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

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.

What to Look for in a Deck Contractor

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

Throw a stone in any direction and you’re bound to hit deck contractors in Loveland, CO. This is because decking is considered basic construction and, unfortunately, anyone with a tool belt can call themselves a contractor. The reality is that deck construction isn’t as easy as it looks, and many homeowners are left with decks that fall short of expectations because they don’t take the time to vet their deck builder.

Taking the time to pick a qualified deck builder means more than just going through a few reviews online. To ensure you’re getting the very best deck for your money, you’ll want to take things a step further and put in the time to do some thorough research. Here are a few tips:

  • wood deck contractorWhen you contact a decking contractor, ask them how long they’ve been in the business. This means how long they have been a certified contractor and how many years they have accepted decking jobs specifically. The more time in the industry, the more references and examples they should be able to provide you with.
  • Piggybacking off the first tip, make sure you ask for references when you’re considering hiring a contractor. If they have local examples to provide you with, take a quick drive and check them out for yourself. While you should stay off of private property, it’s a good idea to look at the design and appeal of a deck from afar. You’ll be able to tell quality work from haphazard jobs even at a distance.
  • While reading online reviews isn’t the only thing you should do before hiring a contractor, it is a good idea to pay some heed to them. Read reviews and see what the common themes are between them. Do people keep mentioning a single good trait or a single bad trait? Keep these patterns in mind when vetting your options.
  • See if you can set up a meeting with prospective deck contractors in Loveland, CO. Being able to meet with and talk to a contractor about your vision and their capabilities is going to give you great peace of mind when decision time comes. It’ll also clue you in as to who is paying attention to your needs versus who might just consider this another general decking job.
  • Ask if the contractor will be on-site themselves for the duration of the job, or whether they subcontract out to other managers. This is important because it determines accountability. Whenever possible, try to work with contractors who are always on-site themselves.
  • Ask a candidate about permitting and written quotes. A good contractor will be able to take care of or help you with permitting, and they should provide you with a written quote that you can use to base your decision on.

Play it smart when selecting a decking contractor and you’re bound to get the high-quality deck you’re paying for. Remember, quality workmanship boils down to more than price—it’s about the person(s) behind the job. Get in touch with TNT Home Improvements today to learn more about how we can help enhance your home with a new deck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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