Archive for category: News

REPLACE YOUR HARDWARE (door knobs, pulls, locks and hinges)

Sometimes home improvement can get overwhelming. One project leads to another and suddenly you find yourself with DIY overload. One way to  upgrade your decor without having to commit to the big jobs, is to install new door knobs, pulls and locks and hinges on your interior doors. For minimal cost and effort, replacing hardware can make a significant difference in your home. If you plan to stay in your home for a while, installing door levers is a great option for long-term ease of use. Replacing door hardware is also a good idea if your house has basic door hardware. Through replacement hardware, you can personalize your doors to compliment your desired style and home decor.

Let’s talk about STYLE.  
Finding hardware that is consistent with the architecture or decor of your home is a plus. Traditional homes tend to include brass and bronze hardware to suit traditional architecture; while crystal knobs can be more specific to Victorian designs. Sleek metallics compliment a contemporary or modern structure and artistic pulls offer eclectic homes an added touch of whimsy. One tip to note: it is good to be consistent with your hinge material and the material of the knobs on your cabinets as a basic guide.

CONSISTENCY throughout your home.
A suite of knobs, levers, locks and cabinet pulls can coordinate your entire house. High-quality hardware is typically purchased through your builders supply company or a design professional. Search the Internet for ideas and photos – creating an inspiration board for your supplier.

7 WINDOW TRENDS for 2018

It’s fall and the weather is still warm. Although leaves will soon begin to turn, there is still plenty of time to order replacement windows and get them installed in time for  cold weather the holidays.

So to help you with your window options, we thought we would share the current window trends…

It’s no secret that homeowners are veering more toward the modern and contemporary in their style choices. And that minimalism includes the window market, where it’s manifesting itself in the form of clean lines, simple shapes, dark colors, and more glass. Beyond looks, homeowners expect high performance, in the form of efficiency, functionality, and durability.

Here are seven window trends consumers are clamoring for:

  1. Black hues: Nothing says contemporary and clean like the simplicity of black and white. “The biggest trend you can’t get away from is black windows,” says Jennifer Matson, product line manager for JELD-WEN. “Everyone wants a black-on-black window.” The color is gracing both the exterior and the interior, including the special order of black sashes. The trend can veer dramatic or, when combined with white or natural trim, be more subtle and create a modern farmhouse look.
  2. Clean lines: Consumers are seeking squared-off edges and crisp lines. In many cases, they’re desiring the look of aluminum/steel-framed storefront windows, but at a more palatable price point. Matson notes this is also driving more use of fixed, direct-set windows, as well as opting for casement units over double-hungs.
  3. Squares over arches: Likewise, while shapes remain popular, they’re decidedly rectilinear. Arched-top and similar curved shapes may appear dated for some of today’s more popular home styles.
  4. Expansive glass: The growth in outdoor living has driven demand for opening glass walls and lift-and-slide doors, as well as larger windows mulled together. From dramatic views to increased daylight, the benefits are appealing to both buyer and builder alike. And what was once a custom, luxury option out of reach to most homeowners is now available in mainstream models from a handful of manufacturers. JELD-WEN’s recently introduced vinyl multi-panel units are available with up to six panels and 24 feet wide.
  5. Pass-through windows: Even for homes without large sliding or accordion-style doors, slider, awning, or folding windows can create pass-throughs to the exterior. One popular application is from the kitchen to the deck.
  6. Energy efficiency: Energy-efficient windows are so popular now it’s hard to even consider them a trend. In fact, Matson says, ENERGY STAR® certification has become an expectation and a requirement for many consumers.
  7. High-end woods: Wood windows are traditionally pine. The desire for a modern, clean appearance, as well as for something a little different, is driving demand for higher-end species. This includes species like white oak and mahogany, which boast a more subtle grain and a fine-furniture feel.

As homeowners continue to seek out simplicity, efficiency, and beauty throughout their homes, expect windows and doors to be no exception.

Let Tree Court Builders Supply help you with your window needs by calling one of our friendly customer service or sales reps at 636-225-7717. Click Learn More for more window and patio options by JELD-WEN.

DECIPHERING WARRANTIES

Replacing your windows or doors requires a plan that includes developing a budget with a specific dollar amount for unforseen emergencies. Although we all hope that every project goes smoothly, there are times when unexpected structural damage impacts the natural flow of a project, resulting in delays, and subsequently and increase in labor costs. When this happens, no one is happy. A good warranty can help alleviate frustration and this post can help you understand the ins and outs of warranties.

  1. Do an assessment – during an initial visit, a product representative or installer should inspect your current windows and patio doors and identify potential challenges that you as a purchaser may face on installation day. This assessment helps to determine the scope of the project and in turn, the product rep or installer can estimate an accurate price.
  2. Permits – when replacing your exterior doors and windows, the city of St. Louis actually has guidelines in place for building permits to protect your home against harsh elements. Work with your installer to get the proper paperwork up front so that you don’t find yourself experiencing delays on the back end of your project.
  3. Use Visuals – when describing the vision for your new windows or patio doors, it pays to use pictures to send your message across properly. Visuals would help you express your ideas and ensure you’re on the same page with your contractor. Tree Court Builders Supply offers an Idea Center showcasing images of windows and doors for this very purpose. And once you pick out something you like, simply call our customer service representatives to help you identify brand, product number and size.
  4. Think Outside of the Box – one of the most common mistakes of homeowners when buying replacement products, is choosing the same thing. New technologies can enhance your home’s comfort and energy levels. If you replace your units with the same materials, then you won’t be making any improvements. This is why you should plan for replacement units with remarkable energy-efficient features and minimal upkeep requirements to truly save money.

What You Need to Know When COMPARING Warranties 

  • WHO the warranty is designed to protect
  • The WORDS used to describe the warranty, especially in the title.
  • The physical LENGTH of the warranty
  • The amount of FINE PRINT used in the typical window warranty

WHO Does the Warranty Protect?

One of the biggest misconceptions about window warranties, and warranties for any product for that matter, is they are designed to protect the purchaser of the product. The reality is that most warranties for every product made is ultimately written to protect the company that makes the product. Think about it, who writes the warranties? The manufacturer. However, this doesn’t mean a warranty isn’t useful or beneficial to the customer when a product arrives damaged or faulty.

Window Warranty Descriptive WORDS

Most people think about a general replacement window warranty in three broad strokes; how long does it last, what is covered for how long, and, the ability to transfer the window warranty in the event the home is sold.

Lifetime or Limited – most window warranties describe length of time one of two ways; lifetime or limited lifetime. Either doesn’t necessarily mean “forever,” but the word “limited” should definitely set the alarm bells off and encourage research. Be mindful that what is “limited” in a warranty can often be the very thing a warranty might be needed for.

The Concept of Proration – have you seen a warranty that reads “to the effect of X being covered for the first 20 years, Y for the next 10 years, and Z for the next 5 years?” This is called a prorated warranty. Prorated replacement window warranties define how long the manufacturer thinks each part of the window will last. In short, the warranty itself expires after X, Y and Z years.

Warranty Transferability – warranty transferability becomes important at the sale of a home. Conferring the benefits of the warranty to the next homeowner has a value. Similarly to proration, a manufacturer changing the original time period of the warranty after transfer, or even worse not allowing a transfer at all, communicates their concern about the performance longevity of their product.

Words – how many times have you fully read through the “terms and conditions” on a website before you clicked “I understand?” The main reason you probably haven’t is because you don’t have the time, nor the knowledge of all the legalese, to go through the whole thing. Same idea with window warranties. The best replacement window warranties are the shortest, and the ones easiest for you to understand.

The Fine Print – the way to quickly review the typical replacement window warranty for these types of things is to look for the fine print. Often times one finds out about the restrictions of a “limited” warranty when they get to the fine print. Prorated time definitions? The fine print. More text and harder to understand? The fine print. Fine print is the easiest way to hide the most negative things about the warranty because the authors assume you’ll never really read the whole thing until you need it.

SO WHAT DOES A GREAT REPLACEMENT WINDOW WARRANTY LOOK LIKE? 

  • A warranty that covers the product for the life of your home, and does the same for the next homeowner if you were to sell, or even leave your home to a family member.
  • A warranty that provides the same coverage 20,30,40 even 50 years from now that it does today, and, yes, for the next homeowner as well.
  • short, concise warranty with little or no fine print.

When you work with Tree Court Builders Supply, ask our friendly customers sales representatives or sales team members about the warranties and they will walk you through them step by step so that you feel confident in your replacement window purchase. 636-225-7717

 

 

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

“… I thank God for my life

And for the stars and stripes

May freedom forever fly, let it ring.

Salute the ones who died

The ones that give their lives so we don’t

have to sacrifice

All the things we love

Like our chicken fried…”

Happy Fourth of July from our Tree Court Family to Yours!

 

NOTE: Tree Court will be closed on Wednesday, July 4 to celebrate Independence Day. We will reopen on Thursday, July 5.

REPLACE YOUR PATIO DOOR

It’s SUMMER and everyone wants to be OUTSIDE.

We admit, we have been a little lax on our blog writing during the month of May due to graduation season and the arrival of summer! But we are back and thinking about all the entertaining we want to do this summer. Of course that brought to mind, all of our outdoor projects starting with our PATIO DOOR.

Replacing sliding glass doors is a home improvement project that we hear about often, especially when it comes to older homes. Before energy efficiency became a priority, and before technology improved building materials, sliding glass doors were some of the most inefficient aspects of a home. Patio doors that face the wrong direction to hard to open doors – replacing sliding glass doors can beautify your home and improve your home’s energy efficiency resulting in great savings all year.

What are my options?

Patio doors, French doors, gliding doors – there are several very attractive, and efficient, patio door options to choose from. However, sliding glass door replacement is not a slam dunk process. Installing doors is tricky business, and you may want to consider hiring a professional.

  • French Doors—Double French doors are beautiful and can be a wonderful addition when replacing sliding glass doors. Do consider the space restrictions. When you want to leave the French doors open, they take up valuable living space. They can also restrict areas where you might otherwise place furniture or even limit a walkthrough area. Also, French doors do not generally have screens, which can be an issue if you like to leave your doors open in the spring, summer or fall months. The cost of French doors can vary depending on size and style.
  • Patio Doors—A great alternative to double French doors are center swing patio doors. They look exactly like two French doors sitting side by side, but one side is fixed and does not open saving valuable wall space. Ask your supplier about screens. Depending upon size and material, center swing patio doors can be less expensive than French doors.
  • Sliding Patio Doors—You may want to consider newer sliding glass doors, or sliding patio doors, for your replacement patio door. New sliding glass doors are made with the same energy efficient standards and options that are available with the most cutting-edge windows. And if you like sliding doors, but don’t like the cheaper appearance of sliding glass doors, think about replacing your sliding glass doors with sliding “patio doors”, instead. Sliding patio doors, with wood frames, craftsmanship and design possibilities of French and swinging doors, are some of the most beautiful, head turning door designs currently on the market.

          

How much will this cost me?

Vinyl or aluminum gliding patio doors will be the least expensive options available. This option is best for a small starter home with a lower price point, or it can also be a quick fix for homeowners who need to sell their home right away and aren’t looking to invest a lot of money into upgrades. Some things to keep in mind with the less-expensive gliding patio door options are the lower quality look and feel, the expansion and contraction from the summer heat, and the tendency to stop working properly after a few years.

If you are looking for a more permanent solution because you plan to be in your home for many years and are looking for a beautiful side or back point of entry, a gliding patio door by JELD-WEN offers a premium product for your investment. These doors have much better insulation properties, look gorgeous and will operate smoothly not just for a couple years, but for as long as you own the house. You get what you pay for when it comes to patio doors. More expensive doors last longer and function better.

French patio doors are generally a bit more expensive than gliding patio doors. These hinged patio doors have a more traditional, classic look as opposed to the sleek contemporary appearance of the sliding doors.

It is best to work with your supplier to get a free quote for your specific needs. Gathering photos, researching brands, knowing what material you want and providing size details will help your supplier provide an accurate quote.

A Word of Caution

Homeowners doing research on replacement patio doors: don’t be fooled by the seemingly low shelf prices on most patio doors that don’t include hardware or installation. The big box stores consider essential items like energy-efficient glass packages, hardware, installation and warranty to be upgrades, and the actual price tag will be much higher than you thought.

Also, we highly recommend having a professional contractor or handyman put in the patio door, as it is an extremely complicated process with a lot of opportunity for error but little room for it.

What’s your preferred style of patio door? Share in comments below! We would love to hear from you. 

And if you are ready to replace your patio door, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly customer representatives at 636-225-7717 who will help you order your new patio door with ease!

 

     

HOW SEXY IS YOUR FRONT DOOR?

Maybe reading (or writing) about doors isn’t a very sexy topic but it is an important one. Doors provide shelter and protection for you and your family. Doors not only protect your home’s interior from the weather, they provide access to your home’s interior. Your front door is a focal point and enhances curb appeal which can increase the value of your home. Your front door tells a story about your house and makes a statement about your home and your family. This means you want to think carefully about which of the following you want to include in your home:

  • Let there be light with a new door style that includes glass or sidelights or a transom to or over your door.
  • Wood is excellent choice for custom, high end doors. Wood comes in a variety of species and grains offering many options for your front door.
  • Casing, millwork and other decorative elements including columns and decorative / protective coverings can enhance a door or entry way.
  • Lighting is both functional and decorative for guests arriving at your home at night. Sconces are popular or a hanging light fixture creates the feeling of a room when there is an alcove or protective awning type structure.
  • Decorative landscape including shrubs, flowers and seasonal wreaths are popular and can be chosen to match your door to your personality.

Choosing the neighborhood and home you buy or build is a reflection of your values, your personality and your lifestyle. While the number one factor in choosing your home is location, location, location, your front door is one of the most important elements of your home’s exterior.

And now that the weather is warm and the sun is shining – this is the perfect time to replace your existing front door for the one you have always dreamed of. Replacing your front door is easy and the options are many! Go from a single door to a double door; switch from a solid door to one with glass to let the light in. Upgrade in material, style and color.

The front door draws guests in, is intriguing and inviting. Tree Court Builders Supply carries the most trusted brands in the door industry and offers quality doors at every price point. With so many options, let Tree Court Builders Supply help you from start to finish with your front door needs.

                              

MILLWORK How to increase the VALUE of your home

Details matter.

We’ve all heard that one before and despite the cliche’, it is true in almost all facets of life. When it comes to your home… details really can make the difference.

So today, we write about millwork. Millwork is any interior that is mill-produced. The stuff that people don’t always think about, but when they look at homes (new construction and existing), it’s the millwork that gets noticed – trim, base boards, casing, ceiling treatments, and more. Custom mantles are head turners and built-in book cases are always a plus. These are the pieces, the details – that help finish a home or a commercial space. Often times, millwork becomes the centerpiece of a room and other times, millwork adds a finishing touch, both of which enhance an overall living space.

Architectural millwork is perfect to use for interior decorating due to the fact that it is primarily made from wood which makes it very easy to carve, stain, or paint. Woodwork details are used in both residential and commercial interiors because it provides a unique interior architecture. Today, enhanced interior designs are created from well-crafted millwork pieces and can offer a wide ranges of looks that are elegant, sophisticated, contemporary or even rustic depending upon the desired look.

For reference, listed below are some architectural millwork pieces and their definitions:

Balustrades – are railings supported by balusters which are often designed as an ornamental protective wall on balconies, bridges, or terraces.
Baseboards – narrow board made of wood that runs along the interior wall base.
Beams – a long, strongly built piece of squared timber or metal that spans an opening or a portion of building that supports the roof or the floor above.
Built-in or custom milled cabinetry – a non-detachable box-shaped piece of furniture that has doors or drawers intended for storage.
Chair Rails – a wall molding around a room built to protect it from damages caused by the backs of chairs.
Coffered Ceilings – is a series of rectangular or square-shaped sunken panels in the ceiling.
Columns – a cylindrical upright pillar used to support a structure such as archs.
Crown Molding – molding in a surface or structure that usually crowns or runs between the top of an internal wall or ceiling.
Doors and Door Casings – allows access to the entrance and exit.
Fireplace Mantels – a hood that is projected over a grate or fireplace opening.
Stairways – this is made up of a number of steps,  made to access one floor to another.

Enhance your living space with details that matter. Tree Court Builders Supply can help you match existing crown or base, create and customize a new profile or build a new piece or system. Simply call 636-225-7717 and ask for a friendly customer service rep today!

 

    

GRATITUDE

A LETTER FROM TIM and CHRISTINA

In thinking about the past two years, it is quite fitting to reflect on all the GOOD things we have experienced as new owners of Tree Court Builders Supply. While we did experience not one, but two historic 500-year floods, a double renovation of administrative offices and showroom in the first eighteen months as well as a significant move from a 55,000 square feet building to a 77,000 square foot building during the coldest January known to mankind, our hearts are increasingly grateful for the opportunities and blessings that come each and every day.

The adventure we experienced in the recent move has shown us that we are resilient, strong, and determined. And that the mission to serve our employees and our customers to the best of our ability remains clear. This commitment to both of these very important audiences is our North Star – the lifeblood of our existence.

Gratitude is the foundation from which we work. So yes, we are grateful… for the ability to use our creativity, talent and skill in our work. For our loyal customers and suppliers who support us day in and day out. For the opportunity to serve our industry and our community and for our Tree Court Family, for without them, we would be nothing.

On our knees for all of this and more.

We are so very thankful for you and we wish for you a blessed Easter season with your loved ones.

Our best,

Tim and Christina

The Schellhardt Family

WINDOWS – WOOD, CLAD, or VINYL, OH MY!

Last week, we talked about when and why you should replace your windows. After learning that replacement windows can save you lots of hard-earned cash now and later, I found myself having to make another decision. What MATERIAL should I choose for my windows and how can I save the MOST MONEY when purchasing replacement windows.

Material Matters

Consider the architecture of your home when choosing a coordinating window material.

  • Clad-Wood – Low-maintenance exterior metal cladding (sometimes referred to as aluminum clad) is like a coat of armor for extra protection from the elements. These windows feature beautiful wood inside your home with protective metal cladding outside. The metal is bent and folded over the exterior of the window to prevent weather from penetrating into the wood frame. The baked-on finish is durable, easy to care for and available in a variety of popular colors. The wood frame can then be stained or painted on the inside.
  • Wood – With wood windows, you’ll get the beauty of natural wood interiors and exteriors without the worry of wood rot. Wood windows offer endless options in shape and style, because the material is easy to work with. Some window manufactures have exclusive wood materials that are easy to care for while offering design freedom to stain, clear coat, or paint to get the exact look you want.  Wood also makes a great insulator, so the frame will not transmit cold or warmth from the outside. The drawback associated with wood windows is that they require regular maintenance. Frequent painting and staining is necessary to prevent rot and keep your window aesthetically pleasing. Because wood has so many great properties, it is the common denominator in many of the clad window options.
  • Vinyl – Vinyl is recognized for being remarkably durable to give you years of energy efficient performance. These windows are easy to care for and reliable. There are also ample design options to boost your home’s character. Today’s vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free, and are available in a variety of colors that permeate the material, eliminating the visibility of scratches and dings and the are inexpensive. Vinyl windows do not require painting. Unfortunately, vinyl cannot be shaped into ultra thin pieces, so they tend to have a heavier appearance and more plastic than other types of windows.
  • Aluminum – These windows are lightweight and strong, and are most frequently selected for homes in warmer, milder climates where heat loss is not as much of a concern. Aluminum windows are also noted for being cost effective.

Keep in mind material alone doesn’t guarantee performance and neither does price. There are excellent and mediocre double-hung wood-frame and vinyl-frame windows out in the market place. Additionally, it is important to note that even the best windows won’t deliver the look or comfort you expect if they’re installed poorly.

The best advice we can give you is “do your research” before purchasing replacement windows. Tree Court Builders Supply can help you get started in determining what you need, what materials to choose and what kind of windows work best for your home and budget. With warmer weather just around the corner, feel free to call 636-225-7717 to talk to a friendly customer service or sales rep today.

 

 

SEE CLEARLY – REPLACEMENT WINDOWS

It’s raining out and my windows are dirty, which means my view is skewed. If you are like me, cleaning windows is a task that sneaks up on you. A job that isn’t hard, but time consuming. This led me to think about my windows and whether they needed a good clean or if I actually needed to replace them (anything to get out of cleaning the windows). My two-story home is thirty plus years old and the weather has taken it’s toll on my windows. After doing some research and asking the experts at Tree Court Builders Supply, I experienced an “AHA” moment of clarity:

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO REPLACE MY WINDOWS?

  1. If your windows are foggy, drafty, difficult to open or close, or have rotten frames or sills, it’s time to consider replacement windows.
  2. If you hear a lot of outside noise, your windows may not be sealed correctly or were poorly made to begin with. New double- or triple-pane glass windows insulated with argon or krypton gas can decrease outdoor noise, which is helpful if you live on a busy road or an active neighborhood.
  3. If you feel a draft, even when your windows are closed, you may have poor installation. Your windows may have a faulty seal. A drafty window can change the overall temperature of your home, causing the HVAC system to work twice as hard to keep up with the fluctuating temperature.
  4. If your window frames are soft to the touch, chipped or water damaged. Windows found in this condition are already beyond repair. Soft window frames might be a result of rot and water infiltration.
  5. If your windows are difficult to open, close or lock, they may not have been installed correctly which could result in balance issues. Windows that are rusting or rotting can also be difficult to use. If your windows do not close properly, you may not be able to lock them, which can impact the safety of your home.
  6. If your windows have condenstation build up between glass layers or cracked window glass, your seals may have failed allowing moisture between the glass panes. Once the seals fail, any insulating gas used to make the window energy efficient is now gone. Cracked window glass allows additional spots for air to leak in and out of your windows.
  7. If your windows have parts that are hard to find or discontinued, you may want to consider replacing your windows.

While these seven questions definitely clarified my understanding of WHEN to replace my windows, I still needed to know WHY.

WHY SHOULD I REPLACE MY WINDOWS?

  1. The best reason – replacement windows save you money NOW and LATER  (this is the one we all love.)
  2. New windows help save energy, can provide consistent temperatures in your home and improve your home’s curb appeal.
  3. New windows can also increase your home’s security.
  4. If you decide to sell your home, replacement windows can yield up to 70% + return on your investment.
  5. New windows keep extreme weather outside.

I learned, energy efficient windows can reduce the demand on your heating and cooling systems by up to 25% allowing you to make your home more comfortable at a lower cost.  Who doesn’t love lowering costs? Low-e (low thermal emissivity) windows have a very thin coating applied to the glass. This coating reflects solar waves such as long wave infrared energy (or heat) from the sun, keeping your home more comfortable. Combined with double or triple pane glass and argon gas low-e coating can significatly improve the thermal efficiency of your windows.

Not only will you see immediate savings in your montly costs, but you might be able to receive instant savings offered through rebates for new windows from your utility company. You may also be able to claim a deduction on your income taxes for your energy efficient replacement windows.

Purchasing new windows might seem costly at first glance, but after evalutating your monthy energy savings year fter year, it can be one of the best home improvements you can make. Hopefully these tips will help you to “see the process clearly” and make your replacement window project much easier!

PS At Tree Court, we can help improve your “view”  for every type of window. Give us a call at 636-225-7717 to talk to a friendly customer service or sales rep today.