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

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

Build an outdoor sanctuary with birdbaths, stepping stones and more

When it comes to landscaping, customers want more than wood chips and plastic edging. Products from Outdoor Essentials transform ordinary lawns and gardens into appealing outdoor environments that homeowners love. Show them plenty of options, including Tiffany-style stepping stones and our newest offering—Square Tilestone jade stepping stone.Call in the songbirds with bird baths of serpentine jade. Dress up deck posts with elegant caps, also available in solar-powered versions to provide lighting after dark. Planter post caps provide a place for foliage atop any deck post. Outdoor Essentials... read more

Top decking trends bring the inside out

As the economy starts to come back around, many remodelers and deck builders expect to see a significant up-tick in requests from homeowners who want a new deck or want to update an existing deck to an expansive outdoor living area. Architects, landscape designers and building professionals are among those who typically stay up-to-date with the hottest deck trends.Expansive, multi-feature decksmulti-level decks that allow homeowners to add separate areas for entertainingincorporating unique deck patterns, deck insets, benches, built-in planter boxes and grill kick outs to make an outdoor... read more

Indulge your exotic side with tropical hardwood decking

When you want to create a unique look for your outdoor living space, consider tropical hardwood decking from Aljoma Lumber; it's a sure-fire way to catch some attention. Tropical hardwoods come in a multitude of species. Aljoma markets one of their tropical species as Abaco decking. Abaco shares some of the same features and characteristics as other popular hardwood choices like Ipe and Cumaru (see Abaco / Ipe comparison). Ipe and Cumaru, two durable and long lasting tropical hardwoods, help create an exotic look for your deck and outdoor living area.IpeIpe is a strong, super-durable hardwood... 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.