And The Winner Is …

September 28, 2017 Uncategorized

Texas Custom Patios!

We are proud to announce we are recipients of The Texas Association of Builders 2017 Star Awards.  We had two gorgeous projects make it to the finals and took the title for Best Outdoor Living Space Remodeler for our Project of the Month featured in July.

 

 

The Texas Association of Builders (TAB) announced and presented the 2017 Star Awards winners on Thursday, August 3 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. The highly-coveted Texas Star Awards are given annually in conjunction with the Sunbelt Builders Show™ to recognize excellence in all areas of the home building industry.

In 1992, the Texas Association of Builders launched the Star Awards – the only statewide tribute to excellence in the home building industry. The 2016 Star Awards recognized the outstanding work of builders, remodelers, architects, designers, sales professionals, marketing professionals, construction professionals and industry leaders in Texas and the Southwest.

Entries were judged by a distinguished panel of industry experts. Winners will be featured in the September/October issue of Texas Builder magazine. For more information about the Star Awards, please visit www.TexasBuilders.org.

 

 

Recipe of the Month: Helping with Helpings

August 31, 2017 Uncategorized

If you are one of the blessed ones that did not lose everything, opportunities are open everywhere to help those that did lose it all.  A devastating amount of people in the Houston area are without homes, beds, clothing, but most crucially they are without nourishment.  While some shelters and disaster relief sites are at capacity and turning people and donations away, the Houston Food Bank is welcoming donations with open arms.

The Houston Food Bank has a history of providing disaster relief, but has never seen devastation on this scale.

They will provide food and supplies in the short term and for many months to come to residents in southeast Texas who will struggle to rebuild their lives.  The Food Bank will work closely with their network of partner agencies to ensure food is getting to those who need it most.  They also find ways to connect offers of help with those who are providing help.

If you need help
Call our helpline at 832-369-9390
Call 2-1-1

If you want to help those hit by Harvey

Donate Money
The best thing you can do to help the Houston Food Bank right now is to make a donation of money designated for disaster relief.

Our neighbors urgently need assistance.  The Houston Food Bank’s greatest need is for funds that will help us provide relief and continue recovery efforts.

Donations will be used for disaster relief until this year’s needs are met, and the remaining funds will support ongoing hunger-relief efforts.

Volunteer
Please register first so we can make sure you have a productive
experience
> Regular volunteer shifts apply, open daily (including Sunday)

Donate Food and Supplies
Drop off curbside at 535 Portwall
Now through Saturday, September 9
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Saturday/Sunday

Most Needed Items

> Canned ready-to-eat items with pull tops: vegetables, fruit
> Protein in pouches or pull-top cans: tuna, beef stew, chili,
canned chicken
> Peanut butter
> Snacks: granola bars, breakfast bars, etc.
> Toiletries
> Paper goods
> Diapers
> Cleaning supplies: mops, mop buckets, brooms, bleach wipes,
bleach, garbage bags, bug spray

 

Recipe of the Month: Skinny Salty, Sweet and Spirits

April 26, 2017 Outdoor Cooking, Uncategorized

Patio and pool season are about to make a big splash, but have you been on your best bathing suit behavior?  We thought we would keep things light this month in honor of those goals you’re trying to reach.

So let’s kabob and give kudos to cocktails with fewer calories for this month’s recipes!

Recipes of the Month_APRIL-2

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients

1 lb brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and cut in half

2 tbsp olive oil

4 long wooden skewers

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp balsamic glaze

Directions

Place the brussels on skewers, and place skewers on a large enough piece of sturdy foil to cover the top.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper

Heat the grill, when hot lower the heat to low and put foil with skewers on the grill, tenting the veggies with the foil.  Cook about 30 minutes, turning every 5 minutes to keep them from burning.  When done, drizzle with balsamic glaze and eat right away!

Italian Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients

1 1/2lb chicken breast

8-inch skewers

Marinade:

1/4C olive oil

3Tb white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried basil

3/4 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried onion flakes

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

Directions

In a mason jar or salad shaker combine marinade ingredients. Shake to combine well. Set aside.

Trim chicken of any fat. Cut into 1-2 inch cubes. Transfer to a large bag or storage container. Pour marinade over chicken. Seel container and chill for at least 1-2 hours, or overnight.

Soak wood skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.

Divide chicken between 8-10 skewers. Discard remaining marinade.

Grill over low heat for 15 minutes, turning skewers after 3-5 minutes. Cook until no longer pink and showing some external color or grill lines.

Serve immediately.

 

Skinny Mint Mojito

Ingredients

Simple Syrup

4-6 packets stevia, depending on how sweet you want it

1 cup water

5-8 fresh mint leaves

Mojito

2 oz simple syrup with stevia

Juice of ½ a lime

1 oz rum

5 fresh mint leaves

Chilled soda water

Ice

Mint and lime slice for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Simple Syrup (serves 4)
  1. In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add 6 individual packets (about 3 grams) of stevia (I used Sweet Leaf)
  2. Stir in stevia to dissolve and remove from heat
  3. Add the mint leaves. Cover and let steep* about 30 minutes (*To steep just means to let the leaves hang-out in the warm water so it soaks up all the flavor of the mint)
  4. Remove mint leaves from liquid and store simple syrup in fridge until ready to use (will be tinted green from mint leaves)
Mint Mojito (Serves 1)
  1. In a 12oz glass, pour in 2oz of the simple syrup, 1 oz rum, a few fresh mint leaves, and juice of half a lime. Muddle the contents using a pestle. You could also use a spoon to simply crush and grind the fresh mint into the liquid.
  2. Top the glass with ice and fill to the top with soda water. Stir.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint and a lime wedge

As Seen In Hearth & Home

August 11, 2016 Uncategorized
We were recently featured in Hearth & Home, and we couldn’t be more excited to share our story in style.
PScreen Shot 2016-08-11 at 3.10.19 PMretty and practical Outdoor Room addition expands the usable living space of this 1,800-sq.-ft., 1929 bungalow home by nearly 25 percent. The soaring wood ceiling, painstakingly hand-cut and crafted from natural-finish, smooth cedar, makes a dramatic first impression upon entering the space.
Its vaulted center section, lined with decorative tin, was designed to accommodate a large chandelier purchased by the homeowner to hang over the dining table. A section of the ceiling extends to the top of the fireplace, creating a unique backdrop wall for mounting the television. A horizontal, see-through fireplace with glass and river-rock medium, and faced with two colors of slate, was selected to keep sightlines open to the rest of the yard. The quartzite used on the fireplace mantel is
repeated on the counter of the compact outdoor kitchen, with built-in gas grill and refrigerator set into a slate island. A spa sits just off the composite deck ready for a dip, and stone and slate seat walls offer extra seating along the perimeter of the super-functional living space.

 

Builder:

Katherine & Rob Douglass

Company:

Texas Custom Patios,
Houston, TX

Website:

www.texascustompatios.com

Project Size:

440 sq. ft.

Materials:

Ceiling – smooth cedar with clear finish, painted tin in vaulted section
Seat Walls – slate fascia and stone top
Floor – composite decking
Fireplace – slate fascia, gas with glass and river-rock medium
Island Base – slate
Countertop – quartzite
Brands: Grill and Refrigerator Fire Magic
Composite Decking – Fiberon

Budget:

$95,000

Recipe of the Month: Peach Basil Sweet Tea

March 16, 2016 Outdoor Cooking, Uncategorized
The warmer weather inspires us all to sit on our back patio, sip something sweet and enjoy the view.  So we came up this Texas classic and gave it a tasty twist.  This two-step tea will having you doing the Texas Two-Step because it’s that good!  We promise!

 

Sweet peach tea

Peach Basil Sweet Tea

2 family-size tea bags
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups peach nectar
Crushed ice
Garnish: fresh basil or mint (pictured) sprigs

Preparation

1. Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Pour boiling water over tea bags and basil in a pitcher; cover and steep 6 minutes.

2. Remove and discard tea bags and basil. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved; stir in peach nectar.

Okay, maybe three steps …

Serve over crushed ice and enjoy!

For more delicious recipes like Avocado Fruit Salad, Mini-Caprese Skewers, Steamed Asparagus with Lemon-Basil Dip, Ham-Stuffed Biscuits with Mustard Butter and Chocolate-Hazelnut Tartlets … take a bite here!  Before we go, we want to share with you a recipe that Southern Living Magazine claims to be the BEST CARROT CAKE … EVER – so you know it’s gotta be good!

Cheers!

Desserts On The Grill

October 1, 2015 Outdoor Cooking, Uncategorized

October brings all sorts of sweetness to the season.  It’s National Dessert Month and Cookie Month!  So we thought it would be fun to bring some outdoor heat to some treats!  

Check out our boards on Pinterest for delicious recipes like chocolate chip cookies, banana s’mores and fruit kabobs on the grill!

 

The Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookie 

cristina's chocolate chip cookies

 

We also have seasonal ideas to spruce up  your outdoor living area with gorgeous, yet ghostly decor. Texas Custom Patios pinned away with fun centerpieces for your outdoor table, like taking a pumpkin and using to chill your vino, cheers!

It’s also fun to think about roasting marshmallows over a fire pit, get cozy with some of these fabulous fire features

 

Composite Decking and Decorative RailingBeamed Ceiling and FireplaceTexas Custom Patios

Happy October, hope it brings you warmth and sweet treats!

 

 

 

Pergola or Patio Cover … Decisions, Decisions

August 4, 2015 Uncategorized
Texas Custom Patios
We have built our business since 2004 on the idea that we will design and build projects that look original to the home.  We love to create projects that look like they belong on the home and that we know will add value to the home.  Certainly, a homeowner’s budget restrictions, or a difficult tie-in to the home have dictated some compromises over the years, but generally we’ve been able to adhere to our desire to design and build to look original to the home.  This has become our philosophy and it has served us well for over 11 years.

 

Recently, we designed a project for a homeowner that was a simple patio cover.  We designed a roof with an attractive pitch and the finishes were low-maintenance and would last the life of the home.  Unfortunately, they didn’t pull the trigger on this design, and instead asked me to quote a painted cedar pergola with a clear plastic on top.  They like the look; they had a photograph of a similar project; they felt like this would allow more light in the windows on the back of their home.  This is a project that runs completely contrary to our philosophy.  While we liked this homeowner and they seemed eager to work with our company, we wanted to decline the project and I felt that we owed them an explanation.  We also felt like we should “save them from themselves” and help guide them to a better project for their home, even if they chose a different builder.

 

If you are weighing the options of a pergola with clear plastic vs. a patio cover with shingles to match your home, here are some things to consider:

– A pergola is a temporary structure as opposed to a permanent structure.  It doesn’t add value to the home and it begins to show signs of wear very soon after being built.  Honestly, our company tears down more pergolas than we build.
– Painting wood instead of staining will result in this project being high-maintenance.  This is why new homes are built with Hardieplank trim and siding instead of wood.
– The see-through plastic on top (Polygal or Lexan are commonly used products) is the primary issue … it will also be high-maintenance, especially with mature landscaping in the backyard.  It will not be clear for very long because it will become very dirty in a short time period.  The constant cleaning and difficulty of cleaning will cause other maintenance issues – it will leak, it will make it difficult to repaint the structure (which will need to be done frequently). It will need to be flashed against the house wall just like a roof … this will be unattractive and will need to be repaired when it is time to replace the pergola.

I closed my email to this prospective client with these thoughts…

“We like to build projects that are intended to last the life of the home.  We feel responsible for everything that we build and we don’t want to be on the hook for something that is destined to have so many problems.  If you want to seriously entertain the project I designed previously, I’d love to work with you.  If you want to go the route of the painted pergola with a see-through top, we believe another builder is better suited for you.”

You learn a few things after building 1,200 projects.  We truly are experts in outdoor living and we should share that knowledge and educate buyers whenever possible!

 

Landscaping for Your New Home: Where to Start?

November 19, 2012 Uncategorized

After buying a new home and decorating the inside to suit your personal taste, it’s time to set your sights on the outside of the home and its curb appeal. If you’re planning to sell the home in the future, the landscaping should be appealing for the next buyer. Performing landscaping chores should be done to improve the home’s current value.

Resale value is not the only deciding factor in choosing to update the old landscaping and clear out the dead plants and shrubs.  Working outdoors is a relaxing hobby, and an easy one for the whole family to enjoy. And, a well-manicured lawn provides the perfect backdrop to a patio or porch.

Testing the soil

The first step is to determine what kind of soil is in the yard. Any landscaping from trees and shrubs to grass and flowers starts with good soil. It is the foundation of a beautiful yard. A healthy yard needs nutrients, but without testing the soil it can be difficult to know what the dirt is lacking. Soil testers can be bought that allow homeowners to see what was missing. The homeowner can then make adjustments to their fertilization plans based on the missing components.

Brown patches and missing grass

The grass covers the majority of most yards. If it is not healthy, that can undermine the look of the property. The brown spots or holes in the lawn may have been from the previous owner’s pet or bad landscape maintenance. Patches of missing grass and large brown spots are easily fixed. Brown grass should be dug up, and then you can aerate the soil and sprinkle new, grass seed into the spot. After the initial watering, keep an eye on the growing grass and water when needed.

Dead foliage

Inspect the landscape for old, dead and dying plants, shrubs and trees. Trim back overgrown areas. They just look messy and detract from the beauty of the yard. Remove the dead or dying plants and plant new ones. The plants you use to replace the old ones depends on the location itself. The amount of sunlight and the soil needs to be considered before planting. A plant that needs full sunlight throughout the day should not be planted in the shade.

It will take some time to get the landscaping in pristine condition, but the work can be relaxing and once finished, it will be extremely rewarding to see the nurturing you performed on the plants come to life.

Author Bio

Melisa Cammack has been freelance writing for several years. She loves writing for home improvement and parenting blogs. She and her husband recently had a brand new aluminium fence installed on their home property by Fencemakers, and it gave Melisa the idea to write this article.

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

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We worked with Mark, who came to us with plans and fully explained the costs, materials, timeline, and talked about the construction methods. The project was well organized, with a new crew arriving once each stage of construction was completed. I kept a photo record of it, which was fun and friends are wowed by the timeline. I completely recommend Texas Custom Patios.

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