NADRA Code Update

February 2019

By Glenn Mathewson

Thanks to the support of NADRA members we have shared our knowledge with others in the campfire discussions regarding deck code proposals for the 2021 International Residential Code.  There were 9 proposals submitted with our assistance and approval. The Deck Code Coalition is an informal group of generous professionals from a variety of backgrounds. Led by the steadfast efforts of Mr. Charles Banjai, a now retired code official and long-time contributor to code development, NADRA was able to work with these professionals toward well-developed deck codes.   While some disagreement remains and some is yet to be decided, it appears the majority of these proposals have broad support. Here is a brief rundown of what was submitted.

  1. Decking spans for single-span and two-span conditions.
  2. Ledger, joist, and beam design tables up to 50, 60 & 70 psf snow loads.
  3. Beam cantilever wording corrected.  Mostly clerical.
  4. Relocation of footing depth and frost protection provisions.  Mostly clerical, so interpretation can be more consistent and understood.
  5. Separates guards and handrails on the load table so future, more appropriate, minimum design loads can be determined for each independently.
  6. Provisions requiring guard post attachment to be secured to adjacent members in the deck framing.  Sets minimum guard post at 4×4 and with no notches permitted.
  7. Clarifies that multi-ply beams must be fastened together.
  8. An adjustment factor to allow longer beam spans when the joists do not cantilever beyond the beam and for various distances of cantilever.  This will allow more flexible use of the beam span table.
  9. Add an appendix for guard post connection details and for future provisions regarding specific deck designs.

While this milestone in the code development process is exciting, it’s just the beginning.  Anyone can submit a proposal and there are plenty of people interested in decks. Here are the next steps:

  1. On March 4th ICC will publish all of the proposed changes.  Previous years leave expectations at well over a thousand pages of proposals to review for deck-related provisions.  
  2. Once identified, the membership will need to decide. What’s good, what needs work, what is dangerous?
  3. Research and communication with others follows.  
  4. Then reaching out to the proponents of topics of concern to share and discuss, in hopes that agreement and compromise for better code can be achieved before the hearing.  
  5. Before the Albuquerque hearings this May, testimony has to be prepared in hope as the winning words for the committee.
  6. After these preparations, the hearing will commence and it will end, and the committee results will be published.  
  7. Next, all the research and networking will happen again as public comments are prepared and submitted.
  8. This is only to be followed by all the public comments being published and the review of all the surprises will begin again.
  9. Finally, all will conclude at the final hearings in October 2019.

If you are in the decking industry, we need your help.  The ideas are being discussed and the rules are being made.  You shouldn’t stand on the sidelines any longer. We need you in the game. There are two ways you can help in a big way.

1. Offer your time: To volunteer time, please email Info@NADRA.org and we will work with you and the code committee to see how we can best utilize your skills – most likely, helping to review the proposals in March.

2. Offer your monetary support: To contribute to the fundraising initiative, follow this link here to see what our goal and how the funds are being used to keep this effort moving forward. 

NADRA Code Update

Here’s a run down of proposals likely to be submitted Jan. 7th with the combined support of nearly all the contributors of the Deck Code Coalition.  I am proud of NADRA for being a part of this support.

By Glenn Mathewson

At the annual meeting in October, it was announced that I was prepared to work for NADRA and the decking industry to represent them in the development of the 2021 International Residential Code.  I know it’s hard for most to wrap their heads around the idea of changing the 2018 code already, considering it doesn’t even have widespread adoption yet. That’s why you’ve hired me, and I’ve already gotten to work.  The best place to begin that work was to contribute to the Deck Code Coalition, an unofficial coalition of the most powerful interests in deck code. Organizations such as the NAHB, SMA and AWC are involved. Code officials from multiple ICC chapters, product manufacturers, engineering firms, and many other professionals from various backgrounds are also there.  Where is there? It’s an imaginary campfire with all interests sitting around together, sharing, talking, contributing, arguing at times, but yet no one has been thrown in the fire. This is how code should be developed, with the overall interest being the people…the end user. I believe the efforts thus far, thanks to those members that have financially contributed, have been more successful than I expected.  

Here’s a run down of proposals likely to be submitted Jan. 7th with the combined support of nearly all the contributors of the Deck Code Coalition.  I am proud of NADRA for being a part of this support.

Are you shocked by the new minimum14-inch diameter footing/pier required in the 2018 IRC?  If you haven’t heard, even the four footings under that small stair landing must be 14 inch.  We expressed our concerns of this to the DCC and the American Wood Council (AWC) agreed and re-engineered new minimum footing diameters for the table.   How does a minimum 8-inch diameter sound for those little landing? Well, that’s what is being proposed and supported by the DCC. Had NADRA not expressed our concerns, no one was going to address it.  The AWC deserves a big thank you for their engineering work.

The new beam, joist and post sizing tables first included in the 2015 IRC only handled regions with up to a 40 psf snow load.  Through significant effort from the AWC, new larger tables have been engineered to handle snow loads of 50, 60 , and 70 psf. This new code, if included in the IRC, won’t help out for all regions, but for the snowier regions that were left with nothing but job-specific engineering, this provides a much more affordable design option.

Poorly written code is hard to understand, makes the industry it addresses look ignorant, and lends itself to inconsistent interpretation.  Changes to the exceptions for footing sizes and frost protection were left pretty messy in the 2018 IRC. A proposal that reorganizes those provisions will make the code much easier to read and understand.  While this may not seem like a big deal to many, rest assured, it’s worthwhile work.

Guards and handrails are like peanut butter and jelly, they are completely different, but often end up in the same sandwich.  Guards along stairs may include a handrail feature at the top, or they may support a handrail at the side, but serve a different function and must resist different loads and load directions.  The IRC has always lumped these two features together in the load table that specifies the load and load directions they must resist. With recent testing and validation for guard strength, manufacturers and others have published many details for how to build guards.  NADRA has long stood that before work is done to design guards to resist the code-specified minimum loads, those loads should be re-evaluated. In my research of minimum guard loading over the last 5 decades, it’s clear to see that the target loads have been a “best guess”.  After attending a meeting with the American Society of Civil Engineers (the authority on design loads) and supporting efforts by the NAHB, we are proud that a proposal to separate guards and handrails in the load table and address the direction of loading for guards more specifically will be submitted by the DCC in January.

On the same subject of guard loading, we have worked diligently to help other interests in deck code understand what we understand about guard design.  It’s creative and unique and that’s what “the people” want. Reputable professionals have a strong motivation to see a specific guard post connection detail illustration with proprietary hardware devices in the pages of the IRC.  The intent is good natured and understandable. Inspectors have long had nothing but a push on guards as their measure of code compliance (safety), and that can leave anyone with that responsibility a little uneasy. They too see the news of the failing decks across our country.  This is respectable and understandable. However, builders are equally uneasy about another “picture” being put in the code that appears to universally require proprietary hardware and a specific method for post attachment. Remember the lateral load anchor? How can you forget? It’s false flag and illusion of a complete lateral load design have forever changed the industry, and still today, 10 years later, it’s only “permitted” not “required”.  A picture is worth a thousand words, and for many inspectors there’s no need to read the permissive words if the seemingly required picture is there. We can’t see this happen to guards the same way it happened to ledgers.

The will to address poorly built deck guards in the IRC is strong and has made two attempts at guard structural design code in the last two editions.  To do this work respectably, no one should have everything their way. While NADRA has incredible experience with boots on the ground, we don’t know it all.  If we appreciate the experience from other professionals when we agree, then we must also respect their experiences when we disagree. With this humble philosophy comes respectable code.  Code that was carried to the hearings in many loving arms is far greater than code pushed in with singular, selfish power. Compromise has to be made by all, so NADRA took the first step. To respect the concerns of others and hope they return it with respect for ours, we entertained new code language to prohibit some of the notoriously insufficient guard designs.  Minimum 4×4 posts for guards will eliminate some shoddy 2×4 posts that can be found. Notching of 4×4 posts in guard construction has been done for all of time, and though it works in some rare cases, it generally does not. Research has been done on this subject, and the proof is pretty clear. To help show our willingness to address this common mode of guard failure, NADRA has thus far agreed to support a prohibition of notching 4×4 guard posts.  Other proposed code language includes clear instruction that the guard posts must be secured to adjacent joists and transfer the loads into the whole deck, not just the rim joist. We were careful this language didn’t specify “blocking” that could interfere with deck drainage systems. We also made sure to exclude any mention of proprietary hardware.

It was our hope that by taking the first step to compromise and draft code language to address guard safety we would encourage others of the same teamwork and they would withdrawal their proposal for a “picture”.  Unfortunately…we were unsuccessful. Though the DCC was able to agree on 6 proposals, including the one we compromised in, select members have announced they will still propose the “picture” and we must battle it out at the hearings.  To say I’m disappointed is an understatement, and to say I didn’t lose a little respect for those professionals would be a lie. The code must represent all professional experiences and be the best mix of them all. Period. The professionals contributing to the DCC bring enough experience and spent enough time sharing it together, that any proposal that could not be agreed upon by all, is a proposal unfit for the hearing and for the code.  Period. No exceptions. In bringing the voice of the decking industry to the code development process, we must do it with as much respect and understanding as possible, and we can only hope to receive it in return. Alas, NADRA will need to take that message to the hearing and be sure the attendance knows that the guard picture proposed next year is lacking the support of many professionals.

Now for the bad news… Helping with these 6 proposals is only a slice of the work to be done.  They are simply the proposals we could contribute to before the hearings. On January 7th of next year, thousands of pages of proposals will be submitted and they will likely contain many deck-related proposals we have yet to know anything about.  NADRA must be prepared to comb through these proposals when they are published in March. I’ve heard some rumors of two proposals to expect. One to require the same additional load on deck boards that stair treads must resist.  Notice how with most plastic composite lumber you can’t span as far on stair treads as you can for deck boards? A max 16-inch span for decking is often reduced to 12 inches on stairs, but not if that proposal wins. Of course every single max span you have come to know could change with this next one.  A proposal from a powerful proponent is likely to be submitted, one that would raise the minimum design live load of 40 psf to 60 psf, but just for decks. Not the floor inside the house.

Did you hear those last two?  Ready to change all your design norms?  Ready to retest all your manufactured decking?  Are you ready for singular powers that don’t manufacture, sell, or build decks to tell you how to do it? When was the last time you had a deck built to 40 psf collapse under load? Not due to some construction flaw.

These last few months of 2018 have proven the necessity for NADRA to have funding to represent the industry in code, but the work has hardly begun. Much is still needed of the membership if NADRA is to continue contributing to this work. Your help is needed.

To support NADRA’s important Code initiative, please visit and share our code fundraising page and consider contributing today. 

Thank you for your support! 

NADRA attends American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) Live and Dead Load Subcommittee meeting

By Glenn Mathewson

Another public comment was also presented, one that could have a major impact on decking.

How to build guards has never been provided for in the code, and even the loads that guards must resist have been pretty fuzzy throughout code history.  Those target loads have come into some pretty serious question now that so much testing is being conducted to assure guard posts will meet a 500 lb or greater load.  The current code requires the top of a guard and handrail to resist a 200 lb. load in any direction. Any direction means upward and inward, two directions that have nothing to do with a guard’s purpose, fall protection from an elevated surface.  They do relate to a handrail’s purpose, to brace a fall in any direction and to assist in ascending or descending stairs or ramps.

The ASTM testing standards for composite rails and the ICC Evaluation Services acceptance criteria for other manufactured guards don’t exactly match the code, and the loads are questioned in all.  This problem is well understood, yet meanwhile, proponents have been only narrowly defeated in the last two code modification cycles in their attempts to have prescriptive ands specific guard post connection details included in the IRC.  It is the opinion of many others that the target loading and the direction of loading needs to be reevaluated and set more appropriately, before methods to meet the loads are solidified in code. That was the reason I, taking NADRA’s voice, attended the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) Live and Dead Load Subcommittee meeting on November 7th, 2018.

The ASCE 7 standard is the nation’s go-to for establishing the minimum design loads for structures of all sorts.  It’s generally the basis for the loads in the I-codes. So rather than attempt this change for guard loading at the ICC level, we went one level further in.  The ASCE meeting was to review proposals and ideas for the next 2022 version of the ASCE 7 and proposals they are planning for the 2021 IBC development next year.  The National Home Builders’ Association (NAHB), a friend to NADRA, led the charge with public comment proposals to the ASCE committee requesting guards and handrails be separated and their minimum loads and load directions be individually determined.  While a handrail does need to resist a load in any direction, a guard does not. I spoke at the meeting in favor of the NAHB public comment and provided history of guard and handrails loads going back to the 1970. Over those years, guard and handrail minimum design loads were quite varied.  On the west coast, under the Uniform Building Code, only a 20 lb. horizontal load applied 90 degrees to the guard, but on the east coast, under the Standard Building Code, it was 200 lb. in any direction. From the 70’s to 2000 IRC, guards underwent a lot of changes regarding design load, but still at that time guards weren’t tested by any more than a push from the inspector.  Guards and handrail loads were combined, then separated, but then in later years combined again.

The history and the companion testimony at the meeting helped show the ASCE committee that indeed today’s design loads in the code and the ASCE standard are due for reevaluation.  Before building the house of new deck codes, let’s make sure we have a good foundation. Alongside NADRA and the NAHB, the Stair Manufacturers’ Association and the Composite Lumber Manufacturers’ Association also provided insight into this much-needed reevaluation.  The ASCE Committee agreed and affirmed a motion to work with the NAHB further on this issue. This was a great step in the right direction.

Though we attended the meeting for the guard discussion, there was more to learn.  Code and standard proposals and recommendations can come from anyone. Being present and available to learn of those other proposals and to quickly respond is a very important part of representing an industry in code.

Another public comment was also presented, one that could have a major impact on decking.  Stair treads are required to resist the familiar 40 psf live load that a deck surface must resist, but they also must resist a concentrated load of 300 lb. over a 4-square-inch area.  This has to do with the impact from the balls of your feet while rapidly descending stairs. It has been in the codes for all stair treads since 1979. You may be familiar with composite decking stair tread span limitations.  Due to this additional concentrated load, most composite decking has reduced allowable spans when used as stair treads. 16-inch on center joists for the deck, often have to be reduced to 12 inch or less on the stairs. A surprise proposal we were not expecting was to require the same stair tread concentrated load throughout the deck.  Changing the minimum loading requirements, means re-proving that decking can meet the new loads, including the lumber decking spans brought into the code in 2015. If these changes were made, they would need to be with good justification and industry-wide evaluation.

The proponent argument for this proposal was in response to impact from stepping off ladders and known cases of deck board failure.   What wasn’t shared is how many instances? How old was the decking? What was the condition? These were all questions posed by others in the room, as it is becoming well known that well-intended reactions to anecdotal instances have shaped a lot of recent codes.  The very quick question I, we, NADRA, asked was why decks are being singled out and not all floor systems? If this is a human impact load on a floor surface, then what distinguishes the hazard between the floor inside the house and the deck? Why would the decking industry be singled out?  Do we not use ladders inside the home? There was no solid answer to these questions and an affirmative motion to shelf the proposal and request more information and reason statements from the proponent.

Our efforts at this meeting have helped already to steer the future, but the winds are strong and the journey long. We need your support to stay involved in this critical work.

NADRA Education at RIDIJ 2016, Baltimore

What: ND01 – Deck Evaluation/ Inspection Certification Class for Industry Professionals

When: Wednesday, October 5th from 8am – 12pm. Presenter: Jim Mailey.

Cost: NADRA Member Price: $99  / Non-Member Price: $199

This four-hour session will teach the home inspector how to safely inspect a deck using the NADRA Deck Evaluation checklist. This checklist has been developed specifically for home inspectors as a comprehensive tool to be used to properly assess the safety of a deck. At the conclusion of this session, the home inspector will understand how to analyze the following deck components and issues: stairs, footings and posts, joists, joist connections, girders, ledger connections, deck boards, handrail assemblies and guards, recognize proper and improper fasteners, assess hardware or material corrosion, and review the safety standards of all (decks, stairs, guards) structures.

What: ND02 – A Trip Down the Load Path: Updated to 2015 IRC Provisions

When: Wednesday, October 5th from 1pm – 5pm. Presenter: Glenn Mathewson.

Cost: NADRA Member Price: $99  / Non-Member Price: $199

Now updated with all the new 2015 IRC provisions, this course completes the load path started in course 2, Ledgers and Lateral Loads. Decking, joists, beams, posts, foundations and even properties of the earth are covered, so that the entire structural system and related codes can be understood. This course also covers the topics in the NADRA Master Deck Professional-Codes 2015 certification renewal!

Upon completion of this course, attendees will…

Understand the basics of proper deck foundation design and construction.
Comprehend the concept of a load path and how forces are transferred through a structure.
Learn of various standards and sources for validating a deck’s structural system, but without an engineer.

Registration: You can register right here on NADRA’s online event registration portal.

Register Now

NADRA – Official Sponsor of Building Code College

BCC is your online provider of NADRA’s Master Deck Professional Code Education Classes

Industry professionals need affordable training available when they are available. Building Code College responds with free, online, self-paced, building code education from industry experts. 

The “Building Codes for Building Decks” series goes deep into the administration and technical aspects of building codes and deck construction. All four courses are based on the International Residential Code provisions that affect deck design and construction. This series is beneficial to all professionals involved with the decking industry, from tradesman, to inspector, to product manufacturer. With the support of the North American Deck and Railing Association, registration for these courses is free to all. NADRA members can now take the Master Deck Professional, Codes and Standards Certification Exams ONLINE! 

How do you get certified?
  1. Maintain an active NADRA Membership
  2. Complete all four Building Codes for Building Decks FREE Courses Online
  3. Pass all four NADRA Master Deck Professional, Codes & Standards Certification Exams (fees apply)
  4. Click HERE to get started

NADRA 2-Day Educational Event – Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Michael Beaudry, NADRA Executive VP

215.679.4884

Info@NADRA.org

 

The North American Deck and Railing Association Launches 2-Day Educational Event in Lawrenceville, GA February 26th & 27th – Training Opportunities for Outdoor Living Professionals!

 

Quakertown, PA –The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) will host key educational event highlighting core building code courses giving industry professionals the opportunity to earn their Master Deck Professional Certification (MDP). The 2-day event is taking place on February 26th & 27th in Lawrenceville, GA.

 

In addition to offering classes 2 & 3 of the MDP Series, NADRA will host a series of presentations & installation training by leaders in the outdoor living industry.  NADRA will also be offering their Outdoor Living, Design Sales class at no charge to all attendees. This is an overview class focused on designing & selling decks, and is part of NADRA’s Education program.

Additional presentations will take place throughout the 2-day event.  9 Training slots are available for industry vendors & benefit providers to participate in the event & are encouraged to attend.

What: 2014 NADRA educational event with vendor training, beer garden, networking & social events

Who can take the classes: Outdoor living professionals to include: business owners, contractors & their crew, inspectors, industry reps, remodelers & more

How to register to take a class? Online registration will be available at www.NADRA.org

Who teaches the classes: NADRA educators & NADRA vendor members

How to participate as a vendor?  Click HERE to download the form

Where: The Busbee Center, Gwinnett College – Lawrenceville, GA

When: Wednesday, February 26th & Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Contact: NADRA Headquarters – Direct: 215.679.4884 or Email: Info@NADRA.org

 

Class 2 and 3 of the 4-part Master Deck Professional Certification Series will be held during the 2-day event. Classes 2 & 3 are $99.00/each for NADRA and ASHI members. Non-members, $149 per class. The certification test will be offered to member-attendees on-site at no charge.

 

Class 2, Structural Design I, Ledgers & Lateral Loads will discusses the basics of structural design criteria for decks, such as loading, design methods and lumber properties, providing the foundational knowledge necessary for comprehension of the remainder of the course and the content in the Structural Design II course. The course continues with an in-depth review of ledger attachments, including how to handle various exterior cladding, flashing methods, and structural considerations. Lateral load resistance is also dissected in detail to provide a better understanding of what is required and how to provide it.

 

Class 3, Structural Design II – A Trip Down the Load Path compliments the Structural Design I class by completing the discussion of designing a deck structure. Class 3 will take place on Thursday, February 27th. It provides code requirements and guidance for designing the load path, from the decking where we stand to the earth below that supports it all. Decking, joists, beams, posts, foundations and even properties of the earth will be discussed so that a complete understanding of the entire structural system can be achieved.

 

ABOUT NADRA

NADRA is made up of deck builders, manufacturers, dealers/distributors, wholesalers, retailers, lumberyards and service providers to the deck and railing industry. By working together, we can be one voice for the industry and deliver a clear message to the consumer and the code development bodies. NADRA serves as a trade association with emphasis on safe building practices, and deck safety.

 

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

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How Valuable is a Trade Association – FastenMaster

January 17th, 2014

The Value of Trade Associations for Professional Contractors

by Greg Hartmann, National Account Manager

Why doesn’t every deck builder belong to NADRA? What can we do to spread the word about the benefits of belonging to trade organizations? I see some NADRA chapters that have become relevant, educational, generous groups of builders. They are doing great things in their communities and sharing experiences, knowledge, and their time with each other. These are the groups that are making an impact in our industry. How can we get more chapters started and reinvigorate chapters that have not gotten off the ground?

In this latest FastenMaster Blog post I look at some of the benefits of trade organizations. Who wants to help get more chapters going?

As a sales person working for a manufacturer, I know that by joining an association of builders I have the opportunity to connect with the people that use the products I sell. For me the value I receive is far greater than the annual fee I pay. For builders the value can be even greater.

  1. Financially it is in your best interest to belong to the trade associations representing your business. These organizations are made up of members at the core of your business and can bring you many benefits. Benefits may include advice on building issues and code compliance, or advice on legal issues concerning your customers, your business and your employees. The availability of this advice alone can outweigh the cost of membership if you avoid one costly legal issue. Your annual membership is probably going to be less than 1 or 2 hours of legal fees.
  2. Associations give you a voice. I’m sure you can think of plenty of things having an impact on your business that you wish could be changed. It may be local, state or national regulations. It may be availability of materials or the quality of the materials. Alone it is hard to get anyone to listen or to appreciate the issues you are having. Get together with a group in your same industry and you will be heard by manufacturers and suppliers, you will even start to make gains with the building officials. Hearing from a group gives the authorities confidence that they are hearing about issues affecting an entire sector of an industry. As your trade group grows so does your voice.
  3. Belonging to a trade group can even improve your image by increasing your professional credibility. For many industries membership in the trade association can be a mark of quality and shows the public you are part of a respected group of builders. This is especially true when the association works hard promoting community involvement projects. I am sure you are aware of groups that have done remodeling work for families suffering through hardships, home repairs for victims of tornados or hurricanes, decks built for veterans, and even homes built and given to deserving families. Not only is the recognition of being associated with these projects valuable. You will also enjoy volunteering yourself and your resources for these extremely meaningful projects.
  4. Educational opportunities are a benefit realized at nearly all trade associations. Members are offered continuing education opportunities, certification programs, and discounts with online education and local colleges. Regular chapter meetings will often times include presentations by experts in materials, software, marketing, and other aspects of your business.

Any of the above benefits are of greater value that the annual dues you pay.

But wait… there’s more!

Members also take advantage of:

  • Business Resources such as easy access to forms and templates exclusive to your industry.
  • Public Relations: Most groups are doing marketing for their members. Brochures and mailers, “How to Select a Builder” or “Deck Safety Month” flyers.
  • Connect to customers through websites and trade shows.
  • A Higher Level of Accountability: The unlicensed handyman, the Chucks with Trucks, the lower quality builders are not part of these groups.
  • Trade Show Attendance: You will have free or discounted access to attend many shows. NAHB claims that members saved more than $1 million in admission fees at the International Builders Show last year.
  • Trade Show Exhibiting: Many associations sponsor shows for homeowners giving you a great venue to attract new customers.
  • Insurance Group Savings: Insurance plans and prescription drug plans can represent huge savings compared to any plan an individual could get.
  • Networking with Your Peers: A non-competitive environment to talk with and learn from others that are in your business.
  • Make More Money: Members of trade organizations make more than their non-member competitors. The knowledge, resources, and expertise gained are realized in greater revenues.
  • Weekly newsletters with the latest news in your industry.

 

Trade associations are critical to improving the industry you make a living in. Not only do associations help you become more successful, they give your industry a voice and can quickly communicate to everyone in the industry how government regulations will affect members.

Below is the reply I got from Lainie Sleppin. When I asked her about the benefits of being a NADRA member.

“Being a NADRA member has helped me stay within the nucleus of the decking industry. It has helped me develop wonderful relationships with many of the key deck builders, manufacturers and suppliers. Through the years we have all worked diligently to raise the bar in the decking industry. The local chapter of NADRA has served us well to be able to carry that message.”

Glenn Mathewson is extremely active in the decking industry and has been involved at nearly every level of the industry. From laborer to carpenter apprentice to business owners and as a building inspector in Colorado. He is an expert in our industry. Below is his reply when asked about the value he sees in trade associations.

“As a single individual or single company, it is difficult to single-handedly guide and steer your industry and contribute your experiences and knowledge for the greater good.  However, when many individuals and companies pool together their experiences, knowledge, time and finances, they are able to lead their industry in everything from legislation to bulk rates for services…and they are heard and respected.  With so much change anticipated in the future regarding deck building codes, now is more important than ever to have the professionals of the deck industry leading the future of the deck industry.  This can only come through membership and support of the leading industry organization.  For decks…that’s NADRA!”

Glenn is also a member of the International Code Council, and the Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council

What is your experience? Do you belong to a trade association? Let me know what ones you belong to and what you see as the benefits to your business.

Did you know NADRA has a theme song?

For those of you unable to make the trip to chicago – NADRA’s party at Howl at The Moon was a huge success. Members and guests piled in to recognize and honor our award winners for the National Deck Competition and the national Terry Award and Recognition awards.

Congratulations to Keith Compton for being recognized for his many years of dedication to NADRA and the Atlanta Chapter! Glenn Mathewson was the recipient of our 2013 Terry Award for his ongoing efforts in code.

Without the support of our Gold and Bronze sponsors events like this would not be possible. A special thank you to all those recognized: MoistureShield, Fiberon, Nyloboard, Wolmanized Outdoor Wood, TimberTech Azek, Wolf & Screw Products.

Before the night was over, Howl at The Moon entertainers surprised NADRA guests with a custom song just for NADRA. Check it out: Na-na-na-na NADRA!

NADRA Events Happening at DeckExpo

DeckExpo is just days away! Here is an easy-to-follow guide to all things NADRA happening during our time in Chicago.

If you want to make a difference while getting the most of your NADRA membership, GET INVOLVED! If you are interested in the work the Association is doing in the areas of growth, code and education, GET INVOLVED!  Please take a look and register/RSVP for the meetings below.

See you soon!

Sincerely, Your Home Team at NADRA Headquarters

  • Oct. 15 — 7:30 a.m.: Structural Design II — A Trip Down the Load Path /NADRA Master Deck Professional Codes and Standards / Register HERE
  • Oct. 16 — 7:30 a.m.: NonStructural Provisions/NADRA Master Deck Professional Codes and Standards / Register HERE
  • Oct. 17 — 8 a.m.: Outdoor Living Design and Sales/NADRA Master Deck Professional Codes and Standards / Register HERE
  • Wednesday, October 16th, 2013: 6:00pm NADRA Main Event at Howl at The Moon, 2013 National Deck Competition Winners Announced!  /Registration details can be found HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 11:00am NADRA Code Meeting, Glenn Mathewson – Code Summary of 2015 IRC Code Hearings/Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 /  Register via Facebook HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 12:30pm NADRA Education Committee Meeting / Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 1:30pm NADRA Code Committee Meeting / Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 2:30pm NADRA Membership / Growth Committee Meeting / Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Thursday, October 17th, 2013: 5:00pm NADRA Annual Meeting / Location: NADRA Office, Room E256 / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Friday, October 18th, 2013: 10:00am NADRA / VisionScape, John Porco – Design and Sales Program Overview / Register via Facebook HERE
  • Friday, October 18th, 2013: 11:30am NADRA / Milford Enterprise, Jeff Atkins- Dealer Merchandising in the buildings and materials industry program / Register via Facebook HERE

 

Your Future; This Week

October 1st, 2013

Your Future; This Week

As this hits your inbox, I’m likely in route to Atlantic City, New Jersey to represent, support and defend the decking industry.  This week, your future will be decided in the 2015 International Residential Code.  On my last day to prepare before leaving Colorado, I’m nervous, but excited.  Most of all, I’m proud.  I’m proud because we’ve achieved one of the most important aspects of code development…recognition.  The code development process is complicated, cumbersome, and difficult just at published face value, but there is also a professional, dare I say social, aspect to it.  Recognition, respect and trust are vital to this work.  Here is where I feel NADRA has succeeded, and this will be the foundation for all code development work now and into the future.  Every year this process occurs for different codes, and every three years for the IRC.

There’s a lot at stake this year in code development.  Will you be installing hold-downs on every guard post, or will you be free from installing them on every ledger?  Will all decks be outright prohibited from within 5 feet of property lines?  Will there finally be joist, beam and post sizing provisions available to ease design validation?

What won’t be at stake this year is NADRA.  We have demonstrated our commitment to our vision and mission statement for code development, and we have been appreciated for it.

Vision: Safe decks with well-thought-out engineering and a common sense practical approach to code requirements.

Code Mission Statement: To advance and protect industry interests in the code development arena and to promote member involvement; to promote governmental and agency reliance on NADRA as a voice for the industry; to create and maintain relationships with key government agencies and code officials; to be a forum for the discussion, study, and investigation of proposed and existing model code development, federal and state legislation and programs, and to report such findings to the Board of Directors and the Membership.

We have contributed heavily to an informal discussion group regarding deck codes and during the committee hearings in May.  We have worked with other professionals and organizations on shared proposals, and we have provided assistance to proposals of others.  We have made it clear that we are here, ready and willing to be a part of any discussion, work, or progress regarding the standards of the decking and railing industry.  We expect to be a part of it.

While we may not exactly know the course the decking industry is sailing, we are in the pilot’s cabin.  However the votes go on Thursday and Friday of this week, we know that we we’re heard and respected.  We ARE the voice of the decking industry, and we have been and will continue to speak.  However, we are also the ears of the industry, as we cannot speak for it without first listening the to all segments.  With no cards up our sleeves and no hidden agendas, we have opened ourselves up to listen and respond honestly to all that are willing to share their opinions, ideas, concerns and experiences.  We have asked for compromise and mutual understanding.  We have encouraged learning from each other and finding common ground.  We have respected the segments of the industry, all of which deserve such, and regardless of our agreement or not.

This has been a good year for NADRA in code development, and I am proud to have been at the heart of it.  Thank you, NADRA members and the industry at large, for your support of my work, our work.  Thank you for trusting me with this job.

I’ll do my best to keep you informed on hearings live through my Facebook and Twitter accounts, but you can certainly expect a full recap after the hearings…after a long nap.

Glenn Mathewson, MCP

NADRA Technical Advisor