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.

Outdoor Designs that are Dominating 2021

March 26, 2021 Outdoor Style Show, Uncategorized

If 2021 is your year to build your outdoor oasis, check out these designs that are dominating. No matter your style… we provide turnkey custom design projects. Our specialty is building projects that look original to the home, including patio covers, pergolas, screened porches, room additions, guest houses, decks, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and custom patios.

Many times our customers come into the building process with only a small idea of what they want to do, we are here to bring ideas to the table, think things through and of course, build it!

Outdoor kitchens remain ruling as king, but don’t forget… big things can come in small packages. Even if you only have a little space, an outdoor kitchen can still be built! Big or small, outdoor kitchens and dining space continues to be very popular.

For those that have a little extra space, freestanding retreats are popping up in many backyards! This type of “patio” is nice because it’s separated from the home and really gives off the feeling that you’re on vacation!

This space above has a gable roof and vaulted ceiling. We used a stained tongue and groove with cedar beams. The columns are wrapped in hardie and painted – they have stone bases that match the kitchen fascia and the fireplace. All of this stone complements the pool coping. The flooring is a wide plank stamped concrete. Two large fans were also installed to create a nice breeze on those hot days of summer and again, make you feel like you’re on vacation!

Retractable screens are sliding into this list because they are functional and look nice! Most homes have a “hot spot” at least once during the day from the sun’s rays, these types of screens make it easy to block the sun in a moment’s notice. They keep the area cool and also keep the bugs out!

Folding patio doors just might be the hottest feature on this list (save the best for last?)… individual panels give the homeowner complete control, so it can be as open or closed as one would like. The large amount of glass opens up the space for that indoor/outdoor living feel.

Now let’s talk budget … a typical patio cover could be in the $25,000 – $45,000 range.  Adding an outdoor kitchen and/or fire feature can add an additional cost in the range of $15,000 – $50,000. After an initial meeting, we give you an exact quote design. It is all based on the size of your project, how it is constructed, type of finishes and what all is included in your project. And before you know it… your sketch is built and you’re enjoying your outdoor oasis!

If you would like more information on how to budget for your outdoor living space, check out our budget blog, here!

Why Texas Custom Patios?

February 27, 2021 Patio Design

Texas Custom Patios is a family-owned and operated business located in Houston, Texas and Irving, Texas, but our service area covers most of the greater Houston area and parts of the Dallas – Fort Worth area. We have completed more than 2,000 outdoor living projects since we opened our doors in 2004.

At Texas Custom Patios, we’re confident in our work – and we want you to feel confident, too.

That’s why we offer a two-year warranty for materials and workmanship, and a five-year warranty for structural components of your home improvement project.

We also have $1 million in liability insurance to protect against accidents and injury.

At Texas Custom Patios, we offer personalized service and flexible payment terms, and when you choose to work with us, you’ll work with your project team every step of the way.  Along with the Project Developer that assisted in the preliminary design stage, you will also have a dedicated Project Manager that will assist throughout the project completion and clean-up.

We specialize in providing turnkey design solutions for outdoor living, including patio coversoutdoor kitchensscreened porches and patios; room additionspergolas and decksoutdoor fireplaces; and more. View our portfolio.

When you schedule a consultation with one of our experienced project developers, you’ll receive more than just a ballpark figure. We’ll tell you exactly how much your outdoor living project will cost – down to the penny.

But that’s not all. At Texas Custom Patios, every estimate includes a detailed drawing with specifications and dimensions, plus rendered views and elevations – so you can see a preview of your completed project.

AWARDS AND MEMBERSHIPS

Awarded Best Of Houzz 2021

January 28, 2021 Awards, Patio Design
Coveted annual award highlights home remodeling and design professionals with top ratings and most popular designs among the Houzz community

Texas Custom patios of Houston and DFW has won a “Best Of Houzz” award for “Design and Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The custom outdoor living design builder was chosen by the millions of homeowners that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.5 million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz badge is awarded annually, in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design awards honor professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including a pro’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in 2020. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award.

A “Best Of Houzz 2021” badge will appear on winners’ profiles as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“We at Texas Custom Patios are thrilled to be named as a Best of Houzz winner.  We take pride in our projects and are so pleased our designs have caught the eyes of so many Houzzers. And we always strive to treat our homeowners with respect and work diligently to provide great service,” said Katherine Douglass, co-owner for the custom builder.

“The Best Of Houzz awards are an emblem of trust and credibility for home professionals across the U.S. and around the world, and we are excited to celebrate this year’s winners,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical need for people to feel comfortable before inviting pros into and around their homes, and the Best Of Houzz badge is a powerful way for pros to communicate the trust that homeowners have in their business. It’s just one of many tools on the Houzz platform that help pros to communicate their unique expertise, and homeowners to find the right professionals for their projects.”

You can see more of Texas Custom Patio’s work on Houzz!

Don’t Make this Mistake

November 26, 2019 Patio Contractor, Patio Design

There are so many things to be aware of while planning your outdoor living space that it can be overwhelming. Texas Custom Patios is with you every step of the way, but here are some things to consider when it comes time to build your dream covered patio.

Timing of your project… do you have a special event coming up? Or just want it done before summertime? Check out our timing schedule:

How much room do I really need? Great question… But you need to ask yourself a few more questions. What do you want to use the space for?

Do you want just a couch and chair to hang out and watch TV… plan on about 200 SF— you need room to move around the furniture but be placed far enough from the TV for the perfect view.

Do you want to have a small dining table as well (seating for 4 or 6)? Add another 100/150 SF. Or will you be entertaining more and need a table for more (8-10)? Make it another 200/250 SF.


What about an outdoor kitchen? Just make sure you have room to include a counter area with serving space and plenty of room for the grill master to move around. A good rule of thumb is to measure your indoor living room or kitchen or dining area and plan accordingly. Outdoor furniture takes up the same amount of space as indoor furniture. And you need to make sure there is space on the edges to keep everything dry.

When planning for your outdoor kitchen, you need to think about how much entertaining you will be doing or how you will be using your grill. If you are mainly looking to just grill for your family of 4, then a smaller counter area with limited storage and a small grill will work great. If you like to entertain and have people over, then you need to plan on having
the space available to lay out all the food (either food that you have prepared or dishes the guests bring). Make sure you have plenty of counter space for the buffet.

Lighting – how much light is needed? Once the sun goes down, it gets dark outside… make sure you have enough light on your patio. Can lights overhead (1 per 100 SF) and carriage lights on the columns are a good start. If you have an outdoor kitchen, lighting above the grill is
important so you can see how the steak is doing. Hanging a great chandelier is also a nice add not only for light, but a beautiful focal point.

There are many more things to consider, but this is a great start! Your project manager is there from start to finish, so you can enjoy the process and watch your dream patio become a reality!

Turning the Page on Patios

June 24, 2019 Patio Design, Promotion, Uncategorized

Through the years Texas Custom Patios have graced the pages of countless magazines, showing different sizes, styles and price ranges. There is one thing that each project has in common though… customization. Custom is our specialty.

Take a look at some projects that have captured the hearts of many, and serve as example for what you may like to build in the future! There are links at the bottom of each article if you would like to read more.

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

Our Customers Love Us

We would definitely recommend Texas Custom Patios. Ryan and the crew that works with him were very efficient and immaculate. Ryan let us know each day what steps would be taken during the process building our pergola for our patio. From the construction, staining, and installing the electrical outlets and fans. Valentine is a true visionary with his ideas and construction. Everyone is truly impressed with the job they did.

© 2021 Texas Custom Patios

Let's Get Started Today!

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!