Materials and Supplies

HDPE: Perks of Plastic Wood

High-density polyethylene wood, or HDPE wood is a synthetic lumber manufactured as an alternative to real wood. HDPE lumber is usually composed of recycled plastic materials and other additives to produce a substance similar to lumber. Used mostly for construction, this plastic wood has several benefits.

For one, HDPE physically looks and functions like wood. It can also be worked with the same tools used for real wood, such as nails, power saws, and the like. One significant advantage plastic lumber has is that it is more durable and heavier than wood. It also needs little to no maintenance like genuine lumber. Its longevity is also noteworthy, since plastic wood is highly resistant to rot or warping. It is also resistant to moisture, making it a perfect choice for outdoor patios and decking even in areas with cold and wet weather. In fact, HDPE lumber typically comes with a 50-year warranty.

The biggest advantage of the plastic wood, however, is its environmental benefits. Plastic wood is mostly made of recycled plastic materials. Not only does this utilize reusable materials but also lessens the use of wood for construction. Plastic lumber can reduce the demand for wood, meaning that the rate of cutting down trees would also decrease. Overall, this innovation has helped many homeowners and contractors, not to mention that it’s an eco-friendly alternative.


HDPE vs. Wood: What is the Best Decking Material?

Before you decide between HDPE lumber and wood, you should first understand the nature of the job you want these two materials to fulfill. Decking materials spend most of their time outdoors, which means that they need to be resistant to heat, moisture, and harsh weather. HDPE and wood possess such durable quality to some extent, but what makes one material better than the other? This is when you need to delve into the specifics.

Wood is a natural and versatile material that is quite easy to obtain. Depending on the type of tree from which it was harvested, wood can boast excellent strength and durability over other decking materials. What’s more, wood also has a unique, rustic appeal that makes it an attractive choice to many people. Unfortunately, wood requires periodic sealing to prevent water damage and to ward off harmful pests like termites.

On the other hand, HDPE, or High Density Polyethylene, is a synthetic material that is designed to be as robust and maintenance-free as possible. This gives it longevity that can go beyond the service life of wood. Depending on the manufacturer, HDPE can come in various designs and colors, allowing it to cater to the tastes and styles of more people. That said, HDPE is more expensive and may require stress checks from time to time.

Using Plastic Wood beyond Property Improvement

Plastic wood, a material composed mostly of recycled HDPE plastic and designed to mimic the look and feel of natural wood, is commonly used in building decks, fences, gazebos and benches. Long-lasting, sturdy, and easy to customize, it is one of the leading materials used for outdoor home improvement. But did you know that you can also use it when building other things?


Plastic wood is not a new concept, although in the past it had its limits in terms of customization. However, thanks to the continued innovations of manufacturers in the home improvement sector, plastic wood can now be used as a wood substitute for other types of structures, namely bird feeders, picnic tables, folding chairs, jungle gyms, docks, posts, speed bumps, marinas, and many others.


Designed to function similar to wood but without the risk of rotting and getting mold and mildew, plastic wood is a great material. Any furniture or structure built with it will match the aesthetic appeal of real wood yet will last longer.


While easy to use in almost any project, one should be aware that there is a variety of plastic wood materials available on the market. Before stocking up on the material, custom builders and furniture manufacturers are recommended to consult with a premier supplier so that they get the exact type of plastic wood that is best suited for the projects or products they are working on.

Preserving the Environment Using HDPE Lumber

When it comes to improving any property, building or rebuilding the outdoor living space is one of the most common improvements done. Decks, fences, and pergolas are usually added to the backyard. Traditionally, these types of improvements are built using wood that would match the design or style of the property.

Natural wood, however, requires constant maintenance because it is susceptible to rotting and molding, and can crack and fade with extensive exposure to sunlight, rain, snow, and the changing weather. So despite wood’s aesthetical advantages, it simply cannot last for years while sustaining its look and function. This leads to the need to periodically replace certain areas of the property made with wood to maintain the living space.

Fortunately, thanks to advances in technology, specifically with regard to HDPE lumber, using wood on properties can now be cost-efficient. Sporting the look and feel of natural wood, HDPE lumber can help homeowners build additional living spaces made entirely from wood, without worrying about rotting, molding and even fading wood.

Labeled as #2 plastic, HDPE is one of the most commonly used plastics in the country. Found in plastic bottles, milk jugs, and refillable plastic bottles, recycled HDPE is the major component of HDPE lumber. So when an owner chooses to use this material to improve the outdoor living space, he is doing the environment a favor by using materials made from recycled plastic, and minimizing the use of natural wood.

Plastic Wood on Deck for the Green Movement

More and more people are becoming aware of the importance of being environmentally responsible. Not all natural resources are renewable and knowing this is already a big step for the planet.

One way that most people reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the betterment of the environment is by reducing the amount of waste they produce, especially from their homes. A main source of excess, homes hold several items which will be thrown away and dumped in landfills.

It’s a good thing that there are people who know they can recycle their plastic waste and turn them into something useful and sustainable at the same time. For example, wood decks, which are an essential part of American relaxation at home, need not entail trees being cut down for construction. Those who would like to construct home decks can opt to choose a high-density plastic lumber material made from recycled polyethylene plastic. Common household items which contain HDPE include milk containers and shampoo bottles.

HDPE plastic wood, unlike genuine wood, doesn’t need sanding, painting, and staining. It’s virtually maintenance-free, making homeowners save more and have more for themselves and their families. Moreover, it has UV stabilizers, making it more durable, fade-resistant, and termite-proof.

Plastic wood is the perfect construction material for outdoor living spaces, and it is certainly on deck in assisting everyone in doing their part for the future of the planet.

Reining in the Gated Community’s Road Beasts

If you are looking for a place where you can raise your family in peace and quiet, a gated community is one option. Think about it: you don’t have to worry about continuous traffic out the door, and you may have a chance to get to know your neighbors better. However, since some streets of the community may be devoid of cars parked at the curb, they could actually give certain residents funny ideas about stepping on the gas. The homeowners association may have to step in before things get out of hand, such as setting up speed bumps and signs.

The initial step in the effort is to seek approval from the local authorities regarding the installation of speed bumps. Once that is done, you can map out the streets in the community that have the potential to become accident-prone areas. Examples include T-sections, crossroads linked to curved streets, and facility entrances.

Consult a supplier of speed bumps and signs about their available sizes. Certain sizes may be amenable for long stretches of road while others are more fit for entrances. If the association does not want to spend too much on making asphalt speed bumps, the manufacturer can offer HDPE plastic speed bumps. The streets where the bumps will be installed should be closed off as the work begins. 

Tips on Caring for Composite Decking

Wood decks remain stylish and elegant additions to homes, just as they have over the years. Today, though, you can still have the beauty of wooden decking without having to keep up with the high maintenance needs of the material by using composite or plastic wood. Nevertheless, plastic lumber still requires some amount of care and attention to truly last a lifetime.

Sweep and Wash

Regularly sweep leaves, twigs, animal droppings and other debris off your deck (you might want to use a leaf blower if the debris is piling up high). Then, use a garden hose to rinse it efficiently, making sure you don’t allow puddles to form and become stagnant. Over time, water puddles can and will ruin your decking.

Equipment Cleaning

Hire a pressure washing company who can get rid of any paint or grease stains on your decking. While you can rent your own pressure washer, you might not be able to control the equipment enough to keep from damaging the composite or plastic wood.

Removable Stains

When the stains aren’t bad enough to warrant power washing, you could do it yourself by following a few standard cleaning measures. For instance, when it comes to wine or berry stains, mix a ¼ cup of bleach in a cup of warm water and apply to the stained area using a soft bristled brush.

Building Your Own Private Dock

If you enjoy the sea and have a nice boat to boot, you will eventually want to consider building a dock on the coast for convenience. You may see it as a chance to not pay rental and service fees at the marina if you are committed to maintaining the vessel. Still, there are a number of pitfalls you need to hurdle to ensure that the dock you build is sturdy and handles your kind of water craft.

First, you need to have an extensive raft of documentation to properly keep track of the project as it takes shape. The papers include diagrams of the project, separate lists for the budget, materials, and tools, and a projected completion time, as well as compliance documents with the authorities. A consultation with a reputable contractor will help put things in order for you, as well as iron out discrepancies you may have overlooked.

Wood is a common material in dock construction, but the wrong kind of wood will render it at the mercy of the elements. However, HDPE lumber products are emerging as suitable alternatives for dock materials. If built to well above regulations, your own HDPE lumber dock will become a good place to spend some private time while taking the opportunity to breathe cool ocean air.