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RIDGID’s new 18V Speaker with Bluetooth Technology works with all RIDGID 18-volt batteries, tools and chargers, offering total connectivity.

The premium 2-7/8” speaker and passive radiators deliver clear highs and a deep bass for six times clearer audio than the previous model. The speaker maximizes versatility by featuring a 2-amp USB charging port, handle and integrated nail hook for mounting capability.

It can be easily paired with any Bluetooth-capable device up to 200 ft. away. When paired with a 2.0Ah lithium-Ion battery, the speaker can run for up to 25 hours, lasting all day on the jobsite.

For more information, visit RIDGID.com.

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley named Annie Kao, Simpson Strong-Tie VP of engineering, to its board of directors for the term of July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2024. As a board member, Kao will contribute her expertise to advocate for the building of safe and sustainable housing.

Kao is a California state-licensed professional engineer and received her MS in structural engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and her BS in engineering from Harvey Mudd College. She joined Simpson Strong-Tie in 2006 as a branch engineer at the company’s Riverside, CA., location and was promoted to VP of engineering in 2019.

In addition to her work at Simpson Strong-Tie, Kao is active in her professional and local communities. She is a former director for the Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC), a founding member of the SEAOSC Women in Structural Engineering Committee, and has served on the Board of Trustees for Harvey Mudd College. In 2019, Kao received the Barc Simpson Community Hero Award, which recognizes outstanding volunteer contributions by Simpson Strong-Tie employees in their communities.

“Habitat is so fortunate to welcome Ms. Kao to our Board of Directors,” said Janice Jensen, president & CEO of Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley. “Her belief in affordable homeownership, commitment to equity, and passion for community engagement are all vital to our governance – and a wonderful way to augment our long, rich partnership with Simpson Strong-Tie.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to work alongside professional and dedicated board members who are committed to Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live,” said Kao. “Habitat’s work aligns perfectly with the Simpson Strong-Tie principle of giving back, and our mission of helping provide safe, strong and resilient housing.”

FastenMaster has recently teamed with Colorado-based deck builder O’Keefe Built Inc. and BuildStrong Academy of Colorado to host a day-long, 10-step deck building training session for individuals interested in learning about the industry.

The event was held at the BuildStong Academy in Denver and attracted people looking for new opportunities in the trades who wanted to learn about the tools, materials, and best practices for safely building a 10 ft. x 12 ft. deck.

The training was divided into 10 sections including ledger attachment, joist layout, stairs, and more. In addition, a special focus was placed on safety, building code and the finishing touches that separate a regular deck from a well-crafted deck.

“We were very pleased to be part of this program,” said David Ellis, director of sales for FastenMaster. “There is a critical need for tradespeople in all areas of construction, and providing the day-long, hands-on experience opportunity to these students is a great way to both showcase the deck building industry and meet with some great people who may enter our industry.”

MoistureShield, an Oldcastle APG brand, announced its agreement with BlueLinx, a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of residential and commercial building products, to expand its position in Texas. BlueLinx branch locations in Dallas and Houston will offer the full line of MoistureShield composite decking products, adding San Antonio in early 2023.

“We are thrilled about this new relationship that aligns with our dedication to expanding in the outdoor living market,” said Mike Wilson, senior VP of BlueLinx. “MoistureShield’s unique solutions are well suited to the Texas climate, with its high heat, direct sun and storm surges that require durable, technology-driven composite deck products.”

“Ideal for Texas weather, MoistureShield is engineered to deliver complete and lasting protection year-round,” added Matthew Bruce, VP of sales, MoistureShield. “We are excited to work in tandem with BlueLinx to continue growing our businesses in this flourishing region as we continue to see strong demand for decking.”

All MoistureShield decking products feature the Solid Core Difference for advanced strength and moisture resistance, and can be installed directly on the ground, in the ground, or under water. The Vision and Meridian product lines feature the option of CoolDeck Technology, which minimizes heat absorption by up to 35% compared to traditional capped composite decking in similar colors. MoistureShield composite decking products are also manufactured from 95% recycled content.

MoistureShield decking is proven in the field for over 30 years with zero structural failures and is backed by a 50-year transferrable structural warranty for all decking series. Learn more at www.MoistureShield.com.

KYOCERA SENCO Industrial Tools has introduced two new, powerful metal connector nailers that fire 2½” nails commonly required in hurricane and seismic zones.

The JN91P1 and JN91P2 pneumatic metal connector nailers are used for fastening pre-punched metal structural connectors like joist hangers or seismic/hurricane straps. They reportedly deliver 10%more power than competing nailers and previous-generation tools. The increased power allows consistent, complete sinking of nails in ultra-dense engineered lumber commonly used for structural beams.

“Earlier this year, SENCO released all-new 1-½” metal connector nailers featuring more power and heavier-duty components,” said Ryan Schuler, product manager for SENCO’s pneumatic construction tools.

Both of the new tools shoot 1½” to 2½” nails ranging from .131”-.162” in diameter. The JN91P1 features a short magazine that holds a single rack of 34° paper tape-collated nails, offering a high degree of mobility between joists and rafters. The JN91P2 has an extended magazine that can accommodate two racks of nails, allowing users to maintain higher production rates with fewer reloads.

The nailers feature an innovative, redesigned nosepiece that leads with a metal point to ensure accurate placement into pre-punched holes.

Other features include:

  • A redesigned, over-molded grip for comfort, control, and reduced slipping.
  • An adjustable exhaust port that directs blowback away from the user.
  • A rugged belt/rafter hook made from heavy-duty steel.
  • A lockout that prevents dry firing and signals the user when it is time to reload.

Each nailer comes with tool oil, safety glasses, an air plug and a five-year limited warranty. Manufacturer’s suggested retail prices for the JN91P1 and JN91P2 are $319 and $329 respectively.

Fiberon has launched an updated website, which features greater accessibility to product information, digital tools and inspiration for builders.

New features on the website include an enhanced user experience with a focus on outdoor living and consumer education; content reorganized to lead with the most sought-after information, and a comprehensive focus on each product, via individual product detail pages with additional resources, tools and content.

“We’ve taken the time to make thoughtful, impactful changes to our website,” said Mark Ayers, senior VP of marketing and product development for Fiberon. “We’ve paid close attention to the ever-changing consumer journey when it comes to purchasing outdoor living products and adjusted our website tools and features to evolve the customer experience.”

The new website includes e-commerce capabilities, enabling customers to purchase various products directly from the website. The website also features an optimized multi-platform experience for enhanced browsing on all devices including PCs, tablets and smart phones, and new data integration for a more agile approach.

“Not only are we providing comprehensive educational resources for consumers, but we are also making our products and content more accessible as a point of strategic growth within e-commerce,” said Brian Kirby, senior digital manager for Fiberon.

Most Popular

  The days of plain white vinyl railings on every deck have given way to a rainbow of railing colors, enabled by the latest manufacturing technologies and the expanding imaginations of designers. With now near-unlimited options, how can builders help guide customers to the best color choice for their deck railing project? “Choosing the right railing defines your home, and selecting the right color is as important on the outside of the home as it is on the inside,” says Andrew Pantelides, VP of marketing and business development for Regal ideas. “When it comes to doors, trim, shutters and furniture, the color trends we are seeing are ones of eye-catching colors that define personality and style. More and more homeowners are viewing their outdoor spaces as an extension of their indoors.” Certainly, railing color choice is a critical decision in planning a project. When you walk out onto a deck, your eyes are usually going to see the railing first. According to Steven Phillips, product manager in charge of railing for Trex, “Our focus is on making sure consumers have safe but inspiring choices that complement any decking color. Earth tones like Vintage Lantern (a chocolate brown) compliment safer choices like Classic White and Charcoal Black. Softer tones like Rope Swing and Gravel Path give consumers more outside-the-box options that aren’t too polarizing. However, making sure the channel can support inventory requirements is always critical, so the color palette has to be selected carefully.” Fairway’s aluminum systems come in three different colors, steel railings in two, and cellular PVC in white. “Those three railing technologies—aluminum, steel and cellular PVC—cover three color categories in black, bronze and white, which represent about 90% of market demand,” said Chase Moritz, marketing manager for parent Envision Decking. “Within those technologies, we offer varying finish
Evolution Specialist of the Year Q. How did you get your start in construction? I have always enjoyed building things. I grew up on a rural family farm in Kansas and I learned to weld things out of metal as a teen. From personal experience, we knew that if we built something on the farm out of wood, we would need to replace it. However, if we built it out of metal, our grandchildren would be able to use it one day. We moved out to Colorado Springs in 2012 because we had always wanted to live near the mountains. Two years later, StoneCroft Construction was born. From the very beginning, we’ve focused on building decks because these structures blend our love of construction and the outdoors. Q. When did you first come to use steel decking framing and why Fortress Evolution? We assembled a beta deck with Evolution steel deck framing in 2018—it was hook, line and sinker. I knew it was a fit for us. Our company focuses on building decks that are as beautiful as they are strong, and as strong as they are beautiful. Steel framing allows us to carry out this vision. We made the complete shift to the Fortress framing system a year later and never looked back. In fact, we just completed our 58th steel deck framing project. We believe in steel because here in the Southern Rockies, wood is exposed to dramatic fluxes in temperature and extreme weather conditions. The dry heat of summer, paired with the wet, cold of winter, can wreak havoc on wood frame decks. It’s not uncommon for typical builder grade decks around here to show signs of deterioration after exposure to moisture or begin warping with drastic changes in temperature. These issues can cause critical places Owner:
The Home Depot has rolled out the Pro Xtra Credit Card and updated its Commercial Account Card.  The Pro Xtra Credit Card can be linked with the Pro Xtra loyalty program to earn registered members perks four times faster on card purchases. Upon approval, Pro Xtra members receive an offer to save up to $100 off of their next qualifying purchase.  In addition, the Pro Xtra Credit Card and Commercial Account Card, both powered by Citi Retail Services, provide members with the ability to issue cards to employees to make purchases and feature a return period up to a full year. Flexible payment options include a 2% early pay discount if the bill is paid online within 20 days or an extended 60-day payment window.  For more information, visit https://www.homedepot.com/c/CreditCenter.  Photo provided by The Home Depot  
The second annual Deck Specialist Symposium is rapidly approaching on July 13-14.
  PrimeSource Building Products, Irving, TX., has signed a definitive agreement to acquire NWI Enterprises, Santa Monica, CA., a provider of branded specialty hardware for outdoor residential applications including fence & gate hardware, railing systems and perimeter security, from affiliates of Harbour Group. NWI divisions include RailFX, Tacoma, WA., Nationwide Industries, Tampa, FL., and Ultra-Tec, Carson City, NV.
“This Old House” will be featuring MoistureShield Meridian capped composite decking in two episodes as Silva Brothers Construction renovates an 1880s Concord Country Cape home. The first episode “Sunshine Power,” aired on Jan. 13 on PBS in many locations, and showed the installation, while the second episode “Cinderella Story,” which airs on January 27, will summarize the improvements made and feature the final reveal. The deck features Meridian in Citadel color, a cool gray shade with a natural patina, and was installed with CAMO Universal Deck Clips, LEVER tools and the new ClipDRIVE. “We are thrilled to see CAMO tools and fasteners on This Old House, the iconic show that started homeowners’ love affair with their homes,” said W. Scott Baker, CEO, National Nail. Tom Silva, General Contractor, sets CAMO EDGE clips for fastening as Charlie Silva locks in MoistureShield Meridian deck boards in Citadel color with CAMO LEVER. 

LATEST ISSUES

INDUSTRY NEWS

Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley named Annie Kao, Simpson Strong-Tie VP of engineering, to its board of directors for the term of July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2024.
FastenMaster has recently teamed with Colorado-based deck builder O’Keefe Built Inc. and BuildStrong Academy of Colorado to host a day-long, 10-step deck building training session for individuals interested in learning about the industry.
MoistureShield, an Oldcastle APG brand, announced its agreement with BlueLinx, a leading U.S. wholesale distributor of residential and commercial building products, to expand its position in Texas.
Fiberon has launched an updated website, which features greater accessibility to product information, digital tools and inspiration for builders.
Envision Outdoor Living Products, a leading manufacturer of high-performance composite decking, railings, and accessories, has hired Doug Jerry as director of manufacturing.
Weyerhaeuser Distribution is extending its footprint of AZEK Building Products to three new markets: Atlanta, GA.; Jacksonville, FL.; and Charlotte, N.C. With the expansion, Weyerhaeuser will carry AZEK products at 17 distribution centers across the U.S.

TRENDING PRODUCTS

RIDGID’s new 18V Speaker with Bluetooth Technology works with all RIDGID 18-volt batteries, tools and chargers, offering total connectivity.
KYOCERA SENCO Industrial Tools has introduced two new, powerful metal connector nailers that fire 2½” nails commonly required in hurricane and seismic zones. 
MoistureShield, a composite decking brand at Oldcastle APG, introduced new Catalina to its Meridian capped composite decking line.
Envision Outdoor Living Products has added the Elevation Collection, composed of two new earthy colors—Sandstone and Alpine Fog—to its Ridge Premium collection of capped composite decking. Emulating cooler mountain tones, Sandstone is a light, natural brown, offering a beautiful balance of sandy and honey hues, while Alpine Fog is a blend of cool silver tones in an on-trend light gray.
Tufdek has a released a new color in its Designer Series of waterproof vinyl plank decking.
Quik Connect architectural railing kits from BuyRailings is an 100% aluminum system that provides unmatched stability and rust-free performance in the toughest corrosion-prone environments.

BUSINESS OPERATIONS

At RailFX, we sell through our distributor network and communicate with the end-user regarding the installation of our products. As a manufacturer, it's in our best interest to ensure a solid installation.
Effective immediately, Andrew Pantelides, vice president of marketing and business development, will be taking over Couillard’s responsibilities including sales and strategy for the company.
Oldcastle APG will double its manufacturing capacity with a new expansion at the company's MoistureShield plant in Springdale, AR.
Barrette Outdoor Living, Inc., a leading provider of outdoor living products, recently debuted its new contemporary Horizontal Vinyl Fencing product line, featuring two styles — a full solid privacy option and one that features the company’s unique Decorative Screen Panel as an alternative to traditional lattice top.

BUILDING MATERIALS

  The days of plain white vinyl railings on every deck have given way to a rainbow of railing colors, enabled by the latest manufacturing technologies and the expanding imaginations of designers. With now near-unlimited options, how can builders help guide customers to the best color choice for their deck railing project? “Choosing the right railing defines your home, and selecting the right color is as important on the outside of the home as it is on the inside,” says Andrew Pantelides, VP of marketing and business development for Regal ideas. “When it comes to doors, trim, shutters and furniture, the color trends we are seeing are ones of eye-catching colors that define personality and style. More and more homeowners are viewing their outdoor spaces as an extension of their indoors.” Certainly, railing color choice is a critical decision in planning a project. When you walk out onto a deck, your eyes are usually going to see the railing first. According to Steven Phillips, product manager in charge of railing for Trex, “Our focus is on making sure consumers have safe but inspiring choices that complement any decking color. Earth tones like Vintage Lantern (a chocolate brown) compliment safer choices like Classic White and Charcoal Black. Softer tones like Rope Swing and Gravel Path give consumers more outside-the-box options that aren’t too polarizing. However, making sure the channel can support inventory requirements is always critical, so the color palette has to be selected carefully.” Fairway’s aluminum systems come in three different colors, steel railings in two, and cellular PVC in white. “Those three railing technologies—aluminum, steel and cellular PVC—cover three color categories in black, bronze and white, which represent about 90% of market demand,” said Chase Moritz, marketing manager for parent Envision Decking. “Within those technologies, we offer varying finish
Cable railing offers a visually appealing aesthetic for both commercial and residential spaces. However, for those who are accustomed to traditional balustrade installation, a cable rail system presents unique challenges that can be overcome with a few tips and techniques. Before installing your cable rail system, it’s important to decide what you want to achieve with the finished product. Are you simply  looking to maintain a picturesque view or will you also use it for entertaining? Understanding the utilization of space will help determine the rail style as well as whether you’ll need additional accessories such as LED lighting for nighttime ambiance. In addition, be sure to check with your local building code officials prior to installation to ensure all code and safety requirements are met. After determining the type of system, you’ll need to choose the right type of cable. Typically marine-grade (type 316) stainless steel cable is the most affordable option that provides    maximum durability and corrosion resistance with little-to-no maintenance. Also look for cable that can be cut to your specifications. Some companies offer pre-cut cables that may be too short or too long for your project. Investing in a pair of cable cutters will give you a clean cut and won’t interfere with the ravel. Other cutters may fray the cable. You will be working with three types of posts—end posts, corner posts, and mid-posts. The attachment of the posts to the decking is very important. Well anchored posts are necessary to prevent them from bending under the cable tension. The use of a top and bottom rail will also keep the posts from bending. Prior to tensioning, all top and bottom rails must be in place and secured to the posts per the manufacturer’s instructions. The tools and equipment you will need to add cable
While homeowners lounge on their luxe outdoor couches or roast s’mores with the family around the deck firepit, they often take for granted the importance of the structural framing systems that are making it all possible. For decades, traditional wood products used in deck construction quickly succumbed to the elements to which they are so frequently exposed: sun, insects, rain, snow and natural organic breakdown of the material. Recently, engineered wood manufacturer Pacific Woodtech (PWT), a Burlington, WA.-based company, unveiled a treated deck solution that addresses the critically important structural framing systems that support everything else. PWT Treated LVL is the world’s first manufacturer-treated laminated veneer lumber. For all the same reasons engineered wood products have become immensely popular in interior residential framing (40% to 50% market share), they are becoming increasingly sought out for exterior framing needs. Bigger Building Options PWT Treated allows designers to greatly increase the scale of exterior framing projects in many of the same ways they have been able to do in the interior. Step outside to enjoy larger open areas. Take in grander vistas by decreasing the number of posts, columns or larger overhangs and balconies, and save time and money by reducing the number of energy-intensive footings that need to be installed. Sturdier Products Treating LVL with conventional methods for dimensional lumber weakens the structure of the product. Fortunately, PWT discovered Kop-Coat’s Tru-Core technology, which fully penetrates each veneer layer to the center then adds an envelope finish to protect each piece from the inside out. Every beam, joist and column suffers no loss of properties, and is safeguarded against damage caused by fungal rot, decay and insects. The final product, explains PWT’s Matt Caissie, “is just as strong as it was pre-treatment, and that gives us the ability to create long spans.
There was a time when if you wanted a roll of  “good,” heavy-duty, ultra-sticky duct tape, you either had to be a HVAC technician or have made friends with the sheet metal subcontractor who was working on the same subdivision tract as you were. The latter also usually involved the exchange of several cold adult beverages and the requisite loitering and discussion of all things building related, while enjoying their consumption. After this, you were pretty well guaranteed duct tape and gutter sealant for as long as that sub was on your job. I often wondered how the sheet metal company never came to notice all those “gifted” rolls of Nashua Tape and tubes of gutter sealant, or maybe they just considered them as “consumables,” which I guess, in a roundabout way, they really were. Nowadays, in this same scenario, both you and the sub would most likely be arrested for loitering, drinking in public, and theft of construction materials—then unceremoniously fired. Oh, how far we have come. Thankfully, the people at T-Rex are looking out for us, after deciding that the venerable roll of tape, found rolling around every trademan’s toolbox, deserved an upgrade. With the T-Rex line of professional tape products, you can fix a small hole in a wet/dry vacuum hose, patch that bucket that cracks on the last day of construction, and solve so many other minor frustrations that can add up to project delays and dollars lost. Pro-grade duct tapes and specialty tapes, while seeming unnecessary before starting a job, can provide on-the-fly repairs when you need them most. It won’t be every day you need it, but on that day you do, you will really need it. Below are examples of how we used T-Rex on our jobs. Site Prep We used double-sided poly-hanging
The Deep South has its own long, proud history of native woods, from the distinctive cypress to the classic oaks and rustic pines. But when one longtime Southern lumberman wanted to build an expansive 11,000-sq. ft. home with multiple decks off the Tennessee River in Muscle Shoals, AL., he wanted all the wood sourced from Guyana. Homeowner Joe McKinney is managing director of the McVantage Group, Tuscumbia, AL., which is currently developing a $1-million acre tract in the South American nation’s Iwokrama Forest. In Guyana, McKinney sees the richness of resources and opportunity his elders saw in the northwest Alabama forests of two and three generations ago. His mission has become introducing modern, sustainable logging and milling practices to Guyana. His own home, therefore, would be the ideal place to show off the little-known exotic species the country has to offer. McKinney engaged Rusty Alexander, a National Home Builders Association board member and Shoals Home Builders Association’s 2017 Builder of the Year, who had previously built a home for his brother. Rusty and his team at Alexander Modern Homes and River- Works Design Studio were charged with creating an ultra-modern four bedroom, six-and-a-half bath home that incorporated the wood into all facets of construction, inside and out. First, they bulldozed the existing lake house on the property and prepared the lot for new construction. The new spaces were to give off an “indoor/outdoor” feel—so the interior felt open, natural and warm, and the exterior conveyed the warmth and modernity of the inside. Every room in the house was given a striking view of Wilson Lake, maximized by the inclusion of Phantom retractable screens. Greenheart, shibidan and kabukalli were used generously throughout the house. Outside, purpleheart was used to craft sturdy legs for an outdoor table. The decks, handrails, rainscreen and
Outdoor spaces have become increasingly popular to homeowners nationwide who are using decks as extensions to their homes. Decks and porches are more easily built for those who live in the suburbs or countryside, given they usually have the luxury of space. This is not necessarily an option in some of the more crowded cities like San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Big-city locals have the same desire to spend time outside, so getting creative is imperative to turn that feeling into a reality. Thus, rooftop decks have become an increasingly popular solution over the past few years. “When you have an area like New York City or Brooklyn, everything is bunched up together. The only area you really have is your roof,” Keith Camacho, owner of Stellar Decks and lifetime Brooklyn resident, said. “People in New York are known to utilize these spaces for entertaining because it is the only area they can really enjoy the perks of outdoor living. People are recognizing that in instances when you aren’t able to extend your space, you have to look upward.” In many instances, these outdoor spaces are constructed on residential and commercial high rises, so they also come with regulations. Aside from certain weight restrictions, materials must be flame-spread rated to be approved for the building permit. “If there’s a fire, the wood will burn immediately,” Camacho said. “For building permit approval, everything needs to be fire rated, so composite and PVC products are typically preferred.” While inspectors look for those details, homeowners also have a common request when it comes to residential rooftop spaces: low maintenance. “A lot of people are looking for products that don’t take a lot of work to maintain. In cities like New York, outdoor spaces can only be enjoyed for a certain amount of