Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Here’s the latest on the Trends & Highlights – Remodeling Show/Deck Expo 2012

Baltimore played host this week to remodelers and contractors from across the country as well as manufacturers engaged in construction.  In addition to spending much of the day in training classes to learn new business processes and marketing skills, remodelers took time to walk the show floor and discover new products.
The general consensus is that the show was better attended when compared to the past two years and  that remodelers are more open to new products and selling tools.
Think Beyond Wood
A banner in the Kleer® booth captured the sentiment of many products on display at this year’s show – Think Beyond Wood.  Kleer Lumber is a leading manufacturer of cellular PVC building products.  Its Kleer® brand cellular PVC trimboard, decking, moldings, sheets and accessories represent an alternative to both wood and wood-plastic composites.  Its decking product utilizes a cellular PVC core that is fully encapsulated to ensure that it provides a level of scratch and stain (think Red Wine) resistance that can’t be found with wood or wood-plastic composites.  One of the new KLEER products featured in their booth was KLEERWrap®, an improved post wrap that comes pre-glued on two sides.  Contractors agreed that they were interested in a highly durable, pre-glued post wrap that saves time during installation while providing a beautiful wood appearance.
Also popular at every Deck Expo is railing. Feeney cable rail caught the eye of many contractors as another alternative to wood. Their CableRail products offer a contemporary look and feel available in standard cable assemblies and custom cables and hardware. Another wood alternative in the Feeney booth was DesignRail, an aluminum railing system that comes in innovative designs incorporating glass with standard and custom powder coat finishes and a variety of cap rail design options as well as picket, glass and cable in-fill options.
Another take on Think Beyond Wood was causing a buzz with the new WoodTrac® closet that is made of ¾” furniture-grade particleboard and MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) with a high-definition laminate.  WoodTrac closets have the finishes, contour moldings, profiles and framed panels of a more expensive custom closet at a fraction of the cost.  Plus, installers were instant fans of the pre-packaged towers that can be wall mounted or floor mounted with no special machinery required.  Also on display was the WoodTrac ceiling system.  Contractors were interested in the sheer beauty of the WoodTrac drop ceiling product which has the appearance of a three dimensional ceiling.  Contractors indicated they often replace ceiling panels with moisture stains in basements and commercial settings.  The WoodTrac ceiling can add character at an affordable price.  And, remodelers felt homeowners will be interested in the fact that WoodTrac products are American made and sold only through dealers.

A sea foam green powder coat finish on a stainless steel cabinet caught many remodelers’ eyes as they clustered at the Danver booth to check out the latest in outdoor kitchen products.  Danver stainless steel cabinets are made in Connecticut.   Contractors feel homeowners will be interested in the new powder coat and wood grain finishes and are impressed with the variety of standard finish availability.
Sales Tools
Another trend observed at this year’s Remodeling Show/Deck Expo was more sophisticated sales tools.  Manufacturers indicated that they are dedicated to helping remodelers sell projects.  Numerous exhibitors showed configurators and quoting systems available on their websites and can be used to help sell a remodeling job at the homeowner’s kitchen table.