Trex has completely redesigned its Artisan series railing system. The Artisan series promises to be a very versatile, modular system that can be mixed and matched according to décors, designs and installations techniques. Trex Brasilia line of composite decking comes in three different exotic wood looks for the look of tropical hardwoods without depleting tropical forests. The Brasilia line includes the Trex Hideaway hidden fastener system that streamlines installation for a smooth finis without nail or staple indents.
“A general trend over the last couple years is people looking to expand their homes with decking, says Craig Sherrett, director of marketing for Fiberon. “It’s now become a living space with sophisticated appliances and furniture. In the past year or two a lot of companies have come out with exotic and realistic looking composite decking with multi-colored surfaces so you can have a sophisticated outdoor living space that looks like the floors inside.”
Maine Ornamental has introduced a series of three Tiffany-style Stained Glass Post Caps that feature a solar-powered light to add a glow to fences, decks and outdoor living areas. Each cap is mounted on a wood base of Pressure-Treated Pine, Cedar or Redwood. Two sizes are available for easy mounting over standard 4- by 4-in. or 6- by 6-in. posts and require no additional wiring or electricity. A top-mounted solar lens and two rechargeable AA batteries (included) power two long-lasting LED bulbs and the lights become fully charged after just one day in the sun. Maine Ornamental post cap products are available through a national network of dealers and distributors.
Sensibuilt decking is a patent-pending cellular PVC product, incorporating a unique surface technology that promises rich, stable, architectural colors. Sensibuilt features the industry’s first urethane acrylic surface. The product is backed by a limited lifetime warranty that includes an industry exclusive 10-year color retention warranty.
Underdeck drainage systems expand a deck’s functionality and eliminate wasted space. “You can use the area under the deck for storage or a second deck,” says Mike Descoteaux. “A system of funnels and troughs takes away any moisture so you can put a ceiling under the joists and turn the area below it into a usable outdoor space.”
The RainEscape deck drainage system is concealed under decking to provide the ability to finish the outdoor living environment. Water simply runs down the RainEscape troughs to the RainEscape downspouts and into a rain gutter to give you a space that is dry below your upper deck. The RainEscape system fits both 12 and 16 in. joist spacing and is easily modified to fit 24 in. joist spacing,
The Stacked Stone Collection of Postcovers from Deckorators comes in three color options: Canyon, Gray and Sedona. Each column is 42 in. tall and fits over standard 6- by 6-in. posts. The Deckorators Postcover is designed to create decorative accents for deck and fence posts and enhance a structural detail. The Deckorators Postcover carries a 25-year warranty against cracking, splitting or warping. The Postcovers secure directly to the post with shims and then tie into the deck’s rails using a special connector. The connectors are designed to accommodate a variety of rail or stair angles, including 90 degree, 22, 33 and 45 degree angles.
Green: The Color of Composite
Wood alternatives like composite offer the added benefit of being environmentally friendly. In today’s “green” environment, these products respond to government and consumer demands for sustainability.
“The LEED program for contractors and builders is very important,” says Descoteaux. “The struggle for manufactures is that there is no one agency that is monitoring.”
A.E.R.T. MoistureShield is a long-lasting, low-maintenance decking product made from a 50/50 blend of recycled plastics and wood fibers. MoistureShield is manufactured with a minimum of 30 percent post consumer recycled content and 60 percent post industrial (pre-consumer) recycled content. MoistureShield exceeds the requirements for landscape decking published in the LEED for Homes standard (v. 1.72). The company uses discarded Juniper, which was slated for burning, and blends it with recycled plastics such as milk jugs, plastic grocery sacks and detergent bottles.
Looking forward, decking appears to be a contractor’s market. “Repair and remodeling drives about 84 percent of the demand for decking, says Sherrett. “A lot of general contractors are beginning to specialize in decking. It’s those guys that are the brand specifiers.”