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

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

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

Wood Treatment Basics

We are seeing some real innovation with wood treatments these days; whether it’s wood for decking, siding, or part of the structural frame. At the root of this topic is the fact that, when left untreated or when unprotected, wood can rot. Even premium species like cedar and redwood—which are naturally decay- and rot-resistant—require treatment to extend their useful lives. Today’s wood treatments range widely from chemical treatments to heat treatments (a.k.a. “thermally modified wood”). And if you are looking for the green angle here, the simple fact that wood treatments can dramatically... 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.