Wood Decks Versus Composite Decks

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

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

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

Wood decking

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

Composite wood decking

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

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


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

Looks

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

Moisture

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

Maintenance

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

Insect damage

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

Splinters

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

Maintenance or durability

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

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

Price

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

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

Workability

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

Surface Temperature

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Deck Construction in Fort Collins, Colorado

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

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

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

Our Services

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

• Deck Installation

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

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

Attached Decks

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

Island/Detached Decks

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

Pool Decks

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

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

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

Wrap Around Decks

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

Multi-Level Decks

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

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

Entryway Decks

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

Rooftop Decks

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


Decking Materials

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

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

Wood

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


Redwood And Cedar

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

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

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


Tropical Hardwoods

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

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


Pressure Treated (PT) Wood

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

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

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


Composite Materials

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

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


• Deck Repair Services

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

Conclusion

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

Click for more information about our Deck Construction Services

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.

Three Reasons Why Deck Railing Can Be Beneficial and Beautiful

deck

Generally, deck railing is the last part of a deck anyone considers when they’re thinking about or planning to build a new deck onto their home or business. But deck railing in Loveland, CO is one of the most important elements of any deck design. It is crucial for safety, and for making your deck more useful and practical. Deck railing is also highly customizable, allowing you to add a unique touch to your deck’s overall look and feel. In this post, we’re going to explore why deck railing is beneficial, and how it can help make your deck more beautiful overall.

Safety

The most obvious benefit of deck railing has to do with safety—and it provides benefits in this regard in numerous ways. Deck railing can help people balance, giving them something to grip onto in inclement weather. This can also help people with disabilities maintain more of their mobility, guiding their walking as they hold on to the deck railing.

Deck railing in Loveland, CO can also help keep kids, especially toddlers, from being able to slip off your deck. Deck railing can also help people when they’re carrying difficult or heavy loads, giving them something to hold if they feel themselves tipping, or something to rest their load on briefly.

The building codes of deck railing are carefully designed to help keep people from all walks of life totally safe when using your deck.

Practicality

As we mention above, deck railing has numerous practical uses. Deck railing offers a great place, if you’re a business owner, for your customers to leash their dogs before entering your building. Deck railings also offer a great place for customers to mingle and talk, as well as a good place to set down a drink or a bag to have a rest.

The railing also offers important visual cues for designing the layout of your deck furniture. Without the railing, the eyes sort of play tricks on the brain, and the edges of your deck would not get used very often. People would tend to congregate closer to the building, or in the middle of your deck, but with railing, you’re likely to put a lot of your furniture against the railing, and people will be able to spread out more evenly.

Practically, all of this means that your deck, whether residential or commercial, will be able to accommodate more people, and will help them get more satisfactory use of your deck space.

Customizable beauty

There are so many options for deck railing in Loveland, CO, in terms of material, height, width, color and more. Some of our customers like their deck railings to subtly reflect the design of their deck, while others like a nice contrast in color and material to complement each other and call attention to the beauty of each element.

We’ve seen wooden decks with glass deck railing, with metal, with composite and with wood. There are so many options, allowing you to minutely customize the exact look and feel you want for your deck. All in all, though deck railing is often an overlooked railing, it’s one of the most important elements in terms of looks, usefulness and safety.

Learn more about deck railing in Loveland, CO

Since 2005, TNT Home Improvements has been perfecting its craft in Loveland, CO. We are a fully licensed and insured home improvement company, and have built a reputation for doing exceptional work. If you need a new deck or new deck railing, please call 970-663-2868 today for a free estimate!

Click here to learn more about our deck building services.

Reasons to Consider a Curved Deck Design in Loveland, CO

deck

Anytime you begin a project that is meant to improve or add to your home, there are a number of factors that might contribute to your motivation to complete the job. Some jobs can increase your home’s efficiency, others might improve its curb appeal or value and many can do both. Another reason why you might want to complete a home improvement project is to add a unique home feature that accents your taste and sets your house apart from those around you. If you are considering constructing a deck, you probably don’t want something that looks identical to all of the other neighbors on your block. If a unique deck design in Loveland, CO is at the top of your list of priorities, you might want to consider constructing a curved deck.

What is a curved deck?

Traditional decks are usually constructed with hard edges in square and rectangular shapes. This is mainly due to the fact that the wood planks that are used in deck construction are shaped with rigid edges and corners that are conducive to angular designs. Today, there are more options available to homeowners who are having decks constructed thanks to developments in fabrication technology and material composition. Curved decks are constructed with wood or decking material that has been bent to create a curved front. This can be a much more appealing look for your home’s exterior.

Considering a curved deck

The kind of deck that you choose to have constructed in your home is largely dependent on your own preferences and how you want to use your deck. There are a number of features that you can add, like railings and covers, to enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your deck. One reason why you might want to consider investing in a curved deck is that it can give you a home feature that is distinct from your neighbors.

Even if you live in a neighborhood where homes look similar to each other, a curved deck can make your house distinguishable from the homes around you. Not only can this give you a greater sense of individuality and creativity when it comes to your home, it can also increase its appeal to others. You can impress friends and family members with your beautiful new deck, and even boost your home’s curb appeal. Having a distinct feature like a curved deck may just make your home stand out to potential buyers.

Learn more about deck design in Loveland, CO

At TNT Home Improvements, we understand how important it is to have home features that reflect your style as a homeowner, and that’s why we are committed to designing our projects around your needs and preferences. Our fully licensed and insured team can work with you to determine exactly what you are looking for and then deliver an exceptional design and outstanding construction, all within your specific needs and budget. If you want to find out more or get a free estimate for our services, just contact us today.

Five Types of Deck Design in Fort Collins, CO That Might Work for Your Home

pic of a Composite deck built in fort collins, co

Adding a deck to your home can greatly enhance your outdoor living space. While deck design in Fort Collins, CO is dependent on the space you have available in your backyard, you do have several choices of styles and creations to choose from that offer a variety of functionality and convenience for you and your family. Whether you are looking for a peaceful retreat or a spot to entertain, there is a deck model designed to give you what you are looking for. Think about these deck styles when you are looking to add to the outdoor living space of your home:

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

  • Attached:

    This popular deck design in Fort Collins, CO makes for easy access from your home, as it is attached to the house in the rear. It provides an entryway from the inside of your home and is the perfect choice to add some outdoor living space to your house. It is usually raised up and acts as a patio area that is made of wood or wood composite. It works well in an L- or U-shaped home.

  • Detached:

    This type of deck design in Fort Collins, CO is separate from the home and works well to add space to entertain or relax in a backyard. It is often referred to as an island deck, as it literally seems to be floating in your yard. It can carve out a special area in your property or designate a space for you to place patio furniture.

  • Wraparound:

    As the name suggests, this style of deck wraps around your home. You may have several access points to it from inside your home. A wraparound deck truly expands your living space and offers multiple ways in which to enjoy the outdoors. This allows you to enjoy the sun, no matter if it is setting or rising, and may give separate rooms in your home access to the outdoors from different vantage points.

  • Multi-level:

    If you have a lot of land, a multi-level deck design in Fort Collins, CO may be just right for you. This deck configuration has different elevations that are typically adjoined by stairs or pathways. This is an ideal deck type for elevations that have hills, slopes or rocky terrain. A multi-level deck can get you from one point of your yard to the other with ease and can provide sitting areas throughout.

  • Entryway:

    Make a grand statement with an entryway deck design in Fort Collins, CO that will welcome your This deck style can be simple or elaborate and is designed to complement the architecture of your home. Wood deck platforms can be used to outline the entrance to your home and can incorporate benches and planters along the way.

With so many deck designs to choose from, it may be hard to pick just one. A deck builder will be able to advise on what type of deck design in Fort Collins, CO will work best for your yard and can custom design features that offer you everything you are looking for. To have a deck installed at your home, contact TNT Home Improvements. We are a home improvement company that specializes in deck building and much more. Call today for a quote!

Looking for local deck builders for your next project? Give TNT Home Improvements a call at 970-663-2868 or fill out the contact form at https://tnthomeimprovements.com

Reasons You May Want to Choose Composite Material Over Wood for Deck Building in Fort Collins, CO

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

Installing a deck for your home can be a beautiful, functional and perfect home addition, whether it’s a new construction or a rebuild of an older deck that’s beyond repair. When it comes to decking material, the first thing that likely comes to mind is wood, although composite has become popular in residential home deck building projects across the country.

Truth be told, using wood for your home’s deck is a good choice when you prefer the natural beauty and feel of real wood, but what about composite decking material? What are the advantages to using composite over wood? Here are some reasons you may want to choose composite materials for deck building in Fort Collins, CO.

Cost

Although wood decking materials and installation may cost less initially, the maintenance costs over the lumber’s lifetime is much higher when compared to composite. Doing the refinishing work and repairs on a wood deck yourself can save you money compared to paying for hired services, but you must be willing to do it. And while composite building materials may cost more at the start, future maintenance work and cleaning supplies will cost very little.

Maintenance

Wood decks, as pretty as they are, will require sanding and staining or painting every couple of years to keep them from splitting, peeling, fading and warping. As a result, many homeowners never install a deck because they know they won’t have the time to maintain it. But choose composite decking—which is similar to refinished indoor flooring—and you will enjoy a low maintenance, easy-to-clean deck material option that will never need refinishing. Just clean it occasionally with soap and water, and you should be good to go.

Appearance

If using a composite material for your deck sounds good, but you really want the look of wood, then you’re in luck. A high quality composite material made of wood and plastic can indeed look like real lumber, complete with grain-like designs and color. In addition, because composite decking materials are manufactured to avoid changes like warping and fading, your beautiful-looking composite deck will retain its same lovely appearance for years. The appearance of wood, on the other hand, can alter over time due to sun damage, wood decay, mold and attacks by animals and insects, if not properly cared for.

Safety

When it comes to your deck, safety does not involve only its structural integrity and building quality. Like a patio, you may want to walk around on your deck barefoot to soak in a warm day, or because it is more convenient to do so, or your kids and pets will want to play on it. However, the natural life cycle of wood may cause wood decks to rot, splinter, crack and split, creating an unsafe hangout area in between refinishing jobs. With a composite deck, none of this will happen, which makes it a safe area for everyone’s bare feet.

If you have decided that it’s time to move forward on that long-awaited deck project, give the team at TNT Home Improvements a call today. From materials to all the information you will need, we are here to help you plan for deck building in Fort Collins, CO.