Deck Specialist - Fall 2018

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HELP CLIENTS SELECT THE RIGHT RAILING • PERGOLAS • DECK EXPO PREVIEW

DECK

Fall 2018

SPECIALIST Ideas & Strategies for Outdoor Living Professionals

Decking on Wheels


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DECK

SPECIALIST

Ideas & Strategies for Outdoor Living Professionals FEATURED STORIES

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Pick the Right Railing

Guide your clients through the selection process

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Decking on Wheels Supercharge your first impression

WHAT’S HOT

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Beyond the Monotone

Mix and match your decking colors

Outdoor living trends It’s more than just a project plan

Accessorize with Trim Redwood pergolas Bring a luxury finish to the yard

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PROJECT SPOTLIGHT

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Cliff Hanger

Bamboo to the rescue at bluff-top San Diego vacation home

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COVER STORY Dr. Decks has customized his ride to drive more deck sales.

ALSO INSIDE 8 Editor’s Note 10 Industry News 38 Tool Review with Marv Johnson 40 On the House with the Carey Bros. 42 The Bottom Line with David Elenbaum 44 The Rail Post with Matt Breyer 46 Set the Standard with Brendan Casey 48 Kahle on Sales with Dave Kahle 52 How To: Digging Post Holes 54 New Products 60 Ad Index 60 Date Planner 62 Idea Book



DECK SPECIALIST A publication of 526 Media Group, Inc.

151 Kalmus Dr., Ste. D200, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Phone (714) 486-2735 Fax 714-486-2745

President/Publisher Patrick Adams padams@building-products.com

OUR MARKET MOVES QUICKLY… DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Vice President Shelly Smith Adams sadams@building-products.com Managing Editor David Koenig david@building-products.com Editor Stephanie Ornelas sornelas@building-products.com Columnists Matt Breyer, James & Morris Carey, Brendan Casey, David Elenbaum, Marv Johnson Guest Contributors Jase DeBoer, Doug Fritsch, Brent Gwatney, Mike Hale, Jessica Hewitt, Dave Kahle, Jason Russell, Matt Michalski, Katy Tomasulo

G • DECK EXPO RECAP

• CHOOSE THE RIGHT RAILIN

DECK

BEST DECKS OF THE YEAR

WINTER 2017

SPECIALIST Ideas & Strategies

for Outdoor Living

Professionals

Director of Sales Chuck Casey chuck@building-products.com Sales & Marketing Coordinator Julie Conlan • jconlan@building-products.com

Advertising Sales

Chuck Casey chuck@building-products.com (714) 486-2735 Patrick Adams padams@building-products.com (714) 486-2735

Subscriptions

info@building-products.com (714) 486-2735 DECK SPECIALIST is published quarterly at 151 Kalmus Dr., Ste. D200, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, (714) 486-2735, Fax 714-486-2745, www.building-products.com, by 526 Media Group, Inc. (a California Corporation). It is an independently owned publication for U.S.-based builders and contrators that specialize in decking and other outdoor living projects. Copyright®2018 by 526 Media Group, Inc. Cover and entire contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission. All Rights Reserved. Deck Specialist reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter, and assumes no liability for materials furnished to it. Fall 2018 • Volume 2 • Number 3

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Award Winning Decks 12/8/2017 4:01:32 PM

The new publication for qualified industry decision makers! STAY IN THE LOOP! • Update your subscription • Sign up key colleagues • Enroll multiple locations DeckSpecialist 4 2017.indd

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SUBSCRIBE by emailing info@Building-Products.com or calling (714) 486-2735

DECK S P E CI A L I ST

is available on a qualified requestor basis to senior management of U.S.-based builders & contractors specializing in decking and other outdoor living projects and to others at the rate of $22 a year. Subscribe by emailing info@building-products.com or calling (714) 486-2735


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EDITOR’S NOTE

Something for builders who know everything Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re good at what you do. Real good. You are convinced, rightly so, that no one knows your business as well as you do. There’s no one better at working with your customers, dreaming up plans they want to buy, and transforming those ideas into a reality, efficiently and profitably. You farm out certain tasks, but the overall way you operate is all on you. And, as a result, you haven’t changed the basic ways you do business for forever. But what if there are better ways? More appealing product lines? New sales and marketing strategies? Ways to prospect, design, install, hire, fire, all better than the ways you’ve always done it? You might get wind of new ideas in the pages of Deck Specialist. But sometimes the most valuable lessons need to be learned in person, delivered to apply precisely to your business And that’s why every year I love attending DeckExpo. It’s eye-opening and actually refreshing to be reminded that I don’t know everything. You can pick up and handle the latest outdoor living products and tools. You can sit in on any of more than 50 informative presentations (including two presented by Deck Specialist that will feature our expert columnists—see page 59 for details).

But the most valuable opportunities await you one-on-one. This year, the show expects more than 5,000 industry professionals, many of them outdoor living contractors just like you. In many cases, these are builders who are doing great work, but in ways totally different than you. They’ve also faced challenges similar to yours and many have responded with different solutions. You can meet them walking the wide aisles of the show floor, during the presentations, or at networking events coinciding with the conference. Several exhibitors are planning gettogethers for their customers; as well, the show’s organizers are sponsoring a kick-off reception on Oct. 9 and the North American Deck & Railing Association has its annual banquet Oct. 10. DeckExpo is once again being held in conjunction with the Remodeling Show, this year Oct. 9-11 at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD. There’s an old Chinese proverb that says, “A person who thinks he knows everything has the most to learn.” I think if that person were a deck builder, he should be looking into a trip to Baltimore.

David Koenig is managing editor of Deck Specialist. Reach him at david@building-products.com

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ACCESSORIES & TOOLS

Stains & Finishes

INDUSTRY

Cutek NEWS

(800) 677-7930 Superdeck Exterior Wood Stripper Eco Chemical Fence Stain Superdeck Transparent Stain – 10 colors cutekextreme.com ___________________________ Pressure Treated Stain – 6 colors (844) 442-8835 Semi-Transparent Stain – 64 colors Cutek Extreme – 10 colors products are available in Company 12- and 16-ft. lengths, Fortune Taking Over Fiberon Flood Exotic Hardwood Stain – natural, cherry, walnut Cutek ProClean Stain Remover in both grooved and square flood.com profiles, with coordiComposite decking and railing manufacturer Semi-Transparent Waterborne Stain – 100 colors ___________________________ nating skirting. (800) 321-3444 Fiberon, New London, N.C., has agreed to be Stain – 7 colors Waterborne CWF-UV ClearFleet Wood Finish – cedar, Based in Appleton, WI., Farm has honey 40 gold, DeckMAX DeckIL., & Dock Elastomeric Coating – 55 colors acquired by Fortune Brands, Deerfield, for natural,Wisconsin, redwood deckmax.com locations in Minnesota, Iowa and Solid Color Stain – 80 colors $470 million. Series CWF-UV5 – 7 ground colors DeckMAX E2 PVC Deck Revitilizer North Dakota, andPro recently broke on its Duckback Fiberon will become part of Fortune’s newComposite Cleaner CWF Oil Pentrating Oil Wood Finish – cedar, DeckMAX Professional Grade PVC Cleaner Duckback P-3 Peeling Paint Primer first store in South Dakota. It just added stores Doors & Security segment, which also includes natural Concentrate ___________________________ Sept. 8 in Eau Claire, WI., and in August in Therma-Tru Doors and Master Lock. Other Pro Series CWF Multi-Surface Waterproofing Composite & Wood Deck Cleaner Oconomowoc, WI., and Sioux City, IA. Two more Dumond Chemicals segments Plumbing Clear Sealant DeckMAX PVCare Revitalizing Wipes (Moen) and Cabinets outlets will open by October and– 8seven dumondchemicals.com ___________________________ Pro Series CWF2018 Hardwoods colors more (MasterBrand). will be unveiled in 2019. Pro Series Spa-N-Deck – 6 colors The deal is expected to close before(800) the245-1191 end of DeckWise Peel Away Deck Cleaner Pro Series Semi-Transparent Alkyd/Oil Stain – September. deckwise.com Peel Away Deck Restorer Outdoor Lighting 40 colors Franchisee (866) 427-2547 Peel Away Deck BrightenerExpands into Pro Series Semi-Transparent Acrylic/Oil Stain – Northwest Atlanta Fleet Farms Decking Ipe Oil Hardwood FinishAdds Envision Peel Away Deck Remover 40 colors Joe Bozich, the owner of Outdoor Lighting IpeMidwest Seal End Grain Sealer Fleet Farm has agreed retailer to ___________________________ Pro Series Solid Color Stain – tintable to over Perspectives of Chattanooga, TN., has acquired CleanerTAMKO & BrightenerBuilding Products’ Envision comstock 120 colors EaCo Chem Deck Restoration Kit the Northwest Atlanta territory, expanding his to Pro Series Resurfacer Acrylic Stain – tintable posite decking. ___________________________ eacochem.com ownership across two neighbor states. over 120 colors Fleet Farm is distributing Envision (724) 656-0753 Lighting Perspectives Pro Series All-Purpose Deck Wash Inspiration composite deckingLCSinWater-Based the col- Stripper Known as Outdoor Duckback capped Products Pro Series Wood Cleaner of NW Atlanta, Bozich will design and install superdeck.com ors Tangled Twine and Weathered Wicker, and ___________________________ Pro Seriessystems Wood Stripper custom outdoor lighting for residential (800) 825-5382 EverGrain uncapped composite decking in the Spa-N-Deck Finish Coat Superdeck Exterior Wood Cleaner Eco Chemical and commercial, including landscapes, gardens, colors Cape Cod Grey and Weathered Wood. The ___________________________ Superdeck Exterior Wood Brightener ecochemical.com

Do You Buy Hidden Deck Fasteners or Construction Lags? We Guarantee the Best Quality and The Best Price! Call or email us for details!

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patios, decks, poolsides and all kinds of outdoor living spaces. He has been an Outdoor Lighting Perspectives franchisee since 2011. Established in 1995, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives is the first and largest full service outdoor lighting company. The brand boasts over 100,000 installations, over 50 locations across the U.S., and three international locations.

MOSO North America’s MOSO Bamboo X-treme has become the first bamboo decking to be certified for Wildlife Urban Interface (WUI), following its listing by Cal Fire.

Pioneer Spreading in Arizona

Pioneer Landscape Centers, Highlands Ranch, CO., has acquired Granite Express, Mesa, AZ. Founded in 1999, Granite Express owns and operates several quarries surrounding the Phoenix area. It blends into Pioneer’s current hardscapes, outdoor living supplies, and artificial grass product offerings by specializing in materials such as decorative landscape rocks, aggregate, boulders, specialty stone, and more. “Acquiring Granite Express allows us to not only inherit a new pipeline of business but also gives Pioneer the ability to expand and thrive in the Arizona market,” said Sagi Cohen, CEO of Pioneer Landscape Centers. “Granite Express seamlessly fits within our ‘farm-to-table’ strategy by enhancing Pioneer’s commercial division and product capabilities, bringing us one step closer to our goal of being the premier customer-centric, outdoor living destination in the Southwest.” Granite Express will become a Pioneer division and will maintain current leadership and employees as it transitions into the Pioneer Landscape Centers organization. Pioneer currently operates 36 retail locations across Arizona and Colorado and 25 quarries. Fall 2018

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Steps to help clients select

the right railing By Jase DeBoer, Deckorators

Railing used to be a lower priority in the deck-planning process. Homeowners focused most of their time and treasure on choosing the ideal composite decking; railing selection was an afterthought. Nowadays railing is starting to get the attention it deserves across the decking industry. The fact is, once homeowners add rugs, furniture, plants and a grill to their deck surface, the decking becomes a secondary focal point. Railing is actually the most visible feature of the deck: the eye-catching element that can complete and personalize a deck design. Homeowners are realizing that decking is like the neutral wall of their project and railing is the artwork they can use to express their design flair. Contractors, 12

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ABOVE: No longer an afterthought, railings are now a primary consideration in deck design. OPPOSITE: Cable railing is both stylish and unobtrusive, providing maximum views. (All photos by Deckorators)


too, are recognizing railing’s design potential— and the selling opportunities that come with it. Railing deserves the same effort and care as decking when planning an outdoor space alongside clients. Following are steps you can take to help your customers select the ideal railing for their home and taste, while enhancing your business at the same time.

Grasp All the Railing Options

From wood to aluminum, to composite, cable and glass, the railing options available to you and your clients are extensive. With so many brands, materials and styles to choose from, contractors should consider manufacturers with a wide and proven selection plus compatible balusters, post caps and accessories. When comparing the features and benefits of offerings from different manufacturers, give special weight to three key factors: • Style. Available railing styles are growing to include even more contemporary looks that can make a deck stand out. Check product lines for on-trend options such as sleek, sophisticated aluminum railing or a glass railing system that

enables a beautiful view. Solar and low-voltage lighting solutions can complement railing to create nighttime ambience and improve safety. • Ease of installation. Time is precious, especially in the midst of a significant skilled labor shortage. Product options such as an attractive railing system that comes in preassembled sections can help you create capacity and keep jobs moving. • Warranty. Products you use should be backed by a strong warranty so you can look forward to referrals rather than callbacks. The support of a warranty including removal-andreplacement coverage can give you and your clients extra peace of mind. The knowledge gained during your research can inform building material recommendations. While evaluating product options, consider signing up for a preferred-status program with business benefits tied to product usage.

Learn Your Client’s Home & Taste

Once you have identified railing products you trust, learn as much as you can about each client and home. Inquire about material, color, texture Fall 2018

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They may sound like opposites, but metallic railing often pairs well with tropical-look decking.

• If your client is looking for a more cohesive flow from the home’s exterior to the deck, stay in the same color family. Dark-gray exterior colors paired with light-gray decking helps maintain a continuous look through the outdoor space. A black aluminum railing coordinates well with the decking color and siding color. • Railing need not obstruct your client’s view due to building code restrictions. Cable railing is a great view-saving option that allows for an open concept and air flow through the deck. Another ideal choice to preserve a view is a high-end glass railing system. Selecting the decking-and-railing combination that best complements the client’s home and taste can be complicated. Your expert design consultation can help increase customer satisfaction in the outcome—and help you capitalize on a selling opportunity.

Visualize the Design Possibilities

and style preferences in relationship to the house, and use the insight you gain to drive deck design and identify upsell opportunities. Guide conversations by suggesting deckingand-railing combinations that coordinate best with each client’s home. Suggest color schemes and railing options that help the outdoor space flow with their house and property. • If the exterior of the home has a neutral color scheme such as tans and beiges, then a bold, brown variegated decking is a strong option. Color streaking throughout the boards lends a rich, tropical look that can be enhanced with railing featuring a brushed-titanium finish. • If glass doors or windows surround a deck, consider indoor décor. For homes with a modern style, a simple, brown or gray deck color with variegation and a complementary black cable railing system maintains a modern look throughout. • Light-gray house siding with dark-toned gray decking is a simple yet magnetic color combination. Combined with white composite railing, gray distressed decking is even more visually appealing.

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When your clients need a visual to bring their vision to life, a deck design program is a powerful planning tool. Use a web-based deck visualizer and complementary mobile application to digitally render deck ideas, including railing options. As an example, the free Deckorators Deck Visualizer enables you to design with the full line of Deckorators products in a 360-degree environment. The program allows mapping deck location and size, and features versatile tools such as picture framing, board angles, unique shapes and multi-level options. A mobile application for tablets is ideal for on-site consultations with your clients. The Deckorators app works seamlessly with the desktop version of the program. You can save back and forth between versions and download building plans with materials lists and product codes to set projects in motion. Railing has always been an important aspect of a deck. Today it is finally beginning to share some of the design spotlight with decking. Use these planning tips to help your clients make a railing selection that fits their home, turns heads, and boosts your bottom line. Jase DeBoer is senior category marketing manager for Deckorators, a Universal Forest Products brand and industry leader in composite decking, railings, balusters and post caps. For more information, visit www.deckorators.com.


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Decking on wheels Sell your first impression By Jason Russell, aka Dr. Decks Photos by Clemens Jalemma

So my son wanted to be an Uber driver.

“Hey, Dad, can you help me obtain a newer car so I can start my new career?” OK, Son, if this is really what you want to do with your life and it’s your calling, I’ll co-sign a loan with you and get you a current vehicle that meets the current necessary vehicle guidelines.” “Can we get a hybrid, Dad, so I get really good gas mileage? You know that will be my biggest expense, Dad.” “Sure, Son. Let’s spend the extra money on a fuel economical car so you can bring home that extra cheddar and really start stacking those Benjamins!” We settled on a 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE. A very nice car indeed. If you knew my son and his personality, then you you’d know this was an interesting idea from the start. My son is more of an intro-

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vert than a chatterbox, and I think people just wanted to talk to him too much. So one year later I was assuming the loan and the car. The worst part about it was the car was silver in color—not really my jam, but at least I wasn’t upside down on it. Yet. I haven’t personally owned a sedan in over 20 years. My wife has a SUV that we get groceries in and she owns a really nice sports car that she gives me rides in occasionally, but it is hers, not mine. I’ve always been cool with that. I’ve owned TRUCKS! Big, burly, heavy-duty, lumber-carrying, trailer-towing, filthy dirty jobsite transporters that got me, my tools, and supplies from point A to point B perfectly. Ain’t no thing. Right? So my wife Kiki and I are conversing one night and she asks, “Why don’t you turn the


car into an estimating vehicle?” “IT’S THE WRONG COLOR!!!” I promptly reply. She says, “So what? Paint it any color you want, put the business graphics on the side, and make it yours; you deserve a nice ride.” Damn, I love my wife, but honey, if I’m going to do this, I’m going Rebel. The days of pulling up to a million-dollar house in a beat-up jalopy with half of your tools and some lumber in the back of a rusted-out pick-up truck are over. To sell an upper echelon client, you must act the part from when the rubber meets their beautiful paver driveway. Today’s client wants to see a successful contractor arrive in a presentable vehicle. This is why I built this car. And it must fit the personality of the pursuer; for me, this car is getting murdered out. No chrome, no blue emblems, no silver brake drums—all black, no exceptions. (I’m slightly obsessive.) Mechanically, the car is great. Forty mpg works for me when I’m zipping around town. I’m saving several hundred dollars in fuel per month vs. running my work trucks for estimating purposes. I’m lavished in luxury with dual climate controls, steering wheel audio, and cellular controls I’m pleasantly surprised to possess. Here’s how I started the transformation:

Paint

First stop: my local Maaco Paint dealer in Tacoma, WA. If you know The Dr., my jam is black. Always has been, always will be. So obviously, for maximum stealth appearances, Matte Black will be the base color of this car. I had no idea how difficult or expensive a matte black paint job was going to be, until I had to take the car back for a touch up and they had to repaint the entire car again. Bummer. Good for me though. LOL.

Shoes

Those 18-inch factory rims need to go. We could have had them sandblasted and powder coated black, but I’m looking for a more aggressive stance to the car, not super low, but with enough rubber to take the abuse of the Pacific Northwest streets and not bend the rims up. I went with a 19-inch Niche wheel with a matte black finish and Toyo tires (perfect color and size) to keep the speedometer proper. This car is packed with a lot of tech and I didn’t want to screw with the computer too much, except for the massive voltage drop from the new Rockford Fosgate stereo system. Continue reading to see what I’m spittin’.

DR. DECKS went all black, intent on catching attention and making a statement.

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ALL ABOUT THE BASS: Trunk holds a quality sound system and a floor lined with 16 custom-cut samples of AZEK deck boards. Boards nest two layers high, but there’s room for two more.

Front of Car

That grille needs to go and I have the prescription: a nice T-Rex black (sounds familiar, right?) upper and lower stainless steel mesh grille set that really makes the front of the car look tough (you know the color). Just what the Dr. ordered. While I’m at it, personalized license plates are a must, but have to be wrapped in smoked, carbon-fiber plate holders to let everyone know who’s boss. That’s me, BTW. LOL.

Tinted Windows

I really don’t like to be caught slippin’ while I’m on my way to appointments, so I had to go illegal on the tint. Five percent on the back, 15% in the front for that bad-ass, you-can’tsee-what-I’m-doing look. While we’re at it, let’s smoke the headlights and tail lights so they don’t stand out too much. Man, does that chrome trim detail around the windows need to go. Next!

Vehicle Graphics

Now, I know we all have our own idea of how our business should be displayed on the side of the car. For me, it must be free flowing with the lines of the car and I don’t want it yelling at you while I’m driving down the road. When I pull up to your home, I want it obvious who’s here, but in an ominous, we’re-about-to

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spend-a-lot-of-money-and-be-excited-about-it sort of way. For me, only one man in the State of Washington has this ability and his name is Greg Reid of Seattle, WA. Greg is a master artisan in graphic design and he and his team of artists will add another layer of mind blowing badness to this car that will keep the competition wondering what just happened and how on Earth do I obtain such greatness??? I chose a matte camo 3M Vinyl for all the car graphics. Yes, the most expensive vinyl known to mankind but like Kiki said, I’m worth it. When you Google “Dr. Decks,” you pretty much get access to me, so we opted out of displaying a phone number or web address on the car. But including the almighty Instagram logo was an absolute must. My handle is @drdecks, in case you want to follow along on my journey to become World Champion of Outdoor Living....

The Trunk (the most important part of the car)

OK, you now have a basic idea of the look of the car, but how is it going to help sell decks? Let me show you. First off, music is a passion of mine. A quality head-banging audio system is an absolute must. There is no reason to drive this car without ample brain-numbing bass with high qual-


ity mids and ear piercing tweets to complete my jam. This is where Rockford Fosgate comes into play. I’ve decided to keep the head unit stock and use an adapter to keep use of all the steering wheel controls and hands free technology that came with the car. A serious front and rear speaker upgrade is in order as well as dual 10-inch RF Pro Power Subwoofers. A dual amplifier configuration is in order to power the speakers and subs, four channels to the fronts and rears, two channels bridged for the subs. A custom subwoofer box will be fabricated for the back of the trunk (I know a guy), then the amps will be mounted in a floating style to the back of the box so when you pop the trunk, you get that “Ahhhhh” moment when you see the end result. OK, this step won’t help sell decks, but I’ll be happy upon appointment arrival and first impressions are important, right? As far as the rest of the trunk, we have no room for a spare tire because custom cut and engraved decking samples line the floor. Each piece was painstakingly cut, cut and re-cut to form perfectly to the contours of the trunk. Clients can remove them for inspection to help guide in their decision as to which brand and color of decking product they may want to use on their own backyard work of art. There’s In-Lite low voltage LED lighting installed in the roof of the trunk so if lighting is low, you will have ample lighting that doubles as trick samples of deck lighting. Bonus: the lighting operates on 12 volts so it’s easy to connect into the trunk lighting circuit. A gas strut was added to the trunk for maximum effect. When the trunk lid pops, it opens all the way up. And this, my friends, will help me sell decks. So before you go out and score that 2019 diesel dually long bed, consider who you are and how you would like to draw attention to your business. Being creative to suit your personality is a great way to deliver an unforgettable first impression that will pay dividends when it comes time to make the sale. Jason “Dr. Decks” Russell has spent 28 years passionately building unique and award-winning decks throughout the Pacific Northwest. Find out more at drdecks.com. Fall 2018

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RIGHT: Adding a contrasting color to the tops and bottoms of stairs helps people see the level change better, and avoid missteps. OPPOSITE: Geometric inlays add visual interest and can be used to define seating areas or other functional areas. (All photos by MoistureShield)

Beyond the monotone Create exceptional outdoor living spaces with multiple decking colors By Brent Gwatney, MoistureShield

Master innovator Henry Ford remarked on the Model T that customers could get the car in “any color, so long as it’s black.” Today, the Ford Motor Company makes dozens of vehicles in a wide range of colors. In a similar fashion, composite decking manufacturers have innovated with a wide palette of deck board colors and finish styles—and are introducing additional, beautiful new options every year. The range of available colors provides an opportunity to further enhance your deck designs—and in the process create great customer referrals. 20

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Using more than one color to enhance deck designs

For most of history, decks were relatively simple, with rectangles of one color predominating. But, now more deck builders are showcasing their creativity with multi-level decks, specialty shaped decks, and other unique designs. Today’s range of composite decking colors enables even greater creativity. Some of the ways using more than one color deck board can enhance deck form and function, include creating visual variety, increasing safety, crafting a focal point, and setting off functional areas. Creating visual variety. Adding boards that contrast with the color of the main deck makes for a more visually captivating outdoor living space, especially for large decks that otherwise are uninterrupted. Examples include installing a row or two of darker boards around the edge of a light colored

deck, to serve as a frame, and outlining cutout areas for trees and shrubs (or reversing the color—using lighter boards to frame a darker deck). For a double contrast, place the highlight board(s) on a different alignment from the boards in the majority of the deck (either perpendicular, or at an angle). A truly adventurous builder can even bend a contrasting composite board to meander through the deck, for a one-of-a-kind design. Increasing safety. An excellent way to create visual variety and enhance deck safety is to use contrasting color deck boards to highlight level changes. Placing a different color deck board at the top and bottom of a set of stairs provides a visual cue of the stair’s presence. Likewise, framing the deck in a different color from the main decking helps to delineate edges and keep people from accidentally stepping off, when the deck design calls for a low profile and railings aren’t required by code. Fall 2018

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LEFT: As composites can be bent easier than wood decking, adding a curved contrasting board is an excellent way to create a signature design.

a deck, a different color or colors can be used to highlight a conversational gathering space, a reading nook or an outdoor kitchen.

What about railing?

Crafting a focal point. Beyond simple frames of contrasting colors, creative deck builders also are using more than one color deck board to create striking patterns that become a visual focal point. More deck builders are creating decks with in-laid geometric patterns, along with one-of-kind designs that reflect the homeowner’s specific interests and tastes, such as a compass rose. An ultra-creative guitar-shaped deck built over water even used contrasting colors to represent the guitar’s frits. Setting off functional areas. Inside the home, floor coverings often are used to help delineate different functional areas. Examples include a transition from carpet to hardwood floors or linoleum between a living room and dining room or different styles of hardwoods between kitchen and dining room. Likewise, on

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Railing provides an additional way to shakeup designs for a more appealing deck. Thanks to a growing array of railing options now available—from wood to metal to composites and glass—it is also easy to mix and match colors and designs to complement the deck boards. Selecting railing in the same shade as the decking can create a cozy, well-coordinated look and is a great option for traditional designs. On the other hand, a contrasting railing color, such as black or white can evoke a contemporary, sophisticated look. White railing creates a clean, crisp look against dark decking, while dark railing colors can give any space a modern look and feel, while also visually blending into the surroundings. For a truly distinctive look, builders can mix colors and materials like combining white aluminum railing and balusters with rich brown composite posts to create a dramatic visual. Or, to add a sophisticated mix of texture and color, they can install a composite board that complements the decking color to the top of a white or black railing. Just as Henry Ford was committed to bringing people vehicles of exceptional value and design, composite manufacturers continue to innovate with products that help you craft outstanding outdoor living spaces—and drive more projects for you in the process. Brent Gwatney is senior VP for sales at MoistureShield, a proud member of the North American Deck & Railing Association. He can be reached at brentgwatney@moistureshield.com.


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Cliff hanger Bamboo to the rescue at bluff-top San Diego vacation home By David Koenig

Soap operas and old black-and-white movie serials are famous for their cliff-hanger endings that leave viewers on the edge of their seats, wondering how the seeming disaster will be averted. A recent deck build near San Diego, CA., presented the contractor with a literal cliff-hanger—one challenge after another that all had to be incorporated at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. First off, Fraser Decks & Patio Covers, Escondido, CA., had to make sure a deck was even permissible on the site. “We had a soil engineer who is an expert on cliffs come out to inspect everything to make sure the ground was secure enough to have a deck installed—and it was,” he recalled, breathing a sigh of relief. The framing proved extremely complicated due to being near a cliff. The builder was required to keep the existing concrete pads in place, so they had to install a sleeper-style framing system, while simultaneously allowing for drainage. Through meticulous planning, they were able to get everything exactly how they wanted it. The next dilemma was finding a material that would accommodate the low ground clearance and moist environment. The vacation home’s owner wanted ipe hardwood to wrap around three sides of the structure, along with 24

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a courtyard/entryway deck on the front. “Once I was out there for the estimate, I informed the homeowner that ipe would not be a viable option due to the deck not having the proper clearance for ventilation required for ipe,” Fraser recalled. “As a hardwood, ipe would buckle in this environment and I wouldn’t be able to get a manufacturer to warranty the materials. The homeowner was not interested in a composite deck, so I proposed MOSO bamboo, since he already had bamboo floors inside the home.” Fraser had used the thermally fused bamboo before, even installing a large deck display at his usual dealer, the local Dixieline Lumber in La Mesa, CA. In addition to how the product looks, feels and holds up in warm weather, Fraser also loves “the rich color it starts with and that it


ABOVE: Workmen used laser levels to ensure the elevations on all three sides were perfect, and lined up flush with the home’s three sliding glass doors, including a large La Cantina slider facing the ocean. RIGHT: Side deck extended from the house to the edge of the property. (Photos courtesy of MOSO)


BELOW: Dramatic outdoor lighting preserved bamboo views at night by playing off the matching siding.

Fused bamboo decking allowed the necessary low ground clearance and resistance to the elements.

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fades to gray so nicely. You can maintain it and keep the rich brown color or you can let it fade on its own and it will still look amazing.” Working with distributor Boise Cascade, Fraser was able to meet with representatives from the manufacturer to review the project and obtain a warranty. “The homeowner was thrilled and we were able to move forward with the project,” Fraser said. “If it weren’t for MOSO, this project likely never could have happened!” Because the site was near the ocean, the builder had to take into account the moisture levels and saltwater air that could wreak havoc on a new deck. The pressure to get it right was compounded by the fact that this wasn’t your typical 500-sq. ft. backyard deck. When all was said and done, it would consume over 2,400 sq. ft. of X-treme bamboo decking and an additional 1,000-plus sq. ft. of matching bamboo siding. The deck and siding were installed using hidden fasteners in the field and plugs around the perimeter. “I wanted to see no visible screws, so the hidden fasteners and plugs came in handy,” Fraser explained. “When we install plugs, we always make sure we are lining up the woodgrain pattern on the plug with the woodgrain pattern on the deckboard. If that’s done wrong, hidden fasteners stand out to the


human eye in a very bad way. If done correctly, the plugs seemingly disappear. We are very specific on how we install our plugs because it can really make or break a deck.” The team also installed a product called G-Tape on top of all of its framing. The waterproof tape is designed to help keep deck framing from getting wood rot, keeping the morning dew and rain off of the tops of the lumber, preserving the lifespan of the deck framing. “There’s no point in having a deckboard last 30+ years, if the framing can’t last that long, too!” Fraser concluded. Once deckboards started being laid, crews ran into issues with bird droppings, so they had to keep the deck fully covered when they weren’t working on it. Final touches included installing deck lighting around the perimeter of the deck and laying gas lines for a barbecue and two fire pits. The project took about six weeks to install, completing in early June. During and after the install, Fraser used his DJI Mavic Pro Platinum drone camera to capture process and beauty shots of the project. “There was quite a bit of flying around taking photos,” he said. “That is always fun to do; we do it for free for our clients.” The cliffside location also provided a nice vantage point for spotting other drama during the build—lots of surfers, dolphins and two small boats that were abandoned on the beach below and had to be hauled away by local lifeguards. “They looked like they had been used to smuggle items on shore,” Fraser said. “We’re not sure exactly what was on the boats, but it definitely added a little excitement to our project!”

ABOVE: Gas lines were installed to fuel two fire pits and a barbecue.

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Dive into DeckExpo Connect. Learn. Elevate your craft. What to expect at the upcoming show The 2018 DeckExpo will be landing in Baltimore MD., this year with even more insight and opportunities to network for outdoor living professionals. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center Oct. 9-11, the event will once again team up with the Remodeling Show, to draw an expected 5,000+ industry professionals. Attendees will be able to access training and continuing education classes, live on-floor clinics and product demonstrations, and an expo hall filled with over 300 products from leading manufacturers. Brendan Casey, owner of Casey Fence & Deck and columnist for Deck Specialist, attends the show every year, and explained the importance of checking in with your favorite brands who may have changed or rebranded in the past year. “Many companies have top level decision makers on hand at the expo,” he said. “Believe me, they want to hear both the good and the bad of what you have to say about their products.” Casey explained how he enjoys spreading his time out over the last two days to attend seminars: “It’s amazing to get the opinions of other industry experts, and to learn their point of view and what’s made them successful.” The vibrant show offers an array of courses 28

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Educational Courses – Day 1 Tuesday Oct. 9 8:00 AM – NADRA’s Deck Evaluation/Inspection Certification Program 8:30 – Trends in Home Improvement Spending 8:30 – Mounting Secure Deck Ledgers 10:30 – Leadership Strategy in a Constantly Evolving World 10:30 – Be “Smart Home” Ready: Incorporating Technology Into Current and Future Projects 1:00 PM – NADRA Down the Load Path (Certification) 1:30 – Developing Emerging Managers to Run Your Company 1:30 – Efficient Project Planning and Scheduling 3:30 – Meeting Code Requirements by Understanding Wood Framing 3:30 – The Coaching Edge: Building a Successful Team


and interactive product demonstrations such as the Tools of the Trade Zone, showcasing the latest and greatest tools on the market; a keynote featuring Matt Risinger of Building Science; and two panel discussions with Deck Specialist contributors. In the first, Deck Specialist publisher Patrick Adams will moderate “Build Outside the Box: Crafting Your Brand Your Way,” with the Carey Brothers and Jason “Dr. Decks” Russell discussing how they’ve been able to stand out, grow their businesses, and build margins, and offering suggestions on how builders in the audience can differentiate themselves. The next day, “The Deck of the Future” will address the latest outdoor living trends with columnists Matt Breyer, Brendan Casey, David Elenbaum, and Marv Johnson. Concurrent with DeckExpo, the North American Deck & Railing Association will be hosting its 9th annual awards dinner Oct. 11 at The National Aquarium in Baltimore. Guests can tour three levels of Pier 3 exhibits, network at the cocktail reception, and participate in a silent auction. Awards will also be given to the winners of the annual deck competition.

Educational Courses – Day 2 Wednesday Oct. 10 8:00 AM – Remodeling Housing Market Trends & Forecasts 8:00 – Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce 9:00 – Deck Finishes Workshop 9:00 – Handcrafted Wood Deck Clinic 9:30 – Professional Deck Building Zone 9:30 – Women in Construction Meetup 11:00 – How Content Marketing Connects You to New Consumers 2:00 PM – Build Outside the Box: Crafting Your Brand Your Way (sponsored by Deck Specialist) 4:00 – Why People Buy - Demystifying the Sales Process 4:00 – Adding Value to The Remodel: Future Proofing the Home

Educational Courses – Day 3 Thursday Oct. 11 8:00 AM – Breakfast with the Expert - Strategies for Managing a Profitable Portfolio 9:00 – Deck Finishes Workshop 9:00 – Handcrafted Wood Deck Clinic 9:30 – Professional Deck Building Zone 10:30 – The Deck of the Future: What’s Ahead in Outdoor Living (sponsored by Deck Specialist) 10:30 – Growth Strategies: Four Key Disciplines to Generate Profits for Your Business 1:00 PM – The 10 Commandments of Remodeling

TOP LEFT: The show floor will feature 300 product manufacturers in 18 categories. BELOW: Last year’s deck competition winner: The “Boat House” in Connecticut featuring CableRail from Feeney. Fall 2018

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A GREAT DECK STARTS FROM THE GROUND UP.

MicroPro and NatureWood pressure treated wood products are produced by independently owned and operated wood treating facilities. MicroPro pressure treated wood products are treated with Micronized Copper Azole. NatureWood pressure treated wood products are treated with Alkaline Copper Quaternary Compounds or Copper Azole. MicroPro® and NatureWood® are registered trademarks of Koppers Performance Chemicals Inc. ©3/2018

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kopperspc.com


Approaching today’s outdoor living trends

It’s more than just a project plan By Doug Fritsch, 84 Lumber Photo by 84 Lumber

For years, a family’s go-to outdoor escape was little more than a pool with a modest deck. Today, the idea of outdoor living has expanded to multi-layer structures, elaborate patio lighting and fully functional outdoor kitchens. But don’t mistake these requests for fleeting trends; they’re part of a growing shift that’s Fall 2018

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blurring the line between indoor and outdoor living. While homeowners have historically catered their indoor space to their lifestyle, many of them are now seeking ways to create a seamless flow between the inside and outside— a process that allows them to enjoy the best of both retreats. For many people, the benefits of such an undertaking outweigh the costs. Today’s homeowners are enhancing yesterday’s preferences to create a unique and more memorable living experience.

Today’s homeowners have copious choices. To give customers the outdoor experience they crave, contractors must be an expert in today’s wide range of material and design options. No longer is it enough to understand how to bring a patio, deck or pergola to fruition. Now you must be an expert in satisfying various requests, whether it’s a simple outdoor renovation or an immersive experience complete with outdoor fireplaces, collapsible window walls, backyard theaters, and pool terraces. And a critical part of that process is enabling customers to fully understand what’s available to them. When it comes to materials, many homeowners look for convenient options that increase the overall aesthetic and value of their property. Composite decking—with its reputation as an effective low-maintenance alternative to wood—is a reliable choice across the U.S., but more exotic lumber options such as ipe, teak, cumaru, tigerwood and others are gaining ground. These hardwoods are tight grained, chemical free, and easy on the eye thanks to their striking color. They’re also ecofriendly and resistant to rot. But more often than not, the choice of lumber comes down to budget, regional availability and customer preference. Pressure-treated southern yellow pine remains the go-to product across the country. Western homeowners, however, may also be drawn to redwood or Doug fir because of their prevalence in that region, whereas southern residents might be partial to cypress. Recommending materials that best suit your customer’s needs and tastes is critical to ensure a project’s success.

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Peel back the project onion. The next time you land a big outdoor living project, be sure to talk to your customer about the whole job. Stay focused on the big picture, even if your customer is only asking you to play a small part. By supporting their vision—and offering expert advice on how to make it a reality—you can have a significant impact on the project. Many contractors neglect to encourage their customers to make upgrades that will take their plan to the next level. While many homeowners have the means to enhance their project, they don’t want to be pushed to spend more money. The key is to use your knowledge, experience and common sense to find the right balance for both parties. During the discovery conversation with your customers, don’t hesitate to ask questions that will help you better understand their vision and where they’re willing to invest. If a homeowner is building a deck, maybe they also foresee a detached pergola with a cooking center, a fabriccovered garden gazebo, or an outside lounge with a canopy. Work with them to envision the full picture, then cater your offerings to the intended use of the space. Do they need a built-in bench with storage for pool toys, or a gas line that’s fed to the grill? Even minor suggestions can do wonders for the overall project. Collaboration is key. Lumberyards are a wealth of knowledge and a reliable resource for contractors. Not only are they good for securing potential new business— many can help contractors acquire new leads— but they also have the materials and expertise to make your project efficient and successful. Some even have showrooms with eye-catching displays for inspiration. By collaborating with other experts, you’ll be effective in meeting your customers’ needs and building long-term relationships. Doug Fritsch is the director of web and package services for 84 Lumber, the nation’s top privately held building materials supplier with more than 250 locations across the United States.


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7 trim accessories to complete the deck By Matt Michalski, Boral Building Products

When it comes to decks, much thought is given to the planks, the colors, the layout, and even the railings and balusters. But even the most beautiful of outdoor spaces can feel incomplete if the designer and builder neglect the other important accessories: the trim. A few simple touches in and around the deck can make a huge difference in how decks and porches both look and function—covering up unsightly voids, adding elegance to the ceiling, or beautifying the under-deck areas. And when completed with a material like cellular PVC, the accessories add little, if any, additional maintenance.

LEFT: KleerWrap post wraps install with one person to transform wood posts. Bed and base molding complete the look. (Photos courtesy of Boral/Kleer)

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while reflecting an interior design sensibility that is very much on trend. Similar to fascia, using a white trimboard for the risers offers a pop of contrast against composite stair treads rather than simply blending into the background.

4. Larger deck posts: Outfit larger deck posts with raised trim panels for a bold look adjacent a more subdued railing. This offers the opportunity to stand out from other pre-assembled railing systems. 5. Porch ceilings: A bare ceiling can make an otherwise beautiful porch feel unfinished and unwelcoming. Manmade beadboard offers a simple way to add an elegant look: It is quick to install, comes in several thicknesses and sizes, and doesn’t need much maintenance. Leave it white or add a bold pop of color to complement the other trim colors.

ABOVE: Crafted with Kleer Trimboard, this pergola adds an elegant shading element to the back patio.

Here are seven easy trim elements that can take your decks up a notch while providing additional upgrade opportunities to increase profits.

1. Post wraps: Nothing ruins the look of a deck like exposed treated-wood structural posts that weather over time. Cellular PVC post wraps, which wrap around the wood post and fasten in just a few steps, offer a cleaner, finished look that complements rather than detracts from the rest of the deck. Keep the posts white or paint them a complementary color. 2. Fascia: While many composite deck manufacturers make coordinating fascia board, a contrasting, traditional white fascia is often preferred in Eastern and coastal markets. Cellular PVC trimboard is an ideal option, offering similar performance as adjacent composite materials. 3. Stair stringers and risers: Though often left open, enclosing the stairs gives them a finished look that helps tie them into the rest of the deck

6. Molding: As interior looks continue to infiltrate the outdoor space, many builders are differentiating their homes by incorporating crown molding along porch ceilings and around the deck. One popular spot is around posts; many post wraps come with pre-cut sets, but some installers are going even further with more elaborate wraps using outdoor-ready crown moldings. 7. Pergola: Pergolas offer a decorative element

as well as a degree of shade. Cellular PVC trimboards provide the flexibility to craft a range of styles, from clean and modern to curved and traditional. As homeowner demand for decked-out exterior spaces continues to surge, the pressure is on builders, remodelers, and deck specialists to create living areas that offer both the amenities and the design flair buyers enjoy indoors. Just like crown molding, beams, and chair rail in the living room, well-thought-out trim accessories can help ensure decks and porches look and feel the part.

Matt Michalski is product manager for Boral Building Products, Wixom, MI., manufacturer of Kleer and TruExterior trim. For more info, visit boralbuildingproducts.com.

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Redwood pergolas bring luxury finish to outdoor living spaces By Jessica Hewitt, Mendocino Family of Companies Photos by Humboldt Redwood Co.

Building custom homes for more than 24 years, Palomar Builders prides itself on building each project with the care and quality homeowners expect, with the value and affordability they prize. Palomar co-owner Jeb Allen knew that attention to detail and high-quality finishes would be important to the success of Palomar’s newest

community, Salt Creek Heights, in Redding, CA. Allen wanted to set the standard with the development’s first home and decided that a pergola would connect with the natural surroundings as well as beckon people from indoors to enjoy the outdoor space. The best material for the project, he discovered, was redwood. “We use only high-grade construction materi-

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA builder chose premium redwood for its pergola centerpiece, due to the natural, high-end feeling it brought to the space.

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als, and when it comes down to premium exterior living space, there is nothing better than redwood,” Allen said. The backyard of this first home features a custom-designed pool. As Allen considered the options for defining the space around the pool, he knew the pergola would help draw attention to the space. Some other builders, though, would use materials like composite or aluminum. “The real redwood brings the texture, a different feeling, a richer sense,” Allen explained. “It’s more inviting if you’re standing inside the house and look out the window to see this redwood pergola, and further in the background see some of the gorgeous natural surroundings that just perfectly frame the scene.” Allen reached out to Meek’s Lumber & Hardware, also located in Redding, to find the redwood for the project. Humboldt Redwood was chosen for its aesthetic appeal, as well as the ease with which it supported the custom, sophisticated design. Redwood also underscored some of the sustainable features promoted within this community. With solar panel hookups, tiled roofs, and quartz countertops, the homes already

feature products that support sustainable living. Modern forestry practices, including those of Humboldt Redwood, mean that more redwood trees are grown each year than are harvested and additional protections are put in place around old growth stands, flora and fauna, and water courses, to name a few. Redwood is naturally strong and durable, making it the ideal building material for weekend DIYers and career pros like Palomar Builders. The first pergola was so well received by the homeowners, Allen ordered another eight pergola kits and plans to offer them as a design option when customers visit the Palomar design studio to create their dream homes. “Based on our experiences so far, we can see that more of our customers will appreciate the durability, beauty, and sustainability of redwood timbers used in these pergolas,” Allen explained. Jessica Hewitt is director of marketing for the Mendocino Family of Companies (Mendocino Forest Products, Humboldt Redwood, and Allweather Wood). For more info, visit www.mendoco.com.

DECK SHOW (continued): [1] Loren Graber, Larry Boyts, Scott Jarrett, Rick Fields, Larry Burkholder, Tom Gerard, Rich Peterson, Steve Cripe. [2] Marc Maniaci. [3] Brian Lotz, Pike Severance. [4] Shawn Enoch, Chris Cusack. [5] Wayne Hilton, Ashlyn Kirk, Troy Case. [6] Neil Robinson, Stephen McNally, Mark Shaner. [7] Josh Miley, Erin Canosa, John Paulin, Kirk Hammond. [8] Charles Lien, Tom Faber, Brent Hilton, Thomas Lee, Craig Miles, Jackson Chen. [9] Kristen Kleinsonge, Stephanie Leigh Rose. [10] Charlie Jourdain, Jessica Hewitt, Erica Savage, Phil Herman. [11] Lisa Martin, Chuck Casey, Jamie Kreiser. [12] Stuart Dimery, Valerie Misa. (More photos on next page) Building-Products.com

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TOOL REVIEWS

M18 Fuel Impact Driver Bare Tool (2853-20) Retail Price: $169.00 M18 Fuel Drill/Hammer Drill/Driver Bare Tool (2804-20) Retail Price: $249.00 2-Tool Combo Kit (2997-22) Retail Price: $449.00 www.milwaukeetool.com

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Drivers As promised in my last article, I

requested and received the recently released M18 Fuel Drill/Hammer Drill/Driver and M18 Fuel Impact Driver Kit from Milwaukee Tools. The 2997-22 “kitted” version consists of the 2804-20 Drill and 2853-20 Impact Driver; a very slick dual-voltage, dual-port fast charger designed for charging of both 12-volt and 18-volt batteries concurrently; and two 18-volt XC 5.0 extended runtime batteries. All of the components fit securely in a sturdy, well designed, blow-molded plastic case that also has room for accessories and accoutrements. This space was nice, as previously more than a few similar plastic tool cases were shop modified to make some space, incorporating a hot knife cutter and Dremel Moto Tool to accomplish said mod. Usually with a less than finished appearance. Good looking out, Milwaukee. Additionally, the case seems designed to keep the contents dry and well protected from the elements. I inadvertently discovered this after the tools had spent several very rainy nights exposed in the bed of my truck. All the more

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reason that serious tool manufacturers really need to abandon the tool bag as a cost cutting measure in all but maybe their entry level tool lines and instead include a quality tool case, designed to last the life of that tool. Maybe they should follow Apple’s example; they are meticulous not only in the quality of their products but in their look, feel and presentation. They have industrial designers that focus solely on product packaging and it shows. Apple products are also sold at a premium for a reason—connect the dots. Maybe they are on to something, and the smart money in the tool industry may want to research it. Just my personal $.02. Now don’t even get me going on the metal tool cases that tools used to come with. Sadly, I know those have gone the way of the buffalo and the dodo. But I digress... So after fully charging both batteries, we went to work. We decided to begin with the drill. We first used the M18 Fuel Drill to run a mortar-mixing paddle as we prepared a large batch of countertop concrete mix in a 20-gallon garbage can. Previously, my aging Makita 1/2”


cordless drill, with an 18-volt 3.0 amp hour battery has been pressed into use. Begrudgingly it does it, but only in low range and if the mix is a bit “soupy.” I take note of its protest by how hot the motor housing gets. As I prefer to make the mix more the consistency of pancake batter, we often must resort to rolling out my corded Milwaukee 1/2” Holeshooter drill motor (complete with a metal case) and utilize it. Surprisingly the M18 Fuel Drill managed to do it at a higher RPM and much cooler than the other two drills. The large auxiliary handle that clamps to the drill made this operation much easier on my wrists, providing plenty of leverage to resist the torque generated. It easily outperformed both my other cordless and the corded drill. The next day, with the same battery, we used it to punch 48 holes through double 2x8 PT material, with a fresh 1-1/4” Irwin Speed Bore bit, and the tool easily complied. We did notice toward the end, a slight RPM drop off and by the last few bores the tool speed had decreased significantly. There is no doubt that this tool is absolutely heavy duty. It will take on the gnarliest tasks you can throw at it, handle them all day long and without a whimper. That being said, the tool with its XC 5.0 battery attached, while relatively compact in overall size, can feel sort of bulky and unbalanced when using it for more precision tasks, such as in driver mode. The other side of that coin is that nobody is buying this drill to install cabinet hinges and drawer slides. This tool has an excellent build quality and outstanding runtime, making it ideal for many of the heavy duty tasks encountered by the professional deck builder. Next we grabbed the other fully charged XC 5.0 battery and installed it into the 4.59” M18 Fuel Impact Driver. This is Milwaukee’s

smallest, fastest and most powerful impact driver. After loading up a pouch full of fasteners, we prepared to install the 192 5-1/2” Ledger Lock lag screws at the deck ledger-rim joist connection. The true single handed insertion 1/4” driver chuck actually made installing the correct driver tip a breeze. This is the first chuck of this type that actually functioned as advertised. After using one that works, using any other chuck becomes an exercise in frustration. This is truly the greatest little feature you never knew you missed. So after laying out the fastener locations on the ledger, we each began at opposite ends, in a race to see how this tool would compare to the impact driver we currently use. The Milwaukee claim is that it is 30% faster. From the first fastener driven, the difference was noticeable audibly. The frequency of the hammer on the anvil inside announced that it is indeed faster and our race to the middle ended with my opponent winning our impromptu race... by about a 30% margin. Remarkably, when we were finished, the Milwaukee was warm, but nowhere as hot as our other impact. Over the course of a month, we used the Impact for everything from assembling concrete formwork to installing stainless steel cabinets in an outdoor kitchen, and the tool performed excellently. We were hard pressed to find any fastener driving task that the #2853 did not excel at. Marv Johnson is the principal of Deck Envy LLC, Gig Harbor, WA. Send comments and suggestions for tool reviews to emjaybuilding@mac.com Fall 2018

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ON THE HOUSE

Up your social game When my brother and I began working together as remodeling contractors nearly 40 years ago, we used several means to generate work. Needless to say, word-of-mouth referrals, new jobs for former clients, and Yellow Pages advertising were fundamental. In addition, truck and job signs, door-to-door flyers, home shows, newspaper and magazine ads, and radio constituted our lead generation arsenal.

The World Wide Web rolled around about 25 years ago, but it wasn’t until the last decade that “likes,” “tweets,” “pins,” “posts” and “follows” have become viable resources for companies of all sizes to showcase their wares and prospect for business. Many of the old tried and true methods still work for us—as they do for others. However, like many, we have jumped on the digital bandwagon to explore new horizons and capture the Millennial market, in particular. For our money, the World Wide Web is one of the most exciting advertising opportunities in the last 30 years. Nothing compares to being able to share an online version of your project portfolio with prospects. Text, which explains your mission and process, photos and video of previous

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projects, and an online contact form give you access to prospects like never before. For most, a website is the destination for activity generated by traditional and “new” media. Your website should appear on every piece of advertising that you produce—trucks, job signs, business cards, e-mail, broadcast and more. If your business is active on social media, be sure to invite prospects to become a part of your digital and social world. But don’t stop there; give them a reason to digitally “socialize” with you. Offering useful tips and information, asking “polling questions” to pique interest and create a discussion can build your audience and following and produce bankable leads. I know, you don’t have time to mess with social media, a website or any of that other nonsense. I hear you. You’re out on the job early, running hard making sales calls in the afternoon, and bidding jobs until the wee hours of the morning. Now, I’m not suggesting that you work harder, maybe just a bit smarter. Consider having a company that specializes in web design and social media development and integration pull the pieces together for you and manage it on an ongoing basis. Tech is filled with talented and creative young minds, which has produced a competitive environment and made online, digital and social media available to everyone. I’m certain that the perfect “geek” for your company is just a click away. The Carey Bros.—James and Morris—are nationally known home renovation experts and hosts of On the House weekly radio program and syndicated column (onthehouse.com).


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BOTTOM LINE

It pays to be nice to the competition In several articles past, we have discussed so many points regarding product, process, people and profit. In this article, I want to discuss your relationship with competition. It is so critical to know who you are competing with. First and foremost, you must understand some legal issues concerning communicating with your competitors. It is often very easy to bump into a competitor at the lumberyard and before you know it, you are discussing what you pay your guys, what you pay for materials, and— worst of all—what you charge. This may seem very strange to you, but I hear it all the time as the owner of a supply location. When you engage in discussion of what you charge for goods and services with your competitor, you are beginning to cross into illegal waters. If you reach an agreement with your competitor where you will not charge less than he does, or you will not give a quote to a certain person or group of customers in a given area in exchange for them doing the same, you have committed a crime. Trade laws, including The Sherman Act, should be understood by anyone conducting business. Do some homework before engaging in discussions with your competition. For now, I will touch on why having good relationships with competitors is a good idea. First, let’s line out the types of competition you do or will have. I have my little nicknames for them and I’ll start with my least favorite. 42

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“The Schlep” is a person who used to work for you. They decided that it would be easier for them to leave you and compete with you, usually by selling a job to the neighbor of a job you sold while on your payroll. I call these guys Schleps because they are too lazy to go out and get their own customers. How did it end? Did he keep it a secret or just quit? Now that it is done, you should still have a good relationship and be nice, even when you don’t want to. Some reasons why are if he fails, he will be back, and maybe he was a good employee. If he succeeds, you may be able to carefully (remembering the laws) steer him into not undercutting you on price. The worst thing is for this guy to learn your ways, leave and attempt to sell the same grade of product for less. It will take some time for him to realize why you charge more; typically, once he is broke, but most likely it will happen. A good relationship means you may get him back, elevate his business practices, or at the very least get his company on the cheap. (We will cover acquisition another time). “The Swine” is a person who you have never met and comes out of the blue selling loads of projects on the cheap. They are so full of themselves saying things like “I don’t need to advertise because I’m selling everything I look at!” Well, they are because they are cheap! Usually these guys fold up for the same financial reasons


as the above. One reason to be friends with this guy is because there is a good chance that he is doing jobs you just don’t want and turn away. On the flipside, he may not have a clue how to do the jobs you want. I smell partnership once you get to know this person if they are at least mostly honest. Collusion is not illegal if you have an ownership interest in the other company, and I highly doubt the SEC has any interest in a deck company in small town, USA for other laws like monopolies. Even still, partnerships and acquisitions will be discussed in the future and legal counsel is always a really good idea. “The Future Man” is a person who one way or another has your full respect as a competitor, displays healthy competitive behavior, and is just fun to compete with. A great reason to know this person is to keep tabs on what they are doing, but just know them because they are very much like you. We are in a small industry and it is good to know each other even when you compete. When you have a market where there are several Future Men, the entire group wins because of each other raising the bar for the customer. They all charge fair prices, build exceptional projects, and make the Schleps and Swine harder to hire or elevate to the same level. Remember that people usually get three to five quotes. Would you prefer that three of them are from people just like you where you have a fighting chance to sell at your numbers or face off with three cheap quotes? I have discussed how to overcome both. In addition to being cor-

dial and possibly great friends with your competition, remember that being the opposite is not productive. Bad mouthing the competition is never a good thing, and really makes you look bad. Recommending to a prospect to check out competitors’ work and methods, and compare them to yours is different, and a fair practice—pointing out the differences in a very positive way. I will say things like, “I have an excellent relationship with several of the other builders in the area and I can tell you that they are all good people, but they are not the same as me and if you are discussing this project with others, please carefully examine the details of each one and how they will complete your project. Of course, I want to be your contractor, but if you decide that I am not I hope you settle on someone who is the right fit for your expectations.” Guys, I don’t get to say this if it’s not true and this will be easier to do if you have a healthy relationship with your competition, and it helps all of you. By being friends with the competition, you get to elevate yourself and them and raise the bar for all.

David Elenbaum has been in in the deck industry since 2000, serving in distribution, retail, manufacturing and, of course, contracting.

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THE RAIL POST

Work together at every level In our last conversation, we dove in on the relationship between the industry professionals right at the point of installation—the “craftsman” contrasted with the “educated,” and how they need to work together, and how they can work together to improve the end results, as well as learn from the other “side.” This got me thinking about other parts of our industry that could gain from improving their relationships, and leverage those improved relationships for future new opportunities. I’m convinced that there is a bit of a disconnect at the distributor level; manufacturers know they need their builder/ installers, and retailers of course love their builders… but in reality, it’s the distributors who are the primary client of the bigger manufacturers, and those are some sizable orders they place, as few deck builders are making purchases by the rail car! Naturally, those distributors have become the focus of manufacturers. However, it’s not the distributors who are determining what the market actually wants (that’s the homeowners); 44

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so we’ve got manufacturers focusing on what their immediate clients want, but not as much on what the end-user wants. And it’s ultimately that end-user, who sets what the market actually desires. So we’ve really got five levels with the homeowners, installers, retailers, distributors and manufacturers each interacting with the process in an occasionally disjointed way. Ever play “whisper down the lane” as a kid? Inevitably, what the first person says (in our world, that’s the homeowner) will change just a little with each retelling, and by the time it gets to the end (the manufacturer), it’s been rephrased and will not be a perfect retelling of what the wider marketplace actually wanted. So we’ll see inevitable reductions to the market cap due to imperfect metrics and misunderstood desires. I’m not suggesting we eliminate all middle players, and have the manufacturer distribute, sell, and install. Perhaps that’s because I do a lot of installing, so I’ll call out my own potential bias here! But in all sincerity, I think each


level of the process brings unique benefits and value that cannot be easily replaced by others. Rather, I am arguing that we can all do a better job of recognizing the value each important industry step brings to the table, and then help those team players maximize their unique position in a way that facilitates the overall process bringing greater value to our shared marketplace. So let’s dream together a little, shall we? What if a manufacturer invested in providing in-person sales training to contractors so that they became better at understanding subtle client preferences and buying motivation? What if they provided classes in sales techniques, etiquette and sales psychology (ideally through an impartial industry platform such as NADRA)? Then what if they involved the retailers to make sure the in-store sales associates worked to support the installer through improved product knowledge and better upsell techniques? And what if this manufacturer empowered their distributors to ride along with those installers, helping the contractors to have a second set of eyes and ears in those crucial homeowner meetings— and then provided feedback and reinforcement on techniques, and any missed opportunities? What if the distributors then assisted in follow-up marketing to the homeowners, and used their greater operational structure and polished professionalism as they facilitate those contractors in their growing businesses, and pass along critical homeowner feedback and questions/concerns to their manufacturers? What would this do for our industry? Well, those with the most end-user contact would inevitably gain a greater skill set and become more proficient in their process, with fewer missed opportunities and more accurate material and design recommendations. Maybe this would help make it a more enticing, and more rewarding profession that would intrigue more young people to get involved? Those retailers would certainly see increased sales, and lower returns with higher per-sale margins. That’s an obvious win for them! The distributors would see better loyalty from their retailers, and enjoy a greater respect from their manufacturers, all while ensuring that they are transporting the best and most

marketable products available. And the manufacturers? Well, they’ll not only have better knowledge of what the market wants now and what unmet needs are out there still to satisfy, but they’ll have increased sales and a more stable industry structure to grow with going forward as they innovate and introduce their next generation of products based on a heightened clarity of market preferences! I know this is a bit ambitious, and not how we have traditionally worked in our “separate silos.” However, if we are to see our industry survive and thrive into the future, these are problems worth solving!

Matt Breyer is president of several companies, including a family-owned residential remodeling business that specializes in designing & building outdoor living spaces, and president of NADRA.

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SET THE STANDARD

Helping hands Generally speaking, we set the

standard and the foundation for excellence every day when we go to work. Then when the opportunity presents itself, we will have laid the ground work to elevate ourselves to the next level. For small- or medium-sized family businesses, the slightest bit of a helping hand can make all the difference in the world. We must therefore be prepared to acknowledge and accept the little snippets of wisdom when they come our way. Here are a few examples: One night a few years back, sitting at the computer returning emails, I saw an email from a fastener manufacturer. Like many, I’d usually hit delete, but for some reason I read this one. Inside was a short online product survey. Since we used their products, I took a few minutes to

complete and submit it. At the end, a free T-shirt was offered as a thank you. A couple weeks later, the manufacturer logo’ed shirt arrived in the mail. In the box was a note asking that if I had any nice projects being completed using their product, to please take a photo of myself at the job wearing the shirt, and send it on in. The shirt was thrown under the back seat of the truck and forgotten. A month or so later, upon tightening up a jobsite, soaked and filthy, I was in need of a clean shirt. Out came the box, the T-shirt, and the note. What the heck, the job wasn’t bad, so I put the shirt on and snapped off a couple pics displaying FastenerMaster’s “Pride in Craftsmanship” slogan. This was a Friday night While loading the other job photos onto the

A simple photo of a job well done led to several special opportunities.

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computer, this photo popped up. Hey, why not send it in? By 8 a.m. Saturday morning, an email came back from Janet Blake asking about the project and if I had any interest in participating in a new video series. Sure, what do we have to lose? Janet guided us through the process and made it an extremely comfortable experience. It was an absolute succeess. So the long and the short of it: the video was shot, and sales skyrocketed. Clients were calling, commenting on the video. People were loving it. The photo showed up on the banner in their booth at the very next DeckExpo. Unbelievable. What more could you ask for? All of this positive growth started by a single innocuous survey response, an email, and a shirt. An opportunity nine out of 10 people most likely ignored. To be honest, one we may have ignored a dozen or more times ourselves. Fast forward a couple years. Sitting in an airport, there’s a guy wearing a Diamond Decks shirt. Being a NADRA member and former Contracor Spotlight of the Month, the company name was immediately recognizable. My first thought was, “Hey, I need to meet this guy.” After introductions, a fast friendship was born. Even though work territories overlap, this gentleman, Bill Zinnert, had absolutely no reservations about passing on knowledge, ideas and advice on things that have helped make him successful. That type of idea sharing is what NADRA is all about. But it’s also mutual respect with your industry peers. Bill’s sharing of his insight gave the push that was needed to raise my business to another level. Not only did Bill freely share advice, but he pulled out his phone to show photographic examples. Examples like the use of drone photography, wrapping vehicles, how to cultivate the funds for it, better organizing your day to accomplish more in less time, and creating a better quality of life. Wow, talk about paying it forward. We should all be so fortunate to find a mentor like this. Again, most deck specialists are incredible visionaries, designers and craftsmen, but at times we tend to get caught in our own bubble. We love what we do and tend to work so darn hard that we don’t always take the proper steps to create better lives for ourselves and our families. When that helping hand is extended to us, we don’t always recognize it for what it is and we move past it. You should never be afraid or too proud to accept it.

So as we head into the fall months, with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I want to take a second to thank all of the folks out there who have graciously and selflessly taken that moment to mentor, coach and extend the gift of knowledge to the next generation of deck specialists. After all, every builder has had to come up through the ranks, take their lumps, and learn from their mistakes. Each of us met that person or crew leader who taught us the ropes and tricks of the trade. We also needed that person to help with the business side of the industry. It’s our turn to be that person. If you have any questions, ideas or photos you wish to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. With 35+ years experience in construction, Brendan Casey, with his wife Dianna, launched Casey Fence & Deck, Frederick, MD., fulfilling a growing need in the outdoor living market for an innovative and creative custom builder. 1 1/30/18 Reach him SplitStop_3.25x4.875_Composite.pdf at brendan@caseyfenceanddeck.com.

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KAHLE ON SALES

Become an astute planner

Here’s one of the foundational principles for sales success: You’ll always be more effective if you think about what you do before you do it. Can you imagine a football team not creating a game plan or not practicing before the big game? Or a politician not practicing the big speech? Or a doctor not reviewing the X-rays prior to a major surgery? The answer to all these questions is “Of course not.” In every event of any importance at all, professional, effective human beings plan and prepare beforehand. It’s an essential step toward success. The same is true for salespeople. If we think about what we do before we do it, provided we think about it in the right way, we’ll significantly improve our performance. Unfortunately, many salespeople are often guilty of the same mindset that provided this speaker an excuse for his lack of concern and preparation. Our intuition and incredible spur-of-the-moment, ad-lib skills will get us by. WRONG! You have a great treasury of wisdom and insight that you’ve acquired through a rich set of life experiences. Much of that wisdom and insight can be directly applied to your sales job, if you’ll only tap into it and use it. Of course you’ll be able to tap into some of that accumulated expertise on the spur of the moment, but you’ll be far more effective if you take the time to tap into it before you get into the situation. 48

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If you’re going to be effective, you’ll think about what you do before you do it—about every telephone call, every sales call, every customer, every presentation, every interaction with your customers and prospects. Yet it’s not enough to think about what you do before you do it, you must also think about things in the right way. Good planning is a matter of asking yourself the right questions, and then answering them with detail and precision. An amazing thing happens when you ask yourself questions—you think of the answers! What sounds so elementary is really a powerful key to unlocking your success. When you ask yourself a good question you stimulate your thinking. It follows, then, that if you want to think well, you need to ask yourself the best questions. For example, you could ask yourself the question, “What are all the things that the customer will not like about me in this upcoming sales call?” Your mind will dredge up all the flaws and faults you’ve filed away in your memory. That’s probably not the most effective way to prepare for a sales call. You’re liable to be depressed and discouraged. Rather, you could ask yourself the question, “What are two or three things I could find out about the customer that would uncover things we have in common?” Think about the answer to that question, and your mind will dwell on your customer, not yourself, and focus on finding common ground in order to build a


relationship. When you ask yourself the right questions, you think in the most effective way. To implement this principle, you’ll need to master two basic processes: the prioritization process, and the planning proces. Each of these processes is really a series of questions, asked in a certain sequence. The prioritization process is used to help you make good decisions about where to spend your time, about what to plan. There is just not enough time in the day for you to plan everything. So, you must first prioritize those things that are important enough to plan. You then follow that up with the planning processes. You’ll find that you use the two together. The planning process is a matter of asking yourself seven questions, in the right sequence, and then answering them in writing. The written answers become your plan. You can use this process to plan anything worth planning—your territory, your approach to key accounts, each sales call, your month, your week, etc. Here is each step and the questions to ask: Step One. Start with a goal. Ask, “What’s the objective?”

Always, the first step in the creation of a plan is the identification of the purpose of the plan. If there is no purpose, why have a plan? The purpose of the plan is your objective. Regardless of what aspect of your business you’re working on—planning a sales call, developing a strategy for a key account, organizing your territory, creating a plan for a new product line—you must begin with an answer to this question. In order to illustrate each of the steps of this process, let’s set a personal, financial goal we can work through step by step. (While sales is a fulfilling, challenging career, most of us wouldn’t be doing it if we didn’t get paid.) Let’s say you’re going to select an objective with which to begin the planning process, and that objective is “to make $75,000 in the next calendar year.” Step Two. Assess the situation. Ask, “What’s the situation?” This step requires you to describe, as accurately as possible, the current situation as it relates to the area about which you’re thinking. Let’s consider our objective from above. You’ve decided you want to make $75,000 next year. So, you describe the salient aspects of your current

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financial situation like this: You have a salary of $50,000. You’re paid a commission of 10% of all sales above your quota. Last year you had a quota of $750,000 and just made it. This year your quota is $850,000. To achieve your goal, you’ll need to do considerably better than last year. You’ve just described your situation. Step Three. Identify the obstacles. Ask, “What will hinder me from achieving the goal? Identifying obstacles is a powerful step in the planning process. This step alone will give you incredible confidence to achieve your goal. Your answers to this question form the next step in the planning process. In the example, let’s say that you have identified these obstacles: • Only three current accounts are growing. • Two new competitors are active in your area. • There are a lot of changes going on in your market. Step Four. Identify your strengths and your resources. Ask, “What do I have available to me that I can use to accomplish my goal?” Soberly consider your strengths and your resources. What do you have on your side? Do you have some personal skills that you can apply? Has your company provided you some helpful

tools, strategies, or competitive advantages? Is there something working in your favor? In our example, let’s say that you may have a hot new product line, a commitment on the part of your credit department to loosen the rules a bit and speed up the credit-approval process, and you have your boss’s verbal assurances that she’ll do everything in her power to help you penetrate those large accounts. Step Five. Create an overall plan. Ask, “How am I going to accomplish my objective?” This is the heart of the process. Now, you must consider the best way to reach your goal, taking into consideration the current state of affairs, the obstacles you must face, and your strengths and assets. In our example, let’s say you write the following plan: 1. Focus my time on high-potential accounts, expanding the business in “A” accounts by 50%. (a) Get the boss to negotiate with the corporate office for some favorable terms and concessions. (b) Push the new product line aggressively. 2. Acquire five new accounts. (a) Use the new product line as a door opener. (b) Get the credit department to approve some formerly marginal customers who may be having

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a difficult time buying from my competitor. Step Six. Identify the materials and tools you’ll need. Ask, “What will I need?” In this step, identify all the tools and materials you’ll need. In our example, for instance, you might say that you need: 1. Some forms to help identify the highest potential accounts. 2. A list of high-potential prospects. 3. All the usual sales aids. 4. A bunch of new credit apps 5. Some literature and samples of the new line. Step Seven. Create a detailed action plan. Ask, “Specifically, what steps should I take?” This requires you to think very specifically, and to create a to-do list that precisely identifies each of the steps you’ll need to follow, to put them in sequence, and to assign a deadline completion date to each. In our example, we’ve arrived at a skeleton plan for the first half of our overall plan. Although the final plan would be more detailed than this, the example below is designed to simply illustrate the process: 1. Focus my time on high-potential accounts, expanding the business in “A” accounts by 50%. (a) Identify who those are.

• Collect some good information using an account profile form. [Jan.15] • Discuss the results with the boss. [Feb. 3] • Agree on the top 20%. [Feb. 1] (b) Get the boss to negotiate with corporate for some favorable terms and concessions. [Feb. 15] (c) Push the new product line aggressively. • Make appointments to collect info on each of them. [Feb. 15] • Have initial presentations made on each. [March 15] • Push forward on demonstrations/ evaluations as appropriate. When you’ve finished this seven-step planning process, you’ll have created the best plan you’re capable of developing. And you’ll have a specific strategy for reaching your goal, plus a checklist of tasks and dates to measure your progress. Dave Kahle is an acclaimed sales consultant who has presented across the world, and written 12 books, including the best-selling How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime. Visit davekahle.com.

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HOW TO

Prep for success before you start digging To ensure a satisfactory deck for your customers, it is important to take design, materials and equipment into consideration before digging. To save time and increase ROI on the job, consider the following tips to increase efficiency when digging postholes.

Learn Before You Dig

Start each project by asking the customer questions, such as the preferred size, location and floorboard type, as well as how they plan to use the deck. This will help provide an estimate of the load the footings will support. For instance, a deck used for neighborhood block parties and large family functions has different footing requirements than a deck

built for a couple and their patio furniture. As with any construction project, become familiar with local building codes related to deck footing requirements and construction guidelines, such as setbacks and requirements for ledger board and handrails. Understanding and adhering to these rules—which will vary by location—reduces the risk of going back to correct errors after inspection or, worse yet, the deck collapsing and potential injuries or litigation. Footing depths, for example, vary by region. In the upper Midwest, codes typically require digging holes as deep as 54 inches to protect footings from shifting that can occur due to soil freezing and thawing.

LEFT: Earth drills can drill through sand, soil or clay in minutes. RIGHT OPPOSITE: Some earth drills have a torque tube to prevent operator kickback, allowing one worker to complete hours of work without strain. (Photos courtesy of Little Beaver)

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But, don’t dig the footings just yet. In addition to calling 811, ask the property owner if there are any underground sprinkler systems or septic tanks to avoid while digging footings because sometimes a customer might not take that into account when selecting a site for their new deck.

Get the Tools

Efficient, maneuverable digging equipment helps to quickly achieve the right footing depth. Landscape contractors have three main options for drilling footings: manual posthole diggers, skid steers with attachments and earth drills. Manual posthole diggers provide a lightweight, inexpensive option that easily fits in the back of a pickup truck; however, they’re

impractical for digging several holes more than a foot deep. This limits the number of footings a contractor can dig in a day and, in turn, the number of decks a landscaping company can profitably bid. Skidsteers featuring a hydraulic auger attachment provide a quick and easy method to drill holes, but the heavy weight risks damaging the grass. And, depending on the skid steer, it might be too wide for an operator to drive through gates to access backyards. Earth drills split the difference, with the portability of a manual posthole digger and the power of a hydraulic drill attachment. Earth drills are generally compact and lightweight— fitting easily in a pickup—and won’t damage

grass while moving through the backyard. The units’ high torque easily drills through sand and clay in minutes. The faster contractors drill, the faster they complete one project and move on to the next. Some manufacturers build earth drills with a torque tube that prevents operator kickback, allowing one worker to safely and easily complete hours of work with less strain and effort while reducing the amount of labor needed over two-person earth drills.

Work Faster with the Right Blades

When choosing an earth drill, check the auger’s points and blades to see if an operator can customize them for drilling through multiple soil conditions. Trying to power through soil with the wrong blade can prematurely wear the blade and the drill, causing downtime. Using the right blades means powering through soil faster and wearing blades less quickly, meaning fewer replacements. The material used for the points and blades also affects its lifecycle. Blades and points made of cold-rolled steel quickly power through loamy soils or areas with few rocks, but may struggle in rocky areas. That’s where carbide blades work well. Carbide blades easily drill through hard clay and break frozen ground into pieces. Some manufacturers offer several blades that allow contractors to source all of the needed equipment from one company. Consider the process of changing the points and blades, too. For some drills, operators simply need an adjustable wrench to change the point or blade. This saves valuable time and also reduces equipment costs since the entire auger won’t need to be replaced to handle different soil types. Opportunities abound in deck installation and some basic rules to follow and the right equipment in your fleet make building a deck easy and profitable. Mike Hale started his career in the fencing industry in 1974 and in 1996 joined portable earth drill manufacturer Little Beaver, Livingston, TX., where he currently serves as sales manager. Fall 2018

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NEW PRODUCTS

For the builder aiming to get a sleek look, AZEK’s Impression Rail Express is designed with contemporary style. The pre-assembled aluminum railing panel system is engineered for quick installation at the jobsite and lasting safety for the homeowner. The railing features easy assembly on both level and stair applications, with no hammers or special tools required. [azek.com]

Deck contractors can now help homeowners try it before they buy it with Fence-It, CertainTeed’s new online home exterior visualization tool. The digital desktop tool creates a realistic rendering of how various Fence Collection products will look in a yard before homeowners spend a cent out of their budget. Using the visualizer, contractors can walk homeowners through various fence styles by placing digital renderings over a stock home photo, so they can see which products will best fit their overall outdoor design. [certainteed.com] The Forest Collection by Westech Building Products consists of 100% vinyl fencing in an authentic-looking, natural-wood finish. It combines the durability and low maintenance of PVC with a unique coloring process, yielding a multi-dimensional finish that is popular in the marketplace. The Rustic Birch profile has an almond base with a deep brown grain. Driftwood is an aged gray base with dark gray grain. [www.westechbp.com]

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The stainless-steel Titen HD screw anchor by Simpson Strong-Tie is available in four new sizes: 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8” and 3/4”. Code-approved, the screw can be installed in exterior and corrosive environments. Its design effectively cuts the steel in the anchor to maximize corrosion resistance.

Bobé Water & Fire is aiming to transform outdoor living into places of working art with its new line of Fire Pots, available in all shapes and sizes. Pots will fit in most any space, large or small. The dancing fire is designed to bring attention as the focal point of a backyard or it can simply accent your outdoor design.

[www.strongtie.com]

[www.bobewaterandfire.com]

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OZCO Building Products is expanding its line of decorative wood connectors by adding Post Bands for wood structures like decks, pergolas and pavilions. The bands can be installed to cinch up a cracked post or when the posts are green, to help prevent the them from cracking in the first place. Offered in 4x4, 6x6, and 8x8 sizes, the bands come adjustable for both smooth and rough cut wood and can be installed in minutes. [www.ozcobp.com]

Decra-Seal Natural from W.R. Meadows is a water-based sealer meant to enhance the natural appearance of a variety of hardscapes. The sealant can effectively be used on interior, exterior, horizontal and vertical decorative concrete, pavers, unglazed tiles, and a variety of porous natural and artificial stones. The non-film-forming, penetrating water repellent chemically bonds to the substrate to help increase its service life. [www.wrmeadows.com]

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Drift by Thermory USA provides the popular look and texture of rustic, weathered barnwood right out of the box—along with consistent quality, stability and Class 1 durability (25+ years) for resistance to rot and decay. The line of modified wood decking offers the gray aesthetic many want, while also being readily available and offering dependable performance for their projects. [www.thermoryusa.com]


2018

CONNECT. LEARN. ELEVATE YOUR CRAFT. • 5,000+ industry participants • New LIVE Building Clinics • 50+ education sessions & workshops • Emerging Professionals with This Old House • Close to 300 building product manufacturers • Hands-on training with industry experts • Return of the popular Kitchen Design & Remodeling Workshop • Demo new cutting edge tools at the Tools of the Trade Tool Zone • Building Science guru, Matt Risinger, host of The Build Show

REGISTER TODAY www.remodelingdeck.com Get your FREE Expo Pass Use promo code: DECKSP EXHIBIT HALL: OCTOBER 10-11 CONFERENCE: OCTOBER 9-11 BALTIMORE CONVENTION CENTER | MARYLAND

• Fun networking events and valuable meetups • Much more!

GET SOCIAL WITH US

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Perfect for long hours outdoors, Kingsley Bate’s Kona seating is generously scaled for comfort. The outdoor chairs are constructed from an attractive mix of all-weather wicker and premium teak. Pieces include a sofa, settee, lounge chair and ottoman.

Bosch’s new ¼” Hex and ½” Square Drive Socket-Ready Impact Drivers offer quickchange hex shank with Power Groove for bits and ½” square drive for sockets—all in one tool. The impact driver supplies plenty of fastener-tightening force, while eliminating the hassle of broken socket adapters. The driver switches quickly and seamlessly from a ¼” hex shank to ½” square drive and delivers up to 1,600 in.lbs. of max torque, making the job that much easier. [www.boschtools.com]

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[kingsleybate.com]

Builders can help add extra protection to a homeowner’s exterior with Kebony’s new Passive Rainscreen System for commercial and residential facades. The clip-based rainscreen attachment system can be applied over exterior and interior envelope design types, including over mineral fiber exterior insulation. The system’s proprietary clip fastener and façade profile provide a clean look and eliminate the need for predrilling, reducing installation costs, while eliminating water penetration. [www.kebony.com]

Milwaukee’s new ratchet and socket sets are designed for better access in tight spaces. Each set contains a slim profile 90-tooth ratchet and wrench-compatible sockets with four parallel flats to deter rolling. [www.milwaukeetool.com]

Fall 2018


Join

DECK

SPECIALIST

for a pair of informative presentations during DeckExpo in Baltimore, Maryland “Build Outside the Box: Crafting Your Brand Your Way” Wednesday October 10 - 2:00 PM (Room DT01)

Presented by Deck Specialist, featuring The Carey Bros. and Jason “Dr. Decks” Russell A light and fast-paced marketing and brand image-centered discussion on how these builder celebrities have been able to stand out, grow their businesses, and build margins, with suggestions on how builders in the audience can differentiate themselves.

“The Deck of the Future: What’s Ahead in Outdoor Living” Thursday October 11 - 10:30 AM (Room SM01)

Presented by Deck Specialist, featuring columnists David Elenbaum, Matt Breyer, Brendan Casey, and Marv Johnson Our expert columnists will discuss new product innovation, installation techniques, and regional trends that will assure you stay ahead of your competition and bring added value to your customers.

Register for the show at www.remodelingdeck.com Fall 2018

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DATE

ADVERTISERS INDEX

PLANNER NADRA Northeast Regional Meeting

When: Sept. 18 Where: The Chimney Rock Inn, Bound Brook, N.J. What: North American Deck & Railing Association is hosting a networking event. More info: nadra.org

Myrtle Beach Home Improvement & Outdoor Living Show

When: Sept. 21-23 Where: Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Myrtle Beach, S.C. What: Horry Georgetown Home Builders Association’s 7th annual fall event, featuring exhibits, seminars and workshops. More info: fallshow.myrtlebeachhomebuilders.org

Building Industry Show

When: Oct. 3-4 Where: Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula, CA. What: Over 1,500 industry professionals are expected to attend this year’s Building Industry Association of Southern California-sponsored show. More info: buildingindustryshow.com

Southern Colorado Sustainability & Outdoor Living Expo

When: Oct. 6-7 Where: Colorado Springs, CO. What: Combining two shows in one: the Outdoor Living Expo, with 150 booths of lawn and garden and sustainable living products, and the Colorado Springs Fall Home Show, focusing on decking, siding, sunroom additions, and more. More info: rjpromotions.com

DeckExpo & Remodeling Show

When: Oct. 9-11 Where: Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD. What: DeckExpo and the Remodeling Show bring together residential building professionals to network, learn and experience the hottest products. More info: remodelingdeck.com

NADRA 9th Annual Awards Dinner

When: Oct. 10 Where: The National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD. What: North American Deck & Railing Association will hand out the prizes for its annual deck competition. More info: nadra.org

International Pool Spa Patio Expo

When: Oct. 31-Nov. 2 Where: Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV. What: North America’s largest industry event covering all segments of pool, spa and outdoor living, with over 525 vendors, seminars and networking. More info: poolspapatio.com

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Atlantis Rail Systems [www.altlantisrail.com]

37

Big Timber Fasteners [www.panamericanscrew.com]

10

Building-Products.com [www.building-products.com]

61

Deck2Wall [www.deck2wall.com]

45

Deckorators [www. deckorators.com]

9

DeckWise [www.deckwise.com]

19

Digger Specialties [www.diggerspecialties.com]

56

DeckExpo [www.remodelingdeck.com]

57

Duradek [www.duradek.com]

49

Feeney [www.feeneyinc.com]

23

526 Media Group, Inc. [www.building-products.com]

59, 61

Great Southern Wood Preserving [www.yellawood.com]

3

Koppers Performance Chemicals [www.kopperspc.com]

30

Lonza [www.lonza.com]

41

Lumberock Premium Decking [www.lumberock.com]

55

MoistureShield [www.moistureshield.com]

7

MOSO [www.moso-bamboo.com]

50

OZCO Building Products [www.ozcobp.com]

33

Prowood [www.prowoodlumber.com]

15

Screw Products Inc. [www.screw-products.com]

43

Simpson Strong-Tie [www.strongtie.com]

Cover III

Splitstop [www.splitstop.com]

47

Superior Plastic Products [superiorplasticproducts.com]

5

Sure Drive [www.panamericanscrew.com]

10

Titan Metal Werks [www.splitstop.com]

47

Trex [www.trex.com]

Cover II

Viance [www.treatedwood.com]

Cover IV

Westbury Railing [www.westburyrailing.com]

56

Wild Hog Railing [www.wildhograiling.com]

11

Woodway Products [www.woodwayproducts.com]

51


It’s here.

Completely redesigned. Continuously updated. Conveniently mobile.

www.Building-Products.com Another investment in serving the LBM industry since 1922


IDEA BOOK

peak curve

Nestled in the Colorado Rockies at an elevation of 8,500 ft., the Moss Rock estate in Evergreen, CO., is truly a home with a view. To optimize the property’s super sightlines, architect John Newcomer designed a curved, cantilevered deck that circles the home. He sought a simple, unobtrusive railing that would showcase the clear and open view of the mountains in the distance and provide those on the deck with a dramatic “wow” impression. At the same time, he wanted to make sure the railing system he selected complemented the mountain home aesthetic. Newcomer chose the Feeney CableRail system to bring his vision to life. With its clean, streamlined design, cable railing encourages a connection to nature and promotes a sense of spaciousness. It was also important to Newcomer that the theme be carried into the interior of the home, where he used CableRail on the interior stairs to create an open, expansive view from the second floor to the space below—and to the striking vistas that surround the home. Challenges included building at a high elevation, the travel distance for both materials and workers from Denver and Boulder, and the ruggedness of the site.

ABOVE UPPER: A big challenge for architect John Newcomer was building at such a high elevation and ensuring that all materials would hold up to a harsh environment. ABOVE LOWER: The design features a curved cantilever deck meant for expansive views. LEFT: Newcomer made it a point to match the railing with the mountain home aesthetic. (Photos by Feeney)

Submit photos of your latest and greatest project to ideabook@ building-products.com

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Easy on the eyes. Easy to install.

Hangers

Gable Plates

Ties

Fasteners

Post Bases

Angles

Straps

Introducing the complete line of Outdoor Accents decorative hardware. Easily add beauty and strength to your outdoor projects. The new Simpson Strong-Tie Outdoor Accents line of structural connectors features an innovative screw and washer that together combine the ease of installing a screw with the look of a bolt. And, with a black powder-coat finish, this hardware offers style that’s designed to last. ®

®

To see our full line of decorative hardware, visit us at go.strongtie.com/outdooraccents or call (800) 999-5099. © 2018

Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. OA18C


DECK

SPECIALIST 151 Kalmus Dr. Ste. D200 Costa Mesa, CA 92626-5959

Change Service Requested

Treated Wood with Unsurpassed Protection ■ ■ ■ ■

Built-in water repellency lasts up to 3 years Significantly minimizes cracking, checking and splitting by up to 50% Less corrosive to fasteners and compatible with aluminum products Lifetime Limited Warranty* against fungal decay and termite attack

*See terms and conditions at treatedwood.com. Ecolife® and Viance® are registered trademarks of Viance, LLC.

Viance - Treated Wood Solutions, 8001 IBM Drive, Charlotte, NC 28262 For more information, call 1-800-421-8661 or visit treatedwood.com.


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