Decking for Life

Lanai Outdoors has married the gorgeous look of hardwood flooring with the high performance of alternative decking to create Lanai Premium Plank Decking, a 100% pure PVC with a durable cap on all four sides.

Trex Teams up with Albertsons to Keep Plastic out of Landfills

Trex Company and Albertsons Companies are elevating their shared commitment to sustainability with a special recycling effort to divert plastic waste from landfills.

Easy to install Cable Railing to upgrade your decking project

Today, designing and installing a cable railing system has never been simpler with easy-to-install systems and components.

Modern and Functional Railing Accessories

ALX post extensions for hanging string lights, ALX Contemporary aluminum deck gate solutions, and ALX Contemporary continuous top rail brackets help deck builders and homeowners create personalized outdoor living spaces.

Green Bay Adds Marina Division

Green Bay Decking, Green Bay, Wi., has launched a new National Dock & Marina Division to service the growing demand for dock and marina-based composite decking.

Marmon Fastener Group Acquires Tenn-Tex Plastics

Based in Colfax, N.C., Tenn-Tex manufactures plastic injection molded parts for kitchen and bath cabinetry. It provides mounting brackets for drawer slides, shelf supports, corner braces, and related products to cabinet manufacturers, hardware distributors, and cabinetry dealers.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Like many in our industry, we have discovered that “necessity is the mother of invention.” We have not only learned to make the best of a bad situation, we have found ways to work smart, improve efficiency and trim costs. In the early stages of the pandemic we weren’t clear what the future would hold.

Dependable Composite Decking

The new Deckorators Trailhead low-maintenance composite decking is a wood-plastic composite (WPC) that offers affordability, ease of maintenance and peace of mind, in addition to a rugged, trend-setting appearance.

Three ways that the pandemic has altered the construction industry for the near future and beyond

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

Fortress Launches Deck Visualizer

Fortress Building Products, Garland, Tx., is providing customers with a simplified deck design and planning process with the launch of its new virtual outdoor visualizer, FortressView.

Mantis Clip Installation

Sure Drive USA manufacturers a wide variety of deck fastening solutions. Its recent YouTube video walks you through the installation process of its hidden deck fastener line, which includes The Mantis Clip for grooved boards, voted as the easiest hidden deck fastener to install- a favorite with decking contractors as well as DIY homeowners.

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In the magazine

Decking for Life

Lanai Outdoors has married the gorgeous look of hardwood flooring with the high performance of alternative decking to create Lanai Premium Plank Decking, a 100% pure PVC with a durable cap on all four sides.

Trex Teams up with Albertsons to Keep Plastic out of Landfills

Trex Company and Albertsons Companies are elevating their shared commitment to sustainability with a special recycling effort to divert plastic waste from landfills.

Modern and Functional Railing Accessories

ALX post extensions for hanging string lights, ALX Contemporary aluminum deck gate solutions, and ALX Contemporary continuous top rail brackets help deck builders and homeowners create personalized outdoor living spaces.

Green Bay Adds Marina Division

Green Bay Decking, Green Bay, Wi., has launched a new National Dock & Marina Division to service the growing demand for dock and marina-based composite decking.

Marmon Fastener Group Acquires Tenn-Tex Plastics

Based in Colfax, N.C., Tenn-Tex manufactures plastic injection molded parts for kitchen and bath cabinetry. It provides mounting brackets for drawer slides, shelf supports, corner braces, and related products to cabinet manufacturers, hardware distributors, and cabinetry dealers.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Like many in our industry, we have discovered that “necessity is the mother of invention.” We have not only learned to make the best of a bad situation, we have found ways to work smart, improve efficiency and trim costs. In the early stages of the pandemic we weren’t clear what the future would hold.

Dependable Composite Decking

The new Deckorators Trailhead low-maintenance composite decking is a wood-plastic composite (WPC) that offers affordability, ease of maintenance and peace of mind, in addition to a rugged, trend-setting appearance.

Three ways that the pandemic has altered the construction industry for the near future and beyond

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

Fortress Launches Deck Visualizer

Fortress Building Products, Garland, Tx., is providing customers with a simplified deck design and planning process with the launch of its new virtual outdoor visualizer, FortressView.

Mantis Clip Installation

Sure Drive USA manufacturers a wide variety of deck fastening solutions. Its recent YouTube video walks you through the installation process of its hidden deck fastener line, which includes The Mantis Clip for grooved boards, voted as the easiest hidden deck fastener to install- a favorite with decking contractors as well as DIY homeowners.

MoistureShield Expands Distribution to BlueLinx’s Minnesota Branch

MoistureShield has expanded its sales of decking products in northern Minnesota with Marietta, GA., based BlueLinx Corporation.

Cabot Rolls Out Sample Stain Program

Cabot has introduced new product sample stains providing pros with another tool to help their customers. The new sample sizes are designed to help pros and consumers feel confident in their color choice before beginning a project.

Rugged Jobsite Storage

DeWalt’s new ToughSystem 2.0 Storage System offers improved durability, rugged terrain mobility, and modularity versus previous units.

Angles are easy! Or are they?

Our fearless homeowner has finished the “easy” part (demo) and now the “skilled labor” portion begins with…. ANGLES! Like his demolition tally, will we need to calculate his project overage in tons as well?

Metal Deck Framing Clip

CAMO’s new EdgeXMetal Clip provides a revolutionary way to fasten any grooved deck board on metal substructure. The new one-pass fasteners use the same technology as CAMO EdgeX Clips for wood framing.

Saving a Sinking Ship

The construction industry is an extremely tough breed of people. It takes a slightly off-kilter mindset to be up and ready to go before the sun rises, crowing long before the roosters get out of bed.

Thermally Modified Imports Hit US

G Wood Products, New York, NY, has been formed to serve as the exclusive US distributor of Tantimber's unique line of thermally treated wood products.

DeckExpo Going Virtual

Organizers of the Remodeling Show/Deck Expo and The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo in Las Vegas have decided to move the combined event to a virtual format.

Deck Specialist Project Tracker: All About the Angles

PROJECT TRACKER UPDATE: Angles are easy! Our fearless homeowner has finished the “easy” part (demo) and now the “skilled labor” portion begins with….ANGLES! Like his demolition tally, will we need to calculate his project overage in tons as well???

526 Media Group Announces New Virtual Event Platform

Continuing on almost 100 years of service to their core industries, 526 Media Group, Inc. announced today their newly launched 526 Events Virtual Event Platform.

Culpeper Wood Preservers Launches New Website

Culpeper Wood Preservers has given its website, www.culpeperwood.com, an upgrade. The new site, which features both enhanced content and a redesigned format, provides a better overall user experience and reinforces the company’s position as a leader in the outdoor living category.

Stylish Steel Railing

DuraLife’s new Concord steel railing system features pre-welded fully assembled panels, and posts with pre-attached brackets, making installation easier.

First Responder takes on new enemy: His outdated backyard

We’re excited to announce that this summer through our social media channels, newsletters and website, we’ll be following Ryan, former combat veteran and SoCal police officer, as he attempts to tackle his own deck and backyard remodel.

Sure Drive’s Mantis Installation Video

Sure Drive USA manufacturers a wide variety of deck fastening solutions. The company's hidden deck fastener line includes The Mantis Clip for grooved boards, voted as the easiest hidden deck fastener to install; it's been a favorite with decking contractors as well as DIY homeowners.

DeckExpo Relocates as Sister Remodeling Show Goes Online

To meet the need for inpatient care, the exhibit hall of the Baltimore Convention Center has been converted into a facility to treat those recovering from COVID-19. With the uncertainty of when it will return to hosting professional events, Deck Expo is splitting off from the Remodeling Show, which will move to a new format in 2020.

Firm Foundations

AG-CO’s FootingPad post foundations for deck, post-frame and other post-in-ground structures is now available in a 20” diameter version, joining four other sizes (10”, 12”, 16”, 24”).

Easy to install Cable Railing to upgrade your decking project

Today, designing and installing a cable railing system has never been simpler with easy-to-install systems and components.

Simpson Strong-Tie Launches Video Series for Contractors

Simpson Strong-Tie has debuted the first episode of Build a Stronger Deck, an entertaining and educational YouTube video series that shows builders, deck contractors, and their homeowner customers how to easily build stronger, safer decks that last.

Cable Connection and Ultra-Tec Consolidate Locations

The Cable Connection and sister brand Ultra-tec have consolidated from three buildings to one in Carson City, NV.

Barrette Outdoor Living Launches “Sale into Summer” Promotion

Barrette Outdoor Living has launched “Sale into Summer,” a rebate promotion for consumers/contractors.

Fast, Easy Deck Bending

The new CAMO LEVER is used to bend, straighten or align deck boards. It's also designed for smaller crews and allows social distancing on the jobsite.

Makita Helps Foot Bill for Tool Repairs

Makita U.S.A. has begun offering temporary free labor and free shipping for tool repairs at Makita Factory Service Centers.

RailFX Launches Contractor Rebate Program

RailFX has launched ProFX, a nationwide rebate program available to all licensed contractors purchasing RailFX Aluminum Systems now through December 15.

What I Have Learned From 4 Major Market Corrections

In light of current events, BPD and The Merchant e-Weekly will feature guest contributors offering the industry their thoughts and advice. This is NOT paid advertising but rather part of our service to the industry in contrast to the ongoing 24/7 news cycle we are faced with. If you have thoughts to share, please send them to padams@526mediagroup.com.

Building Decks on EWP

Treated engineered wood marks the next generation in deck framing systems.

Short-Term Pain Seen for Remodeling

Owner expenditures for home renovations and repairs are expected to decline at least through the first quarter of next year due to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortress Enhances Preferred Pro Program

Fortress Building Products recently unveiled its revitalized Fortress Preferred Program. The program will give U.S. and Canadian building professionals helpful resources for their business.

The Power of Podcasts

Podcasts are paving the way for professionals to connect with each other and gain knowledge through a different avenue, and the decking industry is no exception.

Up Your Social Game

When we began working together as remodeling contractors nearly 40 years ago, we used several means to generate work.

Simpson Strong-Tie Launches Pergola Planner

Simpson Strong-Tie has launched a free online Pergola Planner Software tool to help quickly and easily design dream backyards.

Deckorators Takes Certified Pro Program Up a Level

Deckorators has introduced Deckorators Certified Elite, the highest recognition level for its growing deck contractor partnership and rewards program.

Seasons Change, But Redwood Timbers Stand the Test of Time

As distributors and retailers of quality building materials throughout the West, one of your primary goals is to keep your customers up to speed on current trends and products.

Selling Cedar in the Age of Climate Change

The push to more eco-friendly behavior is changing how we live. It’s affecting our choices in small, incidental actions like using re-fillable coffee cups and recycling plastic bags, to larger life milestones such as the kind of cars we drive or the materials our homes are made of.

To Hire to Sell or to Not Hire to Sell: That is the Question

What is the cost of a sales team? Most remodeling companies that use hired salespeople see it as a must have, especially if you’re going to scale the company (grow it to the point of profitability beyond the cost of overhead). If you are the owner of the company and you don’t have people skills, it may be an absolute requirement to have a salesperson.

Selling Fencing for Sound Minimization

Not only does a good fence frame the yard and add to a home’s curb appeal, but it also can provide an element of privacy and safety, including noise reduction.

Making the Most of a Scenic View

Fall is a great time to spend time on the deck. Whether you’re overlooking a beach, lakefront, rolling hills with vibrant fall colors, or other scenic vista, getting out on the deck in the cooler autumn temperatures can be downright therapeutic.

Decking Retailer Drives Innovation Using Auto Industry Technology

Most composite decking manufacturers now offer a capstock line, covering their wood-plastic-composite core with an all-plastic outer layer. Tiva Building Products has gone one better—capping its PVC core with ASA (acrylic-styrene-acrylonitrile), a tough, rigid plastic known for its heat resistance, color retention, and weatherability.

Setting Yourself Apart

Every day as contractors and custom deck specialists, we seek out new ways to not only make ourselves better, but also to set ourselves apart from the masses. Clients will do their searches and call on half a dozen or more local (and sometimes not-so-local) companies to get their price quotes, estimates or proposals in an effort to maximize their purchasing dollars.

Picking Your Product Lines

Now I know a pile of folks who own construction businesses and will install anything the customer asks for. This represents the path of least resistance and does make it easy in the sales process. That said, if you have this mentality you are missing out on a bunch of good stuff, especially money.

How Deck Builders Can Ease Their Labor Shortage

While demand for new outdoor living spaces is strong, the scarcity of skilled workers has many deck contractors booked out for months and losing out on significant revenue opportunities. Often there is not enough capacity available for follow-up on new leads, stunting business growth.

Test Plan: Distributor samples unique new decking on his own home

As a longtime building material distributor, Steve Rhone figured he was familiar with most types of decking on the market. But he was so impressed with one versatile new product that he not only used it for his own deck, he agreed to distribute it to his customers.

Safety First!

If there’s anything that we’ve learned over the years as pro builders, it’s that job safety is job number one! There is simply no task that takes precedence over safety. Period!

When Space Is Limited, Transform the Roof into an Outdoor Haven

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.

Finish the Year Strong in 5 Minutes Per Day

As we speed into the winter months, summer memories are still fresh even while the end of the year and all that it brings draws closer. And so, it is impossible to escape that there are only a few selling weeks left in 2019.

The Process to Profit Part 3: Compartmentalizing Labor

Last time, I discussed laying out your quoting process so it’s easy to know what to charge for your decks and how to make it easier for you. Previously, we discussed your materials and their costs. The goal thus far has been to encourage you to build essentially the same project over and over in compartments. Square foot of this, linear foot of that, number of these, etc. So, even though each deck is a little different, the building units are the same.

The Process to Profit Part 2: Quoting

Last time, 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.

The Process to Profit Part 1: Marketing

We will talk about it in three steps. Marketing process, quoting process, and construction process. You must have a working plan for all three, and an allocation of the sale price of each project for all three. Today is marketing day.

What Your Customers Don’t Like About You

It’s Any Airport, USA at 2:00 a.m., and someone makes the announcement that the delayed 6:00 p.m. flight will finally begin boarding. The catatonic crowd in the packed waiting area begins to form a line. They’re tired and relieved to be getting on their way.

How to Install Cable Railing

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.

Stainless Steel Moves Out of the House

Nothing captivates attention quite like stainless steel. Any appliance that incorporates stainless steel becomes instantly more appealing, and any building that incorporates it into the design looks more innovative.

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.

Bright Ideas in Low Voltage

When we market our companies, we are seeking to set ourselves apart from a prospect’s other options. As we present our projects, we all have special key points we believe make us the “best” choice. We continuously seek out ways to stay ahead of the competition with design features, board patterns, inlays, transitions, picture frame borders, and lighting, to name just a few. 

Product Review

PLS Line Lasers - The PLS 180 Red - The PLS 180 Green

How Steel Deck Framing Is Changing the Industry

Until recently, wood has been the go-to material for builders, contractors and architects. However, as professionals are increasingly switching to steel for its superior structural integrity and design flexibility, steel deck framing is poised to be the next big thing.

Rethinking the Deck

So what is this mental block towards creative deck building that has been so prevalent in the minds of the general population for so long?

Tips for Beautiful Railings

Now, more than ever before designers and builders are mixing textures and grain patterns, blending different brands and colors while also taking into consideration the surrounding architecture, landscape and hardscapes.

Learn from the Other Side

As professionals in the deck industry, most of us, at least in the privacy of our own minds, feel pretty confident in our abilities and our knowledge of the subject matter. After all, this is what we make our living at and what our reputation hinges on!

Are You Failing at Railing?

When people look at a deck, what is the first thing they see? It’s certainly not the footings, or even the deck boards for that matter. Odds are it’s the railing that catches their eye before anything else. So, why is it that railings are so often an afterthought?

Work Together at Every Level

All parts of our industry can gain from improving our relationships, and leveraging those improved relationships for future new opportunities.

It Pays to Be Nice to the Competition

In several articles past, we have discussed so many points regarding product, process, people, and profit. In this article, I want to discuss your relationship with competition. It is so critical to know who you are competing with.

Up Your Social Game

When my brother and I began working together as remodeling contractors nearly 40 years ago, we used several means to generate work. Needless to say, word-of-mouth referrals, new jobs for former clients, and Yellow Pages advertising were fundamental.

Product Reviews

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Drivers

Steps to Help Clients Select the Right Railing

Railing used to be a lower priority in the deck-planning process. Homeowners focused most of their time and treasure on choosing the ideal composite decking; railing selection was an afterthought. Nowadays railing is starting to get the attention it deserves across the decking industry.

Redwood Pergolas Bring Luxury Finish to Outdoor Living Spaces

Building custom homes for more than 24 years, Palomar Builders prides itself on building each project with the care and quality homeowners expect, with the value and affordability they prize.

Integrating Hardscapes into Decking Projects

As we head into the busy spring renovation season, homeowners are seeking more ways to expand their outdoor living spaces for the summer or for future resale. Decks and patios are sought-after amenities for most homes, making them top projects to consider.

Cliff Hanger: Bamboo to the Rescue at Bluff-top Vacation Home

A recent deck build near San Diego, CA., presented the contractor with a literal cliff-hanger—one challenge after another that all had to be incorporated at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Decking on Wheels

The worst part about it was the car was silver in color—not really my jam, but at least I wasn’t upside down on it. Yet.

It’s More Than Just a Project Plan

For years, a family’s go-to outdoor escape was little more than a pool with a modest deck. Today, the idea of outdoor living has expanded to multi-layer structures, elaborate patio lighting and fully functional outdoor kitchens.

This Month

Deck Builders Step Up in Crisis

Also in the issue

Contractor Q&A

2020 Deck Trends

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Deck Specialist Project Tracker

Also in the issue

Picking the Perfect Pavers

Exterior Color Trends by Tando BP

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