Building a better Backyard

Deckorators and ProWood combine for a one-two punch.
Voyage Decking is Deckorator’s top-of-the-line mineral-based composite deck board, designed with textured embossing for best-in-class traction. (Shown here in Sedona.)

When it comes to decking materials, it’s a mistake to think that wood and wood-alternatives are competing forces. They actually work well together.

They're a great collaborative pair,” said Jase DeBoer, senior marketing manager of outdoor living for UFP Retail Solutions, the parent company of Deckorators and ProWood, leaders in their respective fields of composite decking and treated lumber. “Wood and composite don't need to be at odds. They complement one another.”

Click on the cover for the 2022 Decking E-Book.

While composite materials are growing quickly, wood is the material of choice for about 70 percent of decks, and about 95% of deck sub-structures, he said. Those numbers and the growing popularity of outdoor living have kept DeBoer’s team and the UFP brands extremely busy in the last couple of years. 

“Outdoor living was already on the rise for years, and the pandemic really pushed it to a different level,” DeBoer said. He pointed to other factors generating sales: the increasing length of time people are remaining in their homes – (rising quickly to 14 years). Also, there’s a clear trend toward more sophisticated outdoor spaces to bring value to homes. “Ultimately from a style standpoint, you're seeing this transition as interior design concepts are moving outside,” he said.

That’s good news for Deckorators, where a big part of the story begins with three little letters:  MBC, or mineral-based composite. It’s a key differentiator to the brand’s top-line products and used to produce Deckorators Voyage and Vault Composite Decking. “It truly sets the bar for premium wood-alternative decking in the industry,” DeBoer said. 

ProWood pressure-treated decking delivers professional grade results for those who prefer real wood.

MBC-enhanced boards are lighter by 35% than a traditional wood-plastic composite, and offer the best strength-to-weight ratio in the market. “It’s virtually unbreakable,” DeBoer said. “It's lightweight. It’s incredibly strong. It has the lowest thermal movement of any decking material on the market, and the traction for slip resistance is best-in-class.”

And for those who choose wood decking materials, ProWood treated lumber has an additional list of stand-out features. It starts with a unique Micronized Copper Azole preservative, which is more sustainable and less corrosive to fasteners than competing brands. ProWood accepts color well, allowing it to be produced in color-infused Cedar- or Redwood-tones that last longer than real Cedar or Redwood. And ProWood is certified by SCS Global as environmentally preferred. “It’s sustainable, and it’s a beautiful product,” DeBoer said. 

Mineral-Based Composite Decking explained. Click for the video.

“ProWood has a lifetime limited warranty against rot and termite decay,” he added. “And Deckorators has the best warranties in the industry. So with ProWood and Deckorators, you're fully covered with the most comprehensive warranties and backing of a company in the industry.”

The products are just one part of the competitive advantage enjoyed by Deckorators and ProWood. Another is the process, which is marked by a commitment to listening and learning. Improvement initiatives begin at the job site, where the brands’ teams have developed strong relationships with contractor customers, a relationship enhanced by the Deckorators Certified Pro program. 

“Part of the reason that our model is growing and working for us, is that we listen,” DeBoer said. “And the best research that we can do is working with the people who are swinging hammers and using our products every day. They provide us feedback, they provide us product ideas, and we listen. 

“I think that's a critical part of our business,” DeBoer continued. “When our contractors speak, they feel like they're part of the company because they have a voice and we listen, and we try to take what they're saying and put it into action. Because when their business grows, so do we.”

HBSDealer's 2022 Decking E-Book features products and trends that impact the growth of the vibrant decking sector. Read the E-Book here.

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