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: 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.

So Fresh and So Clean: Maintaining Your Outdoor Kitchen

December 15, 2023 Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Outdoor Safety

An outdoor kitchen is one of the most luxurious additions to your outdoor space. But with the food, drinks, and constant exposure to the elements, cleaning and maintaining it in top condition becomes challenging. Let’s explore some tips on how to keep your outdoor kitchen sparkling clean:

Before cleaning, invest in the right tools. A good-quality broom, mop, or scrub brush can make all the difference in removing grime and stains. When cleaning wooden surfaces, opt for eco-friendly cleaning solutions.

Cleaning and maintaining your outdoor kitchen is like cleaning your indoor kitchen. After each use, you should wipe down counters, clean up spills and messes, and empty the grease trap in your grill. A messy outdoor kitchen may attract urban wildlife like possums, raccoons, and rodents.

Stainless steel and cast iron grills require special attention to avoid rusting. Use warm water, mild detergent, and a soft cloth to clean the grates after every use. Apply a light coating of vegetable oil to prevent rust buildup. Use a wire brush, sandpaper, or a commercial rust remover for larger rust spots.

Outdoor kitchen countertops are subject to frequent use, spills, and scratches. Clean them regularly with soap and water and dry them to avoid water spots. Use cutting boards to avoid direct cutting on the countertop, and wipe them down frequently.

Last, protection is key to keeping your outdoor kitchen in excellent condition. Invest in a cover to protect it from rain, snow, and UV rays, and store utensils and equipment in a dry, safe place. Empty and clean the grill after every use, and avoid using abrasive tools that could scratch the surfaces.

A properly cleaned and maintained outdoor kitchen looks great and ensures longevity, safety, and functionality. Following these expert tips, you can keep your outdoor kitchen pristine and ready to impress your guests 

Contact us today to learn more about starting your patio process.

Textures, Colors, and More Ways to Decorate Your Patio For Fall

September 21, 2023 Outdoor Living, Outdoor Style Show, Patio Design

As the temperatures cool down and the leaves change color, there’s something magical about the autumn season. It’s the perfect time to embrace coziness, warm colors, and outdoor entertaining before winter. If you want to spruce up your patio for the fall, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few simple yet effective tips for bringing fall touches to your outdoor living space.

Layer Up on Textures

One of the best things about fall decor is the textures. Think chunky knit blankets, plush pillows, and soft, cozy rugs. Layering up on textures will create a warm and inviting atmosphere on your patio. Don’t be afraid to mix different patterns—this will add visual interest and depth to your design.

Add Some Warmth with Lighting

As the days get shorter, outdoor lighting becomes even more important on your patio. String lights, lanterns, and candles can all add a warm and inviting glow to your outdoor living space. Consider installing dimmer switches or smart lights to adjust the brightness and create an even cozier ambiance.

Play with Seasonal Colors

Fall is all about warm hues like oranges, reds, and yellows. Incorporate these colors into your patio design by adding throw pillows, tablecloths, and other decor accents in these shades. You can also try incorporating metallics like gold and bronze for a more decadent look.

Embrace Nature

What better way to celebrate the beauty of fall than by bringing some natural elements onto your patio? Consider filling vases with seasonal flowers like chrysanthemums or arranging pumpkins or gourds in clusters on your outdoor table. You can also add touches of nature by using wood accents in your design.

Don’t Forget the Coziness Factor

Above all else, your patio should feel cozy and comfortable. Make sure to incorporate plenty of seating options, including plush armchairs and sofas. Consider adding a fire pit or outdoor heater to warm things on cooler nights. And don’t forget to stock up on cozy blankets and throws—the perfect finishing touch to any fall patio design.

Fall transforms your patio into a cozy, inviting outdoor living space. By incorporating these simple decorating tips, you’ll be able to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere you’ll love spending time in all season long. With these tips, you’re on your way to creating the ultimate fall patio oasis.

Holiday Recap: 20 Years of TCP Custom Outdoor Living Projects

December 11, 2023 Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

For two decades, TCP Custom Outdoor Living has been providing beautiful and functional outdoor living spaces, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our fabulous customers. 

From humble beginnings to becoming an award-winning company, we’ve had the pleasure of working on some of the most incredible projects across the state. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we’re taking a moment to reflect on some of the highlights and express our sincere gratitude to all who have chosen us for their outdoor living needs.

It’s not just about the patios; it’s about the people. Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of getting to know our customers so we could work together to bring their outdoor visions to life. We’ve had some of the most rewarding experiences with families who now have a backyard to host family reunions, birthday parties, or a quiet night under the stars. It’s been an honor to help create those moments for our customers.

As we celebrate 20 years of TCP, we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of our customers over the years. We are grateful for your trust in us and are always humbled by the positive impact our projects have on your lives. We’re excited to continue building beautiful outdoor living spaces for many years and hope to develop more unforgettable moments for our customers. 

A handful of the nearly 3,000 projects we’ve built since 2004. 

If you’re considering upgrading or building your patio, contact us today to help write the next 20 years of TCP Custom Outdoor Living. Contact us today!

Project of the Month: January 2024

January 16, 2024 Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

This residence featured a modest covered space at the rear, accompanied by a simple paver patio. Situated adjacent to a branch of the Buffalo Bayou, the homeowners were eager to transform this area into their dream backyard sanctuary.

Before

This home had a large backyard with plenty of space to create their dream outdoor space.

After

The client wanted to have a pool built and add an updated outdoor living space to go with it.

1,400 Sq Ft of new concrete was poured to accommodate the new covered space and the pool decking. For this request, we resized some of the 2nd-floor windows to build the new covered patio.

The new covered space is about 550 sq ft. and includes the larger area off the end and the smaller covered space along the home. This designed space has plenty of room for a sitting area, dining area, and outdoor kitchen.

The Ultimate Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Experience

Coming off the indoor kitchen and breakfast area, this new space is just a few steps out the back door.

The outdoor kitchen has RCS brand appliances – a grill, fridge, and storage. There is plenty of counter space for prep work and for serving up a great meal. The granite is Colonial Gold from Daltile.

It’s now the perfect setting for relaxation! The ceiling is West Coast IPA pre-stained tongue and groove by Woodtone. The flooring is Loire Beige 24X36 porcelain pavers from QDI and the stone used throughout the project is Chopped Blanco with color from Rock Materials.

Reach out for a free consultation, and let’s make it happen. Contact us today!

Project of the Month: November 2023

November 21, 2023 Outdoor Cooking, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Project of the Month

Check out our latest Outdoor Living Area project, a practical and stylish addition to elevate your outdoor space.

Covering around 300 square feet, the new patio features a pre-stained pine tongue and groove ceiling, metal shingles matching the home, and efficient 6-inch seamless gutters with two downspouts for proper drainage.

Before

Structurally, three steel posts and a matching beam provide support, painted to blend in with the house’s hardi soffit and trim. We’ve added an accent wall with a tongue and groove-style facade and handled the removal of four existing posts, fixing up travertine areas for a smooth finish.

After

The outdoor kitchen is designed for functionality and aesthetics, offering a 16-foot linear kitchen with a stone veneer exterior, galvanized steel frame, hardi backer panel, and level 2 granite countertops spanning approximately 52 square feet.

On the electrical side, we’ve installed six 4-inch recessed cans with bronze trim, a dimmer switch for cans, a fan switch, and a sconce switch. Two outlet receptacles and two 110v dedicated circuits complete the setup.

This project seamlessly combines practicality with a touch of style, turning your outdoor area into a functional and appealing space. Interested in transforming your patio?

Reach out for a free consultation, and let’s make it happen. Contact us today!

Project of the Month: October 2023

October 23, 2023 Outdoor Living, Project of the Month

This home had a small covered space that needed to give the family more room to spend time outdoors. Their home is also on a neighborhood lake, and they wanted a space built by their boat dock to be close to the water. 

Before

We needed to remove existing columns to create the space they wanted. To accomplish this, we added four hundred square feet of cover and incorporated the old cover into this new larger structure. We built a 12-foot L-shaped kitchen in the corner under the cover, adding a fridge, a grill, and storage with plenty of counter space to accommodate prepping and serving. The granite is Typhoon Bordeaux 3cm from InStyle Granite and Marble, and the stone on the kitchen, firepit, and columns is Ashlar dark cream from Apex Stone. 

After

The flooring is stamped concrete in a travertine pattern. The retaining wall, fire pit top, and tops of the half columns are all light-tumbled travertine pavers from QDI cut to fit. The ceiling is finished in Irish Cream pre-stained tongue and groove by Woodtone

We also added a sidewalk down to the neighborhood lake and a patio for sitting out by the water, cementing this landing area as the perfect spot to enjoy the night sky. 

This outdoor living area completely changed the backyard. 

Interested in an outdoor transformation? Contact us today!

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

Our Customers Love Us

Texas Custom Patios did an amazing job on our covered patio, outdoor kitchen, and outdoor living area. Steven listened to the things we were looking for, and was able to come up with original design ideas that included moving our outdoor garage-addition staircase and blending in an unusual roofline with a new gable style roof. The results were exactly what we were looking for. The construction process was professional, on-time, and on-budget. All of the crews were professional and the work they did exceeded our expectations. We are very happy with the results and would definitely recommend them to anyone looking to add an outdoor living area to their home.

© 2024 TCP Custom Outdoor Living

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