Deck Specialist - Winter 2018

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NADRA DECK CONTEST WINNERS • OUTDOOR KITCHENS • THE BEST OF DECK EXPO

DECK SPECIALIST Ideas & Strategies for Outdoor Living Professionals

The Young Guns of Decking

Winter 2018


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DECK

SPECIALIST

Ideas & Strategies for Outdoor Living Professionals FEATURED STORIES

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Young Guns

Finding the next generation of deck builders

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Prize-Winning Decks The results are in—and awe inspiring— for annual NADRA Deck Competition

WHAT’S HOT

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Outdoor Kitchens

Options expand for backyard cooking SHOW RECAP

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The Best of DeckExpo

Aisle after aisle was filled with sharp new products at Baltimore event

Build Outside the Box Experts advise how to craft your brand your way

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COVER STORY The next generation of deck builders includes 29-year-old Jason Katwijk, here with his family on the EverGrain Weathered Wood deck he built

ALSO INSIDE 8 Editor’s Note 10 Industry News 46 On the House with the Carey Bros. 48 Product Reviews with Marv Johnson 52 The Bottom Line with David Elenbaum 54 Set the Standard with Brendan Casey 56 New Products 60 Date Planner 60 Ad Index 62 Idea Book

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info@building-products.com (714) 486-2735 DECK SPECIALIST is published quarterly at 151 Kalmus Dr., Ste. E200, 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. Winter 2018 • Volume 2 • Number 4

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is available on a qualified requester basis to senior management of U.S.-based builders and contractors specializing in decking and other outdoor living projects and to others at the rate of $22 per year. Subscribe now by emailing info@building-products.com or calling 714.486.2735.


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EDITOR’S NOTE

Meet the vice president of sales prevention No matter which aisle I walked down at the recent DeckExpo in Baltimore, or which direction my head turned, my eyes were drawn like a magnet to some fascinating outdoor living exhibit. There were fully built-out decks, giant colorful signage, deafening power tool demos, home improvement show celebrities, flashy new products galore, all battling for my attention. But one exhibitor in particular caught my eye. The floor of his double-wide booth space was covered with the company’s imported composite decking. Three tall racks of boards, standing on their ends, lined the back side. And one small table with a thin stack of brochures and a handful of business cards sat in the center. There were no big signs or flashy graphics. The stark simplicity made me look—and keep looking. I walked up to the man sitting behind the table. He was reading something on his phone. I’m sure it was vitally important. I stood there. He didn’t look up. I stood some more. No acknowldgment. I finally greeted him. He reluctantly looked up, and asked in halting English what I wanted. I asked him to tell me about his decking, and what was special about it. He replied that it was good quality, low in price, and came in different colors. Was it available in the U.S.? No, but hopefully at the show he would connect with interested distributors.

I suspect that might be too much to hope for. I walked past this booth probably eight to 10 more times over the remainder of the two days of the show. Only once did I see him actually talking to a showgoer (though our hero was still seated). Most of the other times he just sat there, his head buried in his phone, even when there were visitors sniffing around his display. A couple of times he was gone and the booth was empty. How many times do we run our businesses this way? How often are there potential customers who might want to do business with us, but we’re too preoccupied to properly acknowledge them by returning their calls, texts and emails in a timely manner? How frequently do they have questions we are unprepared to answer, or do they give us opportunities to shine and we go blank? All too often we provide vague answers, when what prospects really want is for us to inform them, inspire them, and sell to them. Prepare yourself before the customer contact, eliminate distractions during it, and maximize your helpfulness. That Lonely Exhibitor must have spent at least four days and $10,000 traveling to and exhibiting at the show... all to capably demonstrate how not to make a sale.

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

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Engineered to turn building with wood into a would not. It all begins with the introduction of a new deck board that’s priced to put the pressure on treated lumber and designed to deliver better profitability. Trex® is engineered to minimize waste, returns and call-backs to the job site, while providing superior aesthetics, fade and stain resistance. Those are all things wood can’t claim. So when you’re drawing up deck plans for your next job, make sure you choose the consistency and performance of Trex. Learn more at trex.com.

© 2018 Trex Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Trex® is a federally registered trademark of Trex Company, Inc., Winchester, Virginia


INDUSTRY NEWS Deckorators Launches Summer Apprenticeships for Deck Builders

Deckorators, a brand of Universal Forest Products, has introduced a unique new program to help its Certified Pro contractors meet the challenges of the skilled labor shortage. The Deckorators Deck Builder Summer Apprenticeship Program will connect qualifying builders with vetted and trained local apprentices for the summer 2019 deck-building season. To land apprentices who can extend their crews and boost production, builders apply at www.deckorators.com/apprentice, then await approval from Deckorators by February 2019. All apprentices must complete one training week—April 21-27 or May 5-11, 2019—in Prairie du Chien, WI. The Certified Pro is responsible for airfare, lodging and meals for the apprentice during Training Week. By the time apprentices arrive for training, they must be on the builder’s payroll. After the apprentice completes the training, Deckorators will post 2,500 points to the

DECK BUILDING apprentices will undergo a week of training before reporting for duty.

Certified Pro’s account (one point equals $1) to offset or cover the out-of-pocket training costs. The apprenticeship term runs from June 1 to August 31, 2019. At the end of the term, the Certified Pro may choose to hire the apprentice as a full-time team member.

Kebony Adds Factory in Belgium

Modified wood decking and cladding manufacturer Kebony, Oslo, Norway, has started up a SplitStop_3.375x4.625_Wood.pdf 1 1/30/18 4:45 PM new factory in Flanders, Belgium.

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With international sales rising by an average of 30% year-over-year for the past seven years, Kebony’s addition will double its annual production capacity to more than 200,000 sq. ft. of Kebony Clear wood. Its original factory in Skien, Norway, will continue to specialize in the production of Kebony Character wood, while remaining the company’s research and technology hub. Plans for further investment would give Kebony the potential to quadruple current production to nearly 900,000 sq. ft.

Four Seasons Continues Expansion

Four Seasons Building Products, Holbrook, N.Y., has acquired Superior Mason Products, Birmingham, AL.-based manufacturer and distributor of patio building products. Formed over 70 years ago, Superior has factories in Birmingham and branches in Raleigh, N.C.; Kansas City, MO.; and Dallas, TX.

KOPPERS’ MICROPRO technology has become the first and only wood treatment system to be certified by Global GreenTag.

MicroPro Global GreenTag Certified

Koppers Performance Chemicals’ MicroPro Wood Treatment Technology has achieved excellent ratings after undergoing two rigorous, independent third-party assessment processes by world-leading product certification body Global GreenTag International. It is the first wood treatment technology to receive the certification. “The Global GreenTag certification designates good health, and MicroPro has achieved a Level A, the highest score, under Global GreenTag’s GreenRate product sustainability certification system. Additionally, MicroPro has earned the Global GreenTag GoldHEALTH rating, along with a Product Health Declaration. Consumers can be confident that this product is safe to use,” said David Baggs, CEO and program director of Global GreenTag. Winter 2018

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LEFT: At far left, 38-year-old Robin Lopez and Summertime Deck & Dock colleagues Gabriel Rios, Horacio Lara, Adrian Valdes, and Matt Langbehn are paving the way for a new generation. (All photos by Envision Decking)

Young Guns

Finding the next generation of deck builders By Melissa Dunson

He’s sometimes called the

rocket scientist who builds decks, but Florida deckbuilder Robin Lopez’s unlikely background could make him the posterboy for the future of the skilled trades industry. Growing up, Lopez realized he loved making things with his hands. By age 12, he had a small business building skim boards and selling them to his friends. But, as a young adult, Lopez figured he should go to college and pursue a

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ABOVE: Lopez specializes in custom decks and docks, much like this Envision dock in Spiced Teak and Rustic Walnut.

high-tech degree. He spent years in a vault as an aerospace engineer designing top secret propulsion systems. He was living his career dreams. There was just one problem: he wasn’t really happy. “I sat in a windowless room all day–I didn’t know if it was a beautiful day in Florida or not,” Lopez said. “And I couldn’t talk with anyone about my work. No one ever saw what I did.” An offer to help a co-worker repair his dock after three hurricanes in 2004 turned into a booming business. “On nights and weekends, I built that dock and I fell in love with actually experiencing weather,” Robin said. “I loved getting to see how much I’d accomplished at the end of the day.” That was 14 years ago. Today, Robin owns Summertime Deck & Dock in Orlando, FL., a custom builder with services so desired that he has months of work scheduled out for his crews.

A national crisis

What makes Lopez’ story so important is that, at 38 years old, he represents what most of the

country can’t seem to find: young people who want to go into the building trades. For some, the housing crash of 2009 feels like an eternity ago, but it’s still a fresh wound in the building and construction industry with devastating effects nearly a decade later. Recent estimates indicate that there are more than 1 million open construction jobs. The question remains: where are all of the skilled laborers? The answer may lie in an entire generation of potential contractors who had to choose something else. When Janel Landis entered architecture school, her alma mater averaged about 100 graduates a year. During the housing crash, the school was struggling to get 25. The building trades lost an entire generation of skilled workers as students who planned to go into building moved into other areas where they saw job prospects. “Students could see that so many already in the industry had lost their jobs that they didn’t want to enter the industry,” said Landis, now the business development manager for distribution Winter 2018

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giant Weyerhaeuser. “There was about a 10-year window where it was just not attractive for people to go into the building industry.”

Changing perceptions

Now that the housing market is booming and demand for the trades is at a record level, businesses from distributors to general contractors are grappling with how to rebuild the industry and fill their ranks. Much of the effort so far has been in changing the perception of the building trades from unskilled to highly-skilled, last resort to in-demand, and menial to lucrative. A movement to expand vocational training and apprenticeship programs is growing in America, and national campaigns like #KeepCraftAlive provide scholarships for students going into the trades. “There’s no definitive answer, but it’s a daily topic of conversation with the dealers I serve,” said Stacey Baker, dealer sales representative for Weyerhaeuser in Tacoma, WA. “The question in the Washington area is, ‘How do we compete with high-tech jobs?’”

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Unexpected salvation

Which brings us back to Lopez, the rocket scientist building decks for a living. He highlights the attraction of the trades that goes beyond job security or finances—an often-overlooked selling point that could be the salvation of the industry. And Lopez is not alone. “I come to work every day and I just love what I do—it’s cool to take something from ground zero and in a short amount of time, I’ve built this amazing deck that I know is going to be around for 20 plus years,” said Jason Katwijk, a 29-yearold deckbuilder in Olympia, WA., who previously worked in an auto shop. “As a mechanic, I was stuck in the same building, staring at the same cars every day and it got boring. Now, any given day, I’m staring out at Mt. Ranier or over a lake or over someone’s million-dollar view.” Katwijk now travels to educational building events across the country and meets others with a similar story. One of his favorite stories involves a contractor who saw a friend working as a valet in a parking lot. He invited the valet to come work for him, and his response: “Okay, it’s better than what I’m doing now.” Today, the


OPPOSITE FAR LEFT: What started out as a favor for a co-worker has turned into a booming business for Robin Lopez.

IMMEDIATE LEFT: Weathered Wicker deck by Envision Decking built by 29-year-old Jason Katwijk.

two men have a successful contracting business together. Phil deLeon, 36, had no construction experience and was working as a part-time UPS employee before going to work 10 years ago for Jason Russell, industry-renowned as Dr. Decks. One of his favorite parts of the job is getting to exercise his creativity. “People say, ‘You do construction,’ and I tell them, ‘It’s not really construction—I’m somewhere between a carpenter and an artist,’” deLeon said. These contractors and many others like them may have stumbled onto the answer to the skilled labor shortage—not fancy programs or campaigns, but rather a remembrance of the fundamental delights lost in much of the modern world—the beauty of the outdoors, a hard day’s work and the satisfaction of building something with your hands. “These guys are judged on the decks they build—how strong they are, how they look, how happy their customers are—and there’s something very satisfying about that,” said Baker with Weyerhaeuser. “I know the building trades

don’t seem as glamorous as some high-tech fields, but once a lot of people get into those positions in a little cubicle and spend all day looking at a computer screen, it loses its luster. They realize they could be working outside with their hands— they could be doing something they love.”

Emerging pros meet up

While it may seem like finding young talent for the building products industry is an uphill battle, more resources are being put in place to change that. For the third year, young deck builders were invited to an Emerging Professionals Meet-Up during the DeckExpo in Baltimore. The energy gives hope for the next generation of professional tradesmen. Melissa Dunson is an awardwinning journalist with more than a decade of experience writing about a wide variety of business sectors, including the construction industry and as a technical and creative writer for TAMKO Building Products (www.tamko.com). Winter 2018

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ABOVE: Armadillo Deck rolled out its composite deck and railing lines in a custom show trailer.

[1] Deckorators announced a new co-branded line with Hinkley Lighting.

New is now at DeckExpo Aisle after aisle filled with innovative new products Once again DeckExpo was “co-located”

with the Remodeling Show, and for the second year in a row, the two shows’ exhibitors were interspersed with each other throughout the exhibit halls, this time at the Baltimore Convention Center. But at some point, the shows’ organizer may want to rethink giving DeckExpo second billing, because once again outdoor living dominated the combined event. An estimated 5,000 industry professionals attended, accessing training and continuing education classes, live on-floor clinics, and product demonstrations. Highlights of the show included a pair of panel discussions featuring

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Deck Specialist contributors. In the first, Deck Specialist publisher Patrick Adams moderated “Build Outside the Box: Crafting Your Brand Your Way,” with the Carey Brothers and Jason “Dr. Decks” Russell (see pages 20-22). The second, “The Deck of the Future,” featured columnists Matt Breyer, Brendan Casey, and David Elenbaum addressing the latest outdoor living trends (both presentations can be viewed at www. building-products.com). But the main draw was an exhibit hall showing off dozens upon dozens of new products. Join us for a walk down the aisles: • No company made more introductions at the


[2] Robi Decking recently added sassafras to its line-up of sustainable, homegrown hardwoods.

[3] Nova USA Wood is springing its new ExoDek QuickClip hidden fastener system on the market.

show than Deckorators—by our count 26 new products and colors. Among the biggest: Voyage ultra-strong composite decking, an under-deck Sleeper System, composite Picture Frame Boards, and a co-branded line of Deckorators by Hinkley Lighting [1]. • Robi Decking specializes in sustainably

[4] Wolf promoted the new 100-in-one PopTop post cap system at its booth.

harvested domestic wood products, particularly black locust. Its latest species is sassafras [2]. • Nova USA Wood unveiled the ExoDek QuickClip hidden fastener deck clip system [3]. Made of spring steel, it allows for the natural expansion and contraction of wood decking. • The half-decking, half-building products

AT RIGHT: Simpson Strong-Tie devoted half of its large exhibit space to staging demos with Rhode Island contractor Mike Guertin (far right), here supported by (at far left) SST’s building codes expert Jim Mailey.

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[5] Patwin Plastics developed a PVC railtop with a metallic coating that oxidizes just like the real McCoy.

[6] Superior Plastic Products highlighted its new Placid Point Lighting for posts, stairs and decks.

[7] Green Bay Decking is positioning its new Indura Deck as a premium line at a lower price due to a reduced profile.

[8] Duralife’s latest offering in PVC composite railing is the classic white Merrimack Railing System.

nature of the combined show allowed Wolf to have adjacent booth spaces, one promoting its cabinets and other home products, the other showcasing its outdoor products. Connecting the two sides was a new product that bridged the two divisions: Wolf Endurance outdoor cabinetry. The sturdy aluminum modular components featured a powder-coated finish and sealed storage. One small item in Wolf’s space caught our eye: the clever PopTop post cap [4]. By removing a small cap plug on top, homeowners could insert various mounts and attachments to support a light, cupholder, tray, flag, planter, birdfeeder, wind chime, or countless other toppings. • Patwin Plastics showed off a new cellular PVC toprail with a metallic coat, which will even oxidize [5]. • Superior Plastics recently introduced Placid Point Lighting—powder-coated, diecast aluminum accent and post cap lights in 15

different colors [6]. • Green Bay Decking introduced Indura Deck, a lower-priced version of its popular capped composite decking [7]. Indura has the same core as Optima, but with a reduced profile to lower cost and weight. • Duralife Merrimack Railing System has a wood-free, resin-base core, contoured design, and hidden brackets, with a classic white finish [8]. • Terraza provided a preview of its high pressure laminate decking [9]. Manufactured in Spain and widely used in Europe, it’s the only high pressure laminated solution to meticulously heat-process and imprint wood textures onto each plank, giving it a natural grain look and reducing slippage from moisture. Over the last two years, the company installed three test decks in the States and is now lining up distribution so it can bring the product to America in 2019.

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[9] Terraza previewed its unique high pressure laminated decking, coming to the U.S. next year.

[10] Wild Hog Railing introduced Freedom Fill aluminum in-fill kits.

[11] Paralux, after 15 years of manufacturing for other companies, debuted its own cable rail brand.

[12] Inteplast relaunched its Decor line of capped PVC decking at the show.

• Wild Hog’s Freedom Fill aluminum in-fill comes powder coated in black and white, in 6-ft. and 8-ft. kits [10]. • After manufacturing product for other companies for 15 years, Paralux has designed its own cable railing brand, which works with both wood and metal posts [11]. • Inteplast relaunched its Decor line of PVC decking at the show [12]. The products are an improved version of Gossen’s former Passport line, but with richer colors, deeper embossing, and more variations in the variegation. It comes in 6”-wide deck boards and 3” porch boards in four different colors. • Dexerdry’s thermoplastic water-sealing, between-board flanges are now available in a flexible coil, making them easier to install, ship and handle. Initially, they will work with certain brands of Trex, MoistureShield, AZEK, TimberTech and Deckorators decking, with

additional lines in the works. • Several tech companies also had new apps, software and services for deck contractors, including XactRemodel GO (for creating quick estimates in the field) and Phaze (an app for chronicling project photos phase by phase). Concurrent with DeckExpo, the North American Deck & Railing Association held its 9th annual awards dinner at Baltimore’s National Aquarium. In addition to presentation of the annual deck competition prizes, AZEK’s Rebekah Schuld and Stephanie Kurtz were given the 2018 Recognition Award and Simpson Strong-Tie’s Jim Mailey received the Terry Award. Before getting down to business, guests were able to tour the multi-level aquarium, with an after-party at the neighboring Hard Rock Cafe. Next year, DeckExpo will make its home at the Kentucky International Convention Center, Louisville, KY., Nov. 7-8, 2019. Winter 2018

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LEFT TO RIGHT: Patrick Adams, Jason “Dr. Decks” Russell, James Carey, Morris Carey.

Build outside the box

Experts on crafting your brand your way This year’s DeckExpo drew a standing-room-only crowd for a panel discussion on how important branding really is for a business. Sponsored by Deck Specialist, it was moderated by publisher Patrick Adams and featured James and Morris Carey, who host nationally-syndicated radio show On The House, and Jason “Dr. Decks” Russell, deck builder/Instagram phenom. “Your brand is being created whether you’re doing it deliberately or not,” Adams noted before kicking off with the panel’s first question:

Q: Why is branding so important?

Jason Russell: Branding gives your potential clients and people who follow you a way to identify you. If I’m trying to put out a certain type of product, I want those people to see not only the name but maybe the shape of what I’m trying to show them. James Carey: If you’re self-employed, you don’t have a business, you have a brand. Stop thinking business and start thinking brand. Morris Carey: In order to keep growing, you have to have the name of your company—your brand—top of mind. In the public, in your work area, if your name isn’t top of mind, someone else will be selected, their business will grow and yours won’t.

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Q: When you’re in business for yourself especially, time and resources are limited. How do you make time to prioritize branding? And what does branding really do for your business that makes it more efficient or more profitable? James: In addition to our construction business, Design, Build, Remodeling, for 32 years we’ve had a media company which has helped us brand. We began a radio program in San Francisco, we syndicated that and got it on television, and we got into publishing. And how we’ve managed to keep that going is like Madonna, or Lady Gaga, or Frank Sinatra even. From time to time you need to get a new haircut. You need to do things a little differently. For us, part of our brand for many years was brightcolored, bib overalls and our trucks are wrapped. So I think you need to know who you are and you need to exploit that the best way you can. Morris: You are a contractor. You are not a plumber, you’re not a carpenter or an electrician. And if you’re a contactor, your time must be spent being a business person. That means advertising and marketing and all things branding. If you want to move into becoming a businessman and a contractor, take your tools off, trade them for a copier and a computer, and


start establishing yourself as a businessperson. Part of that process is taking the time to brand.

Q: What are some of the mistakes you’ve

made along the way and what do you think are the most important things when it comes to branding? Jason: I wish I would have gotten started even earlier in my social media presence and getting my name and brand out to the masses. The internet is a positive thing and an incredible way to get your name out there. My mistake was ignoring it up to a certain point, and the time came where it was not ignorable anymore. I saw that some of my competition was doing it and I was falling behind. I got very passionate about it, hitting it everyday, becoming religious about it, putting out posts, reaching people, and being passionate about what I was doing. Before I wasn’t showing my passion or my art, I was just showing work. But I got to a point where I knew that needed to change. I needed to show my brand. I needed to identify with it. I needed to get serious about showing my logo instead of just a deck I was building. I wanted to put Dr. Decks in front of people so they would see and recognize it. James: Morris says you should be a businessman and take of your tools off, and that might work for some, but others want to have the joy of having their tools on and still want to be the business person, and you can do that, but you have to work really hard and really smart. In today’s business environment you can do that, especially by harnessing technology. I’ll give you my quick once-over: 1. Create an ecosystem of professionalism.

CABINETRY

WOOD DECKING

Create a team. If you’re a one man show that’s fine, but you’ve got to have a team in order to brand and build. 2. Hire and train your crew and subs. Have them do what you do. Make sure that person knows exactly what you want. 3. Strive for excellence and make sure everyone in your employ strives for excellence too. 4. Leverage technology. 5. Communicate with your crew and your clients. There is no substitute for excellent communication. Text, call, email, FaceTime, do whatever it takes to interface with your client, your crew and your subs. 6. Go paperless: electronic time sheets and electronic bookkeeping. 7. Image building. Be an advocate for your industry and elevate your industry. Get involved, do cause-related marketing and volunteer work. Blog posts, podcasts, social media and seminars in the community will help you not only build your brand but improve the environment and the industry. Morris: You have to present yourself not as a tradesperson, but as a businessperson. Neat, clean and friendly. The first step in branding is customer satisfaction. Your customers must be satisfied with your work and satisfied that you’re intelligent, have integrity and are honest. The second step is constant advertising. Word of mouth is great, but you must buy advertising somewhere. How do you find the right advertising opportunity? You find out which kind of advertising gives you the best closing rate, which zip code gives you the best closing rate,

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and you diminish the number of no’s and increase the number of yes’s, ultimately leading to you making more money.

Q:

What percentage of your business today is just through referral of satisfied customers? Jason: 100%. James: 35%. I say advertise hard, generate a lot of leads, and say no more often. If you get too busy, what do you do? Raise your price, raise your profitability, and maybe pay yourself more. Morris: When our closing rate increased above 30%, we raised our prices 15-20%. Not for anything but to make more money because supply wasn’t meeting demand. When that happens, you’ve got to make money because there’s going to be a recession where you won’t make much and where word of mouth doesn’t work anymore. You must be known to the great public in your market for as far as you’re willing to travel. Everyone should know your name.

Q: How do you stand out in a crowded, noisy marketplace like this? Jason: When I started my website 20 years ago, it was because I needed a web presence. I was 21. I didn’t know anything about it. It took me an hour and a half to upload one photo. Now, 17 years later, I’m getting bombarded with SEO messages from people who tell me they can boost my page ranks and I wonder if they’ve actually checked where I rank. I’ve had a website for so long that we come up number one in our area every single time. I don’t pay for sponsorship ads because I’ve just been around for so long. I started at such a young age that our web page has always been there. If you want to promote yourself, a website is always a great way to do that. It’s important to always have a solid base. A great page becomes a very valuable asset. 22

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James: We do local design seminars that we advertise that bring people in. We do a soft sell and we make it an informative program so that they can walk away with something and make some decisions. Maybe they’ll call us and maybe they won’t, but we know that we could end up getting enough business out of that event to justify us in continuing to do it. Morris: Our customers don’t pick us, we pick them. Sometimes we say no. Everything is how the customer perceives you. We make our customers demand us. Everything you do creates your brand. You must surround yourself with really good people. You are not an island. If you don’t have people around you who can produce then you can’t succeed. If you’re doing word of mouth advertising, you may have enough to keep yourself and a couple people busy, but to pay people six zeroes a year, you’re going to have to make a lot of money. To do that you have to have a lot of customers, and in order to make that happen you have to have a lot of branding. Once you’ve done that, then you have to perform the kinds of jobs you want to perform with the kinds of people who you like to work for. You have to advertise. You have to choose the jobs you want. I know, after four recessions, the only way to survive is to grow your business constantly. When the recession hits, get rid of all your crap help, keep your good people, pull your wings in and pull in all your costs. And once you survive the recession, use your good people to help you find more good people. James: Make enough money when times are good so that you can weather the bad times. It’s about attitude. You have to determine what it is you want in your life. It’s about making decisions and setting healthy limits. Jason: If you’re on Instagram, follow @DrDecks. Now that’s branding.



Options expand for

outdoor kitchens By Linda M. Colon

One element that has fast become the shining

star of casual entertainment is the outdoor kitchen. With its heightened status from old school barbeque island to fully-functional entertainment area, it has earned bragging rights with its endless options in color, style and design making it a must-have when creating outdoor living spaces. Today’s outdoor kitchen cabinetry lines give you the freedom to integrate them as part of the overall deck design. It can go from a short run of cabinets and countertops with a built-in grill to mirroring the homeowner’s indoor kitchen seamlessly transitioning to the outside and aesthetically becoming a direct extension of the home. Serving as the perfect foundation supporting food prep to grilling to dining al fresco, outdoor kitchen cabinets accommodate a variety of cooking amenities including grills, smokers, pizza ovens, fridges, sinks, bars, wine coolers, and kegerators.

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ABOVE: This outdoor living space features cabinets by Danver Stainless Outdoor Kitchens with Key West style doors powder-coated in Bronze Metallic Matte. The layout includes a two-drawer stainless steel cabinet, panel-ready refrigerator, allowing the refrigerator to match the cabinets and accommodates a grill, side burner, smoker and trash pull. (Photo by Michael Ventura)


RIGHT: Designed by Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, the Key Weststyle doors are powder-coated in Java II to protect the stainless steel from the ocean air, while addng color and style. It is equipped with a twodrawer, panel-ready refrigerator and an outdoor ice maker. A trash pull helps keep rubbish removal discreet yet readily available. The inclusion of a versa power burner, with a convenient pot-filler faucet, easily accommodates a family-size lobster bake. (Photo by Steven Paul Whitsitt Photography)

LEFT: Euro-inspired luxury kitchen lines such as TECNO are the next step in the evolution of the outdoor kitchen cabinet. A collaboration between Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, Dekton by Cosentino, and Daniel Germani Designs, TECNO is crafted from stainless steel for durability and powder coated for a beautiful and virtually maintenance-free finish. (Photo by Dan Galli, Brown Jordan)

Among the options available for outdoor kitchen cabinetry, materials include a variety of wood species, including cypress, ipe, teak, bamboo and others, as well as polymers, high density polyethylene (HDPE), and stainless steel. Each material presents its own set of pros and cons with stainless being the most resilient. Sustainable and recyclable, stainless steel is known for a variety of other positive traits including low maintenance costs, long life, 100% recyclability, fire and corrosion resistance, product safety, minimal emissions, light weight, and maintaining its shape and integrity. Coupled with the choice of stainless steel for outdoor cabinetry is powder coat painting. An array of color palettes and woodgrain finishes are available for powder coating countertops and outdoor kitchen cabinetry. Besides complying with environmental regulations and posing no significant health risks, the powder coating is also free from VOC’s, airborne pollutants, and non-disposable hazardous materials. From a design aspect, choices abound from standard cabinet runs to free-standing cabinetry.

Outdoor kitchen layouts are dictated by the arrangement of the countertops, major appliances and storage areas and encompass the working triangle—or path—that the user makes when moving from the refrigerator to the sink to the cooking area. Depending on the layout of an outdoor kitchen, the prepping and cooking can be done efficiently by the chef while still interacting since guests love to congregate and watch. Attaching a counter and seating to a U-shape or L-shape arrangement of cabinets allows for both. When designing an outdoor living project, be sure to consider all the awe-inspiring options. Remember, clients are looking for a design solution that delivers aesthetics, performance and value. Linda M. Colon is a marketing and social media strategist focusing on luxury brands. To learn more about the brands mentioned in her article, log onto danver.com and brownjordanoutdoorkitchens.com. Winter 2018

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NADRA

For more photos of t h winning dec e ks Building-Pro , visit ducts.com

National

Deck Competition Awards

2018

The highlight of the North American Deck & Railing Association’s annual meeting is a banquet honoring the winners of its annual National Deck Competition. The awards, presented Oct. 10 in Baltimore, celebrate the finest work from the nation’s top outdoor living designers, builders and products over the last year. A panel of judges evaluated the projects in 20 categories, based on four criteria: • Use of space/functionality • Creativity/innovation • Evidence of craftsmanship/degree of difficulty • Overall visual appeal The following photos and project descriptions are courtesy of NADRA.

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Deck

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Awards

2018

Manufacturer Project 1ST

Feeney, Inc.

www.feeneyinc.com This expansive three-level deck plus dock, profiled in the Summer 2018 edition of Deck Specialist (p. 26-31), utilizes exotic hardwood and Feeney’s DesignRail aluminum railing, which accepts a wood cap rail onto its 450 profile.

2ND

3RD

AZEK

www.azek.com Becker & Sanders custom-built this dramatic Brazilian Walnut AZEK Deck with AZEK Premiere Railing and cable rail in-fills on a steep, 75-ft. embankment made of loose soil and sand. The footings had to be expertly placed and required a sled-like transport system to carry the concert up the sharply-angled bank. The space was full of grown trees, yet the team was able to design a switch-back style of staircase with a deck at the base and midrise landing-pad, without cutting down a single tree.

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Regal Ideas

www.regalideas.com The homeowner wanted a private outdoor space that felt like there was nothing on the deck or blocking the view. They wanted to feel like the deck was floating in the air and over the water. The engineered trussed and reinforced steel beams allowed the deck to be cantilevered, while the use of the ironfree tempered glass railing system provided that crystal clear look. During the day you can not see the glass. After dark, the glass is powered with LED to create a subtle, tranquil glow.


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Limitless Creation Over $100K 1ST

Dr. Decks

Tacoma, WA www.drdecks.com Designer: Jason Russell The range of components include Wolf Home Products’ Serenity PVC decking, Innovative Aluminum Infinity rail system, Coastal Curved Glass, In-Lite LED lighting, Rockford Fosgate audio speakers, Sonos wireless audio system, Barbra Jean see-through fireplace, Coast Spas Infinity hot tub, Infratec patio heaters, and Screw Products Inc.’s stainless steel deck screws and

2ND

Deck Remodelers.com, LLC

Sparta, NJ Designer: Sean McAleer A high deck to view the New York skyline was the directive. A grand staircase with 180-degree glulams allowed the upper Zuri deck to flow seamlessly to the lower deck. A curved NatureKast kitchen was added on the opposite side for symmetry. The stone of the kitchen wall and circular gas fire feature coordinated with the stone walls around the property.

construction fasteners. A Firemagic outdoor kitchen with hot and cold plumbing is located upstairs, while a second Alfresco outdoor kitchen with heaters is located downstairs for larger gatherings. On the uppermost deck, there is an infinity pool hot tub with a tiled aluminum privacy wall and a see-through fireplace to view the lake. All decks are waterproofed with an EPDM bladder system and the under side of all exposed areas are capped with prestained tight knot pine soffit. Custom curved glass was made to replicate the exact curve of each of four different radii.

3RD

Holloway Company, Inc.

Dulles, VA Designer: Ted Tidmore Components include an 850-sq. ft. Trex Transcend outer deck with a 385-sq. ft. screened area, WeatherMaster Vertical Windows by Sunspace, 42” wood burning fireplace, 2,720 sq. ft. of patio, 270 sq. ft. of paver walkway, stone seat walls, stone wall veneer, fire pit, and stone kitchen with Twin Eagles grill and appliances.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Alternative Deck Over $100K 1ST

This amazing deck is flanked with Wolf Home Products Serenity PVC decking in Silver Teak and Black Walnut, which has several custom heat modified and formed deck boards that create the flow for this incredible space. It took Dr. Decks and another carpenter seven months to complete the sprawling, one-of-a-kind project.

Dr. Decks

Tacoma, WA www.drdecks.com Designer: Jason Russell

2ND

3RD

Deck Remodelers.com, LLC

Sparta, NJ Designer: Sean McAleer The lower deck could not exceed the footprint of the original deck. A variance provided additional square footage that was used to extend the upper deck. The stairs from the existing hardscape down to the pond area could not be moved. The solution was to do a grand staircase with custom fabricated 180-degree glulams. They were extremely difficult to fabricate and even more difficult to transport to the site.

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Dr. Decks

Tacoma, WA Designer: Jason Russell One of the greatest challenges was trying to figure out how to keep the neighbors happy with the elevation of the new deck to preserve their view and how to transfer elevations from the inside of the house down to the main deck. What transpired was the original deck being lowered 30� and over 400 running feet of staircases added with the deck planks alternating directions to create a cool visual effect as it guides the path down to the main deck. After construction started, a hot tub deck was added as well as two staircases, one off the hot tub deck and one on the left for easy lake access. One outdoor kitchen was also added with custom barbecue, cabinet and refrigerator. Full matching skirting was added for finished-off effect.


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Alternative Deck $50K – $100K 1ST

Deck Remodelers.com Sparta, NJ www.deckremodelers.com Designer: Sean McAleer

This incredible “inside out” deck held many design challenges. It features hidden motorized screens that seal the porch, creating a closed porch when needed. The motorized screens were hidden in the ipe beams and in the ipe trim on the columns and the track was recessed in the ipe columns. Using an open gable roof with custom glass and Velux skylights to enhance the light in the porch served two purposes: letting the light into the house, while at the same time creating a seal when the screens are down. Glass was placed in the gable so that when the screens were up, it looked like there were no screens at all. Curving the Zuri decking and fascia to perfection took many hours. Other components included a Tigerwood ceiling, curved powder-coated aluminum rails, and custom barn door.

2ND

Custom Decks

Los Angeles, CA Designer: Kari Lillywhite Breckenridge, CO., retreat used Trex decking, Trex Transcend railing, and frosted glass railing around the hot tub.

3RD

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ Designer: Robert Kiefer All railings were custom made, with iron spindles fabricated to match the original spindles on the home’s front porch.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Wood Deck $50K – $100K 1ST

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ www.decksbykiefer.com Designer: Robert Kiefer Ipe hardwood teamed with PVC to create a gem of a project. Custom designed and fabricated PVC rails, recessed panel posts, and the signature Kiefer curved rail accentuate the “beach house” feel of this Staten Island home. The showplace features a herringbone patterned boardwalk-like ipe deck surface and additional balcony deck off the master bedroom. All details were covered from top to bottom including wrapping all posts underneath and 2ND

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ Designer: Robert Kiefer A simple yet elegant project that exceeded the customers expectations by accommodating an added ipe pergola over their firepit area to the far side of the deck. The surface is all 1x6 ipe face screwed and plugged with meranti rails featuring a Feeney cable rail system. The signature curved rails and custom-made 1x4 ipe paneling underneath give a finished look to the whole project.

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scribing radii on the beam wraps. Just like Grandma’s home cooking... even the lattice panels were made from scratch!


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Limitless Creation $50K – $100K 1ST

Deck Remodelers.com Sparta, NJ www.deckremodelers.com Designer: Sean McAleer

Transforming an unused corner of a 100-yearold home with a new metal roof, TV and hot tub, gourmet kitchen and patio dining area with a stone fire feature that is visible from every point of view, all while getting approval from the historical committee was not an easy task. The builder had

to consider all the existing windows and bump out without doing major reconstruction on the house. A small existing slate roof was removed and a flat metal roof was installed as the only workable option as far as design and functionality. All finish work was done with over-sized mouldings to blend with the existing structure of the house. Seamlessly blending in the new elements to match the century-old structure was mandatory to pass the requirements of the historical committee. Designing a stunning kitchen and bar area using Naturekast and granite created a timeless look using state-of-the-art cabinets.

Limitless Creation $25K – $50K 1ST

Blue Chip Decks

Manitoba, Canada www.bluechipdecks.com Designer: Calvin Cerilli The two-tier deck, pergola and yard went through more than 30 design iterations before landing on the perfect combination of Zuri Decking, Trex lighting, Star Rail railing, Post Tech screw piles, and Barkman Concrete.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Alternative Deck $25K – $50K 1ST

Dr. Decks

Tacoma, WA www.drdecks.com Designer: Jason Russell This deck features AZEK Brownstone and Autumn Chestnut decking with custom heatmanipulated planks to create incredible shapes. A custom-curved bench and staircase flow along the non-traditional sections of this deck. Regal Ideas aluminum and glass railings preserve the views, keep things safe, and light up at night.

2ND

3RD

Blue Chip Decks

Manitoba, Canada Designer: Calvin Cerilli This feature-rich project is a two-tier Zuri deck with a curved, handcrafted raw cedar pergola. The builder included two Celtic knot inlays running into the mitered border, as well as stainless steel cable rail with LED light strips in the top rail. The pergola is accented by a custom laser-cut palm leaf panel, powder coated to a rustic oil rub bronze. Dimmable Trex LED lighting was added in the pergola posts, mitered border, and stair risers, all controlled by a handheld wireless remote.

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BroLaws Construction

Durham, NC Designer: Andrew P. This build’s challenge was to keep as true to the natural landscape as possible, avoiding hard lines and obstructed views. To keep the rock formation shapes, BroLaws cut each Trex Transcend board to match each angle and curve of each rock surface. To avoid any obstruction and bring nature in, the builder used a frameless glass system with no-iron glass for that pure clear view, all illuminated with Tru-Scapes deck lighting.


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Wood Deck $25K – $50K 1ST

Casey Fence & Deck

Frederick, MD www.caseyfenceanddeck.com Designer: Brendan Casey The mission: replace and redesign a couple of tired, old treated wood decks with one continuous multi leveled, 900-sq. ft., wrap-around Brazilian teak deck with many custom features. To make matters trickier, they used random width decking,

yet—except in the 24-ft.-long steps—there’s not an unsightly butt joint in the entire project. There are unique transitions and inlays. Every cut was rounded over to match the edges and sealed with wax. The stairs have ripped slat style boards to allow better air flow. The Brazilian cherry rail posts have stainless bolts, custom-designed rail with decks board framing, and decorative aluminum balusters with continuous deck board rail cap sanded to a glass finish. The material was prefinished on all four sides before installation.

Limitless Creation Under $25K 1ST

Select Decks

Morgantown, WV www.selectdecks.com Designer: James Baldwin The original structure was a multi-zone Trex Transcend deck featuring a larger area for general traffic and a raised portion for dining. Realizing this didn’t go far enough, the builder and client decided to introduce a third color in the form of an inlay in the middle of the larger deck. The sloped terrain around the deck area created a challenge with regards to where the stairs would go. So, Select Decks created a set of pocket stairs that’s almost completely contained within the deck envelope vs. protruding out from the structure. The deck may not be large in scope, but there’s plenty of detail in 385 sq. ft. without feeling too busy. Materials included Trex Transcend decking (Spiced Rum, Havana Gold, Island Mist) and handrails, Trex Hideaway hidden fasteners, and FastenMaster Cortex screws and plugs. Winter 2018

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Wood Deck Under $25K 1ST

Blue Chip Decks

Manitoba, Canada www.bluechipdecks.com Designer: Calvin Cerilli This Cedartone deck is a large, single-tier structure with three staircases and a larger pergola with a literal “jigsaw puzzle� of a rafter design, since all the rafters were interconnected. All areas where the rafters meet had to be cut and dry-fitted for the correct fit and perfect finish. The pergola roof alone took over two days of trial and error. Other components included Nuvo Iron balusters, LED pergola post lights, and LED stair riser lights. All lights were programmed on an automatic photocell timer. 2ND

Back to Nature Decks

Oreland, PA Designer: Michael Ebner This lush mahogany deck features mahogany railing with black aluminum pickets, balusters, custom privacy wall, and two sets of stairs.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Alternative Deck Under $25K 1ST

Infinite Decks

Lakeville, MN www.infinitedecks.com Designer: Mark King This project was designed around the landscaping that was already in place. The homeowner wanted two different sections—a dining area and an entertaining area. The builder used Wolf PVC decking with AZEK PVC trim, with a custom aluminum rail with cable in-fill. It is sitting on Goliath Tech Helical Piers. The rail has a consistent LED under-rail lighting package. 2ND

Blue Chip Decks

Manitoba, Canada Designer: Calvin Cerilli This beautiful Yin Yang Japanesestyle deck has opposing PVC stairs and planter. Uses Wolf Serenity PVC Amberwood decking, Star aluminum railing, Pylex stair anchors, and LED riser lights. .

3RD

C. Verblaauw & Sons

Mahwah, NJ Designer: Bruce Verblaauw The design has a 12-ft.-wide octagon off of the one corner with a picture frame outline. It’s built of Trex Transcend decking in Island Mist on PTW framing with Trex hidden fasteners, Trex Transcend railings in white, an Island Mist cocktail rail, white posts, and black aluminum balusters.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Refinished/Restored Deck 1ST

Casey Fence & Deck

Frederick, MD www.caseyfenceanddeck.com Designer: Brendan Casey This gorgeous deck is the result of redesigning, reframing, resurfacing and revamping a project started by the homeowner, then taken over by some local “Bob in his beater� who had the deck both out of square and level and a board pattern off by over 18 inches after deviating from the plans. Casey Fence & Deck agreed to curve the front

2ND

3RD

Dock & Deck

Knoxville, TN Designer: Jason Varney This complete deck and rail overhaul includes Trex Transcend decking, Trex railing, and Trex post cap lights. The waterproof under-decking system is finished with stained T&G, custom entertainment/storage wall with SunBrite outdoor TV, recessed LED lighting, and Hunter outdoor fans.

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frames and the staircase and install a unique multi-directional board pattern with transition boards, eliminating all unsightly butt joints. Using its oven, Casey heat-formed and curved the double picture frame border and stair treads. He used Fiberon Ipe composite decking, and Fiberon Chestnut for the curved border, inlays, stair treads, and cocktail rail. Other additions: stronger hollow steel rail post with white vinyl 6x6 post sleeves, low voltage LED cap lights on the white rails with black round balusters, full deck board rail caps, and recess lights in the deck.

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Dock & Deck

Knoxville, TN Designer: Jason Varney This massive 2400-sq.ft. deck has a completely new look after removing pressure treated decking and railing and upgrading to Trex Transcend composite decking in Spiced Rum color, plus more than 270 ft. of custom Nexan cable railing. The project also includes custom lattice and James Hardie fiber cement trim.


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Open Porch 1ST

Deck Remodelers.com Sparta, NJ www.deckremodelers.com Designer: Sean McAleer

Each element of this beautiful open porch was painstakingly designed and executed, seamlessly blending the old with the new, from th metal roof with Tigerwood ceiling to the Zuri decking below.

2ND

Deck the Yards

Pittsburgh, PA Designer: Robert Viviano The client wanted a barrel-vaulted mahogany ceiling, but also enough room for a living and kitchen area. Heaters are in the ceiling and are electric infrared with individual controls. To add evening mood, gas lanterns were installed on the columns with electric switches. The fireplace is a metal insert, but stoned in a way to give it a real fireplace look by covering up the metal face and raising the hearth. The fireplace electric panel access is through an ash clean-out door on the rear of the fireplace. Pavers are Pennsylvania blue stone faux stone walls over CMU Natural sandstone caps on walls and hearth.

3RD

Deck Remodelers.com, LLC

Sparta, NJ Designer: Sean McAleer This high-impact design provided the homeowners with a stunning barrel roof, plus AZEK decking, Tigerwood ceiling, living room, fireplace and TV nook, lounge area, custom dual space drink bar, patio, large eating area, and thoughtfully placed kitchen with custom privacy screen. The curved barrel roof was designed around a restrictive window layout, while providing a floating appearance over the fireplace and maximizing the view of the sky without obstructing the view of the neighbors. Custom granite top drink bar services both the lounge and eating areas. Benches on either side of the fireplace add to the aesthetics and create additional seating without requiring more furniture.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Illumination Project 1ST

Undeniably, the most impressive illumination on this deck is the Regal Ideas Crystal Rail frameless glass system and In-Lite LED stair lights.

Dr. Decks

Tacoma, WA www.drdecks.com Designer: Jason Russell

2ND

3RD

BroLaws Construction

Durham, NC Designer: Andrew P. The homeowner wanted innovation and just the right lighting feature that would not take away from nature. The builder opted for Crystal Rail Frameless Glass Railing System with LED by Regal Ideas, as well as In-Lite lighting.

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The project features over 85 In-Lite stair lights to create beautiful accents and provide safe passage.

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Deck Remodelers.com, LLC

Sparta, NJ Designer: Sean McAleer The custom lighting design takes this luxurious space from day to to dusk to evening without drawing attention to the time. Transitional lighting to each level provides safety while showcasing each curved element. There’s also lighting under the granite-topped bar, seethrough stone fireplace, and gas torches.


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Unique Feature 1ST

Deck Remodelers.com Sparta, NJ www.deckremodelers.com Designer: Sean McAleer

The stairs from the existing hardscape down to the pond area could not be moved, so the builder designed a curved, floating staircase. The stairs were custom fabricated off site, using 180-degree glulams. They were

2ND

3RD

Dr. Decks

Dr. Decks

Tacoma, WA Designer: Jason Russell Heat-manipulated AZEK planks create incredible shapes, including three septic tank access lids, with surface borders formed into an unheard-of 13� radius.

extremely difficult to fabricate and even more difficult to transport to the site. The design of the Zuri treads and the custom powder coated aluminum rails, accentuate the dramatic flow of the stairs.

Tacoma, WA Designer: Jason Russell A 1,200-lb. steel girder hidden inside the third story deck allows a 4-ft. unsupported curved cantilever to match the curve of the deck without any post support that would normally extend to the ground.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Dock 1ST

Dock & Deck

Knoxville, TN www.dockanddeck.com Designer: Jason Varney This boat house is a new construction that mimics the home’s style and includes composite decking, matching Boral trim, stained T&G ceiling, custom in-ceiling boat and PWC (personal watercraft) lifts, recessed LED lighting, Control4 home sound system, and custom Boral trimwork to set it apart from other docks in the area. 2ND

3RD

Dock & Deck

Dock & Deck

Knoxville, TN Designer: Jason Varney TREX decking, Stained pine T&G, Recessed LED lights. This dock’s 1800-sq. ft. footprint boasts two boat slips (30 and 40 ft.), as well as a large living area. An entertainment and storage closest has custom-made barn doors to keep out the elements. It also includes a swim-step with ladder for easy access to the water.

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Knoxville, TN Designer: Jason Varney This custom single-slip dock offers a large open sundeck as well as covered boat and personal watercraft slips. A lower swimstep provides easy water access from the structure. This project also includes custom boat and personal watercraft lifts, stained pine T&G ceiling, and paddleboard/kayak racks.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Commercial Project 1ST

Deck & Basement Co.

Minneapolis, MN www.deckandbasement.com Designer: Pat Noonan Built in an outdoor sculpture garden in front of Minneapolis’ iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry exhibit, this deck was used as the photostage for an RTGconcert, making it the backdrop for thousands of GIFs that were posted on social media. Because of the concert schedule, the builder was limited to three days for installation and no heavy equipment. They pre-built in sections and hand-

2ND

WWG Design & Build

Ontario, Canada Designer: Jon Witt The client needed wheelchair access to both entrances of the building, despite space restrictions and an aversion to straight lines. Material selection was key. The builder used MicroPro Sienna toned pressure treated decking and pre-treated it with Cutek Extreme by Deck Protect, to ensure protection and longevity with relative ease of maintenance. AZEK was chosen for the accent, since it could be bent and provided a stark contrast to the wood decking. Also used were CAMO and FastenMaster Cortex hidden fasteners, and Versatex trim.

rolled into place with a custom-made 16-wheel cart for weight distribution. Steel pipes and hydraulic jacks were used to lift off the cart and transfer to the pre-built foundation. Once in place, it needed to be ADA accessible, so a 50-ft.-long access ramp was site-built to reach the sidewalk. The main structure was an 18-ft. true circle with intersecting inlays at different angles. A rounded half-wall was sided with decking to hide photography equipment. Three different colors of Timbertech Legacy decking (Ashwood, Espresso,Whitewash Cedar) were installed, changing direction over a dozen times. The skirting around the base of the deck tied in with the different inlays to create a “dripping” effect over the side.

3RD

Stellar Decks

Seaford, NY Designer: Keith Camacho This commercial project is located at the home of the New York Mets, Citi Field. During the off-season, the stadium got a new facelift inside the ballpark, in conjunction with conversion of the Citi Pavilion area to group sales only. Added were a new outdoor bar area and stadium seating for both bench and single seating. Custom AZEK benches were built with arm rests and cup holders. AZEK decking grids were built in squares for cleaning access.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2018

Greatest Showroom Under 3K Sq. Ft. 1ST

PMC Building Materials Marietta, GA www.pmcbmonline.com

PMC built a two-story, steel-frame deck in the middle of a parking lot to promote Trex products. The challenges were curving the decking and railing, being able to support a commercial load rating 2ND

with no noticeable movement, and building with zero lumber—every component was steel, aluminum or composite. Trex materials included Elevations steel framing, Transcend decking in all colors, Signature railing, Rod Rail, Cocktail Rail, LED lighting kit, spiral stairs, pergola, outdoor storage, furniture and built-in planters. 3RD

Pro Deck Supply

Timbertown Atlanta

Minneapolis, MN In just 1,000 sq. ft., Pro Deck uses space-saving displays to show all of the colors of various lines from Trex, AZEK, TimberTech, Fiberon, Deckorators and Wolf.

Atlanta, GA The 2,500-sq. ft. showroom includes seven decking displays, with composites, hardwoods, railings and lighting. TV’s show in live loops how products are made and installed.

Greatest Showroom Over 3K Sq. Ft. 1ST

Pro Deck Supply

Minneapolis, MN www.prodecksupply.com In addition to runner-up honors for its 1,000sq. ft. showroom, Minneapolis’ Pro Deck Supply picked up a second award for its sprawling office/ warehouse, which features numerous outdoor living displays from a range of manufacturers. And if you can’t make it down for a visit? No problem—take a 3-D virtual tour of the facility on Pro Deck’s website.

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A GREAT DECK STARTS FROM THE GROUND UP.

kopperspc.com © Koppers Performance Chemicals Inc., 12/2018

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ON THE HOUSE

The Carey Bros. podcasted live throughout the recent DeckExpo.

Leveraging trade shows can benefit your business We recently attended The

Remodeling Show & Deck Expo in Baltimore, MD.—one of the many industry trade shows that

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occur each year, coast to coast. Thanks to today’s robust economy, the show was packed with exhibitors showing off their


wares and pros seeking the latest and greatest in building products and technology. All this—in an effort to integrate the latest, greatest and most cost effective elements into both their businesses and their projects. And trust us, no one in attendance seemed the least bit disappointed. Product innovation aside, other benefits can be found while attending an industry trade show. Attendees can sit in on educational seminars and participate in hands-on tool and material workshops. Another advantage is meeting and networking with pros from all over the country who are willing to share their experience and insights. All this, in a place where you can “let your hair down,” compare notes and share “war stories” without the threat of trading business secrets with your local competition. These exchanges can be both reassuring and a real eye-opener. Plus, in addition to trying out the hottest new tool or gizmo, there’s usually no shortage of great information and resources on marketing,

advertising, estimating, design and how to use technology to improve the “business end” of your business. Unfortunately, many pros believe that it’s not worth the time or the money needed to attend a trade show. We say, HOGWASH! The value of a trade show is as important to your business as 2x4’s or concrete and the benefit to you, your business, your crew, your customers and OUR industry are too numerous to mention. So please, think twice before deleting that next e-mail or tossing out that next invitation to attend an industry trade show. It takes only one such event to discover the unbelievable value waiting to help you and your business. 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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PRODUCT REVIEWS

CityPost Cable Railing System www.citypostandrail.com

The search for affordable cable railing It had been five years since our last

project specifying a cable railing system. The layoff wasn’t intentional; we’ve just been most frequently working with clients with commanding, expansive views, which trend towards a more stark, modern aesthetic. When railing options are discussed, most opt for a 316 stainless steel polished post and frameless high optical purity, 10mm tempered glass infill panel system, which tends to complement these homes more closely. When I consider using a cable railing, it’s most often for a light commercial design (e.g., retail outlet or shopping mall). Within residential, I find that cable rail integrates best with very contemporary homes. Over time, these jobs have become a smaller and smaller portion of our overall work portfolio. Nonetheless, over this last summer we designed and built out a fabulous, contemporary outdoor living project, specifying cable as the railing of choice. Looking at the evolution of cable rail, mechanically it hasn’t changed much. The components are basically unchanged. Some have been redesigned or optimized, then reintroduced, as the latest and greatest “new” system. Yet, honestly no real quantum leaps or other technological advancements have taken place. I still remember, around the time I started my apprenticeship

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most “deck guys” favored electro-galvanized “wire rope,” as it was referred to. For cable to post attachment, the accessory hardware was almost always cobbled together from specialty marine offerings—adapting ferrules, clamps, turnbuckles, etc., from the marine chandlery. Back then, while picking up material from Coliseum Redwood in Oakland, I found out about a small, obscure industrial supply business called The Feeney Wire Rope Co. This awkward, uncertain firm would eventually become the behemoth we now know as Feeney Cable Rail or just Feeney. Its metamorphosis began when it decided to “kit” its wire rope with a selection of standardized attachment hardware, sourced and purchased wholesale, direct from the marine supply industry. Soon after, I began seeing a series of small, single-column ads in the back of Fine Homebuilding and Journal of Light Construction, boasting of a new cable railing product. The market responded favorably. From the ’90s into the ’00s, Feeney solidified its position and started to innovate. It developed and patented a number of clever, efficient, sexy and ever-more-expensive stainless cable connectors, tensioners/adjusters, specialty tools, equipment and supplies. Noticing the potentially large margins and little competition, company after com-


pany tried to follow suit, most unsuccessfully. Fast forward to the present: the cable rail market is flooded with businesses and pricing is out of control. Within the last year I have received multiple written quotes that range from $115 to $167 per lineal ft. for a standard aluminum post/frame with 1/8” 19-1 316 stainless cable system. At this price, using cable no longer makes sense for many.

What’s the catch?

Having scoured the internet for any company that offered a quality product for a fair price, I began to accept the fact that no such company exists. After all the repeated searches, I recently noticed something different, a new company: CityPost & Rail in Spokane, WA. Cautiously optimistic, I clicked the link to its website and emailed a request to be contacted by someone from its customer service department. The next morning my phone rang, and on the other end was one of the company principals. Michael Mosback and I discussed all things cable railing, including his company philosophy, design and plans for the future. Frustrated by the high cost of cable rail for his own home, he and two friends joined forces to develop and engineer a reasonably priced system that would be DIY easy to install, while also appealing to the professional. They set an initial target price of $75 per running foot. Economies of scale have since reduced the cost to $60 per foot.

The system

The system was designed to be more practical than sexy. What you’re buying is solid, functional utility and a touch of elegance that comes from the simplicity. They source a marine grade stainless steel for all accessory hardware/ fasteners. The hardware and fasteners are individually batched and sealed in poly, which keeps things organized and together, minimizing the hassle of missing parts/shortages. They also include simple stainless crimp ferrules with either a machine screw attachment or a wood screw attachment, based on post selection and termination at the house to deck junction. The 1/8” (.125) inch diameter, braided marine grade stainless 19 strand cable, comes on a bulk spool wound with the required number of lineal feet, plus a generous waste factor included. Lastly the kit includes stainless bevel washers for cable transitions, stainless flat washers,

stainless tensioning nut,s and polished stainless acorn-style finishing nuts covering all terminations. All sample hardware, connectors and fastener samples sent to me were of above-average quality, with a smooth, solid feel present during use. The flange-style posts are made locally by a fabricator in Spokane. Each post assembly then goes on to receive a multiple application of Cardinal Coatings specialty UV protective, electrostatically charged PowderCoat. Post coating application, each part then transfers to the high temp oven to bake, resulting in a fully cured, and durable high quality finish coat in any of the full range of powder-colors, available from Cardinal. Using the handy order sheet/calculator on CP’s website, in concert with the detailed, fully illustrated instructions, makes calculating the railing component quantities accurate and straightforward. CityPost has the best of this sort of website tool produced by any manufacturer. So with my project quantities calculated and verified by CityPost, I offered up my credit card number; 15 minutes later the electronic receipt notification from my bank showed that the 130 lineal ft. of railing I had just purchased was being prepped to ship. Three days later, I was pleasantly surprised to see the package of superbly packed and extremely well protected railing components patiently awaiting my return.

Post installation

After discussing the layout, length of cable runs, number of turns, etc., with Michael, we had previously decided on a two posts per corner arrangement, simplifying the cable installation and limiting our longest cable run to under 16’. After unpacking and verifying product quantities, we were ready to begin. Initially we spread

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the posts around the perimeter in their approximate locations, mindful of keeping all spans to 4’ or under. We opted for the surface-mount style of post, with a welded flange attached to the post base, we then used four 1/2” x 10” Simpson stainless steel structural screws with integrated washer heads. We first set the corner and terminal posts, shimming when necessary so that the attached post was plumb and solidly fastened. With the end points of each run now established, dividing up the space in between equally was straightforward. We then installed the posts and fastened their flanges to the deck structure.

Cable make-up and installation

The next task was to rough cut the stainless cable to its approximate length, 11 times for each section. We set up the spool of uncut wire on an axle assembly suspended from a stepladder. This enabled the cable to be rolled off without any twisting up, knotting or loosening of the cable braid. We measured the first cable run, marked and cut it, then used that as a template for the 10 remaining runs. We worked our way around, until we had a coil of 11 same length cables per each section. We then laid the cables out across the deck side by side and grabbed the terminal fittings, slipping one on the end of each of the outstretched cables. These were then swaged onto the cables with the help of a handheld 12-ton hydraulic crimping tool. Each then received a washer and nut, threaded on until the nut was flush with the end of the threaded stud. These assemblies were then threaded through all the posts in that run and left loose. Using a threaded terminal to determine approximately where to trim the excess cable back to, we cut the cabl, slid the fitting over the cable, and crimped. The fitting was then treaded back through the terminal post and a washer and nut are installed. The cable was now restrained within the posts. Two items made this set of tasks go quickly and provided consistent quality results: a pair of high quality made-in-Japan cable cutters and a handheld hydraulic crimping tool. The cutters are specifically designed for cleanly cutting stainless steel cable with a single handed squeeze, at $60 a bargain after trying several other methods that were inferior and more time consuming (i.e., frustrating). The crimp is small, powerful and much more consistent than large, stiff, ungainly bolt cutter type swaging tools. As a bonus, it doesn’t tend to deform the ferrule. The “flash” that results from a mechanical crimp is also a potential point for corrosion to take hold. Trust me, unless you are a budget-strapped DIYer with

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Radius stairs prior to install of channel sub rail

a single 10’ foot straight section of rail, go buy these two tools and send me a thank you card when you realize how happy you are that you did.

Sub rail and top rail install

CityPost currently does not supply a top rail or sub rail. They recommend using hardwood decking material like ipe or Tigerwood as combination sub and top rail. This material is strong, stiff and has great compressive strength. The rails are really where the rubber hits the road in cable rail systems. The rails are the only thing that allow the system to function. Many builders find this out when trying to use a composite deck board as the top rail sans any sub rail. The cables get tightened up and the top rail starts to bow up or down as the corner posts get pulled in. Many builders don’t realize the forces at work here. Each of the 11 cables are going to need between 240 and 280 ft. lbs. of tension on them to minimize deflection and pass code. That means in any given section the end posts are being subjected to 2640 ft. lbs. and 3080 ft. lbs. of tensive force. As this is the case, I always opt for a sub rail and top rail. On this particular project I was faced with railings that required a heat forming and the bending of compound curve, like a helix. The material I use to heat form is a capped cellular PVC product. By itself there is no way it could begin to resist the forces asked of it. Additionally it would most like likely sag between the posts that support it, especially in summer as the sun


heats it up. Unacceptable. That looks so bad. To prevent this from happening, I came up with an architectural grade aluminum channel to serve as a structural sub rail and take the compressive forces generated by the increased tension in the cables. The channel was 2.25” ID, which allowed it to just slip over the 2.00” OD posts, and fasten through the backside using 1/420 stainless machine screws drilled and tapped into the posts. The aluminum is strong and will remain laser straight, providing a flat, strong surface onto which the PVC decking top rail could mount. No worries about deflection if someone is leaning heavily on it, and never any heat bow or sag. The other advantage here is that on the compound radius sections I could install the sub rail in segments to make the radius and then when I heat bent my top rail, it was continuous yet fully supported from below. A smooth, unbroken arc is infinitely more attractive than a segmented arc. With the sub rail installed and secure, the next step was to tense up the cables. Contrary to what many builders think, there is a right way and a wrong way to tighten the cables. I always do it by hand with a ratcheting box end wrench and a pair of cushioned jaw vice grip pliers to keep the cable assembly from turning while tightening the nuts at alternating ends. The order that they are tightened is very important. Always start with the cable in the middle of the panel then alternate above and below, gradually working your way through all cable runs in each segment. This keeps the posts straight and helps eliminate the over-tensioning of the top cables and under-tensioning of the lower cables. If setting them by ear they should emit the same “note” when “played.” Overall, I was quite pleased with the quality and finish of the CityPost product. While not a complete turnkey, snap-together system like some manufacturers produce, I think the reasonable cost of the product more than compensates for extra expense and time required to design a custom railing solution for the top rail. The other consideration I thought about was when I put a picture of a higher end cable rail system alongside the CityPost system. I asked myself if I saw twice the value there, or huge time savings (time is money, too). My answer: nope. Marv Johnson is the principal of Deck Envy LLC, Gig Harbor, WA. Send comments and suggestions for product reviews to emjaybuilding@mac.com Winter 2018

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BOTTOM LINE

Guilty by association It’s not what you think… it’s about

networking, learning and helping each other. For us, the North American Deck & Railing Association is the one group to belong to if you are in the deck industry. There are others— NARI, NAHB, AFA and more. I think they all have their values. I am not a member of any of those others, but I hear good things about them. So why be part of an association? For several articles, I have covered all kinds of topics and in the last I specifically covered having good relationships with your direct competition. Being an association member is an extension of this, and in addition propels your networking ability to your peers at an astounding rate. There are always parts of associations that do not make sense and do not deliver value, but the parts that do are tough to debate. I have lifelong friendships and contacts that would not have been possible without association memberships, specifically for me with NADRA. If I have a product issue, I have a contact. If I have questions about code, I have a contact. If I want to pick up the phone and talk to a deck builder about an idea, I have contacts. This list goes on and on. Those are the freebies that come with such a membership. The parts that most guys don’t understand and therefore fail to reap the benefits from are the various programs that are offered by the association. Here’s an example: You just failed a code inspection because the inspector wants to see a certain type of metal bracket, or he doesn’t like the railing you installed. Most of the time

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those inspection points are outlined in the building code, a code that was likely written five years ago or more. Your association has people working on those codes that you will not see for five years. Codes that may be unnecessary or codes that may be very important, but if you are not part of the association, there is nothing you can do or say about those codes at the point you fail that inspection. It’s kind of like voting—you can’t complain if you don’t vote. So what does an inspection failure cost you? Perhaps it’s as simple as running to the store and buying a bracket, and then running back to the job to install it. That’s $100 right there, no matter how you look at it. These code committees work on money from membership dues and donations from people like you, so in theory would you not rather spend some of the money now, or all of it later? Maybe send in $50 to help them out now so maybe you won’t spend it later—or better yet, send in the $50, sign up for a course with the association, and then you will know what to do ahead of the inspection, and will be able to help them fend off unnecessary additions to the code. This is as simple as being prepared and you need the association to do that. I’ve made it a point to peek into many of the classrooms during shows to see how many butts are in the seats and trust me, they could stand to be fuller. It always puzzles me why a deck contractor would skip a class that can save him good money in the future. Not just on avoiding failed inspections, but even more on the value of


the information to be used in the sales process. Folks will pay more for decks built by people who attend association classes. That’s just a fact! It’s really a fraternity if you think about it. When you sign up, you’re part of an association and you get to put the logo on your business card, but you don’t really see the rewards until you become active. Some great ways are to reach out to other members, introduce yourself. Ask the current membership to help you get introduced to others. The biggest is to volunteer to help on a committee. Might cost you an hour or two a month to help make decisions and put in some time on the tasks. Maybe you are on the membership committee who’s job it is to find, recruit, and help newer members be more active. Perhaps it is on the code committee helping to interpret and redefine the building code leaving your mark for years to come. Perhaps it is in fundraising, which is always an important job for an association member. I enjoyed that part organizing golf outings and other functions for the good of the association and the money I helped raise created opportunities for code work, education, and most of all a big party for members to enjoy their time together. Now, as it pertains to your business, membership with a trade association, in addition to the many values I just discussed, adds value to your customers. You need to discuss these memberships with them. Simply showing a logo on your website will not do the job. Tell your customer what NADRA is and why it exists. What does it offer you and why is it important to them? If you are smart you will memorize this: “Being an ACTIVE association member gives me cutting edge information, training and contacts in the deck industry all of which make me a more logical choice to build your deck because continuing education and industry involvement and growth is important for any professional, especially one who is attaching such an expensive structure to your largest investment—your home!” Boom! Now I get to say that in the sales call. What did I do there? I set myself apart from the competition using soft arrogance and pointed out three important facts: First, your association is a form of continuing education and a powerful asset which can be validated online, a strong community service that you are active in. It’s a statement of

belonging to the highest echelon of deck builders. You want the customer wondering why the other contractors they spoke to didn’t even bring it up. Drill that into your prospect guys. Second, I informed them that deck building is a real profession that requires continuing education, not some sideline trade. You are not a pool man, you are a doctor! Drill that into your prospect guys. Third, I informed them that the quote they are about to receive is going to be really high, like way more than they are thinking, but I justified why it will be. Because I’m darn good and they love their house and to cheap out on the deck is a total crime. Drill that into your prospect guys. Always deliver all the best! David Elenbaum has been in in the deck industry since 2000, serving in distribution, retail, manufacturing and, of course, contracting.

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SET THE STANDARD

Rewarding relationships Incredible, simply incredible.

That’s what I kept saying to myself as I sat in the theater room of the National Aquarium in Baltimore watching the video slideshow of the remarkable project photos entered into NADRA’s 2018 contest. Every single owner, salesperson, designer, carpenter and helper who was involved with each entry should be applauded for their wonderful projects. In my book they were all winners, top-notch work, and absolutely everyone there is to be commended for their effort. I for one picked up at least half a dozen or more new design and material ideas. I highly recommend anyone interested in elevating their repertoire to take a few minutes to go on NADRA’s site and watch the video. As I sat there in awe, typing notes into my phone as fast as I could, one thing I noticed was the number of decking brands being utilized by craftsmen from all over North America. There were colors and combinations many of us would never dream of using. I also noted an amazing number of new decking brands, styles, patterns, textures, materials and colors displayed at

this year’s Expo. I could have spent a third day walking the floor and chatting with reps and still wouldn’t have finished meeting everyone. This was quite possibly the best best DeckExpo I have ever attended. With all these decking options, my brain was on overload. Truth be told, many builders pick one or two specific brands to work with, gain a certain amount of familiarity, develop a comfort level, and stick with them throughout the year. Sometimes this is a result of what our local dealer stocks or is pushing; suppliers can dictate what becomes popular in a town, development or market area. Many guys I speak with pick products and brands that are “stock” items so there is relatively no lead time, returns are accepted, and we don’t hear those dreaded terms like “restocking fee,” “back order,” or—even worse—“special order,” which is code for “this is going to cost you a lot more.” Another reason to stick with a specific brand or product is that for you, it has a great track record. Profitability is good, call backs are at a minimum (or, better yet, nonexistent), and

I was honored to have two of my projects recognized in this year’s NADRA Deck Competition.

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the manufacturer has a great warranty policy. Personally, to me a warranty isn’t the deciding factor. I don’t want to know how good the warranty is; I want to know I’ll never need to take them up on it, because the product is a great performer (but it is nice to know that many of the manufacturers today have a labor warranty to back their product to help offset lost time). A lot of deck specialists abhor the idea of being dictated to by others; we are alphas and want to create the options from which we make our own decisions. Therefore, one way we try to stay in control of our destiny is to meet with our local supplier every fall and discuss some of the options before they jump into their “winter buys.” Our supplier likes to know what’s trending for us, what we’re interested in, what colors our clients are leaning towards, and the brands that are getting hot. Obviously, they know what they are currently moving, but it gives all of us a chance to set the stage for the following spring. They may tell me what they won’t be stocking or we might ask them to stock something we have been hesitant to push or sell because it wasn’t in stock. We have cultivated a phenomenal relationship with Paul, the president of the yard we use; we have breakfast or lunch once a month and discuss the latest trends. Getting in step with the lumberyard during the winter can save you a barrel of money come spring time when you are putting in those 90-plus hour work weeks, ordering materials a couple days before the project starts and expecting them to have everything in stock. Avoid that migraine-inducing call informing you that your decking is on back order and they can’t meet your deadline. Some products we use will never be items that our supplier will carry in bulk and we wouldn’t dream of asking them to sit on a huge inventory. Therefore, we have worked it out that they will keep a minimal amount on hand, and we guarantee to purchase the material. Right now we have about half a dozen products like that. This way it doesn’t become special order and we don’t have to constantly order supplies ahead of time. If suppliers can make our lives easier we are more likely to stay loyal. Not all lumberyards feel this way, but ours does, so we have a steadfast relationship with each other. While we are in the winter months, we discuss winter buys with our suppliers so we’re ready to hit the spring season running. Another aspect of of our decking that’s worth

looking into is strengthening our relationships with our decking manufacturers’ sales reps. Most of the manufacturers offer a great deal more than just decking, railing and trim. These reps are usually more than happy to do whatever they can to develop your business, keep you well informed on new products, specials, trends, plant tour opportunities, and of course manufacturer rewards. Just about every major manufacturer has a contractor rewards program aimed at generating a certain level of brand loyalty. Most of these are really good, incentive- and tierbased opportunities, and they genuinely want you to take advantage of all you can. Some are lead generating, but more so they are financial rebates that reimburse the contractors for their allegiance to that particular brand. We are on first name basis with most of the major brand reps in our area—Lauren, Matt, Jimmy, Bryan and the one we deal with most, John Scarborough. He goes out of his way to meet with us at least once a month, coffee and a danish or a good bowl of jambalaya go a long way to putting a face, name and product together. John makes sure we have every sample and all the literature we need to properly represent his product. He and Hilary Bliss make sure all of our invoices are correctly entered and we receive the proper rewards for our efforts. Once you generate these business contacts, the reps are also more than willing to work with you on co-marketing assistance, some cross-branding, and other opportunities that put both you and that product in front of the consumer. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your rep and ask for assistance. Occasionally, the manufacturers will even post photos of your work on their websites. Take the time now to get set up with all of the decking manufacturers, make sure you are registered, follow up on all of last year’s rewards, and get educated on next year’s programs. Look into those early season co-marketing funds and get ready to greet 2019 like the spectacular year it’s shaping up to become. 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. Reach him at brendan@caseyfenceanddeck.com. Winter 2018

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NEW PRODUCTS

Green Bay Decking’s new Indura Deck capped composite decking provides a premium product at a lower price point. The line is similar to Green Bay’s top-of-theline Optima Deck, but with a reduced profile, which lowers the cost and the weight. The product will not rot, since it contains no wood filler to break down with environmental exposure. And because of its patented blend of BioDac, rice hulls, and virgin high density polyethylene, it is naturally resistant to the effects of mold and mildew. [greenbaydecking.com]

Durable yet minimal Deckorators ALX Classic aluminum railing now comes in Weathered Brown, a popular color that can add a warm, natural finish to a deck. The railing comes in 6- and 8-ft. lengths and 36- and 42-in. heights with Deckorators Classic or Estate balusters. The product is easy to install whether deck builders choose the preassembled or top and bottom rail kit option. Post and stair kits are sold separately. Weathered Brown joins Satin Black, Matte Black, and Textured White in the ALX Classic aluminum railing color line-up. [deckorators.com]

Cali Bamboo has reformulated its BamDeck bamboo composite decking into BamDeck 4G, the fourth generation. Now with planks that are scalloped on the bottom and grooved on the sides, the product comes in a wide plank size (8 ft. long by 8-1/4” wide) and in extra long (16 ft. long by 5-7/16” wide). A smooth, matte finish allows for modernlooking decking. Planks sport a solid composition with uniform hues from top to bottom and never require sealing or staining. The line retains the same sustainable bamboo composite formula, composed of 60% reclaimed bamboo fiber left over from the bamboo flooring manufacturing process, and 40% recycled HDPE, and comes in three colors: coffee, slate and charcoal. [calibamboo.com]

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DuraLife is expanding its deck railing offering with a new line called Merrimack. The system is made of a non-wood PVC composite and is available in a bright white finish. The new line features a contoured top rail, a hidden fastening rail connection system, and an innovative (optional) drink rail deck board adapter allowing contractors to easily match the top of the railing to any DuraLife decking color to create an elegant, cohesive design. [duralifedecking.com]

Deckorators expanded its line of woodalternative decking with the launch of Voyage, a new line of composite decking featuring patented Eovations technology. The line absorbs virtually no moisture, and allows virtually no thermal expansion or contraction, and adds to these benefits unique textured embossing for superior traction on the deck surface, along with the bold look of vertical grain variegation. [deckorators.com]

It’s Your View

Enjoy it with Westbury® VertiCable

DeWalt’s new 20V MAX Cordless Cable Stapler is a compact and lightweight solution and replaces manual cable fastening methods. Twice as fast as manual hammer stapling, the new tool helps provide fast and efficient wire-ups in residential wiring applications and is primarily designed for fastening NM-B (Romex) wires and cables. It can also be used for low-voltage applications. A proprietary cable guide helps to drive staples safely and accurately over the cable. [dewalt.com]

Westbury® VertiCable has been revised for added strength and durability. Visit Our Website or Call for more information westburyrailing.com 1-800-446-7659

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Nova USA Wood Products’ new ExoDek QuickClip hidden fastener deck clip system allows for the natural expansion and contraction of wood decking with changes in the material’s moisture content. The clips are made from spring steel, similar to the steel used in automotive springs, and E-coated for maximum long-term durability and exposure to the elements. The #8 deck screws fasten from the top for speedy installation; a 1/4” gap between the boards is built into the design. [novawoodusa.com]

New adjustable cable railing systems have been introduced by Paralux. The systems feature either a patent-pending swivel design for wood posts or a toggle design for metal posts, allowing adjustability between posts and preventing bulky fittings from being exposed on the exterior of end posts. [paraluxcablerailing.com]

A new cellular PVC rail system from American Pro Building Products by Patwin offers top rails with the classic look of metallics: Bronze, Copper, and Stainless, as well as real Mahogany, but at a fraction of the cost. One of the unique components is the “Living Finish” top rails. The rails install the same as standard white ones, but give the rich look of real metal. The product is strong, fade resistant, and UV stabilized for outdoor use. The railing system is designed to offer the look, feel and durability of real metal and wood. [patwin.com]

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Winter 2018


Dexerdry themoplastic weatherproofing strips are now available in a flexible coil, making them easier to install, ship and handle. The strips are placed between deck boards to prevent water and the elements from penetrating the surface of the deck, creating a dry space under any outside deck. Coils initially will accommodate certain Trex, Deckorators, MoistureShield, AZEK and TimberTech decking, with more on the way. [dexerdry.com]

The newly re-engineered and expanded line of Trex Enhance composite decking is targeted for budget-minded homeowners. Backed by 25-year limited residential and fade & stain warranties, the reimagined line-up has a scalloped profile that is lower cost and lighter weight for easier handling and installation. Enhance Basics comes in three shades (Clam Shell, Beach Dune, Saddle) in realistic grain patterns. Enhance Naturals has five multi-tonal hues (Foggy Wharf, Rocky Harbor, Toasted Sand, Coastal Bluff, Sunset Cove) that resemble the streaked looks of natural wood. [trex.com]

Empire Level is introducing the next generation of its industry-leading True Blue combination squares. The 6”, 12”, and 16” squares are redesigned with an improved Blade-Lock for faster adjustments and a more secure hold, a DualPitch vial for checking 1 and 2-degree slope, and rational head dimensions for quick checks of common dimensions. The tools also feature an etched stainlesssteel blade and onboard storage for a hardened scriber. [empirelevel.com]

Freedom Fill is a powder-coated aluminum in-fill made by Wild Hog Products to fit perfectly into Trex Transcend top and bottom rail. The slots in Freedom Fill will hold Wild Hog railing snugly in place between the rails and comes in black and white, in 6-ft. and 8-ft. kits. [wildhograiling.com]

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DATE

ADVERTISERS INDEX

PLANNER

Atlantis Rail Systems [www.altlantisrail.com]

47

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

61

Deck2Wall [www.deck2wall.com]

10

Deckorators [www.deckorators.com]

5

DeckWise [www.deckwise.com]

51

Digger Specialties [www.diggerspecialties.com]

57

When: Jan. 25-27 Where: The Ranch in the Budweiser Events Center, Loveland, CO. What: See the newest in design trends and outdoor living. Enjoy live demonstrations, food samples, and more. More info: northcoloradohomeshow.com

Fiberon [www.fiberon.com]

3

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

61

Home & Outdoor Living Spring Show

Koppers Performance Chemicals [www.kopperspc.com]

45

Lumberock Premium Decking [www.lumberock.com]

46

Nuvo Iron [www.nuvoiron.com]

53

Southwest Pool & Spa Show When: Jan. 23-26, 2019 Where: Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX. What: One of the fastest growing regional events specific to outdoor living industry, the Southwest Pool & Spa Show is open to the trade only. More info: swpsshow.com

Northern Colorado Home & Outdoor Living Expo

When: Feb. 8-10 Where: Grand Park Events Center, Westfield, IN. What: Show that aims to connect area homeowners with home improvement businesses. More info: suburbanindyshows.com

International Builders Show

Great Southern Wood Preserving [www.yellawood.com] Cover II Key-Link Fencing & Railing [keylinkonline.com]

OZCO Building Products [www.ozcobp.com]

Cover III

23

When: Feb. 19-21 Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas NV. What: Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the world’s largest light construction trade show returns to Las Vegas after two years in Orlando. Sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, IBS will again co-locate with the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, to host more than 2,000 exhibiting brands spanning over 1 million sq. ft. of exhibit space. More info: buildersshow.com

Prowood [www.prowoodlumber.com]

7

Royal Building Products [zuri.royalbuildingproducts.com]

26

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

21

FenceTech

Titan Metal Werks [www.splitstop.com]

10

Trex [www.trex.com]

9

Westbury Railing [www.westburyrailing.com]

57

Wild Hog Railing [www.wildhograiling.com]

11

Zuri Premium Decking [zuri.royalbuildingproducts.com]

26

When: March 13-16 Where: Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN. What: This year’s American Fence Association expo, FenceTech, should be turbo-charged by co-locating with two other events: National Ornamental & Miscellaneous Metals Association’s METALfab and International Door Association’s IDAExpo. AFA estimates 7,000+ professionals will attend for the 300+ exhibits, networking and education sessions. More info: americanfenceassociation.com

The OKC Home + Outdoor Living Show When: March 22-24 Where: State Fair Park, Oklahoma City, OK. What: Thousands of homeowners will converge for three days of shopping, gaining inspiration, and meeting with 265 exhibitors and experts to discuss their projects. More info: homeshowokc.com

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Simpson Strong-Tie [www.strongtie.com]

Cover IV

Splitstop [www.splitstop.com]

10

Superior Plastic Products [superiorplasticproducts.com] Cover III

COMING NEXT ISSUE in the Spring 2019 edition of Deck Specialist

Hardscape Special Issue Proper Deck Connections IBS Wrap-Up


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IDEA BOOK

lake views Revitalization was key when it came to the Fowler Lake Shoreline Project in downtown Oconomowoc, WI. The project included replacing the boardwalk and pier, the addition of landscaping, new boat launches and boat slips, water shore seating and enhancements to the Village Green Park space. More broadly, the project was focused on improving both the shoreline and the quality of the lake. The seven-month reconstruction project implemented by C.W. Purpero, an environmental, stream, pond and shoreline work firm, included unobtrusive railing with a clear view of the lake and the surrounding area. It was also important to find a railing system that would stand up to the harsh marine environment. Feeney, Inc.’s DesignRail aluminum railing with Series 300 top rail and stainless steel CableRail infill was selected for the project, and LED underrail lighting was installed under both the top and the bottom rail. The project also presented several challenges for installer Badger Railing. Several “bumpouts”—semi-circle outcroppings that extend from the main walkway towards the lake–line the boardwalk. To achieve a sleek, curved look using straight sections of railing, the railing had to be mitered multiple times, which required patience and precise craftsmanship. In addition, in the center of the walkway, the railing extends out into a T-shaped fishing pier. Ensuring a smooth transition in the railing from one pier section to the next, as well as at the corners, was key. The end result proved to be worth the effort. Visitors to Fowler Lake are able to enjoy an unimpeded view of the lake from any vantage point as they stroll along the scenic boardwalk.

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ABOVE UPPER: When it came to the T-Shape dock, care had to be taken to ensure a smooth transition in the railing from one pier section to the next, as well as the corners. ABOVE LOWER: A total of 10 “bump-outs,” or semi-circle outcroppings, were included in the project, and to achieve the sleek and curved look, the railing had to be mitered multiple times. (Photos by Matt Edgar Photography)

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



DECK

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

Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. OA18C

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© 2018

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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. ®

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

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