If You Build It, They Will Come: Boilard’s Keys To A Successful Deck Design

It has become a great American tradition to expand one’s outdoor living space by adding a deck to a home. Whether you plan to do it yourself or hire a professional, the key to success is factoring in all the critical design issues, picking the right material for your budget and building a structure that will withstand the test of time.

What Will You Do On Your Deck?
When planning the layout of your new deck, you need to consider what kind of activities you’ll be doing to dictate the size, shape and features. If you plan on eating family meals around the outdoor table, it’s recommended that you add 4 feet around the table, so people can walk behind those who are seated. If hosting barbecues and parties is in your future, you’ll want to accommodate space for a grill as well as a prep station and serving area. To just kick back and relax after a long week, you’ll want to create a zone for lounge chairs and a table, possibly even a fire pit if your local codes allow it.

Test Drive Your Layout
Once you have your deck plan designed, use stakes and string to outline your deck’s footprint and visualize how much yard space it will cover. Arrange furniture within the outline to see if there’s enough clearance, and walk around to see if you like the shape, circulation and views.

Know Your Materials
If you want a deck that’s easy to care for, choose manufactured boards, but if appearance is a driving factor, opt for wood. Here are overviews of some of the most popular decking materials so you can make the best decision for your needs.

Pressure-Treated Wood: The most affordable option that’s easy to work with and takes stains and waterproofing easily. Requires frequent cleaning, resealing and re-staining.

Composite: Offered in a range of colors and textures and long-lasting if cared for properly. Won’t splinter, crack or rot. Some products look less wood-like than others. Some brands can scuff and scratch and spills can leave stains. Be sure to research specifications from the manufacturer prior to purchasing.  Scuffs and scratches easily and spills can leave stains.

• PVC: Delivers superior resistance to moisture and won’t swell or shrink. Easy to clean and not prone to rot or termites. Some products look less wood-like than others.

• Cedar or Redwood: Easy to work with, offers natural insect resistance and weathers to a gorgeous shade of gray. A relatively expensive option that’s not available everywhere and requires frequent maintenance and waterproofing.

• Tropical Hardwood: The most expensive option. Long-lasting if cared for properly. Offers natural resistance to rot and insects. Quickly dulls cutting blades and installation is labor-intensive.

Don’t Overload It

Most decks are designed to support 60 pounds per square foot, which includes the weight of the deck (the “dead load”) as well as people and furniture (the “live load”). If you plan to host huge bashes or want to add a hot tub or heavy planters, you’ll need to reinforce your deck’s supporting structure for safety’s sake.

Follow the Rules and Regulations
Many aspects of deck design and construction are covered by local codes. Your homeowners association may also have guidelines on aesthetic choices, such as materials, finishes and handrail appearance. Your choices will be visible for all to see, and violations can set your budget back—or worse—if the deck isn’t built correctly.

Finishing Touches
The right details give each deck its own individuality. Let the style of your house and furniture influence the look of fixtures or woodwork you add. Riser lights, post caps and lattice skirts are common final touches you might wish to consider.

Care and Maintenance

The frequency you’ll need to reseal and re-stain your deck depends on its material and finish. Plan to scrub your deck once a year using a power washer, a brush and a compatible cleaner. Getting rid of mildew may require a specialty product. For daily upkeep, sweep away leaves and debris, and mop up spills right away so they don’t leave stains.

The experts from Boilard Lumber will be available to answer all your deck design and construction questions at the 2018 Western Mass Home & Garden Show at the Eastern States Exposition from March 22–25. Our professionals will even be building a deck at one of our show spaces during the Home & Garden Show.

Kick Winter Blahs With a Shot of Color

We’ve got a whole lot of winter in front of us, but don’t let it get you down. If you’re looking for a quick and inexpensive way to lift your outlook, consider rejuvenating the inside look of your home.

A coat of paint can work wonders, especially if it’s been a while since you last refreshed your walls. Whether you decide to brighten a drab and dingy room with a coat of fresh white, replace that lifeless neutral look with a soothing wash of color, or add a vibrant color splash to bring an accent wall to life, we’re the local leader for quality paints. Look to Benjamin Moore, in both classic and on-trend colors for a renewed appearance and superior wear.

We offer custom color scanning and special orders, too, so if you’d like to match that special color, just let us know. Whether it’s the color of your favorite t-shirt or as seen on piece of artwork, we can replicate it. Our team can provide expert advice on finishes, in case you don’t know your eggshell from your flat, or your satin from your semi-gloss. We’ll even help you select the right tools for the job, from brushes and rollers to paint pans and drop cloths.

When planning a painting project, consider the whole room. A fresh coat of paint on the walls can draw attention to a worn ceiling and trim. In general, it’s best to paint a room from the top down––ceilings, walls, then trim––so decide what needs to be tackled up front for best results.

A new coat of paint can dramatically lift your mood and the mood of a whole room.
A new coat of paint can dramatically lift your mood and the mood of a whole room.


If couple gallons of paint won’t be enough to bring life back to those drab walls, we’ve got you covered with other ideas as well. Adding a crown moulding may lift your eye and your spirit. Perhaps your heart yearns for wainscoting and a chair rail. We have many profile options in stock or available via special order to help add architectural interest to your home and enhance its value.

Talk to us about what you have in mind, and we’ll provide you with the advice, materials and tools to get the job done, from lumber and stains to hammers and hand tools. We also offer comprehensive design and installation services if you need help bringing your vision to life.

Remember, winter can run long in Massachusetts. Contact us today or visit the helpful staff in our store at 476 Oak Street in Indian Orchard, MA to get started on your project and help prevent the winter doldrums from taking root.

Boilard celebrates work and play at 17th Annual Festival of Trees

Five… gallon… paint bucket… 4 golf-ball sleeves, 3 gear essentials, 2 New England teams and a 6-pack of Mad Elf ale…

 If we were to write our own holiday carol for 2017, it would likely include the lyrics above—representing just a few of the items adorning our contribution to the 17th Annual Festival of Trees! We invite one and all to come see our 7-foot pencil pine, along with more than 130 other creatively decked tannenbaums now on dazzling display at Tower Square in Springfield.

“We couldn’t wait to get started on our tree project,” said our own Mike Boilard, president of Boilard Lumber. “We came up with theme of ‘work, play, celebrate,’ and we wanted to provide a sampling of our quality goods as well as some very nice bonus items. Our employees and vendor friends made this possible with their extremely generous donations. We’re excited and proud to be part of this event once again.”

Boilard Lumber is among dozens of local businesses and community groups who donated a unique, personalized tree to the festive fundraiser, serving to benefit the Springfield Boys & Girls Club. The event culminates in a raffling of all trees on December 10, with proceeds going to support this critical youth agency. Last year was a record breaker for tree sponsorship (134 trees), attendance (more than 15,000 visitors) and revenue ($160,000)—and we hope 2017 tops those numbers all around!

Having a special appreciation for charitable endeavors, yuletide festivities and, well, trees, we at Boilard Lumber put a lotta love into our creation. So, what will the lucky winner merrily receive? How about:

  • Boilard gear: backpack, Sportula grilling spatula, 5-gallon paint bucket, hat, safety vest, reusable bag and Velux water bottle
  • Kreg tools: Kreg Jig K5 & Self-Tapping Pocket-Screw Kit
  • Nike golf balls: Power Distance Soft golf balls (4 sleeves)
  • PATS v. JETS: 4 tickets for Sunday, 12/31/17 (sec 141, row 24, seats 1 – 4)
  • Springfield Thunderbirds: 4 vouchers, game of choice (2017 – 2018 regular season)
  • Craft beer from Tröegs Brewing Company: 6-pack of The Mad Elf Holiday Ale
  • Who wouldn’t want all THAT? OK, maybe not everyone, but it does mean something for everyone on your holiday list; we’re happy to help you play Santa.

17th Annual Festival of Trees | Fri., Nov. 24 – Sun., Dec. 10


  • Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


  • Adults: $5
  • Seniors: $4
  • Children 12 and under: Free

3 Reasons to Shop Boilard Lumber before a Big-Box Store

Small Business Saturday is Saturday, November 25

Whether you are looking to spruce up your home before the holidays or searching for the perfect gift for a special do-it-yourselfer, our team at Boilard Lumber can help you get just what you’re looking for.


Small Business Saturday was launched by American Express on the day after Black Friday in 2010 with the goal of encouraging people across the country to support small local businesses. The U.S. Senate officially recognized the day in 2011. By the following year, it was championed by all 50 states and has since become a staple of holiday shopping.

But what’s in it for you, the consumer? In addition to supporting your local economy and creating a more diverse community, we’ll provide you with:

  1. A personalized shopping experience. We take pride in getting to know our customers, and will spend time talking with you to make sure you get the products and services best suited to your needs, whether you are remodeling your bathroom or looking for the right circular saw to give your spouse.
  2. Expert advice. Our team is well-versed in the services we offer and the products we sell. Not sure what you need to install a new toilet? Someone on your list is wishing for a miter saw, but you don’t know what that is? We will always give you our best advice and clearest explanation.
  3. Outstanding customer service. Rather than spending time roaming the aisles of a large warehouse looking for the right hammer, just let us know what you’re looking for. We’ll find it for you, or order it if it’s not in-stock. We also offer low-cost delivery and easy returns.

Trust Boilard Lumber to make you holiday shopping experience relaxed and easy on Small Business Saturday and every day! Contact us or visit the helpful staff in our store at 476 Oak Street in Indian Orchard, MA.

Improving hearth & home for the holidays

October is National Kitchen & Bath Month

Looking for a way to spruce up your home so it’s ready for the holidays? Our experts can help. With the cooler temps, we spend more time indoors, cooking and entertaining. That makes this a great time to renovate rooms like the kitchen and dining room, as well as often-neglected areas like powder rooms and bathrooms.

Kitchens are key

Your kitchen is more than just a place to cook; it’s the heart of your home. A great kitchen is a pleasure to work in, eat in, and gather in. Is yours up to the task?

Take stock and see where you have room for improvements. Consider:

  • Are your cabinets in good repair, or are they looking a little rough around the edges? Sometimes simply changing out the hardware provides a much-needed refresh; more dire circumstances may require refinishing or replacing.
  • How do your countertops look? Today’s countertops come in a wide range of solids and laminates, allowing you to achieve the look you truly desire.
  • Do you have enough storage? Perhaps additional cabinets or an island can help you have a place for everything, with everything in its place.
  • Is your workspace and flow effective? Plenty of counterspace, with good lighting, will help you accomplish tasks more easily, and allow for easier entertaining as well. The same is true with the flow of your kitchen, from the placement of appliances to the tools you use the most.

Dining rooms that delight

Beyond the simple function of a table and chairs, you want your dining space to invite guests to linger and enjoy a meal, while making entertaining as easy as possible for you. Think about:

  • Do you have enough space to entertain the way you want to? If you are regularly cramming guests at the table, you may want to consider expanding.
  • Does the room set the right tone? Trim, crown moulding, wainscoting, window and door casings, and chair rails all add architectural interest and value to a home, and provide great options to finish a dining room in style.
  • Are you squeezing by chairs, or does the dining room have easy and convenient access to the kitchen so you can serve meals easily and elegantly? If, not the answer may be as simple as moving or expanding a doorway, or creating a pass-through.

Bathrooms: More than an afterthought

Often homeowners neglect their bathrooms thinking that renovations will be too expensive or time-consuming for such a relatively small space. But that doesn’t have to be the case, and for a room that is used so often, it’s worth paying attention to details. A lot depends on how the room is used (powder room, guest or children’s bath, or master bath), but you’ll want to take the following into account:

  • Basics: does the bathroom have good lighting, a mirror, and matching fixtures?
  • Do you have enough space and storage? Whether it’s just enough for guest towels, paper products, and amenities in a powder room; or a full linen closet and spacious vanity in a luxurious master bath, you may want to add additional cabinets or counterspace.
  • In full baths, think about function. For example, if you have small children, you’ll want a tub with a shower, and plenty of room to store everything from towels to toys to toothbrushes, with easy access. When it comes to your master bath, you may want to create more of a spa-like retreat with a soaking tub or multi-head shower.

Whether you choose to tackle projects either large or small this fall, turn to our experts at Boilard Lumber. We have all the supplies––and advice––necessary for do-it-yourselfers, including cabinets in a wide variety of styles and finishes; plumbing fixtures; specialty hardware; tools; flooring and building supplies; paint and more. We also offer comprehensive design and installation services if you need help bringing your vision to life. Contact us today or visit the helpful staff in our store at 476 Oak Street in Indian Orchard, MA.