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Old 09-04-2007, 12:11 PM   #1
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Trex decking


The Trex decking molds terribly. Attached is e-mail I sent to Trex.

Dear Sir or Madame:

Attached are 2 pictures of our Trex decking that we had built in June, 2005. We spent over $4000 on materials, plus the cost of the labor to build our Trex decking, so that we would have "the finest product around". We were led to believe that the product would be maintenance free. We are extremely disenchanted with your product. We will be happy to share these pictures with all of the potential Trex customers of Home Depot and Lowe's.

In April, 2007, we spent approximately $40 on products sold by Home Depot that you recommended to clean the Trex decking. We spent several hours and cleaned up the deck. The deck looked great for 2-3 weeks. Now you can see the pictures that I took this morning, 7/13/07. Just 3 months later, you can see how horrible this deck looks.

We just wish we would have saved all kinds of money and built a regular treated cedar deck--it certainly would not have looked nearly as despicable as the Trex decking with the 25 year limited lifetime warranty.

I have 2 requests for the Trex company:

1) Please replace our deck, at no cost to us for materials and labor, with a product that does not look despicable like the Trex decking.

2) Please forward this e-mail to all officers, including the CEO, as well as the Board of Directors of the Trex company. The officers and the Board of Directors need to know the inferior quality of their product.

Thank you!



Their response was basically "too bad". We strongly recommend that you do not buy Trex.

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Old 09-04-2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have a moisture issue. How is the deck built? What's underneath it? How far above ground is it? Does it get any sunlight?

Pick up a couple gallons of Clorox Outdoors to clean it.


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Old 09-04-2007, 02:10 PM   #3
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As it's a first post, I removed this thread...at first
No offense to the poster, but it looks like someone who joined just to gripe and spread their unhappiness on their war against Trex
That's not what this forum is for

But then...I thought maybe it's time for some education....
That is what this forum is for

I'm not trying to call out anyone specifically, I'm sure the OP isn't the only one to feel that way

But now might be a good time to post up some things about composites

Hey, I know composites mold and mildew just as bad as wood
(if not worse as it's usually not sealed/painted/stained)
Trex and Azek lit. never says it won't mildew
(can't say the same for salesmen or consumer assumptions)
They are both (and most composites are) made of wood
Yes there's plastic in there too, but there is plenty of wood

I've been getting calls for composite mold for a few years now
The cut ends of the boards especially

Mold/Mildew need three things, warmth, food, water
That's it
Plenty of food in composites still, and most people don't paint/stain/protect them (which helps)
Bushes, trees, plants, all deposit food on the decks
Sunlight doesn't kill it BTW, well...it can...but mostly it makes it dormant not dead

I would bet this deck is constantly soggy/damp and/or surrounded by bushes and trees and that's the problem, not the Trex

Trex and other quality composites are NOT mold magnets
However, there are some high m/m situations in which they will not resist nearly as well as painted/stained/sealed wood

Also:
A warranty is for manufacturers defects, as any manufactured product can come out of the factory with defects of/during manufacturing

There is no such thing as a maintenance-free deck
They still need to be washed/cleaned...and even stained for better protection
If it's damp or in a high mold/mildew environment, JOMAXed every once in a while too

Trex (or any manufacturer) has no control over the environment their product is used in, therefore can't warranty against mold/mildew

The Trex product purchased from Home Depot, is not the same product sold at the lumber yard
Like most everything else at that store, it is a "de-spec'd" product
Made cheaper so the Depot can charge less
So it is inferior to the Trex sold at lumberyards
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Old 09-04-2007, 02:59 PM   #4
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If their marketing wasnt so dang good maybe more people would realize that a properly stained deck will always be better than fake wood
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Old 09-04-2007, 07:13 PM   #5
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I hate to say it but manufacturers RARELY cover their product. It is always someone else's fault that the product falls below expectations.

New products are especially susceptible to this, Hardi Board, Trex blah blah blah.

The thing that you will see most is that they decree a way to install their product and if you do not follow it note for note then they Will not cover you. Yet the description for install is usually ridiculous and causes the installer hundreds of hours if they follow the directions. So they short cut. Then who is to blame?

The installlers. you will have better luck going after them.
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:29 PM   #6
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The Trex product purchased from Home Depot, is not the same product sold at the lumber yard
Like most everything else at that store, it is a "de-spec'd" product
Made cheaper so the Depot can charge less
So it is inferior to the Trex sold at lumberyards[/quote]


I purchased my Trex Brasilla from a lumber yard......hmmmmmmm
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
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No, I'm not kidding
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:29 PM   #8
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It sounds as if we have a similar problem - We installed a Winchester grey Trex deck in April 2006.

Last summer it had weathered to several different shades of grey, the large panels we had installed to cover the ends of the boards had warped to such an extent the the screws sheared off in one place and the warped board dislodged a piece of downpipe in another. We are talking warping of at least an inch.

The ends of about half the boards have split from the screws to the end, and we have black spots all over the surface - though not always on adjoining boards - very strange.

It is also unbearable to walk on in bare feet in the sun.

We started a claim under the warranty last October. Eventually, they sent an independent evaluator out to look at the deck about 3 weeks ago. Of course, he could not comment.

Today, we received a letter denying any liabilty. Thye referred to the photos we sent them last year, telling us that they could see (from the photos) that the screws were closer to the ends of the boards than the recommended on inch. We have measured them all - they are all at one inch.

They made no reference to the report, and did not address any of the other issues we cited in our complaint.

I have not replied to them yet. I have read posts about Trex in the carpentry seciton of the website as well as the construction section, so I know there are many other dissatisfied customers out there. How many does it take to get Trex to admit there is a problem with their product. I had an email from a class action attorney in NY looking for people withTrex problems - did you hear from him too?
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
The Trex product purchased from Home Depot, is not the same product sold at the lumber yard
Like most everything else at that store, it is a "de-spec'd" product
Made cheaper so the Depot can charge less
So it is inferior to the Trex sold at lumberyards
Hello,
I'm a homeowner who is considering using Trex for my deck and would like to know why you think Home Depot sells an inferior version of Trex. Essentially, my question is, What is your source for this information?

If this de-spec'd/cheaper version of Trex exists couldn't any lumber yard also decide to sell it?

Could you elaborate a little more on what your definition of "de-spec'd" is? Thanks.

D
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgbehrends View Post
Hello,
I'm a homeowner who is considering using Trex for my deck and would like to know why you think Home Depot sells an inferior version of Trex. Essentially, my question is, What is your source for this information?

If this de-spec'd/cheaper version of Trex exists couldn't any lumber yard also decide to sell it?

Could you elaborate a little more on what your definition of "de-spec'd" is? Thanks.

D
Home Depot Mngmt and Home Depot suppliers are my source
A little digging and detective work... inspection of the products offered
(but you do need to know what to look for)
It's not a secret, it's just not something they really want you to know
HD would prefer you to think it's simply "volume" for the lower prices
As would the HD consumers

Usually a real lumberyard would refuse to carry an HD spec'd product...even if they could
Usually the supplier agreement states the supplier can not offer it to others
(An HD Exclusive)

As for elaborating on HD's carrying despec'd products, using the search button with a few keywords and my username will produce the results you are looking for

From some threads around this forum:

Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post

Lets say Porter-Cable has a framing saw, you see it in your local tool shop for...say $189
It's quiet, light, strong, and has a great blade
You shop around a bit and see it in HD for less
It's only $159...what a bargain!

Hold on there partner, here's what happened
HD brass saw the P/C saw and said great, we want to carry that, but we want to charge less than $189
P/C says we can't lower our price to you, it's a great price

Now comes the CPV
Customer Perceived Value

Big Box says well, our average customer won't see the value (extra $) of that magnesium guide...can you make it steel?
Our avg. cust won't perceive the value of those fancy motor bushings, or that fancy blade
Make your saw for us to these new specs and we'll carry your saw
And we'll sell it for $159

If P/C says no, then Big Box won't carry a P/C framing saw

Voila, Home Despot has a de-spec'd P/C saw that looks like the one at the local tool shop
Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift
The irony is the local tool shop would charge $139 if they carried it
But they won't carry it, as it's not up the their standards
Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
The de-spec'ing of tools I mentioned above extends to hardware, sundries, paint, all materials
Volume sounds like the simple answer as to why HD is cheaper
But it's not really all that simple
Any 2, 3, or even 10 percent discount that HD would get is swallowed up by the problems associated with huge volumes and low-payed employees
Warehouse and floor damage, returns, lost, stolen...it just goes on...
They simply cannot keep damage/loss down like a store or small chain can

The product, materials, service, must be cheaper from the manufacturer
It must be de-spec'd
If that means cheesing out on QC then that's the way to do it

If that means putting 6 oz. of BIN in the 10 oz. spray can so it looks like the same one in your local paint store, than that's the way to do it
It says 6 oz on it, there's no lying involved...technically

Manufactured exclusively for HD is not a good thing
Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
And yet some consumers still think "volume" alone can explain a 20% reduction in the retail price
(rather than the 2-4% that is the more common actual discount from the manufacturer)
Unfortunately the retailers that do this don't mind that perception and don't try and educate consumers about it
Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift
HD is not able to lower consumer costs simply through "volume" alone
By the volume of products they sell to consumers, they are able to demand different (cheaper) specs than other retailers
It's what is called "Customer Perceived Value" or CPV

Right now W*M and HD sell most of the lawnmowers in the U.S.
The Honda engines in those riding mowers are NOT the Honda engines in your landscaper's/groundskeeper's mowers that those guys and girls swear by
They are cheapos with a Honda badge because Honda wanted a piece of the pie

Those John Deere's are not the same JD's that are down at the local power equipment dealer
Not by a long shot

HD/W*M feels the average HD/W*M lawnmower customer doesn't perceive the value of the little pieces that make a great JD
They just want the name JD and they want it as cheap as possible
Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
I'm a capitalist, and can respect the corporation for what it has accomplished in a capitalistic sense
They are truly a marketing...and pricing.... genius

However, their huge focus on CPV has destroyed quality expectations
CPV is the de-specing of product to lower price
(it's a common focus in companies like W*M and HD)


Now, it's not that HD doesn't have it's uses
But just go in with your eyes WIDE open

Now, after all that, you'd think I wouldn't set foot in there
Well, I will probably be going this afternoon
But it's for batteries and a piece of 2" thick foam insulation
Which, with my luck, they'll be out of

Again, they have their uses
But just don't think for one second that the quality of the tools you see there is the same as your local tool store, hardware store, or tool specialty chain
Don't think for one moment the lumber you find there is even close to the quality of the lumber at your local lumberyard

And for the love of God, don't ask anyone for any help or advise
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:47 AM   #11
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I think you did a decent job of describing CPV and how the Big Box stores try to lower their costs for their "targeted consumer". I have a family member in HD management. I'll try to get a hold him later today and get a second opinion. Thanks again.
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:07 PM   #12
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If you go online, look at any tool company catalog, get the model # for any given tool... Then shop for that tool at any Hd, Lowes or other store you chose and if the model # is a match to the model in the catalog it is exactly the same tool... With one caveat, sometimes the tool company will decide to improve the product by using a different gear material (or whatever). So old stock will not be like the new stock. No matter though, because all future tools going to all stores will have that change.

When I wanted to buy GAF roof shingles I was told not to get them from HD, because they were substandard, or factory seconds. Further more roofing shingle manufacturers shipped the best quality stuff to the roofing supply stores.

When I called GAF they staunchly denied the alligation. That the very premise was absurd. Furthermore, they do not sell factory seconds to anyone. That there was no such thing as GAF factory seconds.

I think it is a fair statement "buyer beware" is as true today as ever. It is up to us to use due diligence to be reasonably sure we are indeed getting what we pay for. That the products, or services will meet our expectations.

Frankly, you would have a very hard time indeed convincing me that TREC decking is different product store to store. Model/version specific.


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Old 05-04-2008, 02:11 PM   #13
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In my previous post I double quoted "targeted consumer". I did this because what the big box stores are doing for some (definitely NOT ALL) of there products, is de-specing. They don't feel the "targeted consumer" will notice or will need the product to be industrial strength. This is the essence of CPV (customer perceived value). In most cases the customer gets a product that costs less and satisfies their needs. Like the previous poster said, it is definitely buyer beware, because the big box stores are not going to say their product is de-speced to reduce cost. Comparing model numbers is one good way to see the differences, and then the customer needs to decide the application for the product.
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:33 PM   #14
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Dgbehrends post brings to mind something we all can relate to...

Consider Sears, many Kenmore products are made for Sears by Whirlpool, for branding under the Kenmore name. Are Kenmore products a lessor product? Since they are often made to Sears specifications they might be better... Or not.

I have a Kitchenaid front loader washer and dryer pair. Whirlpool makes them both. Which is higher quality? Why is the Kitchaid priced so much higher?
I don't know, except to say they are the same on the inside. At the time the Kitchenaid had a higher spin speed, and a cast steel door hinge instead of the stamped steel hinge on the whirlpool. Oh yeah, the dryer has a light. Both came with a 2 year warranty instead of 1 year with the Whirlpool.
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Old 05-04-2008, 09:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docfletcher View Post
Frankly, you would have a very hard time indeed convincing me that TREC decking is different product store to store. Model/version specific.
Keeping in mind that there are many different models/lines of Trex, the Trex I bought from Ring's End Lumber and 84 Lumber were of considerably better quality then the Trex I bought from Home Depot (which HD personel claimed was the same product as the others)

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