Archive for the ‘Outdoor Living’ Category

Tigerwood Dock

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Do it right the first time. Building a dock, which will be exposed to water and weather on a regular basis, requires careful planning of the construction and material choices to use. Docks are naturally difficult to construct because of the water surrounding them and pilings to which they  attach. This is why building a dock right the first time is so important. If you choose the best materials the first time around, then you can rest easy knowing it will outlast inferior materials. You will avoid costly and incessant repairs year after year. If you invest more on your dock the first time around, but it lasts twice as long and you do not spend your spring and summer every year on nagging repair work, then you are much better off. Time is money; free time is invaluable!  Save yourself the headache and do it right the first time. In addition to  the benefit of enjoying longer-lasting materials,, these materials also are much more beautiful.. Tigerwood is just such a superior choice for this application. Tigerwood’s density makes it an ideal choice material for marine applications. It will outlast softwoods, even pressure treated, by leaps and bounds. You can see from the pictures below how much more beautiful it is than a lower quality pine or pressure treated deck. Aside from its beauty, you will enjoy Tigerwoods integrity as it will outlast inferior materials two fold. It also provides a safer walking surface for tender feet as a result of its tight grain and resistance to warping and splintering.

Majestic Tigerwood Deck on Texas Lake copy

tigerwood dock

Gazebo Vs. Pergola

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

What is the difference between a Gazebo and a Pergola? Maybe you know the difference but are trying to decide which you prefer for your home. While both offer a stunning edition to your outdoor living area, they possess slightly different characteristics  that impact the lifestyle and use of your new addition. Historically, the gazebo was commonly mentioned in Chinese and Persian literature. Gazebos  are commonly seen today in England as well and date back as far as the late 1800′s. Gazebos  generally have fully roofed tops and open sides. Gazebos offer more protection from rain and sun than pergolas. Gazebos are commonly built with an octagonal design and  a raised deck in the center. Benches around the inside of a gazebo and screens for the sides are simple enhancements to make your living space more comfortable and to keep pesky insects away..

Pergolas developed around the same era and, like gazebos, some built in the 1800’s still exist today The  word “pergola” comes from the Latin word “pergula” which meant “lecture room, school with protruding roof with vines.”. Pergolas often extend from one building to another and are closely related to gardening as many pergolas provide a path for vines to grow along. Pergolas are generally less robust then gazebos and only provide limited concealment from sun and rain. Although they could, pergolas do not normally have a deck constructed below like the gazebo. Lattice is an inexpensive solution to create a perforated canopy on top of the pergola. The construction of a modern pergola that most directly comes to mind is a four post style with outer beams and cross members in the center. Along a poolside or over a green and meticulously managed outdoor living space are two of the most beautiful locations to construct a new pergola. Some are constructed of wrought Iron, some of brick or concrete and some of wood. Wood is the most common and is a green alternative to other building materials. Below are several pictures of gazebos and pergolas.

pergolas

ipe pergola

gazebos

 

 

 

Eco-Friendly Home Accessories

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Eco-Friendly Home Accessories

 

These days, going green gets plenty of lip-service, but many of us often assume that eco-consciousness and style are mutually exclusive domains. While it is true that many earth-friendly decor options do have a decidedly rustic feel, the demand for sustainable products is bringing to the market every look imaginable, from the classic to the postmodern.

Here are just a few ways you can give your space that decisive touch in an earth-first spirit:

bamboo mats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Floor your guests with green alternatives

Rugs/carpeting

To paraphrase a famous movie, a good rug can really hang a room together. However, buying a sectional rug made from recycled materials can be as eco-responsible as it is fashion forward. Many of us don’t realize it, but discarded carpeting is a chief villain in making our landfills so mountainous, so make sure you dispose of old carpets and their byproducts through a reuse/recycle program.

 

Bamboo

On the other hand, if you’re saddled with unsightly carpeting and don’t have the resources to replace it, bamboo flooring is a fantastic compromise for the hardwood floor appeal.  It’s actually fairly easy to cover an entire room with a DIY bamboo flooring kit, but rollable area mats can do the trick as well. Not only does bamboo have a trendy New Age vibe, using the fast-growing wood of bamboo takes the heat of our shrinking rainforests.

 

Outside decks

Remember that deck you have been wanting to build for years, but just never got around to because it just seemed too hard or too expensive? This is a perfect opportunity to promote further eco-consciousness in your home.

Instead of using some sort of plastic for your deck, or even a composite blend of wood, the best bet is to go with responsibly harvested and managed lumber. This way, you get the beautiful look of a wooden deck, but you can rest assured knowing that you did your part to make the green choice. There are affordable hardwood choices out there, that don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Even more importantly, this wood will keep your deck around for years and years.

 

Give recycled furniture the front seat

While sometimes there is no substitute for a good old-fashioned vintage wood chair, today’s eco-visionaries are concocting recycled indoor and outdoor furniture that’s closer in spirit to Ikea than the shoddy stackable seats we might associate with a school cafeteria. Remember, recycling is a two part solution:  properly disposing of HDPEs is essential, but in order for the equation to work, we must also embrace second generation products.

 

Recycled plastic furniture is not only maintenance-free, stain-resistant and impervious to germs and bacteria, it’s a significant avenue of deforestation. And, if you’re a stolid traditionalist, there are attractive wood-grain simulations that might do the trick.

 

lantern

 

Putting things in a different light

Even if their drain on Mother Nature were not an issue, bright overhead lights tend to create an unwelcoming atmosphere in any setting. One obvious way to create a more relaxing mood and lower consumption of electricity is to use candles, but beware:  standard commercial candles can release sundry toxic byproducts into the air, including the carcinogen paraffin. Soy candles, on the other hand, are biodegradable and non-toxic. Making them yourself is fairly simple, and will have a chic, homemade look.

Electric light is even more of a buzzkill on a patio, so another winning choice is a set of solar-powered lanterns. With a gentle, steady light and styles ranging from old-fashioned blown glass to Oriental paper designs, these can transform your backyard into an exotic haven.

 

Aromatherapy

On the subject of alternative lighting, noncommercial candles can put our noses at ease as well as our eyes. For a true immersion into olfactory bliss, take things a step further by diffusing your home with a subtle mist of calming oils, such as lavender or rose. The easiest and most inexpensive way to do this is with a portable vaporizer. By adding just a few drops of your favorite blend of natural oils into the vaporizer chamber, you’ll add the perfect bohemian touch to your digs.

These products are really only the beginning. Remember, eco-consciousness is not just a way of buying things, but also a  way of seeing ways to give materials second (or third lives).  Thrifting, gifting and creatively reusing old items are all powerful tools in reducing waste.

 

 

 

Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, yoga enthusiast and mom of three who writes for VapeWorld to educate others about the importance of aromatherapy and eco-friendly home decor. As she is currently in the process of remodeling her home, she is focused on incorporating as many eco-friendly accessories as possible. Follow her on Pinterest today!

Pool Deck

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Thinking about building a pool deck? Pool decks add the right look and feel for your in-ground or above ground pool. Concrete is so bland and generic. Wood trim or a full deck around your pool will add beauty, ambiance and uniqueness to your backyard. A pool deck surrounding your above ground pool will add a necessary point of access into the water and a nice area to BBQ, lay out under the sun or socialize. There are many options of how to build pool decks and several materials to choose from. We recommend searching online for ideas and working with a contractor to design your  unique pool deck.

When deciding on materials to use there are several questions to answer. How long do I want my pool deck to last? How safe does it need to be? What looks the best? How much will it cost? Most want the pool deck to last as long as possible. Most want a beautiful pool deck. Most want a deck safe for bare feet and unlikely to warp and twist. Everyone wants to save money. Luckily, the answer to all of these questions can be found by using several species of wood.

Before getting to those species, we should first point out perhaps the least adequate species, Pine. Pine has a very short life expectancy and tends to warp, twist and split under the sun and in wet conditions. Though Pine is inexpensive, it is costly in the long run due to the need for frequent repair and replacement of boards.

So what wood should you use? There are several good choices, all of which are Hardwoods. Hardwoods provide a much longer life expectancy than softwoods like pine and have much lower maintenance and extended life expectancies. Four species in particular have grown in popularity and provide the highest level of safety, beauty, longevity and overall cost effectiveness. The first and best of the four species is Ipe. The second is Cumaru. The third is Tigerwood and the fourth is Garapa. All four species are extremely dense, impervious to rot, water and sun damage, splintering and insects.  Ipe, Cumaru, Garapa and Tigerwood have different colors that appeal to varying tastes.  Each has a tight grain pattern which means that they will not tend to splinter, twist or warp.  The right pool deck can be the highlight of your backyard and the centerpiece of attraction. Learn more about Ipe, Cumaru, Tigerwood, and Garapa by exploring Everlasting Hardwoods. We urge you to research these species to learn how you can benefit from choosing them. Good Luck!

 

 

ipe pool railing

Ipe Pool Railing

ipe wood pool railing

Ipe Pool Railing. This pool would look gorgeous with complimentary Ipe Pool Decking!

A Fantastic article with pictures about Ipe outlasting Pine in harsh conditions is available here:

http://www.ohc.net/ipe-vs-treated-pine/

Top 10 Outdoor Room Design Ideas

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Top 10 Outdoor Room Design Ideas

 

One of the hottest trends in home decorating lately is the outdoor room.  An outdoor room provides an ideal location to enjoy fresh air, cool breezes, and pleasant conversation with family and friends.  Sun porches, patios, and balconies make great starting points but a hidden room tucked away in a quiet spot in the garden is a treasure, too.  Explore these top 10 outdoor room design ideas to discover ways to bring the indoors out at the place you call home.

 

1 — Outdoor Dining

 

 

People have enjoyed dining al fresco for ages but it’s only been recently that we started creating very well-appointed dining areas outside.  Every outdoor dining area will have table and chairs, of course, but some come with complete outdoor kitchens now, too.  An umbrella cover over the dining table keeps the sun at bay for mid-day dining and creates a cozy canopy for entertaining under the stars.  Outdoor dining’s not just about picnics anymore.

 

2 — Screened-In Porch

 

 

A screened-in porch is not entirely outside but it’s not entirely a part of the home’s interior, either.  This peaceful retreat combines the best of both worlds and can be as exposed to Mother Nature as desired.  Since it’s protected from the elements, feel free to decorate elaborately but do stay mindful that dampness and temperature extremes will have an effect on upholstery, linens, wood furniture, and other delicate furnishings.

 

3 — Rustic and Cozy Porch

 

 

No screen required for a rustic and cozy porch like this one.  Furnish an open-air porch with things that will stand up to whatever the wind blows in.  A few comfy chairs for friendly conversation and a table or two to hold a good book and a glass of wine are all that’s really needed.

 

4 — Garden Shed Oasis

 

 

Turn your garden shed into a peaceful oasis by extending it on one side to accommodate garden furniture and container plants.  Make sure the shed has a door to close off the work housed inside so the mind can relax and escape every care while thinking of nothing at all.

 

5 — Hideaway in the Woods

 

 

Escape even further with a garden retreat built into the back of the garden.  Make it a library and reading room or an artist’s studio.  Or a workshop.  Fill it with music and crank it up loud, knowing you’ve got enough privacy that volume won’t annoy others.  Install a hot tub or Jacuzzi.  The possibilities are endless for a hideaway in the woods.  Once its reason for being is determined, enclose it as much as need be or leave it open and airy.

 

6 — Watch the Clouds Roll By

 

 

Install a hammock in the yard somewhere, crawl in, and watch the clouds roll by.  Or the moon and the stars.  The weightlessness of a hammock makes it almost impossible to resist the temptation of a good nap, like sleeping on a cloud.  Careful, though; hammocks can be habit-forming.

 

7 — Terrace with a View

 

 

Turn a balcony into a lush, plant-filled terrace with garden furniture arranged to take full advantage of a breathtaking view or fiery sunset.  A balcony off the bedroom provides a tranquil way to face a new day, cup of coffee in hand as the sun rises.  Arrange garden furniture, plants, and screens for added privacy.

8 — Balcony Basics

 

 

Opulence can be a nice place to visit but some people prefer elegant simplicity for everyday living.  To relax after a long busy day without a lot of gardening or tidying up to do, a few simple pieces of comfortable garden furniture provides the ideal setting to escape life’s hustle and bustle on a quiet, private balcony.  Stick to high-quality basics of good design to create a serene setting and let the wonders of nature chase your cares away.

 

9 — Tea Time in the Garden

 

 

Garden enthusiasts love getting their hands dirty but they also enjoy time to sit back and survey the fruits — and flowers — of their labors.  Create a simple spot in the midst of the garden to sit back, observe the scene, and figure out what to plant next.  Tea time in the garden is a most inviting event when a few simple pieces provide a cozy, colorful place for contemplation.

 

10 — Pool Time

 

 

A private swimming pool of any size is a backyard delight.  Surround it with water-resistant furniture and umbrellas to block the sun.  Include tables to hold food and drink since nothing seems to work up an appetite quite like a good swim does.  Include some deck chairs for sunbathing and outdoor storage to keep towels and sunscreen handy.

 

An outdoor room of any style is a delight during the daytime and can be equally enjoyable after dark.  Be sure to have plenty of lighting situated where it enhances the mood and provides just enough light to keep after-dark enjoyment free of accidents.  Be sure to plant some white flowers around your outdoor room, too.  White flowers pop to life in the moonlight when more vibrantly colored blooms fade into shadow.

 

Author bio: Rebecca is an author and blogger from London. He often writes about outdoor entertainment and how outdoor furniture, garden benches, patio furniture & sun loungers can create the perfect environment.

Building Green Recourses: Homes Interior

 

 

About Penofin: Fact Sheet for Deck Owners

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Those who extended their paradise beyond the back door with a deck may have used ipe, tigerwood or one of the extreme hardwoods. These breeds of lumber usually don’t need anything done to them, post installation. When they age, they’ll turn a nice shade of gray. If you want them to retain the same color as when you purchased them, apply a coat of stain that closely matches the original hue and a clear sealant.

But we’ve got an even better alternative. Forget the sealant. Grab a bucket of this stuff called Penofin. It’s a stain. Match the color of the hardwood when taking this path.

The way it’s made allows Penofin to sink more deeply into the surface of the wood. This means it will allow the lumber to breathe as well as have the individual fibers lap-up the coat.

Earth-Friendly

Penofin contains Brazilian Rosewood Oil. In other words, the seeds from like trees are harvested to make this flexible, strong, mildew and water resistant covering. That’s it. Just the seeds. No trees were harmed. And when applied, no gooey film remains on the surface. That is if you follow our final direction at the end of the article.

Get a gallon to coat up to 200 square feet for rough surfaces. If the wood is smooth, you’ll get around 300 square feet with the same amount. Follow directions and you’ll be able to put sanding or stripping in the rear-view mirror for the life of your deck. For heavy traffic areas, if you need to reapply, clean the area in question. Let it dry. Reapply and it will blend in with the unworn spots.

What to Expect

On a vertical plane — like a fence, Penofin will last (on average) about 4-years. On your deck, reapplication should be done every year-and-a-half. As with all outdoor products, the sun and Mother Nature set the timers.

You want to buy as close to exactly the right amount. Reason being that it’s not recommended to store it for any length of time.

A note: Since this product penetrates the surface so well, you’ll want to apply it to naked wood and not over an existing stain. That is unless you used Penofin in the first place. In that case, have at it. It’ll handle a touch-up just fine.

Like most substances you’ll use in an outdoor setting, try to pick a day when it’s between 50-to-80 degrees. This range of temperatures is really important. Anything outside that window could leave you with problems. It may not penetrate the wood as it’s supposed to. Could lead to peeling and chipping in the near future. If you can wear shorts and a t-shirt outside without breaking into a sweat, probably the right moment to slap a light coat onto the woody surfaces.

Planning a party on the patio? You can slap-on a coat the day before. In 12-hours, it’ll be ready to handle the footprints of your guests.

One last thing. You will need to wipe-down the wood after applying Penofin. Use a nap-free cloth. You want to make sure that none of the material sits on the surface. It’s doing its work under the surface.

Original Source:http://www.everlastinghardwoods.com/blog/outdoorliving/about-penofin-fact-sheet-for-deck-owners.html

Landscaping on a Budget

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

We do decks. And fine outdoor furniture. But we know that while you’re relaxing on that fine, value-added addition to your home, if your backyard looks like the Gobi desert, the view from above can be fairly unappealing.

You could hire a landscaper to do the work. That is if you’ve got a couple thousand dollars that’s burning a hole in your pocket. Those who would prefer to extend the beauty of your deck and save some money — think DIY. We’d like to present you with some tips that could inspire you to get out the shovel, rakes and assorted gardening tools to give the backyard a make-over on a budget.

Getting Started

Before you head-out to the local gardening center to scoop-up a couple of wheelbarrows of plants, you need a plan. You don’t require the hands of an artist. All it takes is a sheet of paper and a pencil.

Draw an approximation of what the area looks like on the paper. Identify the areas that need sprucing up by drawing some borders. No worries, that’s why you’re using a pencil. It’s got an eraser in case you decide to modify the blueprint after you’ve started planning. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Stand on your deck with your eyes focused on the yard. Refer to the plan. Again, praise the person who invented the eraser on your pencil. Delete and relocate.
  • Start small. Do one portion at a time. You’ve already created a plan. There’s no need to complete the entire project all at once. Modularize your overall objectives.
  • Consider using some ipê to create a few raised beds to plant your flowers or veggies? Think about your lawnmower. Can you get between the structures when you cut the grass?
  • Rarely do things grow under a sprawling shade tree. As you draw up the grand scheme, take into account where the sun shines and where it doesn’t. The best solution might be to build an ipê barrier around the darkest areas and fill the space with river rocks, mulch or some material that doesn’t require ol’ Sol for growth.

Due Diligence

Perhaps you’d prefer to simply resod some parts of your backyard. Buy a soil test kit. There may be a reason why grass isn’t growing there. Do you need to adjust the soil’s acidity? Or do you have chinch bugs or some other harmful pest turning things brown? Replacing the sod or adding an ipê raised bed, if there are bad bugs in the spot, you’ll simply be reliving the nightmare over-and-over.

Once the problem is identified, either augment the soil based on its Ph value or after you’ve eliminated the small critters killing the little trouble spot, a so-called module on your plan can continue.

Go!

Prepare the areas where you plan to add accents. Buy your ipê, assemble the raised beds, fill them with some good soil. Now that your staging area is complete, it’s time to fill the enclosed space with greenery or stones or mulch. Speaking of mulch, when you’ve finished planting, spread about an inch-and-a-half of mulch on top of the soil. It’s a maintenance thing. No need to have to spend your time weeding.

Practical Considerations When Purchasing Surface Materials

Purchasing loose materials like dirt, sand, mulch and rocks poses a question: How much of what do I need to buy for my selected modules. A guide:

  • You’re usually going to buy these materials by volume, either cubic feet or yards. A ton sounds like a lot, but in reality if it’s dirt or sand it’s fairly compact stuff. Planning on filling in a couple of inches with the materials, consider this: A ton of dirt, sand, or gravel will only fill less than a cubic yard. Another way of looking at it is 27 cubic feet is a space 3-feet deep, 3-feet wide and 3-feet long.
  • Soil weight is different than sand or gravel. A cubic yard of dirt comes in at a ton. A cubic yard of gravel, river stones or sand weighs around three-thousand pounds.
  • With that in mind, a ton of 1/4- to 3/4-inch-diameter rock that’s two-inches deep will only cover about 115 square feet.
  • Pea gravel or sand, same depth, will cover 100 square feet.

Again, think big but start small. Plan ahead, modularize the projects and make sure you water whatever you put in the ground. Except stones. They never get thirsty.

After one project is done, head back up to the deck, admire your work and imagine what the next module will do to that backyard that once looked like the surface of Mars.

Bring More Nature to Your Deck

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

If you have a plain Jane deck, you should look into sprucing it up a tad! You already have a strong ipe deck; totally furnished so now it’s time to start decorating the area so it truly becomes an extension of your living space. We’re talking adding color and making it your masterpiece of solitude!

Color It Up

One suggestion is to add a measure of color. Your deck has some thick railings that happen to be just the right size to balance a planter box. Being the DIY kind of person you are you head to the garage. Hidden inside the clutter are a couple of pieces of leftover ipe from the deck. All you need is a measuring tape, some treated plywood and a few nails. If you’ve built your own deck, surely you know how to construct a planter box or two?

In another corner of the garage you spot a few clay pots just sitting there. Gather them up.

Now that you have the containers, it’s not hard to fill them with dirt? You see where we’re going. You don’t have to be a landscape artist. Head out to a garden supply store and pick up some colorful flowering plants.

Suggestions

Your mission is to bring some friendly wildlife into your top-down living room. What’s going to attract Hummingbirds and butterflies? Here are some ideas:

  • Lantana and Fuchsia
  • Trumpet Vine and Trumpet Honeysuckle
  • Cardinal Vine
  • Butterfly Bush
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Bee Balm
  • Red Columbine
  • Delphinium and Hollyhock
  • Catawba Rhododendron

Ask the folks at the garden supply center what works best for your climate. What you need is already there.

Don’t Stop

One thing that virtually everything in nature enjoys is a good drink now and again. You could go the birdbath route. Just place it on a couple of elevated ceramic tiles in a place on the deck (although, ipe is notoriously water resistant).

Then there’s the 21st century approach. What we mean is a water feature. Nothing big. Simply something you plug in that recycles the water. Birds and butterflies love the sound of trickling water. As a matter of fact, so do you.

Finally

Go big and buy or make a bird feeder. Remember, you have that ipe scrap. It’s infinitely easy to build a bird feeder and a bird house. Bird seed is inexpensive. Something as simple as a decorative plate in a corner of your deck will draw flying wildlife into view. No construction required.

Accessorizing your deck to bring more nature toward your deck is as simple as using your imagination.

Lastly, have you ever thought about crawling vines, planted in the ground to crawl-up your deck rails? We recommend the types that flower and give-off a sweet scent. It not only attracts the animal kingdom. It’s also a great way to add color — and fragrance — to your perfect outdoor living space.

Outdoor Furniture to Last Many Lifetimes

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

In the carefree, careless days of our youth we’d cut down anything to make furniture for the great outdoors. Then something went wrong.

We started to run out of precious resources. Since you can’t grow Mahogany overnight, certain species got the seal of disapproval. These rare trees became endangered and foresters were told to take their blades elsewhere.

Enter Ipe

At first, outdoor hardwood furniture makers were stumped. Ipe (pronounced EE-pay) is one of the hardest woods ever discovered. Much tougher than Teak, Cedar or Hickory. Because Ironwood, another moniker for the extreme hard stuff, had a tendency to rip-up tools, craftsmen veered away from the material. As time trudged-on, the things used to slice ipe grew a set, making it much easier to shape, saw and mold the substance.

Ipe checks all the boxes when making tables and chairs meant to stand-up to the devastation that weather can dole-out. Not only does it have no need to be soaked in sealant or stains, it’s mostly resistant to moisture and crawling, gnawing creeps. And it can eat up a sunburn without losing its tough-guy status.

Beauty Contest

When placed on a runway with other outdoor models of leisure – lounge or deck chair, tables and the like – it stands out like Mr. or Miss Universe. Composites and plastic look like pretenders to the crown. Ipe never needs to cover itself with make-up. Its natural beauty requires no paint, aging like an eternal star where you can plant your butt, your drink and, well, your potted plants.

Add fasteners and other ornaments made from stainless steel and you’ll have something that the jet-pack, time-traveling relatives will be able to enjoy way into the next century. Ipe is tight grained, appealing to deck builders and craftspeople who work with wood for its low number in the ugly department.

Let’s Talk Hardness

It ranks over 3684 on the Janka hardness test. The Janka hardness test measures the resistance of wood and how it withstands denting and wear. It’s a way to see how much force is required to embed an 11.28 mm (0.444 in) steel ball into wood up to half the ball’s diameter.

Let’s make a couple of comparisons. On the Janka scale we already know how dense Ipe is. Using that same system, cedar comes in at 900. When you speak of teak, that material rolls an even 1000. Finally, the Janka hardness test gives hickory a paltry 1820. Bottom line: This is a totally hard wood.

Cypress Siding

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Believe it or don’t, there are actually buildings that are around 200-years old that have cypress wood as part of their construction. That same stuff is being reclaimed by heirloom remodelers, able to be used again.

And another thing that makes cypress such an eternal wood is that is has this natural preservative called cypressine. This substance not only keeps the lumber from rotting, it repels bugs, too.

When George Washington’s grandfather’s home near Mt. Vernon was recently being restored workers found that the siding and shingles were cypress. The original cypress. Once they were cleaned, they were remounted.

The renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright was a fan of cypress. Just travel around Oak Park, Illinois to see that quite a few of his early works used cypress for many features on the classic structures. Consider these facts about the wood:

  • It will cost you about two-bucks for a linear foot of a 1-by-6 inch panel.
  • Cypress marries well with glue, screws and nails. You shouldn’t have any problems if you decide to slap on some finish.
  • When stacked against other types of wood, cypress is super-durable. As mentioned, it can last a couple of centuries. It might be able to hang on even longer as long as it’s properly maintained by your great-great-great-great-great grandkids.
  • You will need to perform some regular maintenance (or the great-great-great-great-great grandkids will). For instance, if you coat it with a transparent stain, you’ll end up repeating the process about every 5-years. Use a weak bleach mix with water to tame any mold or fungus that might appear.

There are two downsides to using cypress wood. No biggies, though. You’ll have to seal it so that it won’t warp or split. While it lasts virtually forever, it will fade as the decades roll by.

Storing new or unused cypress siding requires it to be about a half-foot off the ground. Make sure that whatever table it’s placed upon will not pool any water. Throw a tarp over it until you use it. Not a tightly attached tarp. You want to make sure you don’t inadvertently cause any condensation to occur.

When cypress siding is installed it can be placed over standard sheathing material. The maximum stud spacing should be 16-inches on-center. Sometimes building codes don’t require it, so an unsheathed wall will be O.K. You would be well-advised to tack-on a felt paper wind barrier. Suggested vapor barriers like foil-faced sheathings and rigid foam will do the trick.