Geo-Trends: U.S Mountain Region

Geo-Trends: U.S Mountain Region

[caption id="attachment_455" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Fiberon Horizon Composite Deck by Centennial Custom Decks"]Fiberon Horizon Composite Decking
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We’re excited to present the debut of our new series: Geo-Trends. The Geo-Trends series will highlight decking and outdoor living trends from around the country, as presented by professional deck builders.

Our first contributor is Fiberon FiberPRO Greg Elson from Centennial Custom Decks in Centennial, CO. Greg shares composite decking and decking design trends from his territory – Colorado and the Mountain Region. Check back monthly for another installment of our Geo-Trends series, and share your own regional trends below.

Regional Deck Business Trends:

Since I started designing and building custom outdoor living spaces in the Denver metro area over 20 years ago, I have seen many different trends come and go.  The business as a whole seemed to be in “no man’s land” for most of 2008 and 2009, as homeowners were holding back on major expenditures and projects unless absolutely necessary. 2010, especially the second half, really turned the corner here in Denver and many homeowners are now back in the saddle for making investments on their home. Also, there has been a rising demand flooding the market for deck replacements, which really should have been taken care of a couple of years earlier.  Add growing demand to the normal deck replacement cycle here, and good, honest, reputable, experienced deck builders are in for a super busy year.  My advice for the homeowner is to plan early, and if you don’t, be prepared to wait for a good contractor.  The ones who are good are usually busy.

Deck Fastening:

Hidden fasteners are becoming very popular with our clients. In 2010, we saw an increased amount of hidden fastening systems requested in projects.  Once you see a seamless deck floor without visible fasteners, especially if it is Fiberon’s Horizon in Rosewood or Ipe, all you can say is WOW! We currently have specific clips designed and proven for specific decking along with a pneumatic application gun, which makes installation easier and faster.  We expect that 2011 will be an even bigger year for hidden clips or fasteners.

Value:

The one trend that I see casting a shadow over everything else in 2011 is value.  I see the average homeowner carefully spending a great deal of time on the Internet researching decking materials as well as deck contractors, and for good reason.  Your home is perhaps your biggest investment, and the average custom deck ranges from 15K to 50K, so replacing a worn out deck is a fairly major decision and investment.

Fortunately, there are products like Fiberon Horizon with a 20-year fade and stain warranty along with a 20-year performance warranty. With the introduction of new colors, we can now design a custom deck to fit most lifestyles and compliment almost any style of home.

The other key part of value is the contractor you choose to design and build your dream deck.  Research is again the best resource in this area. Cheap price or a smokin’ hot deal should be a red flag in picking a contractor.  Anyone can have a good sales pitch so I always recommend taking the time to check references.  Call and talk to several previous clients or go and see some of the previous jobs in person. Top of the line materials, along with top of the line experience, are the fundamentals to getting a great return on your investment.  That is what it takes to add true value for your family in 2011, and for future homeowners.

Custom Design:

One trend we see continuing to grow in 2011 is custom deck design.  The average homeowner is more sophisticated when it comes to design and is really looking for more of an outdoor living environment, especially here in Colorado where we have so many days that are perfect for enjoying the outdoors.  As a result, a great deal of time and emphasis are spent during the design phase of the project.  We are designing around custom fire pits, built-in grills, lounging areas, spas, water features and even wood burning pizza ovens.  Low voltage lighting is now almost standard for us, as well as top of the line decking materials.  Let’s face it, better design, materials and craftsmanship will leverage the investment of a new deck and add more value to your home.

Decking Materials:

2010 was a year of transition away from traditional composite material for us here in Denver.  There are several materials like Fiberon’s Horizon, which have a composite core that is then wrapped with a non-organic ‘shell.’  This material provides superior resistance to fading, stains and scratches.  With a 20-year fade, stain and performance warranty, these materials really sell themselves.  Plus, they look absolutely gorgeous, as compared to most of the older style 100% composite materials.  In 2011, we will continue to build fewer 100% composite decks and use more and more ‘capstock’ type decking materials.

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