3 Keys to Creating a Customized Outdoor Space

August 30, 2021 Interview, Patio Design

Customizing your patio isn’t just a great way to enjoy your outdoor space, it’s also a terrific way to showcase your style. The three owners of Houston-based Texas Custom Patios, husband and wife Rob and Katherine Douglass and Steven Schell, have learned an array of techniques for maximizing any outdoor space. They’ve discovered that the best patio designs are a blend of a home’s architecture and the owners’ personal style.

See more of this project

Creating the market. In 2004, Rob Douglass saw an opportunity. Working for the YMCA and living in Fort Bend County, he noticed “a lot of rooftops going up,” he says. “Although the new homes were on decent-sized lots, the new backyards had a 10-by-10 slab and not much else.” Douglass realized he could create a specialized service designing and building outdoor living spaces, dining areas and kitchens. He brought his wife, Katherine, on as partner and then enlisted the help of YMCA co-worker Schell.

See more of this project

Your new favorite room. In the ensuing 15 years, the company has grown to include offices in Houston and now Dallas. The team has created an array of outdoor living rooms, customized kitchen spaces, dining and living rooms with outdoor entertainment centers, as well as customized pool houses. “We’ve learned from all the mistakes,” says Schell, who has a background in architectural drafting as well as his on-the-job experience. “We spend a lot of time designing and building each job and have gotten pretty good at it. We can give our customers a good assessment on how and what they should do.”

Ready to fully customize your patio? 

See more of this project

1. Extend Your Home’s Architecture

“A typical outdoor project gives people 500 square feet of shade and adds a dining space and a lounging space,” Douglass says. “We can also add kitchens and fire features, but our main goal is to match those outdoor rooms to the home’s original style.”

The patio of this Houston brick traditional home was created by extending the home’s wide overhanging roof line and then matching the trim detail of the original structure. The team added Craftsman-style columns and coffered ceilings with oversize beams to the roof’s interior. Two new French doors provide easier access to the outdoor space from inside. “The owners really liked the mix of the brick and the white wood,” Douglass says.

See more of this project

2. Make It Your Own

Designing a patio provides a great opportunity to design and build a new favorite room. “Most people really enjoy the opportunity to customize the space to reflect their style,” Schell says. This Houston pool house was originally designed to be an open porch with a contemporary flair. “It was partially enclosed,” Schell says. “However, the owners wanted both a fireplace and custom kitchen.”

Schell designed a waterfall island wrapped in white oak for the kitchen, then used large terrazzo tiles as a backsplash. He finished the floor with Pennsylvania bluestone. In the sitting area, a contemporary gas fireplace features ceramic fire balls. The owners liked the resulting space so much, they decided to transform it into a full pool house that could be used all year. Schell added glass windows and accordion-style glass doors.

See more of this project

3. Take Up Some Space

For comfort’s sake, don’t skimp on space. “In the initial planning stage, we ask in-depth questions,” Douglass says. “It’s important to consider exactly how someone plans to use a space.” By getting into the nitty-gritty of how many people will sit at a dining table, for example, or whether a family entertains a lot, the team can plan for the appropriate amount of square footage. “If you want an outdoor kitchen, you’ll need enough space to move around,” Douglass says. “You don’t want to be backing into the grill, for example.”

This 850-square-foot patio in Houston is ideal for entertaining. The natural stone work area includes a grill and a power burner for crawfish. Both the lounge and dining table can accommodate up to 10 guests. The white brick walls and tile floor are offset by a dark wood tongue-and-groove ceiling.

For more information or examples of Texas Custom Patios’ work, visit the Houzz profile.

This story was written by the Houzz Sponsored Content team.

Recipes of the Month: PHAT FOODS

August 30, 2021 Outdoor Cooking

This month we are featuring “PHAT FOODS” – Pretty Hot And Tempting bites of deliciousness! A little spice is always nice, so let’s finish out the summer with something we are all used to in Texas… HEAT!

Nashville Hot Whole-Roasted Cauliflower

Jalapeno Pimento Cheese

Brie with Spiced Nuts and Caramel

Spicy Corn Kabobs

Spicy Cajun Potato Salad

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Chicken Pepper Sliders

Spicy Touchdown Chili

Firecracker Chicken

Chocolate Chili Dipped Sriracha Peanut Butter Cookies

Hibiscus Vodka Cocktail with Mint and Jalapeno

And The Winner Is …..

July 31, 2021 Awards

The Texas Association of Builders (TAB) announced the 2021 Star Awards winners in conjunction with the 20th Sunbelt Builders Show™ at Hilton Anatole Dallas. There were a record setting 720 entries that resulted in eight Grand Awards and 173 elite trophies being handed out. These awards are highly coveted within the industry. Our great State should be proud of its builders, remodelers, architects, designers, developers, and sales, marketing, and construction professionals. Projects and nominations were submitted by 120 companies from 60 cities across Texas. In 1992, TAB launched the Star Awards – the only statewide tribute to excellence in the homebuilding industry.

Texas Custom Patios is excited to be amongst such a stellar group of builders and remodelers. We are pleased to announce we placed as a finalist for three different projects!

We brought home the win for “Remodeler – Best Outdoor Living Space” for the project below!

Click here to see full details of the winning project!


Can We Build Your Style? Yes, We Can!

July 31, 2021 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

We aren’t just a one-style builder.  Adding your personal flare to your outdoor space is what it’s all about.  We do build to look original to your home, but there are always details that can be added to enhance the style you are looking for.  Putting little twists can transform the look of an area, it doesn’t have to be a major overhaul. 

Just a few examples…

French Country – add a little window box, shiplap or even a chandelier

Mid-century Modern – incorporate clean and simple lines

Rustic – add beautiful cedar beams

Hill Country – include rock and stone finishes

There are so many ways TCP can help you get the look you want with the right details and material selections.  

Here’s a small example of the different styles of projects we have done in the past:

More completed projects can be found on our Houzz page, click here!  

And while we are planning …

You want to know how soon you’ll be able to enjoy your new outdoor style life?  Use the handy guide below to know when your custom patio project needs to begin in order to be completed by these commonly requested dates. Factors such as material supplies and weather prevent us from guaranteeing completion dates, but we understand your desire for having projects completed for the important elements of your outdoor style lifestyle. We created this guide to give us the best opportunity to serve you by getting started in a timely fashion for your desired completion date.  If for instance you are hoping to have something built by Super Bowl Sunday … NOW is the time to call and get the process started!

 

Recipes of the Month: Summer Lovin’

July 29, 2021 Outdoor Celebrations, Outdoor Cooking

When the sun’s OUT and sizzlin’, these recipes are IN! Enjoy what’s left of summer with these tired and true seasonal favs!

Summer Tomato and Burrata Salad

Cucumber and Hummus Boats

Rustic Tomato Pie

Mint-Cucumber Tomato Sandwiches

California Roll Wraps

Grilled Chicken and Mango Skewers

Key Lime Pound Cake

Sweet Cherry and Cream Parfait

Fizzy Peach Shake

Watermelon and Blackberry Sangria

Rosemary Strawberry Daiquiri

Margarita Floats

A Shining Star in Texas

May 28, 2021 Awards

The Texas Association of Builders (TAB) announced the 2021 Star Awards finalists. For the third straight year, the program witnessed a record breaking 720 entries within the 162 elite categories. Projects and nominations were submitted by 120 companies from 60 cities across the state.


This year’s record number of entries once again showcases the exceptional talent within the residential construction industry in Texas. Our great State should be proud of its builders, remodelers, architects, and designers as well as its sales, marketing, and construction professionals. It is an honor to be recognized as a finalist among this group of distinguished leaders.

Texas Custom Patios is excited to be amongst such a stellar group of builders and remodelers. We are pleased to announce we placed as a finalist for three different projects!


TAB launched the Star Awards program in 1992 and it remains the only statewide tribute to excellence in the homebuilding industry. For the first time in program history, the Star Awards were judged virtually. The out-of-state panelists were tasked with selecting the best of the best by reviewing and evaluating the entries. 


Winners will be announced on July 15, the last day of the Sunbelt Builders Show™. 

Because Being Outside is Happy

May 28, 2021 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

The Washington Post recently posted an article, “The new American status symbol: A backyard that’s basically a fancy living room,” basically saying stackable plastic chairs and charcoal grills are out…

But loaded, supersize, decked-out deck with an outdoor living room, dining area, 54-inch grill, full kitchen, bar, two-draft kegerator, oversize island, massive weatherproof television, elaborate sound system and semicircular fire lounges are in.

Photo Credit: The Washington Post

What’s not to love? You’ll take all of it? But when? How long will it take? So many questions, right? Knowing when to start building your backyard patio is half the battle and then knowing who to go with is the other battle. Picking out your design, working on the layout, and buying furniture is the fun part!

Texas Custom Patios provides a turnkey custom design project. Our specialty is building projects that look original to the home, including patio covers, pergolas, screened porches, room additions, guest houses, decks, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and custom patios. We do all the fun stuff too, you know … oversized islands, elaborate sound systems and stunning fire lounges.

Fire features are great, but the most popular way to bring the heat to your outdoor living space is with an outdoor kitchen!

We can customize your outdoor kitchen area to have whatever you want:

  • built in propane or natural gas
  • large or small grill
  • a sideburner
  • refrigerator or wine cooler
  • drawers and cabinets for storage
  • running water
  • ice maker
  • kegerator… the list is endless

After you slice and dice outside, why not have dinner on the patio? Creating space for a dining table is perfect for entertaining family and friends.

Keep the party outside all night long, by adding a lounge space to kick back and watch TV, listen to music or just relax and look at your view!

And when you’re ready to come back inside, seamless transitions from outdoors to indoor are sliding to the top in popularity!

And when you take away the traditional doors and add seamless transitions to your home, it makes your indoor living space feel larger! Taking your holiday decor outside for some fun in the sun is fun, too!

We have all been stuck inside for too long! Everyone is ready to get out and enjoy a backyard get-together, so if you build it, they will come! Because after all, being outside is happy!

To read The Washington Post’s full article click here.

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

Our Customers Love Us

Rob came by our house and looked at what we wanted. We wanted our patio to cover a width of 50 feet between our bedroom and garage. Our garage was not parallel to our house and posed a building problem, but Rob solved that problem and blended our patio with our house and the garage. The crews were very professional and did a fantastic job. They cleaned up after themselves every day, and the backyard was immaculate when they finished. Rob did a fantastic job designing our patio the way we wanted it to be. Texas Custom Patios was the only company that also properly designed the patio for us. We love the results and would only recommend them to anyone else looking to add an outdoor living area to their home. They are a first rate company.

© 2021 Texas Custom Patios

Let's Get Started Today!

Give us a call or fill out a web inquiry! We look forward to working with you on your outdoor living space. Take a look at our many blogs regarding budgets and designs as well as looking through our large portfolio of projects. Let us help you create the outdoor living space you are dreaming of!