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Ken Maris, owner of Maris Home Improvements, is a Deckorators® Certified Pro Elite who has been in business for 25 years, leading a crew with over 250 years of combined experience. Located in Chesterfield, Missouri, Maris Home Improvements services St. Louis County and St. Charles County. They specialize in decks, fences, siding, windows, bathrooms and kitchens.
Q: How did you get started in the trades? What brought you into the deck-building business?
A: In 1997 I had a friend who was working at a successful home improvement company. He took me out on an appointment and it all kind of started there. I started as a siding and window salesman. The decks that we were selling at that point were cedar. I think that in order for me to be successful, I need to believe in the product. I really was not a “wood guy” and a lot of the composites and PVC warranties didn't cover normal weathering. I kind of just fell into Deckorators and I ran with it. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made with the company.
Q: Can you tell us about your crews?
A: Paul is my production manager. I've known him for about 25 years. He was actually a deck installer and has been a successful production manager for several years. He put together the crews — all product specific. We have crews that can build a deck in a day or two, and then we have crews that may take a week. The bottom line is that it comes down to how well they are installed and the workmanship.
Q: How would you define your approach to building decks and serving customers?
A: I think that communication is very important. We’re always redefining and getting better in terms of the project and how detailed we are. With drawings, we take pictures of where the deck is going to start. We go back out there. We re-measure. Our contracts are pretty precise on what we do and how we do it.
Q: What makes Maris Home Improvements truly unique? What are some things that are trademark things that you build into your offering?
A: We care about our customers and that, to us, is the most important thing. We take pride in our decks being overly sound and we take the time and the effort to do 12” on-center joist spans and use #1 grade pressure-treated lumber to ensure the quality of the deck. We’re more concerned about quality than price.
Q: What are some of the elements of Deckorators or the products that have appealed to the customer that benefited you?
A: One of the things is service. We install a deck and we receive very few service calls after the job is complete. It's one of the best products out there. The fact that Deckorators actually cares and goes beyond ordinary to help us and our customers out — that makes all the difference. In order to be successful, I think you have to be a team, and I feel that Deckorators is that and more. If I need something, I call and I get it, and that's the way our customers feel.
Q: When did you become a Certified Pro and what was that experience like?
A: We started working with Deckorators and became Certified Pros, and after a short time we became Certified Elite. It means a lot to us and to our customers. I won't help someone with a product that I don't believe in. So almost 100 percent of our business is Deckorators because I have that peace of mind about the product and our customers do as well.
Q: What does the future of Maris Home Improvements look like?
A: The future looks very bright. I've been in business for 25 years and our business is growing rapidly. We are progressive and we’re always looking to get better as a company and develop our relationships with all of our vendors — Deckorators being our number one. We feel it's a great relationship, and we are very happy with it.