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November 21st, 2017 UPDATE
Just a quick update as this Thanksgiving week winds down. One of the things that we should all be thankful about are the men and women who keep our great country safe. Please be sure to say a Thanksgiving prayer for all of our armed forces both home and abroad.
The Minnesota region has begun it’s Deck for a Soldier® project on a Veterans home. They have torn down the old deck and are getting ready to begin the build once permits are in order. They may still need a pledge of pressure treated lumber for the framing, so if you can help please click on this link or contact myself or Pat Noonan. We are also looking someone to pledge a plaque that would hang on or near this deck to acknowledge the NADRA Deck for a Soldier® program for donating the deck. Again, please click on the provided link or contact one of us.
The Northeastern region is currently drawing up the plans and will get the permit paperwork submitted in the near future. They are hoping to begin their build in January or February. Once this project gets closer we will be looking for pledges for this project as well.
I hope that you all are able to spend quality time with friends and family over the Thanksgiving holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Bruce Verblaauw – NADRA National Deck for a Soldier® Committee Chair
November 17th, 2017 UPDATE:
Day 1: Tear Down:
NADRA Members, Crossroads Remodeling headed to the site for day 1 of the Deck For a Soldier® Transitional Housing project in Minneapolis. Rick and his team has a huge heart for this program.
“Thank you NADRA, Pat Noonan and the other contributors for such an honorable program.” – Rick Wooton – Owner, Crossroads Remodeling
November 15th, 2017 UPDATE:
NADRA Members begin building a deck for Minnesota Alliance Council for Veterans (MACV)
Stay tuned for more updates.
November 2nd, 2017 UPDATE:
Minnesota Deck for a Soldier® Update: Several deck builders are getting ready to get the ball rolling on a Deck for a Soldier® build for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans at one of their Structured Independent Living Facilities. This is a non-profit organization that helps needy and homeless veterans get back on track. We are currently looking for material and labor pledges for this project. If you would like to become involved please click on the banner to make your pledge.
Once you fill out the pledge form we can pass your information on to the lead builder, Pat Noonan. It is important for you to fill out this pledge form so your information goes into the Deck for a Soldier® database. For those of you that pledge, please feel free to market the fact that you support NADRA’s Deck for a Soldier® program. This can help you market your products while you help us market this great program. You can also find sponsorship opportunities on the pledge form at the bottom. Thank you in advance for supporting this great cause that is very near to all of our hearts!
NADRA National Deck for a Soldier Committee Chairman
Our Mission: The Deck Store is committed to providing our online and retail customers with top quality products at competitive prices. Armed with decades of experience in the deck industry and an expansive, updated product catalog, we have the expertise to help you find what you need for your deck or outdoor living space.
Our Physical Store: The Deck Store is based in Apple Valley, MN, where we operate a retail store, large warehouse and offices. We have a solid foundation in our local community, and have been featured in local papers, magazines and on TV. We pride ourselves on providing high quality deck building products and supplies – along with knowledgeable advice and instruction – to homeowners and contractors alike. If you are in the area, be sure to drop by our showroom, which is one of the largest in the Midwest, to see our products, and chat with our friendly staff in person.
Our Online Store: In 2009, we decided to make our product offerings and knowledge available to homeowners and building pros nationwide. TheDeckStoreOnline.com has served thousands of customers, delivering the same high quality products that local customers have come to count on.
Our Founder: Bob Heidenreich is the founder and owner of The Deck Store. With over 40 years of experience building and selling award-winning decks, Bob has earned a reputation as a skilled deck designer and construction craftsman. As a nationally recognized industry expert, Bob also writes a monthly column in the LBM Journal, the leading magazine serving residential construction supply pros. The column provides thoughtful business insights and construction management tips focused on decking and outdoor projects. During Bob’s career, he has created custom deck displays and educated attendees at the International Builders Show in Tokyo, Japan, the International Builders Show held in Las Vegas and Orlando. Bob has designed and built some of these show’s largest deck displays. In short, Bob knows decks!
To Our Friends at NADRA: We at The Deck Store would like to invite all our friends and NADRA members to experience what TheDeckStoreOnline.com has to offer with this special PROMO CODE: http://www.thedeckstoreonline.com/welcome-nadra-members
We are proud to support NADRA and it’s members!
Our Social Media: Our social media channels are a fun way for The Deck Store Crew to interact with our customers and other businesses. We use our social media channels in a different and light hearted way to help promote our brand. You will see that it is more personal, with updates about our employees and our work days. We would love for you to like us one or all of our sites to see all the great things that we do.
Message From Our Founder: “Everyone at The Deck Store is committed to making sure our online customers – wherever they are – get the same treatment as our local customers. Thank you for trusting us to help you get the right materials for your project!” — Bob Heidenreich, Owner, The Deck Store
Member Name: Tom Jacques
Company Name: Hickory Dickory Decks
Member Category: Builder
Location: Dundas, Ontario, Canada
When did you first get involved with this industry? 1987
What was the first thing you ever built? A tree fort.
We want to get to know you, please tell us a little about your business: Hickory Dickory Decks started in 1987 in Hamilton Ontario. Today we operate in over 65 cities with franchises and corporate operated local deck companies. We have specialized in low maintenance decking since it was first made. We build over 90 percent low maintenance decks and have since 1995. In 2017 our company will build over 1,000 custom decks.
How do you define success? Success is spending quality time with family and friends and doing something you love that makes the world a better place.
What advice would you like to share with fellow members that you have learned in your career? Build your business and your life living by the Golden rule of treating all people the way you would like to be treated. Pretty simple.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this? Write or teach.
A little more about Tom: I am blessed with a loving wife Sue, and 7 great kids. We love spending time together traveling and at the family cottage.
A note from Tom:
Hello fellow deck builders and deck company owners. Hickory Dickory Decks has been a long standing member of NADRA from it’s very beginning. I think the founding of NADRA has helped get deck builders around the world to start looking at their job as a career and a profession. We create outdoor dining and living rooms where our customers can relax after a hard day, and spend some quality time with family and friends. Just think about all the happiness we have helped spread in each and every backyard. We also provide good, honest, well paying jobs to thousands upon thousands of men and women not only building and designing and selling our beautiful backyard environments but also supplying and transporting all the material to jobs around the world.
I think this October in Nashville, all professional deck builders should come to the 2017 Deck Expo. Enjoy a few days away from construction sites and challenging work situations. To relax with our peers, share some great stories and a cold beverage or two, and congratulate each of us for helping all of our customers to Enjoy Life…Outdoors! See you there.
~ Tom Jacques, President, CEO and Founder of Hickory Dickory Decks.
Connect with Hickory Dickory Decks online:
I was ready to do business with you, but…
Regardless of your culture, upbringing, economic status or stage of life, we can all agree on one thing. If we are going to spend our hard-earned money with you or your company, you must first listen to us, meet us where we are, provide value to our lives, care about what we need, use the communication methods that are easy for us, do a really good job and stand by your product and workmanship. If we are super-lucky, you’ll also say thank you and follow up with us in a few months after the sale just to see how we’re doing!
Easy peasy, right? Sounds good, but all too often that’s not the customer experience journey that most of us encounter. Let’s talk about a few pitfalls that happen in today’s world before the customer’s pen even hits the contract.
Business owners, relax… watch your blood pressure… and please don’t shoot the messenger. I get it! I know you’re busy with what’s in front of you right now. However, you must always ask yourself, “Am I ever too busy to hear from my potential customer, as this could drastically affect my sustainable success?” Here’s a quick five reminders from my own (good and bad) personal experiences:
- Make customers feel good about what you are offering. Yes, they are buying your product or service, but they are also investing in you.
- Communicate properly (before, during and after the sale) regardless of how busy you are. C’mon people!! Follow up! Stay engaged! Customers want to know what’s going on!
- Show them that you care. Your website can say that you care, but if you don’t answer the customer’s questions, show up when you’re supposed to, etc. – You don’t care and the customer knows it (sometimes before you even sell them anything)!!
- Drop the ego. You may be the top salesperson in your organization or your friends may think you walk on water, but customers don’t have time for that!
- Instill trust and inspire the customer to become an advocate for you! That’s where you will win!
Friends, since Al Gore created the internet (ha!), consumers have had endless information available to them. As a result, they are educating themselves on how business should be conducted. Customers are also researching your products, services and ratings. They have become more demanding because of the “screen education degree” that they received from a YouTube video, slideshare or TV segment. Whether you like this or not, this new day requires business owners, organizations and their affiliates to step up their game (big time!). Company leadership must invest time to work “on” the business, instead of just working “in” the business.
They must train their employees that the customer experience is paramount and that without customers there is no need to worry about being busy when the dust settles. You either focus on your customers’ needs or you will eventually need customers!
The bottom line is that people must ultimately trust you before they do business with you. What a different world of commerce it would be if most entities understood and did something about this very basic principle. Will you do anything differently today knowing that customers think before they ink? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Kevin Jackson, The Positivity Guru
CPG International Announces Hiring of Joe Ochoa as President of AZEK Building Products
Former Owens Corning Executive Brings Years of Industry Experience to Leading Building Products Company
SKOKIE, IL – CPG International, a leader in premium, low maintenance, exterior building products, announced today the hiring of former Owens Corning executive Joe Ochoa as President of its AZEK Building Products unit.
Ochoa spent the last 15 years of his career at Owens Corning, a $6 billion company, in various roles. Most recently, he was vice president of strategic marketing for the Roofing and Asphalt division, and served on the operating committee and as an officer of the company. Prior to that, he was vice president and general manager of the Engineered Insulation Systems (EIS) business; vice president and general manager of the Foam Insulation division; and general manager of the Latin America division.
“Joe Ochoa is a major player in the home and building products industry and we are thrilled to bring him on board to lead the AZEK unit of our business,” said Jesse Singh, CEO of CPG International. “In his role, he will provide overall strategic direction and leadership for AZEK Building Products to aid in bringing the organization to the next phase of growth.”
Ochoa will also have responsibility for financial planning and management activities to lead the organization’s profitability and performance.
Prior to Owens Corning, Ochoa served as vice president of technology for Servicelane, where he established a national network for home maintenance with Lowe’s Home Improvement Center as a key partner.
Ochoa also co-founded Fifth Gear Media, where he laid the foundation for the profitable company to merge to form Luminant Worldwide Corp., which had a successful IPO. Before Fifth Gear Media, Ochoa held a variety of leadership positions with Frito-Lay (part of the Pepsico Company), Procter & Gamble, and AT Kearney.
Ochoa earned a master of business administration degree from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business as well as a bachelor’s of business administration degree from the University of Texas.
“AZEK is a leader in the premium building products industry and its products are second to none, which is why the brand has enjoyed incredible success in the category,” said Ochoa. “I am eager to lend my expertise in the industry to take the AZEK brand to the next level.”
About CPG International
CPG International LLC is an industry leader of premium building products that replace traditional materials and provide value through lower maintenance, refined aesthetics and reduced total cost. Our commitment to innovation, sustainability, and research and design is at the core of who we are. CPG International is headquartered in Skokie, IL, in the greater Chicago area and also operates highly automated manufacturing facilities in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Ohio. The company’s products are marketed under several brands including AZEK® and TimberTech® for residential building materials, Scranton Products® for commercial building materials, and Vycom® for industrial building materials. For additional information, visit www.cpgint.com.
About AZEK® Building Products
AZEK Building Products is a leader in the development of premium, low maintenance exterior building products. Available to a worldwide audience, its product lines span AZEK Trim, Deck, Rail, Moulding, Porch and Pavers as well as capped wood composite Decking and Railing under the TimberTech brand. Both brands, synonymous with quality, style and innovation, are made in America and lead their market areas by continually reinventing product lines and redefining product categories. For more information about AZEK, visit www.azek.com. For more information on TimberTech, visit www.timbertech.com or call 1-877-ASK AZEK.
Anatomy of an Inherently Dangerous Deck, Part II
By: Brian Foley
Whenever I go out of town, I notice the differences in deck construction, particularly in other states that don’t have a robust or uniform building code like Virginia. One of the most common mistakes I can easily see from my informal windshield survey (or handlebar survey when I’m riding my bike) are notched guard posts. Statistics from deck collapses nationwide verify that one of the weakest points on a deck is the connection of the guard post to the deck framing (the other is the ledger board connection; see the July 5, 2017 post below).
Per the building code, in a worst-case condition, a guard post must resist a horizontal outward force of 200 pounds at its top. For a 36-inch tall guard, that translates to a rotational torque (moment) at the connection to the deck of 600 foot-pounds. The most important part of a post at that connection is its thickness – the exact location of the notch!
Most guard posts are comprised of wood 4x4s which have actual dimensions of 3½ inches by 3½ inches. The average notch I’ve seen is roughly half of the guard thickness which equates to a 1¾ inches. However, I’ve seen some truly butchered posts that were notched in both directions into a 1-inch by 1-inch section. Considering a post with half its thickness notched, its ability to resist the rotation is not reduced proportionally. Due to the way a section is analyzed, the actual resistance is reduced by 75 percent. That reduction increases exponentially for every additional loss of section.
If you’re building a deck, do NOT notch the guard post, and follow all the connection requirements from the Fairfax County Typical Deck Details to ensure your guard system is constructed safely and can resist the required loads.
Anatomy of an Inherently Dangerous Deck, Part I
By: Frank Woeste
Deck collapses caused by failure of a nailed deck-ledger-connection to the structure or house have been followed since 2002, when researchers at Virginia Tech began to investigate and test critical structural elements of a residential/multi-family deck. After several years of tracking deck collapses, it became apparent that the primary cause of deck collapses was the connection of the deck ledger to the house made with nails only. In fact, I believe 90% of all deck collapses result from the failure of the deck ledger-to house connection, and of the 90% most are caused by nailed-only ledgers.
The focus of this article is existing decks with a “nailed-only” ledger connection. As will be demonstrated, a homeowner, home inspector, property manager, or other professional can quickly determine if the deck is dangerous—nails only in a deck ledger constitutes a “dangerous deck.”
Background For decades, the residential codes have specified an occupant deck load of 40 pounds-per-square foot (psf), which translates into about one average-size person locating a space of 2-ft. by 2-ft. In addition, every edition of the International Residential Code (IRC) since 2000 has required that decks be positively anchored to the structure to resist both vertical and lateral loads. Assuming a deck that is 14-ft by 28-ft, the code design load would anticipate the deck could be safely occupied by 98 people. However, until 2007, the IRC did not prescriptively specify how contractors should fasten or connect the deck ledger to the house.
Frank Woeste, P.E., is Professor Emeritus, Virginia Tech University and a wood construction consultant. He can be contacted by e-mail: email@example.com
Each year, in coordination with the International Builders Show (IBS), The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) sponsors The New American Home (TNAH). TNAH is a collection of ideas for the industry to take away demonstrating construction technology, design concepts, sustainable materials, energy efficiency, healthy home features and “housing performance” that can be replicated — in whole or in part — in housing built any place and in any price range.
AGS Stainless was proud to have been selected to participate in this amazing project. Located in the very prestigious Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, a short drive to both the Orlando Convention Center and the Orlando International Airport. Lake Nona Golf & Country Club is a Tavistock Development and home to many International golf celebrities currently on the PGA tour.
Styled as “Pod Living”, so unused rooms can be closed off when not in use, this “Net Zero”, 11,000 square foot home is designed for comfortable living, both indoors and out. AGS Stainless was asked to design and then prefabricate the custom-made stainless rails which grace the homes upper and lower outdoor living spaces. To learn how prefabricated, custom rails by AGS Stainless can help to differentiate your next project go here: (https://vimeo.com/218488973)
Learn more about AGS Stainless Here: AGSStainless.com
Balance Your Talents.
Connect. Give. Take. Learn.
We’ve all seen the gymnast with perfect form, poise, preciseness and execution. They make it seem so easy and often this gives us a false sense that we could do exactly what they are doing without much effort.
However, we all quickly realize that in time our athletic ability is not what it used to be. Our discipline to be the best at our craft has slightly slipped. We are not as tenacious as we once were. Why? Because life happens around us. We get busy, we get distracted, our priorities change and this thing called balance comes into play in a huge way!
What do you mean KJ? I’m successful, my business is doing extremely well, so I must be in balance, right? Friends, you may be in balance while you’re on the balance beam, but when it is time for you to successfully stick your landing (when all the eyes are on you) how will you do? To prepare for a successful landing, let’s discuss some concepts that will change the way you think about personal development, leadership and business.
In addition to giving, don’t be afraid to take a little (but make sure you give first – lol). Be mindful to check your ego at the door. Don’t be too proud, bull-headed, close-minded or busy to miss out on best practices, continuous improvement ideas, innovative techniques and things that will transform your life and your business. We are living with innovation every day. Don’t miss your genie in a bottle!
Lastly, keep your balance by committing to be a life-learner. Don’t just pay your membership fees to be emailed the organization’s amazing newsletters or to have your company listed in their directory. Learn something from the connections, the giving and taking of information and combine that with your desire to be the best and to remain the best in your field. That’s how you consistently stick your landing my friends! Now get out there, strike the balance that works for you and win!
Positivity Guru, Value Adder, Keynote Speaker & SVP
June 23, 2017 – ATLANTA – dasso USA, Atlanta, GA., announces the groundbreaking of dasso’s new state of the art factory at a ceremony in JiangOu City, Fujian Province, China. Slated to be completed before July 2018, the facility will cover one million sq. ft. across 36 acres.
“The opening of this new factory gives us the ability to expand our operations in the area of exterior use composite bamboo and to fulfill the ever growing demand in North America for dasso.XTR fused bamboo products,” said dasso CEO.
The new plant has a capacity of 20 M sq. ft. of the new .XTR eco-composite bamboo for exterior use, creating more than 400 new factory jobs to fill its growing operational needs. Additional factory production will be used to support increasing demand in North America for dasso.XTR fused bamboo products.
dasso USA, is the exclusive sales and marketing arm for dasso in the U.S. and Canada and has a warehouse facility in Atlanta, GA.
Another plant is in the works for the production of dasso decking, siding, planks and other high-quality bamboo products.
About the dasso Group
Founded in 1993, the dasso Group is the world leader in the development and production of innovative bamboo products. Headquartered in Hangzhou, China, today the dasso Group has 10 manufacturing facilities and over 1,000 employees, in addition to owning more than 2,700 acres of productive, sustainable bamboo forest in China.