The Secret To Success

May 26, 2017 Outdoor Living

We would like to thank VoyageHouston for taking the time to get to know Texas Custom Patios!  Below is a fantastic article getting to know the people that are making outdoor oasis dreams come true all over Texas.  And to think it all started with a simple deck …

 

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob and Katherine Douglass.

Thirteen years ago, Rob Douglass had a vision to open a company that would create outdoor living spaces that would be as functional and as attractive as the inside of the home. Something that looked original to the home and not an add on. Initially, Texas Custom Patios built simple decks and pergolas, but the market was changing and the timing was perfect. Along with his wife, Katherine Douglass, and business partner, Steven Schell, Texas Custom Patios began building luxury outdoor living spaces complete with fully equipped kitchens, outdoor living rooms, outdoor fire features, entertainment centers, and specialized dining areas. The first full year in business, 2005, there were 44 projects completed … now, an average of 200 projects are completed each year. This includes the newly opened branch in the Dallas Fort Worth area. In order to grow to this level, Texas Custom Patios needed to develop crews from all the trades that are required to build the projects. They have sub-contractors that have worked with them for many years – framers, electricians, painters, masons, plumbers and more. Texas Custom Patios has 7 project developers in the Houston area and 4 in the Dallas Fort Worth area that work closely with each homeowner throughout the process of designing and building the dream outdoor living space.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road has been relatively smooth, although with any business there are always some struggles. When Hurricane Ike hit the area, there was a definite slump in business. Everyone was focused on repairing damaged homes – not just theirs but others that were less fortunate.

Homeowners took the time to help out in the community and put their own backyard dreams to the side for a while. The recent oil slump has had an effect as well – homeowners have taken precautions with their spending. We have noticed an increase in sales since the beginning of 2017, which falls in line with the economy getting stronger again.

Texas Custom Patios – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Texas Custom Patios has several unique assets that stand out from all the other patio competitors. Their key to success is designing and building a structure that does not look like an add-on, it looks original to the home’s design. No matter how old the house is, roofing, bricking, siding is all selected to blend with the structure of the home. It can be a challenge sometimes to figure out how to tie in substantial additions while maintaining the style of the original home, but we achieve success time after time. We focus only on outdoor living – we are not interior remodelers. There are many types of projects we build – patio covers, pergolas, screened porches, pool houses, room additions, outdoor kitchens, outdoor fire features, decorative patios, and more. When we work with a customer on their backyard design, we gather information and create a project within their budget. We offer suggestions on design and finishes to make the project a custom space for the homeowner to enjoy. The project developer works with the homeowner from start of design to completion of the project… the project is not handed off to anyone else. Texas Custom Patios also has a strong written warranty.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is defined when we have happy homeowners. Knowing we are building and creating their dream outdoor space is something we take seriously. When at the end of the project, we are told it was exactly what they imagined or it turned out better than what they thought, that is success. We are always looking to have satisfied homeowners – ones that will and do refer us to their friends and neighbors.

For more from VoyageHouston, click here!

Customized Outdoor Living by Texas Builder Magazine

April 28, 2017 Outdoor Living

We are thrilled to announce that we made the cover of  May’s issue of Texas Builder Magazine and also highlighted in the featured project section!  Check out this article for great ideas that fit your outdoor lifestyle, plus grab a behind-the-scenes look at how Texas Custom Patios got its start.  To download the magazine in its entirety, visit here.

 

It’s a Breeze …

April 28, 2017 Patio Design

On many occasions, some home owners see their breezeway as something that complicates a potential project.  Others just may not understand what can be done with a breezeway at all.  Some even decide to not pursue a potential patio addition because of this confusion, which is a big mistake!

To start, let’s describe what a breezeway is …

Typically the breezeway connects the house to the garage to protect you from the elements while walking between the two.  Sometimes the breezeway will have your electrical wires running through it, as the breaker box is in the garage.  This is very common and not anything to be concerned about.  The breezeway is typically built to hold only the weight of the breezeway with absolutely zero additional weight.

When Texas Custom Patios comes out for a site visit, we will look at your breezeway and discuss the options available to you.  On average, it’s best to remove the breezeway and run the electrical in the attic space of the new patio cover.

Sometimes we will cut off the existing breezeway and re-attach the remaining breezeway to the new porch, or we build a totally new breezeway if that makes most sense.  Many times homeowners convince themselves this cannot be done, but it’s really not a big deal.  On rare occasions the electrical wires can create a challenge, but your project developer will discuss options to work around this. Our expertise allows us to create a clean, well-thought-out look that even the builder of your home would have done had they built the cover themselves. We have found removing the breezeway, when possible, is a best practice in our industry.

Don’t let your breezeway keep you from exploring a project … trust us, it’s a breeze!  To explore a variety of options to consider when building your patio, click here!

 

Budgeting For Your Outdoor Dream

November 21, 2016 Outdoor Living, Patio Contractor, Patio Design

An enjoyable outdoor living space is a must-have for most people here in Texas – we are able to spend just about every day outside without too much trouble.  Of course it does get a little toasty in the summer, but with the right design and ample shade even the summer heat can be beat.  For many, the singular thing that holds us back when making big decisions is something called … moolah.  But with the right budget, a good plan and the perfect builders, your outdoor oasis is actually within reach!

Budgeting for your outdoor living space is actually easier than you may think.  We have built outdoor living spaces with just about every single budget in mind.  We put together a quick guide that will you have you well on your way to building out your outdoor space.  So get ready to start planning, building and living (outside)!

Project of the Month October 2016

How to budget for your outdoor living space …

How big of an area is considered ample?

Whether you are wanting a covered patio, a pergola, a sunroom or a screened in porch about 300 square feet is average. If you go much smaller than that, you will feel cramped and will not have enough room for both a dining area and a sitting area. The cost for something that size would start around 25K – Sunrooms would be more due to windows and inside wall finishes.

What are items that would affect this budget?

* Type and configuration of your home – 1 Story homes usually run more because the roof tie-in is more complicated.

* Do you have concrete already? Having an existing patio or other flat surface will lower your cost… unless you want something more than a standard brushed concrete surface. Upgraded surfaces – stamped concrete, tile, travertine, stone pavers means your cost will increase.

* Type of columns – do you have any existing columns on your home? If so, you may want to match them – are they brick or stone? That will be an added cost because a standard column is wrapped with hardie board and painted to match your home’s paint color.

*Ceiling finish – Like the columns a standard ceiling is just hardie plank painted to match your home’s soffit. If you want a different look, you can go with cedar or stained tongue and groove, you will need to add some to your budget.

* Electrical matters – a basic project does include running electricity for recessed lights and ceiling fans as well as wiring for a TV and sound system.

So, what does a 300 SF project with some of the upgraded options cost?

* With additional items such as those listed above, your 300 SF project would start around 30K -35K.

What if I want to add an outdoor kitchen? Several things need to occur …

*Size of the space – to have adequate space to accommodate the added kitchen area, we suggest an area that is closer to 400 SF. So, that is an added cost to build your covered area.

*A basic kitchen – this is a tough question – you can have a small, very functional outdoor kitchen area that is in the 8 – 10 linear foot area. To get lots of prep and serving space, you may want to consider something that is closer to the 14-15 linear foot option. Our kitchens include a custom built counter area with granite, stacked stone, brick, or stucco, stainless steel appliances (grill, fridge, storage). The 8-10 linear foot kitchens would start around 15-20K, the larger kitchen would start around 20-25K.

Can it be bigger?

* Absolutely! We have built kitchens that are as large as 20-25 linear feet.

* Why the 5K range in the cost?

Many things affect that – type and size of grill, choice of granite, propane or natural gas, raised bar top, type of side finishes, among other choices.

What about adding a fire feature?

*A fireplace – whether wood burning or natural gas – will generally add about 15-20K to your project. Your choice of stone, is there going to be a mantle, and how big will the hearth be all play key roles in the cost of the fireplace.

fireplace

 

 

 

 

 

 

* A fire pit – again whether it is wood burning or natural gas – will add about 3-6K to your project. The size, shape and type of stone plays a part in the variance of the cost.

fire-pit

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as you can see … a lot goes into the prepping and planning when building something to any extent, but it CAN be done!  Take notes, let us know how we can help and we look forward to building something beautiful for you!

Greater Houston Builders Association Names 2016 Houston’s Best PRISM Award Winners

October 24, 2016 Awards

Texas Custom Patios was happy to walk away proudly with two awards … “Best Outdoor Living” and “Best Website.”  …. but let’s back up, what’s this all about?

Over 100 awards were presented to Houston area builders, developers, remodelers and industry professionals at the 2016 Houston’s Best PRISM Awards black tie gala at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. The theme was Bollywood Nights!

The Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) Houston’s Best PRISM Awards are an annual event designed to recognize excellence within Houston’s homebuilding industry and to support their efforts. This event is directed by the GHBA Sales and Marketing Council, and numerous volunteers from GHBA member companies. The Bollywood Nights theme showcased the accomplishments of Houston’s top tier within the homebuilding industry. There were 730 formal-attired guests on-hand to celebrate the finalists and winners.

Categories in Construction and Remodeling included price range and specific room designs and in the Developer category, promotion awards were presented for TV, Radio, Print, Outdoor, Direct Mail, and Special Events. The People awards honored excellence in sales, marketing, and construction supervision.This year’s award recipients were chosen by a panel of premier industry professionals from around the country. Judging criteria varied according to the category, but all category winners were required to be active members of the GHBA in good standing, and to have shown commitment and excellence to the homebuilding industry as a whole.

For a list of all the winners, click here!

 

Builder Spotlight: The Awesome Twosome

September 22, 2016 Interview

Just as important as the people who meet you at your home to build your covered patio, are the wonderful voices of the people who answer your calls and help guide you in the right direction! Today we are putting the spotlight on two young ladies that have worked hard for Texas Custom Patios each day for the last few years. They hear it all, now it’s time to hear from them!

Name: Brandi Howard

Texas Custom Patios - Brandi

How long with TCP? 4 Years

How long in this business? 4 years

What do you enjoy most about what you do? Getting to talk to different people and learning what outdoor projects they need help with.

Do you have a favorite project from the past? High end finishes in Royal Oaks and the contemporary outdoor living room in Montrose because they are totally different. I love the clean lines in the Montrose living space and all of the details that were done in the Royal Oaks space.

What’s the one thing that most clients say they HAVE to have? Covered patio!!

What do you think outdoor living space does for a home and person? Provides additional space for family.

 

 

Now meet, Kendall!  She prefers to stay behind the telephone lines and not be pictured.

Name: Kendall

How long with TCP: 2 years

How long in this business: 2 years

What do you enjoy most about what you do?  I really enjoy the people that I work with at TCP.  They are all such great people to be around!

Do you have a favorite project from the past? My favorite project is the Hill Country Charm with Scandinavian Accents with the outdoor fireplace and kitchen. It’s a beautiful outdoor living space!

What’s the one thing that most clients say they HAVE to have? Outdoor entertainment space

What do you hear most often from clients when everything is completed? They love the new addition to their home!

What do you think outdoor living space does for a home and person? Helps create their favorite place to go in their home.

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

Our Customers Love Us

Top notch company. This firm stands behind its work. We had a small issue with some cracks in our slab related to settling, and Ryan had someone out the day after my phone call. Upon inspection, we were presented with several options and the work was completed in a week. I cannot say enough good things about Texas Custom Patios and the quality of their work.

© 2017 Texas Custom Patios