A Gothic Renovation

Our blog today isn’t necessarily a lesson on vinyl or even a how-to. We just wanted to share with you the process of turning one family’s dream of preserving history into a reality. Now, before anyone gets upset about how the rules for the preservation of historical buildings weren’t followed because a similar material wasn’t used as the original, this is not a home that is registered with any historical society or preservation society. It’s just a really old home that was purchased out of love and being preserved to its original look, or as close to it as possible, instead of being torn down or re-faced. Kudos to the owners and their dream to keep this Victorian beauty alive and well in Anchorage… Kentucky, that is.

The original Victorian Home

The original Victorian Home

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How to Get the Perfect Spandrel Fit for Your Porch

The hard reality about porches is they are far from consistent and uniform.  Sections that are supposed to be equal may differ by inches.  This can create a dilemma when ordering decorative spandrel for your porch. Most spandrel comes in standard lengths and the installer has to trim the ends for a proper fit.  The length of your finished opening determines the end space you will have.  When you have one or more spandrel sections in a row, it becomes harder to maintain a balanced appearance from section to section. How can you be sure that the spandrel you order will fit properly in the spacing and have a balanced appearance?

Long runs of Chesapeake Spandrel by Durabrac on a customer's home. Spacing is uniform and flows.

Long runs of Chesapeake Spandrel by Durabrac on a customer’s home. Spacing is uniform and flows.

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A Conversation with Versatex Trimboard

We were recently asked to answer a few questions by Versatex Trimboard as to why we chose to use their material over others for our entire Durabrac product line, given the integrity and high standards we hold for each product we manufacture. We were very honored and happy to oblige. Click here to read this conversation….

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Vinyl vs Polyurethane Foam: Does it Really Matter?

There was a time, long ago, when craftsmen would spend their entire working days creating beautiful designs with amazing architectural details all by hand. Each piece would be an original work of art. With today’s technology, we can still have a taste of the old, but at a much more affordable price thanks to products like Fypon and Spectis that cast polyurethane foam in molds creating the look of an antique piece and Durabrac Architectural Components who cut simple designs that look like wood brackets and corbels in PVC/Vinyl.

Whether made from polyurethane foam or PVC/Vinyl, these products allow designers to bring back the look of the past. What began in themed communities can now be found in nearly every town.  So, it bears asking… which one is better? How do you choose which material is best for you? Continue reading

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YES! It’s vinyl. Really!

Even though we have hundreds of items in our standard inventory stock, we are often asked could you recreate this original bracket from my older home or could you mimic this style or could you possibly do something Gothic or could you….? The answer is simply YES! (Well, 99% of the time. We’ll leave 1% open, just in case.)

Basically, if it can be done in wood, it can be done in vinyl–but with better results. It will look cleaner, sleeker and will definitely last longer. Really? Really! It’s true. Take it from the vinyl expert. If you have the years of experience of working with vinyl like we do, then you know it is possible to “carve out” all those fine details in vinyl and match all the fine curves and embellishments that are often found in ornate wood brackets. Continue reading

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Painting PVC/Vinyl Trim and Components

You spent the extra money to be “Maintenance Free”.  So, why would you even consider painting your vinyl trim?  Isn’t that what you are trying to avoid?  Let’s examine what the real problem is when it comes to painting that is so frustrating—the peeling, cracking, checking, and flaking that occurs over time and ultimately requires maintenance and upkeep.  Right?

First of all, let’s not blame the paint (as long as you are using a good paint). Usually, the main cause of paint failure is the surface it is applied to; typically wood.  As the paint tries hard to hold on, the wood does everything it can to push it off.  Paint applied to vinyl doesn’t react that way.  Continue reading

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Selecting the Proper Size Porch Bracket– Warning: Objects may appear smaller than they are.

The question I hear the most is, do you think I am ordering the right size bracket?  To answer that question effectively, my response ends up being a barrage of questions in return. There are many variables to consider when selecting the appropriate size bracket for your porch: shape, surface area, volume, background and, most importantly, visual effect. Selecting a bracket size strictly on a numeric calculation can often lead you to a bracket that appears too small in its space.  That’s why I recommend determining visual size versus actual size for your bracket.

Visual size is exactly how it sounds. It is the amount of space that appears to be taken up by the bracket. It is how our eye views the object in its setting. It’s similar to that statement on your side mirrors: “Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.” Because of shape, surface area, volume and background contrast, a particular bracket may need to be 15 inches tall to visually look the same size as a 12 inch bracket.  Continue reading

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Style vs. Functionality – Selecting the Proper Size Gable Bracket

So, you’ve decided you want to add some gable decoration to your home or project. If you’re like many others, you probably hit the world wide web looking for ideas. It’s worth taking the time to find examples of what you like and visualizing them on the finished project. With the internet at your fingertips, you have the whole world to explore for ideas.

Choosing what appeals to you aesthetically is easy. Transferring the look to your project and making it work is another story. Style vs. functionality is always a challenge. Ask any architect, interior decorator or designer. Continue reading

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Top Tips for Working with Vinyl Lumber

Have you ever wondered how extensive the process is to mold, cut and carve vinyl? Or, exactly what it takes to get that smooth finish on a decorative bracket? If you were to compare the advantages of working with wood vs. vinyl, you would find that the actual physical act of carving, cutting, routing, etc. are so similar that there really is nothing to compare. If you dig deeper, however, you will find many advantages to using vinyl over wood.

Vinyl lumber has a similar feel and weight to white pine. It is harder on the surface with a dense cellular middle. One main difference is that inner cellular structure at the core of the vinyl lumber. Continue reading

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Vinyl vs. Wood Brackets?

The next time you are out driving around, take a look at the private homes and commercial buildings. You may notice that many are adorned with architectural brackets, corbels, spandrel and running trim for some added design and effect. Look closer. Is it vinyl or is it wood?

On many structures built within the last 10 years, you may find, to your surprise, that these extra touches added to the exterior beauty of the home are made of vinyl. Of course, if you are looking at a historical home or building or one built in the latter part of the 20th century, then those added pieces are most likely wood. Wood was the popular choice for gingerbread brackets, spandrels, etc. for many years. A designer could easily carve beautiful designs with the pliable material. Take a walk through any town’s historic district and you will most likely find wooden gingerbread adornments on the stately homes of long ago. They added a beautiful touch and created distinct personality for the home and a point of pride for the home owner.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Continue reading

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