Decking Materials

What Decking Materials Are the Best Value?

As thoughts turn to warmer weather and outdoor gatherings many homeowners are thinking of building a deck or renovating their current deck. There are a lot of decking materials out there. What is the best choice? A couple viable options are cedar, pressure treated lumber and composite decking materials.
First you need to assess your needs and decide which material has the most durability and features for your home and your usage.
The advantages of cedar and pressure treated lumber are a natural wood look, but they require sealing and staining and cleaning as part of their regular maintenance. Composite decking on the other hand does not require staining or sealing, just periodic cleaning.
While composite decking may be a bit more expensive, the low-maintenance of it can pay for itself in the long run. It has been shown that composite decks are much less expensive to maintain over a 20 year period as compared to its cedar and pressure-treated counterparts.
If you want a deck made with true wood, consider MWP’s sustainable building solution in Weyerhauser lumber. Weyerhaeuser’s patented computerized grading system — the result of 10 years in testing — goes far beyond visual grading capabilities to ensure that every piece of lumber starts straight and stays straight. It stays so straight, it comes with a warranty. You’d have a beautiful and natural deck to entertain on.
If you feel composite decking is more your taste, we carry two high quality brands.
Zuri® Premium Decking by Royal® goes beyond wood decking by combining the aesthetics of exotic timber while holding its beauty far longer than any wood could. Which means you get to create a thoroughly distinguished outdoor environment.
AZEK decks are 100% Smarter Than Wood™. They are designed to inspire and engineered to last beautifully. The incorporate the latest in materials science innovation to protect your deck. AZEK engineers the best high-performance building materials available.
If you are still in doubt, come into our showroom and we’ll be happy to assist you in picking out the materials that will create a deck that you will enjoy for many years to come. Want a hot tub on your great new deck? We can help with that too!

Great Home Life Hacks

Need a few life hacks to make your home more organized and add personal touches? MWP Building Supply to the rescue are 5 quick tips to help around the house.

  1. Use old door knobs for hanging coats or towels.– It’s easy to transform drawer knobs to useful wall hooks by changing out the screws and utilizing drywall anchors.
  2. A hinged painting is perfect to hide the thermostat.– If you hate looking at your alarm panel or another thin panel that hangs on your wall you can attach a painting or photo canvas with a hinge to keep the panel out of sight.
  3. A shoe organizer is perfect for the pantry.– Hang one on the back of the pantry door to corral little items that would usually get lost, such as spices, sandwich bags, or snacks.
  4. Hide your spare key in a medicine bottle with a rock glued to the end. Then bury it.  Much safer then a key under the welcome mat!
  5. Use a rubber band for stripped screws.– A rubber band may aid in providing enough grip to remove, or at least loosen, the screw. Place a wide band rubber band in between the screw driver and the screw, then apply hard, but slow force as you turn.

If you need any ‘serious’ building supplies, you know where to find them.  MWP Building Supply offers all the best brands and we’re dedicated to providing personalized and outstanding service to our clients.

Wainscoting Appeal

Add appeal to your home with wainscoting. But many people use wainscoting and beadboard interchangeably, so the terms can be confusing.

Wainscoting is a kind of wood paneling used for centuries as both decorative accents, insulation and to prevent (and cover up) water damage on walls. Originally riven oak boards would cover the entire wall, but in the 1700s panelling began to cover only the lower part of the wall.

True beadboard is the traditional material used to construct wainscoting along the bottom portion of walls in bathrooms, kitchens, dining rooms or any room of the house. Beadboard gains its name from the fact that when the pieces are fastened together, they create a bead between them. There is such a thing nowadays as imitation beadboard. This basically consists of 4 by 8 foot sheets of vertically patterned paneling, usually no thicker than 5/16 inches. When glued to a wall, it resembles a series of tongue and groove slats, but it is not proper beadboard.

Wainscoting is particularly well suited to rooms that take a lot of wear and tear. Such as-

  1. Entries

In mudrooms, where boots, backpacks, and wet umbrellas can damage walls, beadboard makes a good choice because there are fewer prominent edges to dent and ding. The walls in more formal foyers are often clad in paneled wainscoting.

  1. Stairs and hallways

The walls of these narrow passages benefit from wainscoting’s scuff and mark protection. The horizontal rails and the cap generally follow the pitch of the stair; the stiles or beadboard remain vertical.

  1. Eating areas

In dining rooms, tall wainscoting topped with a grooved plate rail displays fine china and serving pieces. For more casual kitchens, wainscoting capped at chair height with a prominent top rail safeguards walls from being marred when diners push back from the table.

  1. Family rooms and dens

Adding wainscoting to areas where kids—and pets—congregate can have a calming effect, the architectural equivalent of a shhh. Rec rooms benefit too, with a cap rail that’s wide enough to perch a drink, Ping-Pong paddles, or pool-cue chalk.

  1. Baths

A traditional alternative to pricey tiled walls, wainscoting made from warp-resistant wood, specially treated MDF, or solid surfacing helps protect the drywall or plaster underneath from water damage. It also has a warming effect in this room, where cold porcelain fixtures, ceramic floors, and tub enclosures can predominate.

 

5 Safety Items Every Do It Yourselfer Should Have

When working with tools, it’s important to keep safety in mind. DIY is all the rage. Everyone knows they need tools, but not everyone thinks about what they need to safely use those tools. Here are 5 safety items every do it yourselfer should have.

 

 

Fire extinguisher- This item should be at the top of everyone’s list. That’s why it’s at the top of ours. Fires in the kitchen, candles left burning, flat iron left on in the bathroom, dirty barbeque, etc. Even if you are not a DIY person, a fire extinguisher is very important.

Work gloves- You use your hand all day, everyday. It’s so automatic that we don’t realize how much a hand injury can affect you until you have one. Gloves can protect you from heat, sharp objects, water, chemicals, etc. Make sure you have the right gloves for the job and that they fix correcting. Ill fitting gloves will do more harm than good.

Safety goggles- Eyes are very sensitive. The smallest piece of debris can cause a lot of pain. And you can’t just close your eyes while using tools.

Ear plugs- When noise is too loud, it begins to kill the nerve endings in the inner ear. Prolonged exposure to loud noise destroys nerve endings. As the number of nerve endings decreases, so does your hearing. So make sure to have hearing protection when using power tools.

First aid kit- Having a box of Band-Aids doesn’t count… The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the following:

  • 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
  • 1 instant cold compress
  • 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
  • 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
  • 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
  • 5 antiseptic wipe packets
  • 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
  • 1 blanket (space blanket)
  • 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • 2 pair of non-latex gloves (size: large)
  • 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
  • Scissors
  • 1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
  • 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
  • 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
  • Oral thermometer (non-mercury/non-glass)
  • 2 triangular bandages
  • Tweezers

Everyone’s needs are different, so fill your kit with what you think you’ll need in your home.

5 Basic Household Tools

hammer and nails on a wood board with sawdust shavingsBeing a homeowner can get overwhelming. You are the one responsible if anything breaks or needs work. If you don’t already have an assortment of tools, you may find yourself needing something quickly and realizing you don’t have it. Here is a list of 5 basic household tools everyone should own.

Hammer – A 16-ounce hammer with a curved claw for pulling nails. Wooden handles are fine, but a fiberglass handle will help to cushion the shock of driving nails.

Tape measure – 25-foot tape measure is your best size choice. It’s still small enough to be easily held in one hand, but will allow you to measure almost any room from wall to wall. Be sure the tape is broad and strong enough that it won’t droop when it’s extended.

Using pliers to cut a wireScrewdrivers – You can start out with a single screwdriver with interchangeable bits that will do for most jobs around the house. Inclusive sets that contain an assortment of heads (flathead, Phillips and square) are readily available.

Pliers – Often available in sets of three – needle nose, wire cutting and small slip joint. The needle noses are amazingly useful for getting into narrow spaces and a necessity for doing any wiring work. The wire cutters will not only cut wire but they can double as wire strippers.

Utility knife – with retractable and replaceable blades. Safer to use than an ordinary knife (since you can retract the blade when it’s not in use), and the replaceable blades mean it’s always sharp.

A red metal toolbox with tools on a white backgroundBonus Tool Stud finder – When hanging heavy objects on your wall, like shelves or mirrors, you always want to secure it to a stud. Drywall is not strong enough to hold nails in place for an extended amount of time, and you risk the nail shifting or falling out, resulting in broken possessions.

You should also invest in a tool box. Something to simply keep all your tools in one place. That way when you need one, you know exactly where it is!

 

Tips Winterizing Garden and Lawn

Baby it’s cold outside!  Before long, your plants and garden will be at the mercy of the elements so MWP Building Supply wants to offer you a few tips for winterizing your garden and lawn.

Autumn leaves and a rake on backlight, horizon format

    1. First things first, clean up your garden. Cut back all perennials AFTER the first hard frost, and pull any weeds. They are very handy for compost. But never compost diseased plants.

 

    1. Of course we want to rake up the leaves. They keep the grass from getting sunlight and water.

 

    1. If you have a tiller, use it to deeply work the ground and turn under the remaining plant residue. Tilling is needed if you are mixing amendments into the soil. It is also helpful if you have severely compacted soil that needs to be broken up or any type of soil that needs to be broken into finer bits for planting seeds.

 

    1. Gardening ToolsPlanters can fill with water, freeze then crack. So be sure to cover any outdoor containers, or bring them inside.

 

    1. Once your garden is closed for the winter, disconnect hoses and turn off the taps. If you don’t, the pipes could freeze and burst. This is also a good time to tune up your garden tools. Cleaning them before storing is important, but don’t forget to sharpen blades.

 

  1. Some plants, like boxwood trees, should be wrapped for winter. Wrapping plants with burlap is a relatively simple way to protect the plants from winter frost, snow and ice. It also protects plants from winter burn, a damaging condition caused by a combination of winter sunlight and depleted soil moisture. Burlap is more effective than plastic because it allows the plant to breathe so air circulates and heat isn’t trapped.

There you have it!  We hope we’ve made it easier for you to prepare your garden and yard for winter.  We at MWP Building Supply wish you a very happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy your family, friends AND turkey!!

Fall Interior Upgrades

Composition with sofa and armchairsFall is a great time to make small upgrades and improvements on the interior of your home. Whether you’re planning to sell your home,  just want to personalize it more, or need to get yourself organized, these few tips can change the feel of your home!

Upgrade fixtures. Light fixtures are a pretty common change, but also think about your sinks. Simply changing the faucets can transform the look of the whole room.

Add color. Add a pop of color to every room. You don’t always need to paint the walls to make a difference. Just a small change like a pillow or wall art is enough to make a statement.

Glass can open a room. Mirrors, glass shower doors, even glass vases can make a room feel more open.

Crown molding. It can really change the look of a room. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot. You can also layer it to make a custom look.

two 5 year old kids sleeping on bookshelvesDeclutter. Pretty self explanatory. “Stuff” accumulates everywhere. Clean out closets and drawers, toss the trash, donate things you don’t use or need.

Add storage. You can add shelves, cubbies, and hooks anywhere in your home to make room for all the things you didn’t clear out when you decluttered. Also having furniture that has built in storage is quite helpful.

 

If you need any supplies for your Fall projects, MWP is the place to go. We provide quality building materials and stellar support to our customers in Central Virginia.  We are passionate about our products and the service we provide.

MWP Building Supply  – 322 Washington Street Madison, Virginia 22727

 

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Gardener raking fall leaves in garden. Nature background

The air is getting chilly and we no longer think about dressing lightly. But just as you wear a sweater to keep the cool weather from affecting you, so you should also think of protecting your home from the chill. Here are a few tips to get your home ready for cold fall weather.

Gutters-

Clean and inspect your gutters. Remove all debris, flush with water, and check for loose or leaky joints. Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams. Replace old or damaged gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards.

Outdoor Tools-

Yard equipment needs to be cleaned and stored properly. Drain the fuel as well. Hoses should be drained and stored and the water needs to be turned off from the inside. Furniture needs to be covered or stored as well. Get any winter equipment ready and easy to get to like shovels and snow blowers.

Heating-

Have your heating system checked. When well maintained, it will use less energy, which will save you money. Don’t forget the fireplace or wood stove as well. Make sure to have the chimney cleaned to keep your home safe.

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Check for Drafts-

Check for drafts around doors and windows. Sometimes all you need is some caulking to fix a seal, depending on how big the gap is.

Air Circulation-

Changing the direction of your ceiling fans can help redistribute the warm air in your home. Make sure to clean the blades first, lots of dust and pet fur can collect on them. With the heat on, the air can become very dry. Humidifiers are great to have in the winter, just remember to clean them often to keep mold away.

5 Tips To Keep Your House Cool

tips to beat the heatMost healthy adults can cope with heat; their bodies are able to maintain normal temperatures…up to a point. The body maintains its temperature primarily through sweating. When body heat rises above the norm, the brain causes the blood vessels in the skin to dilate, providing increased blood flow at the surface of the body and supplying increased fluids to make sweat. As perspiration evaporates, it cools the surface of the body and lowers body temperature. If the humidity is higher, it is more difficult for the body to perspire normally.

Here are five tips to keep your house and yourself cool:

  1. If your area cools off in the evening, take advantage of the cool evenings to cool off your entire house. Open windows and doors with screens to bring the inside temperature down.
  2. Consider using a whole-house fan. It is a “natural evening air conditioner.”
  3. In the morning, close up your house and draw blinds and drapes so the house stays darker and thus cooler.
  4. If you have venetian blinds, close them or angle them upwards. That way, light is reflected up and into the room and direct rays of the sun are not let in.
  5. Set your termostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit when you are home and 85 degrees when you are away. For the infirm, elderly, and those who have trouble maintaining body temperatures (such as diabetics), set your thermostat lower (72 to 75 degrees) when you are home.


Hot weather affects the elderly and the infirm more than those who are in better health. 

Most healthy adults can cope with heat; their bodies are able to maintain normal temperatures…up to a point. The body maintains its temperature primarily through sweating. When body heat rises above the norm, the brain causes the blood vessels in the skin to dilate, providing increased blood flow at the surface of the body and supplying increased fluids to make sweat. As perspiration evaporates, it cools the surface of the body and lowers body temperature. If the humidity is higher, it is more difficult for the body to perspire normally.

Signs Of Heat Stroke

Heat stroke warning signs and symptoms

 

If you see someone with these symptoms, call for an ambulance. While awaiting its arrival, get the victim out of the heat. Loosen or remove clothing, wrap the person in wet towels or clothing, and apply ice packs around the neck,the groin and under the arms and knees (where the blood flow is greatest and closest to the surface). Do NOT allow oral hydration if mental impairment is observed (and it is usually present in this condition).

The best defense is PREVENTION.

Here are some precautions you can take…

  • Wear light weight, light-colored loose-fitting clothing.
  • Apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating of at least “SPF 15” to exposed portions of the body
  • Limit exposure during the hottest hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • If possible, avoid strenuous work or exercise outside.
  • Take advantage of shade in the environment and/or wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas or use cooling fans to speed sweat evaporation.

Pool Party Games

kid pool gamesPool games make the water more fun for kids! Find water games and games for the swimming pool to entertain children for hours using our activity finder. Kids love to play games in the pool like sharks & minnows and marco polo – easy to learn and free!

Marco Polo

Marco? Polo! Marco Polo is a fun game for confident swimmers who enjoy strategy and chasing games.

  1. The game is played by three or more people.
  2. One player is designated ‘It’ and he or she must swim around the pool with eyes closed, attempting to tag the other player(s).
  3. The ‘It’ player can only sense where the other players are by sound, but may call out ‘Marco!’, at which point all the other players are required to yell ‘Polo!’.
  4. When the ‘It’ player succeeds in tagging another player, the latter becomes ‘It’.

Sharks and Minnows

  1. Generally sharks and minnows is played in the deep end of a large pool.
  2. The game starts out with one person selected as the shark and the rest as the minnows.
  3. The shark starts in the water on one side of the pool and the minnows usually start on the deck of the other side (if they are playing in water deep enough to dive into).
  4. The game starts by the shark calling out “Sharks and minnows, one two three, fishies, fishies swim to me!” at which point the minnows may begin to dive in to swim to the other wall.
  5. If the shark manages to tag a minnow before he touches the wall, then that minnow becomes a shark in the next round.
  6. After all the minnows have either reached the wall or been tagged the shark(s) swim to the other wall and the cycle starts again.
  7. If the some of the minnows refuse to enter the pool, the shark may swim to the other wall and tag it, whoever was still out of the pool when the shark tags the wall becomes a shark.
  8. The game is played until all of the minnows have been tagged, then the first person tagged becomes the shark who starts the next round.

Seahorse Race

 

What You’ll Need:

  • A swimming pool
  • Round inner tubes or “noodle” type floating toys (one for each player)

How to play:

  1. Choose one player to be the Judge. The other kids will be Seahorse Jockeys.
  2. Give each Seahorse Jockey an inner tube and have them line up at one end of the pool.
  3. On the Judges word, “Go!,” the Seahorse Jockeys must race to the other end of the pool.
  4. The first Seahorse to get to the other side is the winner.

Variation:

pool gamesNoodle Race Relay

  1. Use “Noodle” type float toys
  2. Have the Seahorse Jockeys sit on the floating toys like they were horses.
  3. Divide the kids into two groups and have the stand at one end of the pool.
  4. On the word, “Go!”, one kid from each team has to jump in, mount their “seahorses” and race to the other side of the pool and back again. Then get out of the pool and give his “Seahorse” to the next kid in line.
  5. The game continues like this until all every kid has had a turn.
  6. The first team to finish the race wins the game.

Watermelon Relay Pool Game

 

What You’ll Need:

  • A swimming pool
  • 1 watermelon per team

How to play:

  1. Divide the kids into two teams.
  2. Have a kid from each team get into the pool in at one end. Float a watermelon in front of each kid.
  3. On the word, “Go!,” each kid has to push the watermelon to the other side of the pool, but must not have their feet touching the bottom of the pool when they’re pushing.
  4. When they reach the other side the next teammate in line takes the next lap and pushes the watermelon back to the other end of the pool.
  5. This continues until each kid has had turn.
  6. The team that finishes first wins