Qualified Remodeler asked construction industry veteran and public relations pro Stuart Hanson to walk the aisles at the 2013 Remodeling Show and report on his experience. What follows is Hanson’s report.

While overall attendance was lower than past years at the annual DeckExpo and Remodeling Show held in Chicago’s McCormick Place in October this year, many manufacturers still showcased some new and interesting products. Following are what I thought were the coolest products seen this year – ranging from large, well-known brands to unique start-up companies with their CEO/inventor in the booth explaining the product:

Speedeck Decking Gauge from Speedeck Tools.  Developed by a deckbuilder from Australia, Speedeck is a multiple spacing gauge allowing deckbuilders to create perfect gaps between decking boards.  Speedeck creates consistent gaps and allows spacing for up to five boards laid at a time.  Built to suit popular decking sizes, Speedeck is manufactured with high-density polyethylene that is light-weight yet durable.  Available in January 2014, visit:  www.speedecktools.com or info@speedecktools.com for more information.

The Olympus Railing System from AGS Stainless is a custom-made stainless steel railing system and the first component-based horizontal bar railing system to the industry.  The Olympus railing connects directly with AGS’ new patent-pending joint connectors; no on-site cutting or welding required.  These patent-pending connectors accommodate just about any railing angles, for a quick-and-easy installation – greatly reducing the labor expense normally associated with traditional custom-fabricated horizontal railing systems.  Designed to be installed by builders and DIYers, and suitable for interior/exterior applications on residential, commercial and institutional structures.  For more information:  www.AGSStainless.com or 888.842.9492.

Trio Ultimate Deck Screw by FastenMaster.  Designed to outperform standard deck screws for both softwood and composite decking, these screws are also engineered to eliminate stripping and wobbling during installation.  Additionally, their coating makes them highly resistant to corrosion and UV-resistant to fading, and is backed by a lifetime guarantee.  And of particular interest to this writer, the container packaging doubles as an installation guide for speed and accuracy.  For more information, visit:  www.fastenmaster.com or 800-518-3569.

SideJob – the Instant Cargo Rack.  Developed by a former contractor, the SideJob Cargo Rock system allows contractors to safely and efficiently transport drywall and lumber to job sites.  It’s designed with a mounting plate that slips over a vehicle’s existing ladder rack and foam-rubber bumper to protect the paint job, then secured with a cam strap.  The system can hold up to 450 pounds of cargo which is roughly eight sheets of ½-inch drywall.  This one was voted the “Most Innovative Product” at the 2013 Remodeling Show, and one of my personal favorites as the CEO/inventor (and former contractor) explained how the product was developed out of necessity.

DuxxBak – Water Shedding Deck System.  DuxxBak decking sheds water and keeps the area underneath the deck dry via an interlocking board design, eliminating the need for an under deck, water drainage or membrane system.  Specially-designed end caps help control water drain from the decking top and the decking material is resistant to mold, mildew and decay – yet contains no wood-flour.  Offered in six colors and 12, 16 and 20-foot lengths, it comes with a 25-year limited warranty.  For more information, visit:  www.greenbaydecking.com or 877-804-0137.

TimberTech Legacy Collection Decking.  Timbertech takes scratch, stain and fade in a different direction with their Legacy Collection line.  With varied coloring and hand-scraped patterned graining, the plank nicely accentuates indoor hardwood flooring to create an artisan-aged look and feel within outdoor living spaces.  The Legacy Collection planks feature a fully-protected poly shell to weather the outdoor elements.  For more information, visit:  www.timbertech.com or 800-307-7780.


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