Is It Better to Replace A Deck Or Repair It?

TNT-Loveland-Deck-Repair-vs-Replace

It almost goes without saying that maintenance is essential in order to keep outdoor equipment in good working order. That also goes for infrastructure. Just as your lawnmower requires oil – so do fixtures like decks require maintenance. It is a fact of life that environmental factors can place huge stresses on outdoor fixtures such as decks, especially if they are built with natural materials such as wood.

Without that all-important maintenance, a wooden deck will suffer from exposure to the elements. Harsh sun and temperature fluctuations can be especially damaging to wooden decks. However, when viewing the damage most homeowners will be torn between having the deck repaired or replaced – what is the best option?

The first step is to ensure that you pay attention to the deck and its state of repair. An in-depth look at the state of the deck is absolutely essential in order to make a value judgment as to whether it might be a candidate for repair or replacement.

There are several things that need to be taken into account.

The first of these is to take a good long look at the surface of the deck including things like handrails. Moisture can wreak havoc with decks that are not sealed or have not had the sealing maintained. There is also the effect of UV rays which can play their part in degrading the natural fibers of the wood. Once that seal is degraded moisture can enter the deck and cause swelling which will inevitably lead to further damage.

The second part of judging the health of the deck is to check the posts. These are the foundation of a healthy deck. Due to the fact that they are vertical and hidden by the superstructure of the deck they are not usually exposed to direct Uv rays or the effects of pooled water. However, the base of the posts may be subjected to the effects of accumulated water.

There are a variety of ways in which a deck can be damaged. These can range from simple wear and tear to the effects of climate. However, there comes a time when every homeowner has a decision to make when it comes to repairing or replacing a deck. The issue boils down to one simple question: Is it more cost-effective to repair that deck or replace it completely?

It all comes down to dollars and cents – and the scale of the repairs that might need to be made. If a deck shows issues in one particular area it may not mean that the entire structure should be replaced. However, it is essential that the homeowner who wants to return his or her deck to ‘as new’ condition consult with experts like the ones we have here at TNT. The reason for this is simple. The deck may appear to only need cosmetic attention – however, there may be hidden dangers that affect the health of the deck. One of those is one that affects the older decks. Those decks might have support posts that were inserted directly into the soil. Modern best practice is to use footers – which limit the damage that standing water (or a high water table) can cause. Posts inserted into raw soil can suffer from rot – and an experienced and professional deck specialist will be able to advise homeowners on the best path forward should rot affect one or more posts.

That same professional should also be able to judge whether the deck is in need of repair rather than replacement in terms of the health of the beams. These Beams are the basis for the support of the deck. Damaged beams can spell doom for a deck. They are expensive to repair or replace. The sheer amount of time required to replace beams will mean that the homeowner is paying (per hour) more than the value of an entirely new deck.

If the deck requires remedial help there are a number of different options when it comes to material. The latest composite boards, for instance, mimic the look and texture of natural wood and have a variety of advantages over the natural material.

In fact, the decision to replace a deck should take into account the return on investment. Research has shown that a deck makes the home more attractive to buyers. A deck should be seen as a long term investment. However, that longevity should not mean that the deck requires constant maintenance.

The idea that a deck should require that much care and attention is firmly in many homeowner’s minds. Some go so far as to view a deck as an annoyance rather than an asset. However, on the other side of the fence, there are those who enjoy the convenience and lifestyle options that a deck provides.

These two opposing mindsets mean that judging whether or not to repair or replace a deck (or eliminate it altogether) may not be made logically. It is then when the services of a professional are most urgently needed.

One of our qualified and experienced deck specialists will conduct an in-depth examination of the state of the deck – and do all the calculations required to give you the peace of mind of knowing that the decision whether or not to repair the deck – or have it replaced entirely was the right thing to do.

It is also worth remembering that a skilled deck advisor will be able to offer a number of repair options when it comes to restoring a deck to its ‘as new’ status. This may mean using newer materials that are not natural – but that enhance, rather than detract from the visual appeal of the deck.

A deck is an asset in many different ways. It adds to the value of what for many will be the biggest investment they will ever make – a property. However, there is another investment that the homeowner will be making. A deck adds to the emotional wellbeing of a family. It is a place in the sun where the family can simply be with one another. So when that decision of whether to replace or repair that deck, consider the options carefully. Give TNT Home Improvements a call today at 970-663-2868. Click here if you would like to learn more about our deck building services.

All About Pressure Washing Wood Decks in Loveland, CO

a pressure washing wand cleaning off a wood deck

Wood decks can be beautiful features that provide space for entertaining, relaxing and spending time with family and friends. Many people enjoy using their decks throughout the year, and these decks often withstand harsh weather and heavy use. A deck that is installed properly and cared for regularly can last for decades. Unfortunately, even the best wood decks in Loveland, CO will eventually become a little worn or dingy as a result of weathering and the accumulation of dirt and debris.

The good news is that you can greatly improve the appearance of your deck by pressure washing your wood. Pressure washing involves the use of pressurized water in order to scour dirt and other imperfections from the surface of decks, siding, sidewalks and more. Consider the benefits that pressure washing can offer you, and learn more about how you can pressure wash your deck safely and effectively.

The benefits of pressure washing

Pressure washing can benefit your home in many ways. One of the most significant benefits is that pressure washing can boost curb appeal. This can make your home more attractive to potential buyers, should you decide to sell it, and it can also make it a more welcoming environment for entertaining guests. Beyond the surface-level benefits of pressure washing, it can actually help to promote the longevity of wood decks in Loveland, CO. Pressure washing scours mold and mildew, which can break down and deteriorate the wood fibers in your deck over time. Here are the steps involved in pressure washing your deck:

  • Get the right equipment: Before you begin pressure washing your deck, you will need to find the right equipment for the job. You can rent a pressure washer and the corresponding attachments from a home supply store. While you’re there, make sure to ask about safe operation and usage tips to ensure that you know as much as possible about the equipment you will be using.
  • Calibrate pressure: You want to use enough pressure that you get a thorough clean, but not so much that you risk damaging your deck. Try setting the pressure to 600psi to start, and then alter it as needed.
  • Start at the right distance: When you first start the pressure washer, keep the wand a couple feet from the deck. Then, once the equipment has started up, keep the nozzle about one foot away from the surface that you are pressure washing.
  • Maintain even motion: You want to wash your deck with the grain of the wood for the best results. Start from your home and work your way outward, maintaining lateral, even sweeping motions.

Whether you currently have a deck or you’re thinking about adding one to your home, you can get the most out of your outdoor space with help from TNT Home Improvements. We specialize in a range of services for your home, including siding, window installation, deck construction and deck cover design for wood decks in Loveland, CO. We have over 10 years of experience, and we continue to deliver outstanding products and services to each of the customers we work with.

Click here to learn more about our deck building services.

Maintenance Tips for Wood Decks in Loveland, CO

pic of a partially stained deck

A deck can be an incredible addition to a home. Whether you like to enjoy breakfast al fresco in the morning or gather with friends and family during a weekend barbecue, having deck space gives you much more room for relaxation and entertaining. Even though wood decks in Loveland, CO can often remain in good condition for decades, even the most durable materials will fade or become damaged over time if they are not properly cared for and maintained. That’s why it’s so important to keep your deck in the best condition possible. By following a few simple maintenance steps, you can ensure that your deck continues to be a great setting for outdoor recreation for years to come:

  • Stain your deck: Not only does staining your deck make it look much better, it can also help protect your decking material. Treating lumber with a protective stain and sealant layer can prevent oxidation, rot and decay.
  • Fix damage: If one of your boards becomes damaged or splits, make sure to replace it promptly. Remove the damaged board and secure a replacement in your deck. At first, this new board might appear to be uneven in relation to the rest of your deck, but it should even out after a few weeks as it loses moisture and shrinks.
  • Secure loose boards and nails: Decks that get a lot of use out of them are likely to develop a few loose nails or boards every once in a while. If one of your nails becomes loose, you should remove it and replace it with a long screw to ensure that your boards remain secure.
  • Wash your deck: Using a pressurized washing system to clean your deck on a routine basis will keep it free of debris and looking its best. You can either rent pressure washing equipment yourself, or you can hire a professional to take care of the cleaning process for you.
  • Keep it covered: During the fall and winter, it is almost impossible to keep your deck completely protected from debris, fallen branches and stormy weather. Investing in a cover for your deck can do a lot to protect it from the elements. A deck cover can ensure that your decking material isn’t damaged by rain, snow or overexposure to the sun, and it can increase the longevity of your deck.

If your deck could use a little extra TLC before the winter weather hits, make sure to take care of regular preventative maintenance and then get professional help from the expert team at TNT Home Improvements. For years, we have been providing our customers with superior home improvement and renovation services, including deck and patio cover building. Taking good care of wood decks in Loveland, CO is essential, and we make it easy for you to keep your deck safe from the elements all year long. Browse our website to learn a little bit more about the services that we provide, and then give us a call for assistance with your next home project.

Click here to learn more about our deck building services.

Five Tips for Doing Wood Decks in Loveland, CO the Right Way

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

Adding a wood deck to your backyard can be an ideal way to increase the value of your home. You’ll be able to enjoy the space all year long, and it will enhance the exterior appearance of your house after its installation. If you plan on installing a wood deck in Loveland, CO at your home, you need to make sure that you heed the following tips, as they will ensure your wood deck lasts and looks its best long after you have completed it:

  • Choose the right material: While there is a bevy of wood materials to choose from for wood decks in Loveland, CO, you need to make sure you select the type that will work best for your needs and the activities you have planned for your deck. You may want a treated wood that resists insects, or you might opt for a hardwood for durable use. Take your time and be sure you have a wood choice that you can live with, as many have a lifespan of 20 years or more before they need replacing.
  • Use high-quality screws: When it comes to the fasteners of wood decks in Loveland, CO, this is not a time to skimp on quality. If you use low-grade screws, you will soon see corrosion, rust and discoloring that can make your deck structure wear and age. A high-quality fastener will allow your wood deck to last longer and look better over the course of its life.
  • Develop a base that is solid: The base of your deck is important when it comes to making sure that your wood deck is stable and properly supported. You will want to make sure that you set your footings deep below the frost line and follow the regulations set by your municipality for depth. This will ensure your wood deck has a well-established base and will prevent any shifting from occurring.
  • Pick the best boards: When you are laying your boards for your deck surface, it is important to be choosy in their design. Wood has many imperfections and blemishes that can mar the floor of your wood deck and cause it to look worn before its time. Select the best boards for installation and use the imperfect ones in spots that are not in main viewing areas. This will give your wood deck in Loveland, CO the best appearance when it is finished.
  • Protect with the proper finish: After your deck has been installed, you need to make sure to protect the wood with a coat of stain and sealant. This will help guard your wood deck from the elements and ensure it retains its luster after many years of use. Remember that treated lumber needs to cure for a few months before applying a finish, and you will need to reapply this coating every few years to ensure its brilliance.

Installing wood decks in Loveland, CO can be a simple task if you keep the above tips in mind. When you are looking to add a deck to your home, contact TNT Home Improvements. We are a trusted home improvement building company that is dedicated to providing you the deck or patio of your dreams.

Why Wood Decks Are a Beautiful Addition to Your Home

pic of a wood deck built in windsor, co

It’s every homeowner’s dream to live in a house that caters to their every lifestyle demand. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible—home upgrades and renovations cost money and take time that you don’t always have. Too often, people settle for “good enough” and aren’t able to enjoy some of the luxuries they want when it comes to their home.

While you might never be able to afford that fully-enclosed sunroom or build an addition to your home, there are some cost-effective enhancements you can make to your property that are sure to bring a high degree of luxury and happiness with them—none more so than wood decks in Loveland, CO.

Versatility and beauty

The reason a deck is such a valuable investment for your home is because it offers a return on that investment in a twofold way: in both functionality and aesthetics. It’s a space that you can use for a variety of different activities, and it also serves to enhance the curb appeal and prestige of your home:

  • Use your deck as an extension of your indoor living space! You can sit out in the sun and relax, cook up something on the grill, entertain guests, stargaze and more—all without leaving the comforts of a structure that’s literally connected to your home. It’s the perfect foray into nature without straying too far from civilization.
  • From the street, a deck will make your home look bigger and grander. It also helps to proportion your property with your home, connecting the landscape to the structure in a seamless way. Decking also appeals to prospective homeowners, adding perceived value when it comes to buying.

And, because decks can be designed in infinite fashions, using a wide assortment of different materials, it’s possible to create a deck that’s uniquely appealing on all fronts.

Create the space you need

Building a deck is all about affording yourself a new luxury. Why do you want a deck? Is it so you have an outdoor space to entertain in, or because you want the convenience of structure in your backyard? Whatever the case may be, be sure you design with that thought in mind.

For example, if you want your deck to be a space for entertaining, make sure it has sprawling space for things like chairs and a table or standing room for mingling. Conversely, if you want a space that’s just for you to relax on, you may choose a more ornamental design that’s decorative and welcoming to you. Either way, you’ll come away with a deck that’s ideal for your home and your needs.

If you’re looking for a way to enhance your home without draining your bank account or getting in over your head with remodeling, consider the benefits of wood decks in Loveland, CO. You’ll get a space outdoors that’s enjoyable and a major boost in your home’s curb appeal—two things that are sure to pay for themselves over time. Contact TNT Home Improvements today to learn more!

Great Features for Wood Decks in Fort Collins, CO

pic of a wood deck built in Fort Collins, CO

It will soon be summer, and you want to make the best of your outdoor living space. Wood decks in Fort Collins, CO already stand well on their own as you hold outdoor parties and barbecues during the warmest months of the year—but they become even better if you add new luxury features. Here are five ideas to add to your deck before summer begins:

  • Pavilion: It may not rain or snow in summer, but no one will want to use your deck if the sun beats down on them. Even then, a light rain shower can make outdoor meals and enjoying a fire pit less than pleasant. Add a pavilion over your deck so you can enjoy relief from weather elements. Shelter over your porch or deck expands its possibilities. If you have a patio centrally located in your yard, it is possible to add a pavilion there as well, so you can enjoy your garden or hot tub without being roasted on hot summer days.
  • Fire pits: While it seems counterintuitive to install a fire pit on a wood deck, there are treatments and composite materials that keep your deck fireproof. Use common sense like never lighting fires on windy days and making sure the fire is out before ending your evening and the fire pit will never be a cause for trouble. This versatile and attractive feature is frequently a favorite for customers for the atmosphere and campsite feel. Once installed, you can add seating, multimedia or an outdoor kitchen to work around it.
  • A screened-in porch: If you screen in part of your deck, it will give you a spot where mosquitoes cannot get to you. Since citronella and fire pits only go so far, the screened-in porch is a true insect-free area. It also makes a great “catio” if you want your indoor cats to have time outside in a safe place. This is a great way to enjoy fresh air without insects and give cats the outdoor experience without the danger.
  • Walls: The orientation of your home may leave one side of your deck vulnerable to extreme sunlight or cold winds. If this is the case with yours, build a wall to block those unpleasant elements. Many conditions may make it difficult to light your grill or fire pit, so the wall becomes essential to enjoying other features. You can leave the rest of your deck open so you can enjoy airflow without unwanted weather.
  • Move around: Your deck does not have to be limited to your backyard or one side of your house. Wraparound decks offer an Old World feel and make it easy to greet guests or move from one side of your house to the other. Extending decks to improve access to a swimming pool or hot tub can also improve your outdoor living space. If the patio area near your home is small, consider an entertainment area where your deck is in the middle of your yard. The only limits are your imagination!

TNT Home Improvements specializes in building wood decks in Fort Collins, CO. If you are ready to start the summer with an improved outdoor living area, call us today to start designing and building your new deck or patio.

Three Common Repairs for Wood Decks in Fort Collins, CO

old deck board that is curling up

At TNT Home Improvements, we are regularly called out to make some repairs on wood decks in Fort Collins, CO. These repairs can come in just about any shape or size, but in general they usually fall under one of the three categories that we’ll cover below.

Replacing broken boards in the deck

If you have split, rotten or otherwise degraded deck boards that are ruining the overall appearance of your deck, you should replace them as soon as possible. Don’t worry about them not fitting in with the rest of your deck; after a year or two of weathering, they will blend right into the rest of the deck. Just make sure you use the same wood type and thickness.

In some cases, you might not even have to replace the entire board. If this is the case, you should just make sure you cut a piece that goes across three joists. Do not hesitate to cut a little extra wood, as well, so you can stagger the wood with the adjacent joints for a better overall appearance.

The hardest part of this process is cutting out the damaged section of the wood cleanly. This is a job that’s probably too big for a jigsaw, so you will need to use a sharp, stiff blade to help keep your cuts straight. You should make sure you pre-drill holes for your screws, as well, so they can pull themselves in tightly to the joists.

Tightening decks that have become wobbly or bouncy

If the deck does not feel solid or strong when you walk across it, the cause is typically a long joist spanning between your beams, or between a beam and your house. You’ll need to access the framing underneath to be able to stiffen your deck. Then, you have several options as to how to fix the problem. You can add another beam for additional support, though this is a rather large job. To do this, you should first add rows of solid blocks every three or four feet along where the beam will span.

If you choose this method, you should use treated lumber blocking that is approximately the same size as the joists (usually either 2×8 or 2×10). Then, install these blocks in rows based on your measurements.

Replacing loose or damaged nails

Your deck will shrink and swell over the course of the seasons, which can cause the boards to expand and contract, popping out some of the nails above the boards. Sure, you can just drive them back into place, but in most cases this is only a short-term solution. For a more permanent fix, you should remove these nails and replace them with deck screws.

The hardest part of this job is removing those nails without damaging your deck. You should always use a block underneath your prying tool of choice, and take your time when working on particularly difficult-to-remove nails. A diagonal cutter could help you get out nails that are not protruding very far.

The old nail hole can act as a pilot hole for your deck screw. We recommend purchasing deck screws in colors that match the decking, so they don’t stick out too much.

For more information about the types of repair jobs we take on for wood decks in Fort Collins, CO, contact us today at TNT Home Improvements.

Tips to Help You Maintain Wood Decks in Fort Collins, CO

pic of a deck and deck cover built in Ft. Collins, CO

Wooden decks can take a whole lot of abuse over their lives. They are constantly exposed to sunlight and rain, they generally get a lot of foot traffic and they are generally more vulnerable to the elements than any other type of wooden structure. This means it’s important to take certain steps to keep your decks looking great for years to come.

Here are a few tips to help you maintain your wood decks in Fort Collins, CO:

  • Keep it clear: In general, you want to make sure your deck is kept clear of anything that could catch moisture or mar the surface. If you have flower planters on your deck, for example, you should make sure to put them on cement blocks or somehow raise them off the ground so those planters do not trap dirt or moisture on top of the deck. Make sure you sweep your deck on a regular basis to prevent buildup of leaves and dirt, which can also trap moisture or stain the surface. Finally, during the winter, make sure to shovel the snow off your deck, just so you can be sure its moisture does not seep into the deck when it finally starts to melt.
  • Regularly clean and seal your deck: Every two or three years, you should have a professional come and clean or seal your deck to ensure it’s protected against the sun and rain. If you decide to do the job yourself, you will most likely need to do this once a year, as you do not have the same sort of expertise and equipment as a professional, so it makes the most sense to just hire a professional to do it. Sealing your deck protects it against moisture, which can cause the wood to swell, as well as from the sun, which can cause the wood to shrink. Repeated swelling and singing can cause the wood to bend, warp, crack and age quickly.
  • Do not paint or apply solid stain: You should never paint or stain your deck with a solid type of stain. Eventually these types of finishes will peel, which means they require significantly more maintenance to keep looking good. Your best bet is to use an oil-based stain, because they have the dual benefits of protecting your deck while aging naturally and gradually.
  • Make repairs as soon as you can: If you see boards beginning to rot, you should make these repairs as quickly as possible so you can avoid having to replace the entire deck. You should also engage in regular maintenance, even when significant repairs are not necessary. This could include tightening loose boards and checking the integrity of your railings.
  • Protect the deck from grease: If you grill on your deck, make sure you have a grease catcher or a cement slab on which you place your grill. Grease stains are extremely difficult to remove from a deck and can become very unsightly very quickly.

 

For more information about maintaining and repairing wood decks in Fort Collins, CO, contact our team today at TNT Home Improvements.