Turning Your Building & Design Side Job Into a Full Time Career

Archadeck of Chicagoland owners David and Kristen Berryhill detail how their passion led to professional success.

David Berryhill didn’t set out to launch a career in design. When he moved to Chicago in the late 1980s, it was to attend Columbia College and play football. After graduating, he started out in manufacturing with Exchange Parts of America, a manufacturer of small adhesives, as a plant manager before eventually transitioning to BarderTrust as a General Manager.

While Berryhill developed his professional background in sales and management, he also started picking up an eye for design with his wife Kristen. The duo owned and remodeled rental properties on the weekends as a side job. But as they continued their weekend operations, they began to think of ways to make a career out of modeling and design.

Their breakthrough came in 2004 when Berryhill attended classes at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. After learning about botanical design and landscaping, the Berryhill’s looked into franchising opportunities in a related field. The couple realized that they had passion for outdoor design, and when they found Archadeck, they knew it was a perfect fit.

The Berryhills opened Archadeck of Chicagoland in 2004, catering only to the northern suburbs of the area in Lake and McHenry Counties. However, over the course of the past few the years, the couple has experienced exponential growth.

Their territory now includes all of the suburbs from the northern Illinois-Wisconsin Border, down to the Southwestern Suburbs of Tinley Park and as far West as Huntley. To accommodate their expanded territory, the Berryhills opened a second location in Naperville for the Southwestern Suburbs.

“For the past six years, we’ve been growing at a rate of about 30%. That momentum is something we plan to continue building,” said David. “Not only have we opened a second location, we also had to move our Palatine location to a bigger warehouse to accommodate our growing needs.”

Because of their expansion, Berryhill says the company averages around 180 projects throughout the summer. And this year, they eclipsed the 200-project mark.

Through their work, the Berryhills have received awards for different projects, most recently being recognized by Archadeck for the best outdoor living design in the decking category. The design included the remodeling of a deck that had a frame in-place, as well as adding on a pool to the client’s deck.

“Remodeling the deck itself was the easy process because we had the frame in place. But we needed to remove the old decking material and put in the new surface,” Berryhill said. “The hard part was incorporating the pool—the original design didn’t have that addition in mind.”

While the awards are a significant to their business ownership, the Berryhill’s don’t stray away from why they originally bought their first Archadeck franchise.

“At the end of the day, we get to live out our passion of landscaping and outdoor design,” said Berryhill. “Kristen and I really enjoy the excitement we see in our clients when we can help them realize their dream get away destination right in their own backyard.”