How to answer that age old question: which came first—the deck or the landscaping? Ok, maybe the question doesn’t date back that far, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one who’s asking it! Whether you have a clean slate with a new deck on bare land or you’re building a new deck around established vegetation, your options are wide open when it comes to blending your deck with your landscape.
Considering that your deck just might be the most important connection between your house and your property (whew, talk about pressure!), you ideally want your landscaping and deck to work together rather than compete with one another. No matter if you’re building around existing landscaping or starting from scratch, here are some landscape suggestions to make sure your deck looks like it’s a natural part of your property.
Build your deck around existing landscaping. What do you do when you want to build a new deck and there’s a magnificent 200-year-old oak tree right in the middle of your back yard? Build your deck around it of course, making the tree the focal point of your outdoor space.
Incorporate flower boxes and planters. Maybe your deck overlooks a beautiful English garden with sweeps of color like black-eyed Susans, pink climbing roses, or lush purple lavender. You have a moral imperative to plant some of those flowers on your deck too! Carrying through the theme of your garden onto your deck in flower boxers or planters is a great way to blend the property with the deck.
Transition with concrete edging. If your deck abruptly ends in a grass yard, consider using concrete curb edging to easily blend the edge of the grass with the deck platform. You can also use river rocks, pea gravel, or mulch to help define the area.
When your backyard is water. Not all homes have a backyard to step out into. And that’s a good thing! You can incorporate some plants and flower boxes on your deck for some vegetation options. A crisp white railing adds an extra nautical flavor to your design to appropriately blend with your water view.
During the deck and landscape design phase, always keep in mind the view from your deck, and make sure you position the deck so you can look at your landscaping from all sides—be it water or land! Thanks for reading!
Hello again, Martin here with an ingenious, stylish solution to make your clutter go incognito. This handcrafted picture frame doubles as a storage cabinet where you can hang your keys, place often used items like lip balm, remotes, small flashlight, phone charger, or that Lone Ranger mask that you sometimes wear around the house when you’re watching TV collection…or maybe I’m the only one who does that? Oh well, it’s a judgment free storage solution. Let’s get started.
What you'll need:
First, miter cut the PVC moulding to the desired length that you want your shelf to be. Also, cut the trim to match the same lengths. Next, on the table saw, route out 4mil wide and ¼” deep slot along one side of each piece of the PVC trim—about 3/32” from the edge.
Now that you’ve got everything cut, it’s time to assemble the cabinet frame with the trim pieces. Make sure the routed slots are all on the same side.
In the next step, use the utility knife to cut two pieces of the 3mil PVC sheet about 1/8” smaller—on all sides—than the picture frame and the cabinet frame. Then, staple the PVC sheet to the back of the cabinet.
Next, let’s work on the “rails” that go inside of the frame that keep your stuff secure. Using the utility knife, cut (2) 2” wide strips from the 4mil thick PVC corrugated about ¼” longer than the inside width of your cabinet.
You’ve got your finished cabinet with two shelves; but you’re not done yet. Let’s add the three hooks. Drill a small hole to get each of the hooks started. While you’ve got your drill out, go ahead and drill the hole on the PVC sheet to mount the shelf on the wall.
Next, it’s time to put the moulding frame together. Using PVC cement, join the miter cut casings and wait a few minutes for the cement to bond. For added reinforcement, staple the back sides of the mitered joints once the cement has had a chance to dry.
Now, let’s work on the photo or artwork you’ve picked out. First, trim the image 1” larger on all sides than the inside opening of the moulding frame. Apply double-sided tape on the back of the image and carefully place it onto the PVC sheet. Next, staple the PVC sheet to the moulding frame.
Next, attach the hinges to the cabinet and the back side of picture frame.
You’re almost done. Add the magnetic catch to cabinet. Use the catch plate to determine the position of magnetic catch. Add the magnetic catch plate to the back side of the picture frame. Then, just hang or screw the finished picture frame box to the wall. That’s it!
You can hang your keys on the hooks at the top, and use the shelves for miscellaneous items. One of the reasons I really like making custom shelves and frames out of Inteplast’s moulding and trim products is because of the clean lines and the consistency of design. For example, if you’ve made our chalkboard key cabinet, coat rack shelf, even our wine rack, they all have the same look and feel so you can easily incorporate these pieces throughout your decorating scheme and they go together.
That’s it for me this week. Enjoy the project, and as always, let me know what I can help you with!
Happy Friday everyone, Jennifer here with you this week. With the official start of spring just ten days away, there is no better time than now to think about what you want to do with that outdated, faded, splintered deck you’ve been secretly hoping would collapse for the last few years.
The first question to ask yourself: should I start from scratch or just resurface what I’ve got? If you’ve inspected all the parts of the existing deck and there is no rot or structural damage that you can see, you can probably get by with resurfacing. But if it’s beyond saving, or you just want a new, modern outdoor living space, maybe it’s time for a totally new vivid, natural wood-like, worry-free low-maintenance deck from Inteplast Building Products. If so, the second question to ask yourself: how do I find a good contractor to make my outdoor dream deck come true?
Choosing a contractor to build your deck is a big decision because you want to trust they’ll build the deck you want—and the deck you paid for. But rest assured, we’ve got some tips to help you find the perfect contractor.
One the best ways to find a good contractor is word-of-mouth. Talk to people you trust, whether its family, friends, or associates to get their honest opinions on a contractor they’ve used in the past. If someone in your neighborhood has a deck that you envy, start there first and get their experience, and whether or not they would recommend their contractor. Online services like Angie’s List, Home Advisor, and Houzz are good ways to connect with contractors in your area too. No matter the source, take lots of notes, and get contact information. If the contractor has a website with photos of past work, take a look at their latest projects.
Once you’ve compiled your list, give the contractors a call, and ask the right questions:
Above all, you want a contractor who is easy to communicate with and one that you feel comfortable with. After you’ve settled on a contractor, get an estimate, in writing, along with a contract. Have the contractor go over the entire contract with you, and make sure it specifies all costs, and they’re itemized. You want to know where your money is going. On average, material cost is 40% of a total project. Keep in mind, the cheapest quote isn’t always the best quote. You want the one that can make your dream deck a reality.
Inteplast Building Products has a ton of resources to help you get started on your deck, including free design plans, product visualizers, material calculators, installation instructions, and DIY tips. Thanks for reading!
Apparently winter is the new spring, and I’m not complaining for a second. Hi all, it’s Martin here with you this week and these awesome warm temperatures have been keeping me busy outdoors working on projects that I’d normally put off until April—like replacing rotting wood trim on my workshop. When I first bought my house a couple of years ago, the first thing I did was upgrade all of the old wood trim on the exterior to Inteplast’s PVC trim products. I put off upgrading the workshop until now.
So, I know there are some die-hard wood enthusiasts out there who would consider it a sacrilege to use anything but traditional lumber trim products on their homes—or workshops—because I used to be one of them. But after years of scraping, puttying, repainting, or replacing, I decided I wanted to spend more time enjoying life than repairing stuff. And when I discovered that the beauty and workability of Inteplast Building Products matched, and beat, that of traditional wood products, I was a convert, and here’s why.
First and foremost, because they’re made of pure PVC, Inteplast’s trim products won’t rot, split, crack, splinter, or absorb water. They’re also resistant to termites and other destruction and annoying pests. All of this means you won’t have the maintenance headaches of real wood, so you get to enjoy your outdoor living and working spaces more often!
Of course, for a DIY freak like me, one of my main reasons for using Inteplast’s PVC trim is its workability. It installs just like real wood products using your standard woodworking tools. You can also create some one-of-a-kind architecture shapes and curves because Inteplast Building Products Trim is bendable, unlike natural wood. Of course that would require you to use some advanced heat-bending process tools, which, let’s face it, would be awesome.
The one thing you don’t have to give up is the beauty of real wood. Inteplast uses an embossing technology so the wood grain stays intact even after heat bending. And through the state-of-the-art Edge Seal Technology, the trim boards are fully sealed on all four sides for a smooth, dirt, and stain-free surface. The PVC trim products are also flame retardant, and their compliant with national building codes to prevent fire flame spread.
Inteplast Building Products Trim is available in two categories--Celuka and Freefoam—and is the perfect sustainable wood-alternative for window and door trim, and decorative millwork. Use them anywhere you want to add decorative curb appeal, or low-key places like a workshop that you just want to keep maintenance free.
Hope that answers any questions you’ve got about the benefits of PVC trim products. Enjoy this beautiful weather while it lasts. Harley’s already cooling off in the pond and it’s not even March. Thanks for reading.
Martin (and Harley)