Outdoor kitchens quickly becoming the crowning glory for custom-designed decks and patios

For many of us, it just doesn't feel like summer until you’ve cooked outdoors. Dining and cooking al fresco is so popular, in fact, that according to the American Society of Landscape Architects, nearly 95 percent of residential landscape architects say kitchens and other entertaining spaces are their most frequently requested project. An outdoor kitchen can be the crowning glory of your custom-designed treated wood or tropical hardwood deck or composite wood deck or patio. Here are key features that every outdoor kitchen should have: Defined cooking space for custom decks and patios makes... 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

How to hire the right deck builder for your decking or railing project

Adding or updating a deck to your home's outdoor living area can be a significant investment, so you’ll want to make sure you have a top notch deck builder working on your wood or composite decking project. It’s critical to make sure you hire a experienced, reputable contractor with a history of quality deck building and satisfied customers.Doing your homework will help make a good choiceGet recommendations from your friends, family and local lumberyard and then check in with the Better Business Bureau for a list of members in your area. Look for yard signs and see what work is underway in... read more

Bring your deck design ideas to life with the Deck Visualizer deck design software

Create the look of your dream deck in minutes with the latest deck design tool.The sky’s the limit with this new Deck Visualizer deck design software. The Deck Visualizer lets you explore your imagination by selecting from hundreds of decking and railing combinations, designed with two industry-leading brands in mind: Deckorators and Latitudes. Deck Visualizer deck design software lets your imagination take over. Simply select a deck scene, then begin to drag and drop (or click) endless combinations of decking and railing products to create your custom deck design. Along the way to your... 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.