Are You Charging Enough for Deck Features?

By Bobby Parks

Today’s Outdoor Living Contractors

In today’s deck building market, radiuses, borders, inlays, outdoor lighting, and mitered stair tread details have become the trend.  I have friends that deliver amazing award-winning creations utilizing some or all these elements and most have figured out not only an efficient way to deliver these options, but also how to price them. I know from price tags I’ve seen on jobs and through conversations as I travel around the country that some could be charging more than they are for their projects and especially upgrade features. These operators are producing impressive work, but at compromised prices. In a best case scenario, this limits their profitability. In a worse case scenario, this weakens their financial health and lessens their chance of riding out the next economic downturn as there’s likely no buildup of reserves!

Reasons for Underpricing 

Many deck builders begin businesses with stronger building skills than sales abilities. While most  develop the balance with both, some don’t and often provide quotes without proper presentation or follow up which can handicap margin. They can sell jobs as long as the price is “low enough” but for varying reasons, they struggle to sell at needed margins. 

Underpricing or selling at minimal margins is often a result of one of the following: Not understanding the real cost of delivery. Not understanding the cost of overhead. Undervaluing ones worth. Underdeveloped people skills and sales ability. 

Generally, it  occurs with newer contractors that are trying to establish themselves, but lack confidence in their ability to sell or in the value of what they offer. It also occurs with many who worked as subcontractors that have not fully understood retail pricing or struggle to mentally overcome the “cost” aspect when quoting a customer. It even happens with veteran operators who undervalue their worth and lack the development of confidence to mentally overcome price. 

Motivation, ambition, and what’s considered as satisfactory profitability varies with contractors. At the end of the day it’s what you are satisfied with that matters. I’ve met with contractors that weren’t charging enough for basic jobs and I’ve met with some who charge appropriately for most jobs but don’t charge enough for added features.  Let’s touch on some of these.

Radiuses Are Premium Features with Premium Price Tags

Radius decks provide a great look and delivering them can separate you from competition as you’re offering options that many don’t. But as good as they look on website galleries and social media, it’s only a good option if they’re profitable deliveries. The process for layout, framing, jigs, material, heating and bending borders, and taping takes extra time and requires an investment in equipment. From a sales and production standpoint you’ll spend more time on the site compared to simpler designs, so the project should be priced to produce comparable margins as other jobs from a production aspect.  Giving a deal on the first couple of jobs to create projects to leverage off of makes sense, but otherwise these works of art are opportunities for added profit. 

Mitered Stair Detail Feature Options

Stairs are a necessity for function and can be a “feature” as well. When I built in Georgia most deck projects averaged being at 10’-12’ elevations with 15 or more treads a common occurrence.  Often a landing to redirect the stairs was needed, so by the time railing and lighting were added in, this was a pricey component costing the customer several thousand dollars before the deck dollars even factored in. This left less in the budget to create the usable space, so I kept it simple with stair systems that included riser boards, stair treads, and continuous pvc side skirt trim but not mitered surrounds. It was a clean and functional finish but not a “feature”. If I were operating today, I’d give the customer a choice for more deck space with “nice stairs”, or less deck space with really nice stairs”.

I discuss stairs here as I do for three reasons. One I know from conversations that some have been charging for custom treads similar to what I was charging for my standard ones five years ago. Secondly if the stringers are not stiffened and the treads not installed correctly, potential issues may show up as stairs are tested every time someone walks them.  The push off when weight is applied traveling upstairs and the downward impact pressures on tread nosings walking down is different than typical deck surface travel and can rock the miters over time. You must think about what these will look like 5-10 years down the road and not just for your one, three, or five 5-year warranty. And third, if flat blocking is used and not taped there’s potential for rot issues as well as framing swell which can open up the joints. So, if you’re installing them, take appropriate measures to ensure they’ll hold up and price accordingly. 

Lighting Features 

 Because code requires stairs to be lit in some fashion, I always had a standard lighting package priced in and offered the customer an option to add more for the deck. I know some contractors that throw in a lighting package as a “special offer” effort to help sell the job. If you have priced the project where you believe you can absorb this without affecting your real desired margins or you’re willing to take a hit on some jobs, then I see the rationale. I realize some basic packages can be done at a low cost, but in my opinion, contractors should see “lighting” as an opportunity to add to profits, and not provide for free. Why give something away that most will pay for and that could potentially create callbacks? 

Price it so the Customer Pays Now and You Don’t Pay Later

I’ve learned from over 30 years as a builder that products don’t always perform as advertised. Wood rots, fasteners corrode, and manufactured products can fail. Years fly by and not everything stands the test of time. Incorporating high building standards with pricing that guard against problems is a good approach. Taping pressure treated lumber in certain applications is a good example. But charge for your work and educate the customer why it’s a good idea to do it. If you’re going to experience rot, it’s likely to show up on cut stair stringers, planed down joists, and flat blocking areas used for inlays and borders, so taping is a wise investment. Even if your structural warranty has expired, your reputation can still be harmed with wood or product failures. And if you didn’t follow exact installation guidelines and set the customer up to be “in compliance” and a failure occurs as a result, regardless of your warranty; you may very well be liable. 

In Summary

So, understand my efforts here are not to offend anyone because of how they operate. I know some markets are more challenging than others and there are always low-ball contractors that factor in. The points I’m trying to make are: Value your gifted abilities and worth and charge accordingly. Have confidence in what you do and require customers to pay for the skill you bring to the table and the art you create when it comes to upgrades or don’t do them. Limit the deals you give and only award that “upgrade discount card” for those rare projects where it will be worth the investment. Leverage off those jobs and off the reputation and brand you build and maintain because you possess the skill for such offerings. Create sales models and track cost of delivery so you’ll be able to accurately charge moving forward.  Give your customers options with an upgraded price tag so they see the difference and value, so you come out ahead either way. Realizing markets vary most can charge their worth. It’s a builder’s market in most regions and if you’re a quality operator, you are in the driver’s seat. And although profit margins vary slightly from job to job when job-costing is done what’s important is that it averages out at the end of the year. 

Selling jobs at the right price will always be challenging and requires several aspects working together.

The key is to separate yourself from others by creating layers of credibility. Gain confidence in who you are and what you offer along with generating the right kind of leads that provide the opportunities needed to hit your numbers. There are ways to position your company to increase success in sales and increased margins and I’ll share my thoughts on that in upcoming pieces. 

Bobby Parks / Instagram: @Bobbyparks007

Copyright February 12th, 2020 – Bobby Parks





Manufacturers Share Highlights from 2020 International Builders Show

A letter from NADRA’s President, Matt Breyer: 

This year’s International Builder’s Show was again held in Las Vegas, and like always it is almost impossible to absorb it entirely! It’s a very well-run event, but the sheer size and scope of what you are immersed in can be daunting.

Part of what I attempt to do is visit with as many of our NADRA members as possible while walking the show. However, due to the 80-100,000+ people walking the show with me, this means I’m not able to physically talk with our members- as there’s a crowd in their booth ahead of me!

It’s been encouraging to see the growth and development with our members- and with the industry segment at large at this show. At the moment they haven’t sectioned us off into our own “wing”, but there is no doubt that the “outdoor living” category is well represented at IBS.
Something else I attempt to do at this show is simply walk through as much of it as possible, looking for design inspiration, subtle market trends, and clues for where consumer preferences are headed. Rest assured, if there’s a kitchen cabinet feature consumers want inside, at some point that’s a detail they will be asking about outside with the grilling station, and I’d like to be informed enough to have that conversation!

Something else I’ve grown to love about shows like this, is the excuse for some “reflection time” away from the “daily grind” back at home/office. Vegas isn’t exactly known for it’s “quiet spaces”, but the dramatically different environment does provide an opportunity to disrupt daily routines, and some personal reflection- and that (at least for me) is extremely rejuvenating!

It looks like we’re headed into another strong year. There’s good pent-up consumer demand, a great overall economy, and we’ve got some of the best materials available to use as we seek to exceed our client’s expectations yet again. Here’s to an AWESOME 2020!

We hope to see you throughout the year at various NADRA events and shows. Please stay in touch! If you’d like to send us photos and a brief recap from your experience at the International Builder’s Show, please send images, links and comments to Info@NADRA.org. We will keep the blog updated with posts from our members!

At your service, 
Matt Breyer

We invite you to scroll through the photos & comments from NADRA members that participated & exhibited at the International Builder’s Show last week in Las Vegas:

Screw Products, Inc.:

We had a wonderful time at the International Builders Show this year in Las Vegas. The people who came to our booth were from a good mixture of states, a wide variety of visitors from lumberyards to designers, to contractors, and all were very interested in our new and improved line of Gen II fasteners. We had quality time to explain our Horizon Curve Head and its slight curvature of the head that make for for elegant, professional results. The Finish Ring underneath the head that provides a better finish by cutting the top fibers in the wood for an extra step in countersinking, our Turbine Ribs that cut quickly into the wood, leaving a professional, clean finish with maximum wood contact, our Twin Blade Knurls that cuts fast to dramatically reduce friction and heat on the shank, while reducing load on the drill and we talked about our Fast Start Tip sharp threads all the way to the tip and how the fastener has an immediate grip for a fast start. The inset thread cut drastically reduces splitting effect and minimizes the driving torque needed to engage the wood.

We introduced our new lines at the show that included AXIS™ Structural Wood Screws, EPIC™ Trim Head Screws, PICO™ Finish Head Screws, AURA™ for Cabinetry & More, NOVA™ Structural Lag Screws, YUKON™ Hex Structural Lags and ROCO™.

We were also able to show our new Planograms available to the retail lumberyard, home center and hardware store. Learn more at ScrewProducts.com.

TimberTech:

The 2020 IBS AZEK TimberTech booth was a labor of love with the joint efforts of Minnesota Platinum Contractors Phi Decks and Deck and Basement partnering on the deck build.  The 50×80 deck featured all of the colors in the Legacy and Vintage collections as well as the four colors in the new Reserve Collection. Learn more at: TimberTech.com

NADRA Members, AGS Stainless: 

At IBS this year, AGS Stainless released its newest stainless steel railing system, Cascadia Rail.

Cascadia Rail was designed to provide deck builders with a visually-stunning and cost-effective stainless alternative to aluminum railing systems. 

Made from 316 marine-grade stainless steel and fabricated to AGS Stainless’ exacting standards, the lineal foot cost of Cascadia is similar to aluminum rail. 

Cascadia is easy to install, ships within 48-hours and is is currently the only ICC-ES approved metal railing system with a horizontal infill. This means Cascadia can be installed quickly,  anywhere in the US and Canada, by just about anyone – and without the need for the engineering calculations typically required by local permitting authorities for custom stainless rails.

For additional info or to order Cascadia for your next project, go to: AGSStainless.com  

NADRA Members, Versatex:

IBS 2020 in Las Vegas was an incredible time. We had a blast showcasing our products at IBS with new color offerings with our Canvas Series. The best part about the show was conversing with industry professionals all week and learning about their work. This is definitely a show that should not be missed! Plenty of innovative products come up each year and we are lucky to have such great support from the industry. Learn more at Versatex.com

NADRA Members, Armadillo: 

Avon Plastics was at the International Builders’ Show (IBS) last week, showing builders how to cut deck installation time by up to 60% just by using TurboClip Hidden Deck fasteners. That’s precious time you can spend elsewhere.

Avon Plastics booth featured all of our building material brands from Armadillo Composite Decking, Grid Axcents Decorative Lattice, TurboClip Universal Hidden Deck Clip and Quix Tile.

We think our Builder Rebate Program is the best in the industry! We had a great response by getting people signed up for the builder rebate program right at the show when they visited our booth.  When you use our brands, we’ll rebate you 3% of your material cost on all Armadillo, TurboClip, and Grid Axcents products. Plus, our Armadillo and TurboClip builders will receive two 192ct boxes of Narrow Gap TurboClip fasteners (enough to install 200sf) simply for signing up! Sign up today at pro.avonplastics.com.  All in all, it was an awesome show!

NADRA Members, MoistureShield:

MoistureShield® made a huge splash with its new booth at the 2020 IBS Show, right on the heels of winning “Marketer of Year” –the highest honor in Hanley-Wood’s Brand Builder Awards.  The winning campaign was highlighted in the booth, with captivating images of underwater scenes on their extremely moisture-resistant composite decking. MoistureShield was also submerged in an actual water fountain and pool, something no other decking would dare to promote!

MoistureShield’s Elevate™ capped wood composite decking, initially offered in select locations in 2019, has now launched nationally at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas. Contractor and lumber dealer interest in Elevate is growing rapidly, as they recognize the need for an attractive capped decking product at an entry-level price point. Elevate decking features a strong, protective cap which shields each board from impact, corrosion and harsh weather. 

In addition, Elevate was Finalist in the NAHB’s Most Innovative Products in the Best of the IBS Awards.  MoistureShield also hosted designer and former HGTV host Chip Wade, as he explored the brand’s Solid Core Difference which makes all MoistureShield decking products moisture-resistant enough to be submersible in water.  He also did the “Feel the Difference” comparison the CoolDeck technology, in which you can actually feel the surface temperature difference in CoolDeck compared to other decking brands. And, Chip did a Facebook Live on how seamlessly MoistureShield complements Belgard® Pavers, firepit and outdoor kitchen for a complete backyard experience.  Learn more about Elevate HERE

NADRA Members, Regal ideas:

Award winning deck builder, Dr Decks, and co-host of the Vanilla Ice Project Wes Kain joined us in the Regal Ideas booth at the International Builder’s Show. It was great meeting so many new contractors. Regal ideas products raise the bar when it comes to safety and durability. Our products are made from high strength 100% pure aluminum alloys and engineered to resist the tests of time and weather and proven to outperform vinyl, composite, wood and steel materials. 

We showcased our TELESTEPS, a must have item for every contractor, builder and renovator! Here is a special offer to our fellow NADRA members!  Use code TELE10 on telestepsworldwide.com for 10% off the entire store plus FREE shipping!

It was a great show! We look forward to seeing you soon! Check out our DeckStars site to see where we will be on tour next!

NADRA Members, CAMO® Deck Fastening Systems:

The CAMO booth had an excellent turnout with quality conversations with both new and familiar faces. Every 15 minutes, attendees watched product demos, learning more about CAMO® DRIVE™, EdgeClips and EdgeXClips. Builders were able to try out the products themselves and hundreds entered to win a DRIVE while 15 walked away with a new tool! 

The CAMO DRIVE™ Stand-Up Tool features three end guides to fasten CAMO Edge Screws, CAMO EdgeClips or traditional face screws—all using your own drill! CAMO DRIVE is a collated stand-up deck fastening tool designed to save contractors time, get them off their knees, and save their backs. Using the CAMO DRIVE tool can result in a deck installation that is 5X faster than other methods.  And, CAMO® EdgeClip® and EdgeXClip® revolutionize installation of grooved boards, either using CAMO DRIVE or their Never Miss Guide™ for hand-held fastening. Stay tuned for more innovation as warm weather approaches!

CAMO was a Day 2 Product Find at IBS by BUILDER Magazine!

NADRA Members, Feeney, Inc.:

The International Builders’ Show was a fantastic way to reconnect with our reps, dealers, and contractors. This year we debuted our brand new faux wood grain finish top rails for our DesignRail® aluminum railing system. Even our own reps were fooled into thinking it was wood! Our reps were also excited by our new DesignRail® Express program, cutting shipping down on select options to 5-7 days. 

Besides the new products, we connected with editors at LBM Journal and Professional Remodeler magazine, and had delightful visits with Chip Wade and Mike Holmes Jr., and  attended the #bestofsocialmedia awards which highlighted some fantastic contractors on social. Learn more at FeeneyInc.com

NADRA Members, FastenMaster:

This year was FastenMaster’s biggest showing ever at the IBS in Las Vegas.  New to our booth was an interactive framing corner which showed off the FrameFAST tool and all-new NLB Connector.  The FrameFAST system has now expanded from its original configuration which made truss-to-top plate connections easier.  It can now create a continuous load path from the truss down to the foundation using the same 6” FrameFAST screw by utilizing different tool heads.  The new NLB, or Non Load-Bearing Connector, combines a screw with floating sleeve for attaching partition walls – delivering lateral stability while allowing for truss movement above the wall. 

Over the three days of this show, our knowledgeable sales, marketing and technical teams engaged with many Pro customers, giving constant demonstrations and answering a variety of product application questions.  For our decking Pros, these demos included our FusionLOC demo deck, showing how to install faster by having collated clips and fasteners in one tool.

Another time-saving product enhancement was our new collated Cortex plugs, allowing the decking contractor to more quickly and precisely align the grain and color of our plugs to match the decking.  No doubt that the few thousand attendees who walked through our booth left with new knowledge of our time and money saving products, and a better sense of why FastenMaster remains Pro Driven. Learn more at FastenMaster.com.

NADRA Members, Trex:

Enter the Next Deckade of Outdoor Living with Trex

Trex delivered the total outdoor living package at IBS 2020! The world’s largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing, and leader in high-performance, low-maintenance outdoor living products, reinforced its position as a one-stop resource for decking dealers and contractors with the launch of three new collections and some exciting railing additions:

  • Serving up something completely fresh for spring, the Trex® Outdoor Kitchens collection boasts the finest in stainless steel cabinetry from category-leader Danver, including Trex-exclusive door styles and more than 20 luxurious finishes.
  • Extremely popular across commercial and residential buildings, exterior cladding is all the rage. Using industry-leading Trex Transcend® deck boards, new Trex® Cladding offers commercial-grade performance, premium aesthetics and low-maintenance benefits. The easy-to-use, open joint system makes hardwood planks obsolete in modern rainscreen applications.
  • Heating up the outdoor living category, the Trex® Outdoor Fire & Water collection offers stylish and durable outdoor fire features, water elements and decorative planters made of premium grade copper or stainless steel.
  • Building on the success of the commercially inspired Trex Signature® Rod Rail, Trex expanded the premium end of its aluminum railing line with the addition of Trex Signature Glass and Mesh Railing. Add striking industrial design with the new mesh infill or optimize views with up to 6 feet of invisible glass. Either way, the view from a Trex deck has never looked better!

To help Trex ring in the new deckade, HGTV personality and Trex brand ambassador, Alison Victoria of “Windy City Rehab,” made a special appearance in the Trex booth at IBS to welcome fans, take photos and sign autographs. A long-time user of Trex, Alison regularly specifies Trex products for the outdoor projects she designs. Be sure to check out Season 2 of “Windy City Rehab” later this spring and look for lots of Trex decks.With an ever-expanding and industry-leading portfolio of innovative, eco-friendly products, Trex aims to provide everything a contractor may need for any outdoor space, from foundation to finishing touches. To check out the newest product collections that debuted at the Trex IBS booth, visit www.trex.com.

NADRA Members, Barrette Professional Solutions:

Barrette Professional Solutions  was officially (and successfully!) unveiled at the International Builders Show last week in Las Vegas.   Barrette Professional Solutions utilizes the top category brands under the BOL umbrella – ActiveYards Fence, Alumi-Guard Fence, RDI Railing, and DuraLife Decking – to provide innovative and effective solutions for architects, builders, contractors, property managers, multifamily housing and landscape architects.  BPS is also supported with a new website that also launched last week – www.barrettepro.com.

We hope to see you throughout the year at various NADRA events and shows. Please stay in touch! If you’d like to send us photos and a brief recap from your experience at the International Builders Show, please send images, links and comments to Info@NADRA.org. We will keep this blog post updated with posts from our members that exhibited at the show! 

Hanley Wood Announces MoistureShield Wood Composite Decking as Marketer of the Year

Oldcastle APG Brand Takes Top Prize in 2019 Brand Builder Awards

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 17, 2020) – Hanley Wood, the housing industry’s data leader backed by Zonda and Metrostudy, and the industry’s top residential real estate development and new home construction advisors is pleased to announce MoistureShield: An Oldcastle APG Brand was selected as the 2019 Brand Builder Awards Marketer of the Year.

“We are thrilled to recognize MoistureShield as Marketer of the Year,” said Paul Tourbaf, Executive Vice President, Hanley Wood. “Their forward thinking suite of tools and training materials allowed them to separate themselves from the competition and gain preference and market share in a crowded space.”

The Marketer of the Year Award is presented annually by Hanley Wood to a company in the residential and commercial construction and design industry that best demonstrates a commitment to innovation, excellence in leveraging marketing programs to drive sales, and adoption of modern marketing tactics.

“This is an incredible win for MoistureShield composite decking and shows how far the brand and business have come since Oldcastle APG acquired the company over a year ago,” said Ken O’Neill, EVP – National Group for APG. “We spent time out in the market to listen and ensure MoistureShield would be delivering more value to our channel partners and their customers. With that goal in mind, our marketing team’s close collaboration with Interrupt has elevated our composite decking brand and positioned our quality MoistureShield product lines for unprecedented growth.”

“We at Interrupt are excited that MoistureShield was named Hanley Wood’s Marketer of the Year,” said Anita Holman, Executive Creative Director and Brand Strategist, Interrupt. “Our goal was to leverage this unique product and create dynamic differentiation from the current sea of sameness in the category. This unique branding approach, coupled with their one-of-a-kind product offering, helps their customers differentiate their business and design decks for homeowners to live their best lives outdoors. We are looking forward to continuing this brand journey with MoistureShield and help gain category prominence.”

About Oldcastle APG
Oldcastle APG, North America’s largest manufacturer of Outdoor Living Products, is part of CRH’s Building Products division. CRH is a leading global diversified building materials group with operating locations in 32 countries worldwide. MoistureShield, a division of Oldcastle APG, proudly manufactures composite deck boards and related products serving a range of retail and distribution customers across North America and several international markets. The development of new technologies and patents has enabled MoistureShield to manufacture superior composite products from recycled wood fiber and recycled polyethylene plastic. Learn more at www.MoistureShield.com.

About Interrupt
Interrupt is a strategic branding and marketing agency that works with Fortune 1000 brands in the building products, home improvement and home enjoyment industries. They consider themselves a brand distillery, leveraging data to uncover unique insights that help distill down client’s brands to find their unique space in their category. Interrupt’s deep branding, business and industry expertise enables them to help their clients outperform the industry and separate from the sea of sameness. Discover more about Interrupt at InterruptDelivers.com.

About the Brand Builder Awards
The Brand Builder Awards recognize the most innovative and effective marketing campaigns throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industries. Companies selected for recognition have executed campaigns that generate sales, motivate buying behavior and inspire customer loyalty. Companies submitted entries in seven categories, ranging from advertising campaigns to website design to best use of data driven marketing programs.

About Hanley Wood
Hanley Wood, represents the housing industry’s leading provider of rich data, backed by Zonda and Metrostudy, and the industry’s top advisors for residential real estate development and new home construction. With products and services geared for homebuilders, multifamily developers, lenders, and financial institutions, we provide innovative solutions to maximize opportunities in today’s real estate development landscape. To learn more, visit https://www.hanleywood.com.

If Customers Were Always Right, We Would Go Broke

By: Bobby Parks

 “The customer’s always right”. It’s a common saying that some may believe, but fortunately it’s not true or we would all go broke. We would throw in the towel whenever a customer claimed something was wrong, make fixes that had nothing to do with us for free, or give them at no cost what they mistakenly thought they were supposed to receive. And we would be firing our people once a month because the customer claimed they did something wrong. Imagine the cost drain that would occur. Restaurant and retail store managers may be able to give away meals and smaller items to make a customer happy and go away, but because our servings are more costly, we as contractors can’t afford to do the same. The trick is how you explain to them why they are not right without offending or losing them in the process.

It’s not to say we as contractors don’t make mistakes or create issues for ourselves, we do.  But often when issues arise or potential confrontations exist it’s because of a customer’s mistaken perception involving the scope of work, project options, or installation procedures. In rare cases, it’s a customer trying to get something for free. They see an opening and push the boundary to see if you will cave and donate to their project.

To be more specific, these undesirable communications occur when customers believe they are supposed to be getting something different than what they are getting or they believe something that is not included should be included. Often, it can include an existing condition or repair they believe should be part of the job. For example; they contracted for a deck and they believe the rot discovered after the job started at the attachment and around the fireplace bump out should be included.  Or it can be technical aspects about an installation. They’ve read something or someone told them something that makes them believe you are going about it incorrectly. In any case, how you respond matters.

Communication and Documentation

Most job confusion issues result from a lack of communication, documentation, and improperly set expectations. We all know there are plenty of legitimate issues that pop up; so why allow avoidable or mistakenly perceived problems to enter the mix?  When issues do occur, the objective should be to obtain a quick satisfactory resolution for all parties without relationship damage and keep the project moving forward. And without sacrificing profit!

Minimizing the potential for such adventures to occur should be a standard practice. Setting realistic expectations when contracting is much easier than setting them after the fact or while you are on the job. Writing up a contract agreement with a description of all relevant details as well as general operational clauses as to what a customer should expect and what you are responsible or not responsible for is a simple basic business practice.  Typically, I had 21 standard clauses in my contract before specifics were added. These standard clauses covered everything from delays due to weather, existing rot, unforeseen conditions, lawn damage responsibility, that material left over belonged to me, measurements are approximate, and even “rights to take and use pictures”. The list goes on and there’s a reason for every clause.

There’s A Lot Discussed & Less Included

Although lots of options and details are discussed during the consultation and designing phase, specific details and final elements that are included and agreed on must be documented as later it all runs together for most customers. So, in addition to the standard clauses of a contract, numerous specific details such as rail types, decking choices, and any pertinent choices are documented. For me, a design drawing that also included some details was signed off on.  Honest mistakes in memory occur with both parties, so having details benefits everyone and this alleviates or resolves a high percentage of issues when referred to. It should be comprehensive enough that a third party should be able to review a job file and know what’s being done. I also made it a point to include and attach photo examples of certain items and details to the package like rail types and trim finishes which I could refer to as well. I did this because customers don’t understand our assigned product titles or lingo, so this provided a visual that was an addendum to the contract and often used as examples when requesting HOA approvals.

From a technical and product standpoint most customers do their due diligence online. This should be expected and is good in that they can become somewhat educated regarding their investment. But it’s not good if they get bad information or interpret something that doesn’t apply to what you are doing. Chances are, the better the contractor is from a written detail and communication standpoint, the less likely these issues will come up and the more likely the customer is mistaken if it does. Now, the lesser prepared contractors will likely experience not only more issues, but the ones that come up will be trickier to resolve.

Customer confidence in who they choose as a contractor alleviates some potential issues as they trust you. If something does come up, my experience has been that they are more likely to believe you and assume they are mistaken. This comes from established credibility as a contractor and the relationship you have built with the customer.  This only carries you so far. I have learned that no matter what you do and how much you cover up front, problems can arise. On occasion we or our people do stumble, which compromises us and that is challenging to recover from. Acknowledging the obvious if you are wrong is the best way to begin to recover confidence and get the relationship back on track; but if you’re in the right…then standing your ground in a professional, confident, cordial, and unemotional way is how I’d handle it.

Managing the Conversation

So, for me these conversations always included an acknowledgement that I understand they believe something was included that they are not getting, or our technical approach is not what they expected. Often the first part was resolved by referring to the detailed notes or photos we all signed off on or what was on the drawings.

If a technical issue or question came up, I’d explain why we do what we do, why we can stand behind our building methods and why we might not if we did it another way. I did not let them engineer or dictate how I was going to structure a job or approach it from a technical standpoint as my warranty only applied if it was built to my own and code standards.  This assumes you have solid ground to stand on and you have not compromised yourself from a technical standpoint. Know what is required from both a code and the manufacturers aspect. For example: Customers find lots of information online with common searches involving pressure treated wood use, including, treating end cuts and stringers, or what voids a manufacturer’s warranty etc. Surprisingly, many contractors do not have a proper understanding of what is required with this aspect which can come back on them. To be caught on the wrong side of  obvious technical mistakes are not only embarrassing, but really does compromise you with a customer from a confidence standpoint. You should know that everything is just a “Google” search away for the customer.

There’s a Cost Either Way

Again, you can’t give away things just to make people happy, but for me if there was a gray area with minimal cost items or a slight repair that they thought was included and I believed they genuinely believed it, I looked at it like this. Sometimes there can be a bigger long-term cost if you do collect versus absorbing the hit. So, there can be a cost to you either way even if you collect money from a customer for a disputed item. The key is to determine which is the costliest. For example, you could stand your ground and charge a customer $300-$400 for something they disagreed was owed but would reluctantly agree to pay for. How will that $300-400 compare to the cost of having an unhappy customer you’re creating in the process? How will the rest of the job go now that they have an attitude? What kind of review will you receive? How many referrals will you receive from this customer? In the long run which choice cost you the most?

But let’s say it was a $1000, or some larger dollar value. I might take the pre-mentioned approach, but instead of absorbing the full amount I might offer to discount the work or split the cost with them. I would stress again that it wasn’t part of the job, but I realize they believe it was. Just to show an effort of good faith I would make the offer. But I would not give away the $1000. My experience has been that it’s the things you give away or give a deal on that are often the problem items on a job, so I don’t take these offers lightly. Also, I know that every percentage point matters, and small amounts multiplied add up over time so what you agree to from a dollar figure depends on the size of a job and what the percentages are. For example, you wouldn’t give up $300 on a $3000 job as that would be 10% of the project. But on a $30,000 project it would only be 1% and might be something you could live with.

Reasonable People and Reasonable Solutions

I’m a believer that reasonable people listen to reason and make decisions and reach conclusions based on reason, logic, and the practicalities involved. But I believe unreasonable people or the ones that are working you for something free are not fair minded and will not reach the same decision or conclusions. That’s where firmness, backbone, and written specific details and inclusion as well as exclusion cards must be played. Standing your ground in a professional and unemotional way at this point is just part of being a business owner and required for long term survival. Some customers are more difficult than others and how to deal with difficult and unreasonable customers is an article all to itself.

But my experience has been that if I listened to the customer first and then discussed a situation professionally with a reasonable and genuine effort and attitude to resolve it, my customer relationship was strengthened. For example If I made the decision to go ahead and do a minimal cost item even though technically I could get out of it and charge, but I knew the customer truly believed they were in the right, I’d do it in a way that had value. It might be “Look I’m sorry there has been a misunderstanding and I can understand you think this was included. It honestly is not but I want you to be happy and for this not to be a problem-we are going to handle it”. And I said it in a positive way. I didn’t say it with an attitude or in a reluctant resentful way. If you did the latter, you might as well have charged them as there is no gain.  I believe these customers often look back and remember that you did something that they often come to realize wasn’t part of the scope, but you did it anyway and you were nice about it.

Resolving Issues Properly Can Strengthen the Relationship

Ethical contractors strive to be fair and to satisfy their customers. Most customers are reasonable minded people just wanting us to meet their expectations that hopefully we as contractors have properly set. So, we must be fair to them but also to ourselves and to protect our businesses and livelihood and maintain a balance between the two. When practical and reasonable approaches discussed here are made and agreed upon, result in a cordial resolution; I believe these customers often give you the best reviews compared to the ones that had an uneventful experience. They have a more in-depth belief in you because the fairness and integrity test were passed versus a non-eventful delivery. Therefore, my experience has been that the contractor /customer relationship can become even stronger when an issue arises compared to a project that runs smoothly. I’m not saying you want more eventful jobs, only that if you take all the upfront precautions to cover yourself and it still happens, handle it in a manner that at the end of the day more than overcomes the few dollars you may have given on that job. Consider it an investment on your reputation and brand that creates fans of your company and may produce even stronger referrals compared to your typical jobs. And consider it a lesson learned and in some cases, an added clause to your next contract.

Bobby Parks / Instagram: @Bobbyparks007B


Barrette Expands Decorative Screen Panel Offering for 2020

January 14, 2020, Galloway, NJ – Barrette Outdoor Living Inc., a leading manufacturer in the outdoor living products industry, is expanding their Decorative Screen Panels offering for 2020.

Decorative Screen Panels provide semi-privacy when hung from a deck, patio, or porch. Barrette’s durable panels are available in a variety of on-trend designs, colors and textures that are sure to work with all styles ranging from traditional to organic to modern. You can also easily enhance the look of a patio or deck with the powder-coated aluminum Decorative Screen Panel Frame Kit. The surface-mountable Frame Kits work with the Decorative Screen Panels and are easily installed up to three panels high, allowing you to create custom configurations that reflect your personal style.

New for 2020, and being introduced at this year’s NAHB International Builders’ Show, are a Line Post Kit and Corner Post Kit to be used in conjunction with the Decorative Screen Panel Frame Kits. These new products will make it easier to create continuous and corner privacy sections on a deck or patio. Attendees can visit the Barrette Booth (#N539) to see these new offerings.  

Barrette Outdoor Living President, Jean desAutels, stated, “With homeowners looking to spend more and more time living and entertaining in their outdoor spaces, there is a higher demand for privacy. We are very pleased to be able to offer attractive privacy solutions for both residential and commercial uses.”

Barrette’s Decorative Screen Panels resist warping, rotting, twisting or splitting and will not discolor or show scratches. The low-maintenance, impact-resistant material will ensure outdoor sheeting remains stable in extreme conditions. In addition, the Decorative Screen Panels can be painted for complete customization to complement any home project or outdoor environment.

These architectural panels provide the flexibility and versatility to use them in many custom and creative ways. They provide decorative beauty while also serving practical purposes. Barrette’s Decorative Screen Panels and Frame Kits can be used for a wide range of applications that will enhance both your outdoor and indoor living spaces with color, texture and creative accents, while adding a bit of privacy.

About Barrette Outdoor Living:

Barrette Outdoor Living (BOL) is the leading North American supplier of exterior home products to the residential market. Barrette currently produces vinyl, aluminum, steel, and composite products under a variety of leading brand names through specialty retailers, home centers and lumberyards. BL is an independent subsidiary of Barrette and currently employs over 2,000 people. The company is privately owned and operated by the third generation of the Barrette family. For more information, please visit www.barretteoutdoorliving.com.

Barrette Introduces Barrette Professional Solutions

January 13, 2020, Galloway, NJ – Barrette Outdoor Living Inc., a leading manufacturer in the outdoor living products industry, proudly announces the introduction of Barrette Professional Solutions (BPS), a new commercial arm designed specifically to meet the needs of the commercial and specified markets.

Barrette Professional Solutions utilizes the top category brands under the BOL umbrella – ActiveYards Fence, Alumi-Guard Fence, RDI Railing, and DuraLife Decking – to provide innovative and effective solutions for architects, builders, contractors, property managers, multifamily housing and landscape architects. Barrette and its family of brands are among the most recognized in the outdoor living industry. Partnering with BPS provides the power and support of Barrette, giving you access to the world’s best decking, railing, fencing, privacy and decorative screens and other outdoor products, such as lattice and outdoor shower kits – all made with the latest in style, innovation, design and color from some of the biggest and best names in the business.

Barrette Outdoor Living President, Jean desAutels, stated, “I am extremely excited about the powerful direction our new commercial arm will bring to Barrette. We’ve spent over a year developing our plan, which will position Barrette Professional Solutions as the complete outdoor living solutions provider for residential and commercial channels.”

The wide range of products included in BPS are engineered to install faster and easier, nationally distributed, exceed commercial building code requirements, and have product trade up stories within each category. Barrette Professional Solutions also offers a wide range of channel solutions and assets including model home programs, take off and estimating services, CEU accredited education programs, a full library of technical resource support such as CAD and BIM modeling, and code documentation.

Barrette Professional Solutions is being officially unveiled at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas January 21st – 23rd, 2020. Visit our booth, N539, to learn more about this exciting new initiative from Barrette Outdoor Living. BPS will also be supported with a new website that will launch this week – www.barrettepro.com.

About Barrette Outdoor Living:

Barrette Outdoor Living (BOL) is the leading North American supplier of exterior home products to the residential market. Barrette currently produces vinyl, aluminum, steel, and composite products under a variety of leading brand names through specialty retailers, home centers and lumberyards. BL is an independent subsidiary of Barrette and currently employs over 2,000 people. The company is privately owned and operated by the third generation of the Barrette family. For more information, please visit www.barretteoutdoorliving.com.

MoistureShield Introduces Contractor Rewards Program

Atlanta, GA, 2019 — MoistureShield®, a division of Oldcastle APG, a CRH Company, and manufacturer of composite decking and railing, announces a new MoistureShield Contractor Rewards program to easily reward contractors for their loyalty to the decking and railing brand.

Simply by purchasing MoistureShield products, contractors can earn points towards more than one million rewards, ranging from tools, golf clubs, fishing and hunting accessories, travel, electronics, and more. The free program is available to all trade contractors, including builders, remodelers, and decking contractors in the residential and commercial construction markets.

“We wanted to establish an easy, seamless way for our valued customers to earn rewards simply by purchasing our decking and railing products,” said Molly Werner, Senior Brand Manager, MoistureShield. “It’s our way of expressing appreciation and enhancing our relationships with hard-working pros as well as attracting new customers.”

In addition to the rewards program, contractors benefit from MoistureShield’s 30 years of composite decking leadership with no structural field failures. The innovative product lines feature Vision® capped wood composite decking with a modern, variegated appearance and the exclusive DiamondDefense Coating™. MoistureShield also features its unique CoolDeck® Technology, for select products, which reduces deck board surface temperatures by up to 35% compared to conventional capped wood composites. Other products include Infuse® decking, with a realistic wood-grain finish and Vantage®, an uncapped wood composite with the workability of wood. All MoistureShield decking features the Solid Core Difference™ for advanced strength and moisture resistance.

MoistureShield composite decking and railing is manufactured from 95% recycled content, diverting tens of millions of pounds of plastic and wood scrap from landfills annually. It can be installed directly on the ground, in the ground or underwater. An industry-leading warranty backs the line against decay, rot and termite damage.

With multiple building product manufacturers participating in Contractor Rewards, contractors can also earn points from more than one manufacturer, and they never expire once claimed. This provides more flexibility for using the points they have earned.

Learn more at http://www.contractorrewards.com/contractorrewards/enrollStep2.action?enrollsrc=MSHIELD1&languageId=EN or call 1-877-286-7064. For more about MoistureShield, visit www.MoistureShield.com.

About Oldcastle APG

Oldcastle APG, North America’s largest manufacturer of outdoor living products, is part of CRH’s Building Products division. CRH is a leading global diversified building materials group

with operating locations in 32 countries worldwide. MoistureShield, a division of Oldcastle APG, proudly manufactures composite deck boards and related products, serving a range of retail and distribution customers across North America and several international markets. The development of new technologies and patents has enabled MoistureShield to manufacture superior composite products from recycled wood fiber and recycled polyethylene plastic. Learn more at www.MoistureShield.com.


Regal ideas Inc. Wins 2019 National Deck Competition Awards and Launches DeckStars

Aluminum Railing Leader joins forces with Top Deck Builders at National Deck Competition

For more information contact:
Andrew Pantelides
Vice President of Marketing & Business Development
Regal ideas Inc.
Tel: 905-929-7155
andrew@regalideas.com

(Delta, BC) – Regal ideas Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of Aluminum railing systems joined forces with top builders Dr Decks and Neighborhood Fence and Decks, to create some of the winning entries at the 10th Annual North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) National Deck Competition.

Regal ideas Inc was recognized by a panel of judges with the following awards:

• 1st Place – Limitless Creations in partnership with Dr Decks
• 1st Place – Alternative Deck in partnership with Dr Decks
• 2nd Place – Manufacturer Product in partnership with Dr Decks
• 3rd Place – Illumination in partnership with Dr Decks
• 3rd Place – Closed Porch in partnership with Neighborhood Fence and Deck

This recognition is especially meaningful to us as an organization. Seeing our products being used and showcased by so many builders across the country is a humbling and honorable feeling.” states Andrew Pantelides, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Regal ideas Inc., “We will continue to raise the bar with innovation, safety and ease of use.

Pantelides was also recognized at the awards gala by NADRA for his commitments and involvement to growing the association.

NADRA held its National Deck Competition in Louisville, KY. “This year marked the 10th anniversary of the National Deck Competition. With members in Canada and the United States, we had a 65% increase in submissions over last year. Our industry has had significant growth over the last few years and from what we are seeing will continue to grow strong in 2020. ” states Heather A. Marchand, Director of National Programs and Marketing at NADRA. NADRA is made up of deck builders, inspectors, manufacturers, dealers/distributors, lumberyards and represents the deck, dock and railing industry.

Along with the NADRA awards, Regal ideas launched their newest program called DeckStars at the DeckExpo. Joe Jacklin, Director of Marketing and Contractor Development was brought on board to lead this new program. “We are developing North America’s largest pro deck builder network, offering the right tools, training and networking to deck builders and contractors.” Jacklin also mentions.

DeckStars now completes our turn-key merchandising, marketing and go-to-market programs that connects consumers to certified installers and Authorized Dealers. The program is designed to drive business to local Dealers and contractors.

Deckstars.com officially launches November 25, 2019 with program features, training dates and locations. The consumer sections of DeckStars.com will launch early 2020 featuring local certified DeckStars across North America.

About Regal ideas Inc.
Innovation runs deep at Regal ideas. Over 30 years ago, the company opened its doors with one product line, Regal Aluminum Railing. Today, Regal Railing is the largest selling brand of Aluminum railing in North America. With a wide range of innovative products designed to make life easier for homeowners and contractors alike, Regal ideas is an industry leader on both sides of the border and across the globe.

Regal ideas spends a considerable amount of time researching and evolving its product mix adding LED-lit railing systems, frameless glass systems and Aluminum stair stringers, just to name a few, to its portfolio of innovative building materials. Regal ideas is not just building materials! Regal ideas is also the inventor and manufacturer of the most innovative and comprehensive line of engineered climbing products – Telesteps
(telestepsworldwide.com). The Telesteps brand provides a full range of automatic telescopic ladders for use around the home as well as professional grade equipment for trades and commercial use.

For product information visit www.regalideas.com

About NADRA:
The North American Decking and Railing Association is the voice of the decking industry, representing the interests of deck builders, inspectors, manufacturers, dealers/distributors, lumberyards, wholesalers, retailers, and service providers alike.

NADRA’s mission 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.

Visit www.NADRA.org for more information.

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NADRA Code Update: What Happens in Vegas…

By Glenn Mathewson, NADRA Technical Advisor

…doesn’t stay in Vegas, at least not when it’s about deck code!  Here’s a recap of what to expect in your 2021 International Residential Code from the ICC Public Comment Hearing that occurred in Las Vegas last week.  This information is as fresh as it gets, because NADRA members don’t chase behind future codes, they are part of their creation.

Proposals that did not receive any public comment disputing the committee decision at the first hearing in May are lumped together in a “consensus vote” and these are as good as done.  Here are the proposals the committee approved and will be in the 2021 code.

  • RB187-19:  The organization of footing depth and frost protection provisions have been modified for better comprehension.  Frost protection for decks, previously in the foundation chapter, are now located alongside other deck provisions in the deck section 507.  An added bonus for the free market is a new method for frost protection: “Other approved method of frost protection”.  This will help new innovations that provide protection equivalent to digging a deep hole to have a better chance of being evaluated and approved for use.
  • RB188-19:  A minor change in wording makes it clear that a multi-ply beam must be fastened “together”.
  • RB189-19:  A minor change in wording clarifies that allowable beam cantilevers beyond an end post are based on the actual adjacent span of the beam, not the allowable span.
  • RB190-19:  Many don’t realize that the maximum allowable beam spans, based on the joist spans they carry, are actually sized assuming the joists are cantilevered beyond the beam by their maximum allowable distance.  When not cantilevering joists past a beam, this left beams significantly oversized.  A new modification footnote is now added to the beam span table to allow adjustments based on various percentages of joist cantilever and zero cantilever.  No longer will a beam span be limited based on loads that don’t exist.  This is a huge win for prescriptive deck designs to be closer to the actual design and not a “one-size-fits-all approach”.
  • RB191-19:  With the increase of deck designs and patterns in the industry, many decks are built with decking supported by only two joists and having only one span.  However, decking is not tested or evaluated for performance in this manner, manufactured or wood.  Technically speaking, they are not allowed to be installed in that manner without alternative approval, such as from an engineer.  To support decking designs with validated spans for “single span decking” the maximum joist spacing for wood decking table has been expanded.  5/4-inch wood decking is now provided single span limits of 12 inches for perpendicular installations and 8 inches for diagonal.  Those may appear as new limitations in deck construction, but they are actually new allowances.  What has been being done was never actually supported by the code.  Now it is.  It’s important to note that for manufactured decking, this change can’t be done in the IRC.  The testing standard must be changed.

Three of our proposals were turned down at the committee hearing, and we wrote public comments to give them a second chance.  Another one that was approved received an outside comment and thus needed reconsideration.  The results from the membership vote at the final hearings last week are not the final votes.  Governmental members will still have time after the hearings to make an online vote.  This can change the outcome, but here’s how those proposals currently stand.

  • RB46-19:  Guards and handrails are like peanut butter and jelly.  Just because they can be in the same sandwich, doesn’t mean they are the same thing.  Both are required to resist a 200 lb. concentrated load in “any direction”.  While handrails are meant for someone to purposefully brace themselves while ascending or descending obstacles, like stairs and ramps, guards are only meant to barricade an accidental fall over the edge of the deck.  This proposal changed the loading direction for guards to be only outward and downward and argued that guards don’t need to resist an inward or upward load of that magnitude.  The committee turned this down at the last hearing and said it was the decision of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  The ICC membership at the hearing last week disagreed, and through their professional experience in analyzing guards in backyards across this county, decided to make the decision.  The IRC has now broken away from the singular power of the ASCE to allow a wider diversity of professionals to develop residential codes.  There is value here far beyond this one proposal.  Much like rallying NADRA involvement in development of deck codes, no single group of professionals should be making any rules in our private homes.  That is the beauty of the transparent ICC development process.  Though the final vote is given only to governmental members (a single group of professionals), they are the only group free from financial interest or professional gain from the results.
  • RB184:  This was our biggest proposal and with modifications, the ICC membership voted it with a 98% approval!  That’s a great way to start the online voting and a good sign this will make it in the future code.  Here are some bullets of what this large proposal offers.
  • Design tables are increased for 50, 60, and 70 psf snow load regions, making the code more useful to more builders in the country and reducing the need for specific engineering.
    • The absolute minimum diameter footing was reduced from an excessive 14-inch diameter to as low as 8-inch diameter when supporting deck areas up to 5 square feet.  (consider a small stair landing with four footings/piers)
    • The post sizing table was expanded and based on the actual loads the post is carrying.  No longer are there single limits for post height based only on the heaviest possible loading.  Like with beams and joists cantilevers, previously mentioned, it’s no longer “one-size-fits-all”.
    • The joist span tables have been revised so that maximum cantilevers of joists are no longer based on the maximum allowable span of joists, but by their actual span.  Like other modifications, this allows design limits to be based on the actual deck design.
  • RB185-19:  This proposal was approved by the committee in the first hearing but received a public comment that fixed an oversight in the first proposal.  It was then approved by the membership.  New provisions prohibiting the notching of 4×4 guard posts at the connection point were included alongside language requiring guard post connection to tie into the overall framing of the deck, and not just a single side joist.  Without limiting guard design and construction methods and without providing any specific graphics, this proposal will support better guard construction without a loss in architectural freedom.
  • RB301-19:  Of all our proposals and all our testimony to other proposals, this was the only one that we didn’t win.  Turned down at the committee hearings, this proposal would have provided specific details for guard post connections in an appendix chapter.  An appendix chapter is optional and must be individually adopted by a government.  Though our industry fears pictures in the code (think…lateral load anchor), the compromise with others who don’t share this fear was to put them in an appendix.  The details provided engineered methods of resisting a 200 lb. load on a single post using either metal hardware or only commodity fasteners.  Through much debate and mutual compromise, the Deck Code Coalition was still unable to provide unified testimony in support of this proposal.  The membership did not approve it.

Modifications to these proposals can no longer be made in this cycle, as all that is left is the final online vote by the governmental members. 

By the end of this year, the 2021 IRC will be decided.

To help NADRA continue our work in the code arena, please consider contributing to our code fundraising initiative. Click here to learn more and to support our efforts.

Presidential Proclamation on National Forest Products Week, 2019

DONALD J. TRUMP

Our Nation’s forests and woodlands provide millions of Americans with an abundance of job opportunities, goods, and recreational activities.  During National Forest Products Week, we pay tribute to the forest products industry for the important contributions it makes to our society and economy, and we recommit to keeping our wooded landscapes vibrant and strong.

Ninety-six percent of the industrial wood used in the United States comes directly from domestic supplies, making the forest products sector a truly American industry.  The millions of acres of forests across our country supply the resources for paper and packaging materials, lumber for our homes, renewable energy materials, and countless other products.  In addition to the tremendous impact the forest products industry has on our economy, businesses in this sector are at the forefront of conservation efforts, practicing responsible resource management and maintaining a strong commitment to preserving our abundant forests.

My Administration is working to protect our Nation’s forests so that the forest products industry can continue to manufacture goods for domestic and global markets.  Last year, I signed an Executive Order aimed at increasing responsible forest management and coordinating Federal, State, tribal, and local assets to prevent and combat the wildfires that have sadly devastated parts of our Nation’s woodlands.  I also signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, which will help preserve the health of our forests and increase economic opportunities for the entire forest products sector.  This bipartisan legislation promotes active management of natural resources, including our forests, and maintains strong rural development and research initiatives that benefit communities where the forest products industry drives local economies.  It also promotes using America’s forest materials, like cross-laminated timber — a strong, resilient product — as an innovative approach to constructing tall wooden buildings.

This week, we recognize the importance of the raw materials our forested lands supply for the production of goods throughout our country and around the world.  We also pledge to support the proper management of our forests and woodlands so that they can continue to help power our economy and provide recreational opportunities for Americans for generations to come.

Recognizing the economic value of the products yielded in our Nation’s forests, the Congress, by Public Law 86–753 (36 U.S.C. 123), as amended, has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October of each year as “National Forest Products Week” and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 20 through October 26, 2019, as National Forest Products Week.  I call upon all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities and to reaffirm our commitment to our Nation’s forests.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fourth.

DONALD J. TRUMP