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Treated wood deck framing rules get tougher
Treated wood deck framing rules get tougher
If you build outdoor wood decks, there are some changes coming down the pike. The American Wood Protection Association is about to publish an update to its AWPA Standard U1 for preservative-treated lumber. When the new standard is published as part of ...
4 ways to maximize Facebook for your business
4 ways to maximize Facebook for your business
Facebook has changed the game for small businesses ever since its launch 12 years ago. More than 40 million companies now utilize the social network to create pages, invite communities to events, advertise and engage with customers. It is hard to belie...
The formula that will help you decide if you're wasting your money online
The formula that will help you decide if you're wasting your money online
In 2014, a viral video depicted a scene that would have been hilarious, if it hadn't been so sobering. It started with bystanders attempting to save a winter sledder, who had broken through the ice of a California lake.
Managing water on balconies and rooftop decks
Managing water on balconies and rooftop decks
When a wood balcony fails, it's usually sudden and catastrophic. To prevent this from happening, building-science guru Joe Lstiburek recommends a comprehensive waterproofing strategy that includes both drainage and properly detailed flashing. Of course...
Transforming a bland outdoor space into a bistro-inspired party deck
Transforming a bland outdoor space into a bistro-inspired party deck
Give your deck a bright spring refresh just in time for sunny, seasonal gatherings. First, grab a cocktail, and look through these color-packed decorating ideas perfect for any outdoor space — small or large.
Harvard study shows robust remodeling growth ahead
Harvard study shows robust remodeling growth ahead
Strongly accelerating growth in home improvement and repair spending is expected heading into 2017, according to the newly re-benchmarked Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housin...
6 deck renovations that really pay off – and 1 that doesn't
6 deck renovations that really pay off – and 1 that doesn't
If there’s one thing that unites this great country — especially once the weather starts getting warmer and barbecue season gets ever so tantalizingly closer — it is our passionate, even obsessive love for our outdoor decks. Truth be ...
A path to safer balconies
A path to safer balconies
On June 15, 2015, a group of 13 students in Berkeley, California, fell five stories when the balcony they were standing on suddenly collapsed. Six were killed, seven were critically injured, and the incident became the latest example of the often-fatal...
The marketing advantages of being a small business
The marketing advantages of being a small business
Many small businesses don’t have designated marketing staff or much of a marketing budget, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a very successful marketing strategy. Small businesses actually have the advantage when it comes to m...
Must-have accessories for deck, patio or porch
Must-have accessories for deck, patio or porch
The mere phrase “deck, patio or porch” is enough to warm the heart if you’ve been cooped up in the house all winter long. What more could you ask for than a simple folding chair outside on a sunny day? A lot more actually. You can fin...
Houzz landscaping trends, succulents and remodeling older homes
Houzz landscaping trends, succulents and remodeling older homes
Now that warm weather is here, many homeowners are dusting off their wish lists of outdoor building projects. They're interested in creating special outdoor spaces for dogs, kids and guests, according to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Landscaping Trends Survey. T...
32 outrageously fun things you'll want in your backyard this summer
32 outrageously fun things you'll want in your backyard this summer
You’ll never want to go back inside. Check out these 32 outrageously fun things to have in your backyard this summer.
Outdoor trending: Which is hotter, a patio or a deck?
Outdoor trending: Which is hotter, a patio or a deck?
The answer to the patio vs. deck challenge may depend, of course, on where that piece of ground is that is the home-site. Just released data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction suggests a geographic pattern in the exterior amenities i...
Dream decks and patios
Dream decks and patios
Whether seeking solitude or a great place for entertaining, find inspiration in these outdoor spaces. The details throughout theses deck spaces — water features, lounge chairs, plants and candles — make these backyards beautiful and luxurious.
Trex and Lumber Liquidators go separate ways
Trex and Lumber Liquidators go separate ways
One of last week's biggest winners was Trex, moving higher after posting encouraging quarterly results. The leading maker of wood-alternative decking materials saw its net sales soar 20 percent to $89 million since the prior year's holiday quarter....
The choices that led small business owners to wealth
The choices that led small business owners to wealth
“I’ve never made a bad decision,” said William Greenblatt, chairman of SterlingBackcheck, which does employment screening. “I’ve just had bad results.”
In the Southwest, the new home on the range has 'outdoor rooms'
In the Southwest, the new home on the range has 'outdoor rooms'
The “contemporary farmhouse” constructed in a subdivision outside Las Vegas, in what once had been a desert, is a modest-sized dwelling that lives big and throws convention out the window.
Use these 24 tools to run your business from anywhere in the world
Use these 24 tools to run your business from anywhere in the world
Nearly a quarter, 23 percent, of Americans worked from home in 2014, according to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics survey. If you’re one of the lucky few that enjoys the ability to work from anywhere you like, the following tools will help kee...
Are you ready to put your deck on the best-dressed list this summer, but hesitant to dent your sa...
Are you ready to put your deck on the best-dressed list this summer, but hesitant to dent your sa...
Every deck starts with good footings. Whether you’re resurfacing an old deck with composite decking or just fixing rotting railings, the first thing you check at the estimate walk-through is the footings. There’s no point in pouring money i...
Deck do's for creating your own deck escape
Deck do's for creating your own deck escape
No longer simply a rectangle attached to the back of your home, today's decks are built in creative designs to make them an ideal place to relax and destress.
10 underused and untapped online marketing tactics for small businesses
10 underused and untapped online marketing tactics for small businesses
You've used all of the standard, popular marketing strategies with only moderate success. You wonder — are there things I am missing? Could there be other avenues I don't know about?
How to build an attractive business and personal brand
How to build an attractive business and personal brand
Should you brand yourself or your business? The short answer is both. The better question is what should you brand first — your business or yourself?
Differentiate yourself from the competition
Differentiate yourself from the competition
Recently, I had my very first experience with a ride-sharing app. All I had to do was download the app to my phone and register for services. Within minutes, the driver, who was personable and timely, arrived at my location and took me to my destinatio...
5 ways to beautify your deck without breaking the bank
5 ways to beautify your deck without breaking the bank
Are you ready to put your deck on the best-dressed list this summer, but hesitant to dent your savings? With these simple design ideas, you can make your deck the perfect place for summer festivities.
Handrail required?
Handrail required?
It’s important to count the number of risers accurately. Some people equate the number of treads with the number of risers and omit the last riser from the top tread to the deck surface; it is indeed a riser and must be counted. The number of ris...
Must-have elements for a colorful, fun outdoor living space
Must-have elements for a colorful, fun outdoor living space
Mother Nature is the ultimate exterior designer, and she shows off her chops every spring and summer when backyards come alive with colorful flowers, birdsong, warm breezes and the lush aroma of newly mown grass. Is your deck, patio or other outdoor en...
Square and rectangular fire pits
Square and rectangular fire pits
Stage a backyard makeover by adding a square or rectangular fire pit. The strong right angles and lines of these boxy shapes create a formal look that infuses any garden or patio with elegant ease. New square fire pit designs feature blends of classic ...
The hottest trend in outdoor living: Fireplaces and fire pits
The hottest trend in outdoor living: Fireplaces and fire pits
As more homeowners seek to bring the indoors to the outdoors, fireplaces and fire pits are becoming an even hotter commodity — literally and figuratively. Fire pits are one of the biggest trends in 2016 for homeowners wanting to upgrade their out...
7 tools to automate your marketing tasks without blowing your budget
7 tools to automate your marketing tasks without blowing your budget
These days, marketing is as much a science as an art. The marketing landscape has become increasingly more complex, producing whole platforms and tools that help automate marketing and marketing tasks - from email and content marketing and promotion to...
8 career-boosting habits you should adopt today
8 career-boosting habits you should adopt today
From entry-level to senior management, most workers have something more they'd like to achieve in their professional lives. But advancing your career doesn't just mean getting a promotion or switching to another company. Every day, there are simple, li...
12 simply stylish outdoor room updates
12 simply stylish outdoor room updates
Turn your outdoor space into a lavish retreat with these stylish updates, from elegant water features to cozy porch swings. There's nothing quite like sitting – or sleeping – on a porch swing during the warm summer months.
Top 2016 trends in outdoor living
Top 2016 trends in outdoor living
Take a deep breath of fresh air. Feel the warm sunshine on your skin. Kick back and listen to the peaceful sounds of nature. There’s a reason people are investing in spaces that allow them to spend more time relaxing, dining and entertaining outs...
The one skill most people lack
The one skill most people lack
As an entrepreneur, one of the trickiest things to figure out is the type of leadership style that will ultimately be best for your company. There are hundreds of books written by successful businesspeople, and every single one of them tells you that t...
This uncool marketing tool actually makes money for brands
This uncool marketing tool actually makes money for brands
Brands are always on the hunt for the newest marketing trends to fold into their own strategies. Over the past few years, they've blogged, YouTubed, tweeted, pinned, 'grammed, snapped, and Periscoped to reach a growing population of readers and followe...
Can your customers be even more valuable to your small business?
Can your customers be even more valuable to your small business?
There are no new ideas under the sun, really? So what can you do to help your small business stand out in the marketplace? It is a losing proposition for small businesses to compete on price, since large competitors with higher volume can always underc...
Homes worth more than ever before in more than a quarter of US housing markets
Homes worth more than ever before in more than a quarter of US housing markets
Homes were worth more than ever before in 26 percent of U.S. housing markets, indicating those markets are close to a full recovery, according to the February Zillow Real Estate Market Reports. Over the past year, housing markets in the South, especial...
9 ideas for a party-perfect outdoor space
9 ideas for a party-perfect outdoor space
Draw up the guest list and put the drinks on ice: We'll show you how to build an alfresco entertaining area that really cooks.
10 beautiful island porches, patios and decks
10 beautiful island porches, patios and decks
These blissful hangouts feature wow-worthy views, colorful accents and plenty of Caribbean style. Discover favorite outdoor living rooms in Jamaica, St. Barts, Bermuda, Bonaire and more.
4 simple steps to a more productive mindset
4 simple steps to a more productive mindset
Productivity is something we all strive for. Being the best we can be, showing up, being authentic and getting the most out of the time we have. But what happens when our day is affected by unforeseen external factors. Or we're off mentally? What happe...
Fire pit deck safety: How to protect your wood deck
Fire pit deck safety: How to protect your wood deck
Families everywhere enjoy a wooden deck as a convenient place to breathe some fresh air, watch a sunset, or enjoy an outdoor meal. A deck offers easy access to the ameniteis of you rhome while still providing an enjoyable outdoor space.
Sunrooms, outdoor living spaces are now becoming the 'second living room' in homes
Sunrooms, outdoor living spaces are now becoming the 'second living room' in homes
Until last year, Mary Lynn Lakin never thought to redecorate her sunroom. To her, it was just a place where she could keep items she couldn't bear to get rid of, like her parents' old furniture and her grandmother's antique baby grand piano.
Create a warm and inviting outdoor living space
Create a warm and inviting outdoor living space
Adding a few accent pieces to your backyard patio or deck for the summer season can create a warm and inviting outdoor living space for family and friends. Colorful elements like candle lanterns hung from a hook in the ceiling or placed on tables or ra...
Softwood lumber, construction and building products companies in limbo as US and Canada attempt t...
Softwood lumber, construction and building products companies in limbo as US and Canada attempt t...
Softwood lumber producers, remanufacturers, construction, building products companies, importers and shippers are waiting to see whether the United States and Canada can work towards heading off another softwood lumber trade dispute. The dispute revolv...
Survey finds consumers want to make outdoor living spaces more relaxing
Survey finds consumers want to make outdoor living spaces more relaxing
More than 70 percent of U.S. households have outdoor living spaces, and nearly 70 percent of those households use these spaces at least once per week in season, according to research just commissioned by the American Home Furnishings Alliance.
Sensational sliding garden gates, doors and fences
Sensational sliding garden gates, doors and fences
These incredible entryways show creativity, artistry and smart design. Starting out, a sculptural sliding gate serves as the stylish backdrop for inners enjoyed at this recycled plastic dining table. Matthew Cunningham's design for the courtyard, which...
We are all salespeople: Use these 3 techniques to become a better one
We are all salespeople: Use these 3 techniques to become a better one
You may not have the title of a salesperson, but it’s imperative that you polish up on your skills and become a better communicator to win in business and in life. Whether you run your own company or currently employed by one, there is a good cha...
How your yard can be a space you actually use
How your yard can be a space you actually use
Jaci Conry writes: Ah, June. Most of us have looked forward to this time of year for months. I know I sure have. Through winter and the dreary, raw spring, I stared out the sliding glass doors in my kitchen and dreamed of the day our dismal-looking bac...
Did you know? Google Adwords offers multiple levels of lead generation
Did you know? Google Adwords offers multiple levels of lead generation
No matter your role, if your goal is to increase sales within a small business, then you've probably heard the term "lead generation."
Why your small business really needs content marketing
Why your small business really needs content marketing
Everyone’s talking about content marketing these days. As a small business owner or marketer, you probably have lots of people telling you all about how you need to spend more time, energy, and money on these efforts. But why? What exactly is con...
The secret to insane productivity
The secret to insane productivity
Whenever we talk about the secret to productivity, we tend to hyper-focus on tactics. That's not to say tactics aren't part of it — because they are. But it's important not to lose sight of the strategy in the process.
When it comes to a new deck, do you really know what you're buying?
When it comes to a new deck, do you really know what you're buying?
You've been looking on Houzz.com and you’ve found some great pictures of decks and deck designs that you think will ideally fit perfectly into your backyard. You are ready to call a deck-building contractor, or so you think. You have an idea of w...
4 tools that make your small business look big
4 tools that make your small business look big
Being a small company has its benefits: You’re agile, able to change directions at a moment’s notice. You’ve got autonomy, as your business is independent of a giant conglomerate. No, you’re not attracting the same number of con...
Infographic: An expert's guide to psychological tricks to boost purchases
Infographic: An expert's guide to psychological tricks to boost purchases
In today’s online world, it's hard to imagine not having a website to support your business. Whether you're selling to businesses or to consumers, reports that 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine tell us that the Web is ce...
5 biggest myths about decking materials
5 biggest myths about decking materials
Whether you've decided this is the year you'll add a deck to your home, or you're still pondering the project, as soon as you say the words: "I want to build a deck," you'll start hearing and reading a lot of advice. Some of it will be useful, like: Bu...
2 tremendous revenue opportunities for email marketers
2 tremendous revenue opportunities for email marketers
Marketers are constantly recalibrating their email strategies to improve their effectiveness. And the final quarter of 2015 was no different. In fact, email volume increased overall by 23.4 percent compared to the same time period in 2014. It's a move ...
You're doing it wrong: How to build a deck
You're doing it wrong: How to build a deck
Buying a home with an enormous backyard is a definite thrill. So much space. There’s room for your dog, a swingset for your 5-year-old, and a deck. For many of us, this is the holy grail. And you — you brave adventurer, you — want to ...
How to select your ideal deck railing color
How to select your ideal deck railing color
Along with durability, "color" is probably one of your key considerations when it comes to selecting deck railing. If so, we have great news. Symmetry Railing, our new strong, stylish deck railing, is now available in three colors: Tranquil White, Sere...
Survey reveals top 10 design trends for residential landscape architecture
Survey reveals top 10 design trends for residential landscape architecture
Landscape architects were asked to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor design elements in 2016. The survey was fielded Feb. 4-18, with 803 responding.
How crucial is creativity to your business success?
How crucial is creativity to your business success?
Every business wants to keep up with its industry's latest trends and stay ahead of its competitors. Creative thinking — that is, dreaming up new and unique ways of doing things — is obviously a part of that process. But just how much does ...
5 common misconceptions about composite material
5 common misconceptions about composite material
First introduced in the late 1980s, composite decking quickly gained acceptance among builders and homeowners who recognized and appreciated being able to achieve a natural wood look without the ongoing hassles of upkeep. While most people today unders...
Small business owners can use summer months to get ahead
Small business owners can use summer months to get ahead
The school year is ending, the temperature is rising and the theaters are full of blockbusters. Summer is upon us, and with it comes a potential change of pace for small businesses. This change isn’t necessarily a positive one. Taking a major dip...
4 healthy habits that will make you more productive at work
4 healthy habits that will make you more productive at work
It's no secret that healthy workers are among the happiest and most productive at their jobs. Numerous studies have shown that employees in better overall health exhibit high performance and efficiency levels, leading to a greater focus from companies ...