When it comes to backyards, he’s in front

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

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

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

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

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

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

FILLING A NICHE

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

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

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

OUTDOORS AS PART OF THE HOME

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

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

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

LOTS OF TRAVEL

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

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

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

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

EDUCATION, TRAINING

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

HELPING THE MILITARY

Two major NADRA programs of note are:

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

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

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

‘LUCKY TO HAVE THEM’

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

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

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

Matt Breyer, has been voted president of the North American Deck and Railing Association, Inc.   

Reading, PA. –  Matt Breyer, owner of Breyer Construction & Landscape, has been voted president of the North American Deck and Railing Association, Inc.

NADRA, based in Quakertown, is a national organization whose focus is to inform deck builders, manufacturers, code developers and others about industry issues and to increase public awareness about deck safety. It also serves the community through philanthropic initiatives such as “Deck for a Soldier.”

An experienced remodeler and entrepreneur, Breyer has more than 20 years in the industry. He founded his Reading-based firm in 2001 and has expanded it to a 20-employee company that specializes in creating custom decks and outdoor living spaces, as well as finished basements and interior remodeling.

In July 2017, Breyer was ranked among the top 60 construction remodelers nationwide in customer satisfaction, according to a customer survey published in QualityRemodeler magazine.

“I believe in the excellent work NADRA does in advancing our industry and promoting safety awareness, so it’s truly an honor to be named president,” Breyer said. A member of NADRA since 2006, he previously served as treasurer of the executive council.

“Congratulations to Matt as the new President of NADRA,” said Kirk Hammond, NADRA’s immediate past president. “Those who are fortunate to meet and work with Matt recognize and appreciate his dedication, values and excellence in every aspect of his life. His leadership and work will move NADRA forward and upward to new heights of industry prominence.”

Bob Lett, immediate past secretary of NADRA’s board of directors, also commended Breyer. “I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Matthew Breyer on his election to president of the North American Deck and Rail Association,” Lett said. “The association is privileged to have Matt as its president to guide it through the next phase of growth, because he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the association. We thank Matt and his family for their dedication, energy, passion and the sacrifices they make to give back to the association. It truly is a labor of love.”

NADRA is pleased to introduce the NADRA CPAC (Consumer Product Awareness Charter) program.

Dear NADRA Member,

As we have seen in many other industries, when consumers lack confidence due to some “bad eggs” the government often steps in to impose regulations.  The increasing media attention on frequent deck/balcony failures and increased deck code development programs point to and support an inherent lack of consumer and distributor confidence.

As “the independent”, association for the deck and railing industry, NADRA stands as an impartial advocate for our industry, and its consumers. Our reputation and unique position demanded we develop a “Consumer Awareness” program that would allow our industry leaders to help self-regulate our products through standardized testing protocols supported by independent external verification.

The program we have developed (supported by our team of technical advisors) over the last 5 years ensures you, our stakeholders can be directly involved in policing our industry to reduce and remove inferior products while establishing validation for quality decking manufacturers.  Additionally, it will finally give all of us an independent tool when interfacing with our consumers to aid in eliminating purchase anxiety and unrealistic consumer expectations that so often create the negative social media backlash, warranty claims, and the legal headaches we all abhor.

NADRA is pleased to introduce the NADRA CPAC (Consumer Product Awareness Charter) program.

The association would welcome your involvement in the program and input into the final stages of development and market-wide distribution. We have attached current information and registration forms for your review. Please reach out to myself, or NADRA HQ with questions, and we would be happy to discuss how to secure the greatest results utilizing this program in your business.

With your involvement we can make this an incredibly successful program for your company, and for our entire industry.

Get started right away, click this LINK  and register to preview your NADRA CPAC Information and registration form today.

( FYI:This link will take you to a short registration. You will receive a confirmation pop up followed by an email with the CPAC download )

At your service,
Matt Breyer 
President, North American Deck and Railing Association
484-256-2773

Michael Beaudry
Executive Director, NADRA
215-804-6679
info@NADRA.org

Manufacturers share highlights from International Builders Show

NADRA Vice President, Heath Bowman attended the International Builders Show alongside President, Matt Breyer & several NADRA Committee members and NADRA ambassadors.

“It was great spending time with all of the NADRA members who participated in IBS.  Each booth we visited told stories and showed excitement about growth in sales, as well as, in new products coming.  I am personally excited to have accepted the VP position as it will allow me to be part of the industry in a more hands-on capacity.” Heath Bowman

NADRA Bronze level members, Screw Products, Inc.:

Three days can be a long time to stand on a trade show floor, but this year’s International Builders Show kept a steady pace and truly brought out the “International” for those interested in Screw Products, Inc. With growing interest from South America and even genuine interest with new friends in Africa!

From the moment we left the airport en route to our hotel, we knew this years show was going to be different. Different indeed. The IBS Marketing Team really stepped up their game this year with “Welcome” signage at the airport, as well as billboards along the way to the convention center! Well Done Team IBS!

Attendees were engaged and eager to learn. While we continued to have considerable interest in our overall Fastener line, our C-Deck Composite Deck Screws and DeckLok really caught the attention of many contractors. Several of which were proud members of the Great NADRA Team! Thanks for the continued support!

With hundreds of solid leads from contractors, dealers, distributors and fellow manufacturers, we are poised for a great 2018 at Screw Products, Inc. You won’t want to miss it! In fact, I hope they add an extra day to next year’s IBS! See you in Vegas!

AZEK® Building Products, NADRA Gold Level Members: 

AZEK Building Products had a great showing at IBS with a stunning new booth, showcasing more than a dozen new products.  AZEK® and TimberTech® each released three new colors to their premium decking lines.  AZEK’s Vintage Collection® launched Coastline™, English Walnut™ and Weathered Teak™ while TimberTech added Sequoia™, Espresso and Whitewash Cedar™ to its Legacy Collection.  TimberTech also announced an upgrade to its warranty, growing from a 25-year to a 30-year limited lifetime warranty.

AZEK also ran various demonstrations, highlighting a new and expanded line of Adhesives & Accessories for cellular PVC trim and moulding. The company also released various new deck fasteners, including additional color options for TOPLoc® by AZEK and a new hand-driven option of FUSIONLoc®.

Finally, AZEK® Trim & Moulding showcased 6 new surrounds for windows and doors, providing contractors even greater architectural options to present to homeowners.

Check out AZEK’s highlight reel on their YouTube channel!

 

CAMO Fasteners, a Bronze member of NADRA had a great show at IBS.  We interacted with a lot of fabulous deck builders and demoed our CAMO products.

The International Builders’ Show is THE trade show of the year — and a great way to start 2018 says NADRA members, Feeney, Inc.! This year was especially big for Feeney, as we unveiled our new brand evolution: new logo, new booth, all new packaging, and new literature! We got great feedback from contractors, architects, retailers, and other vendors. Folks were WOWed by our new look! We also unveiled two new products:

DesignRail® Kits: a complete modular aluminum railing system

CableRail Conceal Kits: a low-profile alternative to our original CableRail Kits

Optimism was high at the show, folks were positive about the year ahead in the building and remodeling industries. We noticed more VR games and displays in booths: you could tour a model home or a sustainable quarry in Brazil, and even smash up an old water heater with a lightsaber! We had a great time touring the show, talking to folks at Therrawood (who had our CableRail on display in their booth!), Camo Deck Fasteners, Home Advisor, Houzz, Use Natural Stone, Architectural Grille, and 84 Lumber. We even did some live streaming on Facebook at our booth on Day 3. Thank you to all who stopped by!

Heather Marchand, NADRA’s National Programs and Marketing Director, walked the show visiting members.

“I so enjoyed walking the show floor and having the chance to stop and speak to as many members as my feet would allow! The IBS show is gigantic! I needed more time! It was a blast getting to sit down with so many familiar faces- and new ones. The weather was beautiful for the outdoor exhibits. Bob Heidenreich and The Deck Store crew did an outstanding job! I loved the little touches – such as the custom picnic tables. The highlight of my trip was probably the warm, welcoming running hug I received from our members at AZEK. I love my job! I loved having the chance to see our members hard work pay off at this fast-paced, packed show. You all put a lot of time & resources into coordinating booth personnel, Facebook Live events, the displays, handouts, trinkets & novelty items & so much more. It showed! Job well done, friends! Now let’s get to work building, and get folks playing outside more… one deck at a time!”  Heather Marchand

The NADRA team met with members and prospective members at IBS. As you know, it’s a HUGE space to cover, and we missed many of you! 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 recap to Info@NADRA.org. We will keep this blog post updated with posts from our members that exhibited at the show! 

Take a look at members we saw along the way!

NADRA Announces New President

NADRA Announces Newly Elected Executive Committee and Board Members

For Immediate Release:
Media Inquiries:
Michael Beaudry
215-679-4884
Info@NADRA.org

Quakertown, PA., January 10th, 2018 – The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) announced the new Board of Directors, including members to the Executive Committee.

Matt Breyer, Breyer Construction & Landscape, LLC  was appointed as NADRA’s President & will serve for two years. Matt is an experienced remodeler and entrepreneur, Breyer has more than 15 years in the industry.

Heath Bowman, Southeastern Underdeck Systems, LLC & Haven, was appointed as NADRA’s Vice President. Heath will also serve for 2 years.

Bruce Verblaauw, C. Verblaauw and Sons, LLC, was elected Treasurer & will also serve two years on the Executive Committee. Kirk Hammond, Lonza, now serves as NADRA’s Immediate Past President and will remain in this position for 2 years.

Continuing on the board is:  John Burkhart, JECS Demand

NADRA also welcomed three new members-at-large to its Board of Directors. Joining for a three year term are: John Keller, Sequoia Supply Co., Inc. , Gary Converse, Koppers Performance Chemicals & Vincent Carrubba, Admiral Composite Technologies, Inc.

Serving as the Associations International Ambassador is: Barry John Davis
NADRA also thanks Board members whose terms have concluded: Rick Schumacher, LBM Journal, Bob Lett, Wolf Home Products & Bill Ross, Fiberon

A few questions to ask yourself, Tips from NADRA

March is here, and that means we’re entering “Home Show Season”. It’s the end of the winter, the early customers are calling and inquiring. Now is our last chance to button-up any policies, procedures, and give our companies one last “spring cleaning” before the rush!

 

A few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is there any last-minute education to wrap up?
  2. Are all of our vendor agreements in place?
  3. Are your trucks and trailers lettered and in good shape?
  4. Are you displaying the NADRA logo and pledge on your marketing materials? (stand out from the competition!)
  5. Are your business cards printed with updated industry certifications and social media information?
  6. Do you have marketing pieces ready?
  7. Jobsite signs in good shape?
  8. Crew T-shirts and hats stocked?
  9. Do you have a good camera for your before and after pictures? Or is this the year to consider adding a drone?
  10. How is the website, email signature, and voicemail greetings?

If you don’t have these things ready, you have time, but that time is now! Go get it done. You’ll feel better prepared, and at the end of the day, you’ll know you did everything you could to be ready for the season.If you’re wondering where to get the best job-site signs, or you’re not sure where to order your T-shirts, don’t forget to reach out to your fellow NADRA members to ask. That’s what we are here for! Ask away. Use NADRA’s social media platforms to ask questions, hop on LinkedIn to start a discussion, Tweet! Use whatever platform makes it easy for you to ask your question. It’s human nature to want to help. Someone will answer you. Use your NADRA network to better your business. We are here for you.

Your NADRA Board of Directors, and Home Office staff are here to help. Feel free to call or email any of us, if we can assist in any way.

Sincerely,

Your NADRA Board of Directors