct support he got from our team.
According to Sean, “Having a strong team is everything; it’s the most important differentiator we have in the market. Our team is awesome. They are passionate about what they do and are goal-driven. We do a lot of training through our apprenticeship program, but we also frequently bring in vendors like In-Lite from Canada, attend educational expos, and go to deck award shows. We also ship out to training programs like Azek University, Wolf Pro training, and other valuable opportunities. New recruits are either here as part of our team for a couple of weeks or forever. They are smart, passionate, and want to be the best.”
In the last few years, Sean’s company has expanded rapidly into New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, now even offering pools along with cabanas, outdoor kitchens, stone ovens, fire features, motorized louvered roofs, and more to complete the backyard resort dreams of their clients.
Asked about the future of his high-end outdoor remodeling empire, Sean says he’s driven by a philosophy derived from Warren Buffett’s remarks that every company is a technology company whether you know it or not.
According to Sean, technology drives everything at DeckRemodelers.com. “We work off a cloud platform. We have daily logs and are geolocated into every job with direct tracking of labor. We know when and where our people are on a project in real-time. We use pictures, tagging, and more to track and manage every touchpoint with our clients and vendors.”
It’s hard to argue with the results. After its inception in 2008, DeckRemodelers.com won its first national award in 2010. Since then, they have won 62 additional awards, more than 3x their nearest competitor.
Acurio is proud of our role as a trusted vendor to Sean and his company, and we wish him and his team a healthy and prosperous future!