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!




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!





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


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.




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:


  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.


  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.





A man of few words, visible action and great wisdom (and let’s add a wonderful sense of dry humor) posted this image on Facebook. My dad, who happens to be over 8,000 miles away overseas couldn’t have chosen a more timely message.

Following through is one of the best ways to build crediblity, earn trust and establish yourself as a leader. The “follow through” is actually what gets things done, earns respect and builds relationships. It is working with integrity, keeping our word and doing what we say we will do.

But how does one get better at follow through?


Successful follow-through requires some up-front thinking, including understanding what the real goal is. When you know what you or your department / company are really seeking, you’ll be more motivated to do what it takes to get there.


When you work with your head up, you are able to see what’s going on in your department or your organization.  Open eyes allow for opportunity, adjustment or flexibility resulting in solutions.


Every action takes away time or effort that could be committed to something else. Make sure you set yourself up for success by creating reasonable goals and priorities. Sometimes you have to put in the extra effort to yield results.


Following through with your CO-WORKERS is the first step to a job well done. This means if you say you are going to do something – do it.  Do it in a timely manner, AND at the best of your abilities. It is easy to spot when something is done halfway or quickly. However if someone genuinely tries – spends the extra effort to strengthen their work, everyone sees it like a beacon in the night. This internal effort and accountability builds relationship respect and gratitude for team members. A natural tendency occurs for those team members to want to return the favor and elevate the work place culture.

And the obvious:

Follow through with CUSTOMERS. Your team should consider themselves an extension of the customer’s team. Your team is not a separate entity. Following through with customers helps them trust that they are in good hands (or in the right place) and build the relationship with you. Put the energy into creating or delivering beautiful products and services AND  into making customers feels comfortable and cared for. You will be surprised how much stronger, longer and lasting the relationship becomes resulting in increased year over year sales.

Just as the image communicates – in golf, the last phase of the golf swing is the FOLLOW THROUGH. This is the part of the swing that happens after the ball is hit. Similarly, once the leadership group devises a plan, sets the timing, and prepares the organization, the team must then follow-through with their thinking, skills, work ethic and GENUINE CARE for the customer. This type of follow through can drive success and certainly make the difference!


PS At Tree Court, follow through is visible in our order taking, our craftsmanship, our distribtution and delivery and our customer service. You see it internally and externally from the minute we pick up the phone to the last on-time delivery. Let us follow through for you with your window, door, millwork and custom wood work needs. 


If you’re like us, you’ve probably read a million TOP 10 lists related to business and success. The list centered on customer relations below has been circulating for years. Clear and concise, it definitely bears repeating. These “commandments” should apply to our daily interactions with customers, vendors, partners, colleagues, referrals and also our family of co-workers. And yes, the public at large. We at Tree Court never want to lose sight of the fact that exceptional customer relations are the strength of our business.


I. The customer is the most important aspect of any business.

II. The customer is not dependent on us—we’re dependent on the customer.

III. The customer is not an interruption of our work—the customer is the purpose for our work.

IV. Customers are doing us a favor when they call upon us—we are not doing them a favor when we serve them.

V. The customer is a part of our business—not an outsider.

VI. The customer is not someone with whom to argue or match wits. 

VII. The customer brings us their wants—it’s our job to fill those wants.

VIII. The customer deserves the most courteous and attentive treatment we can offer.

Please read this commandment over again a couple of times.

IX. The customer is not a cold statistic the customer is a human being with feelings and emotions just like you.

X. The customer is the lifeblood of our business.

If you agree with all of the above – check out our open positions under CAREERS (found at the bottom of the page). We are looking for great additions to our SHOP and DRIVER/WAREHOUSE TEAMS! 


Replacing Your Front Door? 5 EASY STEPS to a beautiful entry way!

So you want to replace your FRONT DOOR, but you don’t know where to start.

Below are 5 EASY STEPS that will help you get an accurate quote for your replacement door!  

STEP 1. Determine your budget

The first step to any project is determining a budget. Ask yourself – what are you comfortable spending? It’s easy for home improvement projects to go over budget, sometimes dollars rack up because of delays or because not all costs were confirmed prior to beginning. Like all home improvement projects, replacing your front door is an investment and your budget should reflect thoughtful planning. Consider the following:

  • Upfront costs vs. long-term benefits
  • Estimated useful life
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Energy efficiency
  • Weather protection and performance
  • Features included
  • Pre-finishing costs or additional staining or painting required
  • Hardware and accessories
  • Remodeling additional entry features like stairs, lighting or doorbell

Take the time to research what you like and what’s available before finalizing a budget. Below, you will find information that will help you get an accurate quote from your supplier!

STEP 2. Determine door size 

When measuring the door size, the term “door size” refers to the width of your front entry door. The most common entry door is a 36-inch entry door. A wide 42-inch entry door or 5-foot double entry doors (two 30 x 80 exterior doors paired up to provide a larger opening) are also popular. Larger openings offer easier wheelchair access and furniture moving and can also make a statement in your entry way. Most doors come in a standard height of 80 inches (6 feet, 8 inches).

STEP 3. Choose your configuration

When builder supply companies ask, “What configuration do you want?” they are asking if you want a single front door or double front door, and whether you want decorative sidelights or an overhead transom.

Sidelights are the panels that flank and accentuate a front door. Sidelights can be glass, wood or fiberglass, and can be opaque for privacy or not. Entry doors with sidelights can transform an ordinary entry into an entry way that looks unique. A transom is made from decorative glass inserts that are installed above the door to fill your entryway with natural light.

STEP 4. Choose material and style

Front entry doors can be constructed of many different materials, from the wood to newer UPVC and fiber glass models. Choosing the right material, especially on exterior facing doors / front entryway, is critical for the longevity and appearance of the door.

Entry Door Material

  • Solid Core Wooden Doors – Solid core wooden doors are heavily constructed doors made from whole bits of timber. These doors are most commonly used as front entrance doors or where soundproofing, insulation or security are a priority. Wood species such as Pine, Fir, Knotty Alder, Poplar, Mahogany, Cherry, Knotty Pine, Maple, Oak (White and Red), Bamboo, Birch, Wire-Brushed Clear Pine, Wire-Brushed Douglas Fir, Hickory, Red Oak, Wire-Brushed Red Oak, Select Alder, Walnut, Wire-Brushed White Oak and more allow for a broad range of choices.
  • Aluminum Doors – Aluminum is a lightweight, strong, durable and affordable material. Aluminum is used to construct security doors and garage doors. Note: aluminum is a poor insulator and conducts heat easily.
  • Steel Doors – Steel is the toughest material on the market and offers excellent security. Steel is commonly used in the construction of front and exterior doors, screen doors and grilles.
  • Fiberglass Doors – Fiberglass doors offer excellent strength, waterproofing, soundproofing and insulation.
  •  Glass Doors – Glass doors are beautiful to look at and offer natural light to enhance a home’s interior. Commonly used as an entry to an outdoor living space, a patio or enclosed sun room, glass doors are making their way into kitchens, recreational rooms, offices and more to give off a larger and more spacious interior area.
  •  Leadlight Doors / Stained Glass Doors – Lead lighting and stained glass can be expensive, but they can add a tremendous amount to a home in terms of character visual appeal.
  •  UPC or Vinyl Doors – UPVC can be used to construct solid, lightweight doors, but it’s more commonly used as a strong, cost effective framing material for things like glass doors.
  • Mirrored Doors – Appearing almost exclusively as sliding wardrobe doors, mirrored doors help create the illusion of more space in bedrooms.
  •  Hollow Core Doors – Cheaper and more lightweight than solid core doors, hollow core doors are often used for interior doors including closets and pantry doors to keep costs down.

Flush or Paneled?

A “flush” front entry door’s surface is flat from top to bottom. A “paneled” door is one that has molded patterns that can take the shape of squares, rectangles or arches. These molded patterns are usually removed when glass is inserted into the door. The enhancements can give the paneled door–and your entire entryway–a more elegant, refined and sophisticated look.

Surface Type

Front entry doors typically come in two surface types: smooth and textured. This is true for wooden doors as well as the more durable fiberglass models. The guideline for both is simple: if you want to paint the entry door, choose one with a smooth surface. Painting lets you accent or highlight the door with bright bold colors or the softer, more subdued tones that are currently in vogue. If you want a more natural look that brings out the grain or lines, choose a textured entry door that you can stain.

Entry Door Style

Door manufacturers have identified five main front door “styles,” all of which are available at Tree Court Builders Supply.

Choose a style for your front door that complements the design of your home and adds curb appeal. Your front entry door can represent you or your family’s personality. If you are more traditional, you may opt for a classic wood paneled door. Or if you are more artistic, you may include decorative glass elements. Because every house and homeowner is different, picking a front door that suits you and your home is important.

Traditional / Classic Warm, welcoming and familiar, classic style entry doors are a huge favorite of homeowners in older, more well-established neighborhoods, and anyone who wants to refresh (but not drastically change) their entryway’s aesthetic.

Craftsman Usually one piece and characterized by square edges, sharp lines and a fine vertical grain, Craftsman Style Front Doors often feature an elegant ornamental shelf called a “dentil” that’s missing from most other door styles.

Contemporary / Modern With their smooth, flush surface and simple unpretentious design, Contemporary Entry Doors are stylish, trendy and expressive. Contemporary Entry Doors don’t have panels and are typically painted in an eye-catching color or hue.

Decorative What makes an entry door “decorative” is the addition of ornamental metal grilles, beautiful glass panels–or both–which combine to give your door an alluring, sophisticated look and an extra measure of security.

Rustic With their distinctive, handcrafted-by-artisans look, rustic style front doors give your entryway an air of old-world charm that best complements Tuscan, Southwestern or European-country architecture.


STEP 5. Choose front door glass inserts, door color and hardware

When choosing a detailed decorative glass door style, there are many options that you can choose from. Aside from iron inserts and the frame that holds it, you will have to determine what type of glass you would like to use. After choosing glass inserts, you will want to choose a door color. Natural wood grains, paint on a smoother surface and texture are all considerations when choosing your door color. Lastly, selecting the type of hardware for your front entry door can be one of the best experiences because there are so many options to choose from.

Check back soon for other blog posts that detail types of door glass inserts, how to choose a door color and selecting hardware for your new front door!

Call us at 636-225-7717 with questions or a FREE quote today!