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ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question

 
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Old 08-12-2018, 10:21 AM   #1
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ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


I've been doing some searching on here and it looks like a good portion of you guys are using Trex. I have been pushing Deckorators because I'm familiar with them, and know the local rep. However, I've had a few problems lately with it sagging in our very hot summer this year even on 12" centers. I've never noticed a problem with this in 3 years of using Deckorators, until this year. Seems like every job is doing it. I also had another contractor friend use their PVC and had a huge issues with the boards not matching in color. Had to go through pallets of the stuff at distribution to find matching boards.

I've been looking into Fiberon, and am meeting with the rep next week. I like their colors and they seem to have a good product. I don't like that I can't get solid boards in anything but 20', and the fact that the groove isn't wrapped worries me a bit long term. Trex looks nice, but for the added costs is it worth it to the homeowner?

What caused you guys to push what you do? Is it based on colors, availability, popularity in your area, etc?
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Old 08-12-2018, 01:54 PM   #2
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Re: ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


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Originally Posted by HammerSwing View Post
I've been doing some searching on here and it looks like a good portion of you guys are using Trex. I have been pushing Deckorators because I'm familiar with them, and know the local rep. However, I've had a few problems lately with it sagging in our very hot summer this year even on 12" centers. I've never noticed a problem with this in 3 years of using Deckorators, until this year. Seems like every job is doing it. I also had another contractor friend use their PVC and had a huge issues with the boards not matching in color. Had to go through pallets of the stuff at distribution to find matching boards.



I've been looking into Fiberon, and am meeting with the rep next week. I like their colors and they seem to have a good product. I don't like that I can't get solid boards in anything but 20', and the fact that the groove isn't wrapped worries me a bit long term. Trex looks nice, but for the added costs is it worth it to the homeowner?



What caused you guys to push what you do? Is it based on colors, availability, popularity in your area, etc?


When I try to sell another brand besides Trex my customers think I'm trying to skimp with a no name.

I like Fiberon but I do a ton of balconies when the bottom is exposed from the patio below, and it looks funny from underneath with the wood color embossment. Here's a picture of Trex bottoms, I think it looks much better gray tone.



Trex has a world class marketing team and it shows tremendously. I'm also a strong believer in the product. They've had some issues in the past, but so has everyone else. I think today's capped composites are miles better than say 12 years ago. Trex has the thickest cap as well.


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Old 08-12-2018, 02:13 PM   #3
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Re: ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


Mike, from reading some of your old threads, it seems like Trex seems to advertise stronger in your area. Around here, we don't see much advertisement for anything decks. Yellawood treated decking and lumber was advertised heavily for a while, but that's about it. When I'm selling, most barely know what Trex is. We kind of have a blank slate when it comes to decking brands. Because of this, people seem to think Trex is overpriced. Perhaps I need to just do a little more research.



I would say 60-70% of the bids I've done so far are 6' or less off the ground, so the bottom being wrapped or not doesn't really bother me. I would think though, having the bottom wrapped on taller decks would look better. Are you saying most of your customers don't like that look?


Other than the original problems with brands like Evergrain, Trex, and so on, have you seen any issues come up from different manufactures once companies switched to capping their decking? I know from personal experience I haven't seen much of an issue in years other than this summer, and they weren't cap stock related.



My supplier carries about every brand, and a lead from them got me looking into Fiberon. I also have to give an estimate next week for a possible Trex deck. I think our supplier doesn't push Trex much because of the added costs, so it hasn't come up until now. I feel they believe you're paying for a name, instead of a product. Other than their advertising getting you quite a bit of business, are there any other reasons you prefer Trex?



Thanks.
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Old 08-12-2018, 02:23 PM   #4
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Re: ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


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Mike, from reading some of your old threads, it seems like Trex seems to advertise stronger in your area. Around here, we don't see much advertisement for anything decks. Yellawood treated decking and lumber was advertised heavily for a while, but that's about it. When I'm selling, most barely know what Trex is. We kind of have a blank slate when it comes to decking brands. Because of this, people seem to think Trex is overpriced. Perhaps I need to just do a little more research.



I would say 60-70% of the bids I've done so far are 6' or less off the ground, so the bottom being wrapped or not doesn't really bother me. I would think though, having the bottom wrapped on taller decks would look better. Are you saying most of your customers don't like that look?


Other than the original problems with brands like Evergrain, Trex, and so on, have you seen any issues come up from different manufactures once companies switched to capping their decking? I know from personal experience I haven't seen much of an issue in years other than this summer, and they weren't cap stock related.



My supplier carries about every brand, and a lead from them got me looking into Fiberon. I also have to give an estimate next week for a possible Trex deck. I think our supplier doesn't push Trex much because of the added costs, so it hasn't come up until now. I feel they believe you're paying for a name, instead of a product. Other than their advertising getting you quite a bit of business, are there any other reasons you prefer Trex?



Thanks.


Yes, it looks too busy from underneath to have a wood grain look. I used to complain about Trex not being wrapped all the way around. But I did a Fiberon balcony and was put off by the look.

Not sure where you're getting prices but Trex isn't anymore expensive here than other brands. Trex may market better but they also have a great product. My customers gravitate towards the colors that Trex offers. So I have no complaints. The buttons look better, the cap is thicker, and the colors are better. All my opinion of course, and my customers.

My lumberyard stocks every color, all the fascia and square edge. So there's a huge convenience factor as well.


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Old 08-12-2018, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


I'll have to look into prices again. I was told Trex Transcends was about 50% higher than Fiberon symmetry and Deckorators vista collection.
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Old 08-12-2018, 04:20 PM   #6
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I'll have to look into prices again. I was told Trex Transcends was about 50% higher than Fiberon symmetry and Deckorators vista collection.

I'm getting Transcends for 3.89 a foot. Can't imagine Fiberon is selling for 1.95


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Old 08-14-2018, 07:26 PM   #7
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Re: ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


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I'm getting Transcends for 3.89 a foot. Can't imagine Fiberon is selling for 1.95


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Last time I priced any composite Trex transcend and Fiberon horizon were on par with each other but it's been a while. I liked the feel of Trex better but liked the look of the Fiberon better.

I'm not a composite guy so dont give much credence to what I have to say about either.
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Old 08-14-2018, 07:46 PM   #8
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Re: ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


I've been busy, and forgot to get a quote for Transcend decking. I've been paying $3.50/ft with the Vista line from Deckorators, and was told the Fiberon Symmetry is the same price or a bit cheaper.

If Transcend is only $3.89 the only thing I can think of is I was being told it's that much more than the Fiberon Good Life (or whatever it's called). If that's the case, they were comparing apples to oranges in my opinion.

One thing I really like about Deckorators is their warranty, in that they cover labor. After looking into Fiberon, it looks like they do too for their pros. A bit confused though, from what I gather it's only 5 years, and you have to be a certain tiered pro with over $40k in Fiberon sales before you are eligible. Perhaps I misunderstood, and I will ask the rep when I meet with him next week. I haven't looked at Trex to see if they cover labor at all. It seems like Deckorators is the only one that advertises it.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:10 PM   #9
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Re: ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


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I've been busy, and forgot to get a quote for Transcend decking. I've been paying $3.50/ft with the Vista line from Deckorators, and was told the Fiberon Symmetry is the same price or a bit cheaper.

If Transcend is only $3.89 the only thing I can think of is I was being told it's that much more than the Fiberon Good Life (or whatever it's called). If that's the case, they were comparing apples to oranges in my opinion.

One thing I really like about Deckorators is their warranty, in that they cover labor. After looking into Fiberon, it looks like they do too for their pros. A bit confused though, from what I gather it's only 5 years, and you have to be a certain tiered pro with over $40k in Fiberon sales before you are eligible. Perhaps I misunderstood, and I will ask the rep when I meet with him next week. I haven't looked at Trex to see if they cover labor at all. It seems like Deckorators is the only one that advertises it.


Trex covers labor for gold and platinum pros.


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Old 08-14-2018, 09:15 PM   #10
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Trex covers labor for gold and platinum pros.


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So more "you have to spend X amount before we honor a warranty" crap? I just don't understand that.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:18 PM   #11
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So more "you have to spend X amount before we honor a warranty" crap? I just don't understand that.


No, not at all. If you use a Trex pro platinum builder your get a labor warranty.


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Old 08-14-2018, 09:31 PM   #12
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No, not at all. If you use a Trex pro platinum builder your get a labor warranty.


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How does one become a platinum builder though? Don't you (as a contractor) have to buy X amount of product from them?
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:34 PM   #13
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Re: ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


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So more "you have to spend X amount before we honor a warranty" crap? I just don't understand that.
Why not? I'm the only person I know of where Advantage will actually tell someone to use me. They aren't going to just warranty any old person's labor, they have to believe you know what you're doing. I know a lot of them and they know my work.

40k really isn't that much in materials. 2 or 3 decent sized decks will do it.

What they are essentially saying is, if you invest in us, we'll invest in you. It's just good business. All mechanic shops do it, Ford isn't waranteeing Billy Joe Bob unless he's gone through a certification process and has proven he can do what's needed.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:35 PM   #14
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How does one become a platinum builder though? Don't you (as a contractor) have to buy X amount of product from them?

Yes, gold also gets a labor warranty.

Platinum is earned through sales.



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Old 08-14-2018, 09:36 PM   #15
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:41 PM   #16
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Re: ANOTHER Which Decking Manufacturer Question


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Are you allowed to divulge how much money you have to do in business to get there?

I'm not a huge fan of composites but them not looking out for themselves would be crazy. Of course they do. One thing Trex does well is business. I'm willing to bet they get to know you through the process as well. No one is going to guarantee someone else's work unless they have confidence in that person's ability.
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Old 08-14-2018, 09:51 PM   #17
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Why not? I'm the only person I know of where Advantage will actually tell someone to use me. They aren't going to just warranty any old person's labor, they have to believe you know what you're doing. I know a lot of them and they know my work.

40k really isn't that much in materials. 2 or 3 decent sized decks will do it.

What they are essentially saying is, if you invest in us, we'll invest in you. It's just good business. All mechanic shops do it, Ford isn't waranteeing Billy Joe Bob unless he's gone through a certification process and has proven he can do what's needed.
I understand the theory, and I'm not necessarily worried about the $40k. I just don't like the idea that my first few customers with the product are guinea pigs, and are left high and dry for labor.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:12 PM   #18
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Are you allowed to divulge how much money you have to do in business to get there?



I'm not a huge fan of composites but them not looking out for themselves would be crazy. Of course they do. One thing Trex does well is business. I'm willing to bet they get to know you through the process as well. No one is going to guarantee someone else's work unless they have confidence in that person's ability.


I've had the CEO come by my jobsite. I'm a small company that was a cool deal for me.

I believe it's 100k a year. I don't pay attention to it.


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Old 08-14-2018, 10:12 PM   #19
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I am probably reading into this too much, and I'm sure the first few decks will be fine. It something goes wrong I will just eat it.

My opinion behind it doesn't change though. If your product fails, you should honor all aspects of replacing it. I don't make the rules though, and I understand they need to cover their backsides too.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:14 PM   #20
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I understand the theory, and I'm not necessarily worried about the $40k. I just don't like the idea that my first few customers with the product are guinea pigs, and are left high and dry for labor.


We all were there at one time. It's an incentive to hire a Gold or Platinum. The benefit is to the contractor.


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