What Type of Decking is Best Around a Pool?

deck

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

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

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

Non-Slip Deck Surfaces

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pool Deck Materials That Stay Cool

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

Materials That have Low-Heat Retention

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

Which Materials Retain a Lot of Heat? 

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

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

Are There Any in-the-Middle Options?

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

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

Composite Decking Around Pools

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

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

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

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

deck

What Material is Best for Above Ground Pools?

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

How Do You Heat an Outdoor Patio in the Winter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do I Make My Patio Warmer in the Winter? 

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

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

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

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

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

Put in a Fireplace or Fire Pit

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

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

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

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

Furthermore, an open fire can be hazardous without supervision. 

Add a Patio Heater

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

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

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Are the Different Types of Patio Heaters?

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

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

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

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

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

  • Free-standing patio heater

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

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

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

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

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

  • Tabletop patio heater 

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

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

  • Wall-mounted patio heater

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

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

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

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

Propane

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

Natural Gas

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

Electricity

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

Install a Patio Cover

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

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

installed. 

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

Types of Patio Covers for Winter

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

Aluminum Patio Covers

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

Acrylic Patio Covers

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

Wooden Patio Covers

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

Add Heated Floors

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

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

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

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use Heater Lamps

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

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

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

Conclusion 

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

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

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

What Makes a Good Outdoor Living Space?

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

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

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

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

However, you will have to invest in these things. 

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

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

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

What’s Considered an Outdoor Living Space?

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

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

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

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

What Do You Need for Outdoor Living? 

Creating an outdoor living space requires meticulous planning.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s dive right in! 

Essential Elements

Patio or Deck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Landscape

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

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

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

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

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

Furniture

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

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

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

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

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

Open Areas

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

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

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

Optional Elements

Pool

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

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

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

Fire Pit

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

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

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

Cooking Area 

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

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

Conclusion 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do I Keep Water Out From Under My Deck?

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

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

  • Deck membranes
  • Waterproof deck flanges
  • Underdeck ceilings

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

Deck Membrane

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

Deck Flanges

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

Now we can get to my favorite option.

mobile-fort-collins-wood-deck-underdecking

What is an Under Deck Ceiling?

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

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

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

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

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

Why Choose TNT Home Improvements?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Can I Put Under My Underdeck Space?

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

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

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

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

In Short…

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

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

How To Maintain a Wood Deck?

a pressure washing wand cleaning off a wood deck

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

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

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

How do you take care of wooden decks?

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

Why should I maintain my deck?

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

Are you prepared?

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

How do I make my deck last longer?

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

How do you take care of a wooden deck?

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

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

How often do decks need to be sealed?

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

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

Should you pressure wash a deck?

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

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

Is it better to sand or power wash a deck?

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

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

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

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

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 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.

Does a Deck Add Value to a Home?

Although there are numerous ways to upgrade your home, adding an attractive outdoor deck allows you to host events and spend some quality time with your friends and family. Adding a deck to your home improves its aesthetics and outdoor décor, making it appealing for your family, friends, and others. 

So does a deck add value to a home? Building a deck is a practical, reliable, and cost-effective way to increase your home value. Research shows that a homeowner can recoup over 75% of return on investment (ROI) by adding a deck to their home. Building a deck allows you to add outdoor living space to your home. 

You can choose from a wide range of design options to create a deck that aligns with your home décor, your lifestyle, and personality. Adding a deck to your home means achieving an additional outdoor space where you can put furniture, grills, plants, etc., to make your backyard more alluring, functional, and enjoyable. 

Many homeowners want to relax on a deck with their friends and family, host a BBQ party, or spend some quality time. Whether you currently have a deck or want to build one, it can add usable outdoor living space and increase your home value. In today’s article, we will give you some more details and answer essential questions like: Is a deck worth the investment? and how much value does a deck add to a home? 

Is a Deck Worth Your Investment? 

The National Association of Realtors Research Group reports that millennials have more tendency toward building a deck onto their homes. Another study shows that a deck and front porch can increase a home resale value and lead to higher returns on investments. 

Because the economy is down due to unpredictable lockdowns and social distancing, many people spend their time at home. The more people stay at home for entertainment, the more enjoyable home amenities, such as a deck, are worth having. 

Homeowners who consider building a deck can look forward to increased home value. The amount of return on investment (ROI) varies depending on your location, the type of deck you want to build, and the company you hire for construction. However, the average ROI is around 75%, making it an excellent return for added outdoor living space. 

Bear in mind that wood or composite decking may lose its value over time. Therefore, consult a professional company like TNT Home Improvements to ensure a deck that stands the test of time, leading to increased ROIs. 

A usable and functional deck is directly proportional to your home’s appeal and comfort. During the summer season, most people spend time outdoors with family and friends while maintaining their home comfort. 

Building a deck is worth your investment because it enables you to extend your living space give you more of that coveted ‘square footage’. Remember, a deck should look and feel like an extension of your outdoor space and not an appendage. 

At TNT Home Improvements, (your Northern Colorado professional deck builder) we recommend elevating your deck to make it a walkout from your house. Whether it is three feet or seven feet above the ground, an elevated living space that lets you walk outside from the kitchen or bedroom adds a perfect finishing touch to your home. 

It allows for a more usable entertaining space and offers an attractive transition from your indoor space into the surrounding yard. An elevated deck constructed by a professional company like TNT Home Improvements will make every opportunity out back into something fun. 

How much Value does a Deck Add to a Home?

According to JLC Group’s Magazine research report, adding a deck can increase your home value significantly. The average cost of constructing a wooden deck is $13,000 with a resale value of $10,080, meaning you can recoup about 75% of the total cost after selling your home. 

Likewise, the average cost of constructing a composite deck is $19,150 with a resale value of $13,000, allowing you to recoup 69.1% ROI. Here at TNT Home Improvements (a reputable and experienced NOCO company with licensed and skilled workers) we recommend re-staining your deck every 2-3 years to maintain it. 

Although the maintenance will cost you around $700 each year, it will keep your deck functional for a long time, leading to increased ROIs. Unlike other home improvement projects, such as a backyard patio and midrange bathroom construction, adding a deck can sometimes lead to 85% of ROI, depending on living space quality. 

Does Adding a Deck Expand Your Homes Square Footage? 

Many people think an outdoor deck is an extra bedroom where they can rest and enjoy their time. Although this is true up to some extent, a deck expands your outdoor space and makes a significant difference in your home’s resale value. 

HomeAdvisor reports that adding a deck to your home is a cost-effective solution to expand your home’s square footage.  For instance, the average cost of building a new 20×20 square-foot room is between $32,000 and $80,000. 

On the other hand, building a 20×20 deck costs you $12,000 to $60,000, making it a more affordable solution to increase your home value and square footage. Not only does a 20×20 deck add 400 square feet to your house, but it also allows you to spend more time outdoors with your friends and family, making it a win-win situation. 

Final Words 

A deck can become anything you want such as a romantic area with a cool tub for those hot evenings, a reliable outdoor kitchen with a built-in bar and grill, a living space with decorative table and chairs, a perfect space for doing your nails and soaking up the sun, or an area with a flat-screen TV to watch your favorite shows or movies. 

No matter what your dream deck is, it is definitely worth your investment with an increased ROI. Contact TNT Home Improvements today if you want to create a durable, aesthetically appealing, comfortable, and cost-effective deck at your home. We are a professional company with a team of licensed, experienced, and skilled workers who follow a step-by-step approach to construct a usable living space.

Living in the Northern Colorado area? Give us a call today at 970-663-2868 or reach out via the contact page. For more information on our services, click here for info about our deck construction services.

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

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

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


Build a Pond in your Backyard

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

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

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


Build a Firepit in your Backyard

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


Build a Bowling Alley in your Backyard

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


Build a Kitchen in your Backyard

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


Build a Hot Tub in your Backyard

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


Build a Swing in your Backyard

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


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

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


Build an Underground Bunker in your Backyard.

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

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