Geodeck - Past Problems, Use Again?

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Old 06-22-06, 04:08 AM
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Geodeck - Past Problems, Use Again?

I had a Geodeck installed around August, 2002, and it looked beautiful. Within a year, the boards were showing significant shrinkage. I called Kadant Composites. They acknowledged this was their issue, and they paid - materials and labor - to have the deck completely rebuilt with new material. I was pretty impressed. This was around July, 2003.

It is now June, 2006. We found cracks, chunks falling out, etc. I was pretty horrified. I called Kadant again, and they once more acknowledge this was a manufacturing defect and the product had been recalled. They said that they had gone beyond the original warrantee initially, in paying labor, and would no longer do that. They offered free materials to replace the deck, or a refund on costs for the original materials.

I can't believe I've had to go through all of this, when I paid more for a deck that would be less maintenance than wood!!!

Anyway, I'm very unsure which way to go. Kadant indicates that they've had no further problems in the almost 3 years since the recall. I would just be looking at labor cost (doing it myself is definitely not an option).

Or do I get the refund (in my case about $2k) and go with different material? I've been reading/searching this forum, and the recommendations are diverse: Boardwalk, WeatherBest, ChoiceDeck, IPE, etc (all new to me, by the way). The deck is 18 feet x 24 feet. I have no idea what kind of material cost I'm looking at for any of this.

I want minimum maintenance, maximum reliability. I'm not as concerned about color fade as long as it is reasonably consistent and predictable. We're north of Charlotte, NC, so the deck gets considerable heat and sun.

Any practical advice greatly appreciated!

Don Cohen
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Last edited by twelvepole; 05-26-07 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 06-22-06, 07:27 PM
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Two times the deck material failed, I'd opt for the refund and go with Trex.
 
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Old 06-23-06, 04:14 AM
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I appreciate the reply and suggestion, and it's certainly something I've considered.

On the other hand, many companies and materials have gone through some problems, recognized and corrected them, and ended up with a better product. And from my reading here, it's not like Trex has been immune to problems either.

"Better the Devil you know than the Devil you don't" expresses why I'm also a little bit reluctant to go with another composite brand.

I also don't have a feel for whether the $2k refund would even come close to the material costs for Trex or other composite material. Does anybody know the approximate cost? - again, this is an 18x24 foot deck, with railing around half of it, and a small set of steps.

I just don't have enough experience and familiarity with the available options to know the best option, so that's why I'm trying to tap the collective brains and experience here.

Any other thoughts?

Thanks again, though, for your opinion.
 
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Old 06-24-06, 12:59 PM
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My 2 cents:

There are pros and cons with all the alternative materials available today. Granted you're not going to get a splinter walking barefoot, but all alternatives require some form of annual maintenance.

Composites stain easily; some degrade (as your geodeck has done); they get incredibly hot to walk on; Some are treacherous when wet; I personally hate Trex. But I'm not too thrilled with any composite product.

Steel painted decking: Their have been ongoing issues with the VY-DECK system. It appears from other forums that the products coating has not held up and rusty panels are common. The parent company filed for bankruptcy and from what I've read, the newly formed company does not honor any old warranty claims---

Solid plastics--- the jury is still out on whose to buy.
I've seen procell and vekadeck products. Like the fact that the materials are colorfast and won't degrade over time. Don't like the fact that both are attached with surface fasteners (deckmaster track system can be used at extra cost)

We were dealers/installers of eon decking (100% plastic) from 2000/04. As the material is virtually indistinguishable from natural stained wood, we thought we struck gold when we signed on as dealers. The material was promoted in company literature to outlast everything mother nature could throw at it. Problem was, eon decking had/has considerable problems with expansion/contraction, severe fading, and attachment problems with their standard rail kits---(when installed in 90+ weather, the railings significantly contract in sub-zero temperatures and crack the plastic (top/bottom rails) at the points they are attached to the upright posts.) The cladding system cracks as well. We did everything possible to follow the installation guide that changed yearly to include all the errors and omissions of the previous years printing. (From 2 pages in 2000, to 22 pages currently.) To sum up:I'd avoid eon decking

We are currently dealers of Thermal Industries PVC vinyl Dream Deck system as well as Aurora decking. Having installed vinyl for over seven years, I feel it is the not only the easiest system to install, it is overall the best suited to the environment. Nothing more than a hosing off is ever required. These systems use a hidden track (optional biscuit system with Aurora) that allows the plank to be snapped in permanently---no exposed fasteners. These track allow for expansion and contraction and the products are lifetime warranted (Transferrable with Aurora) The planks are light to install (about a pound per lin ft.) and because they are hollow profile, stay cool. Downside is the solid color appearance of DreamDeck--- Aurora is woodgrained vinyl.

Recently, Aurora partnered with Builddirect.com and have revised their deck plank as QUADRA Decking. Sold on ebay for $1.69 per lineal foot + shipping (1/2 bundle quantities only) you can't go wrong!!!
Check it out and get some free samples... email: NO EMAIL ADDRESSES OR ADVERTISING ALLOWED IN FORUMS
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 05-26-07 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 06-24-06, 01:51 PM
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JCT:

I very much appreciate your detailed and extremely informative reply.

With reference to the Aurora material:

I know you can't be precise, but can you "guess-timate" what materials would cost for the deck I describe? It is 18x24 feet, with railing/bench seating around just under half of it, and a small set of 3 steps going down the outer corner to our yard.

Also, any experience with the "new and improved" Geodeck material?

In any case, though, thanks again.

Don
 
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Old 06-24-06, 05:51 PM
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I've done literally hundreds of decks out of various composites. So far I've done 1 partial replacement on a Trex deck and have just started a second (complete replacement this time) under warranty claims against Trex. Like Geo, Trex has been good about it. Their warranty covers the decking material, but Trex is paying labor, fasteners, disposal, etc. over and above just the material.

I wasn't really impresed with the Geo I've put down. Weather Best seems to be a good deck, at least from an installers standpoint. I really like Pro Cell -- IF you can get it! Just finished my 1st Ever Grain deck -- we'll see where that one goes.

18 X 24 -- 432 sq. ft. Composites range from about $2/lin.ft. to $3/lin.ft. So you are looking at about $2000 to $3000 for the deck boards. Add another $200 to $500 for fasteners, depending on what you use. Railing and benches can vary tremendously in price, depending on what you use and how you do them. Composite railing systems are not cheap. INSTALLED price around here usually runs $80 to $100/ linear ft. That means you're paying about $50 to $75/ft. for the material.
 

Last edited by lefty; 06-25-06 at 04:53 AM.
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Old 06-24-06, 06:19 PM
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Thanks, Lefty.

WeatherBest is a name that has surfaced frequently with favorable comments. And thanks also for the guidelines with respect to costs.

Once I have a better feel for my options, I will likely call the Geodeck people back and see what they can do with respect to labor costs. On the one hand I understand where they're coming from, but on the other, it seems completely unfair for me to have to pay out of pocket for a manufacturing error which they specifically acknowledge (having formally recalled this product).

Thanks for the input.

Don
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 05-26-07 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Quoting entire post is not necessary to reply. Quote deleted.
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Old 06-24-06, 10:13 PM
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Again, not a fan of composites--- I've sold/installed over three hundred vinyl decks in a seven year history of business. (additional 24 year track record in General Contracting) I have as yet to receive one CALL-BACK let alone ripping any of them out due to decay. Trex only paid out when they were forced to by Class Action Lawsuit

Weatherbest is in fact one of the "better" composite products available. Advantages include the Zinc-Borate additive that inhibits mold and mildew growth. One drawback is the fact that the wood-grained texture is simply a stamped imprint in the material.(one side is a brushed grain look) After several years, the woodgrain TOTALLY disappears in high traffic areas. It has improved significantly from its earliest version of what was considered as Trex with a woodgrained "contact paper" film.
 
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Old 06-25-06, 04:39 AM
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JCT:

I had a look at the Quara/BuildDirect website, and it does look worth considering. The limited lifetime warrantee includes replacement of the material, but not labor and shipping, which I suppose is industry standard.

How does this material due in the heat? I've noticed that the Geodeck surface gets pretty uncomfortable in bare feet when it gets into the 90's here (which is pretty common).

What about stretching/shrinking issues?

How long have you been using this particular version of vinyl decking? You indicate that they have "revised" their decking as Quadra - is this a marketing/naming revision, or a change in the material? For obvious reasons I would be reluctant to use a newly formulated material.

Thanks.

Don
 
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Old 06-25-06, 05:00 AM
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DLCPhoto,

If you read the warranty of ANY composite they all say that they will replace the defective material but won't cover the labor or fasteners. That's what they SAY. But, at least in my experience with 2 warranty claims, is that they WILL pay for the labor and fasteners, in addition to replacing the defective material. They don't HAVE to, but they have so far.
 
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Old 06-25-06, 05:09 AM
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Lefty:

Thanks. That was definitely what the Geodeck people did the first time around, indicating that they weren't required to do that. But now they're saying that can't/won't pay labor this time. On the one hand I can understand this, and they're not technically required to (probably eliminating any legal recourse).

But from the consumer standpoint, it seems patently unfair for me to pay a couple one or two thousand dollars because *they* made a mistake in manufacturing their materials.

And even if I can get them to change that position, I'm sure they won't pay labor of I decide to use a different material for the deck.

Don
 
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Old 06-25-06, 07:07 AM
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Don,

As far as heat buildup of vinyl decking, their hollow profile does not absorb and retain heat as composites do. (Darker colors do get hotter...) Vinyl expands/contracts significantly but because of the track/biscuit systems the planks are permitted to change length as no fasteners penetrate the plank (One screw is diagonally installed to joists in the plank's sidewall at the center span to prevent "walking".)

My company has been involved with Aurora since late 2003. At the time, we were fed up with the problems associated with the eon decking line and were looking for a wood-grained plank. Believe me, I too was leary of the product at first. Aurora's parent company Regenex Corp. beat every other vinyl fabricator in their production of this product. The only other variegated wood-grained vinyl plank I'm aware of is Royal's Dek-Loc system. I've seen it and with surface attached screws mounting the starting/ending planks---I am not impressed...

Build direct.com was an alternate method Aurora chose to market its products. In doing so, they multi-branded their product to sell directly to the public. No changes were made in the production process. The 1.69 lin. foot asking price listed is significantly less than our retail pricing. What's more is the fact that the plank covers a full 6" wide footprint and supporting joists are placed 16" OC. I can provide you with customer referals if interested...
 
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Old 06-25-06, 07:33 AM
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Lefty,

As far as your two Trex project warranty claims, The Trex company is indeed REQUIRED to provide labor costs associated with removing/replacing its defective product. Please read section B Class Recovery: http://www.trex.com/legal/notice_web.pdf
 

Last edited by twelvepole; 05-26-07 at 10:24 AM. Reason: No bashing of companies allowed in forums. No debate allowed in forums.
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Old 06-25-06, 08:25 AM
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JCT:

Thanks much for the additional information and clarification.

I would be interested in some customer referral information. Feel free to email me at NO EMAIL ADDRESSES ALLOWED IN FORUMS, as it wouldn't be appropriate to publicly post their information.

I have a guy who has done good work for me in the past who I want to handle this job. If I decide to go with Quadra, and he's not familiar with it, would it be ok if he gets in contact with you, to "tap your brain"?

Thanks again.

Don
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Last edited by twelvepole; 05-26-07 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 07-12-06, 06:55 AM
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I was looking at the Quadra system. It looks like it would be very prone to cracking in cold weather and such as it's very thin compared to another vinyl I was looking at procell.

It however is a lot cheaper which is very nice. It also looks more like real wood. But if you're saying that you've had really good experience with it I feel more confident.

There isn't a lot of expansion and contraction with procell according to their website it's .310 on a 50 degree temp swing. Also there are concealed connectors made by tiger claw TC-P

Jeff
 
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Old 07-15-06, 07:21 PM
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For those who might have interest in this thread, here's some follow-up:

Geodeck was bought out by LDI Composites (Wisconsin) last fall. During a meeting just a few days ago, they agreed to pay for both labor and materials for decks build with the defective and formally recalled materials.

From everything I've been able to find out so far, since the material was reformulated (and which was prior to the LDI purchase), there have been no reports of problems. Now granted, this has only been a little under 2 years, but so far so good. One person I spoke with, who handles other materials beside Geodeck, and who had nothing to lose or gain by what he told me, indicated that it was his opinion that the reformulated Geodeck is the best available composite available.

So, at least in part because it will be a zero-cost decision, and with hopes based on experience reports thus far, I'm going to go with Geodeck material again, and hope for the best. Further, the LDI Composite Warranty, which will apply to my deck, is pretty complete, both labor and materials, with protection against fading as well, gives me some future protection.

Time will tell if this is a good or bad decision, but I am hopeful.

Don
 
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Old 03-01-07, 07:06 PM
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On not believing manufacturer's hype

I tend to be an optimist, so when faced with the prospect of planking over an existing plywood-surfaced deck around a 20' x 40' rectangular outdoor above-ground pool (ply covered with a moisture barrier of course) I first fell in love with CorrectDeck until I found out about their staining problems, then I went for GeoDeck until reading here about their past problems.

So, before I talk the plunge and spend all that money, do people feel the product has redeemed itself? Or is Trex a better bet since they have been around the longest and worked the bugs out?

It seems to me that it would be wiser to use a system that leaves gaps between the boards for better breathing (even though in this case they will be up on furing strips to allow ventilation) as opposed to a tongue and groove system. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 
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Old 03-01-07, 07:56 PM
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Well, for what it's worth, so far, so good. I had my Geodeck replaced late last summer, and it seems fine. But it's also been perhaps 6 months, so it's really too soon to tell.

I agree that the open plank approach, to release trapped heat, is probably safer, and so that's how we did it this time (the 2 previous attempts used the tongue-in-groove).

Feel free to contact me down the road, but as I said, so far, so good.
 
  #19  
Old 05-26-07, 08:36 AM
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Experience with Geodeck

Last summer I replaced my old deck (PT frame with cedar planks) with Geodeck, and thought I'd post my take on Geodeck, even though it's only been installed for 10 months.

I wanted to go composite/synthetic because I was tired of spending several days and a hundred dollars every year cleaning and staining the cedar (while constantly watching for rain) and still seeing it crack and rot.

The reasons I went with Geo instead of something else...
The wire brush finish looks woody, without having being a blatantly artificial embossed grain.

The wire brush finish lets me remove scratches.

The hollow structure (to avoid searing bare feet).

Non-fading tan color.

I figured Geo must have fixed the durablity problems or else the new owners wouldn't have bought the company.
--------------
So far, it's been okay and I don't regret using it. The wire brush finish gives it a leg up on everything else.

The biggest problem has been grease stains. If you spill candle wax, lamp oil or greasy food there's going to be a hard-to-remove stain. We've managed to remove all the stains --plain dish soap, a scrub brush and maybe some scraping with a serrated knife-- but it's no fun.

Heat build-up is similar to cedar.

The wire brush finish is the best. Geo doesn't scratch easily (we've got two dogs with long nails and they haven't hurt it) but the occasional mark comes right off with either a brush or a serrated knife.

We keep a blower on the deck to deal with pollen and leaves. There was a touch of blackness this spring, but a mopping with detergent got rid of it. I don't think mold is going to be a major maintenance problem.
---------------
Installation and constuction:
The Geo worked like wood. No problems there.

I went with a "parquet" design, cutting the 16' planks in half to make an arrangement of 8'x8' squares. That hid most of the hollow ends of the planks, and the short 8' lengths cut down on contraction/expansion problems. A plank edging around the deck hid the rest of the hollow ends of the parquet.

Geodeck does sell end caps for their planks (about $.70 each). I used those on the ends of some steps and on a bench. They work fine.

Figuring out the exact size to make the frame was painstaking work, and then when I began installation (using custom spacers to get the plank spacing precisely right) it turned out the planks were narrower than advertised. The discrepancy was less than 1/16" but I had to recalculate and make the gaps bigger than I wanted.

I made the railing out of planks and black aluminum spindles. Some of the planks were ripped in two and stuffed with strips of PT for rigidity. It was very much a custom approach that would be too slow for a professional installer, but came out fine.

The last time I checked Geodeck was okay with 24" spans, but I didn't have the courage to try that and went with 16".

For fasteners I used HeadCote Razorback SS square drive. Very good screws. I also tried a box of gold-finished torx head screws from GRKfasteners that were awful. The heads stripped out and the mixed thread pattern didn't match up with the hollow core of the Geo, so they wouldn't come out. Choose your screws well.
 
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Old 05-26-07, 08:54 AM
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Earnest Builder... about gaps

"It seems to me that it would be wiser to use a system that leaves gaps between the boards for better breathing (even though in this case they will be up on furing strips to allow ventilation) as opposed to a tongue and groove system. Any thoughts would be appreciated."

When I was ready to buy my Geodeck planks, I went to a local supplier to get a quote. The salesman on duty said the Geodeck would rot if wasn't at least 18" above the ground. It was a surprise to hear that from an authorized dealer, so I emailed the new owners of the Geodeck line to ask about that.

They responded within two days and said that there would be no problem with planks, but that the tongue and groove should be a couple of feet above grade. (It says so in their literature, too). So it seems even with furring strips, you wouldn't want to use tongue and groove Geo over a plastic and plywood base.

And you'd probably want to email or call the company to see what they say about your exact situation.

Ohh, and here in St. Louis there were some big price differences among the 3 Geodeck suppliers. The cheapest was about 25% less than the other two.
 
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Old 08-03-07, 07:17 AM
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GeoDeck

Hal,

You definetly make a good case for GeoDeck with your first hand experience. It sounds like GeoDeck has many advantages. I realize that every composite has its issues. One thing that seems consistant with every brand is that they expand and contract. It was interesting to see that GeoDeck has come up with a board that over laps the rest of your deck boards so that you don't see expansion and contraction when boards are butted end to end. Also the 24 inch airspace underneath is needed if you are using tongue and groove boards, basically because the t&g doesn't let hot, moist air vent out from underneath. So if your deck is closer than 24 inches to the ground, roof, concrete, etc you need to use the traditional board so you have the gaps to allow for ventilation.
 
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Old 09-14-07, 06:27 AM
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Geo Deck 2nd time around

Well after realizing late 2006 that my Geo Deck was degrading I called the Lumber yard I bought it from. My salesman stated he just replaced his the year before and told me LDI was handling everything. The price for Geo Deck was high but having it installed also was going to make it unattainable. Being a finish carpenter who has done other construction also I installed it myself. I used the Tebo fasteners and also stainless steel finish nails. The type install with hidden fasteners is VERY labor intensive. On the first install I used the traditional boards all 20' long. I wanted it to be installed by someone else this time but did not think LDI would pay that cost or the contractor would take the kind of steps I did. Well 2 weeks of my vacation and it is still not done. The over all area is done but trim, steps ect. are not. I love Geo Deck and it looked great the first year or so. I hope it will be OK now. LDI paid my labor quote and also for the fasteners. ttyl Rick
 
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Old 06-29-08, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by DLCPhoto View Post
I had a Geodeck installed around August, 2002, and it looked beautiful. Within a year, the boards were showing significant shrinkage. I called Kadant Composites. They acknowledged this was their issue, and they paid - materials and labor - to have the deck completely rebuilt with new material. I was pretty impressed. This was around July, 2003.

It is now June, 2006. We found cracks, chunks falling out, etc. I was pretty horrified. I called Kadant again, and they once more acknowledge this was a manufacturing defect and the product had been recalled. They said that they had gone beyond the original warrantee initially, in paying labor, and would no longer do that. They offered free materials to replace the deck, or a refund on costs for the original materials.

I can't believe I've had to go through all of this, when I paid more for a deck that would be less maintenance than wood!!!

Anyway, I'm very unsure which way to go. Kadant indicates that they've had no further problems in the almost 3 years since the recall. I would just be looking at labor cost (doing it myself is definitely not an option).

Or do I get the refund (in my case about $2k) and go with different material? I've been reading/searching this forum, and the recommendations are diverse: Boardwalk, WeatherBest, ChoiceDeck, IPE, etc (all new to me, by the way). The deck is 18 feet x 24 feet. I have no idea what kind of material cost I'm looking at for any of this.

I want minimum maintenance, maximum reliability. I'm not as concerned about color fade as long as it is reasonably consistent and predictable. We're north of Charlotte, NC, so the deck gets considerable heat and sun.

Any practical advice greatly appreciated!

Don Cohen
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I hope you took the money and ran. They told me they didn't have anymore after giving me a letter saying they would pay.

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Old 09-30-08, 12:22 PM
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I used the Quadra decking to build my deck.
I posted some comments on this site in another thread and pictures here if you care to view.
http://decksummer08.shutterfly.com/
 
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