- Advice for Homeowners
- Advice for Pros
- Consumer How-to
- Deck Features
- Deck Giveaway
- Deck Installation
- Deck Maintenance
- Deck Trends
- Design Trends
- Enjoy Your Deck
- Fiberon News
- Fiberon Products
- For Homeowners
- For Professionals
- Holiday Ideas
- Ideas for Using Your Deck
- Myth Busters
- Professional Advice
- Professional Spotlight
- The Kuppersmith Project
- Wood vs. Composites
by Cassie Hutaff
We love to take notice of how our Fiberon dealers help their clients. In the case of Rocky Mountain Forest Products, the company has served over One Million customers in the last 40 years!
It’s clear that they believe what Fiberon believes: your outdoor living space is a zero-work zone.
This is one of the many reasons we’re showcasing Rocky Mountain Forest Products in this edition of the Fiberon Dealer Spotlight.
When you spend all your time with upkeep on your wood deck, your outdoor living space becomes a source of frustration, not a place to hang out with people you care about.
Why does Rocky Mountain Forest Products offer their clients composite decking? Because, unlike wood, our composite building material comes with a 25-year warranty—no staining, no fading and certainly no replacement.
But what else do we love about Rocky Mountain Forest Products?
The Colorado Fiberon dealer uses our Horizon Decking to make your outdoor living space pop! Whether it’s Rosewood, Greystone, Ipe, or Tudor Brown, this company delivers decking masterpieces.
So if you own a home in Denver, Arvada, or Colorado Springs, and you want to add something beautiful and durable…
by Tara Van Geons
When you are in the market for a new deck, you may be wondering about the durability of wood decking versus composite decking.
If you have owned a wood deck, then you are no stranger to the amount of work required to keep it weather and insect resistant.
Wood decks are prone to damage from rot, weather, insect infestations, and regular use.
Wood deck owners spend hours maintaining their deck, not to mention the money needed for this upkeep.
Owners use protecting agents on wood decks, and while they are effective for short periods of time, there is no lifetime protection.
Pressure-treated wood decks contain chemicals to make them more resistant to insects and rotting. But pressure treated wood often holds moisture, shrinks, and twists. Sadly, pressure treated wood loses its new looks pretty fast.
Maintenance demands of wood decking are not required with composite decking. Composite decking is made from recycled materials (plastic and wood), and most are now encapsulated with an outer layer.
This creates a hard, exterior shell that protects from stain, mildew, scratching, insects, UV fading, and more. Here at Fiberon, we use PermaTech Innovation to ensure fade, weather, and stain resistance.
Traditional wood decks have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Because composite decking is also insect and rot resistant, making it last for 25 to 30 years and longer.
by Tara Van Geons
So, you are thinking about adding a beautiful, new deck to your home. Or maybe you are replacing an old, wood deck. You may be considering wood or composite deck building materials. As you begin your research process, you will discover that the maintenance requirements of these products vary drastically.
Many new homeowners are unaware of the laborious hours involved in maintaining wood decks, and find out after a few years as a homeowner.
In the decking industry, one of the most common questions that homeowners ask about decking materials is: How do I take care of it?
It is vital to understand the maintenance obligations of a new deck, whether it is wood or composite decking. Are you prepared to pressure wash, re-stain, re-paint, re-seal, and sand your deck every year or two? Are you planning on hiring someone to take care of your deck or would you like the lowest maintenance option?
Traditional wood decking requires more than a few hours of maintenance every year. Wood decks trap moisture and will twist, splinter, and warp if not properly maintained.
Depending on where you live and the size of your deck, you may spend laborious hours maintaining your deck every year.
Composite decking does not require the same maintenance efforts. Composite decking does not need to be sanded, painted, sealed, or weather-proofed. The fact that composite decking requires little maintenance is a key reason why consumers make the choice of wood-alternative decking.
For most types of composite decking, a little soap and water is all that is needed to keep it looking its best.
Learn how easy it is to maintain a composite deck today.
by Tara Van Geons
Grilling season is here. Everyone is flocking outdoors! You step out onto your deck, and notice the cracking, splintering, and warping. You think to yourself, “I need a new deck!” But what kind of deck building materials are you going to use for your new outdoor oasis? Is there an alternative building material that will hold up and look new longer than your current deck has?
Decks have become an extension of the home as an outdoor playroom, kitchen, sanctuary, and entertainment hub. Decks enhance the integrity of a home and offer a place for families and friends to gather. So, whether you are building a deck for the first time or replacing the one you have, it is important to know your options.
In the past, homeowners had very few choices in material when building a deck. Now, with an array of choices, more homeowners and builders are trending toward alternative decking materials.
In a May 2014 survey, 57% of deck builders said they used alternative composite decking materials (composites, PVC, and capped composite) over traditional wood.
42% of decking material vendors indicated that they expect a significant sale increase of composite decking materials in the next 24 months, while only 19% of vendors indicated potential sales growth for traditional treated wood.
Composite decking has gone through a number of incarnations, and at times, has hit a bumpy road, particularly with uncapped materials. However, technological advances in recent years have dramatically improved the look, feel, durability, and overall quality of composite decking materials. There has been a significant leap forward in consumer and builder preference of composite decking as well.
Composite decking has been featured on prominent home improvement programs on HGTV and the DIY Network as well as ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover.” Homeowners on these shows are often surprised to learn that their new deck is made from composite material that is easy to care for, safer than traditional decking, and will last for decades without ever having to stain or paint it. Real estate firms not only promote granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances as features of homes they sell; they also list composite decks as an upgrade. Composite decking is viewed as a luxury item and is highly coveted.
In the past, composite decking materials could only be purchased from specialty lumberyards across the country. But, big box home improvement stores have taken notice, and composite decking can now be purchased alongside traditional decking materials. Composite decking is not a passing trend. It is becoming a mainstay and a vital contender in the decking and home improvement industry.
While the use of composite decking is hugely on the rise, the question remains: Does composite decking really stack up to traditional decking material?
Composite Decking is Low Maintenance.
Wood decks require hours and hours of labor-intensive maintenance every year. Scrubbing and staining a wood deck is vital. Traditional wood decks trap moisture and will twist, crack and splinter if not preserved with stains or paint on a regular basis.
With a wood deck, you will spend several days going through a deck regimen.
Depending on the size of your deck, you may spend a day or two carefully sanding the surface to remove splinters and scratches, another day to power-wash, another day to apply a fresh coat of stain, and yet another day to apply a sealer against weather, insects, and traffic use.
You do not need to do any of these things with composite decking. There is no sanding, no staining, and no sealing. Composite decking is low maintenance. According to recent surveys, the fact that composite decking requires little maintenance is a key reason why consumers purchase composite decking. For most types of composite decking, a little soap and water is all that is needed to keep it looking great.
Composite Decking is Weather, Insect and Rot Resistant.
Traditional wood decking requires acute maintenance to keep it weather and insect resistant.
Wood decking is generally prone to damage and rot from weather, insects, and normal wear and tear.
A deck that is not protected will deteriorate. The only way to prevent this is to apply a deck preservative like a sealer, stain or paint designed specifically for decking. Each product gives a deck a different look and feel, but generally, they all function the same way. They help protect wood from the gradual degradation from moisture, fungus, and insects.
These deck protecting agents are effective, but have to be reapplied, typically every other year. There is no lifetime protection for a wood deck. But reapplying a protective barrier every other year or annually depending on where you live, will slow down the deterioration process.
Pressure-treated wood decking contains chemical preservatives to make it more resistant to insects and rotting. Unfortunately, many brands of pressure-treated decking hold a great deal of moisture, shrinks unevenly, and twists when it dries. So while it may be resisting insects and rotting, pressure-treated wood often loses its attractiveness pretty quickly.
Maintenance demands of wood decking are not required with composite decking. Composite decking is made from recycled materials (plastic and wood), and most are now encapsulated with an outer layer. This creates a hard, exterior shell that protects from stain, mildew, scratching, insects, UV fading, and more. PermaTech Innovation is used by one composite decking manufacturer to ensure the ultimate deck consumer, satisfaction in scratch, element, and stain resistance.
Traditional wood decks have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Because composite decking is weather, insect, and rot resistant, making it last for 25 to 30 years or longer.
Composite Decking is Eco-Friendly.
For decking material to be labeled “eco-friendly,” it must be produced in such a way that it does not have a negative impact on the environment.
Pressure-treated wood has been the most common decking material used in the past, but the process of making the wood “pressure- treated” is of great concern. To make the material suitable for outdoor flooring use and resistant to bug infestation, pressure-treated wood is injected with chemicals. Wood treated with chemicals cannot be burned or recycled.
Composite decking is made from polyethelene (i.e. milk jugs, shampoo bottles, grocery store bags and laundry detergent containers) combined with wood flour (i.e. scrap from window trim, doorframes, lumber, and cabinet pieces). Some manufacturers use only locally sourced recycled materials.
There are two main processes for creating composite decking. One process is extrusion. This is defined as a forming process in which the raw materials are mixed and forced through an opening to produce a product that maintains a relatively consistent size and shape. The opening would be the size and shape of the decking board and the process would solidify the shape and desired size. The second process is called compression molding. Compression molding takes the combined molten materials and places them on a wood grain mold and then compresses them under extreme heat and pressure which creates a physical bond. For some composite decking companies, all water and leftover ingredients are recaptured and recycled in the manufacturing process.
The making of composite decking is virtually waste-free, and the product contains no toxic elements. Thousands of tons of wood and plastics are diverted from landfills and incinerators each year in the composite deck manufacturing process.
Because of the use of recycled or recovered materials, composite decks are considered a more environmentally- friendly product for deck building. Composite decking contributes to high-performance green building, and LEED points are granted towards green building certifications due to high-recycled content.
Composite Decking Won’t Break the Bank.
In 2013, Consumer Reports ran several articles and reviews comparing wood decking to alternative decking materials.
They reported that pressure-treated pine is very popular and very inexpensive; but the wood tends to change color very quickly, and will rot, crack, and splinter over time. Pressure-treated woods have the shortest deck life expectancy, and while the initial cost is relatively low, the long-term costs for repairs, upkeep, and replacement tend to be very high.
Exotic hardwoods are very expensive, and their deck life span is much longer; however, exotic rich colored hardwoods require a great deal of preservation to not turn gray and are often very difficult to maintain.
The cost of composite decking materials falls in the middle. The upfront cost may seem a bit pricey, but the long-term expenses are relatively low. Composite decking has a very long life span with very little maintenance needed.
Consumer Reports also estimated that the cost for maintaining a wood deck over a 10 year period could cost in upwards of $5000, while the cost for maintaining a composite deck is estimated at less than $50 per year.
The cost of composite decking won’t break the bank, particularly when you consider the long-term savings.
Composite Decking is Beautiful.
The majority of homeowners want their deck to be functional, but also beautiful. A deck should enhance your backyard and landscape and be a treasured extension for your home.
Traditional wood decking can be stunning. Tropical and exotic woods are striking, and the rich color of oiled hardwood, or the weathered pale grey, can complement any home and backyard.
Composite decking is also very beautiful, but comes without the hassle of wood maintenance. Composite decking comes in many colors and styles. Some composite materials mimic wood grain and others are monochromatic or multi-chromatic. Composite decking can also be hyper-realistic to resemble a tropical hardwood without the labor-intensive upkeep.
Composite decking often uses hidden fasteners rather than on-deck screws, leaving a clean, pristine surface that is low maintenance and free of splinters, warping, and nail pops.
Hidden deck fastener systems are an option when installing a composite deck. Composite deck boards are manufactured with grooved edges on the sides to allow for the placement of hidden deck fasteners. Hidden fastener systems provide uniform spacing and gapping between the boards, which means there is no guesswork involved in the installation process. This type of system also gets rid of the need to pre-drill holes since there are no exposed screws. Using a hidden deck fastener system in a composite deck means that your deck will be free from screw heads showing. These hidden fastener systems create a beautiful, smooth surface and an easy transition from the inside of your home to your outdoor living space.
Composite decking offers variation and interesting architectural design possibilities. Contractors and homeowners alike enjoy the creativity that composite decking offers.
From classic to contemporary, traditional grains to exotic hardwoods, composite decking can give you the look you love no matter what your style.
Composite Decking Stacks Up to the Competition.
Whether you choose wood or composite decking materials, knowing your options is imperative. Quality, look, feel, and design potential are essential factors in choosing decking.
Some pressure-treated wood decking can be low-priced, and exotic woods and hardwoods are expensive. Maintenance time and cost should be strongly considered when purchasing a decking material, as well as price, eco-friendly profile, and decking life span with regards to rotting, warping, splintering, weathering, and insect damage.
Composite decking stacks up, and, in some respects, it surpasses the competition. Composite decking is low maintenance as it never requires any sealing, painting, or sanding. It is made in an eco-friendly process, salvaging wood and plastics that would otherwise be taken to landfills. Composite decking is reasonably priced, particularly when considering the long-term maintenance costs. This form of alternative decking material is weather, insect, rot, and warping resistant, not to mention that many composite decking options are beautiful and simply stunning.
Regardless of the decking material you choose, it is essential to consider a few key factors. How are you planning to use your deck? Where are you going to build your deck? Is my new deck going to be covered by a warranty? And most importantly, who is going to install your deck? Are you going to build it yourself or hire a contractor?
It is critical to know what to expect when you’re decking. And no matter what decking material you decide to use, know your options. Do your research, and build the deck of your dreams.
by Tara Van Geons
Fiberon decks are intended for anyone who likes to have a little fun in life.
And there’s no one that enjoys a good time like your four-legged companion.
When it comes to the good life, it’s all about family and friends, and our pets fit both of those descriptions
That’s why we’re thrilled to announce Fiberon’s #PetsOnDeck campaign!
If you have a furry friend in you family, bring her out on your Fiberon outdoor living space!
If you have a dog who loves to hang out on your wicker lounge chair, we want to see her.
If you have a cat who naps in your hammock, share that picture with our community.
Got a goat, a sea turtle, a python, or a beta fish? You can share those #PetsOnDeck pictures with the world, too.
Here’s how it works:
- Take photos of your furry (or scaly) best friend while she’s hanging out on your outdoor living space.
- Email your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your pet and where you live.
- Then follow and view our Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest to see your pet’s celebrity début.
- Join in the social conversation with the hashtags #PetsOnDeck, #Fiberon, and #DeckLove.
It’s that easy, and it will be loads of fun.
So why are we doing this #PetsOnDeck social media campaign?
For one, we love to see animals loving life. But we also like to form a stronger community among the families who love Fiberon.
Animals make life more fulfilling. It’s that simple.
Whether your cat nuzzles around your neck after a long day, or your dog looks at you like you know all the answers…
Well, it’s a shining example of how we all should get along with each other. We think it’s a great idea to make your deck a place for the whole family, and that includes the members who have more than two legs (or even gills!)
Want the world to see how cute your pet is?
Come on, admit it: you know that your dog or cat is the cutest thing on the planet. So why not show him off on your outdoor living space?
Just share pictures of your pets playing and napping on your deck with the hashtag #PetsOnDeck, and you’ll get in on the action. To prove that your pet is the most adorable, we’ve got some ideas…
Put a tutu on your bulldog or a straw hat on your cat. Up the ante on the cute factor, and who knows how far your photo will spread? The next Grumpy Cat may be in your living room right now…
So take a picture of her, and share it on social media with the hashtag #PetsOnDeck. Show her off to the world in style.
We can’t wait to see your furry friends hanging out on your composite decking oasis, so…
Share pictures of your #PetsOnDeck
by Cassie Hutaff
Sharpen the pencils and pack the lunches, because kids are headed back to school this month. For several students, school days may have already begun.
Summer gives you more-than-enough reasons to spend time on your outdoor living space, and “back to school” season is yet another one.
Even though your kiddos may sigh that their vacation is coming to a close, there’s still room for celebration on your Fiberon deck. Whether you celebrate all the fun you’ve already had, or you’re giving your kid one last hurrah, your composite decking oasis is the place to party.
Not sure how to start the school year off right? No problem, your friends at Fiberon are here to lend a helpful hand. This is how you and your kids will enjoy the good life before that first school bell rings.
Celebrate Endings and Beginnings with a Backyard Grill Out
The thing about the good life is, it constantly evolves. When one good thing ends, another begins. Even though most kids love summer vacation, many want to get back to seeing their friends in the hallway.
So what if vacation is over? The fun is still happening!
Our advice: transition from one bit of fun to the next with a backyard grill out. Throw some steaks, burgers, hot dogs, and kebobs on the grill, and send your kid off to school the right way.
Set a Tone of Celebration
Your kid may be sick of hearing about how it’s important to get off on a good foot, form good habits early on, and set the right tone for the school year ahead. But when you have a Fiberon deck, you don’t have to tell them anything about that…
You can show them!
When it comes to setting the right tone, it’s best to start with celebration. After all, isn’t that what life is really all about? Throw a party for your returning student on your outdoor living space. Throw up some balloons, streamers, and cook up a pizza if you really want to celebrate in style.
The point is that when you throw a back to school party, you’re really celebrating your child. And that’s exactly what she needs to be successful in life.
Kindergarten Sendoff Extravaganza
Kid turning five? We won’t tell anyone if your ever-so-slightly excited about him headed off the Kindergarten. Time flies, doesn’t it? Now your child is ready to face challenges, do homework, and learn about the world.
And guess what else? You’ll have more free time to spend on your outdoor living space from Fiberon! If that’s not a reason to party, what is?
Your kid is about to embark on a 13-year journey, and when she walks the line before college, your kindergarten extravaganza will be one of her first and fondest memories.
For this kind of deck party, we highly recommend the sweet stuff. We’re talking about crayon-shaped cookies, cakes baked in the shape of pencils, etc. Tell the truth: it’s not just your kindergartner who loves sweets. Shhh…we won’t reveal your secret.
No matter what you choose to celebrate, it’s all about your kids enjoying life. And we hope they always do.
by Tara Van Geons
Summer is in full swing, and it is likely that you’ve been to a few outdoor parties or hosted a few get-togethers on your deck. Grilling out, entertaining, swimming in the pool…ahhhh, summertime fun.
But wait! Have you noticed nail pops and splinters on your deck? Did you spot some rotting and warping? Is it time for a new deck?
When thinking about building or replacing a deck, many people begin by doing some research on decking materials. Should you choose wood, composite, PVC?
Over the next few weeks, we at Fiberon HQ are kicking off a Wood vs. Composite blog series to provide you with the most up-to-date research, myth busting facts, and an overview of deck material options.
At Fiberon, we want to give you with the information you need to make the right decision for your family’s decking needs.
For the next six weeks, we will explore the differences between wood and composite decking materials. So check back for the latest postings.
On the right side of our blog homepage, you can simply subscribe if you’d like to receive the latest in the series via email.
Photo credit: RL Rogers Construction: http://www.rlrogersconstruction.com/
by Cassie Hutaff
This summer, Fiberon composite decking is moving from the backyard to the seashore.
At Fiberon HQ, we like to think that your outdoor living space is about an opportunity for fun and relaxation. When it comes to celebrating the good life, why stop in your backyard?
That’s why we’re headed to the high seas for some serious dock-building fun with Ty Pennington.
If you’re a home improvement junky, you know Ty Pennington’s work. He’s the spiky-haired character from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Trading Spaces.
Fiberon is providing the material to build the dock in an episode hosted by Ty Pennington. If you’ve got a boat, or you’re up for some marina-time fun, you’re in luck. First thing’s first: what’s the difference between decking and docking?
When it comes to Fiberon’s durable and environmentally friendly composite decks, there’s no substitute. Our quality material works perfectly for aquatic locales! Unlike wood, there’s never the costly maintenance of staining or painting, never the worry of splinters from aging wood, and never the safety concerns of rotted boards from being in constant contact with water.
But there IS a difference when it comes to the functionality. When you design your own composite deck, you think about how you’ll spend your evenings. Maybe you’re a griller, or maybe you’re a swimmer.
Bottom line: when you conceptualize your decking design, you give yourself the ultimate upgrade to your backyard.
On the other hand, docking has a different kind of function. Given the proximity to water, you have to think about what surrounds your creation.
From tethering boats to fishing, we build docks that are as beautiful as they are functional. As you can tell by the picture above, composite decking materials can be grand in scale, especially when it comes to dock locations.
If you’ve got waterside property, a dock will be just the addition you’re looking for. Think of yourself with a fishing pole propped up on a Saturday afternoon. (That sounds like a blast!)
Or on the other hand…
Imagine listening to the churning of the water as you read a novel. When it comes to composite decking, the possibilities are truly endless. Since our material is so versatile, you can do so many things to enrich your life.
As you’ll see once we begin work with Ty Pennington this summer, our composite decking allows you to live the good life, no matter where you live and what suits your fancy.
Want to design your own composite decking space?
by Cassie Hutaff
Congrats to Martin Weiss and his family! With thousands of votes and social media shares for his Deck Day video, the Weiss family will take home $20,000 worth of Fiberon’s composite decking products.
Well over 16,000 people voted in our Deck Day Giveaway video contest, and sufficed to say, everyone had a blast. With all the Facebook shares and Tweets, so many outdoor living space enthusiasts were pulling for their favorites, and having a great time doing it.
Speaking of fun, that’s what Martin Weiss’ video entry is all about. When it comes to outdoor living spaces, it’s all about the little moments you share with others. Martin’s video highlights father and son bonding, baseball games, cookouts, gardening, dog playtime, holiday celebrations, and more.
For the Weiss family, their outdoor living space is just that, a living space. And since this young couple, their kids, and pets spent so much time hanging out on the deck, it began to fall to pieces. (Because it wasn’t durable composite decking, but it soon will be!)
From flaking paint to warped boards to mold to nail pops, the deck this family loves so much needs a serious upgrade. Thanks to all the voting and social media sharing, that’s going to happen.
Now Martin won’t have to strap samples of Fiberon decking to his feet just to feel what it’s like to walk
around on durable, beautiful composite material. (Confused by that sentence? We would be too. )
On behalf of the entire Fiberon Decking team, we’re thrilled that the Weiss family will build more and more memories—only this time, the fun they share will happen on a brand new composite decking masterpiece.
Congrats to Martin and the gang! We’re excited to send you a brand new $20,000 outdoor living space. Oh, and if the Weiss family is reading this, send us some more hilarious videos once the new deck is installed!
by Cassie Hutaff
That’s because, when the hot weather beats down, families like to get outside for some serious fun-in-the-sun adventures.
Your Fiberon Deck is exactly the place for all your July and August fun. If you’re like most people, summer comes as an escape from all the ice, snow, and gray skies. If you live in the Midwest or in the East, this past winter was severe.
Once the bright sun (finally!) made an appearance, millions of people sat down on their Fiberon deck to breath a sigh of relief. The wintertime blues had come to end! But as things heat up, summer can become every bit as tiresome.
No worries, because we’ve got the tips you need to make your outdoor living space a cool-down oasis, even though the temperature keeps getting hotter and hotter.
Make Your Fiberon Deck a Poolside Paradise
Our product is designed to suit your lifestyle and taste. When it comes to your outdoor living space, you can build the deck that fits your dreams.
Many homeowners don’t realize that Fiberon decks serve as the perfect surrounding for your pool. When it comes to summer fun, you can make a splash. Literally.
Let the kids enjoy some pool fun. Supervise from your poolside lounge chair, or you can even turn a few laps yourself. When you have a pool-feature on your Fiberon deck, you’re sure to beat the heat every day this summer.
Use Canopies and Umbrellas
One of our favorite deck accessories has got to be canopies and umbrellas. In fact, these wonderful items not only shield you from the sun, canopies and umbrellas also allow you to enjoy your outdoor living space in the rain!
We’ve all experienced those summertime showers. When it’s not the heat, it’s the rain. So why not beat both with a canopy?
Got a Garden Hose? Use It.
When’s the last time you played in the sprinkler? Don’t try to say you haven’t had the urge to run back and forth through that spraying water. When the sun blares down over your head, you may find yourself in need of a quick cool-down.
Well, if you’ve got a garden hose, you can use it! Let the kids run through the sprinkler on hot days. (And yes, even adults are allowed to have the same kind of fun.) While you’re busy giggling in the cool mist, you’re also keeping cool.
Keep the Drinks Flowing
Sounds like common sense, but so often people become dangerously dehydrated in the summer months. While you’re busy relaxing with a novel, or hanging out by your sparkling swimming pool, keep drinking liquids to cool your body down naturally.
We recommend a pitcher on your deck table. If you’ve got a cooler on hand, fill it full of ice, soda, lemonade cans, and water. That way, you can spend the whole afternoon on your outdoor living space without having to worry about the heat.
We mentioned having a pool, and we think you should get one! If this has been a dream on yours for awhile…