Arbordeck Awards 2022: Meet our judges
The fifth annual Arbordeck Awards are now in full swing, and we’re excited to have seen a range of fantastic Trex decking projects already.
We announced last month that for the first time ever, some categories will be opened up to public vote – but as always, our judging panel will play a vital role in deciding the shortlists for each category, as well as the winners of three categories including the coveted Deck of the Year title.
The Arbordeck Awards 2022 panel comprises a trio of industry experts: Lee Heitzman, Alan Hodkinson and Phil Tremayne. All three judges are experts in the composite decking and landscaping markets, so we know the awards are in great hands! Read on to find out more about Lee, Alan and Phil, and to discover exactly what they’re looking for from this year’s entries.
Trex area sales manager – South, Arbor Forest Products
What’s your role at this year’s Arbordeck Awards?
I’ve been directly involved in the Arbordeck Awards for four out of five years, either as a judge or as a host at the ceremony at FutureScape. I’ll be doing both this year!
As well as receiving more entries every year, the standard of entries gets higher and higher, which means our job as judges gets more difficult. We always want to give each entry the attention it deserves which means that it’s likely to take two days to score each deck and create a shortlist for each category, so I’d like to thank my fellow judges Alan and Phil for dedicating their time.
Why will the winners of some categories be decided by the public this year?
We’re incredibly proud to be hosting the Arbordeck Awards for the fifth year, and this special anniversary is only possible thanks to the continued support of our valued installers. It was important to us that, because of this, we give something back to the community and feedback from installers showed that this was a great way to do that.
Trex business manager – UK & Ireland, Trex
Alan, this is your fifth year on the Arbordeck Awards judging panel. What makes you come back every year?
The enthusiasm of all the entrants, and seeing the standard of workmanship and creative design which improves each year and seems to have taken on a life of its own.
I also think the awards are special in that all entries are presented to judges anonymously which ensures no favouritism is involved. It’s a completely level playing field for installers, so we encourage anyone to enter – whether you’ve won a category every year or you’ve never entered before.
What advice would you give to those wanting to enter this year?
We’re looking for the same high standards of skill and originality as we’ve seen in previous years. Each deck will be judged on a set of criteria including workmanship, creativity and attention to detail, so it’s important to consider this when choosing which project – or projects – to enter, and to emphasise this in your deck descriptions.
General manager, Association of Professional Landscapers
This is your first time on the panel – tell us what you’re most excited about.
I was invited to take part on the panel in 2021, but unfortunately broke my ankle and had to step aside.
I’m really pleased to have been asked to join the panel again, and I’m hoping to see projects demonstrating inventive use of composite materials within a sustainable scheme as well as inspirational structures built to a high standard of finish. It’s a great opportunity to identify trends in what consumers are choosing and why.
What do you think are the main benefits of entering the Arbordeck Awards?
The awards offer a fantastic opportunity for installers to benchmark their work and to see what their peers are doing, as well as providing the chance to meet fellow installers from across the country. And of course, there are so many benefits that come with winning an award – from prizes to the positive impact this can have on business.