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Digital Edition RA by Sponsored

RAILING UPDATE • EXTERIOR COLOR TRENDS • PICK THE PERFECT PAVERS

DECK

Fall 2020

SPECIALIST Ideas & Strategies for Outdoor Living Professionals

NEVER STOP BUILDING


RAILING UPDATE • EXTERIOR COLOR TRENDS • PICK THE PERFECT PAVERS

DECK

Fall 2020

SPECIALIST Ideas & Strategies for Outdoor Living Professionals

NEVER STOP BUILDING


DECK

SPECIALIST

Ideas & Strategies for Outdoor Living Professionals FEATURE STORIES

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Get on Board With the fall’s hottest deck trends

Project Tracker Professionals weigh in on work of first responder-turned deck builder

WHAT’S HOT

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Marrying Safety, Style Railing update

Exterior Color Trends Most-desired shades in outdoor living

The Perfect Paver What does a perfect paver look like?

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BUSINESS OPERATIONS

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Pandemic Impacts How the virus has altered the industry

ON THE COVER: How one homeowner tried to tackle rebuilding his deck and learned some valuable lessons along the way. The primary lesson? Hire a contractor.

ALSO INSIDE 8 Editor’s Note 10 Industry News

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Product Review with Marv Johnson

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On the House with the Carey Bros.

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Bottom Line with David Elenbaum

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Set the Standard with Brendan Casey

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New Products

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Ad Index


Winter 2017

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info@526mediagroup.com (714) 486-2735 DECK SPECIALIST is published quarterly at 151 Kalmus Dr., Ste. E200, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, (714) 486-2735, 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®2019 by 526 Media Group, Inc. Cover and entire contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission. All Rights Reserved. Deck Specialist reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter, and assumes no liability for materials furnished to it. Fall 2020 • Volume 4 • Number 3

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Fall 2020

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What’s next in outdoor living? Probably more than you think. A deck is so much more than a collection of boards. It’s the harmony of decking, railing, lighting and accessories that turns an outdoor living space into a thoughtfully designed extension of a home. From furniture to pergolas and beyond, every Trex® piece combines elevated aesthetics with the highest level of performance. So whether your clients are starting from scratch or looking to add on to their current design, choose Trex and create an outdoor living space that was truly built for living. See our full portfolio of products at trex.com.

© 2020 Trex Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Trex® is a federally registered trademark of Trex Company, Inc., Winchester, Virginia


EDITOR’S NOTE

A Little More Help I was at the grocery store last week when I noticed a man get off the bus and make his way toward the entrance. He had a lot of bags with him, his clothes were tattered, and he wasn’t wearing a mask. I immediately noticed the look on everyone’s face around him. They seemed alarmed. The store manager kindly asked him to wear a face covering before entering. When the man said he did not have one in a distraught tone, the manager went over and got him one. Still, the man appeared to be upset and stressed. I could tell that the manager was altogether concerned for this man as well as his customers who started to look on. I then noticed him pull the gentleman aside. They exchanged a few words and he began to help him get some items around the store. After walking him to the register and checking him out, he bagged his groceries and walked him outside. But before he did that, he made a phone call. When I left the store, I saw the manager standing outside with that same man and the two were talking. As I returned my cart, a white van that said “Mercy House” pulled up to the front of the store. The gentleman got into the van and said, “Thanks again, man.” The manager simply replied, “Good luck, brother.” Before I walked back to my car, I told the manager, “You know, you handled that really well.” To which he replied, “I treat all customers the same. Some just need a little more help than others.” I thought that was so interesting and a good lesson that applies to all industries, including ours. Throughout this issue, you’ll read stories

of deck builders who are doing everything they can to push through the pandemic, offering words of encouragement during this unpredictable time, and helping their customers adapt to the evolving digital reality. “We needed to immediately find ways to interface with our business prospects without the ability to enjoy our traditional in-home visit,” said James Carey. “We discovered the power of videoconferencing and we quickly began promoting virtual design consultations. It’s been one of the best things that has happened to our business.” Every customer is unique with different needs. While some may be handling the pandemic with ease, others may need a little more reassurance. And how we treat our customers during times of struggle tells a lot about how we run our businesses. May we all continue find unique ways to keep the industry connected so when the pandemic is finally behind us, we’ll be stronger than ever before.

Stephanie Ornelas is managing editor of Deck Specialist. Reach her at sornelas@526mediagroup.com

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RAILING MADE

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Deckorators.com/ALX Spring 2017

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Simpson Strong-Tie Launches Video Series for Contractors

DeckExpo Going Virtual

Organizers of DeckExpo have decided to break off from The Remodeling Show and instead join forces with The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo—but to make the combined event a virtual show. The PSP/DeckExpo will staged over the pool show’s regular dates, Nov. 11-13, with registration opening later this fall. “The decision to transition the event was not reached easily, however, based on feedback and the support of our community, we felt it was the right choice for our attendees, partners, sponsoring associations, and exhibitors,” organizers said. Show officials are working to provide the same experience through a digital format, giving attendees the chance to connect with clients. The agenda will include: • Three Power Panels bringing together the best forward-thinking minds in the industry. • Product Showcase in a virtual expo hall. • Networking via chat, video call, and more. For more information on pricing and registration, visit www.poolspapatio.com.

Simpson Strong-Tie has debuted the first episode of Build a Stronger Deck, an entertaining and educational YouTube video series that shows builders, deck contractors, and their homeowner customers how to easily build stronger, safer decks that last. As summer temperatures rise, deck-building season typically hits high gear as homeowners turn to the outdoors for cookouts, relaxation, and family fun. Developed for pro contractors and homeowners thinking of building their dream deck, the Build a Stronger Deck video series guides viewers through the most important steps to building a safer and stronger deck from the ground up. The first episode dives into the available options and ideal solutions for stronger, safer post bases. The second video features deck ledger installation, with further episodes detailing construction tips for installing beams, joists, guard posts, stair stringers, and deck boards. Finally, a special fastener episode gives viewers expert advice on selecting the best

Deck Building Solutions • 866-767-1850 • www.suredrive.com • sales@suredrive.com

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Kansas Pizza Restaurant Opens Deck for Outdoor Seating

A family-owned restaurant in Shawnee, KS., is turning to decking to retool operations to serve customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Old Shawnee Pizza is investing $125,000 in building a deck out front, which expands its outdoor seating capacity. The project includes a fire feature, awnings, built-in seating, and some landscaping. The local city council voted 6-2 to provide $45,000 in the form of a forgivable loan to assist with project costs. THE FIRST episode of SST’s Build a Stronger Deck series dives into the available options and ideal solutions for stronger, safer post bases.

anchors and fasteners to attach hangers, joists, and angles to deck ledgers and railings. New episodes will air throughout the summer and are available for streaming on the Simpson Strong-Tie YouTube channel. To watch all available episodes, visit the online Simpson Strong-Tie Deck Center at www.strongtie.com/ deckcenter.

PIZZERIA is adding a deck.

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INDUSTRY NEWS

DECK FRAMING

TANTIMBER’S Thermowood process thermally treats wood products to increase stability and durability.

ROT? WE THINK NOT.

Thermally Modified Imports Hit US

The Best-In-Class Steel Framing Solution.

Why build a 25-year deck on a frame that rots? Discover Fortress Evolution steel deck framing – designed by deck builders, for deck builders.

JOIN THE REVOLUTION at FortressBP.com 866.323.4766 © 2020 Fortress Building Products. Unless otherwise noted, all proprietary names are trademarks of Fortress Iron, LP. All rights reserved.

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to offer eco-friendly thermally modified decking and siding products throughout the U.S.” G Wood Products include a wide variety of decking, siding and other lumber that meet standards set by the International Thermowood Association, and manufacturing guidelines as set by European Norms CEN/TS 15679. Kayatas added, “With sophisticated, value-added, and high-demand products such as charred sidings, fire-rated sidings and pre-aged products we are confident that G Wood Products will set new standards in the U.S. wood market.”

Regal Ideas Creates Program for Contractors

TO SUPPORT & DEFEND.

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G Wood Products, New York, N.Y., has been formed to serve as the exclusive U.S. distributor of Tantimber’s line of thermally modified wood products. Produced in a state-of-the-art facility in Sakarya, Turkey, the products provide stability and durability surpassing that of conventional wood by refining and transforming the internal structure of the wood through Tantimber’s cutting-edge Thermowood process. Tantimber CEO Yakup Kayatas said, “G Wood Products has reached a key distribution agreement with Tantimber which allows G Wood Products

Fall 2020

Contractors are embracing a new way of training with Regal Ideas’ new DeckStar certification program. The company is teaming up with well-known names like Dr. Decks and HGTV’s The BroLaws, who will be heading the sessions, to provide webinars and tips for installing Regal Ideas railing. “Between the excellent camera work where we can really closely see the product install, The Brolaws’ tips and tricks, and their comedic wit, these sessions have been awesome!” said builder Dan Pettit. “My supplier, Custom Craft,

pushed me to become a certified DeckStar and while I was hoping to attend a live training session with Dr. Decks, I was able to watch the entire BroLaw webinar series, which was really awesome! The videos definitely help myself and the crews learn how to correctly install and save valuable time which means I can get to the next job quicker.” The sessions are set for one or two hours long with questions and interactions from professional contractors. DeckStars will be closing in on 1,000 trained contractors by the end of the year.


Get on Board With the Hottest Deck Trends By Jase DeBoer Photos by Deckorators/Premier Outdoor Living

Outdoor living was already booming

across the U.S. when the pandemic set in. Then, as millions of people started to spend more time than ever in their homes, demand for outdoor living space soared to a whole new level. Over the summer, home design and renovation hub Houzz reported a 178% year-over-year jump in searches for professionals to work on deck, patio and porch projects. Deck builders

1.

Staycations are not going anywhere.

nationwide had an incredibly busy year meeting surging demand for new and updated decks while dealing with an ongoing skilled labor shortage. Like the rest of the world, the deck-building community enters the new year looking to navigate a dynamic new normal. Following are five deck trends and outdoor living trends to help guide contractors as they prepare for the upcoming building season.

Instead of spending hard-earned money on travel in 2020, many homeowners brought the vacation to them by hiring a pro to help them create a personalized outdoor space. As trips got canceled and social interaction was limited to screens, homeowners invested in decks as a personal getaway in their backyards— a quiet area to focus on personal wellness, a place for family gatherings, or to capture that outdoor restaurant experience from the safety of home. Principia Consulting, a leading source of market intelligence for the decking industry, says this trend “is expected to continue as social behavior to stay close to home and staycations become more commonplace.” There will likely be ample opportunities for contractors to create more staycation havens in 2021. LEFT: As social distancing became the norm, homeowners started to look at their personal spaces differently.

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2.

There are more highquality composites at lower price points.

As they consider material options for their outdoor oasis, more and more homeowners want to trade up from wood into low-maintenance composite decking — seeking wood-alternative decking that meets a desirable price point without forfeiting desirable features. As a result of this decking trend, manufacturers are finding ways to reduce the cost of composite decking and bridge the space between composite and treated lumber. They are striving to balance the features that deck builders and homeowners have come to expect from wood-alternative decking. It is important for builders to talk in-depth with their manufacturer and dealer partners about the different composite decking materials and technologies, variances in price points and corresponding features, nuances to how products install, and pros and cons to competing products in different scenarios.

LEFT: More homeowners want to trade up from wood into low-maintenance products for overall convenience. Pictured is Deckorators Vista composite decking in Driftwood.

3.

Creativity is becoming commonplace.

Deck design features that were once novelties are now being used routinely by contractors throughout the industry. Some creative design elements taking permanent hold in the deckbuilding world include: • The use of multiple colors • Double picture frames • Breaker boards • Unique inlays • Wide planks Homeowners trust contractors to help them create a deck that is a reflection of their home and personal style. These design options are important to consider as builders work with clients to achieve the aesthetic vision for their outdoor space. LEFT: Unique inlays are one of the creative design elements taking permanent hold in the deck-building world. Fall 2020

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4.

Railings are going sleeker and more simplified.

As one of the most visible deck elements, railings can elevate and complement an aesthetically pleasing deck and landscape. The trend toward the use of seamless, low-maintenance railing options that are easy to install will continue to gain momentum into next year. Simplified railing systems such as preassembled aluminum railing and intuitive cable railing save deck builders valuable time and effort on railing installation while offering a coveted sleek and modern look. Cocktail rails and continuous top rails are the next evolution in the modern, sleek railing trend.

LEFT: Pre-assembled railing is becoming more popular as is saves builders time and effort on installation. Most offer a sleek and modern look.

5.

Lighting is taking more of the spotlight.

With homeowners spending so much more time on their property, they have a growing desire to extend the use of the outdoor space with lighting. Solar and low-voltage lighting offer a simple way to add beauty and function to a deck. From stair lights to café lights and string lights that offer the vibe of outdoor restaurant dining, lighting can create ambiance while increasing visibility and safety. The right outdoor lighting is easy to install and offers a prime upsell opportunity for deck projects.

LEFT: Lighting goes a long way. It’s not uncommon for builders to extend the use of the outdoor space with lighting. Pictured are Deckorators by Hinkley Luna post caps and step lights.

While the impact of the COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly, these five trends will help define the year ahead for the decking industry. People will never stop craving the outdoors. Homeowners are spending more time in their backyards and businesses are being forced to rethink their outdoor areas to accommodate new regulations. Now is the perfect time to get better informed on the latest trends and products in order to prepare for the building season ahead. A manufacturer partner that values relationships, runs a robust partnership and rewards program, and is always available for

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questions and support can be instrumental in persevering through the uncertainty and having a highly successful 2021. Get on board and stay on board! Jase DeBoer is senior marketing manager for Deckorators, a UFP Industries brand. For more information, visit pro.deckorators.com. Follow Deckorators on Instagram @Deckorators.


MAKE YOUR DECK A DESTINATION WITH PAKARI.

Pakari Thermally Modified Decking is the innovative choice for your next decking project. Pakari TMD begins its life as clear moulding grade Radiata Pine; each piece is sourced exclusively from FSC certified tree plantations. Then, with the help of a cutting edge Thermal Modification technology, our raw lumber is brought to extremely high temperatures - improving the wood on a molecular level. The result is a product that is more durable, straighter and lighter than unmodified wood. Better still, it is all natural and chemical free.

Âť Learn more about Pakari at westernwoodsinc.com.

Pakari TMD is a Wildlands Urban Interface Certified Product. Get this great product and more exclusively at Western Woods. Call (800) 822-8157 I Click westernwoodsinc.com I Like + follow

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Kingston Railing with black aluminum balusters

Railing Update

Marrying safety with style By Doug Mucher

The railing system is crucial in maintaining a secure, aesthetically-pleasing outdoor living space. Whether building a new deck, or refreshing an existing deck, seasoned residential contractors need to keep up with changes to industry regulations and market trends, as well as available style options for new railing systems. For example, it has become a trend to define outdoor “rooms� using railing to designate separate spaces for activities like grilling and relaxing. This can lead to questions about whether a guardrail is sufficient, or handrail is required. The good news is, it’s easier than ever to meet code compliance standards without sacrificing style or that stellar view of a beautifully landscaped garden. Here are two key considerations when making railing decisions for residential deck projects: 16

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EverNew handrail

 Strength & Style  It’s old-school thinking that railing must be the same material as the deck. Vinyl railing in particular adds that flexibility with a variety of textures and colors and the ability to mix materials. Use manufacturers’ online visualization tools to quickly and easily narrow down choices during the initial consultation. Classic white, clay or almond continue to be popular choices, as these colors work for both traditional and contemporary homes. Or, for a more unique design, dark, soft hues such as warm spice or rustic rose provide a soft appeal, yet can still blend nicely into the surrounding environment. Fade protection can also be built into the acrylic to provide years of superior protection from the sun.

Another trend is using contrasting colors, such as a lighter color vinyl railing system with a sleek, minimal black, 3/4” round aluminum baluster. That also tricks the eye to see more of what’s on the other side of the baluster, as the thin, dark spindle blends in with landscaping and gives the illusion of an open area beyond the deck. Or, go all-in with tempered glass balusters that are truly see-through, combining sturdiness with visual appeal. In addition, a splinter-free material such as low-maintenance vinyl does not require toxic chemical treatments nor staining or paint every few years. Coordinating accessories, including posts, caps, solar post caps and post trims also add needed style and performance. Plus, many manufacturers offer lifetime limited warranties and Class A flame-spread ratings. Fall 2020

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EverNew railing with glass balusters

 Security & Safety  Always take time to get a building permit and confirm municipality-specific requirements on city or county websites. Not all localities follow the International Code Council or International Building Code guidelines. While many cities do, others may adopt different regulations. It’s time-consuming and sounds elementary, but do the due diligence for each project, or risk spending more time on the backend. Meet with officials before the project to confirm local building codes, remodeling regulations and handrail requirements to help prevent customer callbacks or post-project modification and enforcement visits. Plus, the documentation will help navigate through the final design phase to guarantee what is feasible, as well as highlight any unique property limitations. Codes are typically updated every three years, but frequency may vary per region. Code guidelines have different restrictions for the height of the rail, the strength of the system and the spacing of the components. Most manufacturers design railing systems to meet applicable guardrail codes and tests based only on overarching ICC requirements. A guardrail is defined as a barrier designed to prevent someone from falling over an edge. Guardrail code is in effect on barriers more than 30” off the ground. At a minimum, residential barriers are required to be at least 36” high, measured from the walking surface to the top of the top rail, with a maximum picket opening of 4” (commercial barriers are required to be 42” high). Residential railing applications more than 30” off the ground but not more than three stories

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Fall 2020

high must meet IRC code at minimum. However, residential and commercial installations more than three stories high must meet IBC code for performance. If a handrail system is required, remember to use a continuous rail. The maximum opening between the bottom rail and step cannot be greater than 6” in diameter. A vinyl railing system takes the guesswork out of these considerations. Most come with aluminum rail mount brackets for durability and concealed hardware for a professional finish that won’t rust or corrode. Wood can weaken over time. It’s a concern when the railing also serves a safety function, such as on a balcony or stairs. Manufacturers of today’s systems have taken the guesswork out of installation, making it a quick, turnkey process by clearly noting or providing all the tools, fasteners, accessories and structural components needed, including gate kits. This helps avoid unnecessary trips for additional supplies and reduces time that would have been spent customizing a wood railing on-site to meet project demands. The comforts of home are no longer defined by four walls. Railing is an essential part of creating a well-designed, safe backyard oasis to enjoy relatively unobstructed views. A sound investment, great railing provides years of security, easy maintenance, and safe access to the joys of the outdoors. Doug Mucher is product manager for CertainTeed fence, railing and deck (www.certainteed.com).

f


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The Artful Approach to Forecasting Exterior Trends in Color Most outdoor living pros and

homeowners may be surprised to learn that many aesthetic trends in home exteriors can be traced back to fashion runways. It seems that we humans prefer to audition color and style choices via our wardrobe selections before making firm commitments. Designers then incorporate mainstream vogue elements into paint color schemes and decorating accents. Eventually, favorable interior features are adapted into exterior design in the form of color, contrast and texture. When manufacturers commit to colors and textures, timing is everything. Be wary that some so-called trends are just fads that will quickly fade into obscurity. The key is to be slightly ahead of the market so when the product launches, it’s perceived as innovative, yet appealing and accessible to the consumer. If a product is launched too far ahead of the trend, it will fail to generate customer excitement. This fashion-interior-exterior trajectory makes sense if viewed through an investment and transitory lens. Relatively speaking, on the three-tier design

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By Amber Skymer, Derby Building Products Photos by MoistureShield

ABOVE: The swing back towards natural shades like greys blues and greens is apparent. With these neutral colors, a monochromatic mixed texture look is evolving. OPPOSITE RIGHT: Decking manufacturer MoistureShield is ahead of current color trends, here showing a burgeoning shift towards more stark gunmetal grays and earthy tones.


hierarchy, clothing ranks lowest in cost and has the shortest turnover with styles transitioning from one spring season to the next. Home interiors tend to be more long-term due to higher expenditures and inevitable household disruption. So it follows that home exteriors— being at the highest end of the cost spectrum— will have the longest intervals between changes. This design-trend pathway allows for clothing to be filtered out at the fashion level—for example, tie dye—while making another fashion comeback—never made it into our living rooms— but shag carpeting did! Of course, transitions from one stage to the next undergo subtle shifts along the way. A fashion trend might start as hunter green/bold and then become more muted for use in interiors. The same holds true for interior to exterior trends. Navy blue is a big trend in kitchens and bathrooms and a good indicator of what is to come on the exterior. For another early trend indicator, we look to the two most popularly renovated rooms, the kitchen and bath. In both cases, modern industrial with copper and black fixture is leading the way. For exteriors, this suggests a burgeoning shift towards more stark gunmetal grays and black. We may see natural materials like cedar or wood being painted dark colors as charred wood trend begins to catch on. At the start of 2020, the industry has been “singing the blues” with many noted colors of the

year from the top experts. Navy and gray are becoming the neutrals that are transitioning from the interior to the exterior. On the cool tone side, the darker blues will continue for a few years, as will mixed material trends of matching siding with wood, stone and brick looks—it’s the layered look for home exteriors. Variations of natural materials are expected to dominate. We started to see natural elements come to the forefront in 2017 with “Greenery,” the Pantone color of the year. The concept of bringing the outdoors in was big in 2017 with interior design as well. Jungle print was seen on a multitude of fabric and wallpaper designs often complemented by simple greenery elements like house plants. And yes, planter boxes on home exteriors are gaining popularity. Even exterior trends can have small, exploratory beginnings. For exterior trends which are less likely to change over quickly, interior colors and textures tend to have influence in about two to three years—for siding, trims, gables and outdoor furniture. We would expect some of the natural elements such as earthy stone and wood color schemes to remain. Purposeful details are being added to exteriors as well with a focus on the gable by adding corbels, brackets or just accenting it with a different material. And, just as in fashion, when a past trend is revived, it takes on modern elements along with it. While design trajectories have a nationwide impact on

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Earth-toned colors for both the deck itself and the furniture are more common than ever.

the trade, regional particularities must always be factored in. When we choose looks that mimic natural cedar and stone, we consider the uses based on location. To further examine this the design trend phenomenon, it is helpful to look back at the early evolution of American home exteriors. In Colonial days, design and color were a matter of practicality—darker colors kept in heat in the winter while smaller windows kept out the blazing sun in the summer. A mix of iron oxide, lead, and linseed oil produced a shakerred shade and helped protect the clapboard or shingled homes. However, most rural homes went unpainted and faded from exposure to air— natural, earthy shades were the result of true weathering. There was little contrast between body and trim because colors were scarce and expensive. The first color swatch published in the U.S. in 1842 included three shades of gray, and three of fawn called “Drab”—not very inspiring! As Americans became wealthier, home owners desired more options, and, of course, design concepts often drew inspiration from the owners’ countries of origin—the dawn of our nation’s eclectic cultural mix. As homes became more ornate, color became a status symbol with lighter shades such as white, cream and straw used on the body. For contrast, darker shades were used on trim and doors. Italianate styles— distinguished by exquisite detail pieces—favored neutral grays, tans, ochers, and warm beiges. The grandeur of the Victorian period saw a wider range of deeper colors and stronger contrasts. Canned paint became mass produced around 1870 and was the turning point for exterior colors (although they contained lead and were very thick and oil-based). The concurring

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Queen Anne style of features of asymmetry, turrets and angles were doused in vibrant, contrasting colors: yellow with dark green, dark red with olive, light and dark gray-green. Sashes, doors and shutters were dark but colorful: dark brown, deep red or maroon joined the more traditional dark green or black. Along with a swing back towards natural shades, a monochromatic mixed texture look is emerging, with darker sidings, trim and stone looks, and harbingers of dark on dark. As we had predicted with our Mariner Blue paneled shake cladding, blue remains a dominant color in its cool tones, and in 2020, several paint and color experts included blues, greens and neutral grays in the 2020 “colors of the year,” including blends of navy and gray. Another interesting trend is the blending of different stone profiles, for example brick and stacked stone. Natural wood or stone looks are taking the forefront. Many fads come and go but something that’s clear from analyzing trends over the last few decades is what’s old eventually becomes new again. Trends will likely continue for natural elements like wood-looks in gables, stone as knee wall and porch cladding and exterior accents. In our Post-modern era, predicting design trends requires product researchers to factor in a number of variables including the blending, transitioning and overlapping of styles. To stay relevant, designers and outdoor living pros must process a whirlwind of color and texture choices, which requires a delicate balance of confidence and flexibility. Amber Skymer is senior project manager for Derby Building Products. For more information visit tandobp.com.


With a 25-year warranty against rot, decay and bugs. It’s the world’s first manufacturer-treated LVL with protection through every layer using innovative TRU-CORE® technology. Find out how this premium, preferred framing system can be built into your next project: sales@pacificwoodtech.com. pacificwoodtech.com/treated

By Fall 2020

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PROJECT TRACKER

How Did First Responder-turnedDeck Builder Fare? Project Tracker

They say good things are worth the wait. If this is the case, then this project better have turned out VERY good! As highlighted in the last issue of Deck Specialist, we challenged an overconfident homeowner to a backyard makeover. Similar to what many of you have heard, he claimed he could save some money, use his own sweat and “skills,” and end up with as good of a job as a pro by using YouTube as his coach. Our readers, the pros, were quick to chime in, some offering advice and input on the project. Some wondered, “Why would I be interested in a homeowner tackling this project?” The reason is this: our recent surveys have told us that one of your common challenges is homeowners trying to “a la carte” their projects. What used to be your “cash cow”—a standard 10’ x 20’ treated deck that you could make some nice margin on and have wrapped up in three days—is now being challenged by your homeowner. Maybe they want to handle demo or just want you to install the foundation and support beams? Maybe they think they 26

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can do it themselves and always gripe about your quotes? Well, we know the value of a pro handling the job and here’s what we gave you in this series: a detailed, documented, real-world case of what happens when an above-average skilled homeowner takes on a project. Show this article to the next homeowner who challenges that they may be able to do it cheaper and let us handle defending the value of hiring a pro! Well, we think it’s important to begin by reflecting on what we learned. First, most things are not as easy as they look. There’s a good reason that pro’s have earned their title. Through the magic of media, we have condensed a project where demo started back in March and is still not technically “done.” However, our test subject, Ryan, actually surprised us! Prior to this, the most advanced project he had tackled was a nice side gate (not your standard picket gate). While he was in very deep water, the “finished” product turned out to be very impressive. For those of you who didn’t follow along on social media, let’s recap:


FEEDBACK FROM THE PRO’S MISSION: Transform this runof-the-mill patio space into a wood-look showplace.

“Start with a good plan. It is so much easier to make changes on paper.”

“Wow... that’s a lot of smashing. And your poor truck. The neighbors must just love you. I would of called in a mini-ex and roll-off bin.”

– Witt’s Woods & Greens

– Deck Protect Inc.

“Let’s get him into some boots, gloves and safety glasses out there with that sledge. Doing it right with the right man (or woman) power and the right tools is only a small fraction of what sets professionals apart from amateurs.”

“Give yourself lots of grace and ask questions! Learn from your mistakes and remember to just have fun with it.” – BroLaws

– Casey Fence & Deck

The “before” pics of this Southern California backyard built in 2001 show what you would expect—an outdated built-in BBQ, laid on an aging concrete slab. Cinder block walls and very little character to take advantage of the great weather. Demolition started in March using a handheld Makita electric jackhammer and a lot of manual labor. What Ryan did not expect was a bomb shelter (built-in BBQ island) made of cinder block, all filled with concrete and rebar, with a solid concrete and rebar top! His kids would not come outside. His neighbors refused to visit. Blistered hands and three pairs of gloves later, he surveyed his work. Five and a half tons of demo’ed concrete and he was ready to move on to the next phase of the project.

“Looking good! I like all the added blocking you guys put in. Even with a low-level deck like that, it’s important to make it structurally sound. Those Strong-Tie brackets will definitely help, too!”

“What do you mean it’s $2,500 to remove the BBQ? Shouldn’t take more than a couple hours!” said Nearly Every Homeowner Ever.” – The Ultimate Deck Shop

– Nazih Kuehnle

“With all that treated framing lying flat on a concrete slab I’d make sure to use an adhesive between the two. I also would add some Tapcon concrete anchor screws to secure. I’ve always preferred screws over nails for attaching framing to concrete.” – Infinite Decks

“Love seeing the family involved. I have problems getting my kids off the Xbox. Teaching them hard work is the way to go! One day it will pay off.”

“Why don’t you forget about angles and install alternated finish?” – Eco Deck Experts

“There’s so much potential here! A sun-drenched back yard is my favorite. I’d be designing a (composite) deck, for sure. There’s a reason you hire a professional... peace of mind and reassurance that the job is done right.”

– All Decked Out

“Templates are your best friends.” – Neighborhood Fence & Deck

“Pre-drill and fasten the miters closest to the edge—less expansion and contraction. Make cuts in the morning when those boards are more prone to expand.”

– J. Clarke Constructions

“I’ve never been a big fan of doing the picture frame first. I know a lot of interior finish trim feel it’s the right way but IMO it’s really inefficient and I feel like you get a better final product laying the main decking first then cutting in for the border.”

– Nazih Kuehnle

“Hiring a contractor will save you so much time and frustration.” – The Deck Expert

THE WHOLE FAMILY was recruited to assist in the massive demo job.

– Infinite Decks

“As much as I want to applaud Ryan for attempting this on his own I want to tackle him take away his tools and stop him from making more costly mistakes. Those angle cuts and lack of blocking on the end of that step are killing me. Maybe the cigar smoke got in his eyes when he was taking measurements.” – Casey Fence & Deck

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chose this over competitors’ brands because of how realistic the grain and colors where, as well as the full assortment of complementary products like assorted fascia sizes, board lengths, and more. In spite of having some impressive tools at his disposal for being a homeowner, the DeWalt compound miter saw and assorted Ryobi cordless tools did not substitute the years of pro experience in cutting compound miter angles. It also didn’t share with him experienced tricks of the trade like cutting all of your miter cuts at the same time of day (morning) before the boards heat up and expand. This led to significant time delays and wasted product, both of which are not inexpensive on a project.

SLEEPER GRID was nailed into the existing concrete patio pad.

Phase 2 involved a lot of ground contact treated lumber. A sleeper grid nailed into the concrete patio pad was handled using a Ramset concrete nail gun. Then, he built a raised portion that will ultimately support a Jacuzzi using ground contact treated 2x6’s. The treated lumber continued to be used for stair risers since he was now raising the height of his deck, which demanded a stair transition. In the midst of this, he considered things like drainage under the deck, the need for a gas line for a firepit in the center of the deck, electrical for the lighting, and 220v lines for heaters and the Jacuzzi. Out came a DeWalt cordless saw with a concrete blade for a LOT of channel cutting!

UNIQUE ANGLES and a triple picture frame border complicated the install.

Phase 3 started with laying deck boards. After watching YouTube videos, Ryan correctly started from the “bottom up,” which means the stairs were first. But, he decided to include a lot of acute and obtuse angles in his design, which led to some interesting challenges for him. Ryan and his wife chose beautiful Deckorators Voyage Decking. Khaya-colored boards would make up the main deck surrounded by a triple picture frame border with accents in the Costa color. They

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NEW CHALLENGES arose when it came time for attaching the decking to a planter and installing a concrete-topped bar.

Phase 4 led him to figure out how to face the new cinder block planters that he quickly crafted in Phase 2.5. Ryan stumbled into challenges like how to keep the deck boards square to prevent having to diagonally rip his last deck board, as well as how to attach Deckorators Voyage Facsia to a cinder block planter. During this phase, he also installed the bar top support uprights made from ground treated 4x4. He now had to consider how he was going to face them, which led to building them out larger to provide a larger support base for his concrete bar top! Yes, he built a form out of Formica in his garage, poured it in his garage, and then took it out to put it into place. For the pro’s out there, all I have to say is 10’ long, by 4” thick, by 18” deep. Yes, it took seven bags of Quikrete countertop mix. Final weight? Over 400 lbs.! While our summer Project Tracker may be coming to an end, some things may never end. COVID may be one, and Ryan’s project may be another. His bar top is on, but not finished. He has yet to start on the firepit or BBQ station. However…. we have to admit we’re a little surprised. The deck really is beautiful. Yes, it has many little “lessthan-perfect” blemishes that the average guest


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probably won’t notice, but I promise if you did them on a job, you’d be coming back! The Deckorators product is so beautiful that I think you could just dump it from a truck onto a dirt lot and the reaction would be, “Beautiful!” The slight color accents of the Costa against the Khaya color, along with the angles, the offset deck board direction all leading into the fasica faced planters gives a sophisticated and timeless appearance. Overall, we’re impressed and this American hero of ours deserves a round of applause for his work. However, his original claim was that he could do it as good as a pro and save money. So… did he? Let’s assess the project on two scales, the “as good as a pro” scale and the “save money” scale. On the pro scale, we would best label this “good from far, far from good.” There are many gaps on the mitered joints in the picture frame and we’ll see over time how well the stair supports and sleeper grid hold up. On the “save money” scale, we have a tally to assess. The materials list, for a 33’x22’ deck with a single surround step and triple picture frame, a 5’x2.5’x2.5’ firepit, and a 15.5”x33’ planter ended up being: Qty. Item 75 ea. Deckorators Voyage Decking, Khaya, 5.5”x20’, grooved edge board (main deck) 18 ea. Deckorators Voyage Decking, Khaya, 5.5”x20’, solid edge board, (picture frame 1, raised double-piece frame, stair tread) 5 ea.

Deckorators Voyage Decking, Costa, 5.5”x20’, solid edge board (picture frame 2)

17 ea. Deckorators Voyage Fascia, Khaya 1/2”x8”x12’ (planter fascia, planter cap, stair riser, railing cap) 3 ea.

Deckorators Voyage Fascia, Khaya 1/2”x11-1/4”x12’ (firepit fascia)

6 ea.

Deckorators Voyage Fascia, Costa 1/2”x8”x12’ (planter fascia 2)

88 ea. Ground contact treated 2”x4”x12’ (sleeper system) 16 ea. Ground contact treated 4”x4”x12’ (upper tier)

Waste for the project ended up being a whopping 17%. With a total materials cost of over $20,000 (he had to purchase at retail), just the waste from mistakes ended up costing him roughly $3,500. Add the fact at the six-month mark, we still do not have a finished project and when done, we all know the true test is how it ages over time to provide a true return on investment. Even with some admirable skills, a great assortment of professional grade tools (including a Cuban respirator), and quite a bit of time on his hands due to COVID, we think he would have been money and stress ahead by just hiring a pro! That said, we are grateful to Ryan and his family not only for allowing us to follow his project (as well as make fun of him on occasion), but especially for his sacrifice and service to his country. He is a true American hero in every sense of that title, which explains why he calmly stepped into the deep end of the pool in this backyard project! – Share your comments with us on social media, check out some of the other pics and videos from the project and make sure you follow us for updates on future Project Tracker stories coming up!

DIYER RYAN takes a respite after a job well done—well, not quite done.

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FIFTY YEARS OF

FIVE-STAR BACKYARDS. CELEBRATING OUR FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY. As we celebrate our milestone anniversary year, we’re grateful to all our loyal building professionals and express our most sincere thanks.

IF IT DOESN’T HAVE THIS YELLA TAG, YOU DON’T WANT IT.

YellaWood® brand pressure treated products are treated with preservatives (the “Preservatives”) and preservative methods, and technologies of unrelated third parties. For details regarding the Preservatives, methods, and technologies used by Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated, see www.yellawood.com/preservative or write us at P.O. Box 610, Abbeville, AL 36310. Ask dealer for warranty details. For warranty or for important handling and other information concerning our products including the appropriate Safety Data Sheet (SDS), please visit us at www.yellawood.com/ warranties or write us at P.O. Box 610, Abbeville, AL 36310. YellaWood® and the yellow tag are federally registered trademarks of Great Southern Wood Preserving, Incorporated. All other marks are trademarks of their respective owners and are used with their permission.

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Picking the Perfect Paver

For pool areas, it can be helpful to walk barefoot on sample pavers to get a better feel of what to expect.

When designing an outdoor living

space, homeowners can often feel overwhelmed by today’s choices in pavers with their varied textures, colors, sizes and shapes. According to the experts at concrete products manufacturer EP Henry, the key to a successful end result depends on: • Determining which pavers work best for the particular space and homeowner’s taste • Getting ideas from photos and seeing samples in person to narrow it down • Choosing an experienced hardscaping contractor committed to high-quality work Advise homeowners that they should first consider how the space they’re creating will be used and who will use it. Be it a patio, pool deck, driveway or walkway, each project type may help define which paver types make the most sense. For example, paving stones approved for vehicular traffic should be used on driveways. For pool areas, it can be helpful to walk barefoot on sample pavers to get a better feel of what to expect. Smaller pavers usually suit small

installations such as walkways, whereas larger pavers tend to work better for larger spaces. More sizable areas can even be broken up into separate “rooms” that feature different paver styles, patterns and colors. To get started looking at their many paver options, homeowners can research online through manufacturers’ catalogs and review contractors’ portfolios. “We typically ask clients to look at paver options and tell us what catches their eye, and then we narrow it down based on their preferences and what we recommend,” says Mark Todd, owner of Todd Quality Landscape Services, Spring City, PA. He suggests that homeowners share photos they’ve collected of finished projects they like to give prospective contractors a better sense of their personal style. Trendwise, he adds that he’s seeing more clients these days go for modern paver styles with straight lines in gray or charcoal mixed tones rather than the more traditional rustic, curved style in browns and tans. Todd also recommends that homeowners ask Fall 2020

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More sizable areas can be broken up into separate “rooms” that feature different paver

ABOVE: More homeowners these days go for modern paver styles with straight lines in gray or charcoal mixed tones.

prospective contractors for photos of projects that are at least five years old so they can gauge how the work stands up to the test of time. Newer work usually looks good, but older work can reveal lower-quality installations that result in settling, weed growth, edge restraint pulling up and other problems. Homeowners should also know that if, initially, their ambitious dream design strains the budget, completing the project in phases can be an affordable alternative. “The beauty of pavers compared to other options is that you can often add on down the road with minimal disturbance, so it’s not the end of the world if you can only afford to do the patio now and wait on other parts,” says Todd, who is certified by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute and the National Concrete Masonry Association. “With a properly executed plan, things can be easily added on in the future without it being obvious that the project was done in stages.”

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ABOVE: A more modern paver is not uncommon. Homeowners are also looking for ways to incorporate other natural elements.


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3 ways the pandemic has altered the construction industry for the near future and beyond By John Hakel

In the span of a few months,

the coronavirus crisis has demanded sweeping changes from the U.S. construction industry, and experts say many of them will remain in place even after the outbreak recedes.

1. The use of technology will increase

Emphasis on social distancing on jobsites should continue even after the current threat passes. To ensure safety and defend against outbreaks, companies are leaning on tech tools that enable essential construction work to continue. The use of drones for site survey and project supervision will increase. Supervisors can use drones to minimize personal interaction during visits to construction sites. Contracting company Suffolk has installed infrared cameras on all Southern California jobsites to take temperatures quickly and efficiently. The company is also adopting Triax monitors, which attach to workers hats and sound an alarm when another worker is within 6 ft. to help follow social distancing protocols on jobsites.

2. Union influence will grow

The percentage of construction workers with union membership has steadily declined since World War II, from about 87% of the workforce

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in 1947 to 12.8% in 2018. Amid the pandemic, however, trade unions have taken on prominent roles in advocating for members’ best interests in keeping sites operational and safe. Unions have also wielded their influence to keep members on the job. In April, trade unions lobbied government officials at all levels to make construction an essential service and exempt it from regional, state and local shutdowns. Unions also help laborers find new work after a layoff.

3. Supply chains will recalibrate

The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the global supply chain. With the U.S. sourcing nearly a third of building materials from China, developers have faced considerable disruptions and delays. As concerns linger, many firms may be hesitant to resume orders from overseas suppliers and the industry will likely seek solutions by increasing manufacturing at home and in nearby countries such as Mexico. Consultant Keith Prather says, “Going forward, there will be a lot of reshoring back in the U.S., where we’ll see an increase in our manufacturing ability here as well as heading into Mexico.” John Hakel is executive director of the Southern California Partnership for Jobs.


TENSION NEVER FELT SO GOOD That’s right, at Feeney® we provide the good kind of tension. The kind that makes for the highest-quality products to surpass the highest expectations. From customer service to ease of install, Feeney makes it easy, so that you can relax. Lose the tension at FeeneyMakesItEasy.com.

Feeney Makes It Easy

TM

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PRODUCT REVIEWS

Makita E-01644 Impact XPS 60-piece Bit Set Retail Price: $29.99 www.makitatools.com

Makita Impact XPS Bit Set I work with my hands. Using dif-

ferent tools everyday in the course of my chosen profession. I consider myself a professional carpenter. A combination of skilled tradesman and creative artisan. A builder to the core. As such, over my career I’ve experienced the subtle working differences between two otherwise nearly identical appearing tools. They may look the same, yet they do not work the same. One may be a pleasure to use, while the other is a pain. These differences soon become a source of aggravation for the tradesperson who uses them regularly. The irony is either tool will do the job, yet one demands more user effort during use, while the other performs exceptionally with little added user effort. You see this in all tools, but it is especially prevalent in drills, sawblades and impact driver bits. What the purchase decision boils down to is perceived value. The PV of any purchase can be described as the relationship of cost versus performance. Is the cost difference between two competing products, equal to, more or less than the difference in the two product’s performance? If the performance exceeds the difference in cost, it results in a positive PV. If it is less than, a negative PV is the result. For example, when I started my apprenticeship, all Skilsaw blades were mild steel. They were inexpensive and serviceable. With each cut the blade would dull and the cutting performance would degrade rapidly. So we’d change them often. Each week we would trade our stack of

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dull blades for a stack of sharp ones. The cost was less than $1 per blade. The PV was a positive one. Compare that to today’s modern carbide Skilsaw blade, which will cut miles of lumber before requiring replacement, all for an average cost of about $15. The PV here simply eclipses the previous one, contributing to the obsolescence of steel saw blades. The Value Proposition is a very subjective standard. Unique to each user’s own skill level and personality and a host of other idiosyncratic behaviors. Impact driver bits, like Skilsaw blades, have come a long way from the “free Phillips bit” packaged with each box of buglehead drywall screws. Below I examine the recently released Impact XPS Driver Bits from Makita and wherein their Value Proposition resides.

What’s Included in the Blue Box

The 60-piece set of impact rated bits includes the usual drives and sizes. For the insert bits it has a compact, Impact XPS rated, rare-earth Magnet Bit Holder and multiple copies of the following: Phillips drive numbers 1, 2 & 3. Square, Robertson or Scrulox drive in numbers 1, 2 and 3. Torx drive in sizes T-10, T-15, T-20, T-25, T-27, T-30 and T-40. Slotted drive in numbers 1 and 10. Finally, included are Hex Drive in H-7/64, H-1/8, H-9/64, H-5/32, H-3/16, H-1/4. Additionally, the set includes the Impact XPS Power Bits. These are the longer driver bits and have been engineered for use without the Magnetic Bit Holder. There are multiple copies of Phillips num-


bers 2 and 3, Torx T-25, T-27 and T-30, Square, Scrulox or Robertson drive in #2 size, a 1/4” Socket adapter and 1/4” and 5/16” NutSetters. The driver bits are kept secure, organized and easily identified in labeled rotating racks, contained in a sturdy, hinged, “Makita blue” slide latching polymer case. According to the manufacturer, they are designed exclusively for use with high-torque impact drivers and engineered to last up to 90 times longer than competitive bits, a claim that seems a tad “bit” (get it? I kill it sometimes) exaggerated when considered literally. I think that by making that statement, Makita was trying to reinforce the fact that the new bits are ultra-durable. The Makita bits are manufactured from a proprietary steel alloy, engineered for high strength and maintaining a low brittleness. This combination provides class-leading bit life, and maintains the secure, precision-fit tips that are designed to prevent cam-out and stripping of fastener heads. They also feature a torsion section of the bit shank that flexes while under load to lessen the striking pressure on the bit tip, further increasing durability. All the included components are treated with Makita’s new matte nickel finish coating, said to offer best in class corrosion protection. A quick check of pricing online reveals you will spend about $29.97 for the kit, or about 50 cents per bit. This is on par with what most of the competing tool manufacturers sell similar products for.

There is something wrong with having to use pliers to remove and replace a bit. By doing so, it will ensure that your neat and complete bit set will soon devolve into complete and total disarray. You‘ll never find the one bit you need, no matter how long you try and search through the overflowing pile of loose bits. Nothing is more frustrating. At my own company, the speed record for this transformation currently stands at three days: An untouched DeWalt driver bit set left on Monday morning and when I noticed it the following Thursday, only the yellow plastic case was recognizable. Inside were a third of the original bits in a jumbled mess and nothing else. Never did find any of the MIA bits. I wanted to see how they would hold up to the stress of a frozen or difficult to drive fastener. I made a test rig that would allow me to drive #10 X 3” fasteners through a hardwood plank and then while maintaining rate of drive, would abruptly stop the fastener as it bottomed out in an undersized hole, and drilled through a steel backing plate attached to the underside of the wood plank. I wanted to see if the fastener would cam-out, the driver bit would snap or just be rounded off/twisted.

Impressions, Testing, Results

Suffice it to say that over the years, we have had occasion to use most every driver bit on the market. Old-School, cheapie, non-impact bits to hand-machined, prototyped bits cut from billet carbide tool steel. For something so ubiquitous it really is amazing how unique each manufacturer’s bit performs/feels during use. This phenomenon really reveals itself in concert with the increasing number of different bits used. I am counting on this personal experience to provide the reader with useful impressions and comparisons, followed by our experience using the tool in real-world, practical applications. First off, I REALLY like the fact that the bits are easily removed AND replaced in the rotating polymer bit holders. This alone will go far towards the goal of keeping everything together and neatly organized for easy access. Makita is the only pro-tool brand that has addressed this. Fall 2020

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the previously used Makita bits showed minimal corrosion where the bit had been damaged in the cam out testing (most likely from microscopic fracturing of the coating where the bit was damaged during the test) and the remaining test samples all significantly coated with surface rust. The worst of the bunch were the Dewalt bits, which were physically damaged by the corrosive effects of the acidic solution.

Job site Use, Misuse & Abuse

I did this same test with multiple drive types (Scrulox, Torx, Phillips etc.) and at an interval of five times per driver bit. I used my Makita SubCompact 18-volt Impact Driver and a topped-up battery for each driver bit “run.” I was impressed with the durability and longevity of the XPS Bits even when used in an intentionally abusive fashion. Of all the drive types, the Phillips most often damaged the fastener with the bit suffering little to any visible damage. The next most prone was the Scrulox (Square Drive). The Hex and Torx drive types both held up significantly better, with minimal or nonexistent cam out and negligible damage to either driver bit type. Next, we looked at the fit of the Makita Precision-Fit Tips, and their ability to hold a fastener securely through only the friction fit of the bit in the fastener head. This is only possible on the Scrulox, Torx and Hex drive types as they are designed with a slight taper fit to facilitate this. We tried both new unused bits and the previously used test bits from the cam out test. The fit of a new fastener and the new Makita bit was second to none. It felt as though the fastener and bit had been joined together, driving with little wobble or instability. Even the previously used Makita bits performed much better than several other manufacturers’ brand new bits I tested for comparison. Finally, I wanted to see just how corrosion resistant the pretty, matte-nickel coating really is. Where I live and work, this is a huge deal as the weather here in Seattle is wet. Additionally, we build many of our projects on saltwater frontage properties. So, I made up a test solution of glacial acetic acid and distilled water, into which I then placed the bits to be tested. I also placed bits from several other manufacturer’s “kits” for direct comparison as well as some 316 Stainless Steel fasteners as a control. After a 48-hour soak, the stainless was unaffected, the new Makita XPS bits were unaffected,

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The real test comes because of the practical “use” of the tool in the field. So, to this end, I sent the Makita Impact XPS 60-piece Set out into the field with one of our crews and hoped for the best. For the next three weeks, I waited as the guys had their way with it. At the end of the test period, I retrieved it and wondered what I’d find inside. The blue plastic case appeared intact, the hinge and latch still functional. The weight seemed about right and was devoid of the sound that 60 loose items make while rattling around the inside of the case. With a hint of optimism, I slid aside the latch and cracked open the now grubby blue plastic case...Inside, I was surprised to find most of the set intact, in the bit holders, and in good shape. Upon closer inspection, I expected to find some of the Torx drive bits damaged as they are usually the first to be destroyed. There was some minor wear, but not enough to hamper performance. I also could not overlook that while returned to the bit holders, they were in random order and no longer organized... 10 minutes later though, the structure had been restored. Overall, I’d have to say that the tool designers at Makita have made significant improvements to an often overlooked or “good enough” product. These changes clearly give the Makita Impact Bit Set a huge advantage over the competition. Really, the only way to make this set better, is if the bits were self-organizing... able to replace themselves in the correct location in their respective holders. Add this little feature and this could very well be the last driver bit set you would ever need to buy. Now wouldn’t that be nice? Marv Johnson is the principal of Deck Envy LLC, Gig Harbor, WA. Send comments and suggestions for product reviews to emjaybuilding@mac.com.


DESIGNED FOR BEAUTY, MADE FOR LIFE.

ARMADILLODECK.COM


ON THE HOUSE

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention First, we hope that you, your families

and team members are all well and adjusting to the “new normal” resulting from the pandemic. Who could ever have imagined that life as we knew it could change so dramatically? Coupled with the political, economic and social upheaval, 2020 has been a year of challenge. It’s been especially tough for the self-employed who have had to adjust to business interruption, massive layoffs or, for some, the loss of their business. While there is no denying the obvious, the news is not all bad. The adage “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” rings true. We were already aware that Americans are a special people. We are resilient. We’ve survived health crises, civil unrest, a war that almost broke our country’s union, terror attacks on our own soil, and countless wars where so made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom. It’s a good time to remember that freedom isn’t “free.” We will get through this. Hopefully, we will be wiser, stronger, more resilient, and better prepared for the next challenge. And there will be challenges. There always are. Like many in our industry, we have discovered that “necessity is the mother of invention.” We have found ways to work smart, improve efficiency and trim costs. In the early stages of the pandemic, we weren’t clear what the future would hold. We needed to immediately find ways to interface with our business prospects without the ability to enjoy our traditional in-home visit. We discovered the power of videoconferencing and we quickly began promoting “virtual design consultations.” It’s been one of the best things that has happened to our business. Armed with a phone or tablet, prospects walk us through their homes and their proposed projects. We can share photos, images, designs and other useful information that will help “human-

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ize” the digital connection. It works! We use the same technology for previously in-person team meetings and business conferences. Fortunately for those of us in the building industry, business has been brisk. With the exception of a short period at the beginning of the pandemic, many have been busier than ever and demand for home-related services remains high. Home improvement centers, hardware stores, lumberyards and construction-related services have, for the most part, been deemed “essential” and, therefore, remained open. People being confined to their homes has given them time to dwell on deficiencies and needed improvements that they have deferred. The demand has been further fueled by homeowners who have discovered the benefits of working from home. Less time in traffic, more time with family, and lower vehicle expense has made the idea of working from home attractive—even if only for part of the week. Consequently, demand for remodeling or add-ons to accommodate a home office is one of the most popular improvements. The industry has always been a major unpinning of the American economy and 2020 is no exception. We can be grateful and proud that we have the opportunity to serve our communities, perpetuate our businesses, and do our part to help our economy recover. It may be tough to envision, but we’re confident that, as a nation, we’ll be better prepared for the next challenge. The Carey Bros.—James and Morris—are nationally known experts on home renovation and hosts of a weekly radio program and syndicated newspaper column, both titled On the House (onthehouse.com).


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BOTTOM LINE

COVID Keeping You Down? We call it “The Rona” around here.

COVID-19, coronavirus, you name it, it’s happening. What can you do about it? Not a whole lot. Wear a mask perhaps. But why is it having an effect on our business so much? That’s what we’re going to talk about so you can start to process how to deal with it and what may happen going forward after it ends. Every homeowner from Maine to California who needed a new deck decided this was the year. Either they were laid off or working from home. And because there was nothing to do, and no where to travel to, decided to get it done…. RIGHT NOW! I run a lumberyard and I had many of those comments made at my counter. It is truly the perfect storm here. Why is there no wood? In February when COVID hit, many lumber mills dropped back on their production because they were forecasting a downturn in demand. February is also the tail end of the winter stock up. Many treaters will build inventory all winter expecting a draw down in the spring on it when the season kicks in. This year, many of them pulled back toward the end of the stock up, and the mills answered by also pulling back. Contrary to belief, the demand for lumber increased as the season began, not at normal levels, but at the highest levels in history. A 90-day supply of inventory vanished in a matter of weeks, leaving holes in the inventories and shelves empty at most major retailers. Retailers in turn ordered more product to fill shelves and then increased forecast numbers to try to curb

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the unexpected demand. This caused a run on material that was already in short supply. Think toilet paper at Walmart. Why are the prices sky high when there is wood? When demand increases, lumber traders see an opportunity to make a little more money, but that is not the major cause. Think COVID and think stimulus. In order to get wood to your jobsite, there are a ton of blue-collar folks involved. Guys who cut trees, drive trucks, workers at the mill, workers at the treating facility, forklift drivers, and so many more. Many of them chose to stay home to avoid COVID. Many of them chose to take the stimulus and stay home, which does not lend itself to our problem here. With the increase in demand and shortage of labor, increased overtime expenses, and more lead to the need to charge more money for the products. What’s the deal with the labor? Same as above. Many helpers and laborers can literally stay home and make more money. That ended a couple weeks ago and there seems to be a surge in available labor now, but many of them have lost their edge after drinking beer for four months. Foggy heads and dragging butts. That will pass, but we still need materials to have something for them to do. Now, I will attempt to forecast what I believe we will see over the coming months. The labor problem will self-resolve. Lumber prices are continuing to rise as I write this article. I believe that will continue but level off in the coming weeks and start to come down in


October or mid-September. Once the mills are able to refill the order files, the lumber prices should drop back to normal prices; however, I believe normal prices will be around 5% higher from this years previous normal prices due to inflation and price complacence (don’t sell anything for less than people are willing to pay). I believe that early next spring, lumber will be at the lowest point of the year next year and will continue to go back on an increase over next season. Unless COVID comes around again, which I believe will not yield a similar result to this past year but more the opposite for our industry if a vaccine is not found. Steps to take and think about: • Price projects based on today’s numbers. Give a three-day quote window subject to a requote if they pass the deadline. If you sell a job today, order all materials today, and get on the back-order list with your lumber dealer. • Make sure when you are selling and quoting projects, you are discussing material shortages and lead times with your customers. • Build what you can when you can, but

always over-communicate with your customers. • Get daily lumber prices from your dealer. They are changing at a rapid price right now. • Save money! You’ll need it if the economy turns down, because if it does, it will fall hard. • Want to grow your company? Think about buying some other guys. I hate being a pessimist, but I remember the real estate bubble burst. The canceled projects, returned deposits, and nearly two years of pure-broke hell. I don’t have any interest in practicing recession survival again. Heed my warning. Save up some money to weather a potential oncoming storm. You will not only be prepared for potential bad circumstances, you’ll also be more organized going forward with your business, and huge sales as the lumber problems resolve. David Elenbaum has been in the deck industry since 2000, serving in retail, distribution, manufacturing and contracting.

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SET THE STANDARD

Open for Business Like the repercussions from 9/11,

our lives have been changed in ways we can never overcome. We have new terms like spatial awareness and social distancing. You can’t go anywhere without your face masks or hand sanitizer. The pandemic has impacted all of us financially as well as physically and emotionally. We’ve witnessed tempers flaring, anarchy and people looking for an outlet to point blame. We can’t forget about the brutal loss of life that has touched just about every one of us. This pandemic has taken the life of a cousin in Michigan and a close family friend in Maryland. It brought a month-long battle that our good friend and associate, Bill Zinnert of Diamond Decks, won after multiple hospital visits. You may recall Bill’s band, Sonic Daze, that played the NADRA Awards Banquet after-party in Baltimore, MD., in 2018. Let’s wish him continued success on his recovery. As Diamond Bill once said to me, “I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.” Many of you ran ads or posted on your social media accounts saying “Open for Business” since in most states the construction industry was deemed essential. Unfortunately, business wasn’t always open for us. Material shortages, manufacturing plant fires, temporary shutdowns, unavailable products, and insane price hikes in treated lumber—sometimes as much as 100% if you could find it. That’s right, 100%. The lumber treaters and distributors are price gouging contractors in such a deplorable and contemptible manner. We have also noticed a tremendous lack of regard or respect from some homeowners toward

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contractors. How many of you have arrived for an appointment and were the only one wearing a mask? So many clients refused to put one on while inviting contractors in or around their homes. To me, that’s a total lack of respect for us and our families. Then there’s the abundance of homeowners lined up at the box stores and lumberyards buying up every available scrap of material, declaring they could do just as nice of a job as the professionals. That’s a little bit of a backhanded insult in my book since many of us have spent decades honing our craft. Many of these DIYers end up having to call a professional to correct their mess since their property value will most assuredly drop well below what they saved trying to do it themselves. Many of these backyard builders mean well, but have zero concept of the repercussions their work will have when they go to sell. The deck industry is on the precipice of an entirely new and different pandemic that could become financially crippling and if we don’t prepare ourselves, we will be in dire straits down the road. As many of us remember, on New Years Eve of 2003 the treated wood industry decided to no longer allow the use of the old arsenic- based chemicals in our lumber and switched to chromate copper-based products along with an alphabet soup of other treatments. Treated lumber, at least in the mid-Atlantic area, has gone completely downhill. Having been in this industry for many years, I’ve seen a lot of products come and go. We visit sites from the early 1980s where 4x4


fence posts are still standing strong. Conversely, we see posts with the new chemicals from the mid-2000s that have rotted through and are falling down. When you purchase #1 grade ground contact rated treated framing you expect it to last more than 10 to 15 years. Unfortunately on many occasions that has not been the case. Contractors are regularly having to tear down decks that are 8 to 10 years old. Think about this: when was the last time your lumberyard rep sat and discussed the differences between above ground rated and ground contact rated treated lumber with you? Or explained the differences between UC3B—above ground, light duty or UC4A—ground contact, general duty or UC4B—ground contact, heavy duty. Many contractors call the lumberyard, place an order and build their deck, counting on the lumber rep to provide them with the proper material. Not so. A lot of times the lumberyard reps don’t know the differences themselves. Educate yourself, your lumberyard and your clients. We are regularly tearing down rotted out decks that are only 8 to10 years old, many are 6-8 ft. in the air, meaning this rot is not a moisture wick- 1 TigerDeck_DeckSpecialistAd-halfpg_Apr2020_Outlines.pdf

ing issue just from the ground. This year alone we have inspected more than 20 decks built after January 1, 2004, that are experiencing a great deal of rot in their 6x6 support posts, 2x12 stair stringers, floor joists, rail frame, 2x2 balusters, top rails along with 5/4 and 2x6 treated decking. Companies all over the world are taking preventative measures to combat these issues of rot, employing techniques like joist tape and treatments for end cuts. That’s great, and per conversations with contractors from the West and Northwest, they don’t have the same ground contact rated treated framing we have in the midAtlantic with our southern yellow pine lumber. In past years we didn’t have joist tapes readily available. We would have to use window tape on the bottoms of framing that would be in touch with the ground. Nor do they carry products designed to coat the cut ends of the boards. Seems odd that if treaters and distributors thought these products were necessary and balk when a claim is filed that they wouldn’t also have provided them to the yards for the end-users. Just for investigative purposes I walked into a local4:11 lumberyard that stocks treated decking 3/4/20 PM

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COMPANIES are employing different kinds of techniques and preventative measures to combat the issues of rot.

material, asked the gentleman at the sales counter if he had either of those products, the response was “Why do you need that? The wood is already treated.” Our industry needs more education. In a recent two-week period I looked at half a dozen treated decks that with extreme rot issues. Each of those clients wanted only to resurface their decks. On several of them I could stand underneath and look at the sky through the gaping holes in the middle of the deck boards. It’s hard to hear the rhetoric about coating the cut ends of boards when the middle of a deck board rots out. You can’t tape a deck board. What’s even worse is that disreputable contractors and this flood of all-knowing DIYers are resurfacing these decks without addressing the rotted, soft, spongy framework. One client told us we were the only deck specialists who insisted on replacing the framing. The others said it was OK. They’re asking for people to get hurt. We were also the only company to stab into the bad frame, proving that it was rotted. We have been seeing 4x4 railing posts rotted to the point of falling into the deck. We recently had a prospective client send us photos of a deck that had 6x6 rail posts covered with white vinyl sleeves and stainless steel cable railing, the posts were rotted as were the rim joists, band boards, and interior floor joist. This deck that was built in 2011 will require a total rebuild. A nine-yearold PVC deck 5 ft. off the ground, completely rotted out and in need of total replacement. The question is, who’s going to foot the bill to repair, rebuild all of the decks that are in this condition? We had a gentleman call us and send photos of his #1 grade ground contact rated 2x12 stair stringers that were only 11 years old and were so rotted out that during a family gathering the stairs collapsed. Upon inspection, the rail posts

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on the steps had also rotted, so when the stairs gave way, he grabbed the rail and it pulled loose. It’s going to take a totally devastating incident before the wood preservers step up to the plate and take responsibility for these projects. Clients hire professional contractors in good faith that they will provide and install the best quality material available. Professional, licensed contractors in turn purchase what they believe to be high quality long lasting materials from the lumberyards, with the expectation of it lasting a fair duration. Ten to 12 years is not a fair duration. I also believe the lumber yards in turn purchase in good faith what they believe to be high quality long-lasting products from their suppliers. This brings me back around to my previous assessment of the egregious 50-100% price hikes in treated lumber. Has the preserver and distributor side of the industry switched gears and gone from friend to foe? Are we now paying on a daily basis the future bill to placate an abundance of inevitable lawsuits? I’m not placing ALL of the blame on one plate, but the decision to peddle the chemicals that are in this treated lumber has proved to be catastrophic. These treated lumber price increases have been costing local contractors over $1,000 per 400-sq. ft. framing package. Losses like that are insurmountable. With the state of today’s treated industry, the lack of concern for the end user, the backbone of their sales, and clients’ desire for green, chemical-free products have really opened the door for the growing steel frame industry. Right now the deck industry is ripe for the picking. The more contractors are being left holding the bag, the more they will seek out other new, long-lasting options. These steel framing manufacturers should be pouncing all over this opportunity. As “Deck Specialists,” it’s our job to influence the industry and demand the best products for the most reasonable prices. Be prepared to provide clients with the information and options available to allow them to make the best value-based decision that will also take the onus and liability off the contractors. Be safe, prosperous, happy, healthy and above all, true to your personal integrity. 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.


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NEW NEW PRODUCTS PRODUCTS

Nova USA’s full color palette of ExoShield Wood Stains is now available in gallon, quart and half-pint sizes to accommodate nearly any application from decks and siding to posts, rails and outdoor furniture. Using a proprietary blend of tung oil, UV blockers, fungicide and trans-oxide pigments, its water-resistant, acid-resistant formula is ideal for enhancing wood stability, reducing cracking or warping, delaying graying, and protecting against water damage, fungi and UV rays. [novausawood.com]

Lightweight Gel Knee Pads from Klein Tools are the perfect solution for trade professionals looking for comfort and protection on the jobsite while not being weighed down. The pads have slip-resistant rubber caps to grip kneeling surface for enhanced stability and balance. Pressure is dispersed with gel and EVA foam that cushions the knee, increasing comfort and protection, while reducing fatigue. Held tight by clips, cinch-tight straps provide a comfortable, snug fit. The top strap is elastic, while the bottom strap is webbed for needed flexibility. [kleintools.com/safety]

Deckorators’ ALX Contemporary cable railing achieves a clean, minimalist style that will not obstruct views. The system’s heavy-gauge aluminum components are available in four colors: Textured Black, Textured White, Weathered Brown and Bronze.. The cable railing is available with pre-drilled aluminum posts for 36- and 42” heights and 6- and 8-ft. on-center lengths when installed between 2½” posts.

With its ergonomic design, the Ryobi 18V One+ Cordless belt sander can get into tight spaces with ease. The tool is equipped with a variable speed dial for various applications that require precision sanding. With a lock-on switch and up to 90 minutes of run time, it’s ready for extended-use applications. And, changing sanding belts is a snap with its integrated tool-free belt change

[deckorators.com]

[ryobitools.com]

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We have inventory!

COMPOSITE

DECK WARP?

STABLE DECKS. FEWER CALLBACKS.

Quality Since 1922.

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Digger Specialties has added the elegant Montego IT design to its Westbury Aluminum Railing line. The new railing combines the distinctive curved baluster of the Montego design with the addition of a third rail. The line comes in 12 standard colors in smooth and textured finishes, in 36” and 42” heights, and in both straight and stair section lengths from 4’ to 8’. [diggerspecialties.com]

Justrite’s Portable Handwashing Station is a mobile, self-contained hand cleansing system that allows employees to effectively wash hands in any location or jobsite. With hands-free foot activation, it features a 30-gallon tank that supports approximately 150 hand washes and fillable soap and paper towel dispensers. [justrite.com]

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CAMO’s new EdgeXMetal Clips provide a revolutionary way to fasten any grooved deck board on metal substructure. The new one-pass fasteners use the same technology as CAMO EdgeX Clips for wood framing. The wings of the clip fit into the groove of the board, securing it before fastening, and the 304 stainless steel gusset holds the boards down. The key difference between the two clips is EdgeXMetal features a drill point screw that engages in less than two seconds, rather than a self-tapping screw for wood. The clips are a direct response to slow, expensive hidden fasteners for decks built on metal framing, as well as wood’s rising prices. [camofasteners.com]

RealShield face shield by Racing Optics Inc., is certified by both the American National Standards Institute and deemed compliant by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, making it one of the safest face shields on the market. The adult and youth-sizes are certified for eye and face protection and the adult model is certified for eye and face splash protection. The shield also meets stringent OSHA requirements. The shield is easy to attach, is reusable and long-lasting and comfortable to wear. [realshield.com] Fall 2020

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Cabot has recently introduced their new Australian Timber Oil Aerosol can, available in four popular oil colors, which allows consumers and pros to finish staining projects faster. The aerosol can is great for smaller projects such as spindles, fences, furniture, planters, lattice and hard-to-reach spots. In addition, complex translucent ironoxide pigments are added to ensure a lasting UV-absorbing surface rich with color and dimension. [cabotstain.com]

StairMaster safety renovation treads are now available from Wooster Products in a range of coordinating or contrasting colors to enhance front edge visibility and safety. The anti-slip stair treads are ideal for exit path markings, safety egress systems, steps and landings. They feature a heat-treated, corrosion-resistant aluminum substrate and a nearly diamond-hard aluminum oxide filler. Treads are offered in 9” and 11” widths, with a mill-finish extruded aluminum base, beveled edge, and countersunk holes. [woosterproducts.com]

Protection to Safeguard your Customer’s Wooden Deck Structure

INSTALLS ON LEDGER BOARDS • JOIST TOPS • JOIST ENDS • POSTS

Stocking DeckWrap PowerBond® gives you additional sales opportunities when selling decking materials. This self-adhering waterproofing membrane is suitable for use with treated, untreated and synthetic woods. Start realizing new sales today by calling 800-882-7663.

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mfmbp.com


Fiberon’s new Promenade premium PVC decking features enhanced streaking, premium embossing, and a next-generation surface coating designed for superior weather resistance. Promenade offers an on-trend aesthetic with the benefits of premium PVC, including enhanced durability. Boards are lightweight and easy to handle, with a slip-resistant texture that makes them ideal for waterside applications. Both grooved- and square-edge options feature four-sided capping with streaking on the unembossed underside. They come in a palette of multi-tonal, in-demand colors.

RDI has expanded the infill board options for its HideAway Privacy Railing to include one new solid color (gray) and one new woodgrain color (driftwood). The new colors complement top-selling gray deck boards, and bring the number of infill options to eight (four solids, four woodgrains).

[fiberondecking.com]

[rdirail.com]

MOSO® Bamboo X-treme® D VE

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Manufactured with precision. Made of over 90% natural, fast-growing bamboo.

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moso-bamboo.com

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Backyard Discovery’s new Cabana Pergola system provides homeowners with a versatile structure that combines privacy, relaxation and entertaining to create the perfect outdoor space. The pergola system is easy to assemble and provides a versatile design offering shade and privacy with an open feeling. The seating area features durable Sunbrella material for easy maintenance.

DuraLife has updated its Nantucket aluminum railing portfolio to include a second top rail profile. A new stylishly contoured top rail, Cambridge, has been added to the existing architectural flat top rail, Salem. Made of powder-coated aluminum and tested to withstand over 10,000 hours of salt spray, Nantucket Railing is both durable and strong. It is low maintenance and designed to withstand the harshest outdoor weather.

[cabanapergola.com]

[duralifedecking.com]

TRY IT YOURSELF FOR FREE

PROTECTO DECK JOIST TAPE

SEALS AROUND FASTENERS TO KEEP WATER OUT

Not all joist tapes are created equal. Some struggle to adhere, are too thick to wrap around detailed areas and can be slippery and dangerous to walk on. Protecto Deck Joist Tape was created with these problems in mind. Now manufactured with Super Stick Technology, it can be applied down to -20°F (-28°C) and in high temperatures, has an ultra-thin profile (only 22 mils) and has a slip resistant surface. Helps prevent PVC decking from squeaking on deck joists Slip resistant surface film and UV stable Compatible with PT lumber and all known types of decking and deck boards Provides a non-corrosive barrier between treated lumber and metal hangers Black color blends between deck boards Simple peel and stick application can be installed down to -20°F (-28°C) No primer needed

SCAN FOR A FREE ROLL Limit one per household. Offer expires 11/30/2020. While supplies last.

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PROTECTO WRAP COMPANY

1955 South Cherokee St., Denver, CO 80223

(800) 759-9727 • www.ProtectoWrap.com


Grad by Burger & Cie consists of aluminum beams which decking materials are snapped onto. The system requires virtually no screws and only works with clips. It can be used with wooden boards, tiles, porcelain pavers, aluminum boards, etc. The system allows the builder to remove the boards, update them, and put them back into place to either access the subdeck at anytime, or to change the entire decking material without removing/affecting the structure.

WearDeck Reinforced composite lumber features New Barefoot colors specifically designed to stay cool for bare feet and reduced surface temperatures by 30% . Available in up to 28 ft. lengths and eight vibrant colors, the product’s custom cut-to-order program helps reduce waste, cost and labor. In addition, WearDeck withstands harsh heat, cold, hurricanes and saltwater. [weardeck.com]

[gpetit@burger.fr]

The new portable Carrello model wood-fired oven from Californo is perfect for enjoying time out on the deck. The oven is available in three sizes and is handcrafted using traditional Italian methods. Durable and long lasting, the oven’s dome is coupled with perfected high temperature concrete mix that mimics firebrick in its application. [californo.co] Fall 2020

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ai158344403771_SplitStop_3.25x4.875_Wood.pdf

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INDUSTRY NEWS

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WOOD TREATER Culpeper Wood Preservers has revamped its online presence to aid outdoor living professionals.

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Culpeper Wood Preservers, Culpeper, VA., has given its website, www.culpeperwood.com, an upgrade. The new site, which features both enhanced content and a redesigned format, provides a better overall user experience and reinforces the company’s position as a leader in the outdoor living category. “Our new website elevates not only the digital footprint for Culpeper but also serves as an example for the entire treated lumber industry. Culpeper continues to prove itself as a leader in the outdoor living category,” noted Chris Brown, director of business development and marketing for Culpeper. Featuring an easy-to-navigate format and a responsive design for mobile devices, the site offers a wide range of information and tools designed to educate and inspire. Designed for homeowners, contractors and dealers, it also offers project plans, information and even continuing education opportunities.

Maryland Man Receives SecondDegree Burns from His Deck

A Maryland man ended up at the burn unit at MedStar Washington Hospital Center after receiving second-degree burns while he was standing on his composite deck. John Polack, who wasn’t wearing shoes at the time, was cleaning his pillows and after a few minutes, he reported the bottoms of his feet started to burn. His feet were at first red, but a few hours later, things got much worse. Polack required surgery, rehab and, for the next five weeks, was to stay off his feet. A laser thermometer measured Polack’s deck at 146 degrees on a 90-degree day.

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Fortress Enters E-Commerce Arena

Fortress Building Products, Garland, TX., is rapidly extending their reach to meet customer demand through the e-commerce arena. By partnering with select leading e-tailers, the company is able to scale its operations and provide new and existing customers with direct, reliable avenues to quickly purchase Outdurable Living solutions. “Working hand-in-hand with reputable online retailers makes it easier than ever for homeowners and DIYers to purchase built-tolast outdoor living products,” said Glenn Coffee, director of channel sales, retail & e-commerce at Fortress Building Products. “Our industry is changing in front of our eyes—we’re seeing more and more buying decisions being made online. By operating in alignment with consumer purchasing habits, we’re able to better serve our customers and jumpstart a new phase of company growth.” Fortress Building Products has been offering VERSAI ornamental steel fencing and Athens Residential aluminum fencing via select leading e-tailers, and recently added Apex PVC decking, Infinity I-Series composite decking, and Hulk Fasteners to its portfolio of virtual marketplace product solutions. For added inspiration and support during their buying experience, customers can turn to the recently unveiled fortressbp.com. The completely reimagined platform unites the firm’s five individual product websites into one, creating a consumer-friendly destination for Fortress’ Total Solution of outdoor living products.”

Cabot Debuts Sample Stain Program

Cabot’s new product sample stains provide pros with a tool to help their customers. With the new sample sizes, consumers and pros can feel confident in their color choice before beginning a project.

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AD INDEX Page 59

AG-CO www.footingpad.com

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Lee Roy Jordan www.lrjlumber.com

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Armadillo Deck www.armadillodeck.com

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Lonza Wood Protection www.wolmanizedwood.com

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Atlantis Rail Systems www.atlantisrail.com

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MFM Building Products Corp. www.mfmbp.com

Bigfoot Systems www.bigfootsystems.com

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MOSO North American www.moso-bamboo.com

CableArt www.cableartinc.com

Cover II, 3

National Nail www.camofasteners.com

2-3

CAMO www.camofasteners.com

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Northern Crossarm www.crossarm.com

9

Deckorators www.deckorators.com

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OHC www.ohc.net

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Deck2Wall www.deck2wallspacer.com

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Pacific Woodtech Corp. www.pacificwoodtech.com

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DeckWise www.deckwise.com

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Protecto Wrap www.protectowrap.com

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Digger Specialties www.diggerspecialties.com

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RailFX www.railfx.net

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Feeney, Inc. www.feeneyinc.com

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Regal Ideas www.regalideas.com

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FootingPad www.footingpad.com

CIV

Simpson Strong-Tie www.strongtie.com

5, 12, 13

Fortress Building Productsg www.fortressbp.com

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SplitStop www.splitstop.com

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Great Southern Wood Preserving www.yellawood.com

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Sunset Moulding www.pakaritmd.com

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Humboldt Redwood www.getredwood.com

10

SureDrive USA www.suredrive.com

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Infratech www.infratecheatersusa.com

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3G Industries www.invis-a-rail.com

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DESIGNED FOR BEAUTY, MADE FOR LIFE.

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ARMADILLODECK.COM

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Welcome Aboard! Deck Specialist is delighted to introduce two new first-time advertisers, Infratech and CableArt.

Infratech is a leader in infrared outdoor heaters and technology. CableArt offers a full line of fittings and cable to provide a range of decorative rail systems. Consider them when you’re in need of such products!

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Deck Building Solutions • 866-767-1850 • www.suredrive.com • sales@suredrive.com

Tiger Deck www.tigerdeck.com

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Titan Metal Werks www.splitstop.com

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Trex www.trex.com

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TurboClip www.turboclipusa.com

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Vista Railings www.vistarailings.com


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IDEA BOOK

cook top What started as a simple desire for an outdoor fireplace quickly expanded into an outdoor kitchen, living and entertainment space, capped by a stunning, custom-built redwood pergola. The area includes an outdoor stone fireplace, smoker and pizza oven, as well as ample space for dining, seating and storage. “We wanted an environment that we could use 12 months out of the year—we entertain quite a bit,” explained Eureka, CA., homeowners Greg and Stephanie. Working with locally based builder Pierson Co., they were able to design an outdoor space that works for them. The redwood pergola was built in two sections. The section containing the fireplace, smoker and pizza oven is the kitchen/ living area and is covered by a shingled roof. The dining section is overlaid with a clear, corrugated plastic roof to allow natural light in. “Eureka receives a lot of rain and fog. With a roof covering we will be able to use this space as often as possible. The roof provides protection from the elements, while also providing shade on warm sunny days,” Greg said. Simpson Strong-Tie steel connections were installed inside the pergola, creating a seamless display of the natural warmth and beauty of the redwood. In addition, all electrical wiring was placed in a routedout slot, effectively hiding away unsightly cords. The visual results are similar to traditional timber frame construction. “My favorite part is the ceiling,” Stephanie noted. “I love the beams and the strength of them… the way the light and firelight reflect off the redwood is warm and inviting.” “It was an obvious choice for us to go with Humboldt Sawmill redwood,” Greg said. “They do great forest management, and I knew that they would provide the product that we needed for this project. We decided that we wanted to use natural

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ABOVE: The combination of redwood with hidden connectors gave the outdoor showplace a warm, indoorsy feel. (Photos courtesy Humboldt Sawmill)

products and there is nothing more natural than redwood. It is a beautiful wood: it’s sustainable, it’s durable, it’s insect resistant, and low-maintenance.” “I love working with redwood,” added Kevin at Pierson Co. “It cuts beautifully.” In addition to being easy to work with, redwood’s durability and strength make it ideal when it comes to longevity. When installing the structure, Pierson Co. used 4x4 steel posts set in concrete 2 ft. round by 5 ft. deep so as to not need bracing. Submit photos of your latest and greatest project to sornelas@ 526mediagroup.com


DECK

SPECIALIST 151 Kalmus Dr. Ste. E200 Costa Mesa, CA 92626-5959

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The easy way to a picture perfect deck.

Introducing EB-TY Premium Hidden Deck-Fastening System ®

The new EB-TY Premium system comes with the ingenious EB-GUIDE predrilling tool to ensure precise and efficient fastening. The system’s redesigned biscuit features a stainless-steel reinforcing plate to ensure a strong, concealed connection – showcasing the natural beauty of the deck. When installing exotic hardwood on your project, EB-TY Premium delivers a pictureperfect deck every time. To learn more, visit go.strongtie.com/ebtypremium or call (800) 999-5099. © 2020 Simpson

Strong-Tie Company Inc. EBTY17C

Including the EB-GUIDE

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Deck Specialist Fall 2020  

Fall 2020 edition of Deck Specialist, quarterly magazine for outdoor living professionals

Deck Specialist Fall 2020  

Fall 2020 edition of Deck Specialist, quarterly magazine for outdoor living professionals

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