Contractor's Corner: Nuggets of Wisdom from Mark Nelson

 

We’re proud to introduce you to Mark Nelson, founder of Nelson Log Restoration in Cody, Wyoming. Mark has been working in the construction industry since he was six years old.  Mark has a love and affinity for anything involving a chainsaw — especially log structures. (Can you relate?) Mark shares stories of trial and error and a few painful lessons learned. After decades of industry experience, you’re sure to gain a nugget or two from Mark’s experience.

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What is your scope of service? What’s your favorite type of project?

From media blasting to staining, chinking and checks, log repair or replacement, all the way to thermography, Nelson Log Restoration does it all. Nelson is a full-service log home restoration company. “I consider myself an artist. I love bringing the artistic side to log home finishing,” Mark told us. He has an affinity for restoring large log homes. “Stepping back to enjoy the finished product of a grandiose home is especially rewarding.” 

What, if any, add-on services have you found to be particularly successful? Why?

“Definitely media blasting!” explained Mark. Media blasting has become such a prosperous part of Mark’s business that it’s almost become a separate business. “Proper blasting techniques are important. Doing it the right way makes a huge difference,” Mark said. He added that properly blasting creates the perfect conditions for Sashco products to shine. Mark chuckled, “Sashco products are so good, we’re working ourselves out of business. They just don’t have to have maintenance very often. It’s not worth using an inferior product, though. I want my customers to be happy and to call me back when they finally have to.” (Sorry not sorry, Mark.)

What was your greatest learning mistake? The mistake that taught and improved your expertise the most?

“Without question, learning the right way to blast. I knew the log construction side of things, but blasting was my weakness. I still remember my first blasting job. I look back and think, scary. I came to Sashco’s Zero Failures Seminar and that helped a ton. Learning the proper way to blast made a huge difference. The fact is, you can ruin a log home if blasting isn’t done right. You can cause serious damage to logs. When you learn how to blast the right way, the finished product is just so much better.”

Mark added, “The other huge decision that impacted our business was attending the Sashco Zero Failures Business Focus Seminar. The information I took from that Seminar radically changed our business.”

How did you get into the log finishing business? How long ago?

"I've spent my whole life around logs," Mark told us. He started building with his dad when he was just a kid. Then, 30 years ago, Mark took up chinking. He started his chinking career with an “artist’s hand.” One thing led to another, and about twelve years ago, Mark jumped into offering full restoration services. He’s never looked back. For Mark, the combination of veteran service and commitment to using only the best products and practices has culminated in a successful business that now employs a staff of twelve people.

Thanks, Mark, for sharing just a bit about your business. We know we just scratched the surface (er…lightly sanded a log???). Want to learn more about Nelson Log Restoration? Check out their website and follow them on Facebook.

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