Deck Specialist - Winter 2017

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BEST DECKS OF THE YEAR • CHOOSE THE RIGHT RAILING • DECK EXPO RECAP

DECK

WINTER 2017

SPECIALIST Ideas & Strategies for Outdoor Living Professionals

Award Winning Decks



DesignRail Aluminum Railings ÂŽ

Customer Satisfaction Made Easy

NEW NEW

Pre-Drilled Stair Posts and Pickets

Single Corner Posts Open views and lower material costs.

Faster installation of railings with CableRail infill.

NEW

LED Lighting 24V, UL listed. Integrated into the railing frame for a finished look.

DesignRailÂŽ Aluminum Railings are a great choice for your customers who are looking for a beautiful railing that offers exceptional durability, structural integrity, and ultra-low maintenance. Systems include a range of styles, colors, infill, and LED lighting options Nat Rea Photography

to meet any design need, while pre-engineered components snap and screw together to make installations a breeze. Learn about all of our innovative railing features and see the entire line of Feeney products at www.feeneyinc.com/DS. Free catalog and dealer locations, 1-800-888-2418


DECK

SPECIALIST

Ideas & Strategies for Outdoor Living Professionals FEATURE STORY

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Award Winning Decks

The year’s best decks rise to the top in NADRA’s annual competition WHAT’S HOT

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DeckExpo on Display

Outdoor living dominates show

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Rock On Cracking the stone deck market

BUSINESS OPERATIONS

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Choose Your View

Help homeowners make the best railing choice for their homes

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Life after Installation Mastering the art of longevity with pressure treated wood

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Predict-Ability Partnering scorecards can dictate an outdoor living project’s success

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15 ON THE COVER This built-from-scratch “Boat House” in Connecticut took a top prize for CableRail manufacturer Feeney in NADRA’s annual deck competition.

ALSO INSIDE 8 Editor’s Note 10 Industry News 40 Tool Review with Marv Johnson 42 On the House with the Carey Bros. 44 The Bottom Line with David Elenbaum 46 The Rail Post with Matt Breyer 48 Stacking the Deck with Pat Noonan 50 Set the Standard with Brendan Casey 52 How To: Building Deck Stairs 56 New Products 60 Ad Index 61 Date Planner 62 Idea Book Deck Specialist

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DECK SPECIALIST A publication of 526 Media Group, Inc.

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

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

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

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

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Vice President Shelly Smith Adams sadams@building-products.com Managing Editor David Koenig david@building-products.com Editor Stephanie Ornelas sornelas@building-products.com Columnists Matt Breyer, James & Morris Carey, Brendan Casey, David Elenbaum, Marv Johnson, Pat Noonan Guest Contributors Margie Beaudry, Jase DeBoer, Sue Dyer, Kari Gaviria, Heather Marchand, Glen Terhune

SUMMER 2017

WOOD GS • RESURGENCE OF REAL

DECK

ECO-FRIENDLY BUILDING

• CHOOSE THE RIGHT RAILIN

DECKING

SPECIALIST Ideas & Strategies

for Outdoor Living

Professionals

Director of Sales Chuck Casey chuck@building-products.com

Advertising Sales

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

Subscriptions

chiers@building-products.com (714) 486-2735 DECK SPECIALIST is published quarterly at 151 Kalmus Dr., Ste. D200, Costa Mesa, CA 92626, (714) 486-2735, Fax 714-486-2745, www.building-products.com, by 526 Media Group, Inc. (a California Corporation). It is an independently owned publication for U.S.-based builders and contrators that specialize in decking and other outdoor living projects. Copyright®2017 by 526 Media Group, Inc. Cover and entire contents are fully protected and must not be reproduced in any manner without written permission. All Rights Reserved. Deck Specialist reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter, and assumes no liability for materials furnished to it. Winter 2017 • Volume 1 • Number 4

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6/7/2017 2:10:55 PM

The new publication for qualified industry decision makers! STAY IN THE LOOP! • Update your subscription • Sign up key colleagues • Enroll multiple locations Deck Specialist 2 2017.indd

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

DECK S P E CI A L I ST

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


Trex Transcend® Decking Shown in Island Mist. © 2017 Trex Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Every deck is made for standing on. Only one has a reputation for standing out. When it comes to building your reputation, it helps to rely on materials you can trust. That’s why the world’s best builders choose the enduring beauty and durability of the world’s #1 decking brand. After all, only Trex® composite decking and railings are engineered to eliminate time-consuming maintenance while providing superior scratch, fade and stain resistance. Before your next project, visit trex.com and discover why nothing compares to Trex.

Building-Products.com

December 2016

n

Building Products Digest


EDITOR’S NOTE

Next pitch I should have known I was in for a bumpy night the moment I was hit in the head with a defibrillator. My flight into Nashville was perfect—an aisle seat with ample leg room. I sat reviewing my appointments for my first DeckExpo, excited to finally put faces with many of the names and voices I’d encountered over the years. Then, minutes before landing, a flight attendant opened the overhead bin above me and a 5-lb. medical device tumbled out and bonked me on the head. Though dazed (and unaware of the mild gash and growing goose egg on my head), I determined not to let it ruin my evening. Within minutes, we landed and I was off to the hotel, a gorgeous high-rise right next to the convention center. My cab arrived so quickly, I figured that I’d be checked into my room in plenty of time to catch the back half of Game 2 of the World Series. Not so fast. Despite making reservations months in advance, the hotel no longer had a room for me, due to “maintenance issues.” I spent over an hour in the lobby, handed off from one clerk to the next, until one finally shuttled me off to what must have been the last vacancy in town. One 20-minute cab ride later, I knew why. Situated between the railroad tracks and a Waffle House, this ramshackle old building is where you turn to when even the Bates Motel is full. I arrived just after midnight and, after another halfhour left stewing at the front desk, I finally slogged to my quarters. There, I discovered

the ballgame, despite going 11 innings, was now over and that I wouldn’t need a wakeup call, since the bypassing trains would not stop long enough for me to ever get to sleep. I was still in a funk that next morning, when my ride arrived (25 minutes late). That’s when I noticed a snapshot of my driver’s young son taped to his dash. It brought me back to when I used to coach my son’s Little League team, and one thing I always used to tell the boys: “Next pitch.” What would happen is something would go wrong—they’d give up a hit or make an error or get a bad call—and they’d get down and, dwelling on the last play, they’d mess up the next play. Before we knew it, one bad break turned into a horrible inning. “Next pitch” meant don’t worry about what just happened. It’s over. What’s more important is to concentrate on the next play and make the most of it. I quickly realized that lingering grumbling over my rough night should not impact my DeckExpo experience. It was time to concentrate on the day before me, the people I was about to meet, the work I had to do. Do you ever need to recalibrate? You’re on your way to meet a prospect or start a job, and little things start going wrong—you’re cut off by another driver or get bad news on the phone. Leave it behind. Every pitch is a new opportunity to hit one out of the park.

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

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INDUSTRY NEWS Finalists to Face Off in CAMO Screw Off! Competition

More than 40 contractors qualified as finalists to compete for a Harley-Davidson motorcylce and cash prizes in National Nail’s CAMO Screw Off! competitions at lumberyards throughout New England and New Jersey.

United Treating & Distribution celebrated acquisition of a new property with a Nov. 7 ribbon cutting ceremony.

Alabama Wood Treater Expands

Father and son deck builders Bob and Jesse Buzzell will square off against each other in the CAMO Screw Off! finals.

The finals will be held at the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association LBM Expo Feb. 14 in Providence, R.I. To make it even more interesting, the finals will include a face-off of father and son Bob and Jesse Buzzell, of Robert Buzzell Construction in Newton, N.H.

New Owner Continues Endeck

Eastern Metal Supply, Lake Worth, Fl., has acquired Enduris’ Endeck capped cellular PVC product lines and will continue to service all of Enduris’ Endeck customer base and aggressively promote the product lines. EMS had become Enduris’ largest customer for high-end dock, deck and fascia boards and was distributing it primarily in the eastern third of the U.S. When Jacksonville, Fl.based Enduris decided to move away from manufacturing in the third quarter of 2017, the opportunity arose for EMS to continue the line. The purchase includes all tooling, embossing equipment, proprietary formulations, testing, certifications, trademarks, literature and inventory. EMS plans to restart manufacturing this month, initially focusing on quickly rebuilding inventories in all EMS locations and at other master distributors of Endeck.

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United Treating & Distribution, LLC has purchased the building and property adjacent to its current facility in Muscle Shoals, AL., adding 54,000 covered sq. ft. and 5.5 acres to its operations. The expansion provides UTD with the capacity to carry more inventory and introduce new product lines. Owner and CEO Chad Epperson has been in the lumber business since 1990 and started UTD in 2006. Today, UTD has more than 50 employees with more than 350 customers in 18 states, providing treated and untreated lumber to retail yards, portable barn builders, decking/ fencing pros, utility trailer manufacturers, specialized industrial suppliers, and contracting groups.

TAMKO Launches Program for Pro’s

TAMKO Building Products is rolling out a new Envision Registered Contractor Program. Free to register, the new program includes benefits like free Envision gear and marketing tools showing off the beauty of the products, while offering the potential to increase a contractor’s business through industry affiliation with both the Envision and TAMKO brands. “Many of our clients view their deck or dock as an extension of their home, so it has to be beautiful, and Envision does that,” said Robin Lopez, owner of Summertime Deck & Dock in Florida, one of the first to join. Contractors can sign up at EnvisionDecking. com. There are two program levels to choose from—Registered or Gold Level—based on a


contractor’s desired level of connection to and use of TAMKO’s composite decking products. This is the first TAMKO program specifically targeted toward decking contractors and is a continuation of its increased focus to support and promote Envision contractors.

Atlantis Rail Patents New Grommet

Atlantis Rail Systems has developed and patented a new grommet system for use with its cable railing systems. The new Cable Snap Grommet is installed after a cable railing system installation is complete, to avoid threading cable through typical rubber grommets. The grommets are sized according to the cable hole size on the post and the size of cable utilized on a cable railing system. Manufactured of UV polycarbonate material, it is made to last, and in the rare case it needs replacement, it’s a snap to change out. The grommets are only required for Atlantis’ NOVA II railing system as an insulator between the stainless steel and aluminum components, but they are also properly sized and available for most other systems.

Plycem Voluntarily Recalls Fiber Cement Decking

Plycem USA, Houston, TX., has stopped producing Allura Decking and is voluntarily recalling the fiber cement decking and fascia due to possible safety concerns. The product was marketed from 2014 until January 2017. Plycem has received three reports of boards cracking or delminating, one of which reportedly resulted in a man injuring his leg. Plycem suspects the problems were due to improper installation, namely that pre-drilling recommendations were not followed, but is conducting further tests. In addition, it voluntarily agreed to a recall with the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission. Anyone who has the product or a deck using it should contact Plycem at (844) 452-6787 or online at www.allurausa.com, to first arrange an inspection. If needed, Plycem will replace it with “comparable material” at its expense. About 37,500 boards were manufactured in Costa Rica and sold into the U.S., primarily in the South. Winter 2017

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Decking and railing manufacturers represented the bulk of show exhibitors.

During the show, deck builder/“Set the Standard” columnist Brendan Casey stopped by the Deck Specialist booth.

Latest trends on display at DeckExpo DeckExpo, The Remodeling Show, and

JLC Live may each may have received equal billing, but decking was the outsized draw to the combined R|D|J 2017 show Oct. 26-27 in

Nashville, TN. Decking, railing and related accessories were displayed at well over half of the exhibits, convincing organizers to no longer UltraLox’s wood-look aluminum top rail

AZEK’s new FuisonLoc installation tool Deckorators’ attachable rail-top counter

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NADRA Rocks Nashville

Builders could gain knowledge and professional credits by attending JLC Live demonstrations.

separate the Remodeling Show and DeckExpo booths. Instead, they were interspersed throughout the Music City Center. Healthy attendance combined with dozens of new product introductions created a strong vibe. Most exhibitors unveiled brand new products at the event, with some companies

Coinciding with DeckExpo, the North American Deck & Railing Association held several events in Nashville, including its annual meeting, golf tournament, rooftop reception, at-show scavenger hunt, and meeting of its Consumer Product Awareness charter committee. The CPAC committee is working to develop and implement consumer-friendly labeling programs for outdoor living products. The winning team at the golf tournament was comprised of Chris Brown, Escue Wood Preserving, and Lonza Wood Protection’s Matt Roughen, Vikki Pingle, and Kirk Hammond. Brown also took top honors for both longest drive and closest to the pin. During the annual meeting, NADRA honored Bob Lett, Code Coalition leader Chuck Bajnai, Rick Vaughan (the first NADRA member to support its Deck for a Soldier program), and outgoing president Kirk Hammond. The group also announced the winners of its annual deck competition (see following 16 pages).

showing off several. Deckorators alone introduced 30 new SKU’s at the show, while AZEK Building Products offered a first look at 15 new SKU’s. Next year’s R|D|J 2018 will be back in Baltimore, MD., Oct. 9-11 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Color Guard Railing’s Super Fan Rail

Dolle’s Insta-Rail tube kits

Deckorators’ under-deck storage drawer Winter 2017

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A GREAT DECK STARTS FROM THE GROUND UP.

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©12/2017


NADRA National

Deck Competition Awards

2017

During the recent DeckExpo in Nashville, the North American Deck & Railing Association announced the winners of its annual National Deck Competition, celebrating the finest work from the nation’s top outdoor living designers, builders and products. A panel of six judges, including Deck Specialist publisher Patrick Adams, evaluated the projects in 14 categories, based on four criteria: • Use of space/functionality • Creativity/innovation • Evidence of craftsmanship/degree of difficulty • Overall visual appeal Through Facebook, the public was also invited to vote on the “People’s Choice Awards,” singling out Wolf Home Products among manufacturers and, among builders, Fresh Decks, Regina, Saskatchewan (1st place), and Legend’s Home Improvement, Monroe Township, N.J. (2nd). The following photos and project descriptions are courtesy of NADRA.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Manufacturer Project 1ST

Feeney, Inc.

www.feeneyinc.com Completed: 2017 For the second consecutive year, Feeney, Inc. has been awarded first place in the Manufacturer Project category of the North American Deck & Railing Association’s 2017 National Deck Competition. Feeney won for its deck railing on a new Waterford, CT., home designed to emulate the look of a boat. The homeowner’s initial idea was to have a steampunk look for the home, with concrete walls, exposed wiring and pipes, and also lots of windows and decks. But since the site was on a 60-ft.-high bluff overlooking the Niantic River, the owner and general contractor opted for a steamship look. The “Boat House” utilized 480 linear ft. of Feeney DesignRail aluminum railing with stain-

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less steel CableRail infill for the deck railings, highlighted with Feeney LED Rail Lighting under the top rail. An ipe wood top rail was used to create a more authentic boat look, also matching the decking for a seamless appearance. Another 45 linear ft. of CableRail was used for an interior staircase. The home also features five separate decks and incorporates ipe decking, pressure treated lumber, and Simpson Strong-Tie hardware. Feeney worked very closely with the general contractor, Jonathan Laschever, and others to create a railing solution that accentuated the unconventional shape of the home, including the curved bow at the top—one of the standouts of the design. Laschever is owner of Laschever Building


Company LLC, a custom home builder based in West Simsbury, CT., that specializes in designing and building homes on difficult sites. Laschever has more than 39 years of experience in the homebuild-

2ND

Wolf Home Products

www.wolfhomeproducts.com This beautiful backyard retreat features a PVC deck with a custom glass gazebo and aluminum railing. The deck features two colors­â€”a light weathered tone bordered in a darker grayish brown color. The deck offers a dining area and separate lounge area, with easy access to the adjoining gazebo. This is the perfect poolside space with plenty of room for entertaining!

ing industry, as a carpenter, project manager, new home builder, home improvement contractor, and remodeler and restorer of historic homes. Photos of the project are by Nat Rea.

3RD

AZEK Building Products

www.azek.com This multi-level composite deck completed in May of 2016 adds a lot of dimension to the outdoor space. Different zones were created to set the mood for dining, relaxing and entertaining. The deck features TimberTech Pecan and Mocha, and Evolutions Rail Contemporary with glass infill.

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Wood Deck Over $50K 1ST

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ www.decksbykiefer.com Designer: Bob Kiefer Completed: May 2017 “This simple mountainside house was transformed into a vacation retreat where you can entertain and enjoy the views of the mountains. “A roof over the second level provides two dry deck spaces below. Four infrared heaters and a wood-burning fireplace extend the deck season into the cold months, while lighting in the rails and wood ceiling create an enjoyable space at night. “The design focuses on the breathtaking views. Feeney stainless steel cable rails create little or no obstruction, and the outdoor kitchen was relocated to the front of the house where it operates in conjunction with the main kitchen. “Rain screen siding and decking is all ipe hardwood. Stainless steel cables and meranti for the top rail. Columns are all wrapped in 1x4 ipe. All framing is #1 treated southern yellow pine ground contact. Large glulams eliminate the need for many columns. The 3x10 roof rafters, 3x6 T&G fir ceiling, and standing seam roof panels to match the house.”

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2ND

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ Designer: Bob Kiefer Multi-functional, multi-level ipe deck with gently-curved cable rails to mimic the stern of a yacht

3RD

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ Designer: Bob Kiefer Simple mountainside home transformed into vacation retreat with ipe decking and siding


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Alternative Deck Over $50K 1ST

Decksouth, Inc.

Marietta, GA info.decksouth.com Designer: John Lea & Mike Reasons Completed: August 2017 Complete outdoor living project consists of: • 3,800 sq. ft. of Trex composite decking. • Complete upper level is watertight with T&G ceiling. Two-level screen porches, with 14-ft. retractable power screen. A 12-ft. Marvin accordion door opens from the house to the upper porch. Open rafters in porch and metal roof pavilion. • Full outdoor kitchen with 46” Bull grill, Big 2ND

DeckRemodelers.com, LLC

Sparta, NJ Designer: Sean McAleer Massive project includes circular fire lounge framed in Zuri with Belgard African ceramic tile decking, which sits atop a custom cedar sauna

Green Egg, drop-in stainless steel farm sink, two Bull refrigerators, 2” bluestone countertops with raised bar area, natural stacked stone face. • Custom 18’x18’ gunite infinity edge heated “spool” (spa pool). • 350 linear ft. of Fortress handrail. • Custom 10-ft. teak table and custom cypress cabinets with washer and dryer. • Golf cart/storage garage with custom cedar barn door below pavilion. • Six Infratech heaters. • 17 helical piers and 49 tons of concrete. • 140 Trex lights on deck handrail and stairs. • Two TVs and 27 Sonos speakers. • Firepit and fire table. 3RD

Classic Designs, Inc.

Littleton, CO Designer: Shawn Miller Expansive deck, outdoor kitchen, pizza oven, built-in outdoor TV, fiberglass pergola, reclaimed barnwood walls, and beetle kill pine for the ceiling

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Wood Deck $25K - $50K 1ST

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ www.decksbykiefer.com Designer: Bob Kiefer Completed: September 2017 “Because this split-level house’s living area was in front, we suggested constructing a front porch in place of a rear deck. 2ND

3RD

Witts Woods & Greens

Dr. Decks

Ontario, Canada Designer: Jon Witt Thermory modified Scots pine deck, CAMO fasteners, and Century aluminum rail

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“The framing is #1 southern yellow pine, treated to ground contact, with a bamboo deck surface. Raised panel PVC-wrapped columns sit atop Craftsman-style stone piers with Feeney stainless steel cable rails to help lend an Arts & Crafts aesthetic to the house. The vaulted ceiling is 1x4 T&G meranti, supported by an arched laminated meranti beam. Cedar shakes are on the gable wall. Inside, a chandelier enhances the dining area, with two paddle fans to keep the mosquitoes at bay.”

Deck Specialist

Tacoma, WA Designer: Jason Russell Ipe deck installed with double butt joint pattern, fastened with black anodized Screw Products, Inc. stainless steel star drive screws

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Alternative Deck $25K - $50K 1ST

Fresh Decks

Saskatoon, Canada www.freshdecks.ca Designer: Shane Chapman Completed: September 2017 “Timbertech Terrain Rustic Elm composite with Clubhouse Ipe PVC accent boards make up the surface, while Century Railings aluminum picket rail frames the project. The ultra-unique ‘curved sunken living room’ perfectly points to the beautiful view and features Century Scenic glass rail to preserve that view. Trex Rain Escape keeps the closed-in, windowed storage shed below dry. “The never-done-before ‘scenic mural’ that we inlayed into the deck is replication of the view of the valley as seen from the deck, complete with the two large evergreen trees that frame the view of the valley. The curved inlay boards soften the large space and mimic the rolling hills of the valley and the waves of the water. The sun portion of the inlay includes a perfect circle at a record-breaking 11” radius. The rays of the sun were meticulously cut in, to cast attention towards the focal point of the mural. And finally, the mural is perfectly picture framed by a box pergola above.”

2ND

Dr. Decks

Tacoma, WA Designer: Jason Russell Inteplast PVC deck with compass rose inlay, frameless infinity glass railing, and automated BBQ

3RD

Amazing Decks

Ambler, PA Designer: William Wilson Trex Transcend decking and railing with Tru-Scapes deck lighting

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Wood Deck Up to $25K 1ST

Paradisaic Building Group, Inc. Ontario, Canada www.paradisaic.ca Designer: Ben Shelley Completed: June 2017

“This quaint subdivision home used to have a small builders deck that only allowed access from the kitchen down to the walkout basement. At the first consult, the homeowners expressed their desires and needs, as well as their limited budget. “To create the best value, we designed the deck using pressure treated lumber, but with some upgrades. This deck also features Trex RainEscape to make a useable dry space underneath, where they use their hot tub and lounge area. We used black aluminum Deckorators balusters to leave the backyard green space view unobstructed. Trex LED lights are used on all the risers and also accent lighting around the dining area. A custom fabricated ShadeFX unit was installed above the dining area to create both a dry space and provide shade in the hot sun. We commissioned custom-made furniture with the exact same marine grade blue fabric to bring this modest deck to life.”

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2ND

Robco Fence & Deck, LLC Raleigh, NC Designer: Jerry Robinson Multi-tiered pressure treated SYP deck with lattice

3RD

Blue Chip Decks Manitoba, Canada Designer: Calvin Cerilli

Two-tier cedar-tone deck with bar, staircase, cedar-tone railing, black aluminum balusters, and LED lighting


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Alternative Deck Up to $25K 1ST

Hodgkiss Construction

Pittsburgh, PA www.hodgkissconstruction.com Designer: Jon Hodgkiss Completed: April 2017 Custom curved Trex Transcend deck with mahogany ceiling, supported by LVL floor joists with PVC-wrapped beams and 12� round columns with completely hidden custom drainage system.

2ND

Infinite Decks

Lakesville, MN Designer: Mark King AZEK Island Oak decking, with AZEK Hazelwood picture frame and inlay

3RD

Infinite Decks

Lakesville, MN Designer: Mark King AZEK Dark Hickory decking, with AZEK Frontier trim board for risers, fascia and custom pergola

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Limitless Creation 1ST

Decksouth, Inc.

Marietta, GA info.decksouth.com Designer: John Lea & Mike Reasons Completed: August 2017

2ND

3RD

Amazing Decks

Ambler, PA Designer: William Wilson This complete backyard remodel, featuring Trex Transcend decking and railing, includes a covered area with a fireplace, heaters and outdoor kitchen. The stairs lead to the lower level, where a custom storage area can be accessed. The patio includes a fire pit area, hot tub, and conversation pit. Entire deck is detailed in stone.

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This three-time winner (also honored as Best Alternative Deck Over $50K and Best Illumination Project) features 3,800 sq. ft. of Trex composite decking, outdoor kitchen, spa/pool, fire pit, audio and visual, and much more.

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Treeline Construction

Anchorage, AK This Trex Transcend Tropics design wraps around the home in a seamless flow with a complementing style to the home. The custom steel and cedar rails were specifically designed to have post-free corners to maximize the amazing view that is one of this home’s largest features. A custom metal gate keeps the moose and bears from trespassing with a sophisticated curb appeal one could not have placed more perfectly on this home.


We have a match for any deck board.

No matter the choice of decking, Simpson Strong-Tie has a painted-head screw to match your material. Our stainless-steel Deck-Drive™ DCU Composite screws, Deck-Drive™ DWP Wood screws and Trim-head PVC screws are available with color-matched painted heads to blend with any decking. We’ve also standardized color names to make our screws easier to stock and sell. To learn more about our color-coordinated selection of corrosion-resistant screws, visit go.strongtie.com/paintedheadss or call (800) 999-5099. DCU

DWP

Trim-Head © 2017

Simpson Strong-Tie Company Inc. SSPAINTHEAD17D


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Closed Porch 1ST

Decksouth, Inc.

Marietta, GA info.decksouth.com Designer: John Lea & Mike Reasons Completed: November 2017 “During the design process we decided to create a screened area with a fireplace and an adjoining area that is uncovered. Slate tile on the inside of the porch creates a finished room feel with a

2ND

3RD

Superior Remodeling Solutions

Blackwood, NJ This 1,200-sq. ft. first floor, framed with steel panning and beams, and 500-sq. ft. second floor, framed in wood and steel, are supported by 31 helical piers. The first floor decking is 1-1/4”x18”x36” travertine pavers. The same stone was used for the stone column caps, chimney pent roofs, stair treads, and risers. The chimney face in the porch is stacked quartz. The second floor balconies are fiberglass, which allows for a waterproof room below. The wood columns, ceilings, beams and drink rail are all Utile Mahogany and processed in-house.

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tongue-and-groove ceiling. On the open porch area, exposed rafters give the space a more rustic look. “On the open deck, the Trex Transcend synthetic decking creates a low maintenance area that will look great for years. Below the deck is an integrated watertight system that allows the new flagstone patio to remain dry. The tongue-and-groove ceiling on the deck ties the entire project together. “Other features: custom low-maintenance handrail, PVC-wrapped columns, and stone fireplace.”

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Holloway Company, Inc.

Dulles, VA Designer: Ted Tidmore With 600 sq. ft. of Trex Transcend decking and rail, the project boasts a pre-fab wood burning fireplace, natural stone veneer finish on house sidewall, buffet kitchen, fireplace, overhead-mounted electric heaters, open rustic ceiling, enlarged pass-through window, and three season WeatherMaster vertical four track vinyl windows.


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Open Porch 1ST

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ www.decksbykiefer.com Designer: Bob Kiefer Completed: September 2017 “A split-level house with the living area in front poses difficulties for configuring a rear deck. The solution on this project was to construct a front porch. “The new deck and roof line enhanced the appearance of the house, as well as expanded the entertainment area. The project had a major impact on this home makeover. “Materials used included bamboo decking, Feeney stainless steel cable rails, stone veneer panels, PVC and meranti.”

2ND

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ Designer: Bob Kiefer Multi-functional, multi-level ipe deck with gently-curved cable

3RD

DeckRemodelers.com, LLC

Sparta, NJ Designer: Sean McAleer Circular fire lounge framed in Zuri with Belgard African ceramic tile decking, which sits atop a custom cedar sauna

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Dock 1ST

Dock & Deck

Knoxville, TN www.dockanddeck.com Designer: Jason Varney Completed: Summer 2017 “The design of this was for a rustic family retreat to store two boats, a storage closet, a large covered living area to entertain friends and family. “One unique feature is the use of reclaimed materials from a barn taken down on the property and reused in this project. “The construction materials consist of treated wood pilings, Douglas fir timbers, treated pine wood decking, two 8,000-lb. aluminum Lifetime Lifts boat lifts, pine T&G wood ceiling, rusted standing seam metal roof, and LED lighting.” 2ND

3RD

Witt’s Woods & Greens

Dock & Deck

Fenelon Falls, Ontario Designer: Jon Witt Built at the base of a 45-ft. cliff, western red cedar dock was built with CAMO hidden fasteners and treated by Cutek Extreme deck oil, with Versatex accent trim and Century aluminum railing

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Knoxville, TN Designer: Jason Varney Boat storage plus dining space, entertainment area with hidden hydraulic hammock, aluminum 12,000-lb. boat lift, and dual personal watercraft ports

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Illumination Project 1ST

Decksouth, Inc.

Marietta, GA info.decksouth.com Designer: John Lea & Mike Reasons Completed: August 2017

“This illumination ties all features in the backyard together. The living project consists of 335 lights. We installed 140 lights within the deck/porch structure

2ND

3RD

Paradisaic Building Group

Ontario, Canada Designer: Ben Shelley Multi-level Trex deck with Trex LED lighting, including 33 riser lights and 19 accent lights

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and 195 landscape lights in the trees, pathways, pool, koi pond, and backyard. This includes a combination of up lights, path lights, and spot lights.�

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Windeck, Ltd.

Manitoba, Canada Designer: Brandon Dueck Wolf PVC deck with 55 flush mount/riser lights to illuminate hot tub area, BBQ zone, and dining space


NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Unique Feature 1ST

Blue Chip Decks

Manitoba, Canada www.bluechipdecks.com Designer: Calvin Cerilli Completed: September 2017

is a gorgeous pool house deck with Trex Havana Gold decking, Vintage Lantern double boarder, and spine with a slick stained cedar privacy screen. The area is illuminated by Trex LED post lights and landscape lighting.”

“A Dundalk cedar barrel sauna with a wood-fired stove is a unique addition to an already perfect deck, and the surrounding cedar aroma is absolutely incredible. “Also featured in the project

2ND

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ Designer: Bob Kiefer Ipe deck supported by stone piers, with a stone pizza oven and outdoor kitchen

3RD

Decks by Kiefer

Martinsville, NJ Designer: Bob Kiefer Ipe timber pergola with built-in flatscreen TV, fireplace, overhead heaters, and mega fan

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NADRA National

Deck

Competition

Awards

2017

Commercial Project 1ST

Holloway Company, Inc. Dulles, VA hollowaycompany.com Designer: Ted Tidmore Completed: September 2016

“Commercial deck application features Trex Transcend decking and fascia boards, Trex Elevations steel joists, Trex Pergolas and railing. “The site was excavated to be flush at ground level for the majority of the deck and features custom leaf graphic using cut and bent Trex Transcend.”

2ND

3RD

Your Deck Co.

FS Landscaping Contractors, Inc.

Ontario, Canada Designer: Todd Mounsey 200-ft.-long rooftop deck, with Trex Gravel Path decking, sections of artificial turf, BBQ area, and lounge spots

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Doylestown, PA Designer: Brian Stover Custom patio and deck combo for country club, featuring fire pit, landscaping and Tru-Scapes LED lighting

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Choose your view

Help homeowners make the best railing choice for their home By Glen Terhune, Fairway Architectural Railing Systems

For those who are passionate about

decking, the choice of railing is often seen as the accessory that can complement the surroundings and bring it to life. There are many things to consider when selecting railing for your outdoor space, such as how and when you will be using it. One other factor that homeowners often overlook is the view they want to achieve while they use their deck. Below are some areas of consideration as you help homeowners choose their view.

the railing can be a mix of materials that allow you to achieve the optimal view in the section where it’s necessary while the remainder of the railing can be constructed from materials that offer more privacy and are more cost effective. For a multidirectional view where you want visual clearance that spans the entire length of the deck, choose materials that provide a panoramic view and allow homeowners to enjoy the landscape even if they are lounging in a chair.

Directional vs. Multidirectional

Metal Railing

Depending on how the deck or balcony is situated, homeowners may only need to achieve a single directional view. In this case,

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Aluminum, steel or iron balusters offer a better view than composite, wood or vinyl, since they typical have a slimmer profile.


Glass (opposite left) and cable rail infill are top options for achieving a superior view, although each has its unique advantages. (All photos courtesy of Fairway Architectural Railing Systems)

Choosing a round baluster with no definitive edge in a dark color allows the metal to fade into the background and become less visible from both the deck and at a distance.

Glass Slats or Acrylic Panels

When it comes to glass or acrylic, homeowners have several options. Full acrylic panels can act as a buffer for wind, but are not recommended for beachfront properties where wind-blown sand can ruin the panels. Tempered glass slats allow for some airflow with less damage to the infill. Full glass panels are typically discouraged since they are hard to maintain and cause accelerated fade issues on decking due to prism effect.

Horizontal Cable Railing

Horizontal cable railing is the optimum choice for achieving a superior view. Cable virtually disappears into the landscape while being both stylish and easier to maintain compared to glass or acrylic. Depending on the climate where the homeowner lives, cable rail should be cleaned two to four times per year to prevent corrosion.

Save on Stairs

It is very unlikely that homeowners will sit on their stairs to enjoy the scenery. You can save them a few dollars on both material and installation by suggesting a stair railing that offers less of a view, but still gets the job done.

Privacy Please

Homeowners who are seeking the opposite of a view can opt for more traditional railing such as vinyl, wood or composite. Homes with pools typically seek additional privacy as well as a higher option such as walls or fencing for added security. Educating homeowners on all their options when it comes to choosing their railing view will make them feel more confident about their purchase and experience greater enjoyment with the finished project. Glen Terhune is Northeast sales manager for Fairway Architectural Solutions (fairwayrailing.com). He has nearly 40 years’ experience in the building industry, including as a professional home builder. Winter 2017

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Life after

Installation Mastering the art of longevity with pressure treated wood By Kari Gaviria, Madison Wood Preservers

Pressure treated wood has been a

staple product in outdoor living for over half a century. Contractors are able to let their creativity shine with brilliant designs all while following current best building practices set forth by industry professionals. Quality starts with buying the right product, but consumers bear the responsibility for protecting their investment long-term. If a homeowner does not follow through with a plan for routine maintenance, money spent on quality workmanship is futile. We see it repeatedly in the world of treated lumber. The initial homeowner expectation is to pay the upfront cost and enjoy—but there is more to it than that. The auto industry does a great job of setting the expectation that cars require routine maintenance- a good detail every once and a while, an oil change, and even new tires comes naturally without hesitation. While recommended upkeep and maintenance is standard procedure for building industry professionals, it is not common knowledge or practice for homeowners. What happens next? A few years of no TLC and they step out one spring morning to find a

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tanked investment. Here at Madison Wood, we are working hard with multiple programs for dealers to help set proper expectations with consumers and send one clear message: Wood is a great low cost alternative for outdoor projects but it requires upkeep during the entire lifespan to preserve its aesthetic and structural value, just like anything else. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite tips from industry professionals that professional deck builders should keep in mind when making recommendations to homeowners on future treated wood projects:

1. Choose the right treated wood for the application (they aren’t all the same). Warranties only protect consumers when the wood is used properly. If the tags on the end of the board say “Above Ground” recommend with caution. “Above Ground” has several rules on what is considered proper application such as being at least 6 inches off of the ground and being clear from debris. We insist that dealers and homeowners do their research. Or, take the safe route and buy all Ground Contact treated lumber.


ing water repellant product for contractors to apply immediately, regardless of moisture content, to help minimize checking and cupping while they wait for their deck to dry. The industry pumps out generic information saying people should wait nine months before putting any type of colored sealant on their treated lumber. Geographically, climates vary vastly in dry times. These instructions were written vaguely in efforts to cover a majority instead of being specific. We recommend the use of a moisture meter to help determine if wood reaches that critical 19% or less moisture content; the point at which it is ready for paint or stain. They will need to test several sections of the deck, especially shady or damp areas in order to get an accurate reading.

2. Wood screws… wood screws… and

more wood screws. The most common species for decking—southern yellow pine—is a natural product. It will swell and shrink as it accepts/releases moisture. Although nails may save money initially on a quote, it isn’t worth the phone call from an upset customer saying their boards have pulled through the fastener and cupped. The same theory applies to hidden fastener systems. Remember, natural characteristics of southern yellow pine, such as checking and cupping, aren’t covered under pressure treated wood warranties.

3. End coat solutions. Experienced deck builders who remember the chromated copper arsenate “CCA” formulation (no longer permitted in residential use) may think this step isn’t necessary, but we disagree. Coating the ends of cut boards gives added protection against pockets of heartwood and areas with decreased penetration. Although not required, there is a huge value in users taking this extra step. 4. Staining at the right time is crucial.

5. Routine maintenance is key. We know this sounds cheesy, but hear us out. People schedule oil changes by knowing how many miles they have left, their deck should not be much different. Cleaning, inspecting and repairing! Homeowners need to understand that treated wood is not a maintenance free product before they buy. If they see debris building up or mold then it is time to clean— that broken step will not fix itself! Setting the expectation early on that pressure treated wood requires continual upkeep is crucial to the overall satisfaction of your customer. The element of education can add an unmeasurable value to any sale. We encourage all dealers and contractors to take the time to find ways to incorporate best practice into daily conversation. After all, as industry professionals, we are the first step in teaching consumers how to protect their investment for the long haul. Kari L. Gaviria is an account manager for Madison Wood Preservers, Madison, VA. Reach her at (540) 948-6801 or kgaviria@madwood.com.

Consider promoting a clear, UV light-protect-

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Rock on Contractors crack the stone deck market For years, decks, elevated patios and balconies have been popular choices for homeowners when designing or remodeling their outside living spaces. However, until recently, decking options have been limited primarily to wood or composite materials. Natural stone, pavers and tile—while aesthetically appealing—were simply too heavy and difficult to install on traditional wood joist framing. However, new installation products and techniques are opening up up the entire range of stone options for elevated surfaces to include the use of natural stone pavers, travertine, pavers, slate, marble, and tile. “With traditional deck materials, it was nearly impossible to use stone on any elevated surface,” explains general contractor Jim Richardson, Richardson Brothers Construction & Demolition, Kendall, N.Y. “I wanted to offer stone decks to my customers, but any underlayment would have trapped moisture. 38

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Plus, the joist system would have to be significantly reinforced to support the weight.” According to Richardson, whose company builds and remodels high-end, custom homes, many of his customers are naturally attracted to stone because it adds substantial value to their homes and increases the aesthetic appeal of the property, while requiring little maintenance. “In my opinion, no composite deck can compare to the beauty of a stone deck,” Richardson adds. “There’s something about the stone that adds style and class and just feels solid.” The weather in the upstate New York area also can dictate the use of elevated surfaces for non-deck areas. Due to freezing and thaws in the region, installing stone directly on the ground can have unexpected consequences. “Even with thorough base preparation, the freezing ground, frequent thaws and ground settling make it very difficult to install stone


on the ground,” Richardson explains. “As the years pass, pavers tend to heave up and down, requiring further upkeep and maintenance.” Instead, by elevating the stone, “there is no more heaving, and the grass doesn’t grow between the pavers,” says Richardson. His solution was Silca Grates, a deck inlay subflooring grid that can be used on new decks, as well as for retrofit applications. Based on the hexagonally structure of beehives and manufactured from engineered polymers into 1-1/2”-thick grids, the system provides a structural surface for natural stone and manufactured pavers. They are fastened to the deck joists 16 inches on center using four 3” deck screws coated for pressure treated lumber. The grates can easily be cut to any length or contour using a circular, table or reciprocating saw. “I was amazed at how easy it was to cut and install to match the shape of any elevated structure,” says Richardson. “I can use it to build anything my customer’s desire using stone, slate, or bricks—including two-story decks, two or three-tier decks, stairs. The possibilities are unlimited.”

New plastic polymer grid helps install stone and pavers up to 3” thick on elevated surfaces. (All photos by Silca Systems)

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TOOL REVIEWS

Correct Cut Miter Workstation www.correctcut.com Retail Price: $1,649.00

Correct Cut Miter Workstation Recently I was in the market for

a new stand for my trusty miter saw. In my search, I happened across the website for the Correct Cut. After watching the various YouTube videos and then exchanging several emails with the company, I was sold on the fact that this was the solution I had been looking for. Several days later, a large box arrived on my front porch. What I found so attractive about the Correct Cut, was that it offered all of the functionality of a folding, wheeled miter saw workstation, with the added benefit of a movable digital stop block. As you move the stop by turning the handwheel on the front of the unit, the

digital display, via rotary encoder, shows the corresponding distance from stop to blade. So you need 22-1/2” blocks, set the stop for 22-1/2” via the LCD display, lock down the stop, and cut as many as you need. Unlike using a manual stop, if after you go to another setup and then realize you still need a few more of the previous sized pieces, it is difficult to dial in the exact same size. Not the case with the Correct Cut; just set the size you need back on the display and you are guaranteed total repeatability. The digital stop allows for 1/32” accuracy. This combined with the ability to measure not just square cuts but all angles including compound angles, makes

Minimal assembly is required. I completed it on the tailgate of my truck.

Digital display and stop offer huge advantages.

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the tool useful in any number of finish or framing applications. The unit is designed so as to allow breakdown and removal of the saw for transport and yet still maintain the preset calibration. After having set up and broken down the unit multiple times, then moving it from job to job, I never once have had to recalibrate it for any cut. After recently using the tool on a challenging finish job, we soon realized the productivity benefits of its digital display and stop. Using the tool made confusing layouts and measurements, relatively simple and consistently accurate, enabling the least experienced member of our crew to make the same cuts as the most experienced. The tool really helped to level the playing field. It should genuinely pay for itself over time, in both increased workforce productivity (ie., speed) and maximum material efficiency, by reducing the cost of expensive and wasteful mis-cuts and unusable material. The unit comes almost completely assembled, and includes a very detailed assembly and operation manual. Unbox the Correct Cut and you first notice the bright orange powder coated, well packaged and packed individual components. The extent of the pre-assembly becomes clear as you unwrap the very few parts. Unlike so many of today’s flat-packaged and shipped purchases that arrive on our doorstep (think IKEA furniture or anything made in Asia), the tool did not require an engineering degree, 200 sq. ft. of work space, and 50 Tupperware bowls to assemble. There are no Pictograms to try and decipher of parts that kinda look similar. Nope. The Correct Cut comes with a real, honest-to-goodness, old school, written manual. This was refreshing to be certain. After thoroughly perusing the manual, the actual assembly time took conservatively an hour. It can (and in my case was) done on the tailgate of a truck, over the course of lunch and two break times. Once complete, the next step is installing the saw of your choice (a double bevel sliding compound miter saw is suggested) on the included saw mounting base plate. Finally, all that’s left to do is calibration. The manual thoroughly covers the steps involved and their execution. But they say a

Tool is a big step up over using a tape measure and circular saw.

picture is worth 1,000 words, so a video must be worth 10,000. I’d suggest the actual calibration is most easily accomplished by watching the helpful YouTube videos available on the manufacturer’s website. The company has gone to great lengths to provide easy-to-understand and well produced instructional video material, that make all aspects of assembly, calibration and maintenance extremely user friendly. The website is also the place to get all your questions answered and the customer service is friendly, knowledgeable, responsive and thorough. I can attest to this after having had multiple interactions on different occasions with them. It was reassuring to know that should I have any sort of issue or concern after the sale, that there was someone there to assist me with resolving it. Maybe I’m showing my age, but to me that sort of service has real value. This is a tool that is designed and built to withstand the rigors of the jobsite and living in the back of a pickup between jobs. Digital accuracy with worksite mobility combined, all from a tool that is 100% made in the USA. All of this serves to make the Correct Cut Miter Saw Workstation a real total tool winner in my book. Marv Johnson is the principal of Deck Envy LLC, Gig Harbor, WA. Send comments and suggestions for tool reviews to emjaybuilding@mac.com Winter 2017

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ON THE HOUSE

Build & protect your reputation Your reputation—it’s your single best asset. It’s what keeps your phone ringing with requests for new business. Anything that questions your reputation or the integrity of your business can be devastating. In days gone by, a complaint to the contractor’s board, licensing agency, or Better Business Bureau were the primary resources consumers had to share a grievance about a contractor. Boy, how times have changed! Today, an angry consumer armed with a smartphone, tablet or computer can maim a contractor’s reputation in a matter of seconds with a negative post to one or more social media sites. Technology can be a great thing. By the same token, negative posts by an angry consumer can be a reckless form of cyber bullying when deployed as a first step, rather than first dialoguing with the contractor. The key word is dialogue. It means you need to be as interested in hearing your client’s concerns as they are in sharing them. Avoiding conflict and shutting down communication are sure ways of propelling the matter into cyberspace, which, as you unfortunately may have already learned, can be almost impossible to undo. Instead of spending tons of energy and resources trying to undo or “bury” an angry social post, consider spending a fraction of the energy communicating with your customer to resolve the matter before things go ballistic. If you can’t solve the problem together, consider bringing in an independent third party who can offer objective analysis and suggest ways to resolve the problem. 42

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Avoid getting into trouble in the first place by employing the following steps: • Planning – spend plenty of time making sure that plans, specifications and contract documents are clear and that everyone is on the same page before you begin a project. • Manage Expectations – under-commit and over-produce. If you promise the moon and the stars, you better be ready to deliver them. • Changes – there are the invariable “while you’re at it” requests for changes. They are to be expected and can be favorable to you and your client when handled professionally. When they request a change, create a shop drawing, if necessary, a cost estimate, and a written change order for their approval. Make them aware of any possible delays to the project. • Communication – communication doesn’t just happen. You need to work at it. Reach out to your customer often for feedback on how things are going and to see if there is anything that you can do to make their experience more manageable. • Quality Control – point out a mistake or problem to your client before he or she notices. Then fix it! That will build their trust in you, and ADD to your glowing and growing reputation… and bottom line! 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

The Process to Profit Part II: Quoting Last issue, I discussed marketing and

how to get leads coming your way. Hopefully some of what you read will help you in the future in your marketing. Remember that each part of your business works with another. They are all tied together, and you have to master each one or hire someone who can. Today we are going to talk about how the lead turns into a quote, but more about how to make your quoting process more efficient. Can you price out a deck in the living room off of a sketch? Can you do that the minute after you measured and discussed the area? If not, you may want to learn how. The first steps were mentioned in my previous articles (material supply consistency, narrowing down offerings, etc.). In the future, we will also talk about paying subs and employees to get your costs fixed. So, if I have a deck that is overall 200 sq. ft. of the products I want to install, and I know my costs going into the house, why not quote it on the spot? After all, I’ve built that combination of materials in different shapes all year. Your competitor is going to go to that same house, have similar discussions, take notes, leave, go home, sit down, do a takeoff,

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send it to the lumberyards to bid, wait to get it back, then try to put it into some form of a quote, go back to see the customer, then vomit that quote all over them. This whole process takes that guy a week at the minimum, if he shows up. When he does, the quote will say, “Blah blah blah deck… $10,000.” You on the other hand will have a template quote in your computer that you will add line item pricing to. Such lines are “Square feet of deck,” “number of steps,” “linear feet of railing,” “number of newels,” “feet of fascia,” feet of single inlay,” “feet of double inlay,” “feet of double curved border,” etc, etc. This breakdown of accessories and parts helps your customer break down where the money is going in the project and rationalize why it costs so much more money than they were expecting. On the simplest of decks, my itemized list was about six lines, then a total. At one time, I quoted all decks with financed pricing as well, so rather than saying the deck is $8,000, I told them $156 a month for 60 months, interest free if paid off in 12 months, or if they preferred to pay by check $8,000. On the other really important stuff like how you are framing the deck, methods of construction,


etc., all of this will be in the quote form already, so you are only filling in the costing. This entire document should be done in Adobe or some other editor that you know how to use, and have a signature pad or touch screen monitor so you can get a signature. The days of hauling a printer around in your car are over. DO NOT print your quote out and hand it to them without telling them the price. Get good at breaking the news. You have to tell them they are going to spend $80,000 with soft arrogance and confidence. I always discussed the scope of work, showed the designs, explained that the final design would be tweaked, and they would approve it before we got started, but once they committed to the project. I also offered a cash price and a credit card price, explaining that there is a bank fee that we are charged. I went through all of that. You can charge more when you quote on the spot! You can charge more than everyone in town because you are the doctor who just showed up and treated the patient in the living room. These people decided to add a deck and are ready to pull the trigger (if they aren’t, wait for the sales article or go back and read about pre-qualifying your customers). Many times, I went to a home, looked at the area, looked at the napkin sketch the customer did, opened my laptop to my 3D design software, drew the basics of what I was thinking, and gave them a quote. Whole

process under two hours. I’d then get them to agree to do it, sign a basic contract, get a deposit, and then go back and do all of the other work (fine-tuning the drawings, doing takeoffs, etc.). Why would you ever do a takeoff on a job you don’t have sold, or ask your lumberyard to do it? Why dump the time into it if you aren’t sure you’re getting compensated for that time? Here’s a thought: Doing it the hard way, a quote likely will take a combined six to eight hours. You can do it in two. Now, grab your calculator and see how the profit from the job you will sell divides into two hours. Now assume you sell 50% of every lead you run in two hours or less. How many more leads can you run? How much money will you make hour now? Now ask yourself if that guy you are quoting against is actually competition. While you are playing with your kids, he’s calling the lumberyard asking where the heck his framing quote is. Quoting process needs to be efficient and fast. If what you are doing is not, re-think your process. David Elenbaum has been in the deck industry since 2000, serving in retail, distribution, manufacturing and, of course, contracting.

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THE RAIL POST

Show you’re best for the job Home improvement contracting has come a long way! Where a man’s reputation and craftsmanship used to almost be all that was needed, now our clients are much more educated, much more skeptical, and require a greater professionalism and technical competency from their contractor in order to even be considered “in the running.” Last time we focused in greater detail on gathering the raw intel—the building blocks of understanding our prospect as correctly as possible, so that we could minimize unintended offences and maximize our ability to speak in a way they can grasp, and that will win their trust (and ultimately the project). Understanding their life priorities, personal preferences, and how they evaluate others is critical to making sure we know how we will be judged, and what we need to bring to the table to have a successful client relationship. Keep in mind that even if you read the prospective client correctly and present the perfect solution, it’s entirely possible outside influences will taint your client’s basis for evaluation after they’ve signed that contract! It could be fueled by buyer’s remorse or an overbearing yet well-intended parent, but we need to be prepared to address questions after the initial “contractor courtship.” Whenever possible look to plant additional seeds of support you can rely on later, if needed. Yes, this means even more time and effort, but if it keeps a client from canceling a contract—or worse, becoming the dreaded client you’re stuck with—it will be time well invested. There are two main items on a prospect’s mind initially: what are the basic project details that will meet their assumed needs, 46

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and who is the right contractor that can deliver on those items in a timely and affordable manner? A slower walk through at the initial meeting(s) should allow a seasoned contractor to flesh out exactly what the client is expecting, and what they’re comfortable paying. Pay attention and you should also be able to glean sufficient intel to understand how to communicate with your clients in a manner they feel comfortable with. A proposal can be presented via email, over the phone, in person at a client’s home/work, or at your own office/showroom. Generally, we’ve found our greatest successes come from in-person meetings. But every prospect is different; we’ve won projects with clients who were so offended by “the other guy” trying to force both decision-makers to sit for their threehour, in-home presentation, that our creative, flexible approach to selling won them over. That evaluation effort up front comes in handy here. Should this proposal include exhaustive specifications, or a simple single page of bullet points? Is it best to sit down with them and talk everything through line by line,


or better to email it over and follow-up via text? Are they visual and need lots of images and examples, or prefer technical text? Again, if you have flexibility built into your process on how you will deliver the proposal, you can manipulate the required information into a process that best matches how your prospective clients prefer to make decisions. There are things you HAVE to cover, but HOW you cover them can often be adjusted to best fit with your client’s personality and preferences. Once you’ve formatted the information into the style that should best be understood by your prospective clients, and you’ve determined how to present it in a way they can best understand, it’s time to play “what if” and look for other bits of information that you’ll need to have at hand to either seal the deal, protect your relationship, or bolster your credibility. I’ve found that every client conversation is just a little different, but whenever I can, I look to seed the conversation early on with questions about how they like to make buying decisions, and how they plan to compare contractors and the contractors’ qualifications. This lets me know if they have any “hot buttons,” and if they are oblivious, in which case I’ll interject additional education into our relationship designed to help them understand what to look for in a contractor relationship. Civic and professional associations (such as our local BBB, HBA, Chamber of Commerce, or the North American Deck & Railing Association) as well as manufacturer or industry training certifications (NADRA and NAHB both have excellent classes and industry-specific certifications, and most major decking and railing manufacturers have itemspecific training available) can be critical to explain why they are important early on in the conversation. Early on the stakes are lower, so later in the presentation you can circle back and remind prospects why you’re a member of NADRA and why you hold that “gold” level with their preferred decking manufacturer. If you present yourself as a trained professional, industry-specific training and certifications are critical in differentiating yourselves from those general contractors and handymen who often miss the nuances of our evolving industry.

At the point of proposal, we are beyond simply building trust. At this point it’s about removing imagined concerns and roadblocks that could keep them on the fence “reviewing options” indefinitely, and get them to sign the contract in good conscience—and stay confident in their decision! I mentioned the nay-sayers, and the risk of outside influencers tainting the relationship after a contract. That’s one more area where it can help having visual representation of those organizations on the proposal along with supporting documentation. Or list your manufacturer’s logo and status on a welcome email. Better yet, forward them an email from the manufacturer congratulating them on their purchase. Having a professional proposal, with all of those logos at the bottom that you can physically hand off and say, “Here, look at all these awards and certifications” is sometime all that’s needed for your clients to defend your professionalism. In the process, they will not only reinforce their own confidence in your abilities, but they just might win over another prospective client for you to meet with. Winter is the perfect time to sit down over a cut of freshly-roasted coffee and your three most recent completed project proposals, and give them an honest critique on a Saturday morning. Think back over those interactions— what stood out? Was there a time when they seemed hesitant, or that you might have bumbled an answer? Could you have sent an additional follow-up email (maybe you still can!) or something else to remind them of your unique skills and why you’re worth referring their friends to? Think again about the unique differences between these past clients, and how you might have been able to massage what you presented them to fit with their style, now that you have the benefit of a completed project and that interaction. Hindsight may be 20/20, but it only works if you use it! Matt Breyer is president of several companies, including a family-owned residential remodeling business that specializes in designing & building outdoor living spaces. Winter 2017

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STACKING THE DECK

Maximize your man-hours with pre-built panels As the construction labor shortage intensifies and the unemployment rate continues to be less than the rate of those that are employable, all builders are looking for efficiencies on the job site. If you currently use a component railing system, you may want to consider how panelized system could increase your bottom line. In recent years the influx of pre-built or panelized

rail systems has given deck specialists another option to build more efficiently. If you only complete five decks a year the savings using these systems may not be significant, but when building 50 or more decks, the extra profit and man-hours really start to add up. Not only do panelized systems install faster, they require less skill, especially on stairs. With four quick

clamps, a mid-level carpenter can easily center and place a stair panel correctly, marking the cuts directly off of the actual posts it will be mounted to. This greatly reduces the chance for errors—no need to transfer measurements and angles multiple times to pieces of a component system. We all know how one misscut can halt completion for a re-order, which in today’s marketplace is likely not going to be quick or cheap. Using the same crew and deck layout, we decided to put our theory to the test

AT LEFT: Ease of shipping, variety of options, and matching brands makes component rail systems a popular choice. (Photo courtesy of Trex) RIGHT OPPOSITE: Pro Deck Supply’s UltraLox Interlocking panels were delivered cut to exact length on a multi-family deck project. As Dave Kasper, Jigsaw Builders, noted, “The labor my crew saved by not assembling and cutting panels on site took days off this install.”

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and find out how much time we saved with a panelized system. Cutting to length is similar with both systems so we focused on the posts and infill for our comparison. With welded or interlocking panels, we can install the entire run as one unit by connecting posts to panels before mounting to the deck. Once the entire run is put together we simply slide into place and screw down. This is much more efficient than setting and plumbing two posts and then assembling the panel in between. What we found is that on average it takes about 15 minutes to build and install a section of component aluminum railing compared to five minutes with a pre-built aluminum panel. On stair installations the time savings was even greater, 25 minutes less per section. While those savings may not sound that substantial, when scale is applied, they compound quickly. A typical deck with eight rail sections and six stair sections could save four man-hours. Doing that 50 times in a season will mean substantial direct labor savings and may allow one more deck, increasing your revenue as well.

Of course, there are many benefits with component systems. Some are more cost effective and easier to ship and handle without damage. Many decking brands offer matching colors, profiles, and options that panel suppliers could never match. Plus, we all know that sometimes it just comes down to what the client has their heart set on. Although we manufacture aluminum railing panels with our UltraLox Interlocking machine at our lumberyard, we also sell and install hundreds of decks every year with composite and aluminum component railing systems. However, when the client asks, “What would you suggest?� we typically default to what puts the most profit in our pocket and gets us on to the next job sooner. Pat Noonan is the owner of Deck & Basement Co. and Pro Deck Supply, Minneapolis, MN. He is a proud NADRA member with over 25 years of residential construction experience.


SET THE STANDARD

Drones deliver for builders Wow! That was my first reaction when I opened the NADRA gallery of project pictures submitted by companies all across North America for the annual deck photo contest. I sat in front of my computer with my jaw wide open in complete awe of the crafsmanship and creativity on display. Every company that submitted a photo should be congratulated for their high level of design, quality work and the presentation of their efforts. They are most assuredly the standard bearers of their communities and should all be recognized for their talents. Studying those photos is a great way to get ideas for future projects of our own, afterall, they are some of the best decks built in the U.S. and Canada in 2017. There was a deck with a full landscape scene that had a moose laid into the decking pattern. Unbelievable. That was very impressive and deservedly won an award. There were a resounding number of curved decks with decking or borders that were obviously heat formed and molded to the deck design. There were decks with curved steps. Most of the composite/PVC style decks featured contrasting accent color borders and inlays 50

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Camera-equipped drones have never been more affordable or advanced. (Photo of Chroma-HD Camera Drone by Blade-D)

that really made the projects “pop” and draw your eye to all the custom details that these craftsmen and women put on display. I take my hat off to each and every one of them. It was actually a bit humbling. It also immediately inspired some new goals. As I sat and took notes of the different design aspects, two recurring themes stuck out: the presentation of the photos and the perspective from which the photos were taken. Not only were these some of the most amazing looking decks I’ve ever seen, but I was surprised by how many appeared to be shown from an aerial view. As we

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all know, it’s not a difficult task when building low elevation projects—we climb up our trusty ladders and start snapping away. But when the deck is off an upper level, that becomes a more difficult feat. We find ourselves hanging out windows, climbing up on roofs, up in trees, and a myriad of other less-than-safe options just to get that money shot. After all, we want to put our best foot forward and have our prospective clients feel that same drop-jaw “WOW” when they look at our work. It was obvious that a good many of these photos were taken with a drone/quad copter and a high quality camera.


In talking to members at the NADRA awards banquet, I found that contractors have been investing in new and better drones. As they have become more prevelent in society, prices for a high quality product have come down substantially. Today’s drones have numerous safety features built into them–they take off and land themselves, have crash detection so you don’t hit the house or trees, and feature outstanding cameras. They operate like a video game and you can watch them in real time on your smart phone or tablet. (Note: you may need to insure your drone and register it with the FAA, so please check your local rules and with your insurance company.) Another great feature is they can be flown not only during the daylight hours, but also at night and during that highly-sought-after “blue light” period after dusk. If you’ve incorporated lighting into your project (another easy feature EATIVE BORDERS that will set you apart from your competitors), dusk is a perfect time for the pics. At dusk you can still get the color of the deck, the lights look fantastic without just looking like dots, and the photos still have a clean, grain-free finish. The drone will allow you to zip around and get photos from every possible angle, close up on

specific details or at a distance for a shot of the full project. Use your imagination, be creative, experiment. With the amount of effort put into crafting that dream deck, allow yourself the opportunity to show it off the best way possible. Again, the resounding theme from the photo contest was the presentation. Every project was staged to perfection. As Deck Specialists, we go to great lengths to set ourselves apart from the competition. We create out-of-the-ordinary designs, curves, railings, board patterns, lighting and even landscaping in our projects to “Set the Standard in Excellence.” We owe it to ourselves, our crews, and our futures to make the same great effort to have our clients say, “I’ve got to have that deck on my house.” I for one will be asking Santa to put a nice new drone under the tree this Christmas. Happy Holidays to everyone. 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.

The “money shot” is now easier than ever thanks to drone photography.

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HOW TO

Tips for building deck stairs, one step at a time Stairs. Let’s just get right to it.

Building stairs on a deck can be a challenge. Moving from a standard single-level deck to a multi-level deck with stairs is like adding the Z-axis in linear algebra. Along with length and width, you now have a whole new dimension of height to consider. With that, there are several factors such as standards, calculations, materials and safety that play a role in your deck stairs. Below are some tips to give you peace of mind when building them.

Rise to the Occasion

The first step (literally) to building stairs is to determine the rise and run measurements of your staircase, and confirm the number of stairs needed. This seems simple enough, but it can get complex. So, hang on. The rise is the

vertical step measurement, and the run is the horizontal (parallel to the ground) measurement when looking at the side of the staircase. Using a level, measure the vertical height from the bottom to the top of your planned stair case. Consider a maximum rise for deck stairs is 7-3/4”. Take your height (or total rise) measurement, divide by 7.75 and then round up to determine the number of stairs you will need in your staircase. For example, if your total rise measurement is 50-1/2”, you will require seven stairs because 50.5 divided by 7.75 is 6.52, which gives you 7 when rounded up. A quick and dirty rule of thumb would be to divide your total staircase height by 7 to find the number of stairs needed. Because of rounding, you now need to determine the rise of each individual stair, and you want them all to be equal. To do this, simply divide your total rise by the rounded number of stairs needed. Using the previous example, 50-1/2” divided by 7 stairs gives you a height— or rise—of approximately 7-3/16” per individual stair.

Run, Forrest, Run

Believe it or not, you’ve now calculated your total staircase height, the number of stairs needed, and the height for each individual stair. Take a deep breath because that’s just the “Z-dimension.” Now we need to determine “X and Y.” Let’s start with the run (X). The standard run for an individual step is 10-1/2”. Using the 7 stairs from our example above, you should figure on one more rise than run, or in this case, 7 rises, and 6 runs with the top “seventh” run being the actual surface of the deck.

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A 10-1/2” run times 6 runs gives you a total run of 63”. Not only do you now have a rise and a run for each stair, you know the number of stairs needed—and now the number of step treads needed. Your treads are likely to match your decking. You have the option of using two deck boards as treads, or you may choose a full step tread. They are available in both wood and composite, and often have dimensions of 12” deep, 4’ wide, and 1.5” thick.

Stay Width It

You know the rise (Z) and the run (X), so let’s find the width (Y). Most stairs are about 4’ wide. As noted earlier, most step treads are offered in a 4’ width, however, you can customize that length if you choose to go with deck boards. Whatever the width of your staircase, it’s important to have the proper support underneath. The most common method for supporting stairs is to use pressure-treated wood stair stringers. Whether you purchase pre-cut stringers, or cut your own from a 2x12, it’s highly recommended that you use stringers treated to Ground Contact standards. Not only do you need the right material for stringers, you also need to have the appropriate number of stringers spaced appropriately under your stairs. A safe bet would be a stringer every 8 to 9” on center. At 9” on center, the stringers would be evenly spaced under a common 48” wide stair case resulting in 7-1/2” between each stringer, 45” from outside stringer to outside stringer, and step treads that overhang 1-1/2” on either side of the staircase. With the volume of traffic on stairs, placing stringers 9” on center or less will help ensure the safety and integrity of your stairs. Another safety consideration is the way your stairs attach to your deck, as well as how they rest at the lower level. Attaching your stringers with the proper stringer hangers is essential. And if your stairs will lead to the ground, it’s highly recommended to have the bottom of the stringers rest on a concrete landing.

From a Different Angle

With a common stair rise being 7 to 7-1/2”, and standard stair run being 10-1/2” to 11”, a common range for your stair angle is about 34

to 36 degrees. Your sweet spot is 35 degrees, and the only way to manipulate your stairs to achieve this angle would be with the length of the run or the placement of your step treads. In our example, if you place two deck boards as your treads on a stair with a 7-3/16” rise and a 10-1/2” run you achieve an angle of 34.39 degrees. This works well. However, if your rise is larger and leads to a larger angle, you may want to consider extending the run slightly with the placement of your treads to achieve the optimal angle. Why is this angle so important? Because you want your stair railing to run at a parallel angle to the stairs. Your railing installation and post placement will depend on your material choice. Typically, your wood railing posts will install on the outside of the staircase, while composite railings typically install on the inside of the staircase. Plan accordingly based on your material choice, but also consider the fact that stair posts are often taller than in-line railing posts due to the angle discussed above.You will also want to check local building codes to confirm the required height of your railing which is typically 36” or 42”.

Safety First

There you have it. Stairs can be a challenging element of a deck build, but taking the time to calculate X, Y and Z, the optimal stair angle, and selecting the proper materials for your project will ensure your deck stairs are beautiful and safe for years to come. Speaking of safety, once your stairs are complete, there are several considerations that can add safety to your deck stairs. A gate at the top can protect children, lights on your railing or recessed lights in the stairs provide visibility at night, and a secondary ADA-compliant graspable hand rail is a simple, stylish way to provide additional support for friends and loved ones using your stairs. Jase DeBoer is category marketing manager for Deckorators (deckorators.com), a Universal Forest Products brand and leader in composite decking, railings, balusters, post caps, and other products. Winter 2017

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Predict-Ability

How partnering scorecards can dictate an outdoor living project’s success By Sue Dyer

How would you like

to be able to predict the level of success (or failure) of your projects? Well, it seems that it is closer than you might think. Studies show that by using a monthly Partnering Scorecard, you can in fact have a great handle on what is actually happening on your project— and the scores turn out to be a great predictor of what is going to happen! As a result, you and your team have time to make course corrections before they become inevitable. Scores that the team provides accurately and truly depict what is going on within the project. A recent study on the efficacy of partnership when constructing the Woodrow Wilson Bridge found that what the team members scored and said on the partnering scorecard was in fact what was going on (strong correlation) at that given time on the project. So, the collective wisdom of the team came forth in a clear snap-shot of the project’s status. In the International

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Partnering Institute’s Study of 13 different projects that used a monthly partnering scorecard over a two-year period, 12 of the 13 projects’ scores improved over the life of the project. Overall, project scores improved by as much as 1.13 points (28%) over the life of the project. The average

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improvement was ½ a point (+0.54 = 14%). Predict-Ability does take commitment. You must use the construction scorecard as a tool. Just like every tool, the better you are at using it, the better your results. Here are some tips for getting the most from your scorecard:


Tip #1: Make the Partnering Scorecard a Requirement

• The scorecard must be a requirement and the team must feel that it is valued and valuable for them to take the time to share their scores and comments. It is the leader who can and must make this happen. If you take the scorecard seriously, so too will your team members. If you ignore it and don’t use it, they will do the same. • Putting the requirement into your project documents will help ensure everyone knows you are serious. • Having senior management remind everyone that you want 100% participation in this month’s scorecard—and convey that it is an important part of your project’s success— will get people to complete the scorecard. • Monitoring and acknowledging those who are completing the scorecard will reinforce its value. Monitoring who is not completing the scorecard will help ensure they will complete it next time.

Tip #2: Create an Atmosphere of Trust

• Your partnering effort is designed to develop a culture of trust and collaboration. This fosters the open, honest atmosphere that will allow your scorecard to reflect the good, the bad and the ugly that occurs on your project. The truth will set you free—free to work on what is needed to succeed. • Trust happens when you grow certainty that you will be fair and resolve issues before they grow into problems or disputes. To have the most meaningful partnering and scorecard program takes commitment. Your actions show your commitment. • Trust can be built over time, but it is highly predictable that your expectations define your relationships. So, check yourself to make sure you are not defensive, protective or hostile toward your teammates. You will define the atmosphere, and it will heavily influence your results.

Tip #3: Understand the Tool

• The scorecard is a snapshot in time of what is occurring on your project and allows you to measure your teamwork effectiveness and the ability to achieve your project’s goals.

• Orienting your team members on the partnering scorecard and its importance can go a long way to overcoming barriers to its use.

Tip #4: Evaluate Your Results

• Your scorecard will be emailed to everyone on your project team each month—but you have to evaluate what the scores mean. This can easily be done during a regular weekly project meeting. • Look at any scores where you have a “1” or “2” as these indicate negative momentum. These are where the team is feeling frustrated or issues are emerging. Focusing on these areas will help a great deal. • Look at your scores in the “3’s.” These are OK, and with a little focus might be able to achieve a “4” or better. This will grow your positive momentum dramatically!

Tip #5: Make the Course Corrections

• Resolving issues where the team is stuck or they are creating frustration is your top priority and needs to happen before the next scorecard if possible. You can use your partnering session for this and get the help of your professional neutral partnering facilitator. • Elevating issues up your dispute ladder is needed and should not be put off because you want to hold on to the decision. Get a decision and move on. • Set deadlines and keep them. This will create trust and grow your predictability. It is not the issues that predict your success or failure; it is how the team deals with the issues. Correct your course so the team stays together and gains positive momentum! Think about using a Partnering Scorecard to allow you to predict how you and your project team will be spending your time. Will it be celebrating the building of great things? Or, fighting over project disputes because things didn’t turn out as hoped?

Sue Dyer is president of OrgMetrics LLC, the author of Partner Your Project, and a recognized thought leader on collaboration in construction (www.orgmet.com).

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NEW PRODUCTS

Deckorators’ new Brushed Titanium deck railing is actually made of heavy-gauge aluminum, but features an anodized finish that looks like stainless steel, while resisting scratches and corrosion. Perfect for those who want railing that’s both durable and attractive, it is available in two profiles: rectangle top rail with Deckorators Estate balusters and round top rail with Classic balusters. It comes in 36” and 42” heights and 6’ and 8’ pre-assembled sections for easy installation. [www.deckorators.com]

Fairway Architectural Railing Solutions has added new features to several products including its LED lighting technology, enhancing the efficiency in illuminating a deck. New features include a weathertight, sealed boot; epoxy-sealed connector boxes; dimmable lights; and new riser and sconce lights. For convenience, a Bluetooth connection is also available. [www.fairwayrailing.com]

For the deck builder who’s after a sleek look, MoistureShield Vision oneof-a-kind composite deck and trim boards are manufactured to create a wholly unique variegated appearance– unlike any other decking available. Designed with the company’s CoolDeck technology, the scratchresistant line optimizes heat reflection so the boards absorb up to 35% less heat than conventional capped composites in similar colors. [www.moistureshield.com]

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Simpson Strong-Tie’s Deck Planner Software helps contractors and homeowners design safe, strong and stylish decks with just a few mouse clicks. The free, cloud-based software improves the overall deck-building experience by highlighting critical deck connections, and enabling users to select Strong-Tie connectors, along with products from leading deck board manufacturers, including Trex and Fiberon. [www.strongtie.com/deckplanner]

Digest 12-17 Layout.qxp_D SigNov03-1-8,41-48 11/16/17 4:05 PM Page 55

It’s here. Green Bay Decking’s new Optima Decking reportedly boasts the lowest moisture absorption of any composite or PVC decking. Available in three robust colors, Optima offers a realistic depth of grain in a beautiful wood-look finish, with a slip-resistant surface. [www.greenbaydecking.com]

Completely redesigned. Continuously updated. Conveniently mobile.

Durable merbau decking from Australia is now offered in the U.S. by Woodstock Timbers. It’s proven to be durable and long-lasting, and is termite, rot, and fire resistant.

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

[www.woodstocktimbers.com] Winter 2017

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Estwing’s line of premium work gloves is made to provide comfort, durability and protection for the everyday deck builder. Synthetic Leather Palm, Top Grain Goatskin and Premium Split Cowhide Palm make up the Tough, Tougher, and Toughest series, which include four-way stretch back of hand, improving comfort and fit for those long hours. An adjustable neoprene wrist provides added support for extended work periods and helps keep out dirt and debris. [www.estwing.com]

Kichler’s LED outdoor path and spread lighting is designed to illuminate stone pathways and lawn walkways, perfect for leading up to a deck or patio. The lights also add a hint of intrigue to boulders and plant beds. Their sealed and integrated, moisture-proof design makes the fixtures durable and directs light in a smooth, even 10 to 12-ft. spread with little glare or drastic cutoff. Classic designs are available in a wide variety of finish options. [www.kichler.com]

RS8Si outdoor rock speakers by Niles Audio are perfect if you want outdoor speakers that blend in with your landscape. The exterior sandstone gives the speakers a very solid and rock-like appearance that fits well with any deck. Coated with no-fade protective paint, the speakers have an extra layer of protection. They’re also available for outdoor enjoyment in all weather conditions. [www.nilesaudio.com]

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Feeney’s new CableRail stair assembly is designed to streamline installation of CableRail on stair railings. The pre-packaged kit of materials and fittings is specially designed for wood posts and includes 20 ft. of 1/8-inch diameter stainless steel cable with a Threaded Terminal Fitting attached to one end, a Quick-Connect Pivot Fitting for the other end, and necessary nuts and washers. The natural wood look adds trendy appeal. [www.feeneyinc.com]

Starborn Industries’ new Smart-Bit Pre-drilling and Countersinking Tool features a pre-set countersink and a free-spinning stop collar to protect the work surface. The replaceable Powerbolic fluted drill bits cut through decking more than twice as fast as standard wood bits. The bits are designed for use with hardwoods and matching Headcote and Deckfast Stainless Screws. [www.starbornindustries.com]

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ADVERTISERS INDEX

Maintenance-free composite decking was chosen to replace deteriorating wood boardwalks at Florida zoo.

Zoo Updates Boardwalk with Infuse

The 50-acre Gulf Breeze Zoo near Pensacola, FL., recently replaced its treated wood boardwalks with 1,500 sq. ft. of MoistureShield Infuse composite decking. The old walkways had endured 18 years of harsh weather, including two hurricanes. “The owners were looking for decking that would stand-up to our demanding Gulf Coast climate and look great for years,” said Dennis Meredith, Meredith & Sons Lumber. “Plus, composite decking is splinter free, which is important for children who go barefoot.” In addition to zoo visitors, the caracal kittens and baby giraffes also are enjoying walking on the safe, attractive surfaces.

Atlantis Rail Systems [www.atlantisrail.com]

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

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CAMO Fastening System [www.camofasteners.com]

29

Deckorators [www.deckorators.com]

9

DeckWise [www.deckwise.com]

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Digger Specialties [www.westburyrailing.com]

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Feeney [www.feeneyinc.com]

3

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

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Great Southern Wood Preserving [www.yellawood.com] Cover II Green Bay Decking [www.greenbaydecking.com]

5

Key-Link Fencing & Railing [www.lovemyrail.com]

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Koppers Performance Chemicals [kopperspc.com]

14

MoistureShield [www.moistureshield.com]

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National Nail Corp. [www.camofasteners.com]

29

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

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Simpson Strong-Tie [www.strongtie.com]

25

Superior Plastic Products [www.lovemyrail.com]

43

Trex [www.trex.com]

7

UltraLox [www.ultralox.com]

Cover III

Viance [www.treatedwood.com]

Cover IV

Volt Lighting [www.voltlighting.com]

11

Westbury Railing [www.westburyrailing.com]

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Wild Hog Railing [www.wildhograiling.com]

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COMING NEXT ISSUE in the Spring 2018 issue of Deck Specialist

Repairs & Replacement Going Green IBS Wrap-Up 60

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DATE PLANNER International Builders’ Show

When: January 9-11 Where: Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. What: Organized by the National Association of Home Builders, IBS is the largest light construction show in the world, bringing together over 1,400 exhibitors across 550,000 sq. ft. of show floor space. More than 60,000 industry professionals are expected to attend, from outdoor living, as well as other building materials, electrical, lighting, security, and more. More info: buildersshow.com

iLandscape Show 2018: The Illinois & Wisconsin Landscape Show

When: January 31-February 2 Where: Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center, Schaumburg, IL. What: The Midwest’s biggest show geared towards the landscape industry, the annual event is organized by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association and will showcase a wide range of products, including plants, decking, fencing, outdoor kitchens, and tools. Over 5,000 visitors and 390 exhibitors will fill the 100,000-sq. ft. venue. More info: ilandscapeshow.com

FenceTech 2018

When: February 6-9 Where: Phoenix, AZ. What: American Fence Association’s annual show will feature top-notch education, technology, networking opportunities, and exhibitors. More info: americanfenceassociation.com

The OKC Home & Outdoor Living Show

When: March 23-25 Where: Oklahoma State Fair Park, Oklahoma City, OK. What: Everything for home and yard improvement. More info: homeshowokc.com

Portland House & Outdoor Living Show

When: April 6-8 Where: Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR. What: See the latest innovations and design trends. More info: homecentershow.com

Mid-Atlantic Home & Outdoor Living Show

When: April 14-15 Where: Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, VA. What: For 33 years the Mid-Atlantic Home & Outdoor Living Show has paved the way in bringing homeowners and building professionals the latest in style, technology and decor to refresh and renew homes and gardens. More info: midatlantichomeshow.com Winter 2017

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IDEA BOOK

pool side The stately two-story brick house sat on an executive acre lot in a small village near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with a 12-year-old pressure treated wood deck overlooking a sharply sloping yard. The deck wasn’t falling apart, but the family wanted something more functional, that would better incorporate into a full overhaul of their yard. “After a two-hour first meeting with lots of questions and dialogue, we had a good idea for their new outdoor living space,” shared Tom Jacques, president of Hickory Dickory Decks. “We knew they wanted to use their existing substructure for part of the deck, use low maintenance decking, and create an open feel with four separate areas: one for the BBQ, a spa which they were looking to buy, a dining table with some shade, and an outdoor lounging area. “The most difficult part of the design was to incorporate the pool, which was already enclosed by a fence and trees. After a few 3D designs, speaking to our local building department, a fencing company, and getting input from our carpenters while on site, we came up with a design that incorporated everything the (owners) were hoping for.”

TOP: Original deck built of 2x6 pressure treated wood was still solid, but didn’t fit into the owner’s new plans. ABOVE MIDDLE:The entire outdoor living space was transformed, creating an open, inviting feel. BOTTOM LEFT: The new deck integrated with all the new additions. (Photos by Hickory Dickory Decks)

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

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Deck Specialist

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Winter 2017



DECK

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

Change Service Requested


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