Capped PVC Fascia Boards

Royal Building Products has launched its Zuri Fascia boards in 8” and 12” profiles.

Tips for Installing Cable Infill with Composite Railings

While decks are a key part of any outdoor space, railings are an equally important component in creating a deck that looks great while also offering the durability and functionality that today’s homeowners expect.

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.

Composite to the Core

Envision Building Products has introduced its new Ridge Premium composite decking line with fluted profile.

Engineered Wood Fencing

LP Elements, reportedly the first engineered wood fence solution, has been introduced by LP Building Solutions.

Barnwood-Look Composite Decking

Monarch Technologies is launching MonaDeck, a patent-pending new line of ultra-durable composite decking developed for the residential market.

Deckorators Expands its Voyage Composite Decking Line

Deckorators has expanded its Voyage composite decking line to include a fifth color—Khaya, a true brown—and varied-plank decking, bringing the interior design trend of mixing widths of hardwood flooring to outdoor living.

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.

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.

T-Rex pro-grade duct tapes

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.

What do you think?

This week's question

What is your preferred material to build decks with?

Last week's question

What are you doing to make up for labor shortages?

View survey archive

In the magazine

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

2020 Decking Trends

Also in the issue

Set the Standard with Brendan Casey

Award Winning Decks

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Drones in Construction: 8 Ways Drones are Changing the Game

Also in the issue

Easing Labour Shortages: How to Work Around the Worker Shortfall

View Digital IssueSubscribe for free and receive Deck Specialist in print plus full access to all online content.