Patios vs. Pergolas: Weighing the Benefits of Outdoor Structures

April 24, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Living, Patio Design

As the boundaries between indoor and outdoor living continue to blur, the importance of creating a functional and inviting outdoor space has never been greater. Whether you’re seeking a secluded retreat for relaxation or a stylish setting for entertaining guests, the choice between a fully covered patio and a pergola can significantly impact the ambiance and functionality of your outdoor oasis. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the unique benefits of each option, from shelter and privacy to aesthetics and versatility, to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle. 

Custom Outdoor Patios

Flexibility in Design: Crafting a Personalized Outdoor Retreat

Patios add functional outdoor living space to your home on a base level. This is especially valuable in areas like Texas, where the weather (and the cooling features and heaters) make spending time outside all year long possible. Potential buyers are looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors, and a spacious, well-equipped patio provides that sought-after space for entertaining, relaxing, and cooking. This added value is especially appealing to families with young children.

Hill Country Charm with Scandinavian Accents

Shelter from the Elements: The Full Covered Patio Advantage

When considering a full covered patio, one of its primary advantages lies in its ability to provide comprehensive protection from the elements. With a solid roof structure, this option shields you from harsh sunlight, heavy rain, and strong winds. Regardless of weather conditions, a covered patio ensures that your outdoor space remains comfortable and inviting, allowing you to enjoy al fresco living year-round.

Privacy and Seclusion: Creating Intimacy with a Covered Patio

Beyond weather protection, a full covered patio offers the added benefit of privacy. Its enclosed design creates a secluded sanctuary where you can unwind and entertain without worrying about prying eyes or external disturbances. Whether you’re hosting a family barbecue or enjoying a quiet moment with a book, the privacy afforded by a covered patio enhances the overall enjoyment of your outdoor experience.

Versatility and Customization: Tailoring Your Outdoor Oasis

Another advantage of a full covered patio lies in its versatility and customization options. From integrating ceiling fans and lighting fixtures to incorporating outdoor heating systems, the possibilities for personalization are endless. Whether you envision cozy evenings by the fireplace or lively gatherings under the stars, a covered patio serves as a blank canvas where you can bring your outdoor oasis dreams to life.

patio cover Houston

Pergolas

Timeless Charm: The Allure of the Pergola

In contrast, a pergola boasts unique benefits, starting with its timeless charm and architectural appeal. Characterized by an open-roof structure supported by columns, a pergola adds an elegant touch to your outdoor space, elevating it from ordinary to extraordinary. With its classic design, a pergola serves as a captivating focal point that enhances the overall aesthetic of your backyard.

Natural Ventilation: Enjoying the Breezy Comfort of a Pergola

One of the key advantages of a pergola is its promotion of natural ventilation. Thanks to its open-roof design, a pergola allows air to circulate freely, creating a cool and breezy atmosphere, particularly ideal for warm climates. Whether you’re lounging with a refreshing drink or dining al fresco, the natural ventilation provided by a pergola ensures that your outdoor experience remains comfortable and enjoyable.

Pergola

Whether you opt for the sheltered intimacy of a full-covered patio or the airy elegance of a pergola, both options promise to transform your outdoor space into a haven of comfort and style. Contact us today to talk through your personal preferences, requirements, and budget considerations and we can help you make a choice you will love for years to come. 

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

How Will a New Patio Raise My Home’s Value in 2024?

April 24, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Living, Patio Design

If you’re looking to upgrade your patio in 2024, you may wonder if the investment can increase the value of your home. The truth is that a well-designed and constructed patio can make a big difference when it’s time to sell your home. In fact, according to the National Association of Home Builders, a patio is the #2 most desirable feature in a home–and they’re willing to pay for it. 

Understanding the Appeal 

Patios add functional outdoor living space to your home on a base level. This is especially valuable in areas like Texas, where the weather (and the cooling features and heaters) make spending time outside all year long possible. Potential buyers are looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors, and a spacious, well-equipped patio provides that sought-after space for entertaining, relaxing, and cooking. This added value is especially appealing to families with young children.

An Added Plus Beyond Square Footage

While a covered patio or even a poolhouse or screened-in porch increases the livable space in your home, it will not increase the square footage when you list it. However, upgrades like an outdoor kitchen can help increase the price per square foot. House Beautiful even ranks outdoor gathering areas as one of the top five features that make a home sell over the asking price. 

Curb Appeal Matters–Even in the Backyard 

Often, when we think of curb appeal, we think of the front yard. But the same is true for the backyard. Whether it’s a fully covered patio or an elegant pergola, it can enhance the overall look of your home, adding to its curb appeal and making it more attractive to potential buyers. 

Don’t Underestimate the Personal Value

A custom patio is, more than anything, meant for you to enjoy exactly as you would like to by providing a place for the outdoor activities and hobbies you enjoy. But more likely than not, you’ll find someone who shares your interests. Potential buyers who enjoy grilling, gardening, or even just lounging in the sun, know that a patio is the perfect space to pursue these interests. 

Also, remember that while a TCP-built patio cover with shingles will last the life of your home, a pergola, depending on maintenance, has a more limited lifespan. 

Overall, upgrading your patio can be a great investment in increasing your home’s value. Not only does it add functional outdoor living space, but it can also improve the appearance of your property and provide a gathering place for parties and get-togethers. So if you’re looking to build a new patio, consider how it can add value to your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Pergola and outdoor living Houston

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

9 Questions We Hear About Pergolas, Including How Much Does It Cost?

March 25, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Living, Patio Design

There’s just something about pergolas. You see them in gardens, parks, or outdoor spaces constructed from vertical posts or columns supporting crossbeams and often an open lattice roof. You’re considering adding one to your backyard to provide shade, define outdoor spaces, and add architectural interest, but you’d like to do more research before committing.

Let’s tackle a few of the most common questions we hear from customers about these versatile and elegant structures:

  1. How well do pergolas block out the sun?

Depending on the design and spacing of the roof beams, pergolas offer partial shade. While they don’t completely block out the sun like a solid roof, they provide comfortable shade for outdoor activities.

Deck and pergola Houston

2. Is it cooler under a pergola? 

Yes, it can be cooler under a pergola than directly exposure to the sun. The open design allows air to circulate freely, creating a pleasant breeze and reducing the feeling of heat.

Pergola

3. Can pergolas stand up to high winds?

Pergolas can withstand moderate winds, but their ability to withstand high winds depends on various factors, such as the quality of construction, materials used, and anchoring methods. It’s advisable to consider local weather conditions and reinforce the pergola accordingly.

Cedar Pergola & Tile Flooring

4. How much does an essential pergola cost? 

The cost of a basic pergola can vary widely depending on factors like size, materials, and design complexity. While it is less expensive than adding a roof structure, the cost can increase when a durable plastic product is added to cover it. Maintenance should also be factored into the consideration of a pergola, as a stained wood product will need to be cleaned and restained routinely.

Also, remember that while a TCP-built patio cover with shingles will last the life of your home, a pergola, depending on maintenance, has a more limited lifespan. 

Considering all those considerations, a simple stained cedar pergola with a ceiling fan/fixture will start at about $50/square foot. It can go up with a plastic cover, masonry, or electrical. This does not include concrete or a wide range of decorative flooring options.

5. Should a pergola match the house?

In our opinion, yes! We love it when patio spaces feel like a natural extension of the existing home. But that doesn’t mean you have to use the same brick exterior. There are many ways to create a cohesive look that complements the house while incorporating your style, such as a brick or stone base on the columns and staining to match or complement the home.

6. Where is the best place to put a pergola? 

The best place to put a pergola depends on your needs and preferences. Common locations include the backyard, garden, patio, or poolside area. When choosing the placement, consider factors like sunlight exposure, privacy, and proximity to the house.

7. Is a metal or wooden pergola better?

Both metal and wooden pergolas have their advantages. Metal pergolas are durable, low-maintenance, and often have a sleek modern look, while wooden pergolas offer a natural aesthetic and can be customized to various styles and designs. 

The newest product in the pergola category is a metal pergola with mechanical louvers that can be opened or closed, depending on weather conditions. These products have a contemporary look and unique options that can be added, including screens, sliding walls, heaters, sound systems, and lighting. 

TCP is now a dealer for these beautiful Renson products.

8. What is the best type of roof for a pergola?

The best type of roof for a pergola in Texas depends on factors like the desired level of shade and personal preference. Popular options include open-lattice roofs, durable plastic such as Lexan, fabric canopies, or retractable awnings that provide varying degrees of shade and protection from the elements.

9. Are pergolas hard to maintain?

Pergolas are generally low-maintenance structures. Daily maintenance includes regular cleaning, occasional repairs, and treating wooden pergolas to prevent weathering. With proper care, a pergola can remain beautiful and functional for years.

Pergola and outdoor living Houston

If there’s anything else you’d like to know about incorporating a custom pergola into your backyard, contact us for a free consultation so we can discuss what’s possible.

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

Keeping Your Patio Pristine: Tips for Cleaning and Caring for 4 Common Materials

March 26, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Living, Patio Design

Your patio is an extension of your home, a space where you relax, entertain, and enjoy the outdoors. Maintaining its beauty and functionality is essential to clean and care for its surfaces properly. We work with many different materials, but in this article, we’ll focus on concrete, stone tile, granite countertops, and wooden beams, as they each have a few specific needs.

Concrete Surfaces

Concrete is a durable and popular choice inside and outside covered patios, but it can occasionally be used for a good clean. 

Basic Cleaning

To clean concrete surfaces, start by sweeping away debris and dirt. Then, use mild detergent and water to scrub the surface with a stiff brush or broom. Finally, rinse the surface thoroughly with clean water and let it dry completely before using the patio.

Deep Cleaning 

For stubborn stains, you can use a solution of water and vinegar or a commercial concrete cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the concrete. 

Long-term Care 

Regularly resealing concrete helps protect against moisture and stains. Choose a high-quality concrete sealer and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Additionally, consider using a coat of wax to add an extra layer of protection and enhance the concrete’s shine.

Stone Tile Surfaces

Stone tile adds elegance and natural beauty to any patio, and you’ll clean it like you care for concrete. 

Basic Cleaning

To clean stone tile surfaces, sweep away loose debris and dirt using a broom or leaf blower. Then, wash the tiles with mild detergent and warm water using a soft-bristled brush or mop. After cleaning, rinse the tiles thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue.

Deep Cleaning

For tough stains, you can use a specialized stone cleaner. Again, avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners, which can damage the stone. 

Long-term Care 

Resealing stone tile surfaces regularly protects them from moisture and stains. Choose a penetrating sealer designed for natural stone and apply it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Granite Countertops

We love granite countertops for the sophistication and functionality they can add to outdoor kitchens and bar areas. Here’s how to keep them looking like new.

Basic Cleaning

To clean granite countertops, wipe them down regularly with a mixture of mild detergent and warm water using a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes, which can scratch the granite surface. After cleaning, rinse the countertops with clean water and dry them thoroughly to prevent water spots and streaks. 

Deep Cleaning

You can use a specialized granite cleaner or a paste of baking soda and water for tough stains.

Long-Term Care

Consider applying a granite polish or sealer periodically to maintain the natural shine.

Wooden Beams

Wooden beams lend warmth and charm to patio structures like pergolas and vaulted ceilings. They rarely need cleaning, but here’s what to do when it comes. 

Basic Cleaning 

Remove debris and dirt using a broom or brush to clean wooden beams. Then, wash the wood with mild detergent and water using a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Avoid high-pressure washers or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the wood.

After cleaning, rinse the wooden beams with clean water and let them dry completely before applying a protective finish. 

Deep Cleaning

You can also use an outdoor deck cleaner on wood surfaces like beams for stubborn stains. 

Long-Term Care 

Consider using a wood sealer or stain to protect the wood from moisture, UV rays, and insect damage. Reapply the sealer or stain to keep the wood looking its best.

Patios that Last 

When we design and build a patio, we do everything we can to ensure it stands the test of time. Once we’re gone, proper cleaning and maintenance are essential for preserving the beauty and functionality of your patio surfaces. By following these tips, you can keep your concrete, stone tile, granite countertops, and wooden beams looking pristine for years to come, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest.

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

Project of the Month: April 2024

April 24, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

Integrating a patio with a pool for our April Project of the Month.

In Texas, shade in the backyard is mandatory. To enjoy their outdoor space, these homeowners came to us for an escape from the sun and updates to their existing pool. They needed something more permanent than a cumbersome umbrella they had to replace yearly.

So, we set out to design a space focused on comfort, a total transformation built for unwinding, cooking, and dining. We’ll walk you through the updates we made to create the new 550 SF patio.

Let’s start with the pool. We completely updated the decking and removed the pea gravel. 

Before

Integrating the Pool and Patio

  • Outdoor-rated porcelain Keystone Tile extends throughout the entire space, bringing the pool and patio together.

The Vaulted Ceilings

  • The vaulted ceiling is a pre-stained tongue and groove chosen to complement the existing siding on the house.

Bromic Heaters for Usage Year-round.

  • Sleek, understated Bromic heaters were added to ensure the space could be used year-round, even during our coldest Texas winters.

Adding the Full Outdoor Kitchen for the Ultimate Dining Experience

  • The outdoor kitchen has a triple burner Le Griddle, doors, and drawers from Cunningham Living. 
  • The Aspen White granite countertop from Daltile was extended to create additional seating behind the bar.  

Now, with all the comforts of home, the patio is now the family’s favorite room of the home. 

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

Project of the Month: March 2024

March 18, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

Eye on the Design: A Detailed Look at our March Project of the Month

At TCP Custom Outdoor Living, we work with all kinds of homeowners. Some have no idea what they want, and we help them figure it out. Others know exactly what they want, and we help bring it to life. We are looking back at a great project we completed in 2017. It is truly a classic and certainly withstands the test of time.

Here are just a few of the special touches that made this project feel like a natural extension of the home. 

Before

The Finishes 

  • The key to the project, and something that adds so much polish to the final result, was the finishes, including the gently curved corbels and rack bracing to match the beams and columns. It’s all finished in cedar. 

A Friendly Sense of Enclosure

  • A stone seat wall with cast stone caps and low-voltage lighting surrounds the entire project.

That Stunning Ceiling 

  • We used tongue and groove pine that has been white-washed to contrast with the darker beams.

The Focal Point Fireplace 

The wood-burning fireplace was designed with a unique taper look that complements the pitch of the roof perfectly. Vaulting the ceiling allowed us to really make that fireplace soar. 

The Gabled Side Entrance 

We always put a lot of care and thought into creating patios with multiple entrances. This one is equally impressive if you step out the back door or come in from the yard. 

The Outdoor Kitchen with Room to Cook

We wrapped the counter around the space to make for a larger food prep and service area that ensures the kitchen is as functional as it is beautiful. 

The Floor that Brings It All Together

This stone tile was selected to really complement the stone on the fireplace, kitchen, knee wall, and even the ceiling. It’s durable and easy to clean as well. 

Hill Country Charm with Scandinavian Accents

TCP Outdoor Living’s innovative design transformed this unused yard into a contemporary, highly functional entertainment space.

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

Project of the Month: February 2024

February 12, 2024 Inspiration, Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

Transforming a Small Yard into a Luxurious Outdoor Oasis

A family in Houston had a modest backyard with an existing pool but no shade or designated outdoor living area. They wanted to create a contemporary outdoor oasis that felt like an extension of their home. TCP Outdoor Living took on the challenge of designing a functional and stylish outdoor living space within the constraints of their small urban lot.

Before

Creating an Outdoor Living Room

Before:

  • The clients desired a covered outdoor living room large enough for entertaining and everyday relaxation.
  • TCP built a 450-square-foot outdoor living room with vaulted ceilings that connect the home to the garage.
  • The tongue and groove ceiling is pre-stained Smokey Bourbon by Woodtone, adding warmth and personality.
  • The concrete flooring has a spray deck coating for a clean, contemporary look.

Building the Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen

  • A 20-foot outdoor kitchen provides ample prepping and cooking space.
  • TCP designed and installed a privacy wall with Choctaw Tan stone to replace the fence.
  • The countertops are Tan Brown granite from a local supplier.
  • The kitchen has top-of-the-line appliances like a grill, beverage center, vent hood, doors, and more.

Adding Shade Elements

  • Bromic heaters and ceiling fans keep the space comfortable year-round.
  • A pergola with a privacy wall was built over the hot tub, matching the kitchen wall.
  • TCP added an overhead pergola cover system.
  • Another pergola and cover at the end of the pool create space for a daybed.

The clients now have the outdoor oasis they dreamed of, perfectly customized within their compact backyard.

TCP Outdoor Living’s innovative design transformed this unused yard into a contemporary, highly functional entertainment space.

Get started on your backyard transformation by clicking here to book your free consultation today.

TCP Houston’s 2024 Home Show Schedule

January 16, 2024 Events, Inspiration, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Promotion

We’re excited to be part of three spectacular home shows. Join us to discuss your dream patio projects, get expert advice, and be part of our exclusive giveaways.

Here’s where you can find us:

1. Texas Home Show

2. Brazos Home & Garden Show

3. Katy ISD Home & Garden Show

Stay Updated & Win! Don’t forget to stay tuned for our exclusive ticket giveaway for the March home show! Visit TCPOutdoor.com regularly for the latest updates and your chance to win.

Sign up for our newsletter for the latest updates on our shows, including pre and post

When Will My Patio Be Completed? The TCP Process Timeline

December 15, 2023 Inspiration, Outdoor Living, Patio Design

Planning ahead is essential if you’re considering upgrading your patio or creating a whole new space. That’s where having a timeline can be incredibly helpful. Here’s when you can expect your project to be completed:

To complete your project by January-February, call us in August.
The winter months can be a great time to build, especially if you love to cozy up outdoors in the cooler weather.

If you want your project completed by March-April, call us in October.
Spring is a popular time for building outdoor living spaces, and getting your project done before the warm weather hits will be worth it when you can relax outside.

To have your project completed by May-June, call us in December.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy your outdoor living space, whether you’re hosting a barbecue or simply lounging with a book.

For a project ready for July-August, call us in February.
Get ready for grilling season and beat the heat under your new patio.

If you want your project completed by September-October, call us in April.
The fall months can be a great time to build, especially if you want to spend more time outside before winter.

If you want your project completed by November-December, call us in June.
While it might seem early to start planning your outdoor living space in the summer, remember that construction projects can take time. What could be more magical than spending the holidays outside with the people you love?

Whether you’re starting now or several months down the road, having a timeline can help you stay on track and ensure that your project is completed when you want it to be.

At TCP, we’re here to help guide you through the process and make your dreams of a new patio a reality.

Trust the Process: Why Vision Boards Are Important to Your Patio’s Design

December 11, 2023 Inspiration, Interview, Outdoor Living, Patio Design
Whether you prefer to browse online, flip through magazines, or gather samples and swatches, creating a vision board can be a powerful tool to turn your vision into a reality. Let’s explore the best ways to find inspiration for your patio, explain how to make a vision board, and discuss the importance of having a clear vision for your patio design:

Patio designing can be a daunting task for many. Not only does it require a lot of imagination and creativity, but it also needs detailed planning and execution. A project developer can help you with the entire process, from drafting the initial concept to the final build. However, to create a dream patio, our designer must learn about you, your preferences, and your lifestyle. Let’s discuss six questions our project developers might ask you to create a remarkable outdoor living space.

1. Start with Pinterest or Houzz

Two popular websites for home design and decor, Pinterest, and Houzz, can be excellent sources of inspiration for your patio project. You can search for different styles, materials, color palettes, and layouts that match your taste and lifestyle. You can also save your favorite photos and create boards to compile ideas. For starters, check out our Houzz for plenty of tips and inspiration.

2. Go through magazines and cut out pics.

If you prefer the old-school approach, flip through home decor and gardening magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, and Architectural Digest for patio inspiration. Cut out photos of patios that speak to you or evoke your desired mood or atmosphere. Set aside the images that you like and discard the rest. You can also use paint chips, fabric swatches, and other tactile samples to help build your vision board.

3.  Attend home and garden shows.

Home shows, garden tours, and open houses can provide many patio ideas. Seeing patios in person can give you a better sense of size, scale, and perspective. You can also ask questions, talk to designers and builders, and get ideas for incorporating specific features, such as built-in grills, pergolas, firepits, or water features.

4. Make a vision board

Getting his vision across. Shot of two designers working at a chalkboard

With all the inspiration you’ve collected, now it’s time to refine and organize your ideas into a cohesive vision board. Choose a poster board or a blank wall and place your images, paint chips, fabric swatches, and other samples in a way that makes sense. Some people organize their boards by color or theme, while others focus on how certain elements work together. It is essential to keep your vision board visual, re-examine it at different points during your planning process, and adjust it to fit your evolving plans.

5. Understand the importance of a vision

The next question our designer may ask is related to the materials you have in mind for the build. Whether you’re planning a wood, concrete, or stone patio, we want to understand what finishes you want to use to create your desired look. Different materials have pros and cons, and our project developers will help you understand why certain materials would be more or less advisable for your specific needs and budget.

When designing or upgrading your patio, inspiration can come from many sources. Whether you prefer scouring Pinterest or Houzz, flipping through magazines, or attending home and garden shows, it’s essential to translate your vision into a tangible form. A vision board can help refine your ideas and keep you on track when building your dream outdoor space.

Remember that a vision can evolve and change during the planning process, so keep an open mind and have fun with it.

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.

© 2024 TCP Custom Outdoor Living

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