I am Jim Finlay, the owner and construction manager of a design/build company that specializes in custom decks, porches, sunrooms, patios and additions. We’ve enjoyed serving clients north and west of Boston since 1993.  We view ourselves as a service company, not as a construction company.  Sure, we have finish carpenters and we focus on high quality construction.  But we have always spent the time upfront, either at our client’s home or at our showroom, to understand our clients’ needs and desires, worked with them to modify their project designs, and adjusted their material selections to meet aesthetic and budget requirements.  We meet with them frequently during actual construction to ensure their continuing satisfaction.  The rewards are significant — for them, but also for us. After all, our clients allow us to build their dreams.

You can view some of our projects, awards, and credentials at our website and at the Better Business Bureau, and at Angie’s List.


  1. Please advise on the pros and cons of sanding a mahogany deck before staining. Mine is 13 years old and exposed to full sun. I’ve used Cabot oil every 2-3 years. I did some test sanding on a stair tread and was pleased with the results. Thoughts on sanding the entire deck?

    • David, My primary thought about sanding your deck is: Hey, that’s a lot of work! But, yes, sanding will clean and restore your deck very nicely. More specifically: 1. Be certain all nail or screw heads are countersunk. Any that protrude can damage your sander. 2. Do not use a belt sander: it would be fast, but will likely gouge the mahogany. Not recommended! 3. Instead use a random orbital sander (with a dust collection bag). Its random action avoids repetitive sanding at exactly the same angle at exactly the same place – which gouges the wood. Random orbitals give you good control, are less powerful, and will take more time. But that is precisely what you want here: good control at a slow pace. 4. After you are finished, treat your now beautiful to some good ATO. As I have said before, it’s a labor of love, but you’ll love the results!

      • Thanks. I will try cleaning it well with one of your recommended products and then determine if sanding is necessary. Sanding would be a lot of work.

  2. Hi Jim.

    I live in CT, far from your market area. I chanced upon your website by accident through a google search. It is the best single-place, common sense website about decks, written to answer all basic questions about decking. I am currently trying to resurface my deck and I wish you were here :-).

    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. Wish you a busy and successful deck building season!!

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