Kits Help Treater Sell More Deck Components

One price/one SKU covers all components needed to build a support structure for an elevated deck. photo courtesy Northern Crossarm Co.

A Midwestern wood treater has devised a glulam post-and-beam kit that makes it easier for contractors to build decks—and even simpler for dealers to sell them the components.


“With the increasing size and complexity of decks, contractors were looking for ways to minimize the obstruction caused by multiple support posts,” explained Pat Bischel, president of Northern Crossarm Co., Chippewa Falls, Wi. “As we introduced our Brown KDAT (kiln dried after treatment) pressure treated wood, we began to get requests for a matching beam. As a result of those requests, we developed a kit that would be comprised of matching colored posts, a beam, and hardware. This meant one inventory item containing matching components necessary to support an elevated deck.”


To determine which components would be offered in the kits, Northern Crossarm’s goal was to provide the dealer and the contractor a package that could be delivered to the jobsite, containing the basic components to support a deck package. “We looked to simplify the process by over-engineering the components in order to minimize inventory items a dealer would need to stock,” he said.


For dealers, the kits are easy to inventory and simplify the sales process due to fewer SKUs. Pulling orders becomes a one-step process, rather than having to send a yard person out to round up multiple items. And, with the kit, both contractor and dealer can be assured that the materials used in this portion of the project are properly engineered. 


“Dealers and contractors love the idea of purchasing one product that provides the major components of the framing package,” Bischel noted. “Contractors and homeowners like the finished look the brown posts, beam, and hardware offer the completed deck. The homeowner also likes the unobstructed views and access provided by only having two support posts for each beam.”


Each kit includes one southern yellow pine glulam beam and two posts, treated with MCA to ground contact and colored brown; two powder-coated brown beam-to-post connection brackets; and 25 powder-coated brown joist hangers. Beam dimensions are all 5-1/4” by 15-1/8”, in 16’, 20’, or 24’ lengths. The 5-1/4” by 5-1/4” posts come in a standard 12’ length. Long posts can be special ordered. 


The kits initially were offered just with a 20-ft. beam, but—due to customers’ requests—a shorter and a longer option were introduced. Bischel expects to eventually add other sizes, as well. 


The kits are being distributed in the Midwest by Northern Crossarm and Boise Cascade, Lakeville, Mn., and in the West by Rocky Mountain Wood Protection, Denver, Co., and Snavely Forest Products, Denver.

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