12th June, 2018

7 Quick Tips: Plastic Lumber Pointers for Your Construction Projects

Initiate Construction Project.

You are at the beginning of the project life-cycle, you understand the objective, and the deliverables have been laid out. The project teams are assembled, each with tasks and deadlines, and they are ready to get the project underway. One of the specifications of the project is that you’re going to be utilizing recycled plastic lumber as the primary building material.

Wait a minute, enter the wrench. You may be familiar with recycled plastic lumber, but you’re unsure of the benefits, requirements and capabilities of this material. After some quick research, you are now aware that recycled plastic lumber can be used for many projects and applications and withstands extreme weather conditions.

Please don’t panic. Below, you’ll find a few tips to help you on your project journey when using recycled plastic lumber for your construction projects from the experts at Tangent.

7 Recycled Plastic Lumber Quick Tips

1) Do Your Research –

We recommend that you understand the different types of plastic lumber and qualify each type against your project requirements. It’s also important to understand the company behind the product. At Tangent, we believe that the only way to do business is to partner with our customers. We are here to answer any of your questions, and offer support on your project journey.

2) Fully Understand the Project Requirements 

This refers to the building material specifications and limitations. Depending on the project application, know the product requirements that must be adhered to for a successful build. This can include load requirements, structural capability, durability and energy absorption.

Whatever the case may be, make sure to compare these specifications against the plastic lumber capabilities. Although it is uncommon, Tangent has an in-house engineering team. The advantage is that this team performs data analysis to ensure that the project requirements are met. Using this information allows us to partner with you to find the best solution for easy installation.   

3) Consider Your Project Environment

What climate and surroundings is your project built in or on? While it’s impossible to predict is the weather, you can plan ahead for all types of potential weather conditions. When using traditional building materials, you may have to take these factors into consideration.

However, using plastic lumber by Tangent doesn’t rot, splinter or degrade. It also doesn’t fade when in contact with UV light because the color is engineered throughout the material in the manufacturing process. Building in a high-moisture environment? No problem. Extreme heat and cold? Plastic lumber has got you covered. Thinking about all of the potential climates can help you plan for long-term success.

PRO TIP: With changing temperatures, just like traditional wood, plastic lumber can expand and contract. It is necessary to design and plan for these occurrences.

4) Earn Extra Credit (and Points) for Implementing Green Building Initiatives 

You’re already protecting the environment by using recycled plastic lumber. From manufacturing process to finished product, plastic lumber helps reduce landfill waste and keeps our air clean of chemicals that are produced when using pressure-treated or chemically-treated traditional wooden lumber.

Implementing green building practices, such as using recycled plastic lumber building materials can also earn you points through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. This most widely used green building rating system in the world, established by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), evaluates building projects in categories (including building materials) that are considered to have direct impact on human and environmental health.

BONUS: Your project also may be eligible for federal grants from the Federal Facilities Environmental Stewardship and Compliance Assistance Center (FedCenter), which is a joint initiative between the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA), the Army Corps of Engineers’ Construction Engineering Research Laboratory and the Office of the Federal Environmental Executive.

For more information on eligibility, click here.   

Some states also have their own grant money or DNR available for projects that include environmentally-friendly building materials. If you’re interested in learning more, please get in touch with your State Representative.

5) Installation Best Practices

Installing recycled plastic lumber is much like installing traditional wood. For drilling, screwing and cutting, we recommend using the Tangent’s team suggested practices for the specific type of product. Some of these recommendations include using a slower speed for drilling and screwing to let the material pull itself out. A high speed drill can affect the plastic. Also, use tooth blades in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations that are carbide-tipped.

6) Recognize the Long-Term Value 

This material is built to last. Recycled plastic lumber is a strong and durable product that is suited for all types of commercial construction projects. From boardwalks to fencing systems, outdoor furniture to bridge protection systems, this product is a low-maintenance, cost-effective alternative to traditional building materials like wood, metal and concrete. Throw in Tangent’s unrivaled 50-year warranty, and your project will outlast the harshest weather conditions and remain intact for generations to come.

7) Ask Questions 

During any construction project loops and wrenches can get thrown into the mix. If something comes up, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Whether it’s the sales and customer service teams or your project manager, don’t hesitate to get your questions answered. There is no such thing as a “stupid question”, so ask away! It could be the answer to your project success.

The Tangent Difference

As the leading manufacturer of structural recycled plastic lumber products, Tangent is well-suited for long-term, structural projects in market segments including marine, industrial, outdoor furniture, parks and recreation, large animal and equine and agriculture. Partner with us and experience The Tangent Difference.

Think of us as your smarter lumber experts who are willing to answer any and all of your project questions. Our sales and customer service teams are knowledgeable and available to chat. We are also lucky to have an in-house engineering staff that is dedicated to creativity and innovation. They are able to help analyze project requirements and create solutions to help you in your project journey.

Our structural recycled plastic lumber comes in four product lines to best fit your specific project requirements. Ranging in various degrees of strength, all of our product lines are manufactured in the United States and are built to last. From high-moisture to extreme heat and cold to heavy load bearing and dimensional stability, Tangent’s structural recycled plastic lumber is a force to be reckoned with.

Below you’ll find some of our most common applications.  

Contact us today to kick off your project and to get your questions answered.