Sunday, February 28, 2010

2010 deck products - Timber Tech

Hello ..  We have been writing about the new products for decks and patios for the 2010 year.
 Having already reviewed Correct Deck CX and their lifetime warranty on LABOR and materials.
 We also reviewed the new awesome looking Horizon Tropics  from Fiberon.

Today we a going to look at one of our original favorites


Timber Tech has been the most inovative composite/pvc decking product manufactures on the market. Their XLM deck board has made huge waves in the low maintenance decking arena. 

The  Radiance rail is the nicest looking, best quality kit railing in my opinion. They have a few new products that I have heard about this year.

The main one being the Reliaboard     
Which is a deck board product geared towards the budget minded consumer, who wants a low maintenance deck but at a more affordable price. It comes in two colors Cedar and Grey, and it has more of a square edge profile. The Reliaboard is to be screwed down and there is no a hidden fastening system for the Reliaboard. The big plus for the Reliaboard is the fact that it prices out at about the same cost as Cedar wood decking. The budget composites make up about 30% of the share of the low maintenance decking category.

The railing that should be paired up with the Reliaboard is Timber Tech's Builder Rail  Which is a composite 2x4 top and bottom rail with 3/4 round metal balusters.

The budget composite products are not for everyone and they work well in some conditions and not very well in others, so do your homework when considering a budget product. There is reasons why the XLM is the price it is or other ultra low maintenance products are priced higher, they are just about as close to fail proof as there is in decking product choices.

Timber Tech also came out with a new XLM color at the mid to end of last year called Desert Bronze  Which is a black colored streaked deck board which mimics the look of a tropical hardwood. A very nice looking product that has all the durability of the XLM with the enhanced look. In Michigan I have heard it did really good, but it is expensive. I would like to see the Desert Bronze color become more affordable.

The other - some what new Timber Tech product which came out last year
was DeckLites  Which is low voltage lighting for decks. 

There is three different option in the DeckLites -  Post caps, Accent lights, and Riser lights

 First the DeckLite Post Caps are just for use with the Timber Tech railing post sleeves.

       The DeckLite Accents can be used on any                               deck or in combonation with any other decking product.
The Accent lights can be mounted just about anyway you would like.


          Finally, the DeckLite Riser lights are for the riser boards on steps.

Timber Tech also make a high quality transformer to use with their DeckLites.
The low voltage lighting is a really nice addition to a deck and is reasonably priced.

Timber Tech generally offers a 25 year materials warranty on all the products, the low voltage has a 5 year warranty

Thank You for checking out our blog

Saturday, February 20, 2010

New products for the 2010 deck and patio season

We are looking forward to spring and getting out and building some new decks, porches and patios. I personally love designing and building outdoor living areas.
This year there has not been allot of changes in Composite/PVC products on the decking market. Trex and Fiberon have come out with both of their cap layer composite deck boards, Trex Transcends and Fiberon Horizons We wrote about the Trex Transcend product earlier this year and we are going to monitor the new Trex line and see how it preforms. The Fiberon Horizon composite cap layer product is interesting. The Horizon Tropics line came out at the end of last year. We did get a chance to build two decks from the Horizon line and I was really impressed. Here is a link to their site.
Fiberon Horizons Rosewood deck we built last year

The center of the triple border is Correct Deck CX pebble color. The rest of the decking is the Fiberon Horizons Rosewood. You can see the dramatic dark streaking in the red colored Rosewood board which mimics the look of a natural Brazilian hardwood. The Horizon Tropics line has two different colors Rosewood and Ipe and there is actually seven different colors used to make up the colors in the Rosewood and Ipe deck boards

The Fiberon Horizon Line has a twenty year fade and stain warranty which guarantees against any fading or staining. This was the first warranty of this kind for a composite decking product.

Here is a link to a composite/pvc comparison chart put out by Fiberon

In the link you can see the core of the Horizon deck board is first generation composite and the outer cap layer is what they call "PermaTech" which is the cap layer. Another good point about the Horizon line; is the deck board is two sided, so the "PermaTech cap layer is on both side so it is reversible which is completely unique in that no other manufacture that I am aware of has a two sided cap layer.

There is four solid colors in the Horizon line also

Sand, Brick, Bronze and Slate

The railing system is called Horizon Plus which comes in six colors: white, black, sand, brick, bronze, and slate. The Mission profile is a flat top and standard bottom rail in all six colors, and the Provencal which is a bread loaf rounded top style, it only comes in white.

The Brick is the base color for the Ipe and the Bronze is the base color for the Rosewood. So if you wanted to have matching railings to the tropical colors you would choose the brick or the bronze colors, or you would go with a contrasting white or black colored railings.

We like the Fiberon Horizon Tropics because the price point is close to the basic first generation composite. But it has the durability of the more expensive PVC products and it looks the best of any other Composite/PVC products on the markets.

The Fiberon Horizon Tropics should be a big hit, and in my opinion it is the best looking composite/pvc product on the market.

Thank You .... For Reading Our Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A few thoughts on decking products and warranties

COMPOSITE DECKING Hello ... We met recently with the new sales rep from GAF/ELK. GAF has just recently purchased Correct Deck CX, which has been one of our favorite composite decking choices. Correct Deck was the innovator in the cap layer composite. Which Fiberon and Trex have recently come out with similar cap layer composites. Timber Tech is also going to come out with a cap layer composite product. The Correct Deck CX is a co-extrusion cap layer composite which covers over the first generation composite (inside the cap layer), which is a wood 60%/plastic 40% mixture. FIRST GENERATION COMPOSITES First generation composite products promised allot "less maintenance" then the treated / cedar wood decking, that was the standard choice for deck materials. The main promise was that the first generation composite products did not need to be stained. The staining process of a wood deck can be allot of work and time consuming. So the composite products started to catch on, Trex was the first composite on the decking market. There was problems though, the wood fiber / plastic mixture weathered still , Severe fading from sun exposure , mold became a big problem, and scratching, and staining became issues also. So for having the promise of - not having to stain the deck, you gained a bunch more bad side effects. Keep in mind that in different climates of the country and even different areas of a site where a deck is built can increase or decrease the issues with the first generation composites. We have done some first generation composite decks that still look pretty good after 10 years or more and some that do not look as good. In Michigan where we are, the sun exposure time, the height of the deck, and the moisture that is in the area of the deck, can be the main factors in problem issues with the first generation composites. If the deck is in full sun 24/7 generally western or southern exposure you will get allot of fading of the color on first generation composites, But this will help with moisture/mold growth problems. The height of the deck is also a big factor, generally you do not want a deck built, wood/composite/PVC any lower than twelve inches in height, to the finish floor. The decking needs to dry out and breath. If your patio, porch or deck area is lower than twelve inches, I would recommend going with a hardscape material. Stamped concrete or brick pavers. The moisture issue, is the last of the three problem areas we see, sprinkler system add allot of water to a patio, porch or deck area. They also add allot of water to the water table in the ground which will become an issue in the winter time with frost heave. Also allot of overhanging trees can keep the deck from drying out which will promote mold growth. Mold growth generally comes from wet wood products that stay wet for long periods of time and start to rot, which breeds mold. HEIGHT, SUN EXPOSURE, MOISTURE If you keep those three main factors in mind you can still have good success with a first generation composite product. If you have a deck or patio area that would fall into one of those problem areas. I would recommend the second generation composites or PVC decking choices. SECOND GENERATION COMPOSITES - CAP LAYER/PVC This get us back to the Correct Deck CX product which again was bought out by GAF/ELK GAF/ELK is one of the largest roofing material manufactures in the world and they have been in business for over a hundred years. So they have allot of stability which is always nice. They have come out with very unique contractor certifications and warranty programs based off of there roofing products. Which everyone knows about all the issues that can challenge a roofing product, yet they still offer these lifetime warranties on their roofing systems. Lifetime labor and material warranty The new Correct Deck CX GAF/ELK product will offer a lifetime warranty with both labor and materials covered. I have never heard of the labor being covered, which is a strong security to a homeowner. Trex had some issues awhile back with defective materials that decayed in a year or two and they covered the materials but the homeowner was stuck with paying the contractor to remove and replace the defective product. With the cost to upgrade to a composite or pvc product in the first place, a life time labor and material warranty is a peace of mind. Thank You, for reading .. We will get more into the second generation composites/pvc and the new products in decks for the 2010 season coming up in the next few days.