Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Kaloutas.
Thanks for sharing your story with us . So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I founded SEAL-A-DECK when I was a student at Salem State University in 2003. I am the son of a master painter, spending most of my life immersed in paints, brushes, and canvases. As a child, I often recall rearranging the furniture and decor of my bedroom and giving my mother decorating advice, sometimes unsolicited. I was raised to have an appreciation and respect for craft, design, and aesthetics. Combining this with my natural drive and passion for creating beautiful spaces, I was inspired to become an entrepreneur. Drawing on my knowledge of the trade secrets and professional techniques of furniture restorers, hardwood refinishers, and craftsmen painters, I devised an exclusive deck restoration system. My aims were twofold: to help customers maintain and preserve the quality of their existing decks, thereby avoiding unnecessary deterioration and costly replacement; and to create beautiful, inviting, outdoor spaces for my customers where they can spend time with friends and family.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In our 15-year history, I have endured many challenges and they have always led to something better. The first couple of years in business were challenging because of the shared workload, focus, and passion needed to launch a successful business, but this was disguised by pure excitement for creating something from nothing! After the early years, we were riding the wave of the real estate market and spending without fully understanding our numbers. After the crash, we found ourselves with fewer customers and a lot of debt. In order to survive, I forced myself to dig deep and gain an intimate understanding of what worked, what did not work, and how to create value for our customers. With grit and the accumulation of small successes turning into big wins, I found myself gaining traction. This growth period led me to our next challenge. Our growth plateaued because the lean ultra-efficient actions that got me through the recession were now holding me back. I was performing all major functions, such as marketing, sales, and project management. In addition, I lacked the confidence to delegate successfully. During this same period, I became involved in a business-networking group comprised of 40 local business owners and leaders. I had the opportunity to undertake the role of Vice President and eventually President in the group. This experience taught me how to become a better leader and it was pivotal to me learning how to successfully hire and delegate to support staff in sales and project management. We have now more than doubled our revenues and are onto our next challenge. Having a team to share, support and execute together helps get through challenges much more efficiently and successfully.
Please tell us about SEAL A DECK.
SEAL-A-DECK, “The Deck Aficionados”, is located in Historic Salem Massachusetts and helps deck-owners create outdoor spaces that bring loved ones together. We use eco-friendly cleaners. and our sealers are guaranteed to never blister, peel, or crack. Our most popular service is our Level-3 Restoration Service. It includes replacing damaged boards, keeping what’s good, and restoring the rest back to like-new condition using special sanding equipment. However, when wood decks are too damaged for restoration, ReDeck is a great option. Often, even the most deteriorated wood decks still have a sound substructure, and the ReDeck process can renovate a deck to avoid completely tearing it down. Several wood species and materials can be used for outdoor decks, but not all of them offer the same benefits and maintenance requirements. Our Deck Aficionados help guide customers to make the best decision for their desired aesthetic and budget. Options include pressure treated Pine (best value), Mahogany, Ipe (hardest, most durable wood), and Composite or “PVC” (most expensive, least maintenance). Customers love us because we save them thousands of dollars and Mother Earth loves us because we keep decks out of landfills.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I loved going on Sunday morning drives with my father. We usually ended up at Denny’s for pancakes, or at Dunkin Donuts for coffee. He would always order a medium, hot, regular, and I would pretend I was drinking coffee while sipping my hot chocolate out of a mug. Other times, we would visit Farmer Bob in Danvers for fresh eggs.
Can you tell us more about your holiday light installation work?
Sure. As the weather cools and deck season starts winding down in early November, we shift gears into holiday light installation. It is a natural transition for us because we are passionate about creating beautiful living spaces that wow our clients. Whether you’re looking to show a little holiday spirit or harness your inner Clark Griswold, we are sure to brighten the appearance of homes, businesses, and municipalities. We work with you to create a lighting plan that accents the best features of your home. We supply and expertly install all the lights and décor including wreaths and garland. Our most popular lights are the warm white, and our most amazing is the interactive lighting system that is real-time sound-to-light – that means after installing these lights in a tree you can sing Christmas carols and the lights will react to the tone of your voice. It’s guaranteed to amaze, regardless of your singing ability! Once the holiday season has ended, our elves return for one last visit to carefully take everything down, label it, and place everything in storage bins. We then bring the bins back to our facility located in the North Pole… I mean the North Shore, and we store everything out of your way, and have it ready for next year!
- Deck Treatments start at $799
- Deck Restoration start at $999
- Deck Repairs start at $199
- Advantage Maintenance Plan $49
- Address: 27 Congress Street Salem, MA 01970
- Website: sealadeck.com
- Phone: 978-538-7325