Building a Future for Distributors and Dealers of Building Products

January/February 2006                                Volume 45,  Issue 1


Walking in Memphis
DeckExpo Attendees Will Have a Variety of Outdoor Products to Browse

The 2006 DeckExpo welcomes you to Memphis, Tenn., home to Elvis’ famous abode—Graceland, a couple of pandas, some very pampered ducks and some of the country’s best BBQ.

Fifteen hundred distributors, dealers, deck builders and other industry professionals are expected to attend the 2006 DeckExpo, February 16-18, 2006, at the Memphis Convention Center. The exhibits will be open on Friday, February 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday, February 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To register for DeckExpo, visit or call 678/344-6283.

There is a number of not-to-miss events at this year’s DeckExpo. 

The Ice-Breaker Happy Hour will be held on Thursday, February 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. This is your opportunity to meet with exhibitors and fellow attendees to discuss the latest happenings in the industry. 

Also on Thursday, the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA) will hold its annual meeting, from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. If you are a member of NADRA or thinking of joining the association, you are encouraged to attend. At the meeting, NADRA officials will present the award for the NADRA booth design contest. The winner will receive a plaque during this session.

If you’ve got a business problem you need help with, then you should attend the “What’s YOUR Problem? Problem-Solving Roundtable” discussion on Friday, February 17, from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. According to show officials, this roundtable is one of the most popular sessions at DeckExpo and is structured in actual round tables to promote discussion of common problems and to offer tested, practical, real-world solutions.

Exhibitors are Excited about DeckExpo

As one would expect, the DeckExpo exhibitors are looking forward to this year’s show. 

The Trex Co. of Winchester, Va., is a return exhibitor to DeckExpo.

Maureen Murray, spokesperson for Trex, says that DeckExpo is a perfect opportunity for the company to have an exchange of ideas and address questions face-to-face. 

“We are always tuned in to customer feedback in our quest to help decking contractors,” she said.

“The Memphis location is especially exciting for us this year, since it is in close proximity to our brand new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Olive Branch, Miss., (a suburb of Memphis) giving us an opportunity to share it with our dealers and customers. We also hope that Memphis presents a new venue and attracts an even larger group of decking professionals to the show,” Murray added.

Railing Dynamics Inc. (RDI) of Egg Harbor Township, N.J., is another exhibitor at this year’s DeckExpo.

“We exhibited a few years ago with our railing line, Endurance, in Atlanta. We were a little disappointed at the quality and quantity of leads, but realizing DeckExpo was a new show, we decided to wait a few years and exhibit this year,” said Carol Lyn Groce, sales and marketing coordinator for RDI.

“Railing Dynamics is thrilled to be a part of DeckExpo 2006. We’re excited to show off our unique product and are looking forward to a grand reception,” Groce added.

Dave Fancher, marketing projects manager for Elk Composite Building Products of Dallas, another DeckExpo exhibitor, feels that because it’s the show’s fourth year and despite the change in venue, “the show’s popularity continues to grow as does attendance.”

“With the NADRA meeting in conjunction with the show, we expect that this too, will help with attendance and make this year’s DeckExpo a successful show for all,” Fancher said.

“We continue to display at DeckExpo because of our commitment to support the decking industry and our contractors. It’s the perfect venue to demonstrate the benefits of composite decking systems over other decking systems to the contractor,” he added.

Hotel Accommodations

The hotels with room blocks for the show are:

The Memphis Marriott Downtown 
Rates: $139 or $159
Reservations: 800/228-9290 or 901/527-7300

Wyndham Garden Hotel Memphis
Rates: $129
Reservations: 800/996-3426 or 901/525-1800

When calling to make a reservation, please ask for the DeckExpo room block; the cut-off date for the room block is January 20, 2006.

The Memphis Transit Authority has a Trolley System that services most of downtown and runs in front of the hotels and the Memphis Convention Center. You may find this a very convenient and relaxing way to get around. To find out more about trolley fares and schedules visit

DeckExpo Education Program

Pre-Convention Success Seminars are being held Wednesday, February 15, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Thursday, February 16, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on the pre-convention seminars, visit

The Comprehensive Education Program will be held at various hours, Thursday, February 16; Friday, February 17; and Saturday, February 18. Please see the DeckExpo Master Schedule on page 33 for specific seminar times.

Booth #201: Designer Deck Rails Gives Unique Look

With the addition of two new railing systems, Epoch Composite Products Inc. of Lamar, Mo., continues to expand its line of low-maintenance products. The new designer railing system and the new traditional 2-by-4 railing system are composed of durable composite wood materials and come in colors that complement existing decking from the company.

The railing system features a hand rail, universal top and bottom rail, and oval balusters. The railing system includes a 2-by-4 hand rail, 2-by-4 side rails and square balusters. 

“Epoch developed these new railing systems to meet the industry’s need for more composite railing options,” said Mick Whelan, vice president of sales and marketing, product development. “With the addition of these two systems, Epoch now provides homeowners with three different railing choices so they can select the best look for their projects.”

All three railing systems carry a 10-year limited warranty, can be installed using common tools and are available in colors that coordinate with EverGrain Decking. 

Booth #431: All-in-One Composite Railing System 

ElkCorp, a subsidiary of Elk Composite Building Products Inc., offers the RailWays™ Traditional Series, an all-in-one composite railing system with a nostalgic look. 

The co-extruded manufacturing process combines the durability of composite wood and PVC, creating the look of freshly-painted wood. The system is installed using the company’s patent-pending Uni-Ball™ connector system. The connectors can be installed quickly by applying the balusters over the connectors for a compressed fit. The process cuts installation time to less than half of most competitive systems, according to the company.

The new series’ 5-inch post sleeve allows for a flush mount installation when assembling at 45-degree and 22.5-degree angles. The larger posts also give the deck a grander appearance.

Thick gauge, stainless steel swivel brackets have a locking pin designed to lock and position the bracket to five different angles. 

Booth #139: Connector Adds Stability

CorrectDeck, headquartered in Biddeford, Maine, has released its new Dimensional Composite Lumber (DCL) connector. The product is designed to offer contractors and homeowners more railing options along with increased stability and ease of installation.

The connector, made of nylon, provides a clean look with traditional flat railing boards or decorative balusters, including aluminum or glass. Installation of the connector is easy because the holes are predrilled, according to the company.

The product has been designed to attach CorrectDeck DCL 2-inch by 4-inch or 2-inch by 6-inch railings to a 4-inch by 4-inch post, eliminating the need to toe screw and the unsightly surface appearance of crooked screws. The company says the connector adds more stability to the railing system by increasing the base from 1.5 inches to 3 inches.

Booth #113: Protecting the Gutters

Alcoa Home Exteriors of Pittsburgh has a new addition to its Leaf Relief line of gutter protection products and an enhancement to the retrofit version used by gutter professionals. The new product is designed specifically for half-round gutters and is available in both copper and aluminum. 

The company says that the product installation is easy with pre-made corners and flexible vinyl strip to assure a unique, perfect fit each time. 

Leaf Relief is capable of draining 32.9 inches of water per hour. Most ordinary dry debris is cleared from the surface with a gentle 6 mph breeze, while wet debris is removed with a 23 mph wind. The secure mounting system stays firmly in place to resist high winds, ice and snow, ladder damage and pest invasion.

Booth #923: Fence Bracket Boasts Adaptability

A new fence bracket designed for easy installation to existing structures has been introduced by L.B. Plastics Inc. of Mooresville, N.C., to be used easily on any Sheerline® fencing system.

The new 2-by-8-inch bracket attaches to existing structures such as home exteriors and stops the need for an end fencepost that could be difficult or impossible to add, especially when dealing with concrete patios. The fence stringers are mounted in the brackets and attached directly to exterior walls. 

The bracket adds versatility when installing Sheerline® fences to existing patio, residential, ranch or pool areas, according to the company. 

Editor’s Note: Please see the April ’06 issue of HARDscapes to see more of the products that will be displayed at this year’s DeckExpo.

Get Some Southern Flavor

To give you a little insight into what tasty restaurants Memphis has to offer, SHELTER’s editor, Samantha Carpenter (who lives in a Memphis suburb) suggests you try the following.

Rendezvous: The “Vou” is known throughout the world for its ribs. It’s located in an alley, but don’t let this fool you. These people know how to “burn some meat.” Try it out if you are a lover of dry ribs (ribs with lots of dry seasonings). Located at 52 S. Second St., call 901/523-2746 for reservations.

Corky’s BBQ: You may have heard of this restaurant chain. They have branched out across the country over the past few years. Corky’s style of ribs is a little different than afore mentioned. They like their ribs wet (in barbecue sauce) at Corky’s. Located at 5259 Poplar Ave., call 901/685-9744 for reservations.

Folk’s Folly: If BBQ isn’t your thing, and you would like a mouth-watering steak or some great seafood, then Folk’s Folly is the place for you. This restaurant offers a country-club atmosphere, a friendly and attentive staff and, best of all, cuts of prime beef cooked to order. The restaurant prides itself on its cellar of 400-plus wines. Located at 551 S. Mendenhall Rd., call 901/762-8200 for reservations.

Houston’s Restaurant: If it is atmosphere you want, then this is the place. The menu ranges from chicken to seafood, but they are known for two things: steaks and spinach dip. Try them both, and you won’t be disappointed. Located at 5000 Poplar Ave., call 901/683-0915 for reservations.

After attending DeckExpo, when you hear Marc Cohn’s song, “Walking in Memphis,” you’ll listen to it in a whole new way.


© Copyright 2006 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.