What Type of Decking is Best Around a Pool?

deck

Decking around your outdoor pool is more than just an aesthetic choice that takes your home from a level 5 in impressiveness to an 11! Decking allows you, your family, and your friends to enjoy sunbathing and cooking outside without having to walk on dirt and mud, tracking it behind you wherever you go, even into the pool water. Pretty messy and uncomfortable. The question then isn’t should you get decking around your pool, but what kind of decking surface you need. 

Textured surfaces with low-heat retention are the best materials for pool areas for their non-slip gripping capabilities and burn prevention while being under direct sunlight. Composite decking will prevent the growth of algae while the stones in stone or concrete pavers are entirely waterproof.

Keep reading below to find out more about decks that prevent any slipping, will stay cool, what the big deal is about “composite decking,” and who can help you with all of this. 

Non-Slip Deck Surfaces

The non-slip capabilities of your deck will depend on the amount of texture the surface of the material you choose has. Around a pool, you don’t want so much texture that you’re scraping your feet, but not so little that everyone just, well, slips. That would defeat the whole purpose.

When it comes to non-slip options, my crew and I at TNT have often used textured candidates like,

  • Composite decking
  • Stone patios
  • Concrete patios
  • Ceramic tiles

Composite decks are more slip-resistant than traditional wood options and will even prevent slippery hazards such as algae from building, thanks to the material. 

The next non-slip option you have is stone. Stone, granite, or sandstone pavers (to name a few) have naturally textured surfaces that are beautiful and resist fading from the sun.

Patios paved with stone or colored and textured concrete will give you the wonderful and safe textures you want, is completely water-proof, and like wood comes in a wonderful variety of shapes, sizes, and colors so that you can really complement the architecture of your home and make your pool area something special. 

You might not have expected ceramic tiles to make it as a non-slip option. After all, ceramic tiles have been traditionally much smoother than any other material, but today include non-slip options. Ceramic tiles are very commonly seen as the border around the pool so that it’s easier for you and your guests to climb in and out of the pool, but there are other benefits too. 

Just like the composite, ceramic tiles resist the growth of mold, mildew, and unhealthy bacteria, accomplished thanks to the fact that the water can’t be absorbed into the tile, and with nowhere to hide from the sun, is forced to evaporate.  

Pool Deck Materials That Stay Cool

In addition to non-slip surfaces, you should consider materials that won’t burn you after climbing out of the pool. Some materials will have high-heat retention, they will absorb heat, store it, and build up the heat they are absorbing until it’s completely inadvisable to walk barefoot on the decking or patio. So what are the pool deck materials that actually stay cool, or at least don’t burn you?

Materials That have Low-Heat Retention

Concrete pavers made with precast concrete are an excellent patio material if you don’t have much shade around your pool area. Materials like concrete and brick have high thermal mass, which means the heat will neither escape or be absorbed easily; it takes a long time to heat up these materials, but once the heat from the sun is taken away, it also takes a long time for them to cool down again. 

Which Materials Retain a Lot of Heat? 

Most composite decking options retain a considerable amount of heat, but this is not usually a problem for residential properties like yours because there is almost always enough shade from trees, overhangs, and various covers that will keep the decking from getting too hot.

TimberTech does have a composite option, called Azek, that is 30 degrees cooler than competing boards and 40% more slip-resistant, which makes it a fantastic option for getting a well-functioning deck. 

Are There Any in-the-Middle Options?

Your everyday wood timber is actually a good in-between option in heat retention but will require much more maintenance to avoid hazards like splinters, warping, and just fading. Wood can get really hot, but even several hours directly under the sun won’t burn anyone. But keep in mind that putting wood decking next to a pool will require a lot of maintenance like restaining or refinishing way more often to keep the moisture out.

Regardless of which material you choose, a common rule-of-thumb is that the darker the color of the material around your pool, the more heat it will absorb, which means the hotter it will feel on your poor feet. 

Composite Decking Around Pools

Many decking materials are prone to damage, such as water damage or termites, around your pool if not properly cared for. But that includes a lot of work! Just think of the layers of sealing and resealing you could look forward to doing. These are a couple of reasons why it’s often better to choose a material that resists the wear and ruin that decking is prone to. Enter composite decking!

Composite decking, instead of being composed of everyday lumber, is a composite – that is, made up of various elements – where the elements are wood fibers and plastic film mixed together with bonding agents. 

What you get is a beautiful, water-proof, durable deck around your pool because composite decking is much more durable than the standard lumber option. You can even boast about how environmentally friendly your deck is since it’s made of old, recycled wood and plastic and won’t have to be replaced as quickly as traditional options. 

Just know that different composites will require different levels of maintenance. High-grade composites require the least amount of fuss. Timbertech is renowned for their composites that are not only high-grade but look the most like wood that can be fashioned into numerous patterns and sophisticated designs. We should know. We use them a lot here at TNT Home Improvements. 

deck

What Material is Best for Above Ground Pools?

Above-ground pools can be a real eyesore with their cheap-looking walls, so building decks are a very nice solution to that problem. However, above-ground pools do require a little more attention to detail with decking material than ground-level pools.

You need to consider how much decking or patio you want. Do you want a combination deck, a side deck, or a full-surround deck around the pool? These options and the material you really want or need to use around it will significantly influence the cost of the project.

The best material for above-ground pools still needs to be water-resistant at least, resistant to weather changes, durable against everyday wear, and beautiful to behold. These reasons are why I would suggest composites or Redwood planks. Pavers and concrete patios are very nice, but it isn’t practical to use these materials for above-ground pools. 

Again, composite decking is naturally elegant, sturdy, resistant to the weather, and you won’t have to worry about routine maintenance. 

Maybe the biggest thing you’ll have to decide is whether you want your deck done professionally or not. There are plenty of hidden costs DIY deckers don’t necessarily know about, such as fencing as per state regulation, or even how the pattern of your deck affects the cost of materials. 

Conclusion

Are you located in the Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming areas? You’re in luck! Give us a call today at (970) 663-2868 or visit our decking services page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment for a free consultation with us. Together, we’ll discuss your pool project and make your dream deck a reality that will last you for years to come.

How Do You Heat an Outdoor Patio in the Winter?

When you have a gorgeous patio, all you want to do is use it all year round. But during winter when it’s just too cold to stay outside, chances are you’ll spend more time indoors, leaving your patio unused for a while. 

But that won’t be the case if you have proper heating in your outdoor patio.

To heat your patio, put up a patio heater or heater lamps. You can put in a customized fireplace or even a fire pit. 

If you have a sufficient budget, you can also install a patio cover for added protection and insulation. On the other hand, if you have a deck, you can go for heated floors to keep you warm on your toes. 

Whichever direction you go, you can always benefit from a professional consultation here at TNT Home Improvements. 

But just to give you an idea of how these outdoor heating solutions pan out, keep reading as we look closer into the details. 

How Do I Make My Patio Warmer in the Winter? 

You get the most of your patio when you have a heater around. Whether it’s a heating lamp, furnace, or patio heater, the warm air becomes inviting for those who long to spend more time outdoors. 

Naturally, since sunlight is either limited or overshadowed by the cold, you will have to rely on the above-mentioned devices to keep your patio warmer. 

Likewise, you need to prepare your patio or deck for the winter season by having the right furniture and items that promote insulation.

If you’re planning for a patio or deck renovation, this would be the right time to add support structures that could invite more heat to the outdoor space. 

In the meantime, check out these heating solutions for your patio during winter. 

Put in a Fireplace or Fire Pit

If you want something traditional for heating your backyard space, go for a furnace or a fire pit. 

A furnace or fire pit is often seen indoors. But you can have one customized in your deck or patio. Outdoor furnaces are designed with resistance against wind and other elements that can interfere with fire.

An outdoor fireplace can burn wood or be run off of gas and come in a few different shapes and sizes including the fireplace, fire pit, fire table, fire column, fire bowl, and chiminea, just to name a few.

You can gather around the fire to keep you warm during those cold nights. 

Pros and Cons

Having either a fireplace or fire pit is a perfect conversation starter. Aside from getting more heat, you can gather around these structures and get even closer with friends and family. You can have smores and hot cocoa outside.

Also, with a fire pit, you can use it not just for warmth but for grilling barbeque as well. It can become a fun place to have treats like cooking smoors.

One downside of a firepit or a fireplace is that they may not provide enough heat for a larger group of people. 

Moreover, the heat will most likely be concentrated in a smaller area. So, you will have to get closer to keep yourself warm. 

Furthermore, an open fire can be hazardous without supervision. 

Add a Patio Heater

If you’ve been dining in outdoor restaurants or hanging out in an outdoor bar, you may notice these mushroom-type patio heaters in the vicinity. 

But patio heaters are not just for commercial use – at least not anymore. You can get one for your patio. 

It’s highly effective as a heating device, considering the heat travels evenly in the air. Plus, it’s perfect for keeping your patio warm during social gatherings or group hangouts. 

Pros and Cons

One clear advantage of a patio heater is convenience without sacrificing its effectiveness as a heating device. 

Whether you have a large-size free-standing patio heater or a wall-mounted one, you can easily place and operate the appliance without much assistance. In addition, their mechanism is pretty straightforward. 

For example, if you have a propane-fueled patio heater, you simply make sure that the tank is in place inside the base. Then simply turn on and ignite the heater, and it gives off heat within your patio area. 

It’s even more incredibly simple with electrical patio heaters since all you have to do is plug it into an outlet. 

On the other hand, patio heaters are sometimes regarded as unsustainable, considering the level of combustion involved in producing high BTUs of heat. 

When propane and natural gas patio heaters operate, they derive the energy to power the device by burning gas. Unfortunately, this process leaves carbon that can accumulate in the atmosphere. 

Also, it produces carbon monoxide that can be deadly when trapped in an enclosed area. This is why it’s recommended never to use a patio heater indoors.  

Nevertheless, if you regulate your use and follow exactly the manufacturer’s guide, you can still enjoy using your patio heater. If you want to produce less carbon footprint, you can go for electrical heaters instead.  

What Are the Different Types of Patio Heaters?

If you look into local and physical shops for patio heaters, you’ll see different options based on your needs.

Patio heaters are mostly recognized as mushroom or umbrella-type devices emitting heat in the air through radiating heat methods. 

The principle is the same throughout all the types, but the scope, BTUs, or the amount of energy needed for heat production, size, and purpose vary. 

Nevertheless, patio heaters provide heat in the form of infrared, which is not far off from the heat produced by the sun. 

Check out the different types of patio heaters based on form and power source.

  • Free-standing patio heater

The free-standing patio heater is very distinguished because of its form and design. A typical structure for this heater contains the basic parts, which include the base, pole, heating source, and reflector.

The base is larger than the other components. It provides a foundation for the free-standing patio heater, but it also keeps the tank hidden so as not to distract people with a free-roaming tank of gas. 

The pole supports the heating source or heater and connects it to the tank. This is the typical setup for mushroom patio heaters. With other designs, the heat source and the pole merge as one. 

Naturally, the heat is dispersed through the heat source. Then, a reflector above the heat source prevents heat loss by reflecting the upward moving heat back down. 

However, not all free-standing patio heaters have reflectors. But for those who do, it’s an efficient component.  

  • Tabletop patio heater 

The tabletop patio heater is similar to the free-standing patio heater, only it’s smaller and intended for table use. You may even see some of these heaters looking like a lamp. As a result, they are also used as a centerpiece. 

A tabletop patio heater provides heat for people conversing around the table. Hence, it’s a perfect heat source for small gatherings. 

  • Wall-mounted patio heater

A wall-mounted patio heater is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a heater you install on the wall with adjustable brackets. 

Unlike the other two, this patio heater is electrical, considering the potential flame hazard near the wall. 

But since it produces less heat, it would not be enough to warm a crowd. Nevertheless, it could be enough to provide heat for the family, depending on how many you install. 

You can buy patio heaters that need the following power source to operate:

Propane

Propane-fueled patio heaters are perhaps the most common type. You simply have to secure a propane tank and place it inside the base of the heater. Then, once it’s empty, you can have it refilled or exchanged for a full one in the grocery store. 

Natural Gas

Larger patio heaters sometimes use natural gas if an outlet is available at home. With this power source, you don’t have to worry about running out. Instead, as soon as the ignition cues in, the gas flows continuously, providing high amounts of heat. 

Electricity

Electrical patio heaters are becoming a trend in many homes. If you have a small patio or deck and only need to entertain a few people, this patio heater may be enough. Just plug it in and enjoy your patio in the winter. 

Install a Patio Cover

The structure of your outdoor space matters as far as heating is concerned. For example, if you have a patio, you get better insulation and protection from the snow if you have a patio cover. 

A patio cover is essentially a roof covering for your patio, which allows you to use the area even during slight weather changes. But of course, this would depend on the cover you have 

installed. 

The patio cover becomes even more useful during winter as it adds a thin blanket of warmth by entrapping the heat from your heat source. 

Pros and Cons

If you put up a patio cover, not only will you get additional protection from the snow or rain, but during summer, you also get the necessary shade against the sun. 

Moreover, patio covers can significantly improve the aesthetic of your overall outdoor space. With that, it increases the house’s value if ever you decide to sell it in the market. 

On the other side, putting up a patio cover means you can’t move the patio elsewhere anymore. It’s there to stay unless you reconstruct in another area. Likewise, patio covers can be high maintenance due to their susceptibility to moisture damage. 

Nonetheless, you can avoid accelerated deterioration if your patio covers are built using quality materials and fine work. Leave it to experienced patio cover builders to construct the cover so you can get the assurance that the structure will withstand multiple winters. 

Types of Patio Covers for Winter

If you want a patio cover that could give you extra protection during winter, choosing the materials is a critical step. Here are some of the patio covers you can consider that suit the winter weather.

Aluminum Patio Covers

Aluminum is a reliable material when it comes to roofing and patio covers. It is highly resistant to corrosion and other critical damages. However, you may have to consider a fitting design for this patio cover to ensure that it matches the look and appeal of your outdoor space. 

Acrylic Patio Covers

If you want something low maintenance but still does the job, perhaps the acrylic patio covers are for you. Acrylic is resistant to damage, typical with wood and other materials. You also get different choices when it comes to color and patterns.

Wooden Patio Covers

A wooden patio cover is a classic one that you can design and embellish according to your outdoor theme. While wood is prone to damages caused by moisture, insects, and molds, given the right amount of annual maintenance, you could have the patio cover around for a long time. 

Add Heated Floors

If you have a deck, then you would benefit from items that encourage and provide heat in your space. 

To start with, if what you have is a composite deck, you’d be pleased to know that composite materials can absorb heat which makes the deck comfortable to walk around on. But during winter, it may not be adequate. So, one alternative is using outdoor heated floor mats. 

On the other hand, if you renovate your deck, you can opt for extra insulation underneath the floorboards. Likewise, you can go for radiant heating or outdoor hydronic systems. 

However, this may cost you lots of money considering the elaborate design of the system. Nevertheless, if you have the cash to spare, then by all means, go for it. 

Pros and Cons

If you have a deck with heated floors, it becomes easier to spend time there during winter. 

For one, having heated floors can ensure equal heat distribution. If ever you have a social gathering on the deck, you can rest assured that your guests are kept warm in the area.

A huge downside of heated floors is that they are incredibly expensive. In addition, the installation will have to be done by a professional if you want everything to be in place. 

Likewise, if something gets damaged, there goes another bout of expenses for repair. 

Moreover, heated floors can also take time to warm up, so you will have to schedule your deck use after the floors are entirely heated. 

Nevertheless, if you are adamant about renovating your deck and installing heated floors, it’s best to consult with expert deck builders first. That way, you can get the best plan that suits your budget.  

Use Heater Lamps

Winter heater lamps are a cheaper alternative to patio heaters. They are relatively smaller, but they use infrared lighting, which gives off the necessary heat the same way that patio heaters do. 

They are portable, so you can bring them in and out of the house if necessary. 

A heater lamp may be enough for a small patio or deck, especially if you’re only a couple in the house. But for larger families, you may need to add more lamps to supply adequate heat.

Pros and Cons

Heater lamps are less costly than other heating devices or structures. 

Likewise, it’s electrically operated, so you don’t need to exert much effort to set it up. Instead, just plug it in and enjoy the warmth. 

Also, since you don’t use any gas in heater lamps, you can use it indoors without risking your health. 

On the other hand, a heater lamp may not be enough if you are hosting a large party outdoors. Your guest will remain cold and would prefer to stay inside if that’s the case. 

Conclusion 

Heating your outdoor patio during winter is not a complicated task as long as you know your options. And now that you do, consider other factors such as your budget, the number of households members you have, and the intensity of the cold weather in your area during winter.

If you wish to renovate your patio or deck, don’t forget to consult with experts to help you out in ensuring quality and safety all the way. 

If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit our home page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.

What are the Most Common Types of Windows?

picture of tall new windows

Windows are more than just a way to let some light into a room. They can be a styling choice, allowing you to show off a picturesque view. They can be used to increase ventilation and airflow. So, what are the most common types of windows? 

Single-hung, double-hung, picture, jalousie, and skylights are some of the most common options. But they aren’t the only window varieties to choose from. You might opt to get arched, bay, casement, egress, or garden windows. 

If you feel like you just read a list of made-up terms, don’t worry. Choosing the right type of window shouldn’t leave you feeling overwhelmed. Keep reading for a quick overview of some of the ones that are available on the market. 

Single-Hung

This is a relatively common option. It is comprised of two parts. The upper section will be fixed.  You will be able to move the lower section up and down. This is most commonly used for areas that you want to ventilate. Because of this, it’s most common to see it being used in powder rooms. 

Double-Hung  

As the name suggests, this is a variation of the single-hung window. In this case, both the bottom and the top panels are sliding windows. This is better for adding ventilation to bigger rooms. You can have cooler air flowing in through the lower window and hotter air flowing out the upper window.

Picture Windows

If you want to highlight a feature, like a stunning view or a manicured garden, you should consider getting a picture window. These are larger, often taking up a significant portion of the wall. They are ideal for providing natural sunlight to the room. They can also help protect you from air leakage as no part of this window opens. 

But, if you are considering this option, you will need to make sure that the windows are glazed. Otherwise, heat will be able to seep through this window, warming your house during the summer months.   

Sliders

These windows will be opened by sliding them horizontally left or right. This can be a good way of controlling airflow.  Plus, this style is contemporary, making it a great addition to modern homes. Sliders are a popular form of replacement window as they require fewer internal components than windows that slide up and down. Because these windows are so popular, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Awnings

These windows are a popular choice for apartments. They have a hinge at the top of the window. You will open it at the base, swinging it open. Sometimes, you will need to use a winder, cranking the handle to open it. With this option, it’s easy to control the amount of ventilation you want. This comes in particularly useful on a rainy day. 

Skylight

These are embedded into the roof. Not only will they give you a beautiful view of a cloudy sky, but they’ll also allow you to bring in plenty of natural light. And you’ll be saving on your electricity bills. Most commonly, these will be rectangular or circular, but you can get more creative shapes if you want. 

Arched 

If you are looking to make a statement, this is the type of window you need. These half-circle windows can be found at the top of doorways and large window arrays making the window reach farther up into taller rooms. They are usually a solid window much like a picture window, but the shape resembles a sunset, sunburst, or rainbow and can really add a lot of character to a large wall. Not to mention, letting in a ton of natural light into your space.

Bay 

If you want to create a showstopping architectural feature, bay windows are the way to go. These are large windows that work in a set of three to bump out of the house. This is like creating a small ledge. There are plenty of ways that you can use this small extension of the room. Some people prefer to use it as a reading nook. If you add a mattress, it can function as a daybed. Either way, it’s an incredible feature, which adds plenty of natural light to the house. 

Casement 

These types of windows have hinges on the side of the frame. On a clear day, you will be able to throw them open and get an unobstructed view of the area. This is a great way of getting more airflow through your house. Plus, as the hinges are on the outside of the window, it’s easy to take care of. 

Egress 

If you have a basement, you should consider using egress windows. These often have a small enclosed area outside. These windows are designed to serve a few functions, including: 

  • Allowing natural light into the basement
  • Improving airflow and stopping the build-up of humidity
  • Creating a means of escape if there is a fire. Because of this, there are strict safety measures that need to be followed. 

Garden 

If you have a green thumb, you might want to install garden windows. These are a variation of the bay window. But rather than making an enclosed area big enough for a human, the garden window just needs to be a shelf. This is enough for you to channel the light and heat onto your plants, creating a tiny greenhouse within the space of the window. 

Jalousie

These are a popular choice for media rooms, as they operate a little like a set of blinds. There is a lever at the side, allowing you to set the angle the windows are positioned at. This determines the amount of light coming into the room, as well as the breeze you are getting. 

Round Circle

Finally, you might consider using round circular windows. Most of these will be fixed. Though some will contain hinges so you can add more ventilation. Whether these windows are a good choice will depend on the style of your home. For example, they tend to go well with a Gothic theme. But they might look out of place in a coastal or postmodern home. 

Finding the Right Type of Windows For Your House  

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of some of the types of windows that you can choose from. But how will you know which one you should be using? Here are some of the things you should think about: 

  • Budget. Some of these windows will be more expensive to purchase and install. For example, a picture window will be more costly than a single-hung window. 
  • Size and location of the space. This helps determine whether installing the window will be practical. 
  • Style. Think about the type of house you want to create. You don’t want your new window to look out of place. It can be a good idea to look through social media accounts, like Pinterest, to get some design ideas. 
  • Purpose. Sometimes, you want the window to be an architectural feature or help show off some aspect of your property. At other times, though, it will be more functional, intended to bring more ventilation to the area. Or you can do both. 

Final Thoughts

There are dozens of types of windows available for you to choose from. Each of these can be used effectively in your home. Now, the job becomes narrowing down the right choice for you.

If you are still struggling to decide what type of windows you should get and you live in the Northern Colorado/Southern Wyoming area, give the TNT Home Improvements team a call. We’ll be able to do a free consultation, talking you through every step of the window replacement process and helping you find the right windows for you.

For more information, visit our Window Services page and fill out the contact form or give us a call at 970-663-2868.

What Makes a Good Outdoor Living Space?

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

Your outdoor living space is probably the closest spot you’ll get to having a daily vacation. It’s primarily designed to be cozy and relaxing, where you can lounge with friends and family. 

But this idyllic setup only pans out if you have the necessary elements. 

A good outdoor living space comprises sturdy flooring, ample shade, comfortable weather-proof furniture, and greeneries. Add a grill and some cooking and you have yourself the perfect spot for weekend hangouts all year long. 

However, you will have to invest in these things. 

For example, building a high-quality patio could require a bit of an investment. Nevertheless, it’s going to be worth it, but only if you have it made the best possible way. This is why having a professional contractor build your outdoor living space is always recommended.

On the other hand, if you are a skilled builder, you can turn it into your next big project. 

Either way, you’ll need to know the basics of making an excellent outdoor living space. So, to save you from trouble, just check out this guide. 

What’s Considered an Outdoor Living Space?

Outdoor living spaces are designated areas outside the main house or building for lounging or gathering, such as a family barbecue. It typically consists of a deck or patio and can include things like furniture, a garden, and even a pool.  

Some modern types of outdoor living spaces include weather-resistant dining sets. While others even include televisions, speakers, and other entertainment systems.  

Moreover, you can choose to have a completely or partially closed or open outdoor living space depending on the environmental conditions of your home.  

Simply put, your outdoor living space is like an extension of your living room and kitchen outside. It’s the perfect area to bask under warm summer weather.  

What Do You Need for Outdoor Living? 

Creating an outdoor living space requires meticulous planning.  

First, you have to consider the size of your backyard. Then, prepare a layout that serves the purpose of your outdoor living space.  

For example, if you plan to use your backyard for entertaining or holding dinners and parties, it would be wise to allocate ample open space.  

On the other hand, if you’re thinking more of a lounging area, you have to choose the right spot that receives less of the sun’s harsh heat.  

If you’re living in a house with multiple floors or levels, you may want to consider building a deck. 

But regardless of which type of outdoor living space you want for your backyard, you won’t fail to enjoy it if you have the following elements. 

The first part outlines the essential elements of a spectacular outdoor living space. But if you want to take it up a notch, make sure you check our optional but undoubtedly brilliant additions to your backyard.  

Let’s dive right in! 

Essential Elements

Patio or Deck

People often interchange a patio with a deck when they are two different parts of your outdoor space.  

A patio is directly situated on the ground. It’s a paved area extending from the house or detached from the main building. Patios are often opened with covers that provide shade and breeze. Patios can be just a slab open to the elements or feature a patio cover.

On the other hand, a deck is an elevated outdoor area attached to the house. They can be something you walk directly or into from a kitchen or even an upstairs bedroom.

Both a patio and a deck can include a covered roof. Some examples include a shingled patio cover that matches the house or a pergola that can still let in 50% of the sunshine and fresh air.

If you have a spacious backyard, you can go for a patio. But if you’re living in a small but elevated area, you would want to go for a deck. It would give you access to some view and breeze.

Whichever you prefer, what matters most is that the materials you use to construct your outdoor living space are high quality. Otherwise, it’s money down the drain, 

For example, if you’re looking for something affordable and requires low maintenance, you can turn to composite decking. Nowadays, it has become a trend in many houses due to its flexibility and undeniable durability.  

Decking products such as those offered by TimberTech are designed to last for decades.

Landscape

Outdoor landscapes add an element of serenity to your backyard. It adds another layer of beauty and comfort for those who love staying in the backyard.  

Having a garden or landscape provides closer proximity to nature. In addition, it helps you relax and get settled in your outdoor living space.  

You have plenty of choices when it comes to greeneries. Moreover, you could match your landscaping or garden to that of the architectural theme of your house.  

For example, if you have a Spanish revival home, you can go for plants like bougainvillea to invoke the atmosphere of Spain.  

On the other hand, if your backyard is petite, you can still put up some plants. For example, you can install a vertical garden and fill it with hanging plants or succulents. 

Furniture

You can’t simply put any typical living room furniture in your outdoor living space. That’s a general rule of thumb when designing your patio or deck.  

Fortunately, there are different furniture sets appropriate for outdoor conditions. For one, they are weather resistant which means they can withstand the harshness of summer’s heat and are able to handle moisture and other sorts of weather.   

Nonetheless, the first thing you have to consider when buying outdoor furniture is the ease of maintenance.  

Then make sure the pieces you choose are durable. Ensure that the fabrics used in your pillows and sofa can resist mildew and mold growths.

Moreover, if you’re adding a dining set, choose those that don’t break easily under the changing weather. Alfresco dining is always a huge hit for anyone, but it’s the consistency and maintenance you must look after.

Open Areas

Open spaces are like a canvas for any gathering or hosting occasion. If you’re interested in spearheading social activities, a large area for parties is necessary. However, aside from size, the surface is also a critical factor.

With patios, you have plenty of choices when it comes to surfaces. You can just keep your lawn or clear it out, giving way to surfaces made of gravel, flagstone, pavers, cut stone, tile, or pavement.  

If you have a deck, the entire structure can be your open space. However, if you plan to add furniture, you can allot a portion for entertaining. When it comes to deck floors, wood or composite floorboards are pretty standard.   

Optional Elements

Pool

If you have more than enough budget, you can always add a pool to your outdoor living space. It lets you cool down during the summers and pretty much anytime.  

You can opt for an above-the-ground pool, concrete, vinyl, or fiberglass pool. 

Not only does it increase the appeal of your outdoor living space, but it also increases the value of your home by 4% to 6%. 

Fire Pit

Outdoor living spaces are not just for daytime use. You can also hang out there when evening comes along. But only if you have enough heating. This is where fire pits become helpful. 

Imagine having an evening cookout around your fire pit or backyard camping. There’s a lot you can do, and you never have to worry about the cold.  

You can choose to build your fire pit or get one of those propane fire pits.  

Cooking Area 

The backyard is for barbecues and Sunday afternoon gatherings. That’s pretty much what many Americans associate with their outdoor living space.  

Hence, it is no surprise that many homeowners designate a cooking area to install a grilling space. This way, you can concentrate all the activities outside, eliminating the need for rigorous use of your kitchen. 

Conclusion 

An ideal outdoor living space provides nothing short of comfort for anyone using it.  

But more than the aesthetic features and the charms brought about by this area, you need to ensure its quality first.  

All materials used should be durable and resistant to any type of expected damages.  

And in the subject of creating a high-quality outdoor living space, consider hiring professional builders who are skilled and knowledgeable in this type of project.  

If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit our home page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.

What Should I Put Under My Second Story Deck? -Underdecking!

Patios and deck spaces are every home entertainer’s and family’s dream! There are so many ways you can utilize the space and, like the sunrooms of old, you can thoroughly enjoy nature all year-round while enjoying total comfort. But as great as these spaces are, they aren’t very useful if you can’t keep unwanted elements out of your newly refurbished space, like rain. So what should you put under your second story deck to keep it warm and dry?

In order to stay dry, underdeck systems have to redirect the rain and snow runoff. This can be done in a number of ways such as with deck membranes, underdeck ceilings, and waterproof deck flanges. 

If you’d like to know how you can keep water out from under your deck, and who can help you with it, I invite you to read the information below. 

How do I Keep Water Out From Under My Deck?

We know as homeowners and as a construction company that the solution is NOT to close up the spaces between patio boards. You’ll end up rotting your entire deck because the water from rain and snow has nowhere to go until it’s all evaporated. 

Both homeowners and companies alike have three common ways to prevent water from coming into your underdeck area:

  • Deck membranes
  • Waterproof deck flanges
  • Underdeck ceilings

All three of these methods focus on redirecting the runoff away from the area under your deck, but some methods work better than others. I’ll explain the first two methods briefly, but it’s the ceiling I’ll really focus on. 

Deck Membrane

A deck membrane is a large, thick plastic tarp that is attached intermittently between each gap in your deck’s flooring with waterproof tape. They act like troughs that collect the water and then typically lead it to downspouts, which then lead the water to the gutter and then the ground.

Deck Flanges

Waterproof deck flanges are the simplest option but function pretty much the same way. They’re inserts that you stick within the gaps of your deck to be both your deck spacers and deck troughs. They lead the water to the edge of your deck and throw the water out. 

Now we can get to my favorite option.

mobile-fort-collins-wood-deck-underdecking

What is an Under Deck Ceiling?

As a construction company that specializes in decks and patio covers – among other services – we prefer to utilize under-deck ceilings with our clients for their effectiveness, their clean and professional appearance, and their durability. 

An under deck ceiling works as a ceiling should, but underneath your second story deck (hence the name). Not only does it block water from falling into the area underneath, but it also collects the water through the gaps of your deck and is tilted slightly to lead the water to gutters on the side which then drop the water away from your house via gutter downspouts. 

Gas stations have often used a similar design. We prefer this method too, because of a few reasons. Unlike the membrane, which tends to look ugly and out of place, the ceiling looks like an intentional part of your home. And the new systems these days can even be made to look like a natural wood material despite actually being made of a durable aluminum.

We also prefer the underdeck ceiling over the flanges because the gutters and pipes lead the water to the ground instead of only leading it to the edge of the deck and creating a terrible splash zone. 

The ceiling option is definitely the most labor-intensive, but the results are worth it, and the labor isn’t so bad if you have a good team to help you. In fact, If your second story deck was constructed by us at TNT Home Improvements, you don’t have to worry about water ruining your new extended living space. 

Why Choose TNT Home Improvements?

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of treating each house the same and doing the exact same process for each home that may or may not work as though we’re trying to use some kind of one-size-fits-all kit. Unless you’re living in a cookie-cutter suburb, your house is going to be shaped a bit differently from anyone else’s, leaving a lot to be desired from anyone who just throws a ceiling together. 

I and my team really prefer the personal approach. We like to carefully take the specific measurements of your home to make sure everything fits perfectly and meets all specifications and needs. 

We’re a mid-sized local company here in Loveland, CO who are tired of overrated big-name contractors or unlicensed friend-of-a-friend contractors giving the rest of us a bad name! You have our word (and other proofs) that we are licensed and insured, with photographic proofs of our handiwork, 150+ glowing reviews, and a list of references available on our site

When you consider us for your next home improvement project, you can rest assured that all of our projects are engineer approved because we happen to have an engineer on our staff who is responsible for overseeing our work to make sure it’s done right the first time.

But as much as I love to praise my team toot the TNT horn, I think I’ll let Margaret, a previous customer, do that for me.

“Would recommend to anyone in Northern CO! Every single person we dealt with was just fantastic. The work was top rate and the pricing was very affordable. Most of all we appreciated knowing the job was being done right by a local company. The work was done on time and even came in under budget.” – Margaret S.

What Can I Put Under My Underdeck Space?

Once you have your new outdoor living space, what can you do with it? What can you put in that expanse of space? Plenty of things, if you’re creative enough. 

Underdeck systems are fantastic solutions for problems like the lack of space in the rest of the home, no proper entertaining area, or the severe lack of a BBQ area that you can actually use more than a few months out of the year. They’re almost like sunrooms, but for modern-day homes, and you can do more than put some chairs and plants in it. This outdoor living space holds potential for numerous applications, such as:

  • Outdoor kitchen with year-round BBQ
  • Outdoor dining area
  • Entertainment area with sofa, bar, and TV
  • Storage for the really big toys
  • Kids’ play area
  • And more

But none of these ideas can work if water from the patio above the space comes in to drench everything and everyone in it. That is why it’s crucial for deck spaces to be covered with an underdecking system or with a patio cover, which we also do.

In Short…

Underdeck systems are wonderful solutions to common household problems and are beautiful extensions of the home that can allow you and your family to enjoy quality time together and with friends in perfect comfort, especially with the right materials and the right team to help you waterproof the space. 

If you don’t live in Loveland, that’s okay. We serve Larimer County, Weld County, and even get up into some parts of Southern Wyoming. If you’re located in the Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming areas and want to discuss your next home improvement project, then by all means, give us a call today at (970) 663-2868 or visit the Deck Services page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment. We look forward to talking with you.

How Much Does It Cost to Reside a House?

Residing your house is a major project that can increase your property value and curb appeal. And if you do it right, you might be looking at a home that can sustain its impressive exterior look for years and years to come.

But how costly is it to replace the siding on a house? The average cost to reside a house is around $2 – $50 per square foot. It can go higher or lower depending on the size of your home, the number of stories, and the siding materials you choose.

Nonetheless, it is a pretty huge investment. But despite the substantial financial demand, it also has great returns considering how much it upscales your home. With that, hiring reliable professionals to reside your house is your best option to make sure you get your money’s worth.

If you’re planning to reside your house, here’s everything you need to know regarding costs, materials, and installation.

What Is the Purpose of Residing a House?

There are essentially three major reasons why you should reside your house.

1.      To upgrade exterior protection.

Your house’s siding or wall cladding is not just for show. It has a critical role in protecting your home. A durable siding can keep your house away from the damages caused by weather changes or other extreme conditions like hurricanes or tornadoes. In addition, it keeps the entire structure sturdy along with the primary foundations.

2.      To improve your house aesthetics.

Everyone loves a beautiful house. And with beauty comes higher value.

You may choose to reside your home if you want to update its exterior design. It could be out of preference, or you may want to put your house up for sale.

3.      To repair deteriorating sliding.

If your house is 30 to 50 years old and the wall cladding is clearly hanging on for dear life, then residing your house is a much-needed home improvement project. It could improve the structure’s integrity and increase your house’s appeal.

Siding that starts to deteriorate creates holes that can let in moisture and even unwanted critters.

How Long Does Siding Lasts?

A house siding can last for an average of 50 to 60 years. However, the specific lifespan of siding depends on its materials.

For example, bricks and stone siding can last for up to 100 years. At the same time, vinyl and fiber cement can stay in good condition for 60 years.

Of course, this is mainly dependent on the quality of installation. If it is done haphazardly, you can expect minor to major defects in the future. But if it was put up impeccably, then you’ll have to wait decades before the next residing.

How Much Does It Cost to Reside a House?

You can reside your house with a budget ranging from $2,500 to $16,000. The average expenses would run at $10,000, give or take. Naturally, this would include all the construction materials for residing and labor.

However, the exact cost to reside your house depends on the size, type of siding, and design you wish to adopt. Check out the specific estimates for residing depending on the house size.

1000 Sq Ft House: A 1000 square feet house often needs a budget of $1,000 to $3,000 for residing.

1500 Sq Ft House: It will cost you at least $3,000 to reside in a 1500 square feet house.

1,800 Sq Ft House: You have to prepare more or less $4,599 for residing if you have a 1,800 square feet house.

2000 Sq Ft House: The cost of residing a 2000 square feet house is between $4,300 to $15,800.

2500 Sq Ft House: If your house is about 2500 square feet, prepare a budget between $5,750 to $32,500. The type of material primarily impacts the overall expenses along with labor.

How Much Does It Cost to Put Siding on a 2-Story House?

The average cost of residing a 2-story house is about  $7,000 to $16,000. That is if you are planning to have vinyl siding. The expenses will most likely increase if you go for wood or stone siding.

Aside from the materials, the installation cost is another critical element of the budget. Again, you might find it pricier if you opt for removing and replacing the existing siding.

In some cases, you can simply ask the contractor to put new siding on old ones. But this is conditional and requires a thorough assessment of the existing siding first.

How Does Vinyl Siding Increase Home Value?

Vinyl siding boosts your home value by 63% of the project’s cost.

You can associate this increase with the added and updated look and protection of your home. Not only will it enhance the exterior protective layer of your house, but it will also ensure its durability and longevity.

Moreover, adding new siding improves the house’s aesthetics, making it more appealing to potential homeowners if you are trying to sell your house.

What Should I Look for When Residing a House?

When planning to reside your house, factors such as type of siding materials, your budget, the overall theme, and the architectural design of the structure should be considered.

Since residing is a major home renovation, it requires considerable planning. Part of which includes choosing materials that suit the weather and climate in your area.

Likewise, you have to assess if said materials fit the general design of your home, unless, of course, if you’re planning to change your home’s style. For example, contemporary houses can use wood or vinyl sidings.

Nonetheless, you’ll have plenty of options for siding that might fit right for your exterior. Check out some of the most popular siding options below.

Types of Siding

1.       Vinyl

If it’s practicality you’re after, then a vinyl siding would be on top of your list. Materials for this type of siding are low maintenance and incredibly affordable, with average prices that go between $3 to $8 per square foot. 

Moreover, vinyl siding has a longer lifespan of 30 – 40 years. So, it should last you a while before needing to be replaced.

Despite their synthetic nature, you can find many vinyl sidings mimicking wood, stones, and other styles. You can also find vinyl sidings in different colors and designs. They can also be shaped like fish scales or arranged in panels, shingles, and more.

2.       Wood

Wood is a perfect choice if you’re going for traditional siding. It comes in different styles and has an inert versatility that gives you plenty of options for design. The average price for wood siding is between $5 to $14 per square foot.

Likewise, its natural looks and charm stand the test of time. Plus, it’s pretty easy to install.

However, one huge downside of wood is that it needs high maintenance as it is prone to water and weather damages.

So, it is absolutely important to choose the right wood. Or better yet, consult an expert so you can avoid colossal mistakes.

3.       Brick

Are you looking for sidings that could last for a century? Then, you can never go wrong with brick sidings. You can have your house exterior installed with full brick sidings that typically cost about $14 to $30 per square foot. But if you go for brick veneers, the costs could be lower.

Brick sidings are also low maintenance. However, the installation may be a bit pricier, considering how intricate the process is.

4.       Stone

If you have a luxurious taste that leans more on a classic design, then you might find stone sidings to be appealing.

You can choose different types of stones like granite and limestone. That is, if you’re going for a natural, earthy look for your façade.

But aside from aesthetics, stone sidings are also effective in protecting your home from any damage caused by the weather.

However, just like bricks, stone can also be expensive, costing around $30 – $50 per square foot. Stone veneers are less pricy in the $4 to $10 per square foot range.

5.       Metal

Metal sidings are often associated with retro houses. But these durable exteriors can match any other design depending on how you plan to style it.

Nonetheless, metals sidings are durable and reliable in protecting your exterior from damages like insects and physical damage.

Just make sure that you choose the right kind of metal and have it installed by professionals. Otherwise, you might encounter rust in the future. If you’re going for the long-term, stainless steel often leads the pack.

You can expect to spend an average of about $4 to $8 per square foot if you choose a metal siding.

6.       Concrete

If you’re living in an area prone to hurricanes, flooding, and wildfires, then having a concrete exterior can be a great way to defend your home. 

Concrete is a mixture of cement, water, and gravel that turns into a paste. The paste hardens over time, fortifying the wall. 

One of the many strengths of concrete siding is its longevity. You can expect it to last for generations. 

The estimated cost for concrete siding is between $3 to $6 per square foot. Installation could be pricier compared to other types of siding.

7.       Fiber Cement

Choosing a siding that you like can be tricky, especially if budget and style conflict. Or if you want a natural look but don’t want the maintenance of wood. 

Fortunately, you can still get the natural looks of wood siding without the yearly upkeep, thanks to fiber cement.

Fiber cement is an artificial exterior cladding made of cement, sand, and some wood fibers. 

The form and bits of its texture copy that of wood. Fiber Cement can come with different styling options and costs an average of $6 – $13 per square foot.

What Type of Siding Lasts the Longest?

Bricks and stone sidings are known to last the longest among different siding materials. They can even last for a hundred years provided that they’re maintained well. This is pretty obvious with comes Victorian houses that withstood the test of time. 

However, the issue with these natural sidings is that they can be significantly expensive.

If you’re on a budget but are looking for siding materials that can last for decades, then your best option can be vinyl or fiber cement siding.

A vinyl siding is cheaper, but if you’re going for the durability of concrete, you’ll have your best chances with the fiber cement.

What Color Siding Fades the Least

White is known to fade the least when it comes to color siding. However, more often than not, lighter colors don’t fade fast.

On the other hand, darker colors tend to go dull over a long period. This can result from sunlight exposure or weather changes that diminish the paint or the embedded color of the siding.

Therefore, when choosing a siding material, it is best to consider factors such as the type of weather you have in your area. If fading is inevitable, you can always go for siding materials that can be repainted instead of replaced entirely.

What Color Siding Has the Best Resale Value?

You can get the best resale value if your siding has a neutral, lighter color. It could be in the shade of gray, blue, beige, light brown, or taupe. White is also a great option if you want to increase your home’s value.

These colors are a hit in the market because they give an inviting, relaxing vibe. You can also mix and match depending on the exterior design you like.

On the other hand, strong outdated colors only interest a few people. So, it’s best to stir clear from swatches that include mustard yellow, pink, orange, and purple.

Nonetheless, there’s a slight caveat with this rule. If you can design the colors tastefully, it might give you high resale value. But this would take a lot of work and creativity on your side.

How Is Siding Installed?

The difficulty level of installing siding on your house’s exterior will depend on the type of materials you have.

For example, if you go for vinyl siding, you will notice that each panel has built-in slots where you can hammer the nail that attaches the vinyl on the wall.

However, there’s more to installing wall cladding than nailing them onto the wall. First, it needs proper leveling and cutting of angles. Not to mention the very job-specific equipment needed to get you and the siding up into the air beside your house safely.

Hence, if you’re inexperienced in this task, the best way to ensure that your residing project remains fail-proof is to hire a contractor like us right here at TNT Home Improvements to do it.

Can You Put Siding Over Old Siding?

Yes, in some circumstances you can opt to cover your old siding with new ones and use it as a substrate. But you can only do this if the existing siding is in good condition, free of wear or any critical damages.

However, you must have an expert looking into the quality and condition of the existing siding before you install new siding over it. When you assess it yourself, you might miss some damaged or deteriorating parts, leading to horrible incidents concerning your siding.

Simply put, even though it is acceptable to put new sidings over existing ones, without professional assessment, it can lead to further damages that may cost you more than the average residing expenses.

Is It Better to Remove Old Siding?

It is always better to remove old siding than have it covered with new ones.

Although the former is cheaper, retaining your old siding and having the new one sit on top of it has some drawbacks.

For example, if the old siding could have undetected water damage and placing new siding on top could potentially collapse the entire structure in the future. Likewise, wood rot can happen without knowing it, as the old siding is hidden completely. Similarly, it can be prone to pests and insect damage.

Some siding manufacturers will actually void the warranty of their product if you install it over the old siding and not just directly to a good quality OSB.

Moreover, it is cleaner and smoother to remove the old siding first. Keeping it around can lead to sloppy installation, compromising its look altogether.

Summary

Residing your house may be a big investment, but because you are upgrading the outermost layer of protection and aesthetics, the payoff always justifies the upgrade. This is because your property value increases, plus you get to live in a house that looks and feels good.

With the considerable budget it requires, it is best to hire professionals to install your new siding. This way, you’ll have the confidence that the residing project is done with care, precision, and quality in mind.

If You Are Located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming Area, Then Give Us a Call Today at 970-663-2868 or Visit Our Siding Services Page and Fill Out the Contact Form to Make an Appointment to Discuss Your Next Home Improvement Project.

How To Maintain a Wood Deck?

a pressure washing wand cleaning off a wood deck

Like it or not, your wood deck will need maintenance to keep it in the best shape possible.  As well as general wear and tear, your deck is exposed to the elements such as snow, rain, and UV rays from the sun.  Maintenance is a vital skill for anyone owning a deck who wants to avoid expensive repairs and replacements down the line.  Neglecting a deck can cause problems in terms of appearance and overall use.

There are quick ways, wrong ways, and correct ways to carry out maintenance on your deck.  Make sure you carry out regular checks on your deck to keep the condition as high as possible.  Regular cleaning and sweeping are quick ways to keep your deck looking at its best as well as repairing any minor damages to avoid them becoming larger problems.  Applying a protective coating to your deck annually or bi-annually is also a great way to protect it against the elements.  

Many people go to great expense and effort in having an amazing deck installed and then fail to maintain it for a couple of years or protect it in the wrong way.   Reacting to a problem is almost always far more costly compared to being proactive.  Taking regular steps to protect, clear and repair will mean that the time spent looking after your deck will be minimal.

How do you take care of wooden decks?

Before any kind of maintenance can take place, you must make every effort to understand what needs to be done.  If your deck is in a shaded area, surrounded by greenery, then you should be protecting against potential moisture and mold from fallen leaves for example.  A deck that is in a sun trap will need a totally different product applied to it such as one that is designed to protect against UV rays. Just make sure that when you are selecting a sealant, you are taking into consideration what you are protecting against.

Why should I maintain my deck?

Installing a good quality deck is a big expense so looking after it makes sense.  People spend a fortune on a car and maintain it so that they don’t need to replace it every year.  The same is true of your decking area, no matter the size.  Your deck will last far longer and stay in a far better condition with proper maintenance.  Using suitable products helps keep mold, mildew, and stains to a minimum. Wood and moisture are not a good mix so make sure you seal up your wood deck to protect it.

Are you prepared?

Choose the time of year carefully for any maintenance or cleaning.  You need the outdoor temperature to be above 50°F during the day and night and for it to be a dry forecast.  This stops the wood from contracting in the cold or swelling in the damp.  Also, check that you have all the tools and equipment on hand.  There is nothing worse than starting a task and then realizing you are missing a tool or a tin of oil.  

How do I make my deck last longer?

In short, look after it!  Regularly sweep leaves and dirt off the boards and deal with stains from food or drink quickly.  All these little jobs will make a huge difference to the life span of your deck.  Remember, a new deck should be left untreated for at least 60 days to allow it to settle and expand naturally. Painting or sealing before the 60 days is up can lead to cracks appearing.  

How do you take care of a wooden deck?

This will depend on whether you have chosen a hard or a soft wood.  Hardwood decking boards are generally more resistant to mold than softer woods, but this doesn’t mean they should be cared for any less.  Hardwoods tend to be oilier in their make up so choosing a suitable sealant is important.   It is advised that hardwood be left untreated for a period of 2-3 months to allow for oils to leave the wood naturally.

This is not the case with softer woods.  These need to be treated quickly and on all sides to make them more resistant to rot, mold, and UV rays.  When the initial seal is applied, it needs to be left for 24-48 hours before an oil or paint is applied to it.  Applying this early will mean they will not bond with the wood and will crack.

How often do decks need to be sealed?

Sealing your deck should be repeated every 1 – 3 years.  This will depend on the condition of the deck and what weather conditions have been like.  A mild winter for example won’t have affected your deck as much as a harsh winter with snow and ice. 

Choosing not to seal your deck won’t cause immediate damage such as rot and splintering but the overall appearance of your deck will diminish.  Luckily, you can seal your deck later which brings out the natural grains of the wood again.   Sealing your deck will help restore its natural color. 

Should you pressure wash a deck?

There are mixed opinions around the use of pressure washers on decks.  Some people love them, and some people don’t.  If you are going to pressure wash, it is important to remember you will have to do something else once the washing has been completed.  Pressure washing mold and mildew from decking boards is very effective, but it does leave spores behind.  These need to be swept away as they can grow back very quickly indeed – and they look ugly!

It is also important to consider the strength of the water.  Too strong a jet and you risk damaging the wooden boards.  This can lead to an unnecessary expense of replacing part of the decking.

Is it better to sand or power wash a deck?

Sanding is better for the deck compared to power washing.  Power washing is far quicker than sanding but is also the quickest way to damage your deck.  A slight splinter or crack can be made into a major problem with a power washer as you run the risk of damaging the appearance of the wood.  Sanding is more beneficial and is a more natural way of maintaining the wood.  Sand with the grain to avoid unsightly scratches and sweep away any saw dust that is generated.  Removing this dust is critical as the next step will be to apply a sealant to the wood.  Any dust that is still there will spoil the finish of the boards and mean that the sealant will be less effective.  

To paraphrase an old saying, look after your deck and your deck will look after you.  Decks are a fantastic addition to a home and create brilliant outdoor spaces.  Maintaining them properly shouldn’t be a chore and should be completed regularly.  The little and often approach to deck maintenance is the best way to operate rather than waiting for a huge problem to develop which could involve an expensive repair.

If staining and sealing a deck once a year isn’t something you want to do it may be time to think about upgrading to a composite deck. Composite decking is a wood/plastic hybrid mixture that creates a product that is almost completely maintenance-free. I say almost because you still will want to clean it off every once in a while but you won’t ever have to sand and stain it.

If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit our Deck Services page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.

How to Know When it’s Time to Replace Your Windows

If you are a home or business owner, you might have realized that you have some windows you think are not looking or working their best. You might be wondering how do you know when your windows need to be replaced? You might also wonder how long do windows last in a home or how often do windows need to be replaced? These are all fair questions and they are not things that many people think about asking when they have a home or business location built.

Signs of leaks, cold drafts of air, or condensation between the window panes can be signs that your windows need to be replaced. Windows last on average for 15-20 years, but some brands of windows might not offer this set lifespan.

If you have purchased an existing home or business, you might not even have access to all of the information that you need to answer some of these questions about the age or condition of your windows. This is where getting help from a professional can make all the difference to your home upkeep and care process.

How to Know When it’s Time to Replace Your Windows

There are some key ways that you can determine if your windows are going to need to be replaced soon. Some of these signs of wear and tear are more obvious than others, but you might find that all of them are present in your windows when you start looking at them more carefully.  If you have purchased a new property, it is a good idea to find out when the windows were last replaced so that you are sure about the level of care that they are going to need in the near future.

Windows will come with a warranty that you can use to address issues that crop up before the set end date of the expected lifespan of the window. These warranties can vary and you will need to know what they are for your home and business care needs.

Here are some indicators that its time to replace your windows:

1.       Not Opening and Closing

If your windows have stopped opening and closing smoothly, you will need to replace them. This is a sign that the window itself is failing and leaks and other issues are likely just around the corner. In some instances, the window can be repaired, but often with older windows, this is just an early warning sign that failure is just around the corner.

If you have a window that has stopped functioning properly, make sure that you start thinking about replacing it before tough weather damages the interior of your home.

2.       Cold Drafts

Windows that are installed correctly should not allow drafts of cold air to come into your home. If you think that you are feeling cold drafts of air around or near your windows, they are probably about to fail and start to break down. The casement around the windows and the frames of the windows can also wear out over time, so even if the window itself looks fine, the cold air you are feeling is a sign that your window is starting to fail.

Older windows that are not double-paned or up to energy efficiency standards can also cause these issues without having truly failed. You will still want to replace these windows as they will greatly impact the comfort of your home and your heating and cooling bills each month.

3.       Water Leaks

This is the sign of a window that has already failed. If you have water running in around the windows or leaking through the panes, you need to replace this window immediately. This is a sign that the window or the window frame has failed and the damage to your home’s walls or interior can be significant. This is one of the things that you cannot wait to fix and you will need to get someone out to replace a leaking window as soon as possible.

If you are worried that your windows might be leaking but you are only seeing some condensation on the frame or the window ledge, you should make sure that you contact a professional to come and take a look at it.

4.       Rattling in the Frame

If your windows make noise and rattle when the wind is blowing hard, this is a sign that your windows have worn out and need to be replaced. These windows are likely letting in lots of drafts of air and there is a risk that they could shatter. Rattling windows are a few storms from complete failure and you should take this sign of problems very seriously.

Rattling windows can be doing this due to age, a flaw in how they were made, or due to issues with the way that they were installed. All of these problems can lead to a significant issue with your windows that you should avoid at all costs.

5.       Condensation Between the Panes

If you are seeing condensation between the panes of your windows, you should consider this window just about through its useful lifespan. This is one of the signs that your window has started to experience issues that cannot be resolved and this can lead to issues with costs of heating and cooling as well as blocking the view out your window.

How Long Do Windows Last?

Most windows for residential or business use are made to last for 15-20 years. This can be varied somewhat based on the brand and there should be a warranty in place for issues that crop up ahead of this expected lifespan. You might need to look at the information for your windows if you are not sure how long they were supposed to last.

It is a good rule of thumb to consider any window that is 15 years or older to be past its most usable lifespan. If you have purchased a home recently that has windows that are partially through their normal lifespan, it can be a good idea to start budgeting for window replacements in case they start to turn up after a few years.

Window replacements can be expensive, so you should make sure that you are prepared to take care of this necessary part of the process of caring for your home. People who are not aware of the average lifespan of these parts of their home might be surprised when window repairs or replacement needs crop up. Consider this 15-20 year lifespan to be the average lifespan of this important feature of your home or business.

Work With a Skilled Team For Your Window Replacement Needs

If you have been looking for a team of caring and qualified experts to take care of your window replacement needs, you don’t need to look any further. Our qualified team of window installation and repair experts has the skills and knowledge to take care of the windows in your home or business with ease. You will be able to get advice and care from our team for jobs big and small.For those located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, you should give us a call today at 970-663-2868. You can also visit our window services page and fill out the contact form. We will help you to make an appointment to discuss what is needed to make your next home improvement project a big success!

Should I Replace All My Windows at Once?

older window with plants decor

Every good contractor would advise you to replace the windows in your home after a particular period. After all, windows can degrade as they age and are prone to various damages.

However, it is always a concern whether you have to replace a few windows or every window at once. The answer lies in factors such as your budget, the reason for the replacement, and your aesthetic choice.

Nevertheless, it is ideal to replace all your windows at once. It is financially wiser as the market value for your house goes up, and you save more on labor.

If you’re wondering how a major window replacement project helps your house then you’ve come to the right place.

Should I Replace All My Windows at the Same Time?

Yes, replacing all your windows simultaneously is an ideal decision when it comes to improving your window’s aesthetics, efficiency, security, and improving your overall curb appeal. However, there are several factors influencing this choice, and they are all up for consideration.

Replacing a window boils down to the level of urgency it requires. For example, if a couple of windows are damaged, you may have to fix them immediately.

If they go beyond the state of reparability, replacing them is the best decision you can make. This might bring you to the question of whether you should replace the rest of the windows as well.

If this is the case, you have to consider your budget at hand. If you have room in your home improvement budget to do so, then go ahead and replace all your windows at the same time.

If you already have a few that are failing then this will be the proactive approach as it probably won’t be too much longer before the rest follow suit.

Partial Vs. Whole House Window Replacement

As the name implies, a partial house window replacement involves several of your house’s windows, while a whole-house window replacement covers all the windows in your home. Both types of replacement can be a major project depending on the number of units.

You can opt for a partial window replacement when minor damage has been detected on specific frames or screens. On the other hand, a whole house window replacement is appropriate if you are elevating the style of your home or if the windows go past their prime age.

Is It Worth It to Replace Home Windows?

Absolutely. Replacing your home windows come with several benefits not just for the structural integrity of your house but also in terms of property value.

Nonetheless, like any other project, there could be downsides ongoing for a whole house window replacement. Unfortunately, the gravity of these drawbacks is often felt when you pursue the project without proper planning.

So, to help you come up with the right decision, check out the following pros and cons of replacing your windows all at once.

Pros

1.       Cohesive Window Styling

If your purpose for the window replacement project is to update the style of your home, then doing it all at once is the most practical way to do it.

This is pretty common with houses that are decades old. At some point, owners would choose to remodel their home and keep the window frames and screens up the trend.

Changing the windows altogether guarantees that the quality and construction are even among all the windows. Likewise, it also ensures that the same materials are available and consistent for the project.

2.       Adds More Value to Your Home

Window replacement is considered one of the top home improvements that add value to your home. 

In most cases, you get up to 85% in ROI (return of investment) when you change your windows to an efficient design. Nevertheless, the ROI depends on different factors such as materials used, style, and durability.

3.       Repairs the Defects All at Once

Sometimes it’s tricky to find damages in your windows unless they are already too complex to ignore. But when you employ total replacement for your house windows, these defects are automatically covered.

Your contractor or window installers will secure that the frame fits well and the materials are of high quality, such as Amerimax products that can withstand the wear and tear common to windows.

Of course, you can expect this superior service level when you go for window installers committed to providing nothing but the best work.

Cons

1.       Requires a Specific Budget

Just like any other home improvement project, you will need to prepare a large sum of money depending on the window type you’re aiming for.

Hence, before pushing for a complete window replacement at home, it is beneficial to schedule a consultation with experts. Doing so will help you a lot with your planning based on your allocated budget.

If budget is a concern, reach out to us here at TNT Home Improvements to discuss our financing options.

2.       Major Home Improvement

Naturally, when you pursue a whole house window replacement, you subject your property to a major home improvement. This means that the labor process may take time and become a minor inconvenience for your household as opposed to simply having a few windows replaced.

However, this is a small sacrifice compared to the perks of a full home window replacement.

How Long Do Windows Last and How Often Should They Be Replaced?

Windows are known to last for up to 15 to 20 years. At least this is true for modern windows. Depending on the manufacturer, warranties can go for up to 25 years which is essentially a lifetime warranty considering the lifespan of the window.

You should consider replacing your windows after 15 to 25 years. Once your window goes beyond its optimum age, defects and inefficient functions become common. 

Therefore, it is crucial to learn more about your window’s warranty and the specific lifespan for the unit.

Why Should I Replace My Windows at Home?

In a nutshell, here are several factors that prompt window replacement.

Durability or Age

Some things are not meant to last forever. Unfortunately, windows are one of them. Hence, if your windows are past their intended lifespan, it’s essential to have them replaced. Otherwise, it will rapidly deteriorate in quality or be subjected to damages.

Energy Efficiency

You may want to consider replacing your windows at once if you aim for energy cost reduction. 

For example, air conditioning and heating units tend to consume more energy when air leaks through windows exist. 

Likewise, you could reposition or go for windows with larger panels to invite more natural light in obscure areas. This way, you could have minimal need for artificial lights that consume electric energy.

Damaged Windows

It’s time to change your windows when damages go out of control. These include water damage or intrusion defects, fogged glass, cracks, holes, and rattling frames.

Safety and Security

Windows that come with older homes often lack the tight safety and security offered by modern windows. So, if your windows cannot be secured tightly and efficiently, seek a whole house window replacement.

How Much Do Replacement Windows Cost on Average?

According to Forbes, the average cost for replacing a window ranges from $200 to $1,200.

Depending on the materials, you can also go for windows priced at $100 to $650. However, it may not be as superior as the pricier ones. On the other hand, the average cost for window installation or labor is between $100 to $300 for each window.

Is It Cheaper to Replace One Window at a Time?

Upfront, replacing one window at a time is cheaper. However, replacing all your windows in one order can be financially beneficial for the longer term.

For starters, contractors and window manufacturers tend to offer discounts for larger projects.

You also have the assurance that all windows are installed at the same standards, which improves heating and cooling efficiency. With that, you can save more money from energy costs.

Final Thoughts

Replacing all your house windows at once comes with a lot of perks. But you need to consider several factors given that this project is a huge investment. 

Replacing one broken window pane may feel like a potential DIY project, but when it comes to a whole house window replacement project it’s best to call in the experts.

Need Consultation About Window Replacement? We Can Help

If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit our Window services page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.

What Are the Different Types of Patios?

What Are the Different Types of Patios?

A home with a patio is nothing less than attractive with a welcoming atmosphere. Patios are century-old outdoor areas that remain trendy. They are used for many functions such as dinner by the garden or simply for hanging out.

If you wish to add or renovate a patio in your yard, it is best to understand your different options. While people often assume that patios are all the same, architecture and exterior design enthusiasts can distinguish the patio designs and materials.

Fortunately, this knowledge can now be shared with many homeowners who desire to improve their patios. Here’s everything you need to know and more about the different types of patios.

Types of Patios

The different types of patios are generally based on the materials used for the surface. You can decide on the patio you want according to your preferred design, the size of the yard, and other factors.

In the meantime, check out your options for the different patio types.

1.      Clay Bricks

If you’re aiming for a patio that has a bit of a nostalgic streak or a historical feel, then clay bricks would probably suit your taste. 

Bricks, as a whole, can attain different designs, especially geometric ones. Additionally, clay bricks are known to last for a very long time. Think of existing clay bricks that dated as far as centuries ago. Hence, it’s a pretty impressive choice.

The downside, however, is that clay bricks can be pretty expensive. Nonetheless, you can opt for slightly less costly brick alternatives such as reclaimed bricks. Not only are they relatively cheaper, but they are also more environmentally friendly.

2.      Concrete

Concrete patios are cheap yet durable. You can also even out the concrete, giving it a clean and smooth surface.

Moreover, concrete patios last a lifetime provided that they are well-maintained. Plus, if damages are sustained, it doesn’t cost a lot of money for repairs.

Concrete patios can now be given a custom look with the use of a texture and pattern method called ‘stamped concrete’. In this way, the concrete can have a stone pattern ‘stamped’ into it and can even have color dies added to it to further enhance the look.

3.      Flagstone

If you go for flagstones, you’ll need professional assistance. Flagstones are classic patio surfaces that can look completely elegant depending on the design. They are thick slabs of stone that mostly come in irregular shapes.

However, they are unbelievably heavy. Hence, installing flagstones on your patio surface will need a few tools and manpower.

Flagstones will look gorgeous on your patio. But one of its drawbacks is how it absorbs heat during a scorching hot summer. Likewise, the flagstones can be slippery during rainy seasons, so you would need extra care when walking on the patio.

4.      Gravel

Patios don’t necessarily need to be even. Gravel can suffice if you’re more into the rustic atmosphere or just want to maximize the outdoor feels.

Aside from the fact that gravel is far less affordable than other patio surface materials, it can also be installed without too much labor. You can even design the patio yourself.

Moreover, gravel can allow the smooth drainage of water out of the patio when it’s raining.

5.      Patio Pavers

If you’re looking for a patio surface that is easy to install, then the patio pavers are your best choice. The patio pavers are designed to interlock with one another. Therefore, installing them in your yard can be a walk in the park, provided that you plan it well. You can do it yourself or with minimum help.

Another great thing about patio pavers is that they come with different choices. For example, you can choose a design that resembles wood or brick.

6.      Sand

Everyone loves the beach – or at least most people do. That’s why it’s not surprising to find homeowners that like to recreate the beach environment right in their backyard. To do so, they prefer adding sand on the patio to any other materials.

While sand can be ideal if you’re holding beach-themed parties or planning to install a pool, they can sometimes be a bit annoying.

One example is when it’s raining, and the patio becomes wet. You might find yourself dragging large portions of sands everywhere.

7.      Stone Slate

Stone slates are essentially stones cut in tiles. They are laid on the surface to create a more textured patio. This type of slate also allows you to be more creative and flexible in your patio design.

When it comes to the costs of this type of patio, it is generally based on the type of stone you want. For example, if you’re aiming for marble, prepare to spend a few bucks more. On the other hand, a more affordable option would be travertine.

8.      Tile

Tiles are an excellent patio surface choice. They provide a clean, comfortable texture that almost seems like an extension of the inner house.

Furthermore, you get a wide range of options for tile design, color, thickness, and materials used. Tiles are also affordable and can easily be installed with a breeze.

There is no doubt that the visual appeal of tile is off the charts. However, one of its drawbacks is that tiles can often become slippery when wet. And given that patios are exposed to rain outside, this would be inevitable.

What Type of Patio Is the Best?

Experts recommend stone tiles as the best patio option if you’re looking for a patio surface that guarantees longevity and style.

Stone slates or tiles provide enough friction to avoid any accidents during rainy seasons. Moreover, it gives a natural feel or texture that elevates the entire quality of the patio.

On the other hand, if you are on a tighter budget, a concrete patio could be the best patio type for you. Concrete patios are also durable and ideal for areas with changing weather. However, it will require a certain degree of maintenance to make sure that it remains stable.

What Is the Easiest Patio to Maintain?

The easiest patio to maintain is the concrete patio. Concrete, in general, requires low maintenance. The surface is even enough to have the wind sweep off debris from the garden. Likewise, damages are easily repaired without spending too much money.

What Type of Patio Lasts the Longest?

Patios with brick clays are known to last the longest. Bricks can last a century, as evident with structures we still see today constructed about 100 years ago. So, if that’s the direction you wish to take with your patio, then, by all means, go for the brick clay.

On the other hand, you can also go for patio pavers and stone slates. They can last for years and remain durable and resistant to any damages.  

What Is the Least Expensive Patio Material?

Concrete is probably the least expensive patio material. In addition, unlike other materials for patio surfaces, concrete is more widely available and accessible in the local hardware stores. Therefore, if you choose to go for concrete, you’ll save yourself the trouble of material shortage.

What Is the Average Size of Patio?

An average patio is about 16×18 feet in dimension. This size is good enough to entertain guests, host a small get-together, or just hang out outside for a bit. If you’re using your patio for larger events, naturally, you will have to allot more space.

How To Protect Your Patio From Harsh Weather?

Choosing the type of patio you like may not be enough. At some point, you will have to find a way to protect it from the damages caused by strong sunlight or heavy rain. An excellent way to protect your patio from harsh weather is by having professional builders install a patio cover like a shingled roof cover or a pergola.

The Bottom Line

When selecting the type of patio you want for your house, consider factors such as longevity, quality, price, and weather appropriateness. Consult with the experts if necessary.

If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or fill out the contact form on our home page to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.