“The trends continue to be centered on the outdoor room concept with the same comforts and amenities you’d find indoors,” said Michael Gori, AZEK product manager-decking. “Homeowners worship the outdoors no matter the climate and wish to make the most of their time there — as well as entertain. And, the down economy continues to fuel the idea of the “staycation,” which creates more of a need for a backyard oasis at home. Multi levels and task-centered deck areas are popular as well.”
AZEK’s Arbor collection of cellular PVC decking is available in three new colors. The wood grain and pattern resembles tropical woods in colors of acacia, morado and redland rose. AZEK Rail’s Premier Series offers the colors of kona and black and includes a line of accessories to match each color with hardware, posts, post caps and skirts.
“We are feeling the comeback of the traditional porch, with our AZEK porch product [1x4 tongue and groove porch planks] gaining popularity,” adds Gori. “We had heard the porch was making a comeback, but we’re seeing it as reality. Stain resistance seems to be a huge issue, just like decking.”
L.B. Plastics has introduced Sheerline Screen Clad System for wood-screened porches. Screen Clad covers all sides of a screen porch’s structural components, protecting the underlying wood from UV damage and shielding it from water. This system installs on existing and new construction. Sheerline includes pieces to cover all sides of the structural components and fits 4" x 4", 6" x 6", 2" x 4" and 2" x 6" frame construction. Color availability is white.
“Planning is the most important part of building a deck because, chances are, you’ll be living with your design for a long time,” explained Chris Fox, marketing manager for Universal Forest Products. “Your deck is a focal point for enjoying the outdoors. You’ll want to carefully consider the design elements that go into your deck — it should include the features that match your lifestyle and complement the design of your house.”
Responding to the demand for tropical hardwood, Latitudes offers its Capricorn line of composite decking. Capricorn is available in two tropical colors, adobe and koa, which mimic the wood grain and colors of mahogany and ipe. Capricorn decking is co-extruded with a protective cap stock/top layer for maintenance and resistance to stains and fading. Capricorn composite decking comes with a reversible wood grain finish and is available in solid and slotted (grooved) deck boards, in 12-, 16- and 20-ft. lengths. Lattitudes also offers color coordinated Luster railings as well as Equator hidden fasteners.
“It’s important that the deck fits the home and doesn’t look out of place,” said Fox. Today’s larger homes can have “expansive decks with functional features for entertaining: grilling or kitchen areas, dining areas, lounge/relaxation areas and spa/hot tub areas. All have their place in the new outdoor living area.”
For smaller homes, “unique designs that flow with the home’s architecture are popular. With smaller decks, doing more with less is one of the primary goals. Adding complementary components like a grill kick out adds space, and accessories like glass balusters near pools will make a smaller deck appear more spacious.”
UFP has also found popularity with decorative accessories, which can be an inexpensive way to individualize a deck. Deck accessory products include deck lights, ornamental post caps and decorative balusters, low voltage and solar lighting.
Abaco tropical hardwood decking, from Aljoma Lumber, features a contemporary design with a smooth finish on one face and a moulded surface on the other. The moulded surface makes the boards slip-resistant and cooler in hot weather. Abaco’s grooved deck board has slotted sides for quick and easy installation. Hidden fasteners help gap each board with the proper spacing and allow for natural expansion and contraction. Abaco is available in both 3/4- and 1-in.-thick boards in widths of 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 in., in random lengths. Matching post and railing components are available.
“Contractors have told us they want the natural color that occurs with our thermal modification process, so we now have UV blockers in our sealant that will give good color retention for the first couple of years,” said Purewood’s Ron Long. “Our quality is also second to none for a natural all wood product. The dimensional stability that we offer allows very easy installation and nice, tight and secure construction is maintained.”