As we’ve seen from recent trends, decking is booming throughout the country. More homeowners are seeing the value in having additional outdoor square footage and adding decks to their home. This is great news for decking pros who have been keeping busy this year.
But, it’s a competitive trade. You need to set yourself apart from other pros in the industry. Joining a trade organization or association can give you a competitive edge when bidding for jobs. See a few decking organizations you need to know about and why you should consider joining.
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Benefits Of Membership
When you take an extra step in your career, it truly benefits more than yourself and your customer. By joining a trade organization or association, you are taking the next step to better yourself in your career. It provides education, decking industry trends, best practices, networking and other valuable experiences to help you grow in your trade.
Additionally, the customer sees the extra work you do and it reflects well onto your business. You can even display the organization you’re apart of prominently on your website or business card to show the added value it provides.
North American Deck & Railing Association
Are you looking to be a part of an industry voice? The North American Deck & Railing Association is just the place for you. It works with leaders of the entire building and supply process to provide accurate information to their members. They have a focus on deck safety and design standards, notably through their Deck Safety Month, where they spread awareness to the public. For further education, they host the DeckExpo annually and provide continuing education courses for contractors to further their craft.
The annual membership for contractors starts at $350 and you must agree to their code of ethics on the application, found on the NADRA website.
American Wood Protection Association
If you’re interested in learning more about the wood you’re working with and up-to-date green initiatives, the American Wood Protection Association might be for you. The AWPA sets the standards for sustainability efforts for wood treatment and protection in various industries, including decking. They are most notably known for their book of standards, but they also have annual meetings where wood preservation is discussed.
With more customers demanding green and long-lasting decking options, this could be a great organization to become a member of, as it shows your dedication to providing customers with the best quality possible. Annual dues are $275, but there’s a $75 discount for new members and an online application.
The Engineered Wood Association
Another organization that focuses on product quality is the Engineered Wood Association. They aim to help members create engineered wood products that meet and exceed industry standards. Like many organizations, they host educational seminars and meetings that are related the industry. They also produce market research and studies available for pros to use. This is a great place for decking pros to go to learn more about the best practices that can be incorporated in their work. You can sign up online for their various services and see what upcoming events they may have in your area.
International Code Council
When it comes to decking, safety is key. That’s why it’s important to be in the know of any new standards, ensuring that your customers will be safe and happy. This can be true for any pro. The International Code Council is the first resource you should turn to when it comes to the latest safety standards for pros. Membership includes a subscription to their magazine and the ability to vote on codes that directly impact your industry. If you’d like to help make important changes in your industry, this is certainly and organization to consider.
Membership to the ICC starts at $135 for the year and an online application. Visit their website to learn more about how your voice can be heard in the ever-changing decking industry.
Deck Builder Magazine Forum
For the occasional question or to connect with other deck builders around the world, Deck Builder Magazine has a great online forum where pros can meet and discuss the happening’s in their industry. The topics are filtered by category based on popular trends. It’s a great place to go and connect, without any obligation to become a member. Create an account and start chatting with other like-minded decking pros.
If you’ve considered joining a trade organization before, now is the time. It’s a great way to stay involved in your trade beyond just the day-to-day work. Some even give you the opportunity to have a voice in best practices. Most of all, it gives the extra assurance to the customer that they are hiring a pro that’s willing to go the extra mile. Research and see what organization or association might be the best for your business to join.
Looking for more industry insights? Read our roundup of the latest Industry News for the most recent update in contractor headlines.