Volume 47, Issue 5 - June 2008

Hard News

Why Distributors Should Supply Outdoor Products
Still Bullish: Outdoor Products are a Good Investment
Homeowners are not spending what they were in the past to remodel their homes, according to the Leading Indicator for Remodeling Activity (LIRA). The LIRA, which was released by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, says remodeling activity is falling at an annual rate of 4.8 percent. 

There is one area where remodeling is still strong, and that is in outdoor projects, such as deck remodels. The average deck project rose 40 percent between 2004 and 2007, to $10,347, according to a recent article in SmartMoney magazine.

Richard Pasek, chief executive officer of San Jose Forest Products in Campbell, Calif., says his company has seen the use of composite decking growing in demand. 

Tom Dillon, vice president of merchandising for Lowe’s, says his customers want their outdoor living space to be as comfortable and inviting as their inside living space. 

“Many customers choose to refresh or refurbish their deck or outdoor living space,” he explains. Another trend is under-deck drainage systems.

“We have seen a lot consumers interested in the under-deck drainage systems …” says Chris McCarthy of Atlantic Forest Products in Baltimore, Md. “These systems allow you another place to entertain or grill whenever there is bad weather.”

Both Brooks and Pasek say they believe outdoor products will do well this year.

“Despite a long winter and a sluggish economy, we believe consumers will continue to invest in their homes,” Brooks says. “In fact, we have already seen an increase in our sales over last year …” 

“There is some hesitancy due to the market conditions and the economy, so some buyers may scale back their project, but they are still willing to invest in a new outdoor living area and this is particularly true for decks,” Pasek says.

McCarthy believes decking products will do moderately well this year.

“I see decking having moderate growth this year compared to the last few years where there has been enormous growth,” McCarthy says. “People are still going to put money into their homes, and with fuel being as expensive as it is, people are not going to be traveling as much so they are going to create a vacation spot in their own backyard.” 

Distributor Alignments
CorrectDeck Available in Western New York
CorrectDeck CX, a low-maintenance brand of composite decking manufactured by Correct Building Products LLC, is now available in Western New York through Genesee Reserve Supply Inc. The wholesale building supply company is the first in the region to carry the product.

“CorrectDeck CX represents a new generation in composite decking technology,” says Thomas Sangiacomo, general manager of Genesee Reserve Supply Inc. “It fills a need for those who want decking that is highly durable and easy to maintain.”

Building projects that utilize CX can earn up to nine points toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. “Builders and consumers in our area are becoming increasingly aware of green building and the value of environmental sustainability,” Sangiacomo adds. www.geneseereserve.com.

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