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.

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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.

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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? 

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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.

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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.

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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.

Trending in the Outdoor Living World

December 30, 2018 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

So many dream of the day they can have an outdoor living space.  While we are daydreaming, budgeting and getting a plan together to make that dream a reality, let’s look at what’s on trend in outdoor living.

  • Outdoor Kitchens
  • Folding Doors
  • Fire Features
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Retractable Screens
  • Water Feature
  • Retractable Screens

We specialize in custom building your outdoor oasis to fit seamlessly with your home (including all of the above trends), so you can’t tell where your existing home stops and your new covered patio begins.  If you have a completion date in mind we have a nifty guide to help you know when to call us and get started!

Outdoors

 

 

From Inspiration to Reality

October 30, 2018 Patio Design
Often times we show you featured projects and give you the finished details, but omit all the hard work details between the before and after pics.  So here’s a look back at last month’s featured project and some of the grittier details of what it takes to do a project like this.
This home needed an updated look in the backyard. They had a small pergola over a small patio that just didn’t give them the outdoor living space they needed or wanted. The homeowner wanted a Tuscan/Old World look similar to the photo below.

 

Added Space

Texas Custom Patios added 705 Square Feet of covered space with this outdoor living space.  This is in line with one of our medium scale design/build outdoor living projects.

 

Cost

The cost for something similar to this will range between 50-70k depending on final selections.  We completely changed the look from an early 2000’s style to a Tuscan, classic vibe.

 

Time Range

On average this sized space will take 2-3 months of build time and take a few months of planning.  From the day the contract is finalized, we are roughly 4-5 months to completion!

2018 Star Awards Winners

August 29, 2018 Awards, Patio Design

The Texas Association of Builders (TAB) announced and presented the 2018 Star Awards winners on Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas. The highly-coveted Star Awards are given annually in conjunction with the Sunbelt Builders Show™ to recognize excellence in all areas of the home building industry. More than 500 entries were submitted for consideration for this year’s awards. Entries were judged by industry experts from across the nation, including Aaron Crowe (Benton, Ark.), Mike Goodrich (Beaverton, Ore.), Gretchen Palmer (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Bill Sager (Tacoma, Wash.).

In 1992, TAB launched the Star Awards – the only statewide tribute to excellence in the home building industry. The annual competition showcased the outstanding work of builders, remodelers, architects, designers, and sales, marketing, and construction professionals in Texas.

We are proud to announce we are the winners in three categories:

Remodeler – Best Outdoor Living Space – $100K-$150K

Remodeler – Best Outdoor Living Space – Under  $60K

Remodeler – Best Outdoor Living Space –  $70K-$95K

Check out our website for details on all our featured projects, learn more!  

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

Our Customers Love Us

Texas Custom Patios exceeded our expectations throughout our project. From drawing up plans, making changes and additions, through the clean-up process TCP made our dream patio cover a great experience. We knew everyday what was going to happen. Dean was our project manager and involved in every aspect. He was very professional and worked out every detail to make our vision come true. Thank you Dean and TCP! You guys are amazing! I highly recommend this company if you want a professional company to do a great job with the best materials and beautiful outcome.

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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!