Building contractors and deck builders in most areas know that the outdoor construction season is short and sweet – more so some years than others. That’s why the most successful builders not only work harder, but smarter during those precious weeks and months. Working smarter benefits both the business contractor and the homeowners they serve. Contractors are able to complete more jobs during the build season and homeowners can enjoy their new, high-quality, long-lasting, outdoor deck area sooner and for more time following its installation.
Here are seven great tips and tricks to help make every composite deck installation project you build go as efficiently as possible.
1. Design with intent and purpose – Instead of spending extra time and effort to stagger each piece of decking, contractors should work to create a standard sized deck and use divider boards positioned at optimum locations to further minimize the number of cuts required and maximize the efficiency of using standard deck board lengths.
2. Re-use or repurpose existing framework – Whenever possible, deck builders should carefully inspect the existing pressure treated lumber used in framing the original deck. Oftentimes, if the pressure treated joists and posts were installed properly, they can either be re-used in the same location or dissembled and used to create a newly designed deck. Available in standard 12’, 16’ and 20’ lengths Duralife Siesta profile decking can be installed over traditionally spaced 20" O.C. (on-center) or 16" O.C. joists.
3. Order pre-cut decking – For larger decking projects such as condo associations or apartments, contractors should check with their decking supplier to see if boards can arrive on-site pre-cut. This can dramatically reduce the time it takes to measure and cut individual pieces. DuraLife provides contractors with composite decking “cut-to-spec” directly to the job site (at no extra charge for orders of 3000 linear ft. or more).
4. Install pre-finished products – During the initial planning stages, contractors should try to steer homeowners towards decking products that are pre-finished, meaning they are ready to use as soon as the installation is complete. Unlike traditional wood decking that requires paint and stain, installing a high-quality, capped composite decking product will allow homeowners to enjoy their deck as soon as construction is complete. Additionally, only DuraLife composite decking is manufactured with a removable protective wrap to keep it clean during transport and installation.
5. Install endcaps instead of picture framing – Most homeowners would agree that looking at the ‘butt end” of their decking planks is unsightly. The traditional solution to solving this problem has been accomplished by designing and building a ‘picture frame’ around the outer perimeter of the deck or stair treads. This costs valuable time and materials. Instead, deck builders are installing new composite decking that also comes with matching end caps that are easy to install and perfectly match the color of the composite.
6. Choose faster fasteners – Time consuming and back breaking nails and screws are a thing of the past. Today’s composite deck builders are moving fast and furious through each install by incorporating new deck fastening technologies into their plans. Not only do these fasteners deliver a smoother, cleaner decking surface for homeowners, systems like the Fastenator and Step-Clip™ from Duralife can reduce installation time by up to 50%.
7. Railings – One current trend in deck design is to incorporate cabling instead of using wooden balusters. This not only improves visibility and airflow to the deck surface, it also requires much less time, material and maintenance to install. Deck builders should always check local building codes to determine which designs and materials are acceptable. After determining that, selecting a composite railing manufacturer such as DuraLife Railways or Rockport Railings that also provides cable-ready railing components with pre-drilled holes can also save a lot of time on the job site.
Building Smarter Builds Stronger Businesses
Over the past several years, composite decking manufactures like DuraLife have continuously worked to improve not only their products strength, durability and visual appeal, but also to reduce the time it takes to install their products. After all, the quicker that a new composite deck can be built, the sooner that decking contractor can move on to the next one. Building smarter is a win-win-win for builders, manufacturers and homeowners.
This article is made possible by DuraLife. DuraLife’s unique polypropylene and hardwood composite decking materials simply outperform all other wood and composite decking products. More solid and safe under foot, DuraLife decking is backed by a 25-year warranty. It isstain and fade resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and is available in the colors and deck railing options you want. Get Free Samples, try our Composite Deck & Railing Visualizer, or contact DuraLife now to learn more.