Archive for the 'Decking' Category


know who you are

There are really two sides to Wilson Lumber.  There’s the side that most people know, that is, that we sell building materials to pro’s who are building and remodeling homes (although as frustrating as it is, most people don’t know that we sell a whole lot more than just lumber).

But then there’s the significant side of our business where we sell to homeowners.  Now most of our interactions with homeowners (at least in dollar volume) is with what you might call larger ticket items.  Replacement doors, decks, cabinets, etc.  Hence, our tag line “way more than lumber”.

Trex_transcend-decking-tiki-torch-lava-rock-circular-outdoor-furniture-black   McClel After   newhomeoffice1

Anyway, recently we have discontinued all electrical, plumbing and paint products (well, almost all).  It’s not that we didn’t enjoy selling this stuff, or even that we didn’t make money at it.  The problem was that we were not excellent at it.  And we believe that if you cant be excellent at something, you just shouldn’t do it.  Also, we realized that people don’t need us for that kind of stuff.  And we are perfectly OK with that.  It gives us more resources, energy and space for the stuff we are excellent at.

As if that is not enough, I attended a conference recently where I saw this particular study by the Farnsworth Group that I’ve previously written about.

Major Categories

Basically, professionals depend on us for Lumber, Millwork and Building Materials.  (I must admit, I thought lumber and millwork were building materials.  I guess they meant stuff like siding, brick, gypsum, etc.)  So, as we are excellent at those things, that is where we focus our resources.

You might notice on the study that only 3% of pro’s made their last paint purchase at a place like Wilson’s.  And only 15% for electrical and 4% for paint.  I guess I’m now wondering why we kept that stuff around as long as we did.  O well, hindsight is 20/20.

If you need any lumber, millwork or building materials, give us a call (256-852-7411) or visit our website.  And if you need electrical, plumbing or paint, we can refer you to someone excellent:)


Transcending: To pass beyond the limits of

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog.  Time has gotten away from me.  Speaking of time, in case you haven’t noticed, time is running out on deck season.  Oh, of course in Alabama the weather is generally good enough any time of year to build a deck.  It’s just that its a lot more fun to do it when its 70 to 90 degrees than when its 20 to 40 degrees.

Trex has a great website of videos for inspiration.  Click on The Re-imagined Home to see a great one.

It’s amazing what you can do with decking.  Angles, curves, corners.  All possible now that were not just a few years ago.  What you see below took some time to be sure, but notice how unique it is.  And how it creates spaces in the deck that are more than just a large area to fit stuff outside.


Decking is one product type that has been revolutionized.  If you haven’t taken a look at what’s available, in what colors, for what purposes in the last two years, you’ll probably be surprised.

Is your deck inviting?  Is it a place you want to be? Or a place you wish was a little nicer?  Come by and see us to get started on your new composite deck or see us on the web.



In defense of the wood deck

Often I find myself blogging about composite decking.  And with good reason, there’s a lot of cool stuff out there.  Just a few years ago, if you were going to build a deck, it was just a question of whether you were going to step up to Redwood which was a lot more expensive but lasted longer.

Beautiful redwood deck

Now with Redwood being hard to get (I didn’t even have any pictures, so I got this one online), and so many types of composites, the market is altogether different.

But one thing has remained the same.  The most common deck (at least in Alabama) is made with good old pressure treated pine.


And before you go thinking that it’s only because of price, consider these reasons (in no particular order of importance).

Natural Appearance – Now, composites have come a long way, no doubt.  But I have to say, there is nothing like the look of a well-maintained wood deck.  It’s warm, inviting and comfortable.

Renewable – I could go on and on here but suffice it to say that from and environmental point of view, wood cannot be beat.  With responsible logging (did you know that each year in the United States more wood is grown than harvested?), low cost manufacturing and easy recycling, real wood makes a great choice.

Strength – Sometimes wood decking contains more strength than its composite cousins.  This is not always the case and depending on the application, may not be an advantage.  But keep in mind that strength of product is not a reason to use something else.

Color choices – I’ll bet you didn’t think about this but with a real wood deck, you can stain, paint, seal it whatever color you want.  I know, I know, that’s the problem right?  that you have to maintain it?  Well, that’s true but you know, there really is no such thing as a “no maintenance” product.  Anything needs a good cleaning now and then.

So sure, there’s some maintenance involved, but a little work never hurt anybody.  And with that little work, comes a great looking, comfortable deck that will last for years and years.  For more information, see us on the web.  Or come by the store and see Alan, our deck expert.


deck safety month

You don’t hear about it often, but you do hear about it.  And it can be very bad.  Deck failures.  No, I don’t mean overcooking the hot dogs while on the deck.  I mean collapses, broken boards, etc.


May is Deck Safety Month.  So rather than sit and read my blog, get out there and do some inspecting. First, check out this video from the North American Deck and Railing Association.

The first thing you’ll want to do is check the structure.  Get underneath and look for signs of rot, termites, or even bad warping that might cause surface problems.

If all looks well, go up top and look over the deck planks real close.  You may simply need to screw a couple back in place.  But if you’re used to looking at it everyday, you might want to do a good close inspection.  They could be in worse shape than you think.  Look for excessive cupping, bowing, even possible splinters in your bare feet.

Finally, be sure to look over the railing.  It may be fun to lean on them and feel them bounce you back.  The problem is, one wrong push and you may not bounce back.

There are of course, solutions to all this.  And yes, that’s where we come in.  Come on by the store and see Alan, our decking expert, or visit us on the web.


Rabbit Season! Deck Season!

Remember that old Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs and Daffy are both being hunted by Elmer Fudd.  They get into an argument over what season it is; “Rabbit season!”, “Duck Season!”, “Rabbit season!”, “Duck Season!”.  And on it goes until Bugs turns it around on Daffy and the ever frustrated Elmer Fudd shoots Daffy in the face.

Ah, they don’t make them like they used to.  This of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with my blog but it’s what I think of every time I hear the words Deck Season.  Get it?  Deck Season?

Anyway, I really shouldn’t even be blogging. See, here’s how I go about it.  There is a wealth of information around this place (Wilson Lumber) and so I basically just ask people about jobs they’ve done or for pictures or whatever.  And then I get pictures that only make me jealous (in a good way of course).

Recently I requested pictures from everyone so that we could run a loop on TV screens in our booth at the Home Show.  I got a ton of them.  Decks, garages, cabinets, closets, doors, etc. etc. etc.  I came accross this one.


Timbertech Decking installed by Straightline Construction in Huntsville, Alabama

Oh, deck season.  Very nice.  I’m about to do some work on my patio.  This makes me wish I had a deck instead of a Patio.  You would think a guy that owns a lumber company would have built a deck… Anyway, I love this.  It’s so warm and inviting, makes me want to grill out or something.  Then I got this.


Aeratis Porch Flooring installed by Barton Construction in Huntsville, Alabama.


Are you kidding?  The perfect postcard deck.  Very cozy.  Looks like a great place for a good book.

It is indeed Deck Season.   And the deck market has changed a lot since I built my patio.  Where is your imagination taking you? Maybe it’s time you came on in to see what’s available.  Or give our Deck Specialist, Alan Hill, a call at 256-852-7411.  As for your home, we can help you pick out materials that will compliment your tastes and lifestyle.  As for this blog, in the words of Bugs Bunny, “that’s all folks”.


Building, Home and Remodeling Show Time

Well I cant just show you pictures of all the great stuff in our booth!  Then you wouldn’t have enough need to go see it.  And Huntsville’s Building Home and Remodeling Show is always worth going to see.


I’ll give you an overview.  Door specials on replacement steel unit’s INSTALLED, special pricing on Iron Doors, Window displays from Andersen Windows and Ply-gem, both with a wide breadth of product offering, decks, siding, Shower Doors, Cabinets and Closets.


And believe it or not, we did all this without cluttering the booth up, it’s pretty impressive.  Definitely one of my favorite booths ever.

So what are you waiting for?  The show’s open now.  Come on down!  Like I said, it’s always worth going to see.  Just do me one favor, don’t go see our competitors while you’re there:)


Burritt part 2

I blogged a few weeks ago about the Aeratis porch and the Baron Bluff Building at Burritt on the Mountain.  They had an open house there this past weekend.  Apparently the building is a big hit with wedding planners but you’ll have to read someone else’s blog to learn more about that.

It is a beautiful building and spectacular view.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s all because of the porch, I am saying that the porch will be there for a whole lot of years looking great with no maintenance (other than cleaning).  The Aeratis warranty is 20 years if it’s registered with Aeratis and is even transferable (although I doubt if the Burritt ownership is going to change anytime soon:)).

Large porches have always been a part of culture in the south.  So Aeratis is a perfect fit for projects needing a historic feel.  It performs better than the timbers used for porches years ago but without the maintenance.

For more information on it visit our website or give us a call at 256-852-7411.

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