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.

All About Composite Decking

Variety of colors of composite decking

Maintaining a deck could require a lot of work, especially if the materials used are prone to damage.

Earlier deck constructions were mainly made of lumber that needed high yearly maintenance. That’s why homeowners have switched to composite decking.

Newer houses with decks can now choose either timber or composite materials for the structure. 

Composite materials are made of wood fibers mixed with plastic film through bonding agents. They are often chosen because they are more durable than their wood counterpart.

However, going for composite decking depends on many other factors. So, if you’re wondering if composite decking suits your home, stick around and find out.

What Is Composite Decking?

Simply put, composite decking refers to deck construction that uses composite materials such as deck boards made of recycled lumber and high-density plastic strips. 

It is considered eco-friendly and sustainable as composite materials are less prone to damage sustained by wood decks.

What Do I Need to Know About Composite Decking?

Composite decking is not a complicated project. All you need to know is how the composite materials match your aesthetic taste and the level of maintenance they require.

While a wooden look is often the top choice for a deck, composite decks are not too far from achieving this look. 

In terms of maintenance, composite decks require less work as they are more resistant to water damage, termite infestation, and other critical destruction.

What to Consider When Choosing a Composite Deck?

There are a few factors you need to understand before you go for composite decking. That includes the type of materials, visual aesthetic, design, size, budget, and other factors. 

Furthermore, it is best to determine if you plan to outsource the construction project to professional deck builders or do it yourself.

Materials

Composite decking materials are not hard to find, especially in this day and age where everything is found online.

We’ve established that deck boards, which comprise a majority of the deck, are made of recycled timber and plastic.

However, composite deck board quality may differ from one manufacturer to another. Hence, it greatly benefits your project if you choose high-grade composite decking products from reliable manufacturers. And if you’re looking for exactly that, you can check out TimberTech.

On the other hand, if you plan to hire a contractor or team of experts in Colorado to build your composite deck, you can rest assured that TNT Home Improvements use nothing less than quality materials from TimberTech.

Visual Aesthetics and Design

Planning to build a composite deck involves identifying the right color that matches your home, the shape of the deck, and many other factors of its visual appeal.

With composite boards, you don’t need to paint the deck as they already come in a variety of colors. Moreover, some colors and the textures almost imitate that of a wooden deck.

Hence, if you’re going for a traditional lumber deck look but with high considerations for durability, then composite decking could just be the right choice for your taste.

Size

The size of the composite deck depends on the area where the structure is placed. It could also be influenced by the type of activities you’re thinking of doing on the deck.

Moreover, size can also depend on your budget. It’s a general principle in a way. Larger composite decks will have more expenses than smaller and medium-sized ones.

Budget

The type of composite deck you can build in your home also relies on the budget at hand. If you have a tight budget, you may have to consider the size and the type of composite materials to use.

Unfortunately, cheaper boards tend to have less quality than costlier ones. So, you may have to rethink the size of the finished space.

Location

While composite decking materials are highly durable, they could still deteriorate over time. Fortunately, you can enjoy it for longer than wood boards.

Nonetheless, its speed of deterioration can be influenced by its position. For example, if it’s directly exposed to strong sunlight, it could start to fade faster. 

Therefore, it’s good to consider the position or whether you should put up a deck cover.

Is Composite Decking Any Good?

Yes, composite decking is a great choice and can be well worth the money you spend. 

You can think of composite decking as an evolutionary step in deck building. It resolved some of the critical issues that came along with wooden decks while maintaining outstanding aesthetics in the process.

Check out some of the benefits of composite decking.

Composite decking materials are made against common decking damages.

It’s always about high-quality and endurance all the way. These are what many homeowners look for in a deck. Composite decking offers exactly these qualities. 

As man-made materials, they are designed to withstand damages caused by molds, mildew, water and sunlight exposure, and many others.

It requires low maintenance.

Since composite decks are less prone to damages, it also means that they need low maintenance compared to any other type of deck. So, if you don’t have the time and extra energy to refinish your deck once a year, better stick to a composite deck.

It is easier to hide the fasteners

Because of the way most composite deck boards are manufactured, they are created with special groves down the side that can be used to attach hidden fasteners.

These fasteners have sharp teeth that grab the boards on either side of it and a screw run down through the middle holding it securely to a joist underneath. All of this sits down in between the boards making for a clean finish.

It’s environmentally friendly.

Composite materials are made of recycled items. Hence, they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Moreover, they last longer, so you can save yourself from frequent board replacements.

What Is Bad About Composite Decking?

Although composite decking has plenty of advantages, it doesn’t mean that it has no drawbacks.

It can be pricey.

Composite decking can be a bit pricier than your average wood deck. The high cost is primarily due to the durability that comes with the material. Nonetheless, you get your money’s worth as composite decking lasts longer than any other deck.

It lacks the natural feel of the deck.

While it’s true that composite deck imitates the color, pattern, and sometimes texture of wood. However, if you were to compare them side by side you would see that composite lacks that real wood feel. 

Especially if you are someone who likes stained wood and seeing the depth and layers of the grain, composite may not be for you.

It still needs some degree of maintenance.

You will have to maintain your composite deck to ensure that it remains durable for the years to come. It includes sweeping the deck board, picking the leaves, and the occasional light wash or spot clean.

How Much Does a Composite Deck Cost?

The average cost of a composite deck is about $8,000, give or take. The full price depends on the size of the deck and your choice of materials. Composite boards cost about $20 to $40 per square foot.

How Long Does a Composite Deck Last?

A well-maintained composite deck can last between 25 to 30 years. After that, replacing the boards wouldn’t be a pain, especially if you choose composite products with warranties.

How Does Composite Decking Drain?

Under the composite deck, you can install a gutter system. Therefore, you will have to reserve the surface below for drainage that directs the water out from under the deck.

If you’re wondering if a drainage system designed for decks is right for your next project, then check out our article “What is Underdecking

Final Thoughts

A composite deck is a fine addition to your home structure. Not only does it provide a space for backyard or outdoor activities, but it also increases the value of your house. 

If you’re considering composite decking, make sure you consult with professional builders to help you plan the project within your budget range.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.

All About Aluminum Pergolas – Examples: Elitewood and Alumawood

With the warm weather on its way out, now is the perfect time to create those home improvements that you avoided during the warmer months. Whether you plan on having a barbecue with family and friends or sitting and watching the rain pour down, a stylish and functional outdoor shade structure can protect you from the elements. 

If you’re looking for something that ticks all these boxes and will last for years, you should consider an aluminum pergola for your outdoor living space.

Benefits of Aluminum Shade Structures

Elitewood/Alumawood is a composite building material designed to mimic the benefits of real wood, without the downsides. They are a lightweight alternative to wood for exterior fittings and are designed to maintain their structure, façade, and integrity through all kinds of weather. 

If you’re considering an outdoor extension or refit, aluminum pergolas provide a cost-effective, durable option that won’t break the bank. Some of the benefits of these pergolas are:

Aluminum is lightweight

Traditional wood is heavy and bulky, which can make handling and installation difficult and costly. By comparison, Elitewood/Alumawood is lightweight and flexible, with all the added strength of a composite. Therefore, it is easy to ship and handle and makes installation a breeze for home extension projects. 

Can be installed as an extension

Due to its lightweight composition, aluminum covers can be quickly and easily installed on the exterior as an extension of an existing structure. By attaching the Elitewood/Alumawood cover to your building’s slab, you can build a patio cover without having to make structural modifications to accommodate the added weight.

Can cover longer spaces than traditional wood

Traditional wood is limited by its weight as to how far the beams can stretch from the support structure when creating an outdoor space. The lightweight Elitewood or Alumawood can cover longer spans between the vertical members of the kit. This means that the distance between the beam and the supporting column can be extended, creating larger, more open spaces. 

An aluminum pergola cover can be up to 30 feet long with the use of its steel supports through the beam. 

Is more resistant to the elements

Compared to traditional wood pergolas, aluminum pergolas are practically maintenance and upkeep-free. It will not peel, chip, or attract termites, and does not require regular painting or protection to avoid damage from the elements. Unlike conventional wood, Elitewood and Alumawood are also easy to clean; just use a damp cloth to wipe the dust and dirt away.

What is an Elitewood or Alumawood Pergola?

Elitewood and Alumawood Pergolas are an outdoor shaded area designed to protect you and your family from weather conditions. Your pergola can be tailored to suit you, whether it’s fully enclosed with windows or an open undercover space that allows the breeze through

Our Elitewood pergolas are manufactured by Four Seasons, and hold a lifetime guarantee on its integrity and function. These stylish, professional fittings offer a durable, functional option for as much – or little – sunlight as you want. 

Before attaching a new structure to the back of your house, you may want to consider the condition of your siding.

For a quality pergola, you will want your house to have matching quality siding. Mastics siding by Plygem is sleek and elegant, providing your house with the function you need and the aesthetic you want. Plygem offers three kinds of siding.

Lap Siding

Lap siding encompasses long, flat overlapping boards to shed water and prevent it from reaching the walls of your house. Lap siding comes in narrow, regular, and wide widths depending on your requirements and range from 3” to 7”. Ply Gem’s low maintenance, stylish lap siding comes in a range of styles, colors, and finishes to suit your needs. 

Vertical Siding

Vertical siding offers a classic, charming accent for small houses and a sense of height and majesty for larger dwellings. Ply Gem’s vertical siding is durable, flexible, and gives you the confidence you need for your home improvement project.

Shake and Shingle

A favorite of American colonies, shake and shingle siding adds rustic charm to any dwelling. Ply Gem’s shake and shingle vinyl provides all the aesthetics of wooden shingles, without the upkeep. 

What does Elitewood or Alumawood Look Like?

These two aluminum-based products look like wood – that’s the whole point! They are aluminum that has been embossed and manufactured into shapes that resemble cedar wood. The result is a more durable, low maintenance material that looks like real wood, and will stand the test of time in outdoor conditions.

The grainy surface of Elitewood and Alumawood is designed to mimic the natural grooves and curves of real wood, and provides excess run-off for water and weather conditions. 

If you’re worried about the longevity of these products, don’t be. They are put through multiple durability tests during production, to ensure that you get the long-lasting results that you need. Installing an aluminum pergola can extend your living space by providing a safe and sheltered outdoor area for you and your family to enjoy. 

How Much Does an Aluminum Pergola Cost?

The cost of an aluminum pergola depends on your requirements. The range can be anywhere between $4,000 – $14,000, but the cost will completely depend on your particular application. Alumawood™ comes with a 75-year guarantee for everything from the material to the external paint.

This might seem like a huge outlay, but a wooden pergola will cost between $10,000 to $17,000, and require costly, regular upkeep to keep it providing the cover you need. In both the long and short term, Alumawood is the smarter choice for your outdoor extension. 

Are Aluminum Pergolas Cheaper Than Wood?

An Elitewood or Alumawood pergola works out far cheaper than the same price for real wood. This faux wood has the added bonus of being far more durable and resistant to damage caused by wind, rain, sun, and snow. Unlike wood, aluminum won’t crack, peel, blister or rot, and will stay looking fresh for years. 

Does Alumawood™ Come in Different Colors?

Alumawood is a grainy surfaced material designed to mimic natural wood fittings. Elitewood and Alumawood come in many different colors to suit your preferences, and can even be created in a custom color for your living space. 

At present, these aluminum pergolas are available in seven different colors: White, Desert Sand, Mojave Tan, Adobe, Latte, Spanish Brown, and Graphite. These neutral, stylish shades can provide a sense of luxury for your exterior and can be tailored to your needs. 

Don’t Hesitate, Call Us Today!

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

What Is a Patio Cover?

Improving the outer portion of your house may require tough decisions. One of which is to whether install a patio cover or not. But first, it is imperative to understand what patio covers are.

A patio cover is an outdoor shade solution attached to the outer wall of your home and is typically placed in the backyard. Adding this structure allows you to hang out outside and, of course, on your patio comfortably.

While patio cover kits are widely available, if you lean more towards durability, style, and endurance, it is best to have it constructed by trained professionals with the best materials there are.

Nevertheless, it is always beneficial to learn a thing or two about patio covers. That way, it will help you make the right decision for your backyard.

What Is the Point of a Patio Cover?

Deciding to put up or attach a patio cover is a practical and aesthetic choice.

For starters, the patio cover provides shade during a hot summer day. You can still hang out outside as you are protected from the scorching heat of the sun.

Second, it keeps your patio furniture and outdoor decorations dry during rainy seasons. That is if you opt for a closed patio cover.

Third, it adds visual appeal and value to your house. For example, if you’re aiming for rustic feels in your backyard, a pergola or a farmhouse design could be your best option.

Overall, the point of a patio cover is to extend the comfort you enjoy in your living room to the backyard.

A patio can already be inviting, but you may decide not to hang out in the said area if it is openly exposed.

Hence, the patio cover only makes your backyard or patio enticing to anyone who wishes to cool down. With that, it will allow you to save energy from constantly using the air-cooling system indoors.

What Is the Difference Between a Pergola and a Patio Cover?

A pergola is an outdoor structure made of an overhead frame consisting of joists running one direction and rafters running the opposite. They can be freestanding or attached to the house and can be made to compliment a garden and/or create an extended living space in the backyard.

Pergolas typically lack a roof or solid covering. However, newer designs allow the attachment of retractable canopies as protection from the sun’s heat or rain.

On the other hand, a patio cover is considered an extension of the house as the structure is attached directly to the main building. Unlike pergolas, a standard patio has a roof. Hence, it is primarily constructed for practical purposes.

Pergolas and patio covers are often used interchangeably. Both are located in the backyard or the outdoor area. Perhaps that’s why they are often switched in conversations.

They are different, however, in terms of design and structure. Nonetheless, pergolas can still be classified as patio covers. And some homeowners consider them at the top of their choices for aesthetic purposes.

Open vs. Solid Roof Patio Cover

Choosing if you wish to build an open or solid roof patio cover depends primarily on the function of the outdoor area.

An open lattice roof, for example, is perfect if you want to maximize air circulation, which will allow you to cool off and feel the natural breeze outside. Also, it will provide you with ambient light controlled through the partitions of the rafters or roof louvers.

Now, if you want full coverage of your patio and a lot less moisture getting through, go for a solid roof. This patio cover protects you completely from extreme sunlight and rain. In addition, you can add a ceiling fan to get plenty of air circulation.

What Are the Materials Used for Patio Covers?

If you want a sturdy and long-lasting patio cover, choose the suitable materials for the construction. Moreover, your preferred design is also influenced by certain elements added to the structure. 

Here are some of the most common materials used for patio covers.

Wood

The most traditional material to use for a patio cover is wood. It gives a rustic vibe and classic look that goes with different home architectural styles. Most open patio covers are almost entirely made of wood.

However, as elegant as a wooded patio cover may seem, it needs high maintenance as it is prone to decline due to factors like weather and termite damage.  

Aluminum

Patio covers made of aluminum often take a modern design. But more than the flexible style, aluminum is highly durable. It’s resistant to different types of damages and is low maintenance. 

If you’re living in areas prone to damages caused by seasonal weather changes, your best option is to build a patio cover made of aluminum.

Vinyl

If it’s a cheap patio cover you’re looking for, then vinyl would suffice your outdoor shade needs. It’s less expensive compared to wood and aluminum, and it also requires less maintenance.

The downside, however, is that it isn’t as durable as the other materials, and your choice for style is somewhat limited.

Fiberglass

You can opt for fiberglass roof panels for your patio, especially if you have an extra budget for the project. It’s stylish, highly robust, and maximizes your protection from rain without sacrificing the amount of light you can get from the outside.

Different Types of Patio Covers

1.      Pergolas

A pergola is an excellent option if you plan on putting the patio cover near your garden. You can cover the structure with climbing plants like honeysuckle or wisteria, or passionflower. You can also decorate the grids with fairy lights to make the area more enticing.

2.      Awnings

Awnings have been around for quite a long time. But they remain a reliable outdoor shade solution. They could be installed easily through an outdoor beam and stretch at a downward angle. Likewise, you can opt for a stationary or retractable awning.

3.      Canopies

If it’s a festive look you’re after, then canopies would suit your taste. Canopies are mostly made of polyester. Hence, you’ll have plenty of options in terms of patterns, sizes, and shapes.

4.      Thatched Roof

Nothing says vacation in your backyard like a thatched roof. This traditional look emulates the ambiance of a tropical paradise or a luxury resort. It’s like having your own tiki bar in the comfort of your own yard.

5.      Shade Sails

Simple patio cover solutions can be translated to the shade sails. This simple top only needs material with endpoints that you could tie or attach on a hook or a sturdy surface.

It’s relatively cheap and easy to install. However, one huge disadvantage is that it could easily get damaged as the materials are fragile.

6.      Standard Patio Cover

A standard patio cover is your most practical option if you’re looking for a functional shade solution. They are more permanent, durable, and could require less maintenance.

You can also install it easily as most patio covers only require simple steps to attach it to the house’s main structure successfully.

How Do I Install a Patio Cover at Home?

A do-it-yourself patio cover construction can sometimes suffice your outdoor shading needs. But there are several downsides to this choice.

For starters, even though patio cover kits are available, there are plenty of things that could go wrong during the installation process. 

Moreover, the materials may not be as sturdy and durable as you want them to be. As a result, you may end up spending more on repairs and maintenance.

If you wish to have a patio cover constructed or installed at home, don’t hesitate to seek services from nearby professionals. That way, your vision, and taste can materialize in the finished structure. 

You can decide on the type and design of the patio cover or seek the contractor’s recommendation.

Summary

A patio cover will only make your backyard cozier and appealing. Therefore, make the best out of your planning and research. Hire reliable construction professionals like TNT Home Improvements who are well-versed in building quality patio covers. If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit our Patio Cover page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.

What Is a Cantilever Deck?

Residential decks are often framed vertically from the foundation to the railings. However, some homeowners prefer a slight overhang past the beam. This structure is known as a cantilever.

A cantilever deck is simply a deck with joists extending past the beam creating a cantilever or overhanging end on the deck’s exterior. The decision to have your deck cantilevered often comes with the wish to extend an existing deck. 

However, a cantilever deck may not be as simple as a regular deck. The extension requires precise measurement as recommended by the local building code.

Employing the services of expert deck builders can help you in putting your cantilever deck without any issues.

What Is the Purpose of a Cantilever?

A cantilever deck design is often chosen to add space. In addition, the overhang provides an additional area which is advantageous if your yard is small.

In terms of structure, the cantilever also adds aesthetics as the design can be an intuitive solution for lack of space or limited footprint drive.

Cantilever decks also function to save more money.

One example is a second-floor cantilever deck. Instead of putting up a foundation on the ground, specifically footings, and piers, you simply use two large brackets connected to the house’s exterior in a diagonal position.

What Is the Difference Between a Cantilever and a Beam?

In a standard deck design, the beams are placed perpendicular to the main house structure supported by the columns, piers, and footings. In contrast, a cantilever can simply be a flat surface attached to the house through the ledger and without a foundation.

However, it is important to remember that a cantilever can simply be a beam. But instead of being attached to the underneath structure, it overhangs on the outer side of the frame.

In short, it could be simply an overhang of joists extending from the beam.

Nevertheless, when it comes to decking, the description of a cantilever may be versatile depending on the presence or function of the beam.

How Far Can a Deck Be Cantilevered?

Joists cantilever should have an overhang limited of up to 24 inches. The drop beam can extend to a maximum of ¼ of its length over a post.  

For example, if the back span of the joist is at 16 feet, you can cantilever for up to 4 feet.

Advantages of a Cantilever Deck

While cantilever decks are uncommon in residential areas, they are still considered a reasonable choice with several benefits.

For starters, you can choose a cantilever design if you want a larger deck without spending too much on resources.

Of course, to achieve this purpose, you will have to make sure that your deck is building code compliant. Also, you will need quality decking materials from trusted brands and manufacturers like TimberTech.

Check out some of the advantages of having a cantilever deck.

1.      More Space

Since you will be extending your deck, its substructure and flooring, naturally, would give a larger space for your household to hang out.

This is advantageous, especially for those who had their deck made on the second floor.

In some cases, people choose to have a cantilevered deck if their backyard space is too small. This way, the area underneath the deck, since it is located on a higher floor, will remain unoccupied for a significant part. 

2.      Panoramic View

Cantilever decks can be designed in such as way that the exterior is elongated in the middle. With this form, you can have a panoramic view of your neighborhood or immediate area.

Unlike a regular deck, you can have the freedom of adjusting the shape and angle of a cantilever deck.

Houses near the beach or mountains where the scenery becomes a vital highlight can go for cantilever decks.

The overhang adds a spot where you can see a wider view of the sea or the mountain ranges making your stay in the deck worthwhile.

3.      Visually Appealing

It is pretty tricky to design a regular deck into whatever form you want, as you may need to add more materials on the way. 

But in the case of cantilever decks, you can choose to accentuate the overhang without the hassle.

Cantilever decks provide a visual appeal that adds value to your entire house. Modern designs often include cantilever decks to enhance the façade of the house, especially with curved especially if it is also treated as a balcony.

On the other hand, if your cantilever deck is on the ground floor, you can have it formed in shapes or add several corners, depending on your style.

Disadvantages of a Cantilever Deck

Cantilever decks may add the pizzazz you want for your home, but they also have disadvantages that often occur if the structure is not built correctly.

While a do-it-yourself project can be an exciting way to build your cantilever deck, it may not be the best way to go if you’re inexperienced. Here’s why.

1.      Complicated to Make

Cantilever decks may look simple, especially the balcony type, but they require precision and the proper knowledge of choosing quality materials.

Also, you will have to abide by the standard and calculations prescribed by the local building code. Otherwise, you may end up tearing your deck apart.

The length of the cantilever should not exceed the recommended measurement, or else it could create structural issues in the long run.   

2.      Requires Added Support

A cantilever deck that only has one side for support may require other ways to strengthen the structure.

Although an overhang fixture to the house’s exterior can suffice a smaller deck, if you’re building a larger one, you may have to consider your choices when it comes to support materials. Unless, of course, you will stick to a joist or drop beam overhang.

But if that is not the case, it is still best to ask for professional assistance.  

Are Cantilevered Decks Safe?

Cantilevered decks are safe if built the right way. That’s why hiring a contractor, and professional deck builders like TNT Home Improvement can be worth the money as it guarantees proper construction.

The deck has to abide by the prescribed length via the local building code to keep the overhang safe and well-built.

For instance, the length of the cantilever has to correspond with the lumber species, grade, and size. Another attribute you need to consider is the size and spacing between the joists.

According to the building code, the standard cantilever length for a 40-pound load per square foot is 40 and ½ inches. If you wish to extend, you will have to consult with your contractor or engineer.

Other Deck Designs You May Want To Consider

Cantilever decks are worth your time and money as it gives a modern and stylish aesthetic to your property.

But in some cases, a cantilever deck design may not be suitable for your location and house structure. Nonetheless, you can still choose from other designs that builders may recommend, such as the following.

1.      Attached Deck  

This is the most common type of deck design wherein the deck is connected to your house through a ledger board, and the framing sits on groundwork.  

2.      Floating Deck

This deck is not attached to any structure. Instead, you can put the pier blocks straight on the ground.

3.      Wraparound Deck

A wraparound deck in an exterior structure that surrounds the entire house.

4.      Multi-level Deck

This deck has multiple levels or stories strategically raised on top of the other.  

5.      Roof Deck

A roof deck is simply a flat surface on the roof designed for casual foot traffic.

Summary

Consulting with professional deck builders is essential when you are building a cantilever deck. Not only will your deck have quality construction, but you can also ensure that the installation is done according to the standards of the building code. If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then 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 to discuss your next home improvement project.

What Are the Different Parts of a Deck Called?

pic of a Composite deck built in fort collins, co

Knowing the different parts of a deck can guide you in understanding how a deck installation works.

A deck has several components that contribute to its strength, capacity, endurance, and safety. The major parts of a deck include the foundation, framing, decking, railing, stairs, drainage system, and hidden fasteners.

If you are curious about what makes an ideal deck, stick around, and learn its essential parts. 

Parts of a Deck

1.  Foundation

Like any other building or house component, a deck should have a solid foundation that holds up the entire structure. Three major parts make up the groundwork of a deck.

1.1   Footing

The footing is the very foundation of your deck. First, it is laid on the excavated portion of the ground. Then, concrete is poured to strengthen and carry the overall structure of the deck. Simply put, the footing acts as the base.

However, before you can plan on how much concrete and how deep the footing should be on the ground, you have to check your local building code and the frost depth requirement in your region or state.  

For a standard 12 X 12 deck, you should aim for at least three footings. But if you’re planning to add stairs, add two more footings for better support.

1.2   Pier

The pier is also made of concrete poured into a column or cardboard tubes. Of course, the number of piers or posts depends on how many footings you have. These posts function to hold up the beams.

Moreover, having sturdy piers or posts not only allows good airflow. But they also ensure that you can perform underboard repairs safely and conveniently.

Hence, enabling smooth maintenance of the deck.

2.      Framing

Once the foundation is laid down, here comes the framing that gives the deck a case structure. The frame includes the beams, joist, ledger, support columns, band board, and post base.

2.1 Ledger

The ledger is connected to the house and usually leveled to the floor of the main home structure.

It is typically made of pure or treated lumber measuring at least 2×8 nominal and attached horizontally to the house’s exterior wall.

The size should be the same as that of the measurement of the joist.

Although the foundation plays a big part in holding up the deck, ensuring that the ledger is fixed tightly on the main building is another vital safety precaution for homeowners. That is why the installation process should comply with the building code.

2.2 Support Columns

The support or structural columns/posts are connected to the pier and hold the beam. The size of the columns depends on the expected capacity of the deck.

Standard sizes for support columns range from 4 feet x 4 inches to 8 feet x 8 inches. 

2.3 Beam

A deck beam is a longitudinal piece of lumber placed on top of the structural columns.

The beams are essential for framing and substructure support. They are typically made of wood or composite materials.

Beams are usually positioned perpendicular to the joists. You can opt for either flush beams or drop beams.

Flush beams are placed at the same level as the joist, which is attached using the joist hangers. If you’re building a smaller deck or one with an atypical form, then flush beams are the way to go.

On the other hand, a drop beam is placed right under the joists. This position provides better weight support for the frame. 

Furthermore, if you choose a drop beam, you can extend and add a cantilever that enhances the deck’s aesthetic.  

2.4 Joist

Joists are planks of pure or treated timber that support the deck boards. They are placed on top or at a similar level as the beams and are positioned parallel to one another.

Likewise, joists often run perpendicular to the house as the deck boards are parallel to the main building.

The distance of the joists depends on the position of the beams and ledger. The local building code dictates that residential decks should have the joists distanced at 12 inches to 16 inches apart when it comes to spacing.

2.5 Rim Joist

The rim joists are lumber that act as the outer joist covering parts of the deck structure. They are connected perpendicular to the joists.

2.6 Header

The header is located on the opposite end of the ledger. It covers and supports the outer side of the joists.

3.      Decking

After the framing is complete, the next step is decking, wherein you install the deck’s flooring.

While this is considered the most exciting part of the deck building process, there are several considerations when choosing the best flooring materials, particularly the deck boards.

3.1 Deck Boards

Deck boards make the surface of the deck that people walk on. Available deck boards come in different species of timber and composite materials made by combining wood components and plastic.

As a rule of thumb, the first thing you have to think about when choosing deck boards is thickness.

The strength of the flooring relies on the foundation, framing, and deck board thickness. This attribute is also influenced by joist spacing.

If the spaces between the joists are too far apart, you may want to consider stronger deck boards for optimum support.

Nonetheless, one of the best decisions you can make is selecting quality deck boards that could last a lifetime. With this choice, you can rely on deck board collections from TimberTech.

4.      Stairs

Putting stairs on your deck is vital, depending on the height of the structure. Naturally, the stairs allow you to go up and down the deck without having to go inside the house.

For deck stairs, the essential components include a tread, riser, and stringer fascia. In some cases, stylish railings are added.

The tread is the part you step on when you ascend or descend.

On the other hand, the riser is positioned vertically to the tread.

The stringer fascia provides the overall support and framework of the stairs and holds the treads.    

5.      Railing

It’s hard not to imagine a high deck without railings.

On the other hand, for houses with low decks, this seems to be a common occurrence.

Nevertheless, adding railings to your deck will not only provide additional safety, but it can also make the structure visually appealing.

5.1 Top Rail/Cap Rail

The horizontal structure at the very top of the rail is called a cap rail or top rail. It provides efficient finishing on the railing system.

Choosing a top rail depends on the overall design of your deck.

Materials for the top rail should be carefully screened. You can opt for a metal or timber top rail.

 If your deck style works well with wood, choose quality lumber to avoid cases of splinters.

Also, you can go for composite materials to keep the beauty of the wood while providing added strength and endurance.  

5.2 Base Rail

The base rail is a horizontal structure attached to the flooring of the deck. It also contains the baluster and keeps the entire structure fixed to the deck perimeter.

5.3 Baluster

The balusters provide the intended barrier of the railing system. They are placed in between the top and base rail with enough space for airflow. 

6.      Drainage System

In some cases, a drainage system may be considered optional. However, it is necessary for decks that store water unintentionally.

Since most decks are made of wood, prolonged exposure to water can cause irreversible damages. Hence, installing a drainage system can be beneficial.

Consult with your contractor if your deck needs to have a draining structure. 

Summary

Deckbuilding need not be complicated if you know the parts and how to install them properly. But if you truly want to get the convenience you deserve, it is still best to hire professional deck builders.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 building services page and fill out the contact form to make an appointment to discuss your next home improvement project.

What Are Egress Windows?

Window installations can be complex and this is particularly true if you have a basement that needs some light to be provided to it through the installation of some windows. There are specific window types that must be used for these applications. You might not know much about this process, which is why you need to learn about egress windows.

Egress windows are commonly used for basement lighting or as a means of escape from a room that is lower than the ground level in your home. Egress windows are placed even with the ground line and can extend up above this line at various heights to provide light into rooms that are located below the foundation level in a home or business.

If you are ready to learn more about what egress windows are, read on!

What is the Purpose of an Egress Window?

In most places, basements are actually required to have egress windows because they provide a means to escape the room if something like a fire takes place. They also allow light to come into parts of the house or business that are built below the level of the ground. It would be a very dark and close feeling in these kinds of basement rooms without these windows.

Older homes were not required to have the same size windows as modern homes, and some of these homes will actually not have large enough windows to be used as an escape route. Many people with homes that were built before World War II choose to remodel these areas to include larger windows for improved light and for better safety for anyone who is sleeping or working in the basement.

Remember that the primary function of egress windows is to be used as a way to get out of a basement that is on fire, so you should consider safety as your first consideration when you are looking into adding these windows to your home.

What’s the Difference Between an Egress Window and a Regular Window?

Egress windows are really made with escape in mind, but they are not designed any differently than regular windows. These windows are often placed specifically for safety, but otherwise they will be the same double-paned casement or sliding windows that you might have in the rest of your home. They will have to meet a set size requirement to be an egress window and meet code standards, however.

People sometimes think that they can place regular windows into these living spaces and call it good, but you will often have to meet some code specifications for fire safety and to get your home insured. This is why it is a good idea to know what an egress window really is before you have someone come and put in new windows in the basement area of your home.

How do I Know if a Window is Egress?

You can measure your windows in your basement to see if they qualify as an egress window. You will need to measure the window placement from the ground inside your basement. This measurement must meet the code so that the window can be used for an easy escape. You will then need to measure the width of the window at the middle, top, and bottom.

Next, take vertical measurements on the sides and in the middle. This will tell you the width and the length of the window so that you can check the measurements against the codes that are upheld in your county or state. There are some international building rules and regulations that are referred to if there is no specific allowance that is made for this part of the building code in your area.

This is a simple process, but it can be very important to complete if you are considering buying a home that has basement bedrooms. You want to know if you are going to have an expensive replacement and remodel process ahead of you to be able to bring the house up to code. In some cases, you cannot get homeowner’s insurance if these windows are not sized correctly.

What Qualifies as an Egress Window?

Egress windows have to meet code, particularly if there are bedrooms in your basement. International building code states that each bedroom should have one egress window at least, just in case of fire. These must be large enough that an adult can fit out of them.

The standard that is adhered to in most situations is that the egress window must be at least 5.7 square feet, 20 inches wide by 24 inches high. The opening must be no higher than 44 inches from the floor. Double-paned casement or sliding windows are acceptable. The placement is the thing that defines them as egress windows rather than the design and materials that they are made of.

If your basement has the older-style windows that simply rotate inward some to let in some fresh air, these are not up to code. An adult person could not fit out through these windows which means that they need to be replaced. You can elect to have larger egress windows than the minimum size ones that are listed above, but you just cannot make them so small that an adult will not be able to climb out in the case of a fire or other emergency.

How Much Do Egress Windows Cost?

The answer to this can vary somewhat depending on your area and the number of alterations that will be needed to replace your windows. The job can be quite expensive if your home is older and has very small windows that are currently framed in. If you are simply replacing older egress windows with new ones, the task will not cost as much as having to remodel to fit larger windows into your basement walls.

You can expect an average of about $1,000-$5,000 per window to install. This can really add up if you have a large basement, so you should consider the rooms that will need the windows first, such as bedrooms. These rooms should be worked on first so that your home can meet code more quickly. This can also be a major cost if you are thinking of buying an older home and realize that this change needs to be made to secure insurance for your home.

Get Help With Your Egress Window Installation

Egress windows are not tough to install, but you might have a lot of questions about the process before you want to start on the work. This is normal and having an expert come help you to decide which windows you will need and how much the project will cost is a big help. Working with a team of qualified installers, this kind of window replacement job can be a breeze.If you need help with your window installation in Northern Colorado or Southern Wyoming, we can help! You can contact us today at 970-663-2868 or visit our window services page and fill out the contact form to reach out to us. Make an appointment and we will be happy to discuss your window installation project needs in detail.

What is a Composite Deck and What Are the Pros and Cons?

pic of a Composite deck built in fort collins, co

Nothing says comfortable backyard time like a lovely deck.

Over the years, more and more homeowners have opted for a pleasantly cozy deck suitable for cooling off or just hanging around. 

While wood decks are all the rage decades ago, nowadays, many homeowners are considering composite decks over traditional lumber decks.

According to a study by The Freedonia Group, the demand for decking is projected to increase at 1.3% annually. The demand paves the way for companies like TimberTech to offer high-quality decking materials.  

Nevertheless, residential renovations largely take part in this expansion. It comes as no surprise as modern composite decks are flexible and durable.

You could host a Sunday barbeque for your friends or have some good-old fashion group games. This can easily be achieved with the right deck of choice and the craftsmanship of reliable deck builders.

So, if you are contemplating the installation or renovation of your deck, stick around to find out why a composite deck could be your best choice.       

What Is a Composite Deck?

A composite deck is made of a combination of materials, primarily wood, and plastic. It is best known among homeowners as a durable alternative for lumber or traditional wood decking.

Furthermore, it requires less maintenance which makes it a convenient choice.

You may recognize a composite deck board as a wood-like material as most boards are patterned to imitate the natural looks of a traditional wood deck. But, with other materials in the mixture, it goes against the disadvantages of pure wood, such as decays, rots, and other damages.

Composite deck boards are meticulously made through a co-extrusion process where wood fibers, sawdust, and polyethylene polymers are combined under high temperatures to create a resilient and sturdy core material.

In most cases, a polymeric cap is wrapped around the core. Finally, the mixture is finished with the co-extrusion of other materials and pigments specialized in preventing damages to the deck.  

Pros of Composite Deck

The benefits of composite decking span from low maintenance requirements to a wide variety of colors and patterns you can choose from.

To top it all, composite decks come with a warranty that protects your investment.

Take a closer look at these advantages to help you decide if a composite deck is for you.

  1. Durable

Composite deck materials are designed to last for decades. The boards and rails are water and stain-resistant. And they don’t harbor molds and pests that could damage the deck.

  1. Customizable

When you go for a composite deck, you might be surprised by how flexible the materials are. You get plenty of options when it comes to designs and patterns.

Moreover, you can also combine or rearrange the patterns, especially if you’re going for tiled boards.

  1. Requires Low Maintenance

It is far easier to clean and keep a composite deck away from damages than a wood deck.

Primarily, the raw materials involved in a composite deck can sustain various damaging threats. Furthermore, the deck itself is protected from fading.

  1. Prevents Common Deck Injuries

Splintering can occur in wood decks causing injuries to your friends and family members.

During rainy days, the dangers of the deck can increase as it tends to become slippery.

In the case of a composite deck, injuries from slips or splinters can be avoided as the materials are compact and textured enough to protect you and your family.  

  1. Provides an Array of Natural Colors

If you already have a vision or an inspiration, perhaps with what you want your deck to look like, chances are you will have more success achieving that look with a composite deck.

TimberTech, for example, offers a variety of rustic choices when it comes to colors and patterns.

So, if you still want that natural wood aesthetic, you can still have it and with added benefits on the side.

  1. Sustainable and Environmentally friendly

One of the best qualities of a composite deck is that it’s ecologically sustainable.

The raw materials used in making parts of the composite deck are recyclable. Therefore, if you choose to have this type of deck, you are taking part in saving the environment.

Cons of Composite Deck

Not everything is perfect – and that includes the composite deck.

Despite its promising benefits, there are several disadvantages when you go for composite materials instead of wood.

Nonetheless, these cons are also easily mitigated by choosing the right products and deck contractor, like TNT Home Improvements of course.

Check out some of the cons you can prepare for if you plan to have a composite deck.

  1. Pricier Than Traditional Wood

Composite decking is pricier than the traditional wood deck. Mainly, the price is due to the quality and the intricate process of making the composite materials.

Nevertheless, you regain the amount you invest on a composite deck with its durability that lasts for a long time.

  1. Lacks the Natural Aesthetic of Real Wood

Several materials try to mimic the natural beauty of wood but fail to do so.

A lumber deck sanded and stained with bucolic colors is always pleasing to the eye.

Although a composite deck is only partially wood, the likelihood of still achieving the “wood-like” look is still high with the right materials. If you go for TimberTech, this won’t be a problem.   

  1. Needs Better Frame Structure

The composite deck is heavier than the wood deck. As a result, you will have to potentially add more joists to the structure, and physically moving the materials to the deck location will be that much more work.

So, if you’re planning to have a do-it-yourself project with your composite deck, it may cost you more time and energy.

You can always consult and seek the services of professional deck builders like TNT Home Improvements.

  1. Hotter Temperature

Composite materials can absorb heat, making your deck a bit hot when it’s sunny. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right location for your composite deck.

Avoid placing it in areas hit by direct sunlight.

Another option is to talk to an expert here at TNT about a deck cover as well.

How Long Do Composite Decks Last?

Composite decks can last for 25 to 30 years. On the other hand, wood decks are known to have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.

The longevity of composite decks is credited to the type of raw materials included in its co-extrusion process. In addition, it is highly durable, which makes it suitable for areas with harsh weather conditions.

Does a Composite Deck Get Slippery When Wet?

Composite decks are generally not slippery when wet. Or at least not as slick as a wood deck.

With TimberTech decking composite products, the materials have an anti-slip component that minimizes slipping injuries when the board is wet.

For example, its 4-sided capped composite collections are textured to mimic wood and provide a hand-scraped texture adding friction against water.

Is a Composite Deck Worth the Money?

Yes, a composite deck is worth the money you invest. You don’t simply get to have a durable and high-quality deck; you will also enjoy its textured and aesthetically pleasing look as well.

However, there are still instances wherein homeowners are disappointed by how their composite decks are built. The expectations aren’t met, and the result diminishes the comfort and fun supposedly brought by the deck.

That’s why it is of utmost importance to choose the right decking products and employ deck builders who provide nothing less than quality services.

If you’re living in the Loveland, Colorado area and looking for licensed professionals to help you renovate or build your deck, then let TNT Home Improvements come build your dream deck.

This locally-based company only uses the best decking products like TimberTech to give you a cozy and lavish-looking composite deck.

Conclusion

To build the composite deck of your dreams, don’t settle for less.

A comfortable and well-built deck can be your haven within your home, and nothing can put a price on that.

Savor the benefits of a composite deck and avoid the disadvantages by hiring professional deck builders who know the best materials in the industry.If you are located in the Northern Colorado/ Southern Wyoming area, then 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 to discuss your next home improvement project.