Hi all, Martin here with you this week. Lately when I check the mail, I’ve been bringing along a roll of ugly duct tape to temporarily stick the pieces of my weatherproof housing around my mailbox back together. It’s a sad site for sure: peeling paint, splintering wood, and rotting posts.
It’s enough to make the postman start putting my mail in the neighbor’s box. Of course, you know I’m not one to run out and buy an easy, pre-made mailbox kit. And if you’re not either, here’s a do-it-yourself weekend mailbox repair project that’ll make your neighbors ask for one. It’s made using Inteplast Building Products PVC bead board and trim. Here’s all you need:
You can do this in any order you’d like—build the box or replace the post. But I took care of the new vinyl post first. Trim off the rotted core of the wood post. Allow an extra 18” of length for the 4x4 vinyl post to bury below the dirt. Add cement as needed. The ideal height for the mailbox door is 42” above the ground.
First, cut yourself two 24” pieces of the PVC bead board for the sides of the mailbox housing, and cut an 8” x 11”x ¾”thick piece of PVC trim in the shape of a house for the back of the box. Use the PVC cement to join the tongue and groove sections.
Next, using Cortex screws and plug system, join the PVC bead board sides to the PVC trim “house” back.
Now, cut two 24” roof panels from PVC siding. Using the 1.5”x 24”x 3/4” PVC trim, cut a 90 degree roof angle beam. Flip over the siding and screw it to the PVC trim roof angle. The screws will be hidden and they’ll be protected from the elements.
Next, use 1.5” x 8” x 3/4” thick PVC trim to connect the front end of the bead board side walls. Now place the roof to the mailbox frame using PVC cement and screws.
Then, place the mailbox frame over the existing mailbox.
Now, let’s work on the flag component, or the “chimney” flap of the house. Use two 3/4” thick PVC trim scraps cut at 45 degrees. Attach the chimney flap from inside the siding roof panel.
The box is done, but let’s do something to cover up the old existing wood post support. Using the existing pieces as a template cut the three supports from a piece of ½” thick PVC fascia sheet. Attach the fascia to the post using Cortex screws. Just add the street number and you’re all done!
Now you have a beautiful mailbox that your neighbors will envy. Thanks for reading!
Martin (and Harley)
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!
Hello everyone, Jennifer here with you this week. I don’t know about you, but these unseasonably enjoyable temperatures have me double-checking the calendar just to make sure I didn’t sleep right through February and wake up in spring. If you are in the market for a new deck this year, now is the time to get started so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it throughout the warmer months.
These days, a deck isn’t just a deck. Our outdoor living spaces are just as well-planned and appointed as our interior spaces. And for this reason, designing the right deck can be a bit overwhelming. Sure, you want something that reflects your family’s personal style, but you also want a deck that’s functional, meets your entertainment or leisure needs, and is low-maintenance. So with all of these considerations in mind, where do you start?
The best place to start is at Inteplast Building Products online Deck Visualizer tool where you can conjure up your ultimate outdoor living space with the click of a few buttons. The versatility of Inteplast’s products offer a wide range of options and applications to suit any deck dream you may have.
Inteplast Building Products has a wide array of color choices, applications, and accessories to fit every style, function, and budget. With their visualizer tool you can:
In addition to “seeing” what your dream deck could look like, you can also share your designs with friends and family members, as well as email them to your contractor.
The versatility of Inteplast Building Products offers an unlimited range of options for application in a variety of environments. From decks and porches, to rail and trim, use the tools in this section to help you realize your design dreams. With a deck from Inteplast Building Products you get all the beauty and style you want in an outdoor living space, plus the durability and low-maintenance you need.
It’s just the right time to get started on that new deck. So let these warm days be the inspiration you need to find your inspiration. Until next time, thanks for reading, and as always, share your ideas with us!
Hi all, Martin here again with what I think is a most awesome, if not the most awesomest (if that’s not a word, it should be) project for gardeners, landscapers, homeowners, and business owners of all types. Really, it’s for everyone because we should all be stewards of the earth. It’s a compost bin. Did you know that nearly one-third of landfill waste is made up of compostable materials? What is compostable you ask? Compostable materials are a mixture of decaying organic matter like yard debris, grass clippings, leaves, and vegetable peels that become nutrient-rich matter for fertilizing soil. This compost bin project uses Inteplast Building Products PVC decking material, which is perfect because it’s rot- and insect-resistant. So let’s get started.
Materials You’ll Need:
First, pre-drill the 2-in. screws on the 24-in. long Inteplast deck board about a ½-in. from the edge of the board. Do the same thing for the 22-in. long Inteplast deck board.
Next, join create a rectangle using the two 24-in. pieces and the two 22-in. pieces by joining them at the corners.
Then, cut a 1-1/2-in. wide Inteplast Corner Board to use as a jig. Place the 1-1/2-in. wide corner board jig at the corner, and then place a deck board underneath to ensure that it’s level with the deck frame.
Now, place the 7-in. Inteplast Corner Board on top of the jig and attach each corner with 1-1/2-in. screws.
That’s it. Now just stack the finished tiers to create your compost bin. This unit is 24-in. x 22-in. x 28-in., but you can make more tiers to increase the height of the bin to suit your needs.
The best thing about this bin is that you don’t have to physically turn the compost, which can be a real chore. You only have to lift off the top tier and set it on the ground next to the bin fill it with compost. As the compost pile gets lower, move over the next tier, and put more compost in it. Just repeat.
Composting is a great way to condition your soil, recycle your kitchen and yard waste (which reduces land fill waste), introduce beneficial organisms to your yard, and eliminate the need for alternative chemical fertilizers. To find Inteplast Building Products in your area, visit our store locator here. Catch you next time.
Martin (and Harley)
Hello all, Martin here with some fall deck maintenance tips. No doubt you’ve enjoyed your deck all spring and summer with cookouts, pool parties, and just relaxing under the stars with friends. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had in the fall as well, but now is the time do some upkeep before ole’ man winter pays a visit. Lucky you though if you have a PVC deck from Inteplast Building Products because fall maintenance just got a lot quicker.
I can still remember those days when I had to maintain my natural wood deck. It was a beauty, but it was a pain. This time of year I would have been sanding splinters, cleaning it, staining it, and resealing it, which means I couldn’t really enjoy it the rest of the season for fear of getting dirty or stained after all that hard work. But since I’ve upgraded to an Inteplast Deck, which is just as beautiful and performs better than real wood, my maintenance routine is reduced to basic checkups like inspecting and replacing any loose or worn hardware, sweeping up Harley’s fur, and using a hose and warm soapy water with a soft bristle brush. You can use other eco-friendly products, but just be cautious because any cleaning product could lighten the color of PVC deck. I recommend testing a small amount of the product in an inconspicuous area. And you shouldn’t use a pressure washer because it could damage the surface too. Inteplast has a terrific customer service center that can answer questions for you about removing stains, and what products you should or should use. For a complete list of Inteplast Building Products’ maintenance tips, visit their website here.
I’m also diligent throughout the summer keeping up with the day-to-day clean ups, which also makes my fall maintenance time easier. Sauces, oils, sunscreen products, and certain insect repellents may have chemicals or ingredients that could stain or discolor your decks, so make sure you clean those up as quickly as possible.
I just want to offer this advice for anyone out there in the market for a new deck, as you consider the type of building material to use, keep in mind the intangible value of your time spent on maintenance over the lifespan of your deck. Going with a PVC deck from Inteplast Building Products means less time spent on upkeep and more time spent enjoying it! Catch you next time.
Martin (and Harley)
It’s Martin again, with another doable DIY project for your backyard or your deck. Even though we are half past summer and most of us finished our landscape projects earlier in the spring, it’s time to think about fall planting. This planter box I’m going to demonstrate this week is made from Inteplast Building Products Fascia Board and Corner Board. Last month I showed you how to make an end table out of Inteplast’s products, so this is very similar in construction - a no brainer for you DIY pros out there, and a great beginner project for you folks who are just getting started. You can place this in your yard without worrying about rotting, splitting, cracking, or pests because Inteplast’s products are moisture resistant. So, let’s get started.
Materials you'll need:
For the deck fascia material, Inteplast has 12 colors to choose from and solid, variegated colors all with wood-grain patterns. I used their Terra Cotta material to build mine, but choose a color and style to suit your tastes, or compliment your existing deck or trim at home.
The first step is to cut the necessary pieces. Start with the 4x4 Inteplast PVC “J” Channel trim to and cut four 12” pieces. Next, pre-install the screws at the ¾” square notch ends on each “J” Channel. Place the screws 3/8” from edge to ensure the holding capacity.
Next, trim the Inteplast Deck Fascia Board to 4 pcs to 2’ long each. Now, align the bottom of the Deck Fascia and “J” Channel, then attach them together with the screws at the four corners. You’ll want to use proper blocking to level the joint before you apply the screws. I enlisted the help of my friend Eric to press the corner board against the fascia for a tighter hold. But if you don’t have a friend in sight, you can use a grip to help add pressure. Next, join the pieces at the corners.
Continue until all corners are joined and you have a square. Finish up by adding the 4” x 4” end caps on the top of the remaining ½” tip of Inteplast PVC “J” Channel. If you use PVC end caps, apply PVC cement to bond the cap. That’s it!
You can make your box any size you like. The diagram below is for a rectangular 2’ x 4’ planter box.
To find Inteplast’s fascia and corner board in your area, check out the Inteplast Building Products product locator tool. What do you think of what I planted in mine? Let me know what you’re gonna plant. Thanks for reading.
Martin (and Harley)
Martin here and I hope you all are enjoying your summer as much as I am. Here in the northwest, we have some of the longest days in the lower 48 states, which means we get even more hours to experience the beautiful summer weather. So with all that extra time, I can think of a great way to fill it. Cornhole. Yep, the manly term for bean bag toss. My neighbors and I are addicted to playing this game in the evenings after work. Sure, you can buy a store bought version, but of course, that’s not what I did. I made my own game from Inteplast Building Products durable, moisture resistant PVC trim. Here are my step-by-steps in case the DIY bug hits you too.
Materials you’ll need:
The first thing you do is cut the pieces for the frame for the boards and the surface of the cornhole.
Next, assemble one piece of the 48” and one piece of the 22-1/2” PVC trim with two of the stainless screws (the smaller piece will need to butt up to the 48” piece).
Once you’ve assembled those pieces, fasten the rest of the trim pieces together to form a rectangle.
Now, fasten the half sheet onto the base. You can also see in the detail, where you put the screws.
After fastening the sheet, cut and attach the legs to the board. The legs should be cut into lengths of 11-1/2”, then use the protractor to mark the ends so that it’s round. Then use a jigsaw to make the cuts around one side of the leg.
Then you’ll thread a ¼” x 2” hex bolt into the legs and the base. A ¼” hole will need to be drilled at an intersection of 3” from the top and 1-3/4” from the side.
Now, cut a 6” diameter hole on top of the platform for the bean bags. The center of the hole is centered at 9” down from the top and centered at 12”. To cut the hole I used a dremel and a scrap piece of wood. Drill a hole on one side of the scrap wood then measure 3” across and make a mark. The adaptor piece of the dremel is 3” in diameter; you will need to cut a hole that will fit the adaptor piece.
Next drill a hole in the center point of the cornhole (will be used as a point to circle the dremel around like a radius). Use a nail to stick through the dremel guide and into the platform.
We’re getting closer. Cut the angle on the bottom of the legs. The regulation cornhole height is 12” so you’ll need to prop up the box by placing anything that will hold it up under the box (I used a paint can and a spare piece of trim). Next slide the box towards the edge of the table and pull down one the leg closest to the edge so it hangs just over the table. Use the table top as a guide to draw a straight line across the bottom of the leg. Repeat this step for all of the legs. Then remove the legs from the base and use the jigsaw to cut accordingly.
The final step is to reattach the legs and enjoy! Check out Inteplast Building Products retail locator tool on their website to find PVC trim board in your town. Thanks for reading.
Martin (and Harley)
Rebel with a Cause Part II: Jason Russell, aka, Dr. Decks, dishes on his new DIY Network Show, The Deck Doctor and Bending Deck Boards
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: So the last time we talked your new show, The Deck Doctor, on DIY Network just aired, where the audience was treated to some cool automation eye candy and artistic craftsmanship. Let’s talk about your background and how you got started in the biz.
Jason: I learned the deck business from my dad, as did my brother. Now I’m teaching it to my own son. After high school I started working with a management company repairing decayed and damaged decks. I’ve been working under my own Dr. Decks business for twenty-five years.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: You’re often referred to as an artist, specifically as a deck board bending artist. What was the incident or inspiration that changed you from a deck builder to an artist?
Jason: Deck board bending. Plain and simple. The ability to manipulate PVC deck boards into curved pieces and surfaces brought my decks from a box to works of art. I started experimenting with heat bending and heat sources a couple of decades ago. A friend in the business was messing around with heat-bending and I started working with him. It’s been a long learning experience and I’ve literally destroyed over $100,000 dollars’ worth of product over the years. In the beginning I was borrowing equipment from different companies and people, until one year my wife bought me own silicone heating blanket. Then it was on like Donkey Kong! Now, I use nothing but Heatcon’s silicone heating blankets to get my creative shapes and designs.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: What products do you like using for your decks?
Jason: PVC. PVC is my product of choice because I can modify and manipulate it into shapes that you can’t with traditional wood deck boards.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: Inteplast Building Products were the deck boards you used on your DIY Network show, The Deck Doctor. Was that by accident?
Jason: I like working with Inteplast’s products. I’ve been using their boards ever since I first saw them being used in projects in the Puget Sound area. I like their exotic colors and their natural-looking wood-grain textures.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: You make amazing curves and shapes for your homeowners’ decks, at the chagrin of some of the product manufacturers. Have you always been a rebel?
Jason: Absolutely! I’ve always done things against the grain. That’s the same approach I take with my decks. I’m trying to build something that’s amazing and not what everybody else is doing. I’ve voided many a manufacturer’s warranty in my career. But I know my decks are sound, quality living environments.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: In addition to curves and automation, do you have any other signature elements in your deck that if someone saw one of your decks they would immediately recognize it as a Dr. Decks?
Jason: Definitely. By our finish work. We cover all the ends of our boards; everything is clean and finished. I’m a minimalist at heart. I’m heavily influenced by Asian architecture. Yeah, we may have cool automated parts and unique design elements, but in the end I want my work to be a tranquil, calm extension of my customer’s living space.
A big congratulations to Jason and his team on their show, The Deck Doctor, which premiered on DIY Network channel on Tuesday, May 17th, if you missed it you will have another chance to watch the shows on Sunday, June 5th at 9:00 a.m. Check DIY Network for the specific schedule for your area. Want to see more of Jason’s amazing creations? Visit his fan site at www.therebelcarpenter.com and www.drdecks.com for more information on how Jason and his team can help you create your own one-of-a-kind outdoor living environment.
Thank you Jason for taking time out of your crazy busy schedule to talk with us.
Thanks for reading!
Rebel with a Cause Part I: Jason Russell, a.k.a, Dr. Decks from Tacoma, Washington dishes on his new DIY Network Show, The Deck Doctor and Bending Deck Boards
A deck artist since 1991, and a rebel all his life, Jason Russell stretches the limitations and allowances of deck boards to create amazing outdoor living environments in the Puget Sound area that go far beyond the boring square deck. Now, things are about to get really real. Jason and his talented crew are taking to the airwaves in DIY Network’s The Deck Doctor. Here, Jason splits some verbs with Design Next Door about his new show, deck automation, and bending the heck out of Inteplast Building Products decking material.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: How did your new show, The Deck Doctor, on DIY Network come about?
JASON: I came up with the concept about three years ago. I’ve spent so much time perfecting my craft, and building these really amazing things, and I thought, they should be seen by more people than the just the great homeowners I build them for. So, I approached a couple of production companies and one of them put me in touch with an agent, and that’s how it got started.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: What‘s the premise of the show?
JASON: It’s me and my great team building decks that far exceed the imaginations of the homeowners. Each episode is thirty minutes long and shows us doing what we do best - creating custom, out of the square box, with lots of curved boards and automation and robotics. We make things bend and move, essentially.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: You’re known as a deck board bending artist. In one of the first episodes we see you create a beautiful curved border for homeowners Brian and Sherrill. How do you do it?
JASON: I use PVC decking materials, which is very conducive to heat. I use Heatcon’s silicone heating blankets on the boards to create curves and arches. I especially like using Inteplast Building Products deck boards. I like their warm tropical colors and wood-grain options.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: Tell us about deck automation in these first episodes. In addition to heat bending deck boards, it’s another one of your signature things, right?
JASON: It is. There aren’t too many people doing it. In these first two episodes of The Deck Doctor you’ll see me and my team automate a deck chair, a hidden barbeque grill, a retractable diving platform, a disappearing picnic table and benches, a table-top fire feature, and tiki-torches.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: What were your inspirations when you were designing the outdoor living spaces for the homeowners on the show?
JASON: I listen to what their needs are. I also try to get an idea from their interior living spaces as well. For instance one of our homeowners, Sherrill works from home, but she loves sitting outside when the weather is nice. I made sure to include hidden outlets in the picnic table so she can keep her laptop powered. I try keep things functional, but I also like to push the boundaries every chance I get.
DESIGN NEXT DOOR: We’ll talk more about those boundaries in our next post!
The Deck Doctor premiered on the DIY Network channel on Tuesday, May 17th. Check into http://www.diynetwork.com/ for the schedule. Want to see more of Jason’s amazing creations visit his fan site at http://www.therebelcarpenter.com/ and http://www.drdecks.com/ for more information on how Jason and his team can help you create your own one-of-a-kind outdoor living environment. You can also follow Jason through his social media accounts; Instagram (drdecks), Facebook, and Twitter (@drdecks). He has been posting pictures of the beautiful decks he worked on during his show, take a look and follow him for more inspirational deck imagery!
Don’t forget to read next week when we’ll have part two of our conversation with Jason.
Thanks for reading!
Hi, Martin here. I remember when I just a little lad and every year for Mother’s Day I would make my mom a handmade gift. You know the ones I’m talking about: a macaroni necklace, a Popsicle stick birdhouse, and a bouquet of flowers made out of tissues. Of course now that I’m a grown up (I know some may disagree with that statement) with a job, you’d think I’d buy my mom something nice like real jewelry or real flowers. Well, some things never change. I still make my mother a hand crafted gift for Mother’s Day every year. But my DIY and carpentry skills have definitely improved since the birdhouse construction project of my youth, which means my gifts have gotten a little better. Just ask my mom.
This year I’m making my mom a PVC flower box with Coca-Cola® glass bottle vases made out of Inteplast Building Products PVC trimboard product. You don’t have to be an expert DIYer to tackle this product, and if you get started now, you can actually have it completed and wrapped with a bow by Sunday.
What I appreciate about Inteplast’s Trim products is that it’s the perfect sustainable wood-alternative product for something like this, which means you can fill the vases with fresh flowers for Mother’s Day celebrations ten years from now. You can find Inteplast’s PVC trimboard and other products at Home Depot and other building materials dealers. Here’s what you need to get started:
The first thing you do is bevel cut (that’s 45 degrees) the 1x4 PVC trim into two 12” pieces and two 8-1/4” pieces.
Next, drill three holes for the opening of the bottles into one of the 12” pieces. Mark the center line of the 1 x 4 x 12” pieces, which is 1-3/4”. After that, mark every 3” from the edge.
Now, use the hole saw to cut three holes where you marked on the 12” trim piece.
Once you do that, you’re ready to put it all together. Start by taking one of the 12” and one 8-1/4” trim piece and use the corner clamps to join the pieces together. I always use a little PVC cement bond for added measure.
Next, fasten two stainless steel screws at each joint into the 8-1/4” pieces at ¾” away from the sides of the trim.
Guess what, that’s it! Just add the bottles and of course, don’t forget the flowers. Your mom will have a gift that will last forever. Although, my mom swears she still has the macaroni necklace I made her when I was six. Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours. Catch you next time.