State of the Residential Decking and Railing Industry
Decking and railing continues to gain industry attention, as the outdoor living experience remains a high priority for homeowners when considering remodeling projects. The backyard is an extension of the home and provides the owner with a place for leisure and entertainment, along with increased home resale value in the future.

Wood still holds a high share of overall decking and railing demand, due to its relative affordability compared to wood alternative products. But composites, cellular PVC, aluminum and other synthetics bring real value – primarily low maintenance – and justify a higher price, if the project budget allows for an upgrade.

Within decking, the share battle between wood and synthetics continues. Wood share has grown during the prolonged economic downturn, but as the economy has improved and consumers have gained more confidence, sales of wood alternative decking have improved. In addition, the availability of a range of products along a good-better-best lineup of price and performance has enticed consumers to upgrade from wood to synthetics.

Demand for synthetic decking continues to shift to capped composites, away from uncapped composites. In addition, capped composites and cellular PVC decking are competing for share and, in many markets, pricing is having an impact on share of market. A number of material manufacturers are taking aim at both composites and cellular PVC with new technologies that will lower costs, while still delivering aesthetics and performance.

Railing can differentiate any decking project and generates higher margins for everyone through the value chain. Consequently, manufacturers have developed better designed and customizable systems, and non-traditional materials such as aluminum have become popular among homeowners. Meanwhile, distributors and dealers struggle to manage the SKU proliferation typical of railing systems, given the range of configurations and options available.

An altered supplier-distributor landscape in wood alternative decking and railing during the past couple of years has led to new relationships that are still developing traction in the dealer market. Additional realignment opportunities for manufacturers and distributors exist, offering share-gain opportunities in certain markets.

Distribution channel dynamics continue to drive promotion strategies at wood alternative decking and railing manufacturers. The box store segment has continually gained share during the past five years. The pro dealer channel has more recently countered to stem the tide of these share losses, with an increased focus on how best to meet the needs of contractors and homeowners. Enhanced contractor loyalty programs, dealer showrooms, sample set-ups and visualization software kiosks are aimed at improving the customer experience.

Steady demand for decking and railing provides an opportunity for manufacturers as well as all participants in the supply chain, regardless of product types or channels to market. Growing demand due to the recovering housing industry combined with consumer preference for better performing products will continue to push technology advances in product development and interest from new entrants, from wood to synthetics.

Report Scope 
The report focus is decking and railing in residential construction. Geographical scope is North America (United States and Canada).

Report Format

  • Executive Summary – Summary of the current market size, trends and developments, keys for future success and outlook
  • Products Review – a review of residential decking and railing products, along with recent product advances and developments
  • Market Assessment – A thorough analysis of demand in North America will provide the baseline.  A three-year projection will provide insights into how demand is most likely to shift by material, channel and region
  • Business Assessment – A realistic business assessment to help target market opportunities

Using the Report
This report will serve as an important baseline analysis for forecasting and business-planning purposes by existing and new industry participants. Using 2014 as the baseline, the study will analyze the drivers and trends of the decking and railing market by region, distribution channel, market segment and material type, and will provide forecasts covering the next three years.

The report will provide insights into current and future products and competitive positioning and will help companies anticipate customer needs. The report also provides business insights about:

  • Detailed market segmentation
  • Market volume and size value with price-point analysis
  • Market share by major synthetic decking / railing suppliers
  • Granular view of distribution activity
  • Direct Voice of Customer feedback
  • Year-over-year forecast demand

Included Features

  • In addition to in-depth interviews with manufacturers and distributors / dealers, research from 750 voice of customer surveys conducted among distributors / dealers, decking contractors and homeowners provides fresh industry perspectives that assess issues driving material and supplier market shares.
  • Market model and forecast tool – interactive market model tool enabling subscribers to evaluate the market through whatever lens they choose

All subscribers to the full program are offered a private presentation by the Principia project team with an open discussion about the report and to address any company-specific issues. The consultation is included in the subscription price. Contact us to learn more at