What Is The Difference Between a Pergola, an Arbor, a Trellis, and a Gazebo?

pic of a pergola built in loveland, co

When planning to spruce up your backyard, you first need to understand the various landscaping features and options available. After all, you cannot design an eye-catching landscape if you do not know what is possible. To this end, you ought to understand the various decorative architectural features used in landscaping and how they affect your landscaping design. 

While the terms are often-times used interchangeably, pergolas, arbors, and trellises, and gazebos are different in design and purpose. What’s more confusing is their immense similarities in appearance. Do an image search of these terms, and you might end more confused than before. The architectural elements borrow a lot from each other on the design front, making them appear quite similar. You might choose a landscaping design that incorporates one or several of these structures. 

With that in mind, you need to ensure that you understand the design of all these landscaping features. A proper understanding will help you create a relaxing, beautiful, charming, and even functional space in your backyard. 

Herein, we will explore the difference between pergolas, arbors, and trellises, and gazebos to help you understand these options. Crucially, I will help you gain a better understanding of how these features are used and their impact on your landscape.

What is a Pergola?… and how is it different?

Pergolas are sizeable wooden shade structures that traditionally consisted of permanent columns affixed into the ground supporting an openwork lattice or slated roof or a solid roof. This is different from arbors, which use a latticework sidewall to support vines and other climbing vegetation. And unlike gazeboes that have a full roof, pergolas have simplified roofs.

In the past, pergolas were defined as free-standing structures used to provide a shaded seating area in a backyard. The classical definition also incorporated the use of vegetation to add to the shade. This is especially true when the structure was draped with climbing plants forming an “outdoor room.” As such, pergolas are designed and custom-built to meet the needs of a particular homeowner. 

Traditionally, these architectural elements were used to shelter a secluded hideaway at the end of a garden path, the modern interpretation of pergolas has seen them used as an attached extension of a house. The use of pergolas in manner is popular among homeowners looking to add some shade into their patios. The pergolas are used to cover the patio, oftentimes without the addition of foliage. In fact, it is common for many people to use the term “patio cover” interchangeably with the term “pergolas.”

When used a patio cover, pergolas offer protection to your outdoor living spaces such as the patio. To further improve protection from the sun, many homeowners are adding a retractable canopy to their pergolas covering patios. They also tend to be easier to construct as the feature will use the pre-existing walls instead of constructing new ones.

What is a Trellis?… and how is it different?

The trellis is, in many regards, the most misunderstood architectural element in landscaping among the populous. For some, any pergola that is covered with flora is a trellis. For others, the terms trellis and arbor mean the same thing. In reality, however, a trellis is a landscaping feature constructed of a flat latticework consisting of a tighter weave. 

Typically, this is a single-sided feature. Another distinctive character of the trellis is the non-permanency of the design. Most trellises are not permanently affixed to the ground and can be moved around with relative ease. The trellis is also unique among the landscaping architectural element in that it is the only feature not to have a roofing structure when installed vertically.

As you can appreciate, the trellis is a unique feature in its own right. While it might serve the same purpose of supporting flowering foliage and vines as many arbors and pergolas do, it does, nonetheless, meet the goal in a unique way. For instance, when used vertically, its main function is to provide shade and divide spaces. On the other hand, when used horizontally, it is used purely for shading purposes. 

As for supporting climbing vegetation, the feature provides support to climbing plants, enabling them to grow higher, longer, and fuller. While having a tightly weaved lattice, trellises allow some sunlight to penetrate through. Additionally, they do not shelter the foliage from the rain.

What is an Arbor?… and how is it different?

As an architectural element, arbores are typically open structures that consist of two lattice wall joined by an arched or squared top. The side walls sport a design very similar to a trellis, although with a looser lattice framework. Overall, however, an arbor must have a roof designed to support vines and climbing plants. Sometimes, it includes an actual gate where it makes sense to have one.

An arbor is typically designed to be an entryway or passageway covered with climbing foliage. As such, many homeowners use the structure to define the entryway into parts of the garden. It is also used to divide and define two distinct areas in your garden. Some landscaping designs use an arbor to protect garden beds from being trampled. 

Owing to the modern interpretation of what an arbor is, many homeowners are adding seating facilities (usually an L-shaped bench) in the “tunnel” of their arbors. In this use of an arbor, the structure is used to provide a vegetated shading area. Others still replace the lattice framework roof with a solid roof for improved weather protection.

Undoubtedly, however, this feature adds an element of character and mystic to any backyard. Moreover, given its versatility, you can incorporate an arbor into your landscape design, even when you have limited space. 

What is a Gazebo?… and how is it different?

Perhaps gazebos are the most famous of all garden architectural elements. Gazebos have come to symbolize prestige and luxury, thereby giving this feature considerable notoriety among the general public. So, what are they?

Gazebos are free-standing structures with an octagon shape and, in some cases, and oval shape. Like the pergola, the gazebo has columned side-walls, which can be screened from insects to provide an “enclosed” garden space. Otherwise, the upper wall is left open, giving the structure an airy feel. Most modern gazebos will have a built-in floor. Alternatively, the entire structure is built in a concrete base giving it a sturdy raised floor.

The structure must also have a solid pitched roof to be considered a gazebo. As mentioned above, pergolas can have a solid roof or a latticework or slated roof. Although not always, gazebos also have a decorative tiny done – cupola – topping the roof.

Inside the gazebos is a shaded area for seating. Many homeowners will add built-in benches for seating. However, some will leave the space open, which makes more versatility in terms of space usage. Owing to the unique design of the space, gazebos are ideally suited to host a large gathering outdoors.

While you can use them to fill large empty spaces in your backyard and to infuse some character to your backyard, gazebos are expensive to build. Additionally, in many cases, you will need a permit to install a gazebo.

The Final Word

As you can appreciate, backyard features come in all shapes and sizes. Moreover, the different architectural elements thrive in performing different functions. Some are best suited for supporting vines other climbing vegetation, while are best suited to provide shade.

When designing your landscape and installing these features, ensure the features complement each other, and the overall design of your landscape. 

Finally, ensure each element is high-quality, durable, and suitable for your intended purposes. Otherwise, the features will not yield the desired positive effects.

For help with your backyard oasis give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or email us here. To learn more about our patio cover and pergola building services click here.

Which Option Is Cheaper: A Concrete Patio Or Wood Deck?

Outdoor living spaces such as patios and decks are just what you need for entertaining guests outdoors or truly getting to enjoy your space. Adding a patio or deck can also be an excellent way to increase the value of your property. It can also create the proper atmosphere for creating many happy memories. 

Overall, a concrete patio will generally be cheaper to install compared to a deck. While your specific house and yard set-up may determine which is cheaper for your individual needs, a wood deck is likely to have a better return on investment compared to a concrete patio. Of course, there’s no rule that prevents you from having both a deck and a patio. After all, they are both excellent spaces for entertaining. 

While both patios and decks can be wonderful additions to your property, it is first important to understand what each of them is as well as which option is cheaper to help you make an informed decision for your budget.

What is a Deck?

A deck is a raised platform that can be made of different materials, which include pressure-treated lumber, wood, PVC, composite, and more. However, here the focus will be on wood decks. A deck can sit high above the ground raised by posts and accessed via a staircase or be built low to the ground raised only by joists.

What is a Patio?

A patio is an outdoor seating area that’s typically flush with the ground and is often made of concrete. While concrete is probably the most popular material used for building patios, you can also use gravel, stone, and many other materials.

Decks vs. Patios: Which Option is Cheaper?

If you would like to add either a patio or deck to your home, you need to consider several different things. You also need to ask yourself questions. Is it cheaper to build a patio or deck? Which option is easier to build? Simply put, a patio is generally cheaper than a deck. However, that’s an oversimplification of the reality since the cost will depend on several different factors, which include:

  • Materials used (wood, concrete, vinyl, etc.)
  • Location of the addition (above ground, on the ground with supports, etc.)
  • Features (seating, railings, built-in barbecue, supports, etc.)
  • Size of the addition

Other Factors that Determine Which Option Is Cheaper Include:

Slope of the yard on which you wish to place the deck or patio

A patio is usually placed directly on the ground, which is why it is preferable to choose a level space. A patio is often not the ideal option for uneven ground since the cost to create a foundation can double or even triple the cost of the addition. If you have uneven ground in your yard, a deck would be the cheaper option since the cost of installation is almost always never affected by the slope of the yard. 

Installation Difficulty

Installing a deck is generally more difficult compared to that of a patio and is best handled by professionals. Structures for supporting the deck have to be cemented into holes that are drilled into the ground. You also have to make additional considerations when it comes to properly attaching the deck to your home.

You can build a deck on land that is not level, which makes it a great option for sloping landscapes or uneven yards. Waterproofing materials might be required in some cases to avoid compromising your home’s foundation.

Installing a patio is generally easier, but it requires extensive preparation of the ground surface where you will lay it. It is best installed in areas that are relatively flat and even because patios are typically installed on the ground directly.

The area where a patio is installed will often require reinforcement with rebar too if you are using poured concrete and the ground underneath has to be compacted. You can do it as a DIY project, but it will probably be a lot of difficult work.

When it comes to installation difficulty, installing a deck is generally more expensive since it usually requires a professional, but while installing a patio is generally cheaper, it might end up being quite an expensive project if your yard is either sloping or uneven.

Installation Cost

The cost of installing a deck will depend on the size of the deck, the materials used, and whether you hire a professional or do it yourself. A deck measuring 16-feet by 20 feet may cost anywhere from $7,500 to upwards of $15,000. However, the cost will vary depending on the material used. For instance:

  • Redwood and cedar cost anywhere from $25 to $30 per square foot, on average, with the cost of installation included
  • Composite or PVC costs anywhere from $30 to $45 per square foot with the cost of installation included.

You can save significantly on costs if you build the deck yourself. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1.75 to $5.50 per linear foot for the decking materials needed and between $4 and $8 per square foot for posts and joists materials.

The cost of installing a new patio depends on the material used to construct the patio and whether any leveling or groundwork is needed before installation. A patio measuring 16 feet by 20 feet will vary in cost from $2,500 to $9,500 depending on the materials used and the labor needed.

  • Concrete patio pavers cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per square foot on average
  • Regular concrete has an average cost of $9 per square foot on average
  • Stamped concrete cost anywhere from $12 to $15 per square foot on average.

All the above prices are inclusive of the installation costs.

If you compare the installation costs of patios vs. decks, it is quite clear that patios are generally cheaper, but that’s just half the story. Depending on the materials used, it is still possible for patios to cost more to install than decks.

Maintenance

Maintenance is an important consideration when choosing between a patio and deck since it may determine which option is cheaper in the long run. A wood deck requires just power washing annually to protect against mildew and mold. Decks should generally be stained and sealed at least every 2 years to increase lifespan and improve durability. And quality composite decks just need hosed off and offer 25 – 50 year warranties against staining,fading,splintering, and warping.

A patio, on the other hand, can be cleaned easily with a hose and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. Inspecting regularly for cracks is necessary at times to prevent water from leaking under the patio thus causing erosion. In some of the extreme cases, the patio can crack and the whole surface would require removal and replacement.

If you compare the maintenance requirements of wood decking it becomes clear that patios are the cheaper option since they require less maintenance while decks are not as cheap to maintain since they require power washing annually, which often involves a professional, unless they’re built with composite or PVC decking.

Return on Investment (ROI)

If you are considering selling your property in the coming years, it can be a good idea to consider the ROI for a deck vs. a patio. Your choice in building materials will obviously contribute to the costs. 

The average ROI for a deck is roughly 75 percent more than that of a patio. For instance, a homeowner that spends $10,000 to build a deck can expect to get back $7,500 after reselling the property.  In contrast, a homeowner that spends $3,500 to build a patio can only expect to get back $1,500 after reselling the property. But the value of a deck can also increase with the overall home as local property values increase along with it.

If you consider the ROI, the concrete patio is no match for the deck since decks have a generally higher ROI than patios. But it may also be the centerpiece of the house that is unique to its space and helps sell it. Buyers want a peaceful sanctuary they can envision themselves enjoying. Look around your neighborhood and make note if the other houses around you have deck or patio additions, it might be what sets yours apart.  

A Professional Guide To Building A Deck Around A Tree

a picture of a multi tier deck with a tree in the middle of it

A wooden deck is a thing of beauty, an excellent way of adding some oomph to your outdoor living area. It expands the living space while serving as a focal point for your outdoors. 

Building it around a tree might seem to complicate the project, but that is not the case. You can work with a floating deck that rests on above-ground piers or underground footings. It just depends on what your permit office wants to see. The tree’s size could influence the deck’s dimensions, the layout of the foundations, and the joist layout as well.

Why Incorporate Surrounding Trees?

A mature tree or two in the spot you plan for the installation can be a blessing in disguise. The plants can serve as natural shade and at the same time, you get to feel good about helping your environment. Furthermore, a deck that encompasses a tree or two looks phenomenal, a presentation that can make people have a deeper appreciation of your outdoor setting.

deck

How To Build Your Deck Around A Tree

Installing a deck is not something that you should brush off as easy and undertake it as a DIY project. We highly recommend that you let the professionals at TNT handle the installation, especially when you have an obstacle, such as a tree, that can impact the construction. Also, this guide explains just one of many different ways to approach the same project. Basically, be careful, use common sense, and always wear safety gear and be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using power tools.

Below is a quick guide that shows steps we follow when building a deck that will surround a tree. 

1.   Assess Your Trees

As we layout and plan your deck we will get an idea of where the tree is going to be in relation to the deck space and plan accordingly. This will help us to not only make it easier to frame around but also plan for how it will fit into the decking or any railing obstacles we might encounter.

Most tree species stop growing upwards when they reach a certain point but most every tree keeps growing wider adding rings every year.

On a lot of installs, we will butt the decking boards right up against the tree all the way around and then at the end we carefully take a jigsaw and run it in a circle around the tree with one side of the blade guard up against it so that when you’re done you get an even gap all the way around the tree.

This will also help for future growth so in 10 years if the girth of the tree is grown out and is about to or is already touching the deck boards you can go ahead and use a jigsaw and cut another gap around it.

2.    Plan Your Deck

Be realistic and honest about how you plan to use the deck. Do you want to use it for barbecues or outdoor dining, as a casual entertainment spot for guests, or maybe somewhere to do yoga or coffee in the mornings?

If you have a lower budget, it would be best to consider installing something small with a potential second phase in the future. We believe a smaller deck can help create a more intimate space.

The size will also be determined by the space available. We will advise you accordingly while also considering the slope of your yard and the different support structures needs for the deck.

Permits will also have a huge influence on what you can and can’t do in your particular yard. We will dive into this more in step 4 but things you will have to keep in mind that the permit office will most likely be checking for are things like:

  • Setbacks (this is the amount of space there needs to be in between the deck you want to build and your property line)
  • Caissons (these are holes you dig in the ground with the intent of filling back up with concrete to support the deck using posts)
  • Ledger (this is the attachment point at the house (if applicable). It could look something like a 2×12 laying flat against the house and attached using ledger locks)

3.    Choose Your Timber

The wood to use should be robust enough to serve its purpose for years to come. For the framing lumber, we recommend you go for natural pressure-treated wood with excellent load-bearing strength. You won’t have to make many decisions about the framing as we will be recommending you what’s needed based on your individual decks’ specs.

As for the decking material, it’s up to your budget and your personal choice as to whether you put down something like a natural redwood decking or something easier to maintain like a composite decking material.

4.    Site Plan And Preparations

For the installation process to proceed smoothly, you need a site plan. We shall handle this as well as ensure that you have all the required permits and that everything is done up to code. We have an engineer on staff which greatly speeds up this process and ensures quality control. With the site plans, we will have the blueprints that will keep us on track about the materials needed, measurements for cuts, and any project-specific guidelines. 

We will measure off the house, staking and tying a string along the way, marking out where to place the caissons. We will clear the area and if space provides we will use an auger to dig the holes for the footings that will serve as the piers for the deck. The depth of the holes for the footings will depend on the deck design you pick and the county or region’s building codes. After the holes are dug, an inspector will most likely have to come out and sign off at this point in the project.

Ask us about our pre-visualization services if you really want to plan out your project in great detail.

5.    Setting The Posts

After the inspector signs off on the holes, we will fill them back up with concrete. We will give the concrete time to cure before putting weight on them. During this time we can still move forward by using temporary lumber nailed to the frame to hold it up until the concrete cures. We set the post-to-caisson bracket. Then we will fix pressure-treated 4×4 wooden posts into the brackets, securing them in place with nails to create the deck piers.

6.    Installing The Ledger Board

The ledger board is an essential component when constructing a deck, and it attaches the deck to your house. The connection should be robust, and depending on your house, you may need to first install flashing to prevent water damage. Then attach the ledger board directly to the house’s rim joist or concrete sub-wall.

7.    Framing The Deck

With the ledger installed, you can now attach a joist on either end and a rim joist on the outside of those two and now you’ve got a giant rectangle. You can then proceed to fill the interior with framing at a certain measurement you will get from your permit. A common joist layout example is sixteen inches on center. Make sure all lumber gets installed crown up.

The joists are the support boards that form the deck’s foundation. We will use 2×6, 2×8, 2×10, or 2×12 joists depending on what your deck plans call for. Depending on the building codes in your area, you may need to add extra support in between each joist across the middle of the rectangle.

8.    Framing Around The Tree

Ideally, you placed the tree between two joists and now you just need to put two small two by’s in between the joists hugging the tree. If necessary you may need to add framing at a 45-degree angle in the corners of your newly created square to round the corners and finish creating the frame. 

If the tree isn’t small enough to fit in between two joists then you may need to add double joists in certain areas. This will depend on your particular codes, but an example is to double joists on either side of the tree. Then add double joists spanning those first two doubles creating a rectangle of double material around the tree area. This area would almost certainly need to have posts designed into the plan holding up this heavy area. You will then end up with areas that need small joists and negative spaces around the tree that need to be filled with 45-degree mini joists.

No matter the exact process, we are just trying to create a frame that encompasses the tree and is close enough so that no one accidentally steps in a vulnerable spot.

9.    Laying The Decking

Installing the decking boards can be started from the outermost edge working towards the house or from the house working out depending on your preference. We like to start at the house and move out to get that nice clean line at the house. Based on the decking material you choose we would use a tool to make sure the boards have a tight consistent gap as we secure them down using deck screws.

If you chose to go with hidden fasteners then we let the hardware and the guns set their own gap as we hold the boards tight and snap down the fasteners. We will accurately measure the boards that terminate at the tree frame for snug fit then fasten them down to the tree frame and joists with deck screws or fasteners. We jig around the tree as described earlier to get an even organic gap. When the entire deck floor is laid, we will snap a chalk line along the edges to cut any excess overhang to achieve straight lines before attaching the outer fascia.

10.    Finishing touches

To finish up the deck we would want to add stairs if needed to get down into the yard (if the deck height is above a specific height [see permit]). Also, make sure to add handrail if your deck height is above a certain level as well. To do that you add 4×4’s or similar post material to the perimeter and span those with 2×4’s full of balusters. The full details of a handrail is a mix of what is required (spacing) and what is desired (material type and color).  

pic of a wood deck built in Loveland featuring built in seating and lighting

Wrapping up

To ensure that your new deck lasts a long time, we recommend you coat a wooden deck with a wood preservative or stain to ensure the decking is adequately sealed. Sealing the boards is essential for added protection against mold, moisture, and the sun’s rays.

If you went for a low-maintenance composite deck board option then you can just wash it off with the hose and maybe just a very small amount of dish soap if it gets dirty. 


To learn more about our deck construction services here at TNT please click here. Get in touch with us today if you want to know more about other outdoor hardscaping plans or know more about our services and how we can help transform your home. You can call us at 970-663-2868 or email us at sales@tnthomeimprovements.com

Back Yard Fun During the Coronavirus -(COVID-19) DIY Construction Ideas

We are living in a very interesting time right now as the Coronavirus has the United States on lock-down. We are all adjusting to a new way of life full of homeschooling madness, zoom meeting shenanigans, and empty grocery store shelves.

Now is the time to get creative as we are stuck in our homes trying our best to not go stir crazy so in this article I’m going to share some ideas with you of some great at-home project ideas to make your backyard somewhere to go have an adventure.


Build a Pond in your Backyard

Here is a video that is really easy to follow that shows how you can build a pond in your back yard with just a couple of essential parts and then some imagination and sweat equity.

If you look on Amazon for a pond kit they can be anywhere from $100 up to $1000. During this hard time, I highly recommend calling a local business as I’m sure they could really use your business and I’m sure would be willing to do what it takes to earn your business and still stay safe. Whether that be shipping product to you or arrange a safe pickup.

It looks like the bare essentials are a skimmer/filter that sits at the lowest point of the pond to collect and clean the water. In that skimmer is a pump that pulls in water and pushes it through a hose up to a spillway container at the highest part of your pond that acts as a waterfall. Lastly, you need a pond liner so that after you dig a hole in your yard you can put a waterproof layer in it.


Build a Firepit in your Backyard

This is a great time-lapse video showing someone building a fire ring in the yard using bricks and a shovel.


Build a Bowling Alley in your Backyard

This project looks like a lot of fun using some really great low-tech ideas.


Build a Kitchen in your Backyard

Building an outdoor kitchen has always been a fan favorite and you can really save money by not only doing it yourself, but by using a grill you might already own.


Build a Hot Tub in your Backyard

The idea of just tongue and groove wood connections and water proof containers just do not mix in my mind but after watching this video I’m not only sold on the idea but definitely want to make one of these for my backyard.


Build a Swing in your Backyard

This lady does a great job of showing how to build this great porch swing with or without the porch. It’s got that great Adirondack feel to it with the nice seating curves.


Build a Putting Green for some Golf at Home. (or mini golf!)

This DIY putting green is one of those great projects that is full of ingenuity so that it’s not only fun to putt with but also is fun to retrieve the next ball. It’s fun because all you have to do is reach down with your putter and push down on a lever to get the next ball loaded up.


Build an Underground Bunker in your Backyard.

Maybe the idea of hiding a bunch of food in the ground is right up your alley. Or maybe just somewhere to hide in the backyard?

I hope these videos have sparked some ideas for you. If you want to talk to someone about how we can help you with any of your outdoor projects please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Call us at 970-663-2868 or click here to visit the contact page.

Wood Decks Versus Composite Decks

The outdoors has become an important part of every home. Everyone is interested in having the best space. When buying homes, prospective buyers will prefer a home that has a beautiful space like a deck. Decks come in different shapes and sizes. The good thing about a deck is that you can personalize it and make it feel like yours. It becomes an extension of your indoor space. Your family will appreciate being in a beautiful outdoor space.

When planning to build a deck, one of the key choices you will have to make is on the type of decking to use. There is a wide range of options, but the most common are wood and composite. Whether you are planning to do it on your own or you are going to hire a contractor, you will need to choose the option that works best for you.

Treated lumber is used in most decks for framing. The framing is the part of the deck that you cannot see unless you are below it. Your choice involves the materials making up the railings and the decking surface.

Wood decking

There are different wood species you can use for your deck and railing. Some of the most common options are redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated pine lumber. If you are looking for exotic wood species for your deck, then you can look at options such as ipe, tigerwood, and mahogany.

Composite wood decking

Composite decking was invented in the ’90s and has continued to become popular. Composite wood decking is made of wood fibers that are encased in plastic. More and more people are choosing composite decking because of their high-performance. They have also noticed that wood decking has its challenges.

Many people will go with wood decking over composite decking because it is affordable, readily available, and it is something they are familiar with. They have to deal with wood decking problems like rot, splinters, and high maintenance. For those who choose composite, their main worry is that it doesn’t look as good as wood decking. However, advancements in manufacturing have made possible composites that have the natural look of wood. This means you get the chance of having decking that looks exactly like wood without having to worry about the hassle that comes with having a wood deck.


There are some key issues you have to look at when it comes to choosing between the two options.

Looks

During the early days of composite, it used to look artificial, but today it has changed. Today, they come in a wide range of looks and colors. This means you will be able to find one that works for you. They have a variegated appearance and randomized grain pattern which ensures that two boards aren’t the same. This means the composite can replicate the look of the wood and appear just as natural.

Moisture

One problem that homeowners notice with wood decking is that they absorb water easily. If stains, sealers or paint are not applied regularly, the wood decking becomes susceptible to cracking, splintering, warping, and rotting. Composite decks don’t absorb water because they are moisture-resistant. Composites can be installed in areas with high moisture conditions without having to worry about decay.

Maintenance

Wood needs to be painted, stained, or sealed regularly to defend against moisture, which then extends the life of the wood deck. With composite, all you have to do is sweep it or wash it to keep it looking good.

Insect damage

Insects tend to damage wood decking because they like wood and/or the moisture they find inside of it. They cannot damage composite decking because it is not made of wood.

Splinters

A common thing many homeowners notice at one point is a splinter, which is a natural thing to happen with wood. Composite is made from small wood fibers that have been encased in plastic, and this is why they won’t splinter. This is good for those walking barefoot on the deck, or children and pets with sensitive feet.

Maintenance or durability

Composite decks are durable and long-lasting and can hold up well for up to 50 years. They can withstand harsh weather and natural wear and tear. Wood will last between 10-30 years depending on the type of wood.

Composite boards have built-in UV resistance that prevents them from fading. Natural wood will fade and lighten faster than composite. If you notice your wood deck is starting to fade, paint or stain it and it will look new.

Price

Pricing is one of the benefits you can expect to get from wood decking. Wood is cheaper to buy compared to composite. While you will pay less for wood, composite is going to pay itself back over the years not having to invest in the maintenance.

The species of wood you choose is going to determine the price difference. If you choose an exotic type of wood, then expect to pay more. You need to look at the different options then choose the type of wood you want based on your personal preferences and what would complement your house.

Workability

Both composites and wood can be easily cut. One advantage composite has over wood is that they can be bent easily by applying heat. This will make it easy to form curved deck sections.

Surface Temperature

Wood has an advantage over composites when it comes to the warmer weather because composites tend to become hot when exposed to direct sun, which can be uncomfortable for many people. Feet can start to blister in temperatures of about 109 degrees Fahrenheit. Composite technology has improved and has managed to reduce heat absorption by about a third, but wood still has the clear advantage when it comes to staying cooler on those hot days.


There is a wide range of options to choose from, which is why it is important to invest time and effort in the process. Start by knowing what type of wood decking you consider your favorite. This will help you narrow down your options. You can then compare the wood and a composite that looks like that wood.

The main factor when choosing decking material comes down to preference. If you love the rich and natural look of wood and you don’t mind its maintenance, then natural wood becomes the best option for you. If you are looking for a deck that is low maintenance and lasts longer, then composite might be your best option.

If you have a limited budget, then you need to put that into consideration when making your choice. Cheaper options don’t mean that they are not of quality. With this in mind, you can expect to have an easier time choosing the best option for you.

If you are not sure about your options, then consider talking to one of our experts who has worked with the different materials. Visit your local lumber store and have a look at the options. Touch them and see whether it is something you might want for your deck.

We have experience dealing with both wood and composite decking. If you have any questions about decking or about the deck building process don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also visit our deck building service page to learn more about what we have to offer.

With our skills and experience, you will end up with a beautiful deck and you will find yourself spending more and more time in your new outdoor space. Give TNT a call today at 970-663-2868.

Painting Vinyl Siding

TNT Home Improvements is a leading construction company providing a wide range of exterior construction services to Loveland and the surrounding regions. Our extensive experience and passion for a job well-done has made us a prominent figure in the local construction scene and we are proud of the first-rate exterior services we provide our valued clients.

We handle a wide range of projects including the construction of beautiful patios, patio covers, decks and the installation of windows and siding. All of our projects are carried out with the highest level of diligence to ensure you gain the most value from your investment. Call us today to get an estimate for any projects you have in mind for your Loveland home.

What a Homeowner Should Know About Vinyl Siding and Painting Vinyl Siding From the Experts.

Any savvy homeowner is going to be on the lookout for the most cost-effective ways to protect their property value. The structure of the home must be protected from the elements by formidable roofing as well as a sealed and watertight exterior. One of the most popular and impressive options for protecting a home’s exteriors is the use of vinyl siding.

While there are many different siding options, vinyl is certainly a cut above the rest. This impressive construction material comes with a wide set of benefits that improve the value of your property and investments in a number of ways.

Vinyl siding is waterproof, which means it will keep the inner structures of your home free from moisture. It is also a highly durable material that will last for years to come and there are even ways to extend its usefulness.

Vinyl siding is also an especially low maintenance option that will only heed an occasional wash down with water and a brush to keep your exteriors looking sharp and beautiful. Finally, vinyl siding is an especially attractive siding option. Available in so many textures and designs it can allow you to attain the highest levels of curb appeal, which is important to good living and if you are ever considering a resale.

Vinyl Painting

At TNT Home Improvements, we bring special skill and experience to installing and maintaining vinyl siding in an effort to enhance the value of your investments. While vinyl siding is a very long-lasting material with extensive benefits to the property and property owner, it does require a professional touch. The only way to ensure your vinyl siding will serve you well and that additional attention extends its service life is to have your exterior needs addressed by an experienced local professional. This is where TNT Home Improvements steps in to ensure you get every bit of value from your home investments.

One way to breathe new life into vinyl siding just beginning to look its age is with a proper paint job. Applied properly and at the right time by the right professionals, there are a number of benefits you can expect from painting vinyl siding.

Following is our professional perspective on this potentially budget-saving operation.

What you should know about Painting Vinyl Siding.

Not all homeowners are aware of the possibility and potential advantages of painting vinyl siding. You can take your current look and completely transform your vinyl siding with the right coat of paint and the aesthetic possibilities are limitless. It is actually much easier to paint your vinyl siding than it would be to paint a wood or brick wall.

Nevertheless, there are many minor considerations that must be factored into your plans for painting vinyl siding. Without experience in this task, there are many ways to botch the results. When applied effectively, a painted vinyl siding will look better, last longer and save your cash, but the reverse is also true.

This is why we recommend you contact TNT Home Improvements exterior constructions for expert advice on how to properly improve your vinyl siding.

Choosing the Right Colors

You will have to consider how the heat of the sun will play a role in the proper bonding of the paint and the vinyl siding. If your vinyl siding is a lighter shade and you apply a very dark paint, you will notice that the vinyl siding will start to absorb more heat and this can cause warping and other disfigurements.

On the other hand, when applying a lighter paint on a light-colored siding, a poor choice of hue and the desired effects may not be as dynamic.

The proper house paint comes in an extensive range of vinyl safe color choices that will make your home look completely new and increase the longevity of your siding.

Advantages of Using Vinyl Paint for Siding

Improved Curb Appeal – the advantage you and everyone else will experience the most profoundly will be the aesthetic improvement. If you have recently had landscaping, a patio or deck installed, you may find that a color adjustment can complete the look. Or, maybe your siding is beginning to look a bit old and worn? A paint job can freshen those looks and make everything seem new.

Preserve Your Budget – Rather than replace your vinyl siding when it has become faded and unattractive, a painting job will only cost a fraction of the costs of replacement and many paint jobs come with guarantees. Be sure to ask your exterior experts about guaranteed paint jobs.

Hide Partial Replacements – Sometimes your vinyl siding may become damaged by hail or other accidents. In such a case replacing the damaged panels will mean a few portions of your home’s exterior will appear off-color. This can be very detracting to curb appeal. Here is another time when painting vinyl siding will ensure your home looks great for longer.

Things to Consider:

There will be a few things to consider before you can be sure a paint job is the right move for your vinyl siding.

1. A Good Cleaning

Often despite your best cleaning efforts your vinyl siding still appears old and dingy. You may be thinking of having it painted, but sometimes there is an even more cost-effective solution. Vinyl can become embedded with fine particulate matter, airborne grease and dust that becomes baked into the surface by the heat of the sun. To remove all this, a good pressure washing is in order. Vinyl siding can endure in good conditions for as long as 50 years. Be sure to have it regularly pressure washed to restore its looks and protect its longevity.

2. Warranties

Some vinyl siding comes with a warranty that will be void if the siding is painted. You will need to check this detail before beginning.

3. Painted or Replaced

Remember that there is always the chance that your vinyl siding is too far gone to paint. In this case, the only option will be to consider having your siding replaced. Call our expert exterior professionals for a full inspection of your home’s siding. If your siding needs to be replaced, we will be there with the most affordable plans and cost-effective solutions for the task at hand.

Final Notes on Painting Vinyl Siding Loveland

At TNT Home Improvements we know how to ensure your vinyl siding painting project works out best and achieves your goals for economy and beauty. Call us at 970-663-2868 to get an estimate on your project. If you have any other questions or concerns about your exteriors count on our knowledgeable representatives for insightful information or click here to learn about our siding services.

Give Your Rooms a New Look with Window Replacements in Loveland

What do you first consider while decorating your room? You plan to bring new fixtures, paint the walls, and add suitable lighting. Most people forget that windows are also a crucial element of their rooms. Windows can transform your room to a great extent. Old windows with broken hinges or tainted glasses don’t usually accentuate their beauty. This calls for immediate window replacements so that you can get rid of the old and dilapidated windows. That’s when you need to consider hiring us. We can replace your old windows with new and stylish ones.

Importance of window replacement

Windows are very versatile for any room. They add not only natural light to your room but also ensure constant ventilation and entry of fresh air. Apart from these things, windows also contribute to your room’s energy-efficiency and overall curb appeal. Having said that, it is essential to have quality windows to enjoy these benefits. Windows with broken seals and glasses will not offer so many things. That’s what makes window replacements necessary.

Window replacement in Loveland

Our company offers a variety of window replacement services in Loveland. From replacing old windows to installing new ones, we are ready to make your rooms look beautiful again. Over the years, we worked with tons of different windows. This allowed us to gain more experience in this field. Nowadays, we can work on any type of window in Loveland.

Window replacement process

We follow a simple window replacement process that works for almost all the windows.

• We start with the new window’s nailing fin. This rim allows us to secure the window in the wall’s opening. However, replacement windows don’t have these fins. Therefore, we secure the replacement window in your existing frame. We use fasteners that run through the window’s assembly, thus making it easier for us to install the new window.
• Sometimes we need to change the entire frame also. We come equipped with all the necessary tools to slowly take down the old frame before replacing it with a new one. You can go through some of the window frames before hiring us. We will come and take the measurements of your existing window, along with its openings. Accordingly, we will resize the frame and install it in your room.


Types of windows

As already mentioned, we work with almost every type of window you can think of. We have had the opportunity to work with tons of different windows in the recent past. Here are some of the most common windows we came across in Loveland.

Single-hung windows

Single-hung windows have an operable lower sash that allows you to pull it up. Some models also allow you to pivot the sash inwards so that you can clean its exterior easily.

Double-hung windows

These windows provide a classic look to your room. Both the upper and lower sashes are operable. You can raise the lower sash to allow cool air to come inside and lower the upper sash to let warmer air enter the room. Many double-hung windows also have tilted inward sashes, allowing you to clean their exteriors easily. We often see these windows on houses with a second story.

Sliding windows

Sliding windows have become widely popular in recent times. They are cheaper to install, easy to operate and require low maintenance. However, the windows operate on a slider with a fixed path. The windows will not operate if the path has a dent. These windows may have one or multiple panels, depending on their size. You can slide and open the panels for ventilation. We can replace your old single-hung or double-hung windows with sliding windows. However, we will need to change the frame. You can even hire us to install brand-new sliding windows.

Basement hopper windows

You may often see windows tilted inwards in many basements. They have hinges on the bottom. You need to push the window inwards to open it. These are basement hopper windows. They look like the lower sash of single-hung windows, only bigger. We can install and replace basement hopper windows in no time. They don’t require a lot of tools and machines for installation. Their frames look solid. We advise you to go for wooden frames as they last longer. Many manufacturers also provide aluminum frames. These have become a cost-effective alternative to wood.

Glass block windows

Glass block windows are ideal for bathrooms. They are made using individual blocks sealed together. These windows have thick, break-resistant glass that offers privacy, but also allows light to come inside your bathroom. But remember, you cannot open glass block windows. Once we fix them to the wall, you cannot move or open them. Some of the modern glass block windows have built-in vents allowing ventilation. We can install new windows and replace existing windows with glass block variants.

Apart from the top five, we also have experience in installing various other windows, such as projection windows, casement windows, picture windows, storm windows, skylights, and awning windows.


Our window frame materials

We pay a lot of attention when it comes to finesse and quality of window frame materials. The frame material affects various factors, such as durability, maintenance, and heat transfer, making it one of the essential components of your window. We make sure that your window has the best frame so that it lasts longer. Here are some of the frame materials we use:

• Vinyl

It is one of the most common window frame materials made from impact-resistant polyvinyl chloride. Vinyl has hollow chambers on its inside that helps to resist condensation and heat transfer. It is ideal for rooms where you want more warmth. These window frames don’t require additional finishing or painting. The frame lasts for years without signs of fading or rotting. We have used vinyl frames in hundreds of houses in Loveland. They are best for replacement windows.

• Aluminum

Aluminum is an economical option. They have many advantages: first, they are a cost-effective option. Second, they are easy to install compared to other window frames. Third, they are light and durable. They can last for years without requiring too much maintenance. Like vinyl, aluminum also doesn’t require additional finishing or coloring. Plus, aluminum frames are corrosion-resistant, making them ideal for areas that experience heavy rainfall.

• Wood

Wood is a popular material prevalent in Loveland. However, we advise you to use it on the interior parts of your window. Loveland experiences moderate moisture throughout the seasons. Wooden window frames can rot if they absorb moisture for long periods of time. Moreover, wood doesn’t conduct cold or heat like other materials. It also doesn’t allow condensation. They come unfinished. However, there is no match to wood’s finishing. It may have several downsides, but when it comes to using a classy window frame material, everyone will agree that wood stands apart.

• Clad-wood

Clad-wood looks similar to wood and provides all its benefits, but offers additional protection on the exterior. It uses a low-maintenance aluminum jacket to keep the window frame and panels safe. Most importantly, the cladding in these frames prevents them from rotting and makes the exterior durable. Clad-wood a good option for new windows.


Now that you know about the types of windows we can replace and install, don’t hesitate to call us. We can provide a free estimate, depending on your home’s needs. Allow us to make your rooms look better with our high-quality, yet affordable window replacement services in Loveland. Give us a call today at 970-663-2868.

Deck Construction in Fort Collins, Colorado

pic of a deck and pergola built in Fort Collins, CO

Are you interested in adding a deck to your property? If so, we are a local outfit offering the best deck construction services in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Decking can be used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property, increase the available living space and ultimately raise the property’s overall value. With all these advantages in mind, it is easy to see why these structures are so popular.

Our Services

To help our clients reap the above-mentioned benefits of having a deck, we offer the following decking services:

• Deck Installation

As an established deck construction company in Fort Collins, CO, we can help you put up the most stylish and long-lasting deck. We have the expertise and knowledge required to help guide you through the process of choosing the right type of deck and decking materials given your own personal requirements, the available space, your property’s landscape and the available budget among others.

Over the years we have worked on a variety of projects, installing wide variety types of decks along the way. Every project is unique and depending on the available space and location, we can install the following types of decks:

Attached Decks

Resembling a patio, an attached deck is made using composite or wooden decking materials. It is also slightly raised from the ground. Attached decks are commonly located at the rear end of U- or L- shaped houses.

Island/Detached Decks

Like an island, these decks are designed to stand alone. Steps or a clear path can be used to access the deck. Since they can be built over uneven or poorly drained terrain, these decks are considered to be highly versatile; unlike concrete patios, for instance.

Pool Decks

There are many reasons for you to put up a pool deck. For starters, unlike concrete or stone, the materials used do not present a slipping hazard. Furthermore, wood is less likely to scorch your feet even on the hottest of days.

In addition to increasing the space available for swimmers to soak up the sun, a pool deck can also make above ground swimming pools more accessible.

It is, however, worth mentioning the fact that wooden pool decks should be regularly maintained to keep the wood from splitting and prevent the occurrence of splinters.

Wrap Around Decks

If you are looking to follow the sun or shade or expand your living space, a wraparound deck is exactly what you need. Resembling a traditional wraparound porch, this type of deck is raised and roomier.

Multi-Level Decks

Does your property’s sloped or rocky terrain make it difficult for you to put up a concrete patio? Well if so, consider putting up multi-level decks. Linked by paths or steps, multi-level decks are simply a series of decks built on different levels, as dictated by the existing landscape.

This can also refer to a stacking multiple decks on top of each other. So if you have a tall two or even three-story house you could build multiple outdoor living spaces on top of each other.

Entryway Decks

Usually a series of linked platforms that lead to the entrance of your house, entryway decks can be used to enhance your property’s curb appeal. To do so, the decking must be designed and installed in a way that perfectly matches your home’s architecture.

Rooftop Decks

For elevated views of your home’s surroundings or even some added privacy outdoors, rooftop or garage top decks are the answer. These decks are suited to flat-roofed homes. Before construction, the structural integrity of the underlying structure must be tested, and enhanced where necessary, for safety purposes.


Decking Materials

As an experienced deck construction services provider, we understand how important it is for you to choose the right decking materials straight from the start. Climate, maintenance requirements, and cost are some of the main considerations you need to keep in mind when choosing the right material for your new deck.

Here’s a shortlist of some of the main decking material options we have found to be popular among Fort Collins homeowners over the years.

Wood

Wooden decks are quite common in the Fort Collins area. Wood, a natural material, is not only visually appealing but also strong and long-lasting. However, to keep it in its best condition, annual maintenance may be necessary depending on the specific type of wood used. This material has been known to stand up well to the high altitude and hot dry climate associated with this part of the country. When it comes to wood, you have a wide variety of options to choose from, including:


Redwood And Cedar

Resistant to both rot and insect damage, both of these options can be used to construct decks that will stand up to the extreme local climate and maintain their appeal and strength over the years, provided that the right sealant is used.

Unlike pressure-treated wood, which is known to warp and crack due to direct exposure to the elements over an extended period, redwood and cedar will maintain their original shape and form for decades.

For a seamless, refined look you can opt for wood decking systems that do not require the use of screws as fasteners.


Tropical Hardwoods

If you are looking to add an exotic feel to your new deck, consider going with tropical hardwoods such as Ipe, Philippine mahogany or tigerwood among others. In addition to being rich grained, these hardwoods are also very strong and highly durable. Like the above-described options, tropical hardwoods are also naturally resistant to rot and insect damage.

It is worth mentioning that tropical hardwood decking usually requires the use of a specialized fastening system. This is mainly due to the fact that they are so dense; making it quite difficult to drive nails or screws through the timber. These hardwoods are also harder to cut and heavier in terms of weight.


Pressure Treated (PT) Wood

As the most economical decking material, pressure-treated wood is the most affordable decking material discussed here. As the most popular decking material, pressure-treated wood is not only easier to cut but also supports the use of simple fastening systems including nails and screws.

Mostly milled from southern yellow pine, PT is treated with chemicals to make it rot and insect resistant. In recent years, the use of non-toxic chemicals has been adopted on most PT decking products for health reasons.

While PT decks are less costly to install, regular maintenance is required to prevent splitting, cracking and warping of the wood. To keep the deck looking as new as possible for as long as possible it should be power washed on an annual basis; while a wood preservative should be applied every 2 to 3 years.


Composite Materials

For those looking for the most durable, stain, insect, and weather-resistant decking material that will not warp, split or even crack, look no further than composite materials. While they may look and feel like real wood, composite materials are made using recycled plastics and wood fibers; some products are solely made of plastic.

Even though composite materials are more expensive than wood, they are fast becoming a popular decking option due to their many advantages.


• Deck Repair Services

In addition to constructing new decks from scratch, we also offer deck repair services in Fort Collins, Colorado. Proper deck maintenance and repair not only ensures that you keep your deck in the best condition even as the years go by, but also protects your investment by extending its durability.

Conclusion

Whether you are hosting guests, taking in the view or simply enjoying a cool breeze, your deck is an integral and personal part of your home. However, to create such a space you need to work with a local partner that understands the local climate and architecture among others. For the best deck construction services in Fort Collins, Colorado, contact us today at 970-663-2868.

Click for more information about our Deck Construction Services

All About Louvered Pergolas

pic of a louvered pergola built in Fort Collins, CO

Are you looking for the best way to make your outdoor living space great while remaining functional? We understand your problem and have the perfect solution for you – louvered pergolas. With our premium louvered pergolas, you get to enjoy all the fresh air and beauty that nature has to offer while transforming your deck, patio, or other outdoor living space into a functional space that can protect you from rain or excessive sunlight.

What is a Louvered Pergola?

It is an adjustable roofing system that allows you to enjoy fresh air, sunlight, and other positive qualities of nature but are adjustable to provide coverage from the less desirable qualities such as snow, sleet, rain, or excessive sunlight. The adjustable roofing can even be outfitted with ceiling fans to provide additional outdoor comfort by keeping out pests such as mosquitos and flies.

Benefits of Using Louvered Pergolas

A louvered pergola provides the best of both worlds – the abundant sun or an open backyard or the complete shade of a covered porch. A louvered pergola lets you choose how much sun you would like to receive at any particular time.

Using the convenient controls of the pergola, you can open the louvers to let through sun, or close them if you want protection from snow or rain. That way, you and your family can spend more time enjoying the outdoors throughout the year.


pic of a job in loveland, co featuring a new deck and louvered patio cover

Here are the top benefits of using louvered pergolas:

Protection from the Elements

A louvered pergola system can be angled to provide protection from harmful UV rays from the sun regardless of its position. Since most of them are made from aluminum, they are usually highly reflective, which makes them incredibly effective at shielding your space from light, infrared radiation, and even radio waves.

A louvered pergola can even be angled to provide both airflow and shade without actually blocking your view. It is also possible to fully open the louvers to allow maximum light into your outdoor space while minimizing uplift and resistance due to high winds.

A louvered pergola roofing system can even be completely closed to provide sturdy shelter from the rain. Most systems come equipped with an integrated gutter where rainwater is pitched into to ensure proper drainage. They can also be equipped with wind and rain sensors that open or close automatically depending on the weather.

Better Airflow and Increased Comfort

Outdoor temperatures are hardly ever perfect, which is one of the reasons why patio covers are so popular. However, even with the regular covers, many times property owners want to increase the airflow and create a refreshing breeze under the cover.

A louvered pergola can really make a difference over a regular solid cover. While a regular cover obviously provides shade, it tends to limit the airflow for people sitting under it. A louvered pergola gives you the advantage of opening the louvers to the angle you desire thus giving you control over fresh air, shade, and breeze at any time of day or night.

Easy Customization Options

We fabricate each louvered pergola based on your preferences and design them to your exact specifications for the best fit and finish for a lovely finished product. We can even customize your louvered pergolas with ceiling fans, outdoor curtains, accent lighting, and custom colors to enhance your outdoor living space.

True Convenience

Louvered pergolas, unlike solid covered patios or those with a lattice overhead, can be adjusted with the simple push of a button. Just imagine being able to go from completely covered to 50 percent airflow with our motorized louvered pergolas above your outdoor entertaining area.

Having a louvered pergola installed on your patio is perhaps one of the best investments you can make. You get the best of both airflow when you need it and a protected cover if that’s what you want. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it isn’t exclusive to residential properties.

If you have a commercial establishment such as a hotel or restaurant, you can take advantage of our louvered patio covers for your outdoor eating areas. When the sun moves throughout the day, the pergolas can keep your customers in the shade.

Environmentally-Friendly

Our louvered pergolas are made from aluminum that’s non-corrosive, which means that it won’t rust. Aluminum is also a flexible and durable metal that’s capable of flexing under loads or springing back from an impact. It also does not burn and does not produce toxic fumes, even when temperatures are high. It is also recyclable without losing its valuable characteristics.

Expert Louvered Pergola Sales and Installation

If you are looking for a beautiful and high-quality product that’s guaranteed to transform your outdoor living space, get in touch with us today to learn more about our louvered pergola systems. We are the go-to resource when it comes to outdoor living products. We are committed to supplying the finest products for your property.

We offer complete design, fabrication, delivery, and installation of premium louvered pergolas for both our residential and commercial customers to choose from. We have taken all the necessary steps to take complexity out of the process by offering you all you need to include a beautiful and high-quality pergola into your project. Give us a call today at 970-663-2868 to schedule your free consultation.

To learn more about our shade options, please visit our patio cover services page.

Single Vs Double Vs Triple Pane Windows – The Pros And Cons

This is the post main image for an article called single vs double vs triple pane windows

Choosing the correct windows for either your home or business is not as easy as it sounds. Many factors go into selecting the right type of window that you might not have thought about. This includes energy efficiency, the cost of installation, the life expectancy and the materials.

You will want windows that not only look great but also match up to the needs of your home or business. The windows produced today are designed to last for many years so you should ensure you are making the correct choice to begin with to avoid regrets in the future.

The Differences Between Single, Double, And Triple Glass Windows

  1. The single-pane windows feature a single pane of glass, which is held together inside a frame. These windows come in a range of materials and styles.
  2. The double-pane windows feature two panes of glass inside a frame. These windows trap gas like argon between the two pieces of glass to improve home insulation.
  3. The triple-pane windows are designed with three pieces of glass. Similar to the double-pane windows, each panel features spaces around each edge to provide a space that is uniform between each layer. The seal between the panes results in airtight windows. Gas is also used to fill up the spaces between the panes for even better insulation. When you compare the U-factor between double and triple pane windows, the triple-panes offer an average of a 20 to 30 percent improvement when it comes to energy ratings.

Here is a break-down of the pros and cons of single, double, and triple-pane windows. Hopefully, this information will assist you in making a more informed decision for your business or home.


The Pros And Cons Of Single Pane Windows

The Pros

  • The single-pane windows are the cheapest option when compared to double and triple-pane windows.
  • These windows are lightweight.
  • There is a large range of styles and materials to choose from.

The Cons

  • Single-pane windows are the least energy-efficient option.
  • They are also not effective when it comes to noise reduction.
  • While the up-front costs for an installation may be lower, without the additional insulation they will usually end up costing you a lot more concerning your cooling and heating bills.

The Pros And Cons Of Double Pane Windows

The Pros

  • With two pieces of glass, the overall insulation is much better, which means you will start to save money on cooling and heating bills, as your home becomes more energy-efficient.
  • Noise reduction will also increase as these are thicker windows.
  • They can increase the resale value of your home.
  • By requiring less effort to cool or heat your home, you will be using fewer fossil fuels, and your home will become more eco-friendly.

The Cons

  • They may cost more to buy and install, yet they will start to pay for themselves when you start saving cash on your utility bills.
  • You cannot buy only one. If you really want to experience the added quality and money-saving benefits of double-pane windows, all the windows in your home need replacing.

The Pros And Cons Of Triple-Pane Windows

The Pros

  • Energy Savings

The triple-pane windows can offer as much as a 50% saving over the single-pane windows, and an added 20% saving in comparison to the double-pane windows.

  • Improved Insulation

The enhanced insulation that triple-pane windows provide translates into additional benefits such as better soundproofing. Your home will be a lot more insulated with triple-pane glass windows as there are more layers that the sound waves and light waves need to pass through. This type of insulation also prevents condensation on the inside of your windows, when the outdoor temperatures start to fluctuate.

  • Added Security

A break-in is a nightmare for any home or business owner to contend with. Single-pane windows are flimsy and easy to break into, yet with triple-pane windows, the glass is a lot harder for burglars to smash or break-through.


The Cons

  • Additional Weight

– Unfortunately, with the extra panes of the glass, your sashes are much heavier placing pressure on your window frames. The added weight of the glass can also become an issue in casement doors and windows because the hinges are unable to deal with the added weight from the windows, causing them to bend as time goes by. With a vertically operating single or double-hung window, the weight could cause the windows to slam shut accidentally.

  • Exterior Condensation

One of the drawbacks of installing triple-pane windows has to do with condensation that forms on the outside of your windows on colder mornings. While this in no way means that cold air is penetrating your windows, it can be an inconvenience when you are unable to see what is going on outside.

  • Added Cost

Due to the added glass panes and the dedicated frames that are needed to support these windows, the triple-pane windows are the most expensive option when compared to single and double-pane windows. Unless you reside in an extremely cold climate, the added expense would not be worth your while in association with energy savings that the double-pane windows can provide.


Even though triple and double pane windows provide significant advantages when taking energy efficiency into account, they are both more expensive when compared to the traditional single-pane window. Yet even though the outlay initially may cost you more, this is slowly returned in a reduction in utility bills along with an increase in property value.

Just about every homeowner is interested in finding ways to lower the expense of cooling and heating in their homes. If you are in the process of planning to replace or repair your existing windows in your home or business, or you are planning to build a brand new home, it is important to be aware of the options that will provide you with lasting benefits without impacting to harshly on your bottom-line.

Click To learn more about our Window Installation and Replacement Services. If you would like to talk with someone here at TNT Home Improvements about our window services please give us a call at 970-663-2868.