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

Universal Forest Products Affiliates Launch UFP-Edge

                              Universal Forest Products affiliates launch UFP-Edge, premium pattern, fascia and trim   Made from top-quality lumber using state-of-the art equipment and processes   Locally manufactured and sold, providing significant quality assurances       RIVERSIDE, CALIF., JULY 22, 2013 – Answering demand for premium profile products that are backed by the assurances that come from being manufactured in the region, Universal Forest Products affiliates have launched UFP-Edge: superior pattern, fascia and trim products made and sold exclusively in the Western United States.  ... 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

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

Abaco Tropical Hardwood: Fire-Rated “Best in Class” for Building Projects

  When large-scale residential or commercial building projects must meet the very strictest building code fire safety ratings, only wood that earns a Class A flame spread rating will do. Abaco makes the cut. What Makes Abaco a Superior, Class A-Rated Wood? According to the ICC International Building Code’s gold standard for certification — the ASTM E84-12b Test for Surface Burning Characteristics of Building Materials — Abaco can boast a Class A rating. These tests analyze wood and rate it in three classes—A, B or C—based on the allowable limits of flame spread and smoke development for each... 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Universal delivers as a top supplier of dimensional lumber, custom concrete forms

Universal Forest Products delivers all of your concrete forming product needs coast-to-coast from California and Texas on to the shores of Virgina ...and straight to your job site. Direct from our lumberyards or from the mill, we'll provide you with the forming products that help you take form—pour after pour. Whether it's a run-of-the-mill forming project or a custom job, UFP is here to help you and your project look good. Our team of product experts will work with you to fulfill your needs on time and within budget. UFP's wide range of innovative concrete forming products is just right for... 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

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.