Make Your Customers Happier By Charging Them More

July 7, 2010 | It is possible to make your customers and yourself happier by charging more. I’m not talking about charging more for the same thing you already do or more than what other contractors charge for the same thing. I’m encouraging you to incorporate as a standard a consistent line of products that are in the mid to higher end range that offer true long term performance. I’m suggesting a way to lower your warranty cost by 80% or more, extending your customer referral base and being able to show prospects a deck project that’s 3-5 years old that looks better than your competitions 1 year old deck. I’m talking about a way to increase your annual dollar production and profit with the same number of employees or subs that you currently have. I’m talking about selling value, performance, and delivering work you can feel good about.

Continue reading “Make Your Customers Happier By Charging Them More”

Deck Design Standards, Styles, and Trends

July 7, 2010 | Deck design involves the basic concepts of creating functional space, activity zones, and adapting details and styles that adds interest to blend in with a particular residence. It requires practical approaches to allow for egress areas to provide travel paths that don’t interfere with space usage.

This process involves consultation with a customer and the gathering of physical and visual site information. It requires listening to preconceived ideas a customer may have combined with ideas of your own. It also requires that you understand how a customer will utilize the project and often involves diplomatic guidance on your part to direct the homeowner in a practical and efficient direction. It includes a mix of options that you’re comfortable delivering and ultimately choices that meet the customer’s needs and budget.

Following the mental concept of creating true extensions of the home by designing according to “determining factors” that exist should be a basic guideline for any project we undertake. This includes architectural styles, landscaping, existing yard features, and property angles that affect the overall footprint of a designed project.

Continue reading “Deck Design Standards, Styles, and Trends”

The Foundation Of Being A Successful Contractor

July 7, 2010 | All structures require a proper and solid foundation. In the long run, it won’t matter how well you frame, trim, or install any deck or building project if this effort is made on a weak or flawed footing. Short and long term problems will materialize. On a poor foundation, settling occurs, cracks show up, and repairing the damage is difficult and costly.

As a deck builder or remodeler, your contracting business is also a structure that requires a solid foundation. Without it you’ll experience sub par performance and failure similar to the way a deck or house structure would be affected. Because this business foundation is what all future efforts and investments will be built from, it’s important to do it right.

Installing a good foundation simply requires a common sense approach to the very basics of business. The initial mix for this pour includes the basic concepts of operating as an honest and ethical contractor. The rest of the mix includes establishing a reputation, positive impressions with prospects, good communication, and conduct becoming a professional.

Continue reading “The Foundation Of Being A Successful Contractor”

Demand Drives Fiberon™ To Expand Facilities

New London, N.C. – July 7, 2010 | In spite of the most challenging economy in several decades, Fiberon®, a leading manufacturer of composite and PVC decking, railing and fencing products, is ramping up production of its game changer Horizon Decking product line.

Fiberon Horizon Composite Decking in RosewoodDue to the overwhelming demand for Horizon™ decking with patent-pending PermaTech™ innovation, Fiberon is adding manufacturing capabilities at both its facilities in New London, N.C. and in Meridian, ID to keep up with demand.

“The response to the Horizon product line has been so overwhelming that we have had to invest rapidly in expanding our capacity,” said Doug Mancosh, CEO and owner of Fiberon, LLC. “Since January 2010, we have increased our production capacity by 300 percent and have plans for further expansion.”

The technology leader in the composite decking industry, Fiberon introduced Horizon decking in October 2008. Horizon decking incorporates a traditional wood plastic composite board for strength and rigidity, and encapsulates it on all four sides with an incredibly durable non-organic surface material that provides unprecedented stain, fade and mold resistance. As a result of the thoroughly tested proven performance of Horizon decking, Fiberon was the first producer in the industry to offer a stain and fade warranty.

Continue reading “Demand Drives Fiberon™ To Expand Facilities”

Fortress Iron™ Receives Comerica Collin 60 Award

Richardson, TX – July 6, 2010 | The Collin County Business Press hosted its Comerica Bank Collin 60 at the Renaissance Marriot in Richardson. Comerica Bank Collin 60 Awards Program gives recognition and attention to the 60 strongest growing companies. These are the companies that are bringing new products to the market for better lives, more productivity and a stronger economy.

“The Collin 60 companies represent the best in Collin County,” said Business Press Publisher Richard Dixon. “Despite the economy, these companies remain strong and continue to grow. The Business Press is proud to honor the 2010 Comerica Collin 60 companies.”

Among multiple categories, Fortress Iron™ ranked 4th overall in the Manufacturing/Distribution Category.

“It was such a honor to receive this award,” said Matt Sherstad, President of Fortress Iron™. “We are proud that our company has earned its place among many other leaders in Collin County and have continued to grow during the economic downturn.”

As many companies have had to decrease its staff and shut down production, Fortress Iron™ has continually been adding to its team and increasing its efforts in innovation with new products.

Continue reading “Fortress Iron™ Receives Comerica Collin 60 Award”

Tips For A Beautiful And Safe Deck

June 14, 2010 | With temperatures topping the 80s, chances are you’ve already been relaxing on your deck. Or maybe adding a deck is high on your summer agenda.

As many as 3 million homeowners add decks to their homes each year, according to the North American Deck and Railing Association. Municipalities require permits for new deck construction, but not all contractors or homeowners file the appropriate paperwork, so many decks aren’t inspected or even built safely.

Continue reading “Tips For A Beautiful And Safe Deck”

Construction Equipment Theft Remains a Major Issue

Westwood, MA – June 14, 2010 | LoJack Corp. announced the results of its 10th annual Construction Equipment Theft Study in a report that provides valuable information on the ongoing issue of equipment theft-a problem that collectively cost owners 13,452 stolen pieces of equipment in 2009, 82 percent of which were never recovered. According to the study, which analyzed LoJack stolen vehicle recovery reports for the calendar year 2009, construction theft continued to be driven by organized crime rings, with towables (generators, welders and air compressors) being the number one theft target.

For the calendar year 2009, LoJack recovered nearly $11 million in stolen construction equipment – 75 percent of which was recovered in 24 hours or less after being reported to law enforcement. In conjunction with these recoveries, police were able to arrest 18 individuals responsible for operating theft rings and chop shops. Since entering the construction market in 2000, LoJack has helped police recover more than $112 million in stolen construction assets that were armed with the LoJack system-plus the value of other stolen non LoJack-equipped construction equipment that police recovered in chop shops and theft rings.

Continue reading “Construction Equipment Theft Remains a Major Issue”

Salter Spiral Stairs

June 14, 2010 | If you are building a deck there are more options that you think in terms of deck stairs. Most homeowner and contractors limit themselves to stairs made out of the same material of the deck. Maybe if they are more creative they build a mid platform so the stairs can change directions. What they are not considering are the advantages of a spiral stair as a type of deck stair. A spiral stair offers a totally different set of advantages from a regular set of deck stairs. For example not only does it set your deck apart from the others, it also saves space and looks beautiful while doing it.

Continue reading “Salter Spiral Stairs”

TimberTech®’s New Gates Bring Consistent Look to Decks

Wide Selection to Match Any TimberTech® Railing System

Wilmington, OH – May 18, 2010 | TimberTech®, the second largest manufacturer of low-maintenance decking, railing and fencing products, has made it easier to install composite gates that compliment the railing system with their new Gate Kit.

“Contractors have struggled for years to easily create gates that meet consumer demands of matching the railing and providing additional safety,” states Carey Walley, Director of Marketing, TimberTech. “The new Gate Kit provides a one-stop solution to easily and effectively provide the best finishing touch for any application.”

Continue reading “TimberTech®’s New Gates Bring Consistent Look to Decks”

SLS Construction Promotes Deck Safety Month

May 18, 2010 | Ahhh, May – the days are getting longer, when it’s not to hot or to cool to go outside and spend some nice time reading a book, firing up the grill, or having a party. For many of us, this time is generally spent out on our decks. Unfortunately, this is also happens to be the time of the year when the good times can quite suddenly come to a crashing end. Some of the common reasons a deck will collapse ranges from age of the deck, poor maintenance, exceeding its load capacity to improper building methods. With a little common sense, these deck failures can be avoided.

In an effort to help save lives and prevent injuries, NADRA first declared May as “Deck Safety Month” back in 2006. Now in its fifth year, the purpose of the promotion is to increase public awareness of the necessity for regular inspection and maintenance of existing decks, and proper installation of new decks. Per NADRA, more than 75 percent of the people on a deck when it collapses are injured or killed.

Mike Beaudry, executive vice president for NADRA states, “Our number one priority to the public is to ensure that the decks they and their families enjoy are safe. NADRA takes this responsibility seriously and has created campaigns and educational programs for the builders, lumberyards, and manufacturers to improve proper installation practices along with checklists and safety awareness information for consumers to follow.”

Continue reading “SLS Construction Promotes Deck Safety Month”