Project of the Month: April 2023

April 13, 2023 Outdoor Living

This home had a worn-out pergola that didn’t provide any shade. The family wanted to have a nicer space to hang out while using the pool, as well as protection from bugs and mosquitoes. 

The new screened-in patio is about 430 SF with a gabled roof and a vaulted ceiling. The knee walls are brick and painted to match the home, and we used Hardie trim to finish the screened area. We built an 8’ kitchen that’s the perfect size for prepping and serving. The silver-gray counter is from Instyle Granite and Marble. All of the appliances are from Cunningham Gas, including a 38” grill, vent hood, storage, and an outdoor fridge. The kitchen is faced with painted brick, and the flooring is concrete. 

The fireplace at the end of the screened porch is a 42” gas insert with a herringbone pattern from Perfection Fireplace. It is faced with painted brick and has a raised hearth. The ceiling is Woodtone Real Soffit pre-stained tongue and groove in West Coast IPA. 

This screened porch gives the family the needed room and ability to enjoy their backyard. Picture yourself wrapped up in a blanket with a glass of wine in front of the fire while a steak is grilling. Pure perfection.

How Will a New Patio Raise My Home’s Value?

December 16, 2022 Outdoor Living

If you’re looking to upgrade your patio, you may be wondering how it can increase the value of your home. The truth is, a well-designed and constructed patio can make a big difference when it’s time for your home to be appraised.

On a base level, patios add functional outdoor living space to your home. This is especially important in areas with nice weather, as potential buyers will look for ways to enjoy the outdoors. A spacious, well-equipped patio can also provide a space for entertaining, relaxing, and cooking.

In addition to increasing the amount of livable space in your home, a patio can also improve the appearance of your property. A well-designed patio can enhance the overall look of your home, adding to its curb appeal and making it more attractive to potential buyers.

A patio can also add value to your home by providing a place for outdoor activities and hobbies. If you enjoy grilling, gardening, or even just lounging in the sun, a patio can provide the perfect space to pursue these interests. This added value can appeal to families with young children or anyone who enjoys spending time outdoors.

Overall, upgrading your patio can be a great investment in increasing your home’s value. Not only does it add functional outdoor living space, but it can also improve the appearance of your property and provide a gathering place for parties and get-togethers. So if you’re looking to build a new patio, consider how it can add value to your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers.

Grilling Tips For Mastering Your Outdoor Kitchen

December 7, 2022 Outdoor Cooking

No outdoor appliance has more versatility than the grill. But with so many grills to choose from, you may be experienced in one type but have no experience with another. While we’ve previously covered each grill’s pros and cons, here are some tips and tricks to prepare you to cook in no time.

Charcoal Grills

  1. Avoid Lighter Fluid

While charcoal has great flavor, lighter fluid brings a much less desirable taste. If you’re looking for a different way to light your charcoal grill, electric or chimney starters are great ways to heat your coals before grilling. Or, if you’re in a pinch, traditional firestarters for kindling, like paper and cardboard, work well.

  1. Be Patient

It’s easy to throw food on the grill before the temperature is hot enough, but you’ll have a much easier time cooking when you let your grill surface get hot. Less experienced grillers may also flip their foods too early, preventing their food from cooking all the way through. Patience, patience, patience.

  1. Let Your Meat Rest

Although you’re hungry and ready to go, give your meat a few minutes before slicing. This allows the meat to absorb all the juices possible, giving you the perfect bite of steak paired with the perfect red wine.

Gas Grills

  1. Leave Some Room

Although saving time and throwing everything on the grill makes sense, it might lead to uneven cooking. When you give your meats a chance to breathe, you have a much better chance of evenly grilling your food all the way through.

  1. Here to Sear

For the perfect seared meat, get your grill as hot as possible. Put the meat on the grill, then wait a minute or two. Then flip, repeat, and turn the heat down as you allow the meat to continue cooking. This helps caramelize the outside of the meat for that great seared taste.

  1. Grill Indirectly

If your gas grill has multiple burners, use the heat by grilling smaller items like veggies on the side or allowing your seared meats to continue to roast. This allows you to multitask and finish whole meals in one fell swoop.

Flat-Top Grills

  1. Oil Your Surface

Like a painter with their tools, ensure you’re taking proper care of your grill, and the grill will treat you well in return. Oiling your flat-top grill with canola, avocado, or olive oil gives you a non-stick surface to work your magic.

  1. Add Some Pans

Use the flat surface and throw pots, pans, or skillets on the grill. This keeps you from going back and forth from the indoor stovetop to the outdoor grill.

  1. Trap Your Grease

You’ll start accumulating grease while you’re cooking, which is normal. Just make sure you’re cleaning while cooking, taking time to scrape the grease off the griddle with a scraper into a disposable drip pan. This saves you time and effort when your food’s good to go and you’re ready to eat.

Smokers

  1. Fuel Wisely

Regarding wood smokers, less wood can mean more when cooking. Putting too much wood in your smoker can cause too much smoke, turning your perfect steak into beef jerky. Even though a lot of smoke can make you look like you know what you’re doing, it can turn south quickly.

  1. Keep A Good Airflow

Most smokers have vents at the top for a reason. It’s best to allow your smoker to ventilate the entire time, if possible, for maximum taste and even cooking. 

  1. Low And Slow

This tried-and-true method has been treating grillmasters and hungry families well for decades. Cooking at around 225-250 degrees over a longer period gives the meats a better opportunity to retain and absorb their juices, making for the perfect, tender bite.

No matter which you’re using, you’ll be ready for your next gathering in no time.

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

Our Customers Love Us

Texas Custom Patios were a great pleasure to work with on our outdoor addition. They listened intently to what we wanted to create, and gave expert advise on how to make it work. The workers were extremely professional and very clean. The workmanship was superior and the quality of products used was the best. Almost a year after completion they are still in contact and making sure we are still pleased with their work. I could not imagine not using them for a project.

© 2024 TCP Custom Outdoor Living

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