Hi, my name is Jeffrey Koller. I was born Christmas Day 1955. I grew up in LaGrange and have lived in this area my entire life. I was a very hard worker since I was a child, having an extremely successful lawn cutting business along with two paper routes. In high school I worked for Jewel and in the summers worked full time for the LaGrange Park Park District.


After graduating from Lyons Township High School, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corp to serve my country as my father, grandfather, and great grandfather did. I graduated boot camp and returned home on leave to marry my high school sweetheart.


With the Marine Corps behind me, I enrolled at the College of DuPage where I received my associate degree in one year and made the dean's list. It was then on to the University of Illinois where I obtained a bachelor degree in accounting.


I landed a job that summer with a publishing company in downtown Chicago. My first son, Jason was born, and although the money was good, I always enjoyed working outside. That's when it all started. I purchased an old pickup truck, fixed the rust, had it painted, and began building decks on the weekends for extra money. This was my passion and I looked so forward to the weekend, where I could transform an ordinary backyard into something beautiful where families could entertain and have old fashioned family barbeques. After two years, I put my resignation in and began building decks full time.


My sons, Jason and Anthony didn't have to look far for high school jobs and started work with me when they were both fifteen years old. I am so fortunate to be able to work with my sons every day, because there were such long hours building my business, I missed out on a lot as they were growing up. Last summer I reached the three thousand five hundred deck plateau, performing my talents day in and day out.

I have kept our business small, so we can retain the small family business atmosphere, with either one of us, or all of us working on your project. Jason has been building decks for twenty-five years and Anthony for twenty-one years. They are so talented and enjoy their work the same as I do. Our work is the best in the business as we take extreme pride in it. We go the extra mile for our customers. We have five star references from our customers on Decks.Com, Angies List, and it really makes everything we do worthwhile.


A little bit about maintenance-free decks. I have been working with these products for twenty five years now and I am in awe at the progress these products have made. For example, at the beginning the floors did not have wood grain, they faded, scratched very easily, molded, and were very slippery. Today's products do not fade, mold, nearly impossible to scratch or burn, have a heavy wood grain to prevent slipping, and your only maintenance is rinsing the deck off with your garden hose. There is no more power washing, sanding, scraping, and staining taking up two weekends of your time, or paying someone else to perform the work.


All decks have pressure-treated frames with a life span of forty to forty-five years. Sixty per cent of our business today is peeling up the old wood floor, removing the rails, steps and installing maintenance-free decking with hidden fasteners and rails. I have a Trex deck with aluminum balusters and two years ago would have been my year to replace any bad boards and stain my deck. I sat out on my deck with a six pack of beer, fired up the grill, cooked a steak dinner for my wife, and listened to the ball game on the radio. I told my wife of forty-three years “that was one hell of a tough stain job” and she just laughed.


If your deck is twenty-five years or younger, you might want to consider a composite. It's more expensive than wood, but take into consideration the cost and time of staining your deck every two years, as recommended by the wood manufacturers.


In closing, it is hard to believe where the forty-two years have gone. I am blessed that I was able to do something that I loved all these years. If I had to do it all over, I would do the same thing as it has been a wonderful ride.