Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Low Maintenance Decking" Part 2

Before I go into the new “Extreme low Maintenance Decking” I would like to review our last blog post, we went into a little background about composite decking, often called “low maintenance decking”. And we talked about some of the problems that can happen to composite decking products…. As a consumer who is looking to replace or build a new deck? What would you base your decision on? … How much the product cost verses the, maintenance, appearance, durability. Usually most people would like a combination of all three with as low of a cost as possible, understandably money is tuff to come by! But this is the most common challenge, we encounter. Appearance is usually the first quality consumers are looking for in their product choice. Maintenance and durability secondly, and they are usually combined qualities. Generally the materials are the majority of the cost of a new deck, you probably can bet 50% to 70% overall. So the product you choose will greatly affect the cost of a new deck. With that in mind there is no perfect product out there. “Correct Deck CX” is usually our first recommendation. Correct Building Products based in Biddeford Maine. (Founded in 1999) Correct Deck CX is 60% hardwood sawdust / 40% polypropylene. “Correct Deck CX” has a co-extruded top layer, which covers all the exposed wood fibers and is extremely durable against stains and scratching. The “Correct Deck” has another quality no one else has, they add a micro-ban mold inhibitor, like they put in caulk to prevent mold. They also have a hidden fastening clip system that is unique in how the screws are set straight down instead of most systems where the screws are set on an angle. If the screws are set straight down the boards can be replaced in middle of a deck and put back with the same hidden fastening system. Where the angled screw clips cannot be completely replaced, the deck board would have to be screwed through the face. Some of the other strong points of the “Correct Deck CX”, their deck boards can span 2’ at 90* and 16” on a 45*. This make re-covering a deck that has 2x decking possible, because their deck board has the same span capability as 2x wood deck boards. They have a railing system that is called DCL rail; it is basically a composite 2x4 that attaches to a railing post in the same traditional way a wood railing would attach. With this system you use a metal baluster such as “Deckorators” or “Fortress” to finish your railing. The metal balusters add a nice contrast to a deck, and there are many different styles of balusters. Another benefit to the DCL rail system is that it saves quite a bit of money over the kit railing systems. Correct Deck has what is called “Rapid Rail” kit rail system; we very much prefer the DCL railing over the Rapid Rail….. With all these qualities for the price of the Correct Deck CX product we believe it is one of the best choices on the market ”Timber Tech” is usually our second choice, and it is no way any less of a product than “Correct Deck”. The” Timber Tech” makes some different products than the Correct Deck.” Timber Tech” in my mind is the innovator in the decking and railing industry. They are always coming up with new products and improving on their existing ones. They are based out of Columbus Ohio and they are part of “Crane Plastics Company”, which has been in business for many years, and “Timber Tech” has been out now for around 12 years. They have a large product line; “TwinFinish” is their base line of decking. It does have exposed wood fibers, and will fade, and could scratch. With that being said it is still a very good product we have installed many decks with “TwinFinish” and have not had any call backs. Along with the “TwinFinish” there are two other products with similar traits; “Floorizon” is a tongue and groove product that comes in all the same colors and finish as “TwinFinish”. The other product that is similar is their “Earthwood” line. This product has all of the same characteristics as the “TwinFinish”, but looks like a natural tropical hardwood. Many customers prefer the look of this product. You have to careful with this product because it does tend to scratch easily. We like to compare this product to inside hardwood floors in how you would care and treat it. With all of these products there are two main styles of railings. One is “Ornamental”. This is a composite with exposed wood fiber and matches the colors of the Twinfinish and Floorizon. It is a very nice looking product. Their second railing product is the “Radiance Rail”. It is a composite base with a vinyl overlay, which is a lot more weather resistant with no wood fibers exposed. We believe that the “Radiance Rail” is the nicest kit railing on the market. “Timber Tech’s” new line of decking is called “XLM”. This stands for “Extreme Low Maintenance”. The “XLM” is a cellular PVC product which is completely different from composite. It is lighter, more durable, and has no wood fibers. The “XLM” has a co-extruded cap-stock, which is very hard. It can be pounded on without scratching or dented. It is also very stain resistant. The “XLM” comes in three colors with matching “Radiance Rail”. The “Radiance Rail comes in black and white, the black being unique because it is the only Composite/vinyl product on the market that comes in black. Next time we will get more in-depth on the “Extreme Low Maintenance” decking products Bayn Wood- Autumnwood Construction Inc.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Low Maintenance Decking"

Hello And welcome to our outdoor living blog, In the last 3 or 4 years low maintenance decking has gained allot of popularity. The attraction of not having to "seal" or "stain" your deck, has appealed to many homeowners. "Composite" is the most well known type of the so-called "low maintenance decking" products. Trex is the largest and oldest manufacturer of composite decking and railings. Timber Tech is number two in both of the same categories. These two companies generally speaking control the market share of the composite decking industry. There are many other manufactures of composite decking and railings. There has been many advancements in the "low maintenance decking" industry. Many companies have improved upon the basic composite deck board and railing kit formula, Trex introduced some approximately 15 years ago The term "composite" by decking definition ~ is in general, a mixture of wood flour and plastic. And there is many different formula's depending upon the manufacture. Trex is a 50/50 mix of recycled plastic and wood fibers. Most companies use polythene plastic, and a some use polypropylene plastic. some use oak or maple flour, some will use rice hulls, or other mixturesThe reason this is important .... ? Because composite decking can have some of the same problem's your old treated pine, or cedar wood deck can have. And when you are paying double the cost for a new composite deck. You probably are assuming the last thing you will have to worry about is your new deck! Some of the problems: Mold, Severe fading, Scratching, Staining, Shrinking/Expanding and Weathering!It is a good idea to do your research on the different products out there, and find a contractor who you can trust. Most deck builders have been through allot of the learning curve already, and should understand that "low maintenance decking" is not always a true statement. And the contractors who care about your job, and their reputation should know what products are true to the statement "low maintenance decking" Next time we will review "extreme low maintenance" decking God Bless Bayn Wood, President of Autumnwood Construction Inc.