How to install and secure a deck railing post with blocking

Blocking a treated wood deck post is critically important for making sure your wood railing, composite lumber railing or metal deck railing stays secure for the life of the deck. Blocking/bridging is installed into the side framing mainly to control lateral movement. If you have to run handrail in the direction of the joists, use blocking to create your box and bolt through the post and the blocks. The bridge will help keep the outside joist from deflecting when you lean on the handrail. Installing a post when the railing runs parallel to the joists First mark the location of the post with a... read more

Landscaping on and around your deck: Make your outdoor living area pop!

Enjoying your deck is definitely a high point of summer. But if you really want to ice the cake and put a big cherry on top, you need great landscaping to go with that awesome deck. Landscaping on and around you deck not only adds to the deck’s visual appeal, it can enhance usability. Many landscaping improvements are easy enough to be done in one weekend. Here are some deck design ideas to create the perfect environment on and around your deck: Planter post caps Made of cast stone, Deckorators’ planter post caps add the charm of flowers and greenery to a deck. Available in copper round... read more

New deck trends include low maintenance, railing accessories, deck lighting

New deck trends include low maintenance decking, unique railing and railing accessories as well as lighting options. And as the trend for enjoying customized decks and outdoor living space grows, personalized outdoor living areas are the latest in home improvement upgrades.Building or updating an existing deck isn't simply a great investment: It provides opportunities to personalize your backyard or porch and customize the look to your taste. And with many families staying home this summer thanks to high gas pricing and a recovering economy, why not build your perfect area for entertaining?By... read more

Raised garden bed kits, unique products fuel America's new favorite pastime – gardening

In 2009 more than 41 million Americans planted vegetable gardens—a number expected to increase as food costs climb, according to a recent Gardening Trends Research Report. When you factor in flowers, herbs and fruits, it’s difficult to find a home where people are not working the soil on a warm sunny day. Aside from the obvious benefits of fresh flowers and produce, gardening provides low-impact, calorie-burning exercise. One hour of gardening burns as many as 375 calories. While love of gardening has not changed, methods continue to evolve. And one of the top trends is raised-bed gardening.... read more

Post cap deck lights make perfect railing accents

Post cap deck lights are one of the most prominent deck enhancements available. Solar deck lighting accessories highlight the deck posts at the top and bottom of a stair rail and act as both a deck railing ornament and as a source of ambient light for composite lumber decks and treated lumber decks.Solar lighted post caps are much easier to install than wired low voltage deck lights as they do not require an electric outlet. Regardless of power source, both types of post and rail lighting help improve deck safety.Deck post cap lights are typically sold with wood, plastic or metal bases to fit... read more

Safeguard your mailbox from snowplows while adding curb appeal

In wintry climates where massive snowplows patrol the streets, it seems like mailboxes are marked with a bull’s eye. At least in my neighborhood in West Michigan, mailboxes appear to be a favorite target for these super-sized snow dispensers. While plow drivers aren’t intentionally trying to dismantle your mailbox, you should consider protecting it nonetheless.   With snow and ice adding up, plows begin their early morning expedition up and down the streets scraping and blasting snow and slush out of the road and into yards and driveways. No matter how well constructed, average mailboxes on... read more

Spruce up deck posts with post covers

Consider breaking up the wooden look of your deck with faux stone post covers. Post covers help match the look of your deck to a stone house, to a backyard with stone pavers or to a stone wall. Adding faux stone post covers provide a realistic high-end look. Post covers are an easy way to simulate dry stacked stone and enhance your decks appearance, and at a fraction of the cost of real stone. The high-density polyurethane covers realistically simulate the look of a dry stacked stone post. Matching deck post caps add a finishing touch.Faux stone post covers easily install over 6x6 or 4x4... read more

Universal Forest Products is the nation's leading manufacturer and distributor of wood and wood-alternative products to the retail building materials, industrial packaging/components, manufactured housing, residential construction and commercial construction & concrete forming markets.