SHELTER
Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

April 2006                                Volume 45,  Issue 3

HARDscapes

Companies Expand Facilities and Product Lines                                                                                            

COMPANY NEWS

Tiger Claw Begins Manufacturing Custom Deck Fasteners

Tiger Claw Inc. of Bristol, Conn., has developed a line of customized hidden deck fasteners for Procell Decking Systems. Procell Decking Systems feature solid-core, cellular PVC construction and contain no wood fillers that can compromise performance. Procell’s advanced formulation produces one of the strongest and lightest decking materials available.

“We’re excited about this new direction because it exposes Tiger Claw to new distribution channels and new customers,” said David Hartmann, president of Tiger Claw Inc. “Not only does the decking manufacturer gain revenue from a new product but they also gain revenue from increased decking sales because they can offer their customers a complete solution. We have a number of designs that are ready to present to other manufactures as well. This is a key part of our company strategy.”

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Sunroom Wall System Gets Code Approval

Superior Metal Products Co. Inc. of Birmingham, Ala., says it has received building code approval of its UltraView Sunroom wall system for sunroom dealers and contractors in the state of Florida from the Florida Department of Community Affairs building code information system. 

The company’s 3.25-inch UltraView™ insulated wall system received Florida Building Code (FBC) product approval complying with the 2004 FBC requirements that took effect October 1, 2005.

The wall panels have been approved by the FBC, approval code 4484, and, therefore, “must be accepted by local jurisdictions,” according to the code.

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INDUSTRY

Wood and Competitive Decking Demand to Reach $5.8 Billion in 2009

The U.S. demand for decking is projected to advance 2.8 percent per year through 2009 to 5.7 billion board feet, valued at $5.8 billion. The relative stability of the decking market stems from the fact that more than 85 percent of demand is generated through repair and improvement activity, which is inherently less cyclical than the new construction market. New markets will offer more mixed prospects. These and other trends are presented in Wood & Competitive Decking, a new study from The Freedonia Group Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Composite decking will provide the strongest growth opportunities, posting 15 percent annual growth through 2009 to almost 900 million board feet, the company reports. Demand for composite decking will be fueled by its high durability and low-maintenance requirements, as well as by product advances that provide a more realistic wood appearance.

Other alternative decking materials such as plastic and aluminum will also show strong growth, rising nearly 11 percent per year through 2009. Despite significant competition from alternative decking materials, it was reported that wood will remain the dominant material used to produce and repair decks in the U.S., accounting for 81 percent of total decking demand in 2009.

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Decking Demand
(million board feet)

%Annual Growth

Item 1999 2004 2009 04/99 09/04
Decking Demand 4526 4975 5720 1.9 2.8
     Wood 4238 4421 4640 0.8 1.0
     Wood-Plastic Composite 220 443 895 15.0 15.1
     Plastic & Other 68 111 185 10.3 10/8
Source: The Freedonia Group Inc.

SAFETY

May is Deck Safety Month

The number of deck failures and resulting injuries has been increasing at an alarming rate. Between August 2004 and December 2005, the U.S. news media reported 225 injuries and one fatality from deck collapses caused by ledger connection failures. Many more deck failures—with or without injuries—went unreported in the media.

“Clearly, something needs to be done to tackle the growing problem of unsafe decks,” said Mike Beaudry of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA). “NADRA is taking the first step by launching Deck Safety Month. Each May, we will encourage homeowners to get an annual deck inspection, with the goal of reducing the number of deck injuries suffered each year.”

Although the International Residential Code (ICC) does not include specific details on how to build a deck, researchers at Virginia Tech University in cooperation with the ICC have produced a “Manual for the Inspection of Residential Wood Decks and Balconies.”

Frank Woeste of Virginia Tech, a deck-safety expert partly responsible for the creation of the inspection manual, noted that “no one has an estimate of total deaths and injuries per year because most collapses are never reported in the media. I’m aware of deck collapses with no one on them, further demonstrating the need for homeowners to get involved and interested in their deck’s structural integrity.”

Beaudry said that NADRA plans to use Deck Safety Month to “promote deck safety to consumers and create an awareness of the risks of using a structurally deficient residential deck, thereby reducing the number of deck injuries and deaths that occur every year.”

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DISTRIBUTION

Universal Forest Products to Distribute Eon® Fencing and Decking

CPI Plastics Group Ltd. (CPI), the maker of Eon® decking, fencing and railing, as well as spa cladding and accessories, has entered into an exclusive agreement with Universal Forest Products Inc. to distribute Eon®’s premium engineered plastic decking, railing and fencing products to big-box retailers, other independent retailers and building customers throughout the United States. 

“We are excited by this opportunity to partner with Universal Forest Products and to harness the power of its national distribution system and marketing efforts,” said Ronald Mitchell, president of CPI Plastics Group. 

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PERSONNEL

TTT Appoints New VP of Sales and Marketing

Washington, D.C.-based Timber Treatment Technologies (TTT), manufacturer of TimberSIL™ has appointed Bill Schwam as vice president of sales and marketing. “Bill brings a wealth of knowledge to this position and will play a pivotal role in the strategic planning for and national launch of our TimberSIL technology,” said Bill Beard, managing partner.

Working from Timber Treatment Technologies’ Memphis operating headquarters, Schwam is responsible for the development of sales strategy and execution, and overall product development. He will work closely with the organization’s executive leadership in managing and refining the TimberSIL brand, as well as with the Huttig Building Products’ marketing department in the national rollout of the TimberSIL line.

Prior to joining Timber Treatment, Schwam worked for WM Barr & Co. Inc. as vice president of sales, supervising several national brands. He has also worked for American Angler as national sales and marketing manager for sport fishing products. In his career, Schwam has worked with leading national brands such as Black & Decker/DeWalt, Thompson’s™ Water Seal™ and Armor All® deck care products.

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