It's Time To Elevate Your Gardens

2' x 4' Elevated garden planter. Other styles available.   The experts form Outdoor Essentials want to help you go from landscaping to their version of yardscaping; that is, from the expensive maintenance of traditional lawns to creating outdoor spaces that require less money and effort, but are more aesthetically pleasing and functional.   Our last post explained how landscape rocks make a yard more interesting and easier to maintain, while hiding unseemly areas. Another way to add interest, color and functionality to a yard is with raised garden beds and planters. Planters differ from raised... read more

Abaco offers new ways to add tropical hardwood to deck railing

Abaco is offering some cool, new products like hardwood railing kits. Coming from this leader in tropical hardwood decking, you know they have to be good. And they are - they're easy to install and give homeowners several ways to incorporate the warm look and durability of tropical hardwood into their deck railings.   With Abaco's Moulded Railing Kit, homeowners can add railings and balusters made entirely of tropical hardwoods, creating a simple, uniform look.     With Abaco's Face-Mount 2x4 Railing Kit, they can add top and bottom railings made of tropical hardwood and mix them with... read more

Aljoma Lumber to showcase the best in siding and decking at 2013 FBMA Convention

If you're heading to the annual convention of the Florida Building Materials Association (FBMA), don't miss the great new products that will only be on display at the Aljoma Lumber booth # 506.   Aljoma, a leading distributor of building materials in Florida and the Caribbean, will showcase some of the industry's most advanced siding and decking products, including Trap-Loc Siding, which can withstand harsh hurricane conditions while using fewer fasteners. It's a game-changer. Come see for yourself.     Aljoma also will exhibit its line of Abaco tropical hardwood decking products. Why Abaco?... read more

2013's Hottest Decks are Crazy for Color

Use Ultra-Bright Accessories and High-Energy Hues on Your Deck this Spring and Summer to Stimulate your Senses and Boost your Spirits Color is everywhere this year. Gone (…yawn…) are neutrals’ days of design dominance. Just ask Pantone. Widely acknowledged as the leading authority on color trends, Pantone has named Emerald 17-5641 Color of the Year and forecasts Lemon Zest, Poppy Red and Nectarine to be popular as well. Likewise, Sherwin-Williams predicts June Day, Kumquat, Exuberant Pink and Gladiola will make a big splash this spring and summer.   For deck enthusiasts, there’s nowhere more... read more

Abaco To Show At JLC Live This Weekend!

  JLC LIVE is no ordinary trade show. Which is why it’s a PERFECT place for Abaco Decking—because Abaco is no ordinary product.   Abaco will be at JLC LIVE tomorrow and Friday (March 22 and 23), Booth # 1320, and we’ll be building mini-decks so you can see all of its great benefits. Abaco is an environmentally friendly, exotic wood deck that naturally resists rot, decay and termites and is highly resistant to splintering and other problems.   We’ll show you how beautiful and durable it is. We’ll show you how easy it is to put together using the  Pro Plug® System. We’ll talk about our Class-A... read more

Have Fun and Feel Good Feeding Your Feathered and Furry Backyard Friends this Winter

  Clad in soft downy plumage, the chickadee Fears no cold in its nest in the hollow of tree: And it comes to the garden to pick up the seed The dear little children cast out for its feed. - From “The Little Chickadee Warbler of the Winter Woods” by Isaac McLellan (1806-1899) Where temperatures are cold and the ground is covered in snow, feeding birds and squirrels is a very popular winter hobby. That’s probably because it takes so little time and effort to offer healthy, much-appreciated food to your backyard friends while simultaneously providing endless entertainment and educational... read more

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas for Deck-Lovers

  Top photo: Nate Salnick - 2011 Best Deck Contest Entry It may be cold and snowy out there, and parents may be busier thinking about their Elf on the Shelf’s next escapade rather than how to set a pretty dining table for their first barbeque next summer, but true die-hard deck-lovers dream of their outdoor living space all year round. Therefore, why not give the gift of anticipation during the darkest time of the year and bring a little taste of summer’s warmth of into their lives this holiday season? Some of the best gift ideas for the deck-lovers in your life include: Gifts for serving food... read more

Spruce Up Your Deck, Fencing and Mailbox For The Holiday Season

  Photo credits: Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun in my title. After all, decorating your outdoor features with garlands and sprays of evergreen this winter will enhance your enjoyment of the season every time you look out your windows, go outside to play with your kids or get your mail. Elegant swags of green garland draped along your deck railings and fence line, as well as beautiful sprays of evergreen on your posts and mailbox — with or without lights or additional flair like wreaths, bows or pinecones — will make your deck and yard cheery for winter. Real garland can be... read more

Decorate for the Season with Homemade Ice Luminaries

Photo credit for images: Whether you find decorating for the holidays a joy or a chore, many of us focus more on making the inside of our homes merry rather than the outside. But as the days grow shorter and colder, a bright, colorful focal point outside your windows — enjoyable both day and night — can really boost your mood. One way to add decorative fun to your deck posts, front porch, steps or walkways is with homemade frozen luminaries. This craft project is perfect for one person or the whole family. Children of all ages can participate, but it’s an easy do-it-yourself for... read more

A Whole New Reason To Give Thanks For Your Grill

If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor kitchen, there’s no better time to use it than when the weather cooperates on Thanksgiving. With more dishes than will fit in your indoor oven, and recipes needing to cook at different temperatures and for different lengths of time, your outdoor kitchen has never been handier. But with or without an extra oven on hand, don’t let your turkey hog all your precious cooking space. Grill that bird instead! Some grills offer fancy rotisserie options, and if you have one, take advantage of it. But even without a rotisserie, you can roast your turkey inside... read more

Make the Most of Outdoor Living this Thanksgiving

Temperatures in many parts of the country have been quite warm this fall; if this trend continues, your family could be treated to bonus time outdoors together over the long Thanksgiving weekend. So get ready to throw on a sweatshirt or heavy coat if necessary, and be sure to take advantage of the last pleasant days of autumn while you still can. Try a few new ideas for outside fun this holiday. You never know: you could start new family traditions! Let the kids create the Thanksgiving centerpiece – If your area hasn’t yet experienced a hard frost, chances are good your landscaping or... read more

Special Outdoor Family Nights

Though the nights may be getting chilly, autumn is a special time to get outside with your family and enjoy your deck in a whole new way: in the dark. Kids can’t resist exciting, outdoor experiences past sundown and on the safety of your own deck with all the conveniences of your house still available — grabbing more blankets, making hot chocolate, etc. — nightfall allows you to snuggle up around a fire or a movie before the clock strikes the school-year bedtime. Roasted hotdogs and s’mores toasted over your fire pit — Latitudes Deck Stones protecting your deck, of course — will create happy... read more

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Creating Cozy, Outdoor Conversation Nooks

  Finding the right feng shui for your deck can sometimes be a tricky business, because ultimately, you want your outdoor living space to offer at least a few different cozy seating areas for conversation. Achieving a comfortable balance between all your various deck features is key. After considering where to cook, dine, perhaps where to roast marshmallows or where to put your hot tub, you may be left wondering where you can simply snuggle into a couple of comfy chairs or a pair of soft chaises to relax with your family, a neighbor, a good book or a glass of wine. Here’s where the phrase... read more

August is Family Fun Month! Turn the Waning Days of Summer into Family Fun Time

As we move into August, thoughts begin turning to back-to-school. The classroom supply lists are on the kitchen table ( need how many glue sticks??), the kids’ feet need bigger shoes and jeans with 2 extra inches in the inseam are in the shopping cart. But you may also be thinking of all the fun things you meant to do with the kids that you just haven’t gotten around to yet — such a mysterious way summer has of melting away like a dropped popsicle on a hot sidewalk. Take heart, because August wasn’t officially designated “Family Fun Month” for nothing! Doing almost anything — as long... read more

New Blog Coming and Simplify Your Life

It's August already, and the first week of the month is National Simplify Your Life week. We thought it would be a great time to announce our new Lifestyle Blog to be introduced this month with our new blogger, Denise Cripps. We already share stories around decking, construction, energy savings and more, but thought we could round it out with the addition of some lifestyle stories on how to enjoy these things and how they may affect your everyday life or style perspective.  To give you a taste of what's to come, Denise wrote the following story in honor of National Simplify Your Live Week.... read more

Best tool for removing deck boards quickly

  Looking to demolish or reskin your treated lumber deck or composite deck surface? Consider using the Deck Wrecker for fast and easy removal of deck boards. This easy-to-use tool has several great features and benefits that make it the best tool for deck board removal. Easily removes deck boards The Deck Wrecker's curved rocker design rolls onto joists for quick board removal. Provides Maximum Leverage The Deck Wrecker's 44-inch fiberglass handle saves your back, hands and fingers from the strain of conventional decking removal. The padded handle provides extra comfort and grip. Compatible... read more

How to Plan for the Deck of your Dreams

With temperatures on the rise, does your mind often wander to the sunny days of spring? Maybe you long for the activities only warm weather can provide, such as outdoor barbecues, sharing ice cream with the kids, or watching the sunset from your favorite Adirondack chair. Many of these cherished activities center around one area of the home: the deck. If your house doesn't have a low maintenance composite lumber deck, or perhaps the old wood deck you have leaves something to be desired, now is the perfect time to take action and make a plan. That way, when warm weather arrives, you're ready... read more

Abaco Tropical Hardwood Decking featured at tradeshow

The 2012 JLC Live Tradeshow at the Rhode Island Convention Center featured many great hands-on demonstrations like Abaco Hardwood Decking. The Abaco Tropical Hardwood Decking booth was packed with deck building pros wanting to know more about the decking and railing system. Also featured in the Abaco booth was the Pro Plug Fastening System from Starborn Industries. The Pro Plug System has been engineered to maximize performance and provide beautiful results. Drill, screw, glue and plug in under 20 seconds with the Abaco Pro Plug System. Secure your Abaco hardwood deck boards with a proven... read more

Top tips for maintaining your deck

Decks are a great “value add” for residents, but property managers face plenty of risks—including having a deck collapse—if their deck isn’t regularly inspected and maintained. It’s happening more frequently than many property managers and homeowners realize. Between 2003 and 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 224,740 injuries caused by outdoor decks and porches. “What’s happening across this country is an epidemic at this point,” says Michael Beaudry, executive vice president of the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA), adding that “in most cases if a deck... 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.