TnT Builders moved into its new space at 620 Queen Ave. S.W. in mid-December, after operating out of a home office for 20 years.
For years, the home office worked well.
“It made it very easy to be a stay-at-home mom and still have a full-time job,” said Trish Irwin, who owns the business with her husband Trent Irwin.
But with the growth of the company — such as new hires, more trucks and trailers — things got too close for comfort, Irwin added.
TnT Builders specializes in decks, patio covers and pergolas, and because of the business’ narrow focus, the Irwins can be more creative than competitors in meeting customers’ needs, they said.
“This is all we do. We’re really good at it,” Trent Irwin said, adding that TnT can easily handle options like curved decks, rather than a rectangular shape.
One customer wanted the ceiling of his patio cover to look like stars, so the Irwins embedded lights in the structure to simulate the night sky, complete with constellations.
“If you have some wild, crazy idea, tell us, and we’ll find a way to incorporate it,” Trent Irwin said.
TnT Builders — the name stands for Trish and Trent — started off as a framing company that would create decks on the side.
But more of the couple’s friends started wanting decks or patio covers in 2003 and 2004, and word spread about the quality of TnT’s projects. By 2007 or so, decks and patio covers had become the company’s niche.
That timing worked nicely with the downturn in the economy. People started improving their homes, such as investing in outdoor living arrangements, instead of looking to upgrade to a more expensive house, the Irwins said.
Lately, more customers have been asking for screened porches, Trent Irwin said.
TnT’s main client base is the Willamette Valley from Salem to the Brownsville area, but the Irwins have also done jobs on the Oregon Coast and in Eastern Oregon.
The Irwins said they did about a month’s worth of remodeling at their new office, and they plan on finishing up a side yard to put up exterior displays this year.
Construction materials have changed over the years, and capped composites, which are storm and fade resistant, have taken over the patio industry. Embedded lighting in decks also is becoming popular.
TnT Builders recently won a customer service award from Houzz, an online database that lets users browse through millions of photos of home improvement design ideas. Less than 3 percent of companies receive the Best of Houzz awards.