What is Transitional Style?

August 5, 2022 Uncategorized

Many customers start the process of building an outdoor space without knowing their design style. There are many steps you can take to determine what you’re drawn to which will help us design your space, including checking out our blog on several of the different design styles. But, there is one style that we see our customers leaning towards the most often. It’s called transitional. Because it’s a blend of modern and traditional styles, it can make your space look classic while also feeling current.

Transitional Style Basics

This versatile style has wide appeal because it marries traditional and contemporary furniture, finishes, materials, and fabrics for a timeless look. The modern right angles and crisp lines are balanced with rounded traditional silhouettes and comfortable furniture so it’s neither too edgy or too stuffy.

Some key attributes of transitional style include:

  • A neutral palette
  • Patterns and texture
  • Symmetry
  • Wood accents
  • Concrete/solid colors (not tile)
  • Modern lighting
  • Clean roof lines and colors
  • Comfortable seating

Your Backyard Getaway

Many fans of transitional style feel like it gives their home a “resort” feel, like they are getting away in their own home. However, this doesn’t mean it has an exotic look or a European style, just more clean and relaxing. Transitional often blends well with your current home but takes it up a notch, which our customers love and is one of our specialties. It’s a great way to update an out-of-date house and bring in serious style without looking like it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the home.

Transitional Style Examples

Contact Us

Take a look at some of our transitional outdoor designs and give us a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth so we can help you bring your relaxing, transitional escape to life.

How Much Does an Outdoor Patio Cost?

July 29, 2022 Uncategorized

The one-word question: budget? It’s tough to answer “How much does an outdoor patio cost?” when it comes to an outdoor living space. So many factors go into the final quote. And, yes, it is constantly changing due to the cost of materials and labor.

Decisions, Decisions

Here at TCP, our years of experience help us account for the many different aspects of creating a budget. The main things that will impact the cost:

  • Size of project
  • Types of finishes
  • Roof lines and existing structures
  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Custom fireplace
  • Screens
  • Electric heaters. 

The Basics

Let’s start simple – what size project is needed? An average project for us is in the 400-500 square foot range. That allows space for a dining area and a living room area (think table and chairs for 4-6 and a couch and one side chair). This size project—which typically includes pouring or adding concrete, building a fully shingled covered patio with simple, basic finishes—would be in the $40-80K range. For upgraded finishes like a nicer ceiling, stone or brick on the columns, stucco, and upgraded flooring, it would be in the 60-80K range. Of course, a larger space would add to the cost.

Adding an Outdoor Kitchen

In your backyard, kitchens can be a simple grilling station or a full-blown gourmet outdoor kitchen. Something simple would be 8-10 linear feet which would add $15-25K to the project. Anything larger would add $25K+ to your project. There are so many options for appliances, countertops, backsplashes, and the fascia for your kitchen (brick, stone, stucco, tile) that additional costs can vary widely.

Outdoor kitchen with grill and green egg.

Heat Things Up

Adding a fire feature will also add to your budget. A full-blown fireplace—whether wood burning or natural gas—will generally add $15-25K to your project. Again, lots of options to consider. You have your choice of stone, mantle, hearth, hanging a TV above it, building in storage or cabinets—the list is endless. 

So, what about just a firepit? If you want a fire feature and are on a stricter budget, this may be the way to go. Wood burning or natural gas will typically add $5-10K to your project. The size, shape and type of stone used will affect the cost as well.

Outdoor patio with fireplace

Additional Upgrades

Two more things to budget for: motorized screens or electric heaters. Motorized screens are built custom to fit the openings of your space. Consider adding up to $2-5K per opening. And electric heaters are such a great way to add to your evening enjoyment on cool nights. These would add $2-4K per heater. It all depends on the size of the heater you choose.

Example Budgets in Houston and Dallas

Answering the how much an outdoor patio should cost is possible—it just takes planning. This guide below can give you a good idea on how to budget for your wants and needs.

  1. Budget for $40-80K for about 400 sq. feet (table and couch setup)
    1. Heaters, screens, higher-end finishes, and speakers add cost.
  2. Simple stamped concrete and ceiling (not gable) runs in the $50K range.
  3. Higher-end spaces with an outdoor kitchen run from $60-120K+ including appliances. Size, finishes and running utilities affect the price.
  4. Adding a fireplace is around the same price as adding a kitchen.
  5. Fireplace and kitchen? Cost will be $100K+.

Project of the Month: July 2022

July 22, 2022 Uncategorized
Backyard pool and living area

Our July 2022 Project of the Month is our backyard reno. The homeowner was interested in creating a whole new look for their backyard.  They were having a pool installed and wanted to create a larger outdoor living room to accommodate an outdoor kitchen, dining area, fireplace and sitting area.  The yard had a small covered space with a small outdoor kitchen that was just not large enough for their lifestyle.

TCP designed and built a new 550SF patio cover attached to the home that included all of the items they were looking for.  The new structure has stucco finishes to match the home and a beautiful wood tongue and groove ceiling (Real tone Fine Line Smokey Bourbon).  The flooring they chose is a 16×32 Stones & More Burl White exterior tile from Thorntree.

Outdoor kitchen with fireplace

The custom kitchen includes RCS brand appliances – 40” grill, cutlass side burner, drawers and doors, outdoor fridge, sink and an under counter ice maker. The counters are all a stunning granite from Pomogranit Stones called Titanium Leather finish.  The waterfall edges create a very dramatic look. The outer edge of the island is faced with New Wave Crystal White Marble tiles from Thorntree.

The fire feature is a custom gas fire place with reclaimed firebrick in a herring bone pattern.  The mantle is a custom floating mantle to create the perfect focal point of the space.  The fireplace wall serves as the perfect stop for the putting green that was installed along the side of the home, as well as creating privacy from their neighbors.

Once the pool was installed, we added stepping stones around it to match the flooring of the new space.  In addition to the new space, we updated the small covered area off the master bedroom to have the same ceiling and flooring as the new space.

This new outdoor living room was exactly what they were looking for.

The Different Types of Patio Doors

July 22, 2022 Uncategorized

A great way to connect your indoor and outdoor spaces is to install patio doors. They give you instant access and can let in much needed light to make your home feel bigger. Here’s a look into different types and some tips on installation and timeline.

Patio with traditional door

French Doors

These are a set of two hinged doors that close into each other. They can both be opened to widen access to the outside or one can be locked to give you flexibility of airflow. They typically consist of many small window panels that can be designed in simple patterns or more ornate depending on the style you’re looking for.

Tip: French doors can be combined with windows on either side to let in more light.

Pool and patio with french doors

Sliding Doors

These minimalist doors are great for a more contemporary look. They help save space by reducing the room needed for doors to swing out, and they let it more light since they are not obstructed by panels.

Pool and room addition with folding doors

Folding Doors

Also known as accordion doors, these are the ultimate way to create a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors. They feature a sliding track that lets the door completely fold out of the way. While they are typically used in more modern or contemporary homes, they come in a variety of styles that can fit into any decor. 

Tips: 

  • Currently, 16-foot folding doors that collapse and open from the middle are a very popular option that many homeowners are installing
  • It can cost up to $30,000 for folding doors due to the price of the doors themselves and the complexity of installation.

Door Materials

Once you decide the style of door you want, you can then determine the materials used. 

  • Wood: typically used on french doors, they are the least expensive and most customizable option
  • Vinyl: they are energy efficient and have a low upkeep
  • Fiberglass: similar to vinyl, they are inexpensive yet solid and lightweight
  • Aluminum: they are durable against the elements and resist mold and mildew
  • Steel: the strongest option, they resist rotting, warping, and shrinking and offer great security 

Tips: 

  • You can combine materials by using decorative wood on the inside and a sturdier material on the outside
  • If your outdoor area is covered, you may not need more expensive doors since they are already protected from the elements
Outdoor eating area with big patio french doors

Door Installation

Once you’ve decided on your style and material, it’s time to install. Custom doors can take 5 months or more for delivery. Due to the complexity of installation, you should only use professional door installers to ensure proper structural support, energy efficiency, and protection from the elements. 

If you’re looking to give your outdoor space a new life, give one of our outdoor specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth. We can do it all, including custom patios and outdoor living spaces with premium patio doors installed by experienced experts.

Environmentally Friendly Outdoor Furniture

July 7, 2022 Uncategorized

A big step in planning your outdoor patio is picking out furniture pieces to fill the space once it’s complete. It’s always great to consider sustainability, and there are more and more options that will look good, last, and have less impact on the environment. Here’s what to look for when picking environmentally friendly outdoor furniture.

Start with the manufacturing process

Look for companies that use sustainable materials and low-impact processes when constructing their furniture. Many eco-friendly brand websites will give you an inside look into their production process to give you as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision. 

For wood furniture, make sure they are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). For plastic furniture, check what percentage is actually made from recycled plastics. And check their factory’s carbon footprint to make sure they are offsetting their usage with adequate recycling and reduced waste.

Patio with wood outdoor furniture around fireplace

Go with timeless, versatile outdoor furniture

The longer you use your furniture, the better. If you choose trendy pieces that go out of style in 10 years, you may have to replace them. Instead, go with timeless pieces that will last. And think about smaller, more versatile tables and chairs that can be reconfigured over time to switch up the layout without having to buy new pieces.

Spend a little more on environmentally friendly outdoor furniture

Another way to make sure your furniture is around for a long time is to buy pieces that are made to last. High quality products carry a higher price tag, but it’s better to spend the money upfront than to have the furniture fall to pieces in a few years. You’ll end up replacing them and sending the old pieces to a landfill. Check the company’s warranties. If they guarantee their products will last 20 years, that’s a good indicator. 

Patio with wicker outdoor furniture

Take good care of them

Proper maintenance will make sure your furniture lasts a long time. Follow the care instructions including covering furniture in the winter, putting pillows away, properly washing cushions, re-sealing wood, and anything else the manufacturer suggests.

When you’re ready for your new patio to put your environmentally friendly outdoor furniture, give one of our outdoor specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Outdoor Water Features: The Different Types

July 1, 2022 Uncategorized

Whether you want to add a touch of elegance, a bit of nature, or if you just love the soothing sounds of water, outdoor water features can be a perfect touch for your space. Here’s a look at the different types and what it takes to install them.

Natural Pond

For an organic look, these features can be built to flow with your existing landscape and can be a home for plants and wildlife. They are normally excavated from the ground and given a liner and a pump to keep the water clean.

Pros:

  • The shape and look is completely customizable
  • They can appear as if they were naturally occurring

Cons:

  • They require some level of excavation, which may need specialty equipment
  • Liners can rip or get punctured
  • Pumps can sometimes fail, requiring maintenance

Waterfalls

These elegant features provide the sound of trickling water and can become a focal point for your outdoor space. They are normally built where the water slowly flows down and is pumped back up from the reservoir.

Pros:

  • They are very customizable as they can be made from a variety of materials to match your space
  • They can be built on an existing wall or as a new freestanding feature
  • Lighting can be added to create whatever mood you wish

Cons:

  • They require a filter that needs to be changed
  • They periodically break down and maintenance can be costly

Scuppers and Sconces

If you’re installing a pool, these features add visual interest and are a great way to cool off. 

A sconce is a small decorative piece that provides a small trickle of water. Multiples are often used together to create a bigger effect.

A scupper is a feature that brings water from one section of a pool to another. For example, it can bring water from the spa into the main pool area.

Pros:

  • They add an elegant look and sound
  • There are many design options, including lighting to accentuate the feature

Cons:

  • Scuppers can be expensive
  • They make pool construction a little more complicated and add time

Fountains

Whether you want big and bold or a slow, soothing trickle, a fountain delivers the sights and sounds of flowing water. These features can be a part of pools or ponds, or can be added as their own freestanding element. Similar to waterfalls, they use a pump that feeds water from a reservoir back to the top of the feature. How high they spray or flow over is up to you.

Pros:

  • They can fit any design style from natural to more high end
  • There are many pump sizes to fit whatever scale you need
  • They can accompany other water features such as bubblers and sconces

Cons:

  • Filter changing and cleaning makes them difficult to maintain
  • Maintenance can become expensive

Give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth and we can help help you plan your perfect backyard space.

Retractable Porch Screens: The Pros and Cons

June 24, 2022 Uncategorized

Retractable porch screens have long been considered a functional addition to any patio design. However, many people don’t like the idea of a permanent enclosure that blocks their view. After all, part of the enjoyment of an outdoor living space is the natural ambiance.

Retractable screens offer a more flexible and cost-effective alternative to permanent screens or walls. They allow you to appreciate the outdoor elements you enjoy and block out the ones that aren’t as pleasant.

You should be aware of a few things when deciding whether to install retractable screens. They offer several benefits, but there are a couple of drawbacks. 

Let’s start with the beneficial aspects.

Patio with retractable screens and fireplace

Pro: Year-round Indoor Outdoor Living

One of the most attractive reasons for installing a retractable porch screen is to be able to enjoy your patio year-round. If you live in an extremely hot climate, you can block the sun and keep the cooler air circulating. In cold temperatures, you can keep warm air circulating—whether it’s from a fireplace or from inside.

Patio with retractable screens down around dining area

Pro: Protection from Bugs

Keep your invited guests safe from uninvited guests such as mosquitoes or other flying insects. Imagine dining outdoors without any surprises landing in your wine glass! 

Pro and Con: Cost

Retractable porch screens can be pricey for some budgets. But they are still less expensive than most permanent screens and walls. 

In addition, retractable screens add value to your home, so they can be worth the investment.

Overall, retractable porch screens are extremely convenient, however there are some cons. 

Con: Maintenance

Retractable screens have moving parts that require maintenance. If any of these components are damaged, several adjustments might need to be made during a repair.  

Other climate factors may also play a role in how well screen parts hold up. For example, humid conditions may cause the moving parts to rust more quickly.

Con: Pet Damage

Screens may take some getting used to for your furry friends. Pets can cause damage by trying to squeeze underneath or clawing at the screen.

Final Thoughts

Retractable porch screens can be a wise investment with proper planning and maintenance. They provide protection from less than favorable outdoor conditions with the convenience of being hidden when not in use.

If you need help creating a design that incorporates a retractable screen into your outdoor living space, give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth. 

Check out our STAR Award-nominated spaces!

Our 2022 Star Award-Nominated Properties

June 8, 2022 Uncategorized

Introducing our 2022 Star Award-Nominated Properties

Since 1992, the Texas Association of Builders has recognized the talented builders, remodelers, architects, and designers within the Lonestar State. In 2022, the association received an astounding 600 entries. We were pleased to have 3 of our projects are Star Award-Nominated in the room addition and outdoor living room categories!

Award-Nominated: A Modern Room Addition With a Poolside View

Built to match the style of a classic mid-century modern home in the Houston area, this outdoor oasis of a pool house included space for working, entertaining, and, of course, relaxing by the fire.

Star Award-Nominated: Outdoor Living Done French-Country Style

The cascading steps, elegant arches, vaulted ceilings, and cream limestone walls are distinctly European yet somehow fit perfectly with the rustic Texas home.

Award-Nominated: An L-Shaped Dream Within a Backyard

We added over 550SF of covered space surrounding the pool area to create a contemporary outdoor retreat with privacy from neighbors and custom finishes reminiscent of a boutique hotel.

About TCP Custom Outdoor Living

TCP Custom Outdoor Living is a family-owned and operated business located in Houston, Texas and Irving, Texas, but our service area covers most of the greater Houston area and parts of the Dallas – Fort Worth area. We have completed more than 2,000 outdoor living projects since we opened our doors in 2004. Find out more about us the TCP Difference.

What Type of Furniture is Best for Your Patio?

June 3, 2022 Uncategorized

The right patio furniture adds to the overall design of your patio and invites you and your guests to live in the space.

With so many options available, it can be challenging to find pieces that work best for your lifestyle and design.

Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular patio furniture options.

Patio with fire pit and wicker chairs

Wicker Patio Furniture

Outdoor wicker furniture is typically made of a synthetic resin woven into a wicker pattern. It’s a popular choice because it’s durable, easy to clean, and lightweight enough to be moved easily.

Look for wicker furniture made of a synthetic resin with of High-Density Polyethelene (HDPE). Less expensive wicker furniture is often made from PVC. However, PVC is not as durable and may crack and peel more quickly.

Patio cover with lamp and wrought iron chairs with cushions

Wrought Iron Patio Furniture

Looking for something a little more substantial? Wrought iron is one of the most durable types of furniture. You can find handcrafted pieces that last a lifetime.

White patio with wood couch, chairs and table

Wood

When it comes to wood outdoor furniture, we usually recommend teak. Many people are attracted to its durability and natural look. Due to its natural oils, it can withstand some of the most extreme weather conditions.

Teak tends to take on a grayish patina over time, so it’s recommended to have it refinished at least every two years.

Aluminum Patio Furniture

Aluminum is the most common type of outdoor furniture due its budget-friendliness. Despite a lower cost, aluminum furniture is lightweight and hold up well.

Modern patio with couch and fireplace

Cushions and Pillows

Water-resistant cushions normally come with your outdoor furniture. But you can always refresh the look of your outdoor space with new cushions and pillows.

Look for cushions and pillows that are made of weather-resistant materials that can withstand moisture and long periods of sunlight. 

We can help design the right patio. Get a free quote today at https://texascustompatios.com/contact/.

What Kind of Fan is Right for Your Outdoor Space?

May 27, 2022 Patio Design

A ceiling fan is one of the simplest upgrades you can make to your covered patio. The right outdoor ceiling fan adds a decorative and functional touch to your design. 

Choosing a ceiling fan for your outdoor space is similar to selecting a fan indoors. However, there are a few things to consider to ensure the longevity of your ceiling fan.

Moisture

Outdoor fans have damp or wet ratings. This rating indicates the amount of moisture a fixture is built to withstand. 

Damp-rated fans can withstand moderate amounts of moisture. However, you should avoid installing these in areas that may be directly exposed to rain. Therefore, damp-rated fans work better under covered patio spaces.

Wet-rated fans have a more waterproof design. As a result, they can withstand more moisture and are better suited for exposed areas such as pergolas.

Outdoor fan with pool

Other Environmental Factors

High winds and salty humidity may impact ceiling fan performance. If you’re in an area with special weather conditions (hello, Houston), look for a fan specifically designed to withstand the elements.

Determining the Size

The best way to determine the best size for your ceiling fan is to use the square footage of the space. For larger areas that may require two fans, use the square footage of each section to determine the most suitable size for each fan.

Spaces up to 75 square feet = 29-36 inch

Spaces 76-144 square feet = 36-42 inch

Spaces 144-225 square feet = 44 inch

Spaces 225-400 square feet = 50-54 inch

Outdoor living room with ceiling fan

DC vs. AC

DC fans are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency and quiet, less bulky motors. However, these fans tend to be more costly and usually require remote control operation.

On the other hand, AC fans usually cost less and can be controlled via a wall panel and remote. Some also come with chain switches, making operation more reliable.

Pool house with fan

Style

Now for the fun part: choosing a fan that complements your outdoor living style

Whether you’re looking for an iconic mid-century modern design, something more traditional, or anything in between, there are styles available to fit any space.

One simple approach is to use the same ceiling fans you’re using indoors. If you plan to do this, make sure that your indoor ceiling fan is damp- or wet-rated.

Need help designing your outdoor living space? Give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Have a project in mind? We work throughout the Houston and Dallas - Fort Worth areas.

Our Customers Love Us

TCP Custom Outdoor Living did an awesome job on our cover. I have enjoyed everything about it. The crew did a great job before, during, and after. I highly recommend them to everyone. Thank You for a beautiful patio.

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