How Do You Heat an Outdoor Patio in the Winter?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Do I Make My Patio Warmer in the Winter? 

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

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

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

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

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

Put in a Fireplace or Fire Pit

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

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

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

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

Furthermore, an open fire can be hazardous without supervision. 

Add a Patio Heater

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

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

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Are the Different Types of Patio Heaters?

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

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

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

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

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

  • Free-standing patio heater

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

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

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

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

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

  • Tabletop patio heater 

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

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

  • Wall-mounted patio heater

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

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

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

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

Propane

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

Natural Gas

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

Electricity

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

Install a Patio Cover

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

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

installed. 

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

Types of Patio Covers for Winter

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

Aluminum Patio Covers

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

Acrylic Patio Covers

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

Wooden Patio Covers

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

Add Heated Floors

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

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

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

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

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

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

Use Heater Lamps

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

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

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

Pros and Cons

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

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

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

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

Conclusion 

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

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

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

What Are the 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.

What is Underdecking?

We have built so many 2nd story decks over the past 15 years and so many of them create a space underneath them that is dark and uninviting. To keep that patio space under your deck dry and give it a finished feel then you need underdecking.

Underdecking is a system of panels, channels, or chutes that are designed to catch the water that leaks between the decking and joists of a deck. The water is directed to gutters and downspouts. Underdecking creates a finished look and feel, effectively creating more livable space under a deck.

If this sounds like the solution your deck needs to make that patio area a usable one, then let’s dive into what makes up an underdecking system and what this project will cost.

mobile-fort-collins-wood-deck-underdecking

What do you put under a second-story deck to keep it from dripping onto a patio below?

Well, underdecking of course! So the underdecking systems that we install are made up of a few main parts:

  • The Track 
  • The Outer Frame Pieces (g and j channel)
  • The Gutter (and downspouts)
  • The Panels

How do you install Underdecking?

To start the underdecking project, we will first assess all of the different variables surrounding your deck. We will of course already have the materials in hand so we are not trying to assess what we need, but rather exactly how to install in with your current deck setup.

The first thing that needs to be figured out is fall; as in, water-fall. We need to decide which direction we want the water to flow, towards the house or away from the house. Now some of you might be thinking, why on earth would you want to direct water back towards the house? 

A scenario where you would potentially want something like this is when the house has gutters leading down the house into underground PVC. This ‘system’ for directing the water underground and away from the house would be a great place to tie into so in this instance, we would recommend channeling the water toward the house and into the underground system.

After the gutter location is decided, measurements have to be taken to make sure that the whole system will have enough fall to direct water into that gutter. Some things to note at this stage are things like deck framing lumber. Meaning, what framing material did they use to build the deck? If the frame is smaller material like 2×6 for instance, you will have less material under the deck to attach the outer frame to. In fact, some material may need to be added like framing material or even fascia material to hide the sides of the system if it hangs too low.

Putting up the tracks

After the plan is finalized the tracks can start to go up. The tracks are these really long (12ish feet) black metal pieces that have small teeth built into them that hang down from the ceiling ready to grab the panels. These teeth are designed for the finished panels to snap into.

The number of tracks that you put up will depend on your project but you will essentially be putting up supports to hold the panels and should they start to get weight in them, ie water, it will get heavy out there in the middle of the deck. For a smaller deck, you may only need 1 or 2 rows of tracks where a larger deck may need 2 or 3 rows.

Each row of tracks will have to start at the same place so that they are all lined up perfectly. The rows will also have to be at different heights from the ceiling depending on the fall needed for your specific project. These are generally held up with a 3 to 4-inch screw that’s hanging down a bit so that you can adjust the whole track up and down.

Creating the frame

Now the frame pieces are coming out of the boxes and onto the job site horses. These pieces are aluminum that feature a faux wood finish of your color choice. They are also very long pieces, somewhere in the 12-16-foot range, and have a couple of different shape profiles.

The two different shapes can be seen looking down the ends of the frame channels. One looks like a G and one looks a J. These different shapes make up the side panels and back panels of the frame and the fourth piece of the rectangle would be the gutter.

Every deck can be so different so this process really is a custom one. Ideally, you want the gutter to be one seamless piece covering the outside edge of the deck. Then two side panels what are cut down in just right into the gutter back to the house with the last part of the frame across the siding. What can get tricky is if you have large columns and/or if you have stone! Now you are freestyling with your frame creation skills.

The gutter needs fall from the middle of the deck towards the outsides in most cases. Make sure you have a 4-foot level handy and can make sure that water will actually leave this system. Near both ends of the gutter, you will want to drill/ cut out for your downspout inserts. These plastic inserts and the end caps will need to be installed with the help of some gutter sealant.

Getting the tracks and the frame installed are the most time-consuming parts of the entire project. There is so much calculating and the material that does go up doesn’t really cover anything, it’s just the skeleton so far. But after you get to this point, this is where the project really starts to fly.

Putting up the panels

Now all that’s left is to put up the aluminum panels that make up the finished ceiling. These panels are also an area of color choice with the faux wood or plain white. We will use special saw blades to cut them to just the right length and account for any custom shapes.

The panel goes in up and over the gutter, and then are pulled into place inside the outer perimeter’s ‘C’ channel. Once that first panel is installed into place, the rest go up with amazing speed. The panels have a lip that goes into the black metal track we installed earlier and then we just snap the other side closed into the teeth.

The metal teeth snap-in system makes for a no-fastener, very beautiful finish that can also be taken back apart if necessary.

Now it time to just let everything seal and set and then test it out. After the gutter sealant has complete cured you can grab the hose and start spraying down the deck with water while someone is watching underneath the deck to see if there are any trouble spots. If so, reassess with caulk and if not, enjoy your new space.

If you would like to talk to someone right now about a quote for your specific project goals, then give us a call at 970-663-2868.

At TNT Home Improvements we’ve been building decks, patio covers, pergolas, and installing new windows and siding since 2005. Please give us a call or visit the contact us page to learn more about getting underdecking installed under your deck.

What Is the Difference Between a Deck, Patio, Porch, Covered Roof, and Sunroom?

picture of a huge deck and cover built in Loveland, CO

When it comes to home improvements and additions, it helps to know the difference between some of the different options before you start hiring contractors to begin working on your property. You may want to add things that will increase the value of your property while giving you more space to do some of your favorite things, such as grilling, sunbathing, or simply relaxing outdoors.

Whether you want a deck, patio, porch, or something else added to your home, it helps to know the difference between these options before you officially pay to have anything done. So, what is the difference?

A deck is a wood framed platform that is commonly attached directly to your home. A patio is usually a cement slab in the backyard right up against the house. A porch is most commonly a covered deck with screens for walls. A Covered Roof (or sometimes referred to as a hard cover) is a shade covering for a deck or concrete patio and is commonly made from the same roofing materials as the house. And lastly, a sunroom is similar to a porch except made from as much glass as possible.

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

What Is a Deck?

A deck is a structure composed of wood that does not have a roof attached to it. As a homeowner, you can get a deck installed on any specific area of your home. Some people like to have a deck in their backyard, while others prefer having a deck that is off to the side of the property. It all depends on the location of your home and the amount of space you have available to get this type of addition constructed.

Decks come in all different sizes and shapes. Before getting a deck installed, you would need to have measurements taken to determine how much space you have available to work with in the first place. You may want a large deck to have plenty of room for a grill and chairs that you will have out for guests to sit on when they visit you. In addition to getting a deck that is the perfect size for your personal space, you will also need to decide on the shape, style, and color of the deck.

You can have a deck built with different types of materials. While wood is the most common goto for decking, decks made from wood-plastic composite have become extremely popular. No matter what you plan on choosing, you will need to decide on the species of wood that you would like used based on its longevity and general appearance. You want something that is going to look good and last a long time while not requiring nearly as much maintenance as some other options.

What Is a Patio?

Many people often confuse a patio with a deck or porch, but these are three entirely different things. While the patio is an outdoor area like a porch and deck, it is typically a paved area that is outside of the home and not attached to it. When constructing patios for clients, it is common for contractors to use concrete, bricks, and even assorted stones that were selected by the clients.

The purpose of having a patio is to have an outdoor area where you can sit, eat, and relax. Many people with patios like to host parties and gatherings with their loved ones where they are preparing food and serving it outdoors. Once there is the patio, homeowners may invest in items for those patios, including outdoor furniture, that they can leave outside and use whenever they want to sit outdoors.

Not all patios look the same, and some are much bigger than others. It does depend on the space available to the homeowner. One thing that most patios have in common is that they are found in the back of the home and may even be situated near a deck.

What Is a Porch?

The porch is an open structure that has breathable walls, but protection above it. Because there is a cover or roof above the porch, you can comfortably sit outside in any weather without worrying about dealing with the rain, sun, snow, and other elements. The porch is often added to the front of the home. There are several reasons that homeowners choose to get a front porch installed if they do not already have one. It gives them a safe and comfortable place to sit out while enjoying the weather and chatting with their neighbors.

There are different types of materials used to create sturdy and reliable porches for those who would like them. Some of the most commonly selected porch materials include plastic, PVC, wood, aluminum, and solid stone. The materials, colors, and overall style picked for the porch will vary from one home to the next and will typically depend on the personal preference of the homeowners.

You can choose from various porch options. For example, you may want an open-air porch that does not have walls, or you may prefer having a porch with screened walls. These are some of the things you will need to think about before you get this type of addition to your home.

covered deck shingled roof stone pillars all covering a hot tub

What Is a Covered Roof?

A covered roof often goes along with a patio. While patios are usually out in the open and provide a space for dining and relaxing with friends, some people choose to invest in a covered roof that gets installed directly over the patio. Having a covered roof comes in handy for potential rainstorms and other weather elements that could get in the way of an outdoor event. The closed roof also provides additional protection from the sun when sitting outside for extended periods.

Before getting a covered roof installed over the patio, professionals must first take measurements. It is necessary to make sure that the roof will provide the maximum amount of coverage for the patio. If you are thinking about getting a covered roof, you must also decide how much coverage you want. Some people like to have a portion of the patio covered while leaving a separate part open because that allows them to soak in the sun if they would like to do so.

What Is a Sunroom?

The sunroom is a sheltered room that is attached to the home. It is an added room to the house that has more windows than the average room, allowing plenty of natural sunlight to soak through. Property owners often like adding assorted plants to their sunrooms because that is the perfect room to get plants to thrive because of the added sunlight. Those who want to enjoy the benefits of the sun without sitting directly outside where they would end up dealing with insects may enjoy having a sunroom available to them.

Sunrooms are often smaller than the average size of a living room or bedroom, but they still offer an adequate amount of space. While the location of a sunroom may vary from one home to the next, it is common for homeowners to have a sunroom attached to the back of the house. There is a common misconception that a sunroom and back porch are the same thing, but this is false. These two home features are different from one another.

It is quite common for people to confuse decks, patios, porches, covered roofs, and sunrooms. Many people believe these home additions are all the same, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. Each addition has something unique to offer. If you are thinking about adding something extra to your home, you should make a list of your wants and needs and then decide which of these different options are the best for you.

Once you decide which additions to add to your home, you can start choosing materials, styles, and colors. You can go over these details with a professional contractor by giving us a call today at 970-663-2868 or visit the contact page to send us a message. Also, if you want more info please check out our DECK and PATIO COVER services pages.

timber frame sun-room with amazing mountain views built by TNT Home Improvements

Which Option Is Cheaper: A Concrete Patio Or Wood Deck?

Outdoor living spaces such as patios and decks are just what you need for entertaining guests outdoors or truly getting to enjoy your space. Adding a patio or deck can also be an excellent way to increase the value of your property. It can also create the proper atmosphere for creating many happy memories. 

Overall, a concrete patio will generally be cheaper to install compared to a deck. While your specific house and yard set-up may determine which is cheaper for your individual needs, a wood deck is likely to have a better return on investment compared to a concrete patio. Of course, there’s no rule that prevents you from having both a deck and a patio. After all, they are both excellent spaces for entertaining. 

While both patios and decks can be wonderful additions to your property, it is first important to understand what each of them is as well as which option is cheaper to help you make an informed decision for your budget.

What is a Deck?

A deck is a raised platform that can be made of different materials, which include pressure-treated lumber, wood, PVC, composite, and more. However, here the focus will be on wood decks. A deck can sit high above the ground raised by posts and accessed via a staircase or be built low to the ground raised only by joists.

What is a Patio?

A patio is an outdoor seating area that’s typically flush with the ground and is often made of concrete. While concrete is probably the most popular material used for building patios, you can also use gravel, stone, and many other materials.

Decks vs. Patios: Which Option is Cheaper?

If you would like to add either a patio or deck to your home, you need to consider several different things. You also need to ask yourself questions. Is it cheaper to build a patio or deck? Which option is easier to build? Simply put, a patio is generally cheaper than a deck. However, that’s an oversimplification of the reality since the cost will depend on several different factors, which include:

  • Materials used (wood, concrete, vinyl, etc.)
  • Location of the addition (above ground, on the ground with supports, etc.)
  • Features (seating, railings, built-in barbecue, supports, etc.)
  • Size of the addition

Other Factors that Determine Which Option Is Cheaper Include:

Slope of the yard on which you wish to place the deck or patio

A patio is usually placed directly on the ground, which is why it is preferable to choose a level space. A patio is often not the ideal option for uneven ground since the cost to create a foundation can double or even triple the cost of the addition. If you have uneven ground in your yard, a deck would be the cheaper option since the cost of installation is almost always never affected by the slope of the yard. 

Installation Difficulty

Installing a deck is generally more difficult compared to that of a patio and is best handled by professionals. Structures for supporting the deck have to be cemented into holes that are drilled into the ground. You also have to make additional considerations when it comes to properly attaching the deck to your home.

You can build a deck on land that is not level, which makes it a great option for sloping landscapes or uneven yards. Waterproofing materials might be required in some cases to avoid compromising your home’s foundation.

Installing a patio is generally easier, but it requires extensive preparation of the ground surface where you will lay it. It is best installed in areas that are relatively flat and even because patios are typically installed on the ground directly.

The area where a patio is installed will often require reinforcement with rebar too if you are using poured concrete and the ground underneath has to be compacted. You can do it as a DIY project, but it will probably be a lot of difficult work.

When it comes to installation difficulty, installing a deck is generally more expensive since it usually requires a professional, but while installing a patio is generally cheaper, it might end up being quite an expensive project if your yard is either sloping or uneven.

Installation Cost

The cost of installing a deck will depend on the size of the deck, the materials used, and whether you hire a professional or do it yourself. A deck measuring 16-feet by 20 feet may cost anywhere from $7,500 to upwards of $15,000. However, the cost will vary depending on the material used. For instance:

  • Redwood and cedar cost anywhere from $25 to $30 per square foot, on average, with the cost of installation included
  • Composite or PVC costs anywhere from $30 to $45 per square foot with the cost of installation included.

You can save significantly on costs if you build the deck yourself. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1.75 to $5.50 per linear foot for the decking materials needed and between $4 and $8 per square foot for posts and joists materials.

The cost of installing a new patio depends on the material used to construct the patio and whether any leveling or groundwork is needed before installation. A patio measuring 16 feet by 20 feet will vary in cost from $2,500 to $9,500 depending on the materials used and the labor needed.

  • Concrete patio pavers cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per square foot on average
  • Regular concrete has an average cost of $9 per square foot on average
  • Stamped concrete cost anywhere from $12 to $15 per square foot on average.

All the above prices are inclusive of the installation costs.

If you compare the installation costs of patios vs. decks, it is quite clear that patios are generally cheaper, but that’s just half the story. Depending on the materials used, it is still possible for patios to cost more to install than decks.

Maintenance

Maintenance is an important consideration when choosing between a patio and deck since it may determine which option is cheaper in the long run. A wood deck requires just power washing annually to protect against mildew and mold. Decks should generally be stained and sealed at least every 2 years to increase lifespan and improve durability. And quality composite decks just need hosed off and offer 25 – 50 year warranties against staining,fading,splintering, and warping.

A patio, on the other hand, can be cleaned easily with a hose and requires minimal ongoing maintenance. Inspecting regularly for cracks is necessary at times to prevent water from leaking under the patio thus causing erosion. In some of the extreme cases, the patio can crack and the whole surface would require removal and replacement.

If you compare the maintenance requirements of wood decking it becomes clear that patios are the cheaper option since they require less maintenance while decks are not as cheap to maintain since they require power washing annually, which often involves a professional, unless they’re built with composite or PVC decking.

Return on Investment (ROI)

If you are considering selling your property in the coming years, it can be a good idea to consider the ROI for a deck vs. a patio. Your choice in building materials will obviously contribute to the costs. 

The average ROI for a deck is roughly 75 percent more than that of a patio. For instance, a homeowner that spends $10,000 to build a deck can expect to get back $7,500 after reselling the property.  In contrast, a homeowner that spends $3,500 to build a patio can only expect to get back $1,500 after reselling the property. But the value of a deck can also increase with the overall home as local property values increase along with it.

If you consider the ROI, the concrete patio is no match for the deck since decks have a generally higher ROI than patios. But it may also be the centerpiece of the house that is unique to its space and helps sell it. Buyers want a peaceful sanctuary they can envision themselves enjoying. Look around your neighborhood and make note if the other houses around you have deck or patio additions, it might be what sets yours apart.  

All About Louvered Pergolas

pic of a louvered pergola built in Fort Collins, CO

Are you looking for the best way to make your outdoor living space great while remaining functional? We understand your problem and have the perfect solution for you – louvered pergolas. With our premium louvered pergolas, you get to enjoy all the fresh air and beauty that nature has to offer while transforming your deck, patio, or other outdoor living space into a functional space that can protect you from rain or excessive sunlight.

What is a Louvered Pergola?

It is an adjustable roofing system that allows you to enjoy fresh air, sunlight, and other positive qualities of nature but are adjustable to provide coverage from the less desirable qualities such as snow, sleet, rain, or excessive sunlight. The adjustable roofing can even be outfitted with ceiling fans to provide additional outdoor comfort by keeping out pests such as mosquitos and flies.

Benefits of Using Louvered Pergolas

A louvered pergola provides the best of both worlds – the abundant sun or an open backyard or the complete shade of a covered porch. A louvered pergola lets you choose how much sun you would like to receive at any particular time.

Using the convenient controls of the pergola, you can open the louvers to let through sun, or close them if you want protection from snow or rain. That way, you and your family can spend more time enjoying the outdoors throughout the year.


pic of a job in loveland, co featuring a new deck and louvered patio cover

Here are the top benefits of using louvered pergolas:

Protection from the Elements

A louvered pergola system can be angled to provide protection from harmful UV rays from the sun regardless of its position. Since most of them are made from aluminum, they are usually highly reflective, which makes them incredibly effective at shielding your space from light, infrared radiation, and even radio waves.

A louvered pergola can even be angled to provide both airflow and shade without actually blocking your view. It is also possible to fully open the louvers to allow maximum light into your outdoor space while minimizing uplift and resistance due to high winds.

A louvered pergola roofing system can even be completely closed to provide sturdy shelter from the rain. Most systems come equipped with an integrated gutter where rainwater is pitched into to ensure proper drainage. They can also be equipped with wind and rain sensors that open or close automatically depending on the weather.

Better Airflow and Increased Comfort

Outdoor temperatures are hardly ever perfect, which is one of the reasons why patio covers are so popular. However, even with the regular covers, many times property owners want to increase the airflow and create a refreshing breeze under the cover.

A louvered pergola can really make a difference over a regular solid cover. While a regular cover obviously provides shade, it tends to limit the airflow for people sitting under it. A louvered pergola gives you the advantage of opening the louvers to the angle you desire thus giving you control over fresh air, shade, and breeze at any time of day or night.

Easy Customization Options

We fabricate each louvered pergola based on your preferences and design them to your exact specifications for the best fit and finish for a lovely finished product. We can even customize your louvered pergolas with ceiling fans, outdoor curtains, accent lighting, and custom colors to enhance your outdoor living space.

True Convenience

Louvered pergolas, unlike solid covered patios or those with a lattice overhead, can be adjusted with the simple push of a button. Just imagine being able to go from completely covered to 50 percent airflow with our motorized louvered pergolas above your outdoor entertaining area.

Having a louvered pergola installed on your patio is perhaps one of the best investments you can make. You get the best of both airflow when you need it and a protected cover if that’s what you want. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it isn’t exclusive to residential properties.

If you have a commercial establishment such as a hotel or restaurant, you can take advantage of our louvered patio covers for your outdoor eating areas. When the sun moves throughout the day, the pergolas can keep your customers in the shade.

Environmentally-Friendly

Our louvered pergolas are made from aluminum that’s non-corrosive, which means that it won’t rust. Aluminum is also a flexible and durable metal that’s capable of flexing under loads or springing back from an impact. It also does not burn and does not produce toxic fumes, even when temperatures are high. It is also recyclable without losing its valuable characteristics.

Expert Louvered Pergola Sales and Installation

If you are looking for a beautiful and high-quality product that’s guaranteed to transform your outdoor living space, get in touch with us today to learn more about our louvered pergola systems. We are the go-to resource when it comes to outdoor living products. We are committed to supplying the finest products for your property.

We offer complete design, fabrication, delivery, and installation of premium louvered pergolas for both our residential and commercial customers to choose from. We have taken all the necessary steps to take complexity out of the process by offering you all you need to include a beautiful and high-quality pergola into your project. Give us a call today at 970-663-2868 to schedule your free consultation.

To learn more about our shade options, please visit our patio cover services page.

The Best Ways To Add Shade To A Deck

adding-shade-to-a-deck-tnt-home-improvements

Outdoor living spaces can add a great deal of value to your home. When you have a deck or a patio, you won’t have to stay cooped up indoors all day. When the weather is cooperating, you’ll be able to step outside and enjoy the great outdoors.

With that said, it isn’t always comfortable to have sunlight shining in your eyes. If you’re looking for ways to add shade to a deck, here are a few solutions you’ll want to consider.

Patio Furniture

If you’re looking for a temporary solution to your lack of shade, the right patio furniture can help. For example, a table that comes equipped with its own umbrella can provide some shade on a sunny day. You could also pick up a swing or lounge chair with a built in shade cover. Patio furniture comes in many styles, and you can find outdoor furnishings that will give your deck the look you want.

With that said, deck furniture isn’t a perfect solution. If you don’t want to have to worry about the sunlight when you’re on your deck, you’ll want to explore some of your other options, such as canopies, pergolas, and patio covers. You’ll want to make sure you can enjoy your deck, even when the sun is at its hottest.

Try A Pop-Up Canopy

If you’re looking for a short-term solution to your lack of shade, you might find that a pop-up canopy works well for you. These canopies come in many different sizes, and they can easily be stored when they’re not in use.

While a canopy like this can detract from the appearance of your deck, it’s a fast way to get shade when you need it. If you do invest in a canopy, you don’t have to limit yourself to using it on your deck. You can also take your canopy with you so that you can get shade on the go, especially if you like to go camping.

deck

Plant A Tree

Trees are a fantastic source of shade, and they can also provide clean air around your home. While it can take a long time for a tree to grow, you don’t have to start growing a tree from a seed. Instead, you can buy larger trees that will start providing shade right away.

Trees can be a major investment. Many people are shocked when they see what it costs to purchase trees. However, trees can also greatly increase the value of your home. If you don’t have room in your budget for trees, or if you’re looking for a faster solution, pergolas are able to filter sunlight in the same way that trees can.

Install A Pergola

If you’d like to enjoy the sunlight when you’re sitting on your deck, but you’d also like a little more shade, then you won’t find a better solution than a pergola. A pergola can help filter out sunlight so that your deck won’t be bright. Because of the way a pergola is shaped, plenty of sunshine will still be able to shine through. A pergola can enhance the look of your deck, and it can also make it a more comfortable place to relax.

Most of the pergolas we build are a 50/50 sunlight to shade as far as what light is let through. If you were looking for something that is more adjustable you could go with a louvered pergola. These are powered by motors that let you open and close the louvers above you to let in more light or completely close it shut. If you want more control over the amount of shade this is a great option.

We can build a pergola above your deck so that you’re able to get some much-needed shade. A pergola can add a lot of architectural interest to your home, but it can also be highly functional. If you want to improve your deck’s appearance and get more shade at the same time, then a pergola is the perfect solution.

Hang Patio Curtains

If your pergola or deck cover still isn’t providing the kind of shade that you need, you may want to hang curtains around your patio. Curtains will allow you to block out even more of the sun’s rays so that you can get extra weather protection when you’re on your deck.

If you do decide to hang curtains around your deck, you’ll want to search for curtains that were specifically designed to be used outdoors. Choose curtains that are made from a durable, weather-resistant material that won’t fade in the sun.

Patio And Deck Covers

As mentioned above, a cover is one of the best ways to add some extra shade to a deck. Fabric covers, like a canopy, are a popular option. But if you want something more permanent and something that matches the look of your home than I highly recommend a deck cover.

We offer a range of options for patio and deck covers and will be able to build something that’s perfectly suited to your backyard. Your patio cover can complement your existing roof lines and match your shingle colors. We’ll be able to talk to you about your options for covers and answer any questions you might have. Once your cover is fully installed, you’ll have an easy way to get some extra shade.

Add A Gazebo

If you’re happy with the look of your deck, but would still like a shady place to relax in your yard, why not add a gazebo? Gazebos are designed to provide protection from the elements, and they don’t have to take up much space. It’s more than possible to add a smaller gazebo to your yard.

A gazebo can be a fantastic outdoor reading space, and it can even be a way to entertain friends. If you have room for a gazebo on your property, it’s another option that you could consider.

Adding Shade To A Deck Is Easy

If your backyard gets a lot of sunlight, you might think that your yard isn’t well-suited for a deck. However, there are all kinds of simple ways that you can get the shade that you need.

If you’re struggling to get shade when you’re on your deck, there are plenty of solutions you can try. Once you have a reliable source of shade, you’ll find yourself spending more time in your backyard.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to learn more about deck building and shade solutions. We can build a beautiful deck in your yard, and we can make sure that your deck has all of the shade that it needs. Call us at 970-663-2868 so that we can tell you more about patio covers, pergolas, and other shade solutions. Click on this link to learn more about our patio cover services.