Archive for May, 2012


Definitely Mulch!

I posted last week about Mulch.  I lamented about how my Lantana was dying and surrounded in weeds and losing flowers and so on.  Then, I mulched around it.  No, I don’t know why I didn’t Mulch to begin with, laziness I guess.

BUT!  Guess what, after just one week, here is my Lantana bed now.

Now, not to bring up old wounds, but here is the same shot one week ago before mulching.

Ugh.  Anyway, mulch.  Don’t forget to (or be too lazy to) mulch.  Remember, we have 4 colors in stock.  Call us (256-852-7411), come by or see us on the web.


5 Reasons To Use Engineered Wood

1. It’s green.  Now I know green is in vogue so it probably seems like an advertisement for me to place this first.  But hear me out.  With technology what it is today in design software and saws that work with it, we’ve reduced the waste from even large homes to virtually a small pile of sawdust.  Waste not want not is the saying, and our truss plant is a true “waste not” facility.

2. It’s assembled in a controlled environment.  Now I’m not saying that there are not good quality framers out there.  But in a world where true craftsmen are becoming a thing of the past, it’s good to know that walls come out square and trusses are exactly as designed.

3. Speed.  At a NAHB show a few years ago, the WTCA assembled two identical 2600 sq. ft. houses using stick framing on one and wall panels/trusses on the other.  They found that in assembly, the trussed house saved 253 man hours (roughly $4560 worth) and 5300 board feet of wood (about $1529 worth).

4. Home-specific design.  It is vitally important how you design the framing of a home; the way the load transfers from one board to the other, how loads are carried from ceiling to ground, what types of material will work best in a given situation, etc.  We design components specifically for each home we build.  A house using components is fully engineered.


5. Reduced theft.  This may not be a “top 5” reason but it is worth pointing out.  Jobsite theft has been rampant at times and its bad for everybody (even the thief but that’s a different blog).  The truth is, its simply a lot harder to steal a wall panel or a truss.  And even if you did, what would you do with it?  It’s designed per house (see reason #4).

There are many other reasons but I believe all this adds up to it being a good idea to use components.  We’ll be happy to talk to you more about it of you call (256-852-7411) or check out our website for more information.


To mulch, or not to mulch. Not much question.

According to on, mulch is used to “retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, keep the soil cool and make the garden bed look more attractive”.  I can attest that she is 100% correct.  Observe, one of my flower beds at home.


I should totally go to Lantana jail (if there is one).  I feel really bad, because I love Lantana.  They’re beautiful, butterflies come around, etc.  It may be my favorite flower.  Now, my Grandmom has some great Lantana that for some reason, comes back every year, its like a bush (is there a difference?).  I haven’t figured out how to do that.  But she has some kind of magic.  For more on her, click here.

Back to , part of the purpose of mulching is to keep down weeds.  I used to think this was not the case but experience has proven that Marie is right and I was wrong.

So I at least weeded my flower bed.  Exhibit B below.

ImageOther than the weeds, the Lantana isn’t growing and even losing flowers.  I believe Marie would tell me that one reason is that the soil isn’t holding moisture, another problem that is solved by adding mulch.

Lantana should not be treated this way, it should look like this.

ImageSo I mulch and here is what I get.


OK, so I’ve done my part.  As long as God does His, and He always does, I’ll have healthy, full Lantana in no time.  I chose Brown mulch, though we have 4 colors, I like the contrast of the green and brown.  Come see us if we can help, and may your thumb be greener than mine.

Now about the Hydrangeas…


The View Is Better From Here

I’ve recently blogged a couple of times about decks and how to choose the best products for your application.  I thought it wise to post these photo’s of the way things ought to be:).  We supplied this job on Smith Lake and it is quite impressive.  The first thing that jumps out at me is the architecture itself which is beautiful.  But when you add in the mixed color Timbertech railing it’s incredible.

From these pictures of the railing system, you can really see how the colors pop out on the skirt board and the deck boards themselves giving the deck a rich look and feel.








This deck is also pretty high off the ground.  But even so suppliers of decking products have solutions in that you can get a post wrap sleeve, or simply wrap it in a 1″ product of the same material the decking is made of.










Of course I would be remiss not to include a view from this deck and also to mention that I’m terribly jealous.

I guess part of the point of this blog is to convince you that whether you go with Timbertech or not, do the research and make the wise choice.  If you’re like me, you likely wont have a deck this great, but that’s no reason not to make the best of what you do have.  Check out our website or give us a call (256-852-7411) if we can help.


To Conceal a Matter

Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.  Whether or not you use concealed screws on your deck is up to you.”

Alright, well I paraphrased a little… OK, a lot.  The point is, concealed deck fasteners are a really big deal right now.  However, I should be quick to say, its OK to use regular screws and therefore; it is purely up to you.  Now in either case proper installation is critical.

There are different kinds of hidden fasteners.  Most have a clip that fits between the deck boards and attaches to the joist.  Below to the left is a picture of a Timbertech Earthwood Evolutions deck with hidden fasteners and to the right is a close-up of the clip used to fasten the boards to the joist.


Now when using this method there is not much to strengthen the diaphragm of the deck itself.  In other words, there’s nothing keeping it from racking diagonally, which is pretty easily cured by attaching diagonal bracing underneath the deck.  That is an over-simplification but hey, this is a blog, not a full instructional manual.  Just make sure your installer (even if its you) knows what you’re doing.

Here is another example of a hidden fastener below.  This one is by Camo Fastners.  The picture on the left is a wider shot of it and again, the one on the left is close-up.


With this one, there is a tool that you use to install these screws that are almost invisible.  And its actually very easy to do, you let the screw-gun to all the hard work.

Now to plain old fashioned screws.  Many people prefer this over hidden fasteners because they feel it looks more like an actual deck.  The picture below is Timbertech’s Twin Finish product but most of them work pretty much the same.


When using screws, you MUST use screws that are coated with a no-rust coating or stainless steel (which almost no-one does).  Even when you use no-rust screws there are some that will rust if you are too rough with your screw-gun and scrape the coating off.  Bottom line: buy the right screws and use them properly.

What else to look for…  all deck manufacturers have a certain distance that is required to place the screw from the end of the deck board.  Otherwise splitting or cracking can occur.

Here’s a tip, I know some builders who paint the top of the joist black before they install the deck board so that it hides the joist and gives the deck a cleaner look.  Now that’s the kind of guy you want, he cares about his work.

Otherwise, be sure to install the board crown up, start from the outside and work toward the house, and make sure you have cold water nearby.  You’re going to get thirsty.  Check out our website or give us a call (256-852-7411) when you need advice or products and we’ll do our best to help.


Spring Tour of Homes

Here is a preview of what you local Huntsville folks can see on the upcoming Spring Tour of Homes!

In one of the houses on the tour, we are featuring our kitchen cabinetry and the bathroom vanities. In of the bathrooms be sure to look at the “dainty” bath vanity designed to look like a furniture piece. Even the smallest details make the difference in this piece. From the delicate hardware pulls to the feet of the cabinet – perfect cabinet for the space!



HOW TO: Select a Shower Door

Shower Doors are an easy and noticeable bathroom upgrade. Not much else is needed to be said. Well, maybe the hard part that most people don’t like to talk about… Selecting the door.

Shower Doors are basically puzzle pieces to your shower enclosure. They fill every nook of the opening. It is very important to have a professional measure the opening to ensure the correct measurements and notes are taken. Common things to look for when a professional comes to measure are a pad/pencil, measuring tape, and a level.  Best part about having someone measure for you, is that it only takes them a few minutes and they are out the door!

Once the measurements are taken, it will allow the designer to give you a precise drawing and price. However, as the customer it is your decision on the type/thickness of glass, finish, door hardware, and shower enclosure hardware. Below I will list some tips to help you make your design process move smoothly.


There are multiple types of door options, but a lot of this decision is based on your opening size and the configuration. You can choose from a frameless glass door, semi-frameless glass door, and by-pass glass door.

Two of our most popular door hinge styles are the Signature Pivot and Signature Hinge:

Signature Hinge


The most common glass option selected is clear. However, some people are pulled away from clear because of the probability of having to clean too often. There is an option that can be applied to the glass while in manufacturing. It is basically a coating on the glass that does not affect the clarity – but does allow you cut the cleaning by at least 60%!  Some compare it to Rain- X (like you use on vehicle windows), but for your shower door and is more affective.

You can always pick more obscure, colored, or detailed options as well:


When selecting a finish for the shower door it is best to match it to your existing or new hardware. If you are not sure which finish you have, a designer can use samples to color match for you.  


This decision is all you! What do you prefer? Victorian style…. Mission style… or maybe you prefer the standard C-pull!

Crescent Pull

If your opening is wider than 30″ you will need to add a side panel. There are a some options for securing the stationary panel. One way would be to add the U-Channel along all surfaces that the glass will touch. The U-channel helps to prevent excess leaking. U-channel also allows a more frameless appearance.

The clips and clamps provide the same stability as the U-channel but will be installed roughly 1/8″ from the surface. This option is best for shower enclosures that are spacious enough not to have the shower head spraying directly on the panel.See clips attached to the base of the panel?

To see more options, please visit our showroom or take a look at our suppliers websites at Roda by Basco and Southeastern Aluminum.  

As always, please comment or call (256-852-7411) with any questions

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