Associations and the Code

Article posted courtesy of

November 30, 2010 | When I was a carpenter and a builder, I never joined an industry association. I didn’t see what was in it for me. That was taking the short view. I didn’t realize that associations lobby on industry-wide issues such as codes. In fact, I didn’t know how codes were written. If I had thought about it, I’d have guessed that some think tank of structural engineers sat around developing minimum standards based on a reasonable expectation of building performance.

Well, it turns out that’s not quite right. Code writing is a political process as much as a technical one. Code changes can be suggested by anyone, from individuals to corporations. My crazy Uncle Lou could suggest a code change. Properly submitted code proposals are vetted by a committee. The survivors are voted up or down at the International Code Council’s annual meetings. The only people who get to vote on whether changes make it into the IRC are governmental members of the ICC — mostly code officials.

The people most affected by the code — you — don’t get a vote. Anyone can comment on proposed changes before the final vote, but what deck builder has the time to keep abreast of proposed changes to the code and to write a letter or comment at the annual ICC meeting? I never did. Nor did I realize I could. Even so, considering the commenter could be Uncle Lou, the view of one individual probably shouldn’t carry a lot of weight. But associations? If I were a voting ICC member, I’d give more time and credence to associations than to the concerns of an individual.

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New NADRA Chapter Now Forming In Minnesota!

Excerpt taken from the weekly NADRA Industry Brief

November 24, 2010 | WOW! Twenty-four individuals from the Deck and Rail Community came together for the Minnesota NADRA formation meeting held at Stork Twin City Testing in St. Paul, Minn., on Nov. 17. The “kick-off” meeting brought deck builders, manufacturers, distributors and industry experts together to discuss the launch of this exciting new Chapter. Sixteen of those attendees are now NADRA members!

Join us in December when Mr. Roger Axel, New Hope Building Official, explains the right and wrong ways of working with local building officials. Mr. Axel will also share his experience with NADRA professionals vs. Chuck in the Truck! Email to get involved.

For more great articles and information, check out the weekly NADRA Industry Brief here!

NADRA To Honor Soldier

Lacey, WA – November 11, 2010 | North American Deck and Railing Association announced today the recipient of its 2010 Deck for a Soldier® project. Marshall Diaz, of Fort Lewis, Washington will be the proud owner of a new, custom deck designed and built by Western Washington Chapter of NADRA members and constructed of donated materials.

NADRA launched its Deck For a Soldier® program in 2007; this is a community effort that expresses our appreciation for the service and dedication of the men and women of our armed forces.

Infantry Man Marshall Diaz has been honorably serving his country for 13 years and is currently in Active Duty. During his last deployment to Afghanistan, he was wounded and medically evacuated back to the U.S. From May of 2008 until April of 2010, Diaz was in the Wounded Warrior Battalion Pavilion located at Fort Lewis, WA. Marshall is honored by a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart; as well as, many other prestigious awards during his career. Diaz also takes time to serve his local community by volunteering with the local Boy Scout Troops and still sets time to volunteer at a local Veteran’s home.

On his application Diaz noted “When I was given the option to get out of the Army, I chose the only option for me, and that is to continue to serve my country. Although my rehabilitation is an ongoing process, I hold my head up with pride for there is no other country in this world that I would rather live in, then the United States of America.”

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Welcome To New NADRA Member: Boston Cedar

November 3, 2010 | Boston Cedar is pleased to announce that the company has become one of the first deck and railing distributors in the Northeast to become members of the Quakertown, PA based North American Deck and Railing Association.

The rapid growth of the outdoor living industry is bringing families and friends together at unprecedented rates as a result of consumers seeking beautiful decks and outdoor living spaces that enrich their lives. They want them constructed from high quality but affordable materials that deliver value and consistent low maintenance. Consumers want these spaces installed efficiently, safely and code compliant. They want their decks constructed by professional and knowledgeable builders and remodelers that they can trust based on reputation and established credentials.

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FREE Ballistic NailScrew Driver ($279 value)!

Exclusive – For Fiberpro members only – extended through December 31, 2010

Buy Four Buckets of Fiberon Ballistic Hidden Fasteners and receive a FREE Ballistic NailScrew Driver ($279 value)!

How It Works
Enter your claim online at the Deck Dollars “Fiberon Ballistic Hidden Fastener Promotion”
Send copies of your receipts for the four buckets of the 900 pc Fiberon Ballistic Hidden Fastener kits via fax, email or mail (details given at time of purchase submission)
Fiberon will send you a FREE Ballistic NailScrew Driver valued at $279!
The Ballistic NailScrew Driver comes with case, hose fitting, safety glasses, allen wrenches and oil and is backed by a 90-Day Limited Warranty.

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Remodeling Show/DeckExpo Saw Growth & Optimism

Dallas, TX – November 2, 2010 | The 2010 Remodeling Show and DeckExpo, held September 15 – 17 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD, exemplified the growing optimism in the residential remodeling and deck building industries. The Remodeling Show is officially sponsored by the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), NAHB Remodelers and Remodeling Magazine. DeckExpo is officially sponsored by the North American Deck & Railing Association (NADRA) and Professional Deck Builder Magazine.

The 2010 events had 318 total exhibitors, 35% of which were new this year. The show covered 86,700 net square feet with a total attendance of 5871, a 12% increase over 2009. Attendees traveled from 45 states and 14 countries to the shows representing a mix of residential and commercial remodelers, deck builders, custom home builders, specialty and replacement contractors, architects and designers.

“The shows represent what is taking place in the remodeling and deck building industries. Contractors and manufacturers who demonstrate resiliency and innovation are seeing measured growth in a quickly evolving marketplace,” stated Amy Allen, Director of the Remodeling Show, DeckExpo and JLC LIVE. Along with an increase in attendance, there was a shift in attendee demographics. “I have attended every show since 1991,” stated Bob Hanbury from House of Hanbury Builders in Connecticut. “I noticed a younger crowd that had more questions and showed interest in understanding the issues. The show is definitely evolving.”

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A Surprise Gift for a Soldier’s Family

Originally posted on

Altanta, GA – October 16, 2010 | It’s the story of the beautiful harmony between a husband and wife who have handled adversity with the utmost grace – and the people so inspired by it that they helped bring this family a wonderful surprise. Dana Thompson will be the first to tell you: it’s never been easy keeping up with four kids while her husband serves in the army.

“My grandfather was in World War II,” said Captain Don Thompson. “Actually, both grandfathers were. My dad was an Air Force captain.”

Don felt the same calling and enlisted just in time to be sent to Iraq in 2004; he so appreciated the experience that he decided to go into a military career. He served another tour last year, this time in Afghanistan, and now works in Macon; he commutes two hours each way from Cumming every day. And it’s obvious why.

“When he comes home, it’s just, ‘Aaaah!'” says Dana Thompson. “Utter excitement …”

It’s hard for Don to be away, as well as for Dana to handle the home — or, at least, it should be. But the couple has stuck to the belief that the bonds of family beat the strains of distance every time.

“If I’m not in the field or completely indisposed and can’t talk, I call her every night,” Don says. “It doesn’t matter where I am; I’ll find a way.”

It’s why they made a tape of Don reading bedtime stories, so his kids could still hear his voice when he was overseas. And it’s why, a few months back, Dana wrote an essay whose voice would carry far wider than she ever expected. It was an essay for a contest run by “Operation Homefront”, a non-profit out of Marietta that supports veterans and their families. They been had approached by NADRA, the North American Deck and Railing Association, for a new campaign called “Deck for a Soldier”. In Georgia, they all read Dana’s essay and found their soldier. So for a week-and-a-half, they got to work, building a front porch and a two-level deck, with 32 local companies volunteering to help.

Click here to read the original article and watch the video…

Purchaseable Labor Warranties

October 16, 2010 | If you want to get a heated debate started among deck builders, assemble 30 from any part of the country in a room, walk out in the center of the floor, ask them to state their opinions regarding alternative decking or real wood, and move out of the way quickly. You’re going to hear strongly held opinions split down the middle. I’ve observed blogs that followed this course. The proponents believe alternatives offer lower maintenance solutions than wood and avoid the problems that can be associated with it and buy into the concept. A lot of deck contractors simply prefer real wood for what they build. But many of the naysayers are made up of earlier generation builders who have experienced problems are newer ones that have heard too much about them. This group believes it’s too risky to bet their reputations on. Interestingly enough, they’re both right.

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Fiberon® Contributes To 2010 NADRA Winners

Best Alternative Decks Feature Fiberon® Decking

New London, NC – October 14, 2010 | At the North American Decking and Railing Association’s (NADRA) Annual Meeting and National Industry Awards banquet held in Baltimore, MD, on September 15, 2010, six prestigious deck builders were recognized in nine categories of the 2010 NADRA Deck Competition. Barry Streett, of Rolling Ridge Deck Co., Inc., and Jamie Turrentine, of Southwest Fence & Deck, Inc., won Best Alternative Deck Over 500 SF and Best Alternative Deck Under 500 SF, respectively; both of which were built with Fiberon® decking products. A diverse panel of media and industry representatives honored the deck competition winners for skill, craftsmanship, and creativity.

“Fiberon is proud of each deck competition winner, but especially of FiberPROs Mr. Streett and Mr. Turrentine who were recognized for their deck construction and design that features our Horizon and Tropics decking products,” said Chris Beyer, vice president of marketing for Fiberon. “We believe the enduring beauty and durability of these products parallels the talent and originality these Fiberon deck builders put forth to win in their respective categories.”

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Fiberon® New Hires

Growth Spurs New Job Opportunities in the Coming Months

New London, NC – October 14, 2010 | Fiberon®, a leading manufacturer of composite and PVC decking, railing and fencing products, has hired John Scarborough as Fiberon Product Specialist for the Mid-Atlantic Sales region. John will be responsible for increasing and managing the network of decking contractors in the Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC, markets. In addition, Scott Cathcart has been promoted to Regional Manager directly responsible for sales in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah.

“Fiberon is pleased to welcome Mr. Scarborough and recognize Mr. Cathcart’s performance as our company continues to dedicate the necessary resources toward establishing strong relationships with customers and prospects in targeted markets throughout the country,” said Bill Ross, Vice President of Sales for Fiberon. “The dedication and experience these gentlemen bring to Fiberon will allow us to create greater access to our programs and innovative product lines that deliver exceptional performance year after year.

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