6 Tips for How to Install Composite Decking Faster


Decking building season in many parts of the country is short and sweet, which means that composite decking contractors need to optimize efficiency and reduce job-site time. In other words, complete projects more quickly.

Here are 6 ways to get more composite deck projects completed in 2019 and more money in the before the season ends.

1. Install Capped Composite Decking

Builders who select capped composite decking for their clients are able to complete jobs faster because once the decking is attached to the structural framing, there’s no need to go back over the work. Say goodbye to time wasted waiting for the weather to cooperate for sanding and staining. The hard-exterior shell of most capped composites also allows crew members to walk across the deck surface with little concern of damage. 

Some composite decking manufacturers including DuraLife™ go one step further by wrapping a protective film around each board. As soon as the last decking component is installed, builders can simply remove the film and reveal a beautifully unmarred surface to the homeowner.

2. Use Color Matched End Caps Instead of Picture Framing

In the past, homeowners have typically opted to “picture frame” their decks, simply because they had no other choice. This required contractors to install additional joists and supports to basically hide the ‘butt ends’ of the structure in a way that was also structurally sound.

Although effective, picture framing the perimeter of a deck costs time, labor and materials – especially on custom composite deck installations that include many angles and/or multiple levels. Today, composite manufactures offer color-matched end caps that quickly and easily attach to the cut ends of each deck panel. This is not only more cost effective for the customer, it also allows for a simpler, more efficient framing system to be installed below. 

3. Cable Rails Are Faster & More Appealing for Clients Than Balusters. Pre-Drilled Rail Posts Make the Job Faster.

For a more contemporary, streamlined look, homeowners have opted to install cable rails instead of traditional balusters. While the end result can be virtually unobstructed views for the homeowner, the precise measurements required to get each and every hole drilled on site can be a time consuming, nerve wracking ordeal for deck builders. Instead, opt for railing systems that offer posts with pre-drilled holes. That way, your crew can confidently (and quickly) install composite posts and string the cables as simply as lacing up a shoe. 

DuraLife is offering three dynamic railing systems in 2019. The all new Merrimack™ and Nantucket™ railing systems provide the option to use DuraLife composite deck boards as the top rail. DuraLife’s Rockport™ Railing system offers hidden stainless-steel mounting hardware to provide superior strength and a clean aesthetic appeal.

4. Use A Hidden Fastening System

Is there anything more monotonous and time consuming than adding plugs to cover the screw heads of literally hundreds of fasteners used on a job? Why not make 2019 the year that you start using a hidden fastening system instead? Not only will the end result provide homeowners with a clean, uniformed surface, deck builders will be able to finish the installation in half the time, too.

Along with the streamlined look, some hidden fastening systems also provide additional, time saving benefits for decking pros. For example, the Step-Clip system from DuraLife is designed to not only attach quickly and easily to a framing joist, it also provides a precise, uniformed space between each composite deck board. This relieves the need to install plugs and pre-spaces boards in a way that has shown to reduce install times by as much as 50% – for both experienced builders and novice DIYers. 

5. Make A Plan with Customers Up Front

As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It can’t be emphasized enough how important it is to get as many details as possible worked out with the customer before construction of the new composite deck begins. Carefully documenting, presenting and reviewing aspects of the project with homeowners in advance can help avoid costly and time-consuming miscues once work begins. A good pre-construction plan also allows builders to pre-order materials and coordinate deliveries in a way that is most efficient. 

6. Order Pre-Cut, Custom-Sized Boards for Large Jobs.

Measuring twice and cutting once is traditionally the way that all craftsmen avoid making mistakes. Although an effective strategy, this process can be time consuming. Especially when you add in the time to walk back and forth from the measurement area to the cut site.

Instead, smart deck builders save time by partnering with trusted manufacturers and suppliers to do the measuring and cutting for them. This becomes a critical component to finishing large composite decking installations faster and also makes building multiple decks (for a new subdivision community or condo association) a breeze, too. DuraLife offers this service to contractors, at no additional cost, on orders of 200 composite decking boards or more.

When it comes to deck building, especially in a region with short seasons, the key to success is finding and incorporating new methods into your business to minimize waste, save time, improve quality and make more money. Hopefully these tips will help you to install composite decking faster and easier, and for your company to finish more projects in the upcoming year.

Choose your samples of DuraLife composite decking and have them shipped directly to your door. Order your samples now! 

This article is made possible by DuraLife.DuraLife’s unique polypropylene and hardwood composite decking materials simply outperform all other wood and composite decking products.More solid and safe under foot, DuraLife decking is backed by a 25-year warranty. It is stain and fade resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and is available in the colors and deck railing options you want. Get Samples, try our Composite Deck & Railing Visualizer, or contact DuraLife now to learn more.