Deck Builder Spotlight: Just Decks by Capri of New Jersey

When you’re building a new composite or PVC deck, you want to feel confident not only with your material selection, but with your decking installer as well. Where's a good place to start your search? The Fiberon website. Use our 'Deck Builder' locator to find local Fiberon Partner contractors who have experience working with composite decking and railing. Some are Select or Premier Partners who can also offer you Fiberon's five-year labor warranty. One such contractor is Carmine Capriglione of Just Decks by Capri.

Based in northern New Jersey, Carmine is a Fiberon Premier Partner with more than 30 years of deck-building experience. Just Decks by Capri focuses on craftsmanship and customer satisfaction – two traits you should seek out in any builder. We asked Carmine about his experience working with Fiberon composite decking, as well as his thoughts on what homeowners need to consider when selecting a decking contractor. Here’s what he had to say, along with several images of his craftsmanship.

Fiberon ProTect Advantage Decking in Grey Birch is the perfect complement to the stunning lake view.
Your website says Just Decks by Capri is “just better.” Why is that?

“I started my business in 1987. Since then, I have designed and installed more than 1,000 custom decks. In particular, I love the creativity of building pool surrounds and octagonal fire pits, and installing enhanced LED post lighting.

We build our decks one at a time, with the utmost attention to craftsmanship, construction detail, and customer satisfaction. We stand behind our work. We are licensed, insured, courteous professionals using high-quality materials, like Fiberon decking. My crew makes a difference as well. I have a team of award-winning carpenters who are deck-building specialists, so they’re more efficient and ‘just better.’"

Fiberon Horizon Decking in Tudor Brown with Ipe border was used on this custom deck with designated areas for cooking, dining, and unwinding.
Why do you choose to work with Fiberon composite decking over wood?

“I have been working with Fiberon composite decking since 2005, and I like it for many reasons. One of the main reasons is the aesthetics. Fiberon has a true wood flooring finish and beautiful decking color options. There’s also the durability, reliability, low maintenance, and fade resistance.”

In the beginning you weren’t using Fiberon decking. What changed your mind?

“Other companies offering composite boards were having major problems and recalls with uncapped material – problems with expansion, contraction, mold, mildew, staining and fading. I learned that Fiberon had a new capped composite decking product that had been well-reviewed in the industry.  I contacted Fiberon and began a relationship that has lasted more than a decade. I have a Fiberon deck on my own home, which I installed twelve years ago, and it looks as good as the day I installed it.  Since the inception of Just Decks’ relationship with Fiberon, I have built over 500 decks and never once had a call from a customer regarding product failure.  I use Fiberon exclusively.”

You trust Fiberon decking’s reliability. Any other reasons you prefer Fiberon over other brands?

"The Symmetry Decking colors are the most realistic looking available and cannot be found anywhere else. The brown and gray colors complement the look and feel of any homeowner’s outdoor space. Plus, I can build with confidence, knowing that the product is durable, has a longer lifespan, and offers a 25-year product warranty against stains, splintering, cracking, and rotting. Fiberon stands behind their products, and I have never had any difficulties with them. Also, I’m running a very busy decking business, and I value the outstanding customer service Lainie Sleppin, my Fiberon Territory Manager, provides.”

Fiberon Decking beautiful and reliable, according to the pros at Just Decks by Capri.
(Shown here: Horizon Decking in Rosewood.)

What do your customers love about Fiberon decking?

“Our customers take great pride in the appearance of their homes. They appreciate that Fiberon composite decking is high quality and gives them the look and natural beauty of wood. Once they see the product samples they say, ‘Wow! I have never seen anything like this. The Symmetry Decking looks so real.’ And customers acknowledge that it’s a better surface for children and pets to walk on because there aren’t any splinters or nail pops to worry about.”

Pool time is no time for splinters; that’s why these homeowners chose Fiberon composite decking. Shown here: Fiberon Horizon Decking in Tudor Brown with Horizon Railing in White.
Your business is clearly customer-oriented. What advice would you offer homeowners looking for a reputable contractor?

“After thirty-one years in the deck business, I have come across many horror stories, including my own personal experience. The bottom line is that both the client and the contractor have to do their homework and protect themselves against unruly business practices. For example, a few years ago while I was building a deck, an elderly woman walked into the yard, visibly distraught. She asked if there was any chance I could examine her deck, which had been repaired by a contractor who had solicited her business. He claimed to have performed work for neighbors on her block, which should have been a red flag right away. The supposed builder charged this unsuspecting woman an exorbitant amount of money for minimal repairs which, not surprisingly, were not done properly. For example, this charlatan used sheet rock screws for outdoor posts and installed 2" screws through 1 1/2" of wood. Nevertheless, the repairs were an ill-attempt at putting a band aid on a much bigger problem: The deck was irreparable and needed to be replaced. Just Decks was able to build the customer a new deck, but we could not undo the harm of this disastrous experience or the financial loss the customer had to endure.

I also experienced an issue with a deck on my own home. A year after its installation, the deck started to buckle. I contacted the composite decking company I was working with and was initially met with silence, despite my having used its materials for all of my jobs. After a long-fought battle, the manufacturer only agreed to replace the decking and would not pay for labor. It was clear that I could no longer do business with a company that could not stand behind its own products or resolves matters fairly when its product failed to meet the standards. I will not compromise. That’s when I learned about Fiberon. I contacted Fiberon and now work with them exclusively.”

Just Decks by Capri won’t compromise on quality and neither will Fiberon. Shown here: Fiberon Symmetry Decking in Cinnabar and Fiberon Horizon Railing in White.
You told us about a recent conversation with a potential customer, in which the homeowner offered ideas on what to avoid when selecting a contractor. Can you explain?

“This person had clearly dealt with some less-than-ideal individuals, and he mentioned the following red flags to watch for:

•  How the contractor treats customers from the project’s beginning to its end
•  High-pressure sales
•  Dishonesty
•  Mixed reviews
•  Disreputable – not selling what they say they are selling
•  A shift in personality; that is, a contractor who is pleasant and amenable until the homeowner says, ‘I need to think about it’”

What are some other tips for hiring the right deck builder?

“A well-designed deck can be a wonderful addition to a home. Finding a local, licensed deck builder to give you the perfect space for entertaining and relaxing requires planning, interviewing, and more. And I believe that any deck project must be completed properly: with solid footings, structural supports, and efficient egress to and from the house. Your contactor can help solidify the final plans for your dream deck but the homeowner should be open to ideas about the scope of the project. You'll want to consider some components of the job in advance, including layout, number of stories, stairs, materials, railings, fire pits, benches, and other special features.

In addition, the homeowner should:

1. Check reviews and references from qualified sources. If friends or neighbors have recently had a deck built, ask about their experiences, good or bad, and whether they'd recommend their contractor.
2. Interview three or four deck builders. Having worked with hundreds of customers, we have learned that there are plenty of companies out there that are untrustworthy and often do not do what they say.
3. Get estimates that include all the options under consideration. The customer needs to understand the costs associated with every phase and design element of the project.
4. Carefully review the contract before paying the deposit. The contract should include: a complete description of the project (framing according to approved building plans, size, materials, colors, railing, and lighting); the total price of work; payment schedule; clean-up details; and so on.

To avoid catastrophes like the ones I described earlier, the homeowner needs to know his or her builder and make sure the builder knows the decking product. This will ensure a positive experience and a well-built deck to enjoy for many years.”

Fiberon Symmetry Decking in Burnt Umber with Horizon Railing in White helps create the perfect space for fun-filled summer days spent with family and friends.

“At Just Decks by Capri, we focus on providing ideas and options that are in the best interest of the customers. We are detail-oriented and produce decks that look finished – nothing is overlooked. We leave the area “broom clean” upon completion. And we treat our customers like family or friends. When we finish a project, everyone wants us to come back and enjoy the deck with them.”

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