Vinyl vs. Aluminum Railing



According to Benjamin Kauffman, Regional Sales Manager at Superior Plastic Products, the answer depends on the project and the customer.
“Both offer advantages. Several factors, including specific application, a customer’s style and design preferences, budget, and other considerations, can make one a better choice than the other for a project,” explains Kauffman.

Vinyl Railing Advantages

Vinyl-Rail Price — Costs less than aluminum railing

Low maintenance — Requires little attention other than occasional cleaning

Durability — Withstands long-term weather wear and tear better than aluminum (even in beachfront locations where there’s exposure to saltwater mist)

Traditional appeal — Provides a more authentic wood design than aluminum railing

Aluminum Railing Advantages

Aluminum-Rail Strength — Is stronger in a smaller, easier-to-grasp profile than vinyl railing

Modern appeal — Offers a more contemporary, sleek look

Wide Range of Color Options — Comes in a variety of powder-coated colors that can complement nearly any décor

Rustproof — Won’t rust even if the powder coating gets scratched, making it an ideal replacement for deteriorating wrought iron railing

“While we continue to sell more vinyl railing overall, aluminum railing has gained popularity,” shares Kauffman. “At Superior Plastic Products, both railing types come with a lifetime warranty (20 years). Regardless of which one your customer chooses, you can provide them with long-term value.”
If you’re not sure which railing—vinyl or aluminum—will be the better choice for a project, feel free to reach out to us at Homestead Outdoor Products. We’re always happy to help you decide on the right products to fulfill your customers’ needs.[/column-third-1-2]
[column-third-3]GOT QUESTIONS ABOUT FENCING? WE CAN HELP! [/column-third-3]

Secondary Handrails for Your Customers’ Safety and Peace of Mind


With winter around the corner, both residential and commercial property owners want to be sure outdoor stairs are as safe as possible.

Stairs can be tricky to navigate for some people regardless of the weather, but the ice and snow that arrive with the colder months of the year bring added cause for concern.

A secondary stair railing can help property owners provide a more secure setting for everyone. According to John Ervin Stoltzfus, a sales representative at Key-Link Fencing and Railing, Inc., secondary handrails provide greater safety and peace of mind because they’re easier to grasp and hold on to than other railings.

Commercial construction projects often need them to comply with ADA Code requirements. For residential settings, you’re typically required to install a secondary handrail that’s easier to grasp on one side of a deck or patio stair railing when there are four or more stair risers.

“Secondary handrails come in both aluminum and vinyl and in different styles and colors to meet customers’ safety needs and design preferences,” explains Stoltzfus. “For example, at Key-Link, we offer a basic 1.5-inch round handrail and a decorative 2-inch handrail that matches the Arabian series of railings.”

Contact us if you need information or have questions about the various secondary handrail options available for outdoor and indoor applications

[column-third-3]Help customers make their home sweet home a “home safe home” for the holidays! [/column-third-3]

Privacy Fencing

[column-third-1-2]Privacy Fence With lives that are busier than ever, more homeowners are looking to make their backyards a place where they can relax after long days at work, enjoy catching up with their families, and entertain friends—without interruption and in privacy. According to Amos Kauffman, Marketing Director at Superior Plastic Products, privacy fencing offers a way to make that happen.

A vinyl privacy fence can help homeowners by:

  • Making it easier for them to contain what they want in their backyards and keep out what they don’t want.
  • Enclosing areas customers don’t want people to see (such as spaces where they keep trash receptacles, recycle bins, etc.).
  • Enclosing a pool.
  • Providing a private space that minimizes outside distractions and interruptions.
  • Blocking an unpleasant view (like a neighbor’s uncared-for lawn) from

But not all privacy fencing is created equal. “There’s a big difference in the level of quality out there,” explains Kauffman. “It’s important to look for privacy fencing that comes with a reinforced bottom rail to prevent sagging.”

PrivacyFence for a Pool

You can expect that your customers may need you to guide them in choosing the type of privacy fencing that will serve them best. When deciding on the best option, not only will quality be top of mind, but other considerations like style, function, and amount of maintenance required will also need to be a part of the conversation.

Have questions about privacy fencing for your customers?

We’re here to help. Call us for more information!

[column-third-3]Whether you need fencing or any other product to do the job right, you’ll find it at Homestead Outdoor Products. Not only do we have the industry’s best fencing and gates, we also have a complete line of decking, pergolas, picnic tables, railings, trellises, and more. Count on us to meet all your outdoor project needs.


Six Reasons to Choose Vinyl Fencing

Six Reasons to Choose Vinyl Fencing With an array of fencing choices available to your customers, you need to be knowledgeable about each option. Giving customers the best, not the cheapest, fencing solution is the way to provide the most value—and to ensure customers are happy for the long term.

Vinyl fencing, in particular, offers numerous advantages over other types of fencing for both residential and commercial property owners.

Why Install Vinyl Fencing

  1. It’s built to last—Strong and durable, it stands up to the elements.
  2. It’s low maintenance—Vinyl fencing requires very little attention. An occasional cleaning with a mild detergent, using a soft brush and hose or a light pressure washer, is all that’s needed to keep it looking great.
  3. It has a clean, sleek profile—It’s an attractive option that enhances the landscape with its subtle appearance. Available in multiple colors (Superior Plastic Products offers five), it blends well with its surroundings.
  4. It won’t rust or rot—That’s right. Customers won’t need to worry about their fence deteriorating under exposure to wind and weather.
  5. No painting needed—This is a huge plus. Because vinyl fencing won’t peel or chip, it requires no painting—ever!
  6. Environmentally friendly—Vinyl fencing is made of recyclable material. If a customer removes a fence, it can be repurposed and re-used rather than ending up in a landfill.

The Superior Plastic Products’ vinyl fence systems that we offer are also easy to install. That’s a plus for you, because it saves you time and money.

If you want to learn more about its advantages and the many variations available in picket, yard, privacy, and post and rail styles, call us for more information.

Tips for Giving Customers Value and Gaining Referrals

A job well done isn’t the only thing customers consider before recommending contractors to their friends, family, and neighbors.

Here are some quick tips for adding value and gaining customer confidence:

  • Dirty hiking boots Sweep up—Clean up after yourself, so you’re not leaving unsightly debris on your customer’s property.
  • Stay off the lawn—Do your best to minimize where you tread on your customer’s landscape while you’re working on a project.
  • Wear booties—If a job takes you indoors, protect your customer’s flooring and carpet from dirt and mud by wearing shoe covers before entering the house.

Pay attention to the little “extras” and you’ll better your chances of standing out from your competition.

Do’s & Don’ts of Caring for Composite Decks

Caring for Composit Decks While composite decks require far less maintenance than wood decking, they do need some minimal care to keep them looking their best. You can ensure a top-notch customer service experience by giving homeowners the information they need to properly care for their composite decks.

After you’ve installed composite decking, share these simple tips with your customers:

  • Regularly sweep your deck to keep grit and debris from collecting on it.
  • To clean your deck, use an all-purpose cleaner or deck cleaner that’s safe for composite materials. To ensure it won’t discolor or damage your deck, first test the cleaning compound on a small patch of your deck that’s not highly visible.
  • Do not use heavy-duty wood deck res- toration products on composite decks. They’re not made for use on synthetic materials.
  • Power wash your deck when it requires extra cleaning.
  • Avoid using a metal shovel to remove snow and ice in the winter. Instead, use a plastic shovel to avoid scratching or otherwise damaging your deck.
  • To melt ice on your deck, use calcium chloride or another ice-melt compound that’s safe on synthetic surfaces.
  • Position screens, awnings, and landscaping to prevent the reflection from low-E glass in windows and sliding doors from directly hitting a composite deck. The heat from low-E reflections can cause increased expansion and contraction of composite decks.
  • Use breathable natural fiber mats rather than rubber-backed mats on your deck. If left in place for an extended period
    of time, rubber-backed mats can cause discoloration of the deck’s surface.

    If you have any questions about these tips or other aspects of composite deck care, give us a call!

Summer Sun Safety Tips

You and your employees are the most important asset your business has. As the summer season approaches and the sun turns up the heat, remember these quick sun safety tips to protect your most valuable investment.

  • Apply sunscreen (often!).
  • Wear lip balm with SPF protection.
  • Wear a hat with a brim and tightly woven clothing to minimize sun exposure.
  • Try to do your hardest work very early or late in the day when the sun is lowest in the sky.
  • Hydrate! Drink plenty of water to replenish what you lose through sweating.
  • Take regular breaks to get out of direct sunlight.

We wish you a successful—and a safe—summer season!

Want to Boost Your Bottom Line? Offer Deck Lighting!

DeckLighting With deck lighting in your portfolio of products and services, you’ll add an attractive finishing touch to your customers’ decks AND you stand to boost your deck sales.

Low-voltage deck lighting . . .
• is a relatively easy upgrade;
• is cost-effective to install;
• can yield a good profit margin;
• adds value;
• appeals to customers.