Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JAN 2019

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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"Our No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 competitors are all wood," Zambanini says. "Pressure-treated, red- wood, cedar and ipe—those are our focus. That has been our focus for the last couple of years. And what we have done is gone aƁer a new and incremental market segment to win over those people who are building wood decks. With only 17 percent of the market being alternative decking, there is a tremendous opportunity for us to grow and take additional share from the low to the high end of the wood segment." With that in mind, Trex in December began shipping two new products to be competitive with the wood deck market. Trex Enhance Basics is a monochromatic deck board with three different colors and is priced at $1.75 per lineal foot. And Trex Enhance Naturals is a streaked product that comes in five colors at $2.50 per lineal foot. These prices compare favorably to a $2.27 price per lin- eal foot of pressure-treated lumber posted online last month at The Home Depot's website. "What these new products do for us is open up a segment for us now to compete directly with wood. So when you look at Trex from the low end to the high end, Trex really has the market covered for every single price point that a consumer needs," Zambanini explains. Trex is not alone in its bullishness about the growth in alternative decking sales in 2019. Many manufacturers are offering new alternative and composite wood deck products this spring. Others have expanded their distribution of existing prod- uct lines to all areas of the country. Qualified Remodeler sought input from more than a dozen the market for decking material has grown rapidly over the last decade. In January 2019, dozens of composite decking manufacturers offer myriad types and styles of deck boards. Yet for all of the advancement in materials, col- ors and performance characteristics, 83 percent of deck boards sold today are wood products. No. 1 is pressure-treated soƁwood lumber followed by redwood and cedar, but many luxury projects include exotic hardwoods like Brazillian ipe. The remaining 17 percent is a growing category of al- ternative decking products offering many choices for remodelers, deck builders and their clients. As remodeling clients invest more in outdoor living spaces, industry data shows they are in- creasingly opting for higher-performance char- acteristics of composite decking along with the higher price tag. New composite deck boards have become more beautiful and natural looking. The trade-up calculation comes down to opting for longevity, low maintenance and greater consis- tency of color, over the unmistakable beauty and appeal of natural wood. In 2018, something unexpected happened. Due to changes in international trade, the price of soƁ- wood lumber spiked. And while lumber prices have come back down to earth, new entry-level com- posite deck boards are now comparable in price to pressure-treated wood decking material. Will the spring of 2019 be the milestone where alternative decking products break out and begin taking a greater share of market from pressure-treated lumber? Adam Zambanini, Trex president of res- idential products, certainly thinks so. [ above ] PRINCIPIA GROUP. a research firm specializing in building products, shows the deck board share of market (SOM) by category. Alternative decking comprises approximately 17 percent of the overall market currently. [ left ] MOISTURESHIELD is now part of the Oldcastle company. The product shown is its Vision Composite Decking product that features CoolDeck technology, which uses pigments to ultimately help reduce the temperature of the decking to the touch. Circle 5 on inquiry card PRODUCT SHARE OF DECKING MARKET VOLUME BY CONSTRUCTION TYPE, 2018 TOTAL: 3,032 MMLF 2% 1% 71% 13% 8% NEW 3% 2% 1% 67% 14% 10% R&R Pressure treated Capped composite Cedar & redwood Hardwood Cellular Uncapped composite Hollow vinyl Plastic lumber QUALIFIEDREMODELER.COM QR JANUARY 2019 39

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