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

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

Decorative, metal fascia corners add unique touch to decking

Latitudes Composite Decking bolsters its deck accessory lineup with decorative, metal fascia corners. The new fascia corners will be available in the spring of 2012 and can be seen in the Latitudes booth (W429) during the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. Latitudes decorative fascia corners are a stylish way to dress up deck skirting and cover corner joints. Each corner is sold individually and installs easily with eight color-matched screws (provided). Made of stainless steel and powder-coated black, fascia corners are available in Leaf and Ridge designs and are offered in 7,” 9” and... read more

How do I prepare my deck for cold weather?

Basic maintenance to prep your treated wood deck for cold weather can help ensure it will endure the cold or snowy season in great shape. Thoroughly clean the decking, posts and railings using an appropriate cleaning product. If your deck boards and deck railings are made of wood and showing some wear, consider giving them a fresh coat of stain or sealant. It’s also a good idea to check for nail heads popping up, loose or damaged boards, posts, and railings. Better to repair them now so you’re only worrying about how to enjoy your outdoor living space and not spring maintenance when the... read more

How do I deal with a tree that has grown too close to my deck?

It is not uncommon to discover a tree that was just a sapling when you built your deck has now grown up and is too close to your outdoor living space. Cutting the tree down is an option, especially if it is not healthy and a danger to your home. If you wish to keep the tree, you can preserve it by incorporating it into your deck design and expanding the deck around it. To do this, you will first need to run beams in front and back of the tree between two double wood joists. Fasten the joists on both sides of the tree with their load being relocated around the tree. Install diagonal supports at... read more

Building a Deck or Updating a Patio Takes the Family Room Outdoors

When you’re planning on building a deck or thinking about a deck renovation or patio project, consider how you’ll use your outdoor living space. Outdoor kitchens are popular, but you might also consider creating an outdoor family room with a cozy seating area and warming fireplace. Outdoor family time is a great way for family members to reconnect with each other while also enjoying the outdoors. When you’re planning your outdoor family room, keep in mind that you’ll want to incorporate many of the elements your family enjoys in their indoor environment. Your inside family room probably... read more

The M Brace Mini – A colorful, no-tool bracing system for minature raised garden beds, sandboxes

Outdoor Essentials has introduced the latest M Brace design—The M Brace Mini—a colorful line of brackets for children’s raised garden beds and sandboxes. The M Brace Mini is a miniature version of the original M Brace raised garden bed bracket. This patented, no-tool bracing system allows for fast, simple construction of small raised garden beds. About The M Brace Mini Made of recycled metal and powder-coated in bright colors with playful cutout designs, The M Brace Mini is designed specifically to appeal to children, and can also be used by growers desiring a small raised garden bed. The... read more

Ornate, metal vegetable markers, garden stakes and bird silhouettes add character to outdoor living area

Outdoor Essentials has added a full line of ornate vegetable markers, garden stakes and bird silhouettes to its product offering. Showcased during IGC 2011 in Chicago, these unique metal cutouts are designed for practicality and visual appeal for gardens and landscapes. About the products The rusted patina markers and garden stakes are made from laser-cut recycled metal. Each vegetable marker is welded to a 12-inch-tall metal stake and available in seven flat metal profile designs. The ornamental garden stakes are welded to 18-inch-tall metal stakes and are available in seven flat metal... read more

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

Updating Your Deck Railing: A small project that makes a big statement

With summer winding down and cooler weather approaching, it’s a great time to think about upgrading your treated wood or composite lumber deck. Updating your deck’s railing is one of the easiest, most versatile ways to make your outdoor living area unique and more appealing. If you’ve never really thought about the function and design of your deck railing, keep in mind a few key points: Railing is an important safety feature, especially if your deck is several feet off the ground. It’s important to maintain a code-compliant deck railing to ensure it provides adequate protection against... read more

Tips for accessorizing a deck on a budget

Building a deck from scratch or remodeling an existing deck with new railing? There are plenty of ways to make your wood deck or composite wood deck stand out—and it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.Here's a short list of cool and unique ways to make your deck area pop without breaking the bank:add unique features to railing with decorative post caps or postcoversincorporate metal or glass baluster infills to your deck railbuilt in bench seatingincorporate deck stone transitionsinstall low-voltage or solar deck lightingplace colorful plants on your deck and stairsincorporate colorful... read more

Why custom decks and patios need a great grill

You've built your dream deck or patio and now it needs to be furnished with the right components. Because the BBQ grill is typically one of the main centerpieces of your outdoor kitchen you should not skimp on quality and features. Be sure to compare the cooking technology (e.g. charcoal, gas and infrared) You will also want to choose a grill that is large enough to accommodate your cooking and entertainment style but still comfortably fits in your space. Ask yourself how you will be using the grill. Do you need multiple burners? Do you need mobility or will your grill be built-in? Will you... read more

An outdoor kitchen prep area is key to cooking and entertaining on a deck

Inside, you may have plenty of counter space for food preparation tasks, but outside, counter space may be limited. If you’re creating a built-in grill for your wood or composite deck, patio, you might be able to add some work space to your outdoor kitchen area. If built-in counters aren’t an option, you may consider adding a portable work cart near the grill to handle food prep. Prep carts work great on decks in areas with limited space. read more

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

Top outdoor living and garden features for 2011

Top outdoor living trends for 2011 A survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects finds that light and fire are now the most sought-after enhancements for an outdoor living area. Fencing, arbors, and pergolas are the most popular structures, with decks (synthetic decking, lumber decking among others) ranking near the middle. Homeowners want function, efficiency and fire pits in their outdoor space, according to the 2011 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Residential Trends Survey. The survey asked residential landscape architecture professionals to rate the expected... 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

Can I use pressure treated lumber with The M Brace in a raised vegetable garden bed?

If you're constructing a raised vegetable garden using The M Brace raised garden bed kit, you should have no reservation about using the latest in pressure treated lumber for your side and end walls. In the last five years a new generation of pressure treated lumber was developed and is know as Micronized Copper Azole (MCA) or by brand name – MicroPro, ProWood Micro and Home Depot's WeatherShield among others. When constructing a raised garden bed with The M Brace garden bed metal brackets you should have no fear using the MCA pressure treated lumber. Because (MCA) micronized... 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

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