See You at Our FREE Business Building Breakfasts!

Breakfast is on us as product reps from our top manufacturers share helpful tips and info.

Thursday, March 28
Topic: Superior™ Plastic Products

Thursday, April 25
Topic: Key-Link™ Railing Products

Where: New Holland Coffee Co., 832 W. Main St., New Holland, PA 

When: 7 to 8 a.m.

Reserve your seat: Email Jill at or call our Sales department at 717-656-9596.

Product Spotlight: Laminated Veneer Lumber

Made by bonding thin layers of wood veneers together, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) delivers added stability and versatility to projects. Consider using LVL for beams to strengthen the structural integrity of roofs over decks.

Benefits of LVL

  • Stronger than conventional lumber
  • Available in longer lengths than standard framing lumber
  • Resistant to warping and twisting
  • Fewer defects—such as knots and splits—than traditional lumber

We have LVL in stock NOW: 1 3/4  inches deep x 11 7/8 inches wide x up to 48 feet long.

Contact us for more information and to order!

Considerations for Comparing Composite Decking

Price alone doesn’t determine the ideal product for a project—composite decking is no exception. These key points about the main categories of decking board can help your customers make an informed choice.

Basic ($)
Products in this category have lower prices. The typical trade-offs include limited color choices, an artificial look (strong grain patterns embossed into the surface), thinner or narrower boards with only one side suitable for the deck’s surface.

Mid-range ($$)
These products generally have more color options and subtler grain patterns embossed into the surface for a more natural look. Usually, both sides of the board are usable. Price points are higher than basic products but lower than premium decking.

Premium ($$$)
Premium products cost more, but they have several advantages. Benefits include more expansive color choices; a natural wood aesthetic (with grains and patterns enhanced with colored pigments); and resistance to fading, scratching, and staining.

When comparing features and prices, customers should consider how they will use their deck, how exposed their deck will be to the sun and inclement weather, the brand’s reputation, and warranties.

Have questions about any of our decking products? Call or email us!

Never Underestimate the Power of Attunement

Part 2 in our series based on the book To Sell Is Human

In his book To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, Daniel H. Pink describes “attunement,” an often-overlooked superpower in the world of sales. “Attunement is the ability to bring one’s actions and outlook into harmony with other people and with the context you’re in.” 

Attunement lays the foundation for earning trust during the sales process and creating mutually beneficial relationships. It involves stepping into the customer’s shoes to understand their point of view, personal cues, and how they’re influenced by other people. It encompasses not only observing their style of collaboration and communication but also replicating it—it’s about meeting the customer where they are and demonstrating that you “get them.”

How can contractors flex their attunement muscles?   

  • Ask questions to learn not just “what” the customer wants but also “why” they want it.
  • Treat the customer as the project owner. Listen to their input without judgment before sharing your recommendations for moving forward and accomplishing their goals.
  • Recognize that multiple decision makers, with their own perspectives, may have a say in the project. Gently encourage them to communicate if the project begins to push the limits of the desired budget.
  • Adjust your interpersonal style to match your customer’s. If they’re serious and business-like, don’t act overly casual. Likewise, if they’re laid-back and easy-going, emulate that demeanor to make them feel comfortable.

Next, look for Part 3 in our series: Buoyancy. If you missed it, read Part 1 of our series now.

Product Spotlight: Two New Wolf® Serenity™ Decking Colors Soon Available

Beechwood (right), Ashland (left)—Photo courtesy of Wolf Home Products®—Serenity™ Decking

Starting February 1st, Wolf® will offer two new colors for its Serenity™ Decking line: Beechwood and Ashland. 

Beechwood has warm brown undertones that mimic the richness of natural wood. It exudes a cozy ambiance suitable for both classic and contemporary design styles.

Ashland brings a sleek, modern aesthetic that adds elegance to outdoor spaces. Its timeless grey tones pair well with a variety of decor styles.

Like all Serenity Decking colors, Beechwood and Ashland both come with a 50-year stain and fade warranty and a limited lifetime warranty.

Contact us for more information!

Winter Deck Maintenance Tips: A Checklist for Homeowners

Although decks are not used as much now as they are in the warmer months, they shouldn’t be neglected.    

Share these four maintenance tips with your customers so they can keep their composite decks in optimal condition for spring and summer:

1. Keep your deck clear. Remove debris, leaves, and non-essential furnishings and decor from your deck. The fewer obstacles, the faster and frustration-free snow removal will be.

2. Remove snow with a plastic shovel or soft-bristled broom. Metal shovels or sharp tools can scratch the surface of your deck, so avoid using them.

3. To melt ice on your deck, use salt-free, dye-free ice melt products. Opt for products with calcium chloride or potassium chloride, which are less likely to damage or stain composite material.

4. Check fasteners and tighten them if necessary. Decking materials can contract in cold weather, so inspect your deck’s fasteners. Tighten any that have loosened or popped out to keep your deck stable and safe.

Business Building Breakfasts Are Back!

Mark your calendar so you don’t miss these learning (and FREE breakfast) opportunities.

  • Thursday, January 25: Topic: Fiberon® Decking
  • Thursday, February 29: Topics: Wolf® Decking PRO certification, UFP-Edge®, Evolve Stone™
  • Thursday, March 28: Topic: Superior™ Plastic Products
  • Thursday, April 25: Topic: Key-Link™ Railing Products

Where: New Holland Coffee Co., 832 W. Main St., New Holland, PA

When: 7 to 8 a.m.

R.S.V.P.: Email Jill at or call our Sales department at 717-656-9596.

How to Make Selling a Mutually Beneficial Experience

Part 1 in our series based on the book To Sell Is Human

To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink provides a fresh perspective on sales. 

It reminds us that selling is about more than winning a bid; it’s about motivating people toward a mutually beneficial outcome. Besides dedicated sales reps, everyone else who represents your company (including business owners, receptionists, and installers) is a salesperson in some way. They are all responsible for persuading and influencing others (employees, customers, vendors, etc.).

Selling in Today’s Consumer-Empowered World: What Contractors Should Keep in Mind   

With customers more informed and connected to information than ever before (thanks to the Internet and social media), the stereotypical sales persona (slick, pushy, dishonest) no longer has a place in today’s world. Successful selling requires a genuine effort to improve, simplify, or enrich others’ lives with solutions that meet their needs.

If the concept of selling makes you uncomfortable, consider the following tips:

  • Inform and educate to allow others to make an informed decision.
  • Know it’s OK to say, “I don’t know”—as long as you follow it with “Let’s find out,” so you get the answers your customer needs.
  • Recognize that people may think they know the best option based on what they found on Google. If their online sources provided misinformation, respectfully correct those misconceptions so the customer doesn’t base their decision on false knowledge.

Ultimately, sales is about being of service to others. Approaching it that way makes it more intuitive, fulfilling, and effective.

Up next in our series: The importance of attunement.

A Fresh Perspective for Small Contracting Companies

Matt Hall

Matt Hall, our newest salesperson, joined us in February. Previously Matt worked in the furniture industry, so he observes our industry with fresh eyes—often seeing what those of us building business veterans take for granted or do not notice. 

Matt’s Food for Thought

1. “There’s a lot more to decking, railing, and fencing than meets the eye. Be patient with new hires!”

Depending on where they’ve come from and their experience level, they may be on a steep learning curve.  Don’t assume they know all best practices, code requirements, or processes when plumbing a post, installing ledger boards, etc.

“Give step-by-step instructions and set expectations. Cover all the bases to ensure they know how to do their job to your standards.”

2. “When talking with homeowners, don’t talk over their heads. What’s familiar language to you might be Greek to them.”

Don’t assume customers understand our industry terminology. Describe things in simple terms so customers don’t get lost in the jargon and misunderstand what to expect.

“Don’t just explain the ‘what’ but also the ‘why.’” The more customers grasp why you’re approaching a project a certain way, the better chance they’ll be satisfied with the outcome.”