Easy On the Outside

Easy On the Outside


Summer should be spent enjoying the outdoors, not contemplating how to install that new deck, driveway or landscape path. Here are a few new outdoor materials that will make maintenance easier.

• Recycled pavers are an easy, eco-friendly way to update the look of a backyard. Scranton, Pa.-based Azek Vast debuted its pavers on the consumer market last year. Made with recycled scrap tires and consumer products, these pavers can serve as an alternative to concrete or clay pavers or asphalt pavements. For installation, contractors will still need to start with a typical sub-base as in cement installations. But these rubber-and-plastic pavers are much lighter, and Azek Vast offers a grid system to make the blocks easier to align, so installation can be easier and faster.

• Syracuse, Ind.-based manufacturer Poly-Wood recently introduced do-it-yourself boxed kits with its “plastic lumber” in different sizes and colors for smaller projects around the home. The material is made from more than 90 percent recycled post-consumer plastic, which makes it durable even when exposed to the elements.

The company has offered Poly-Wood furniture in the past, and the DIY kit is meant to appeal to a growing class of crafty people. “Your average homeowner isn’t going to want to have a truck backing up with three or four skids of lumber for just a little project,” says Tim Pletcher, a Poly-Wood sales representative. A small kit is enough for most DIY projects.

• Perennial Wood is a brand new material making waves in the outdoor building industry. Kingsport, Tenn.,-based Eastman Chemical Company debuted the product this year at the International Builder Show, and it is available for the trade and consumer use.

This product is made of real wood, but its cellular structure has been modified so it becomes more durable and resists warping, rotting and cracking, according to Jim Flickinger, market development manager. This way, people who dream of having a wooden deck don’t need to sacrifice the look and feel of real wood. The difference is that Perennial Wood carries a 25-year guarantee. It is currently only available in the New England area, but the company expects to expand its offering soon.

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