Deck Safety: Lighting and Electrical Safety

Not maintaining your deck lighting could make it a fire hazard.

Poorly maintained deck lighting could be a fire hazard.

Summer weather brings late nights; this means more parties and get-togethers. When we spend more time outdoors, especially at night, we need adequate lighting to maintain a reasonable level of safety. This is why it’s crucial to have working lights available so you can keep the party going all night long.

Cleaning lights is a way to brighten up your space quickly. Chances are your deck hasn’t seen much traffic in months, which means you probably have lots of dirt and grime on the fixtures. Refer to your owner’s manual for the best course of action for cleaning any light fixtures.

Make sure all existing lighting is in working order. It’s been a while since you’ve used your deck, so there is the possibility that plants or trees have taken over. Trim these up as necessary.

One extremely important point is to check all of the electrical outlets. Check your local building codes and see if your outlets are up to date. If children are going to be present, the outlets MUST be childproof. Clean the outlets if necessary, and make sure they’re waterproof. You never know what the summer can bring.

If you have to use electrical extension cords, first make sure they are approved for outdoor use. Safely secure them and keep them out of the way of high traffic areas.

If you don’t have sufficient lighting on your deck and walkways, it’s important you install some. Not only does this add safety, but it allows you to enjoy your outdoor space as long as you’d like.

If you are unsure about how to install lighting, don’t do anything until you contact a local licensed contractor/electrician who is familiar with outdoor electrical installation. Lighting is not something to take on by yourself, especially if you’re not qualified.

So go ahead, throw a late night party and enjoy your deck all night long.


Deck Safety: Maintaining Your Outdoor Furniture

Keeping your deck furniture well maintained doesn't only make it look nice, it makes it safe too.

Keeping your deck furniture well maintained doesn’t only make it look nice, it makes it safe too.

Nothing can ruin a deck like broken, rusty furniture. Outdoor furniture is built to take on more abuse than indoor furniture, but this doesn’t mean it’s “maintenance free.” With a little hard work you can freshen up your outdoor furniture.

Your outdoor furniture has probably been sitting all winter long, and this in turn made it a little dirty. You’d be surprised how far a little soap and warm water will go! Give your furniture a good wash and replace any loose and corroded fasteners as needed.

After you’ve freshened up the furniture, make sure you place it away from the edges of the deck and stairs. The last thing you want is to have someone sit in a chair and the leg falls over the edge of the deck.

If you have a hammock, double check the ropes or chains to make sure they are in safe working order.

If you have outdoor storage, a child safety lock is recommended. Also, it’s not advised to store chemicals near a grill or fire pit.

Not only does maintaining your outdoor furniture make your deck look gorgeous, it also ensures you’ve taken the steps necessary to provide your family and guests with a safe outdoor area.



Deck Safety: Loose and Corroded Fasteners

Doing an annual deck inspection can make you aware of issues such as these.

Doing an annual deck inspection can make you aware of issues such as these.

More than 40 million decks in the United States are over 20 years old. Summer is right around the corner, but before you host any backyard parties, make sure the harsh winter hasn’t damaged your deck.

If you recently purchased a home with an older deck, it would be best not to set foot on it until it’s been thoroughly inspected. Walk underneath the deck and look at the fasteners, especially the ones on the ledger board. The ledger board is what attaches the decking to the house and is where most decks fail because the only fasteners used were nails.

Why are nails the worst fastener for your deck? Throughout the year decking expands and contracts. Over time, the wood around the fastener becomes loose. Moisture can enter through these holes and cause the decking to rot. Nails are just a bad idea.

If you discover your deck is held together with only nails, DO NOT WALK ON IT. This is extremely dangerous and needs to be handled by a licensed contractor before you set foot on it.

Now you might be asking the question, “If nails are the only thing holding my decking together, how did this get past inspection?”

The answer is simple: updated building codes. Nails are no longer allowed to be the sole fastener for a deck. Lag bolts and screws are now required to be up to code.

If you look under your deck and you see lag bolts or screws, you’re lucky! Most of the time these fasteners just need tightening up, but if you see corrosion or rusting, it’s important to replace these fasteners. If you do have to replace fasteners completely, opt for stainless steel. 

If you are unsure about the safety and stability of your deck DO NOT WALK ON IT. Contact a local licensed contractor that is familiar with the installation process.

Have a safe and happy summer!


Decking Designs to Think About: Herringbone

The Herringbone design will stop your guests in their tracks at your next party!

The Herringbone design will stop your guests in their tracks at your next party!

You’re ready to switch things up with your new Tigerwood deck. Parallel decking isn’t cutting it for you, and a single diagonal pattern isn’t complex enough for your taste. The herringbone pattern is quite possibly my favorite design, and with a little extra work, it can be your new favorite design as well.

It is extremely important to check your local building code before installation, and to obtain all permits needed. If you are unsure about decking installations, contact a local licensed contractor.

The herringbone design is a zig zag design where the boards meet, and instead of them meeting at an angle, the board’s flat ends meet creating a more jagged design. Herringbone is named after the actual resemblance to herring bones.

This type of installation requires a precise 45° junction. Grab some scrap wood and practice this angle several times before you begin with your decking materials. Once you get your technique down, the actual cutting for the installation won’t be as intimidating.

This pattern also requires the joist spacing to be closer together at 12” on center. In diagonal decking design this measurement is the diagonal distance between each span, not the perpendicular distance. A double joist is needed where the board ends meet; this provides an added fastening surface as well as extra support for your deck boards

It may be a little overwhelming to tackle on a new deck design, but next time you have a party on your deck your guests will be floored at how gorgeous your Tigerwood deck is.


Decking Designs to Think About: Chevron

The Chevron design is perfect if you're wanting a timeless design for your deck.

The Chevron design is perfect if you’re wanting a timeless design for your deck.

You want to give your new TIgerwood deck some personality. The diagonal deck pattern is a too plain simple and the herringbone pattern is too much. Lucky for you, I have a solution that is perfect for your needs.

When you build a deck, you want it to be a timeless addition to your home. You want to enjoy it today, and enjoy it years from now. You’ve made the first step by choosing an exquisite material, but you want to use it to its full potential.

A chevron pattern is perfect is classic space is what you desire. This pattern has been around for decades, so when your Tigerwood Deck lasts up to 25 years or more, the pattern you chose will age beautifully next to it.

The chevron pattern is similar to the herringbone pattern in the sense that they are both zig zagged arrangements. The only difference is in a chevron pattern the boards meet at an angle and in a herringbone pattern the flat ends of the boards meet creating a more jagged design.

Like most other decking patterns, when you increase the complexity of the design, you will, unfortunately, need to decrease your joist spacing. Adding more joists means more materials, which means you will need more than your last decking installation, and I think you see where I’m going with this. Costs are high with an installation such as this, but isn’t it worth it?

As always, if you are unsure about decking installation, don’t risk it. Call a local licensed contractor to do the work for you.

If you are experienced just keep in mind that these angles need to be cut at a 45° and the joists need to be set at 12” apart on center. And just like the herringbone, this is the diagonal distance between the joists, not the perpendicular distance.

When your Tigerwood deck is completed you can enjoy its beauty and never have to worry about it going out of style.


Decking Designs to Think About: Single Diagonal Pattern

A single diagonal deck pattern is perfect if you're wanting a simple, unique design.

A single diagonal deck pattern is perfect if you’re wanting a simple, unique design.

You’ve been looking at the same old deck for years, and now you’re ready to do something about it. You’ve decided to go ahead and invest in one of the last decks you may ever need, a Tigerwood Deck. This time around, you want to try something different , so you decide to install the decking diagonally. A pattern such as this, will give you the visual you desire without getting too complicated with the installation.

As always, it is extremely important to check your local building code before installation, and obtain all permits needed for a deck installation. If you are unsure about decking installations, contact a local licensed contractor.

Next to a traditional parallel design, a single diagonal pattern is the easiest of all complex patterns to create. Following these steps will help ease the process of building your new deck.

Preparation: Choosing a simple layout can make the installation process go smoothly. Research products and contractors beforehand, doing so can save you a lot of stress when the building of your deck begins. Keep in mind, a diagonal deck design may increase waste up to 15%, but don’t worry; we have plenty of uses for your scraps!

Measure: Measure, measure, and measure again! When deck boards are cut for a parallel installation, it’s pretty straightforward. When you increase the complexity of the design, proper measuring becomes crucial, diagonals need to be at a 45° angle. Diagonal board installation requires more support so joists need to be spaced at 12” on center. This measurement comes from the diagonal distance between boards, not the perpendicular distance.

Install: Once you have prepped your work space, you can begin the installation. Reducing the number of butt joints allows you to have an uninterrupted surface of full-length boards; this is more pleasing to the eye.

Using top rated fasteners, such as stainless steel, for the installation of your Tigerwood Deck will help prolong its life.  Don’t count on galvanized fasteners. They resist rust, but not corrosion. The Ipe Clip® ExtremeKD™ Hidden Deck Fastener provides you with the strength and reliability you need, all while leaving you with a fastener free surface.

When you’re finished with your project, your gorgeous deck will not only be made of a reliable exotic material, but it will have a simple design that will compliment you and your home.


Decking Designs to Think About: Basket Weave

This pattern is a great way to achieve a deck tile look, but on a joist system.

This pattern is a great way to achieve a deck tile look  on a joist system.

Your deck is simply and extra room in your home. It’s an outdoor space you can go to unwind from a long day of work and just enjoy being outdoors. Deck tiles have becoming increasingly popular over the years, and you love the look, but you can’t install deck tiles on an elevated joist system.  Today is your lucky day because I have a pattern that will match your wants and needs.

Before you begin, it is extremely important to check your local building code before installation, and obtain all permits needed for a deck installation. If you are unsure about decking installations, contact a local licensed contractor.

A Basket Weave design is exactly what you need to make your deck look like it was constructed out of deck tiles. Depending on the sizes you want these “deck tiles” to be, will depend on the costs of the overall project.

Shorter deck boards are going to be touching each other at multiple points across the entire span of your deck; this means you’ll have to install double joists throughout your entire joist system. The longer you want your boards to be, the more joists you will have to install.  You will also need to block the joists. This will give you some extra fastening surface, as well as extra support for your basket weave design.

Repeat alternating “squares” until you have the desired look. Measure, measure, measure! This is the best way to ensure that you can place an even number of planks on your deck so it looks seamless and well planned, rather than an afterthought.

When you’re finished sit back, have a glass of iced tea, and take it all in. Your new Tigerwood Deck looks absolutely amazing.


Tigerwood Compared to Cedar and Teak

Tigerwood looks amazing and will last longer than cedar and teak.

Tigerwood looks amazing and will last longer than cedar and teak.

You have just decided to build a new deck. You begin researching all of the decking materials out there, and you may be surprised the market has grown significantly over the past 15-20 years. Materials that were once desirable such as cedar and teak, are beginning to show up on the bottom of the list. There are, however, consumers that swear by these materials, but we have a better option for you. Tigerwood decking looks stunning, lasts longer, and requires less maintenance than other traditional decking options and even new plastic composite materials.

Cedar has been a go to material for years and years. This type of decking material requires a significant amount of maintenance if you wish to keep the color and try to obtain as many years out of your deck as possible. Proper drainage is crucial to ensure the decking dries out properly. With no substantial water resistant qualities, cedar decking can retain moisture. This leaves the decking susceptible to mold, decay, and rot. This can lead to you replacing board constantly, or possibly replacing your entire deck.

Teak has been at the top of the decking food chain for many years. It has become a gold standard amongst many homeowners and contractors. Unfortunately many consumers are not aware that there are actually materials out there that are that are stronger and more reliable than teak. Don’t get me wrong, teak is a strong material, but what if I told you there was another material that was even stronger, more resistant to water, and wont be susceptible to termite attacks.

Tigerwood decking is the new teak decking. This material has gorgeous orange hues with definitive black and dark brown strips, hence the name “Tigerwood.” This material 60% harder than teak, and has a bending strength that is 40% more than teak. Teak is also prone to staining, while Tigerwood hold natural stain resistant qualities.

Overall, it’s fairly obvious what the better choice is for your new deck! Cedar is soft and vulnerable to load of issues. Teak may seem like it’s the better choice, but you see it’s strength, bending resistance, and lack of stain resistance is no match against Tigerwood. So go ahead, treat yourself to a gorgeous exotic hardwood deck that won’t let you down.


Tigerwood Siding Options

Tigerwoood SIding give your home a warm and inviting appearance that excels in any climate.

Tigerwoood Siding gives your home a warm and inviting appearance that excels in any climate.

You love the warm luxurious appearance of Tigerwood decking, but you would like to make a bigger statement with your purchase than just installing a Tigerwood deck. We have you covered with our Tigerwood Shiplap and Rainscreen siding profiles. Both of our siding profiles are low-maintenance options that still remain mold, fungus, and termite resistant.

The shiplap siding profile is designed so that the boards on top overlaps the board underneath. This creates a smooth surface, and well as providing excellent water resistance. This profile requires surface screws, but when paired with tapered Tigerwood plugs, leaves you with a seamless appearance.

The Rainscreen profile was designed to use fewer fastening points, therefore further reducing the points for water intrusion. When installed correctly using the hidden siding fasteners system from Deckwise™, there are fewer points of water intrusion. This means the properly installed system will allow the siding to dry out evenly, and increase the life of your exterior.

Investing in Tigerwood Shiplap or Rainscreen siding for your home, not only looks great, but will give you lasting results, all while outperforming softer woods and artificial siding options.


What Can You Build with Short Length Tigerwood Decking?

Instead of throwing our your deck scraps, create something unique out of your short length decking!

Instead of throwing our your deck scraps, create something unique out of your short length decking!

Your Tigerwood deck is finished! It’s time to clean up your workspace, but while you’re gathering all of the pieces, you notice you have an abundant amount of deck scraps left over. These short length deck pieces are perfect for adding accent benches or planter boxes on your deck. You can create an outdoor kitchen, or even redo your dock! The possibilities are endless!

If you begin your project, and you find you don’t have enough scrap pieces left over, don’t worry! We have a constant supply of Tigerwood decking available in lengths 6′ to 20′ so we are sure to have exactly what you need to create your dream deck!

Short length decking gives you the exact same quality as our longer length decking. It’s water, mold, & termite resistant! It will shine beautifully if you treat it with Ipe Oil™, and will age evenly with your decking.

Don’t let this opportunity slip away, building accent pieces for your deck with short length decking will WOW! your guests and will surely have your outdoor area be the talk of the neighborhood.