Important Updates from NADRA

NADRA’s 2018 Annual Awards Celebration – Destination: Baltimore, MD

The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) recognizes and promotes excellence in the outdoor living & decking industry. The National+ Deck Competition represents many aspects of the outdoor living industry, with a main focus on decks. Each year we celebrate and honor outstanding successes in the industry at a prestigious Industry Awards presentation & celebration. This year, the 9th annual awards dinner was held on October 10th, 2018 at The National Aquarium hosted in Baltimore, MD. Here is a recap of all NADRA events that occurred while in Baltimore. 


NADRA Code Meeting: 10/11/18

Thank you to all the respondents to our recent deck code survey.  What we learned was that although the majority of you are building to the newest and strictest deck codes (2015 or newer), most of you felt that these codes are being enforced unequally.  The need for a more consistent approach to building and inspecting decks is going to be a renewed focus at NADRA.  Through our Decks Done Right program and a better representation within the code arena, we believe that we can make a positive impact.  Congratulations to Patrick O’Keefe with O’Keefe Built, Inc – Longmont, CO who won a Milwaukee M18 Impact Driver Kit for participating in our survey. 


NADRA Canada Meeting: 10/11/18

Industry Pros from Canada met with fellow NADRA members to discuss the future for Canada and NADRA. 

NADRA Member, Jon Witt helped the Association organize a “meeting of the minds” while in Baltimore at DeckExpo. “I always look forward to the Deck Expo; meeting up with old friends, making new ones. This year was different though, in a good way. For a number of years now my wife and I have been tasked to see NADRA grow in Canada. This year the first step was made. We had an informal gathering of fellow Canadian members, and those who are interested in joining, meet to discuss the beginnings of that growth. There were some great ideas kicked around despite the previous late night at the NADRA after party. We are excited to get cracking at the tasks ahead this coming winter. Stay tuned for more info on upcoming meetings. If you’d like to follow along and help build NADRA in Canada, please email Info@NADRA.org to be included in future communications.” Jon Witt, WWG Designs and Build.


NADRA Member Benefit Provider, Enter.net join NADRA in the booth:

We would like to continue our DeckExpo special of 40% OFF WEB SERVICES to all NADRA members. 

“We would like to thank everyone that came to visit our Enter.net team at the NADRA booth at DeckExpo, we had an incredible experience! Thank you to the fantastic NADRA family for welcoming us and including us in the association’s activities. We look forward to building and maintaining many business relationships going forward. The New NADRA website is coming soon! Contact us at: Sales@Enter.net or Enter.net 


The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), joins NADRA in the booth at DeckExpo:

Michael Beaudry, Executive VP from NADRA states, “It was a pleasure having our Association Partners from ASHI, Mike Rostescu, Assistant Executive Director & Director of IT, as well as Bruce Barker, long-time ASHI Educator  & Author of the new Black and Decker book on Decks and Rails. Working together with the leadership of the Professional home inspectors of ASHI is helping to make a difference in raising awareness in NADRA’s Deck Safety initiative. Thank you Mike and Bruce for working the booth with us at the show.”


Thank you, Sponsors! 


2018 National Awards Dinner & Celebration

On the evening of Wednesday, October 10th, 2018, over 200 NADRA members and industry professionals gathered at The National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. The event honored those whose ambitions have elevated the industry and redefined the definition of success.

During the presentation, eighty three awards were given to NADRA members with the highest scores based on category in the National+ Deck Competition. 

“As we have learned from our other brands in the Oldcastle APG family, the health and vitality of an industry stems from those individuals and organizations wholly dedicated to its’ success. With NADRA- an association comprised of tireless advocates for the decking space- we see a partner that shares the same belief. We look forward to a fruitful relationship-  focused on growing the category- and ensuring the path to success for our contractors, dealers and distributors.”

Rich Lancaster – President, AERT

“Thank you NADRA staff for all the hard work put in to making it such a great event. On behalf of myself and my DOCK & DECK crew we say thanks and looking forward to next year.”

Jason Varney, DOCK & DECK, TN

The winning photos can be viewed in the official video below. See HERE for a PDF of all 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners by category.

You can also view the official PowerPoint presentation below:

“This has been the only contest I have ever been in that I have cheered on and promoted my competitors more than my own entries. I am truly humbled to be counted amongst such talented deck artists. Every deck building company, manufacturer rep, supplier, and of course association directors and staff we have met, have quickly become our close family. We are passionate for what we do and love the opportunities to grow with the industry.  NADRA Rocks!”

Jon Witt, WWG Designs & Build, Ontario

Annual Meeting:

NADRA 2018 / 2019 Board of Directors: 

  • President: Matt Breyer, Breyer Construction & Landscape
  • Vice President: Heath Bowman, Southeastern Underdeck Systems, LLC / Haven
  • Treasurer/Secretary: Bruce Verblaauw, C. Verblaauw & Sons, LLC
  • Immediate Past President, Kirk Hammond
  • Director: John Keller, Sequoia Supply
  • Director: Vincent Carrubba, Admiral-SpaceMaker
  • Director: Gary Converse, Koppers Performance Chemicals

National Awards

2018 Terry Award: Presented to Jim Mailey

The Terry award is the highest award honored to one member of NADRA. Terry  Dempsey was the original founder and owner of DeckExpo. Terry was instrumental in guiding NADRA during the formation process. Beginning in 2008, NADRA HQ chose one member to honor for their superior contributions to the Association and industry at large. This year, Jim Mailey was the recipient of the Terry Award.

2018 Terry Award: Jim Mailey

“In honor of your extraordinary dedication & unwavering commitment to creating and driving deck safety awareness across North America and beyond. Thank you, Jim.”

Michael Beaudry, NADRA Executive Vice President

2018 Recognition Award

The 2018 Recognition award was awarded to Rebekah Schuld & Stephanie Kurtz, AZEK Building Products. 

2018 Recognition Award: Rebekah Schuld & Stephanie Kurtz

“There is no secret formula. 

No magic pill. 

There are no shortcuts. 

Just dedication. 

Thank you, Rebekah & Stephanie for your dedication to NADRA and the industry we serve. Your efforts do not go unnoticed.”

Michael Beaudry, NADRA Executive Vide President

View NADRA’s 2018 Annual Meeting Presentation below to learn more about Association happenings, such as financials and Deck For a Soldier® update:

NADRA’s 2018 Annual Meeting Presentation

NADRA’s Code Fundraising Initiative: Mark Guthrie & Glenn Mathewson

Mark Guthrie, Code Committee Chair

NADRA Members, consider this your call to code action! As your new Code Committee Chair, I am asking for your help on behalf of the entire organization so that we can become a stronger voice in shaping the deck codes we all must build to. 

Over the last few code cycles, we have increased our influence in the code development arena by supporting other professionals to speak on our behalf. For the most part, our members have benefited from these outside efforts, winning on many of the positions NADRA has advocated for. However, to fairly execute on our vision of becoming the most respected and relied upon voice for decking and railing code, we believe that the time has come to add a hired professional to our ranks.

After much consideration, we have selected Glenn Mathewson to be this key part of our team. As many of you are aware, Glenn has been with us from the beginning and worn too many hats to name, the highlight being the development of an ICC-approved deck code training program for our members. We believe that he brings what we need: the wisdom and historical perspective to see it from all sides, a passion for the industry and a work ethic that makes it worth the spend.

Glenn has outlined a plan for our success that includes attending the
upcoming code hearings, submitting proposals on our behalf and being part
of the technical dialogue between competing interests that always surround
code development. What we need to do now is generate the income needed
to support this plan. Please follow this link to contribute to our $50,000 goal today. 

Click HERE to view the Code Initiative 4 page document. Contributions may be made here via online registration.

” Mike, Thank you for another great event, awesome to see you and the rest of the NADRA gang again.  I took to heart what Glenn said at the meeting and Deck and Basement wants to do our part to support putting him at the code hearings.  Please use this $500 as a modest start to making sure our industry does not get even more over-regulated than it has already become. I know only a drop in the bucket but together with all of my Nadra Brothers out there, doing things for the right reason, we can make a difference. Keep up the good work Beaudry’s, your industry thanks you.”

Pat Noonan, Deck and Basement Co., MN

NADRA’s Education Initiative: Jim Mailey

Jim Mailey, Education & Code Advisor

There are than 50 million decks in the U.S.  Over 25 million of those decks are already past their useful like – needing to be replaced. 

The industry is still lacking comprehensive deck inspection training. NADRA is focused on helping drive that change through the ONLY Certification Program to provide the knowledge and tools to PROPERLY and COMPLETELY inspect an existing deck!  

  • NADRA partnered with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) since 2015
  • Annual training at ASHI’s national conference (Inspection World) & regional chapter training events
  • Trained nearly 500 ASHI inspectors in 3 years
  • All during this pilot program!

The goal of NADRA’s education initiative is to educate and certify 500 ASHI inspectors in 2019. 

Scroll through the presentation below to see just what numbers we are talking about. We are looking at DOUBLING the industry by successfully launching NADRA’s education initiative. Please click this link to support your future. Monetary contributions are needed to start driving change in our industry today. 


“This industry has been my mode of survival since I was a young man.  I would like to see others step up and be more supportive of these events.  This year several people I spoke with mentioned how busy they were and about the hundreds of decks they are building.  When I asked why they attended this event, and if they would ever consider being a sponsor. The response was constantly Oh! we are only here to get stuff not to give.  I would like to share the message. “You reap what you sow” “If you are only in this industry only for personal gain you will, be invisible, never grow and not be truly whole”  

Bob Heidenreich: The Deck Store, MN

“As always, the Annual NADRA Awards were a blast. We loved catching up with old friends and share with everyone’s excitement for the growth of the industry. We love celebrating the victories of friends who work hard year-round; as we say, the better any of us do, the better we all do. We are looking forward to another great year, and can’t wait to see where things take us and our friends by the time we catch up again in 2019.

Deck Expo was also an overwhelming success on Haven Underdeck’s first year as an exhibitor. Thanks to word of mouth from our NADRA friends, and the hard work of our amazing staff, we found ourselves hardly able to keep up with the traffic at our booth. From launching our material sales division last year, to exhibiting our product at the show this year, it has been a steady rise. We anticipate that we will only stay busier thanks to the turnout at Deck Expo. We are thrilled to have had such an awesome turnout.”

Joel Mooneyhan, Haven & Southeastern Underdeck Systems, GA

“It was certainly great to network with all of the wonderful people that we have become good friends with because of our involvement with NADRA.  Thank you to all of those involved with NADRA and especially the Beaudry family who put in all of the hard work and dedication to put on such an awesome event each and every year at the National Deck Awards Competition.”

Bruce Verblaauw, C. Verblaauw & Sons, LLC, NJ

Thank you all for your endless support!

In conclusion, it was an incredible event! New friends were made & victories were celebrated. Please know that we are so grateful for our NADRA community. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who made the trek to Baltimore. We think you’re pretty awesome. 

Until next time… 

Your home team at NADRA HQ ~ Mike & Margie Beaudry, Heather Marchand and Jenn Zedaker

Your Board of Directors ~ Matt Breyer, Heath Bowman, Bruce Verblaauw, Kirk Hammond, John Keller, Vincent Carrubba, Gary Converse

Hanley Wood Announced as Official Media Partner of the North American Deck and Railing Association

Hanley Wood Announced as Official Media Partner of the North American Deck and Railing Association

PROFESSIONAL DECK BUILDER and JLC named the official media brand of NADRA

Washington, DC – May 21, 2018 – Hanley Wood, the premier information, media, event, and strategic marketing services company serving the residential, commercial design and construction industries, announced today that it has partnered with the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) as their official media partner.  Hanley Wood’s PROFESSIONAL DECK BUILDER and JLC have been named as the official media brands of NADRA.

The North American Deck and Railing Association membership is comprised of many of Hanley Wood’s audience segments including dedicated deck builders, remodeling contractors, builders, architects, home inspectors and others,” said Rick Strachan, President Hanley Wood’s Contractor Group. “Hanley Wood and NADRA share in the mission of addressing important issues facing the industry, like labor shortages and training, and we’re excited to be partnering with them on initiatives such as these.

“Hanley Wood is a leading publisher in our industry, and we are excited to continue working with them as we expand our interaction on their various platforms to share updates on code development, best practices, and industry innovations in backyard living and deck, dock, and porch construction,” said Matt Breyer, President of The North American Deck and Railing Association.

In addition to being named official media brand, PROFESSIONAL DECK BUILDER is supporting NADRA’s Deck Safety Ambassador Program as well as NADRA’s Deck Awards.  Hanley Wood will provide coverage of NADRA’s National Deck Awards in a special supplement of PROFESSIONAL DECK BUILDER, which will be circulated in both print and online through Hanley Wood’s network.

About the North American Deck and Railing Association

The mission of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) is to provide a unified source for the professional development, promotion, growth, and sustenance of the Deck and Railing building industry in North America so that members can exceed the expectations of their customers.  To learn more, visit NADRA.org

About Hanley Wood

Hanley Wood is the premier company serving the information, media, and marketing needs of the residential, commercial design and construction industry. Utilizing the largest analytics and editorially driven Construction Industry Database, the company provides business intelligence and data-driven services. The company produces award-winning media, high-profile executive events, and strategic marketing solutions. To learn more, visit hanleywood.com

NADRA Member Spotlight Winner: Woodland Deck Co., Steve Selkic

 

Company Name: Woodland Deck Co.
Member Name:  Steve Selkic
Member Category: Deck Builder
Location: Doylestown, OH

What inspired you to join NADRA?  To network and learn from other builders. As deck builders we run into a lot of the same challenges, and learning from each other helps us think outside the box.

When did you first get involved with this industry?  25 years ago.

What was the first thing you ever built? A fort in the woods. I grew up close to a forest and we spent a lot of time in there. Exploring around and building things was something that held me captive for hours at time. Kids stuff, pretending you are on the run and have to build a shelter… and whatever else we could think up.

We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business:  Woodland Deck Co. was established in 2000. So this is now our 18th year in business. It has been a blast but also very challenging. We specialize in low-maintenance decks and don’t venture too far from there. Pergolas, and deck lighting as well.

How do you define success?  I like John Wooden’s definition:

Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming

What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career? Don’t eat yellow snow! jk. On a more serious note: You can always make more money, you can never make more time.

If you could ask your fellow industry professionals one question, what might it be?  How will the way we do business change in the next 10 years?

What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this? A non-for-profit business coach. I would like to serve people in deprived countries and help them find a way to build sustainable business for their families.

A little more about Steve: I’m a father of 8 kids, and enjoy doing most things outdoors with them.  This seems to take up most of my free time. We recently did a RV cross-country trip which was a blast.  I’m hoping to do another trip, maybe next year?

Website:  WoodlandDeck.com 

Connect with Woodland Deck Co. on Social Media:

Instagram: @WoodlandDeck

Outdoor living continues to drive growth in decking projects.

In Depth: Decks, LBM Journal

By  / April 4, 2018

Outdoor living continues to drive growth in decking projects.

Zuri Decking

Zuri Premium Decking from Royal Building Products comes in five colors—chestnut, walnut, pecan, Brazilia, and Weathered Gray— and two board profiles, and it’s backed by a 25-year color fastness warranty.

Decks are the darling of home improvement. Thanks to a strong housing market, a growing economy, and interest rates that remain low, the decking industry is poised to experience continued growth, and homeowners are poised to take advantage by incorporating more and more deck projects into their building and remodeling plans. According to the 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscape Trends Study, the share of outdoor projects motivated by a recent home purchase increased to 33% in 2017 over last year’s rate of 25%, and 20% of homeowners surveyed indicated that they plan a deck remodel for the coming year.

A major driving factor in this growth is the continued homeowner interest in outdoor living. Homeowners and contractors are increasingly working together to create personalized, unique structures that are reflections of the outdoor living needs of their families, creating immersive, form-meets-function environments. “While decks have been a common sight in most backyards for decades, they are now taking on new meaning,” explains Juliana Rumbaugh, Marketing Communications Manager for Lonza Wood Protection. “Homeowners are embracing outdoor living and entertaining by building elaborate decks that include fireplaces, televisions and full kitchens. Building decks and outdoor structures continues to be a top remodeling project that allows for the extension of living space. Decks are built or expanded upon with the intention of extending the living space to outdoors. Families and friends gather on the deck to visit, enjoy meals together and even watch sporting events.”

Residential construction drives growth

MoistureShield

According to MoistureShield, its new Vision™ deck and trim boards create a modern variegated appearance unlike any other decking product, and the manufacturer anticipates that its new patterning technology developed for Vision decking will eventually enable homeowners, builders or designers to customize the surface of their deck boards.

Following patterns seen in the past few years, growth in the decking segment remains strong and is predicted to stay that way. According to IBISWorld’s U.S. Market Research Report on Deck and Patio Construction published this past November, over the last five years the decking industry experienced 5.4% overall growth as a whole, fueled by improving credit conditions, rising income levels and an increase in total demand for residential housing.

In the Freedonia Group’s recent Wood and Competitive Decking report, demand will reach 3.55 billion linear feet by 2020, worth an estimated $7.1 billion, with growth anticipated for both wood and non-wood decking products. The report goes on to predict that the non-wood share will continue to rise by 4.5% annually and will reach 17.9% by 2020, with wood decking forecasted to increase 1.3% annually through that same time period.

Brent Gwatney, Senior Vice President of Sales for MoistureShield Composite Decking, has high hopes for the coming year. “We’re very optimistic for the 2018 decking season,” he says. “We’ve had strong sales ever since coming off the Great Recession, and this year has many positive indicators. Builder confidence is strong, and the NAHB forecasts 4.6% growth in single-family housing starts for the year. Remodeling activity also is strong, and with the growing popularity of outdoor living, many people are looking to expand or replace their existing decks, or build a new deck.”

Manufacturers seem to agree that the single biggest growth segment in the coming year will be in residential single-family homes, both in new construction and in remodeling. “As the economy continues to strengthen, we see remodeling projects picking up,” says Juliana Rumbaugh, marketing communications manager for Lonza. “We expect an increase of about 4.5% in deck projects in residential, singlefamily homes which continues to grow faster than the other categories.”

Perhaps even more than the new residential construction market, the remodeling segment appears poised for strong growth. “In 2018, we anticipate all deck projects to grow,” says Mike Descoteaux, Marketing Manager for DuraLife Decking and Railing, “however, remodeling projects are especially popular as homeowners continue to gravitate from traditional decking products toward low-maintenance alternatives.”

DuraLife

DuraLife now offers color-matched decking board end caps for its Siesta, MVP, and Starter decking profiles. According to DuraLife, these end caps enhance the appearance of the deck perimeter and provide a more costeffective solution for deck builders than the traditional “picture framing” installation method.

Chris Camfferman, Director of Category Marketing for Deckorators, sees strong remodeling growth over the next twelve months. “We expect the decking and railing market to grow approximately 5% this year. Both new construction and remodeling will drive projects. Deck remodeling continues to be strong as homeowners see investment in the outdoor space adding real value to their homes.” Patrick Barnds, Senior Vice President for AZEK Building Products, agrees. “Single-family residential remodeling is where we expect to see most of that growth being concentrated, which is the single biggest segment of the market these days.”

This is not to say that commercial projects are flat; in fact, some manufacturers see the commercial segment as having the potential to deliver significant gains. As Jessica Hewitt, Director of Marketing for Humboldt Redwood, explains, “For businesses in the entertainment, hospitality, leisure, and sports industries, beautiful outdoors spaces with decks, shade structures, seating, and other amenities enhance the customer experience. Businesses invest in these outdoor spaces to bring in new business and keep current customers coming back.”

Read the original article here on LBM Journal

The Loss of a Passionate Soul in the Post Frame Industry

“I have had the honor and privilege of working with this man for over 13 yrs. and he personally impacted my life in so many ways. Ken was passionate about the Post Frame Industry for many years and truly made a difference to so many! Ken was equally passionate in how he treated others. Always Fair and never demeaning in any way! He was respected and looked up to by so many!!

Ken will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him! My life will always be better because of it.

R.I.P.   my good friend, boss and mentor…”

~ Allen R. Homan,  Gen Mgr / Sales, Perma Column East, LLC 

Email: allen.pce@verizon.net  

Kenneth K. Kistler, 71, of New Tripoli, died peacefully on Sunday, April 1, 2018. He was the husband of Beverly E. (Forster) Kistler. They were married on May 30, 1975 and celebrated nearly 43 years of marriage. Born in New Tripoli, Ken was the son of Verna R. (Wessner), wife of Leon J. Kistler. He graduated from Northwestern Lehigh High School in 1964, and later attended LeTourneau University in Texas. He was a member of the Northwestern Lehigh School Board for 24 years and served as Board President for several years. Ken was also a founding member of the Northwestern Lehigh Educational Foundation, as well as a member of the Northwestern Alumni Association. He also served on the Northwestern Recreation Commission board and on the CLIU Board of Directors. Ken was a member of Ebenezer United Church of Christ, New Tripoli, where he served on the Consistory and was the Chairman of the Preschool Committee. He was a member of the National Frame Builders Association and served on their Board of Directors. He was inducted into the Rural Builders Hall of Fame in 2011. Ken was also a member of the Slatington Masonic Lodge 440 since 2007, the Knights of the Golden Eagle, and the Hawk Mountain Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. Survivors: Surviving in addition to his wife are his two sons: Benjamin J. Kistler, husband of Jamie L. (Krauss), and Michael J. Kistler, husband of Shannon H. (Murphy); three granddaughters: Adisan M., Emily E., and Grace M. Kistler; one brother: Edward Kistler, of Rapid City, SD. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Services: A viewing will take place on Friday, April 6, from 9:00 to 11:00 AM at Ebenezer United Church of Christ, 7293 Decatur St, New Tripoli, 18066. Funeral service to follow at 11:00 AM. Interment will be in the Church Cemetery immediately following the service. Arrangements by Keller Funeral Homes, Inc., Fogelsville. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.KellerFuneralHomes.com. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Northwestern Lehigh Educational Foundation or the Christ’s Church at Lowhill Food Pantry, care of the funeral home, PO Box 52, Fogelsville, 18051.

Builders Appreciation Night by Phoenix

Come join the Phoenix Family for an evening of fun, education, certification, refreshments, and food. We have lots of new products and
you can get certified as a Phoenix Star Builder. Enjoy Open Bar, Food and chances to win Fantastic Raffle Prizes!

RSVP by March 23rd! The first 100 RSVP’s will be entered to win the grand prize raffle. Call 732-380-1666 to get on the list or ask your local sales person for the online link. We cannot wait to see you there!

When: Wednesday, March 28th from 5:00pm – 8:30pm

Where: The Headliner: 1401 NJ-35 Neptune City, NJ 07753

Register by clicking HERE.

FAQ’s:  

  1. Do I have to bring a printed ticket to the event?
    No. As long as you RSVP by March 15th online or by phone.
  2. What can I wear?
    Casual attire, such as pants, jeans are acceptable.
  3. Can I bring a guest?
    Yes. However, please register for any guests.
  4. Can I still come if I do not register?
    Yes. However, in order to have enough food, we ask that
    you register. Also, all unregistered guests will be asked to
    make a donation at the door to Mary’s Place by the Sea of
    $10.

When it comes to backyards, he’s in front

By DONNA REED, March 19, 2018
PHOTO COURTESY OF BREYER CONSTRUCTION AND LANDSCAPE. A custom Trex deck by Breyer Construction and Landscape has a pergola, spiral steps and lower-level living space. The home, in Lincoln University, Chester County, also has an outdoor gas fireplace.
Nearly 17 years ago, a great thing happened to Matt Breyer. He got fired.

The 21-year-old had just celebrated his birthday and thought his employer was calling him into his office on a Friday afternoon in November 2001 to compliment him, maybe even increase his salary. Breyer was on a roll, looking forward to his December wedding.

To his surprise, Breyer was castigated for his “lousy work ethic” and shown the door by his boss, a custom homebuilder.

Breyer’s immediate follow-up actions clearly refuted that “lousy work ethic.”

Despite his youth, Breyer, who was homeschooled and attended Lancaster Bible College, had a lot of skills tucked under his belt. On-the-job training since his teens had taught him construction, excavating, landscaping, carpentry and even sign-making.

He also had a list of satisfied customers, so he picked up the phone and lined up several jobs.

By Monday morning, Breyer had started his own business and was on the road to self-made success.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

Today, Reading-based Breyer Construction and Landscape LLC, co-owned by Matt and his brother John, employs 20 people and primarily serves Berks County and the Lehigh Valley, the Harrisburg area and the Philadelphia suburbs.

The company was ranked among the top 60 construction remodelers nationwide in customer satisfaction, according to a survey last year by GuildQuality.

And Breyer this year became president of the North American Deck and Railing Association Inc. NADRA, with more than 500 members, is based in Quakertown.

While the firm tackles a variety of construction projects, from kitchens to baths to other indoor endeavors, the majority of its work centers on outdoor living spaces, primarily decks.

“We do between 100 and 150 projects a year,” said Breyer, who lives in Lower Alsace Township, “and 70 percent of our business involves backyard projects.”

FILLING A NICHE

In the early 2000s, Breyer identified a market niche for more expansive residential decks and the very durable composite material that was gaining in popularity and replacing traditional wood decking.

That, combined with the influence of home-improvement television shows, opened a market for his business to survive recessionary challenges of the past decade.

Breyer’s key market area of southeast/southcentral Pennsylvania was less affected than, for example, sections of Florida and Arizona – where big construction booms led to unprecedented economic busts.

OUTDOORS AS PART OF THE HOME

So, while homeowners might have forgone moves to larger abodes, they took notice of the trending open-space concepts to reconfigure existing houses.

“The open concept versus the old compartmentalized rooms,” Breyer said, “and open wins with the overflow going into the outdoor spaces.

“The outdoors is no longer a completely separate entity, it’s a continuation of the home.”

LOTS OF TRAVEL

Learning more about decks and outdoor improvements, including the need for materials training, certifications and hooking up with manufacturers, led to Breyer’s involvement with NADRA.

He’s served on its board for five years, providing a helping hand with codes and education/training. Prior to being elected president, Breyer was treasurer.

After taking office in January, he jumped right into his role, making several trips to regional chapters in that month alone.

His office in Reading’s 18th Ward is almost home to Breyer. In fact, it was the family home until last year when his business and family had grown too large to share quarters.

EDUCATION, TRAINING

As NADRA president through 2020, Breyer has a clear vision. He stresses education and training for professionals as well as homeowners.

For example, he emphasizes the need for homeowners to understand the condition of a deck substructure before sprucing up and/or expanding a deck.

Often, there will be a need for new sub-decking, including footers, to support a larger, more complex deck and the weight it will need to bear.

While he’s a big proponent of wood, Breyer cautions that the strength of new wood from sustainable foresting is often compromised by chemicals used for rapid growth.

 

Kirk Hammond of Atlanta, immediate past president of NADRA, noted Breyer’s leadership.

“Those who are fortunate to meet and work with Matt recognize and appreciate his dedication, values and excellence in every aspect of his life,” Hammond said.

HELPING THE MILITARY

Two major NADRA programs of note are:

The Check Your Deck® program during Deck Safety Month® in May.

The Deck for a Soldier® program in which NADRA members, via donations from affiliated manufacturers, build decks for disabled veterans.

“We have more manufacturers willing to give products than we can use,” Breyer said. “Our greatest challenge is finding active or retired service members who we can help.”

‘LUCKY TO HAVE THEM’

A Mohnton native, Breyer is optimistic about his business and his Berks roots.

“Breyer Construction and Landscape is a clear example of how supporting small businesses in our community can lead to successes that reach beyond our region,” said Jeffrey D. Waltman Sr., a wealth management adviser and president of Reading City Council.

“… We are lucky to have them rooted here and have them as a reminder to support small and growing businesses in all ways possible.”

R&R in The Great Outdoors: 3 Ways to Transform Your Outdoor Living Space

R&R in the great outdoors: 3 ways to transform your outdoor living space(BPT) – As Americans increasingly appreciate the therapeutic benefits of nature, they’re putting more thought and effort into creating beautiful, comfortable and functional living areas outside their own homes.

These days, such outdoor havens are considered valuable home extensions rather than underutilized corners of your yard. More than 70 percent of U.S. households now incorporate outdoor living spaces, reports one survey, and nearly 70 percent use those areas at least weekly in season.

A favorite material for such havens is Western Red Cedar, a stunning and fragrant wood species that incorporates beautifully into decks, porches, furniture and other functional elements of your home.

Not surprisingly, Western Red Cedar has many fans in the construction world. Colin McAllister and Justin Ryan of HGTV’s “Colin and Justin’s Home Heist” recently broadcast an online episode featuring the building of a lakeside cabin pergola that features the finely grained wood. “It smells incredible,” notes Ryan. “Honestly, you are transported to the center of a forest … it feels escapist, it feels luxurious and it looks amazing. If you brought lots of plastic or man-made materials into this environment, it would just be wrong.”

The unique characteristics of the sought-after cedar allow it to weather into a gorgeous silver patina even as it resists rot, decay and insects. Further, the durable wood is a dream to work with because it’s lightweight, lays flat, stays straight and is free of pitch and resin. Bonus: The forests harvested for the wood are carefully and sustainably replanted.

Dreaming of a private, well-appointed outdoor space where your family and guests can relax while enjoying nature? Consider how these other suggestions might also help put those wheels in motion.

* Cover your bases: Make your space easier to use through the seasons by adding a gazebo, pergola, pavilion or three-season porch that can protect you, your guests and your furnishings from sun or rain. Consider draping curtains or netting that can be pulled back at will, allowing greater privacy and/or protection from bugs. Ideally, your new oasis will merge the best of both worlds, bringing the comforts of home outside while still offering the benefits of fresh air, fragrant breezes, sunshine, birdsong and positive interactions with flora and fauna.

* Eat, drink and be merry: The old adage about guests gravitating toward the room that has the food? It’s absolutely true, and incorporating cooking into your outdoor haven can lend a fun and informal entertaining element that just can’t be replicated indoors. Options for equipment include grills, smokers, pizza ovens, fireplaces, bars or full kitchen set-ups with ovens, sinks, refrigerators and prep areas. Make sure to choose weather-resistant finishes for everything, install effective lighting and make sure you have plenty of comfortable seating for foodie friends.

McCallister notes on his show how rewarding it can feel to transform unused outdoor areas into havens of fun and relaxation, “transforming dead space into valuable life space.” That same feeling can be achieved by do-it-yourselfers who embark on their own outdoor projects.

“Outdoor patio spaces have sure changed in the last few years with the onset of new outdoor materials, furnishings, fixtures … and the homeowner’s desire for more outdoor living and entertaining space,” notes Audra Slinkey in a recent report by the National Association of Realtors. “Today’s yards are multi-functional and serve to entertain, lounge and maximize lot square footage.”

It’s beautiful, it’s practical and it’s easy to use. Western Red Cedar can be an ideal building material for your next home improvement project. For more information about the building material and its guest appearance on “Colin and Justin’s Home Heist,” check out RealCedar.com.

CAMO SCREW OFF! Finals – Winner Announced!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maureen Murray

973-993-1570

precise2@optonline.net

Otis Nelson of Modern Roofing & Siding in Ashland, Maine Wins Harley-Davidson® Grand Prize at National Nail’s CAMO® Screw Off!™

Grand Rapids, MI – Otis Nelson of Modern Roofing & Siding in Ashland, Maine, is the Grand Prize winner at National Nail’s CAMO Screw Off! held at the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA) LBM Expo in Providence, Rhode Island on Feb. 14, 2018. Representing his dealer SW Collins in Presque Isle, where he first qualified, Nelson beat out 28 other competitors in the action-packed deck fastening event to win a 2017 Harley-Davidson® motorcycle.  There were 42 contractors who qualified from local lumberyard events this past spring and summer.

“The CAMO Screw Off was an exciting event, starting at my lumber dealer SW Collins all the way to finals here in Rhode Island,” said Nelson.  “It was a great way to learn more about CAMO’s deck fastening products. I can’t wait to take a cruise on the new bike!”

During the event, finalists faced off in a series of speed competitions with the winner moving onto the next round. The “Elite 8” then battled down to two finalists with Nelson taking first place with a winning time of 41.5 seconds. The other finalists were awarded cash prizes:

  • 2nd place — David Orgain, Birdseye Building Co., Burlington, VT representing his dealer Richmond Home Supply in Richmond, VT ($1,500 award winner)
  • 3rd place — Robert Smart of Building Smart in Freeport, ME, representing his dealer Hammond Lumber Company in Brunswick, ME ($500 award winner)
  • 4th place –Nathan Demers of Perkins Quality Construction in Middleboro, MA representing Mahoney’s Building Supply in Mattapoisett, MA ($500 award winner)

“We couldn’t have planned a more successful event,” said W. Scott Baker, CEO, National Nail. “The competition was intense–everyone came to win, with many of the contractors practicing for months. We congratulate Otis Nelson who gets to drive home a new Harley-Davidson® motorcycle.”

Designed by National Nail to provide hands-on experience with its CAMO Deck Edge Fastening system, the CAMO Screw Off was hosted by CAMO stocking dealers this past summer and fall in a series of deck fastening speed contests.  The unique system, comprised of propriety guides, drill bits and fasteners, fastens deck boards on the edge, to give decks a more beautiful, barefoot-friendly, fastener-free surface.

In the coming months, National Nail is expected to announce the details for the next round of CAMO Screw Off! events. For more information on the CAMO Screw Off!, visit www.camofasteners.com/screw-off

About CAMO Edge Fastening

CAMO Edge Fastening from National Nail delivers beautiful, fastener-free, Barefoot Approved™ results with virtually any wood, composite or PVC decking. CAMO offers a variety of guides, fasteners, and accessories, as well as a collated system to suit project requirements. For more information or to locate a dealer, visit CAMO Fasteners or call 1-800-968-6245. Be sure to “Like” @camofasteners on Facebook and @camodeckfasteners on Instagram.

Basic Post Footer Considerations:

 

 

*SPONSORED CONTENT*

Most decks are supported by posts and whatever is underneath that post can be considered a post footer. The essential function of a post footer is to increase the surface area over which the weight of the structure is disbursed. The weight of the deck, usually measured as dead load, live load, and snow load, is transferred downward through the post. By using a footer at the bottom of your post-hole, the weight is spread over a larger area, preventing the post from sinking. AG-CO, a NADRA member, makes FootingPad®, an innovative composite post footer.

Other critical measures related to footers include:

-Compressive and tensile strength of the material used in the post footer

-Size of the footer

-Size of the post

-Distance between the edge of the post and the edge of the footer

FootingPad is thoroughly tested by NTA, an independent engineering lab. FootingPad is ICC code compliant (ESR-2147). Click here for a pdf copy of the report.

FootingPad makes building easier, faster and is a proven replacement for concrete in most applications. See more at footingpad.com