Making Your Patio Furniture Last Longer

September 30, 2021 Outdoor Living

Texas weather can be brutal on your outdoor furniture, from Houston humidity to the Dallas sun, keeping your furniture looking nice can be tough. We have some tips and tricks to try, so that you can feel good about investing in your outdoor style.

Let’s start with buying the furniture, don’t fall for the cheap stuff, you will only need to replace it every season. By investing in nicely-made and designed furniture and taking care of it, you will save you money in the long run! By spending a little extra money at the beginning, you will save your money (and time) and end up with something more comfortable and most likely require less maintenance and repair.

As we cannonball into our tips, you must know that different material requires different levels of after-care. Aluminum for example, is not great for H-town because of the moisture that is in the air. Humidity… great for our skin, not for our furniture. But Teak on the other hand, holds up a little nicer.

A Crowd Pleaser … TEAK

We will start with an easier one to manage. Teak is a go-to material for outdoor furniture of all kinds, from side tables to dinner tables, benches to couches. This durable; water-, pest- and rot-resistant wood gets a bad wrap for it’s high price tag, but a solid piece of teak furniture will have minor shrinkage and will weather beautifully.

Taking care of it is even easier, you can almost set it and forget it. Leave it alone through cold winters and hot summers alike. Just be sure NOT to cover it in wet climates: direct exposure to rain and and random snow flurries is fine, but covering it while the wood is wet can actually do more damage than good by creating a space for mold to grow. 

To keep the grime away, simply wipe it down with a teak furniture cleaner a few times a month, this will keep it looking new and of course help it last longer!

Minimal Maintenance – Man-Made Wicker Style

The “wicker vibe” is all the rage, but the man-made version as opposed to its natural rattan counterpart is much easier to maintain and more affordable, too! The man-made version is built to resist elements and deterioration. It’s lightweight, so super easy to move around. If you’re one to move things around a lot, to get a different feel in your own home, this style of furniture is for you!

This type of furniture does well in any climate, it’s flexible, yet strong! Ready for the best part? To clean it, all you have to do is hose it down, crack open a cold one and call it day!

A+ For Aluminum

In the beginning we talked about the down side to aluminum, but it does have an upside, especially if you’re a “Do It Yourselfer.” If you enjoy DIY projects, this metal furniture can serve as a blank canvas to paint any color of the rainbow. Many outdoor paints are powder-coated and have UV inhibitors to help minimize damage from the sun. Repainting is always easy and can serve as a fun weekend project, so change it up as often as you would like.

So it’s light, it’s stylish, but is it easy to clean? The answer is, YES! Just a little soapy water and a little rub down and you’re back in business.

A Concrete Choice

Concrete tables, chairs and benches have become increasingly popular in the last five years because of its blend-ability and contemporary look. It’s heavy, but durable!

Because concrete is so porous, you will want to place a sealant on it to prevent damage from spills and stains. If you forgo this step, expect some beer can rings and marks that will last longer than the memories made there.

To clean this rock-hard furniture, wipe it down with a damp cloth and let air dry. If there are some deeper stains on the untreated parts, use a soft brush, some soapy water and a little elbow grease to lift the stain. Wear and tear due to weather won’t be an issue for concrete furniture.

Patio furniture is meant for a good time, but it can last a long time too, you just need to take care of it!

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.

Can We Build Your Style? Yes, We Can!

July 31, 2021 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

We aren’t just a one-style builder.  Adding your personal flare to your outdoor space is what it’s all about.  We do build to look original to your home, but there are always details that can be added to enhance the style you are looking for.  Putting little twists can transform the look of an area, it doesn’t have to be a major overhaul. 

Just a few examples…

French Country – add a little window box, shiplap or even a chandelier

Mid-century Modern – incorporate clean and simple lines

Rustic – add beautiful cedar beams

Hill Country – include rock and stone finishes

There are so many ways TCP can help you get the look you want with the right details and material selections.  

Here’s a small example of the different styles of projects we have done in the past:

More completed projects can be found on our Houzz page, click here!  

And while we are planning …

You want to know how soon you’ll be able to enjoy your new outdoor style life?  Use the handy guide below to know when your custom patio project needs to begin in order to be completed by these commonly requested dates. Factors such as material supplies and weather prevent us from guaranteeing completion dates, but we understand your desire for having projects completed for the important elements of your outdoor style lifestyle. We created this guide to give us the best opportunity to serve you by getting started in a timely fashion for your desired completion date.  If for instance you are hoping to have something built by Super Bowl Sunday … NOW is the time to call and get the process started!

 

A Shining Star in Texas

May 28, 2021 Awards

The Texas Association of Builders (TAB) announced the 2021 Star Awards finalists. For the third straight year, the program witnessed a record breaking 720 entries within the 162 elite categories. Projects and nominations were submitted by 120 companies from 60 cities across the state.


This year’s record number of entries once again showcases the exceptional talent within the residential construction industry in Texas. Our great State should be proud of its builders, remodelers, architects, and designers as well as its sales, marketing, and construction professionals. It is an honor to be recognized as a finalist among this group of distinguished leaders.

Texas Custom Patios is excited to be amongst such a stellar group of builders and remodelers. We are pleased to announce we placed as a finalist for three different projects!


TAB launched the Star Awards program in 1992 and it remains the only statewide tribute to excellence in the homebuilding industry. For the first time in program history, the Star Awards were judged virtually. The out-of-state panelists were tasked with selecting the best of the best by reviewing and evaluating the entries. 


Winners will be announced on July 15, the last day of the Sunbelt Builders Show™. 

Project Wait Time

April 28, 2021 Patio Contractor, Uncategorized

Since most of us have spent more time at home in the last 12 months than ever before, we have a new appreciation for making a house a home. And because everyone plans to stay home more in the future, but reintroduce guests, most want some sort of outdoor space to entertain them. If you have been dreaming of improving your home, now is the time to do it, but it comes with a longer-than-expected wait time. It makes sense though … while remodeling activity continues to grow, so does project wait time.

Here’s what to expect…

When a homeowner calls us right now – we are anywhere between 3-4 weeks before getting to do an initial appointment with them.    Once we have done that initial meeting, it takes about 2 weeks to get a design back.  Once the design is approved and the contract is signed, we are looking at an additional 12-14 weeks to start construction.

Remodeling wait times aren’t just in Houston either, this stands for the entire country.

With more homeowners reaching out to construction firms, architects and interior designers to upgrade their homes, the wait time to start a new project is also on the rise.

If you look at the chart above, you’ll see that demand for construction services is strong, as the average wait time to begin a midsize project rose to 9.3 weeks. A year ago, the national average wait time was 5.4 weeks, meaning the average wait time is almost one month (3.9 weeks) longer than the same period last year.

-Houzz

Another thing to consider…

Cost of projects have gone up due to rising lumber and material costs.  Labor costs are also on the rise.  This is always subject to change, but it’s worth mentioning.

If you’re ready to move full steam ahead, contact us now!

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!

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

Our Customers Love Us

We were very pleased with Texas Custom Patios and how our primary contact, Ryan, approached the job. He was very polished and professional and as issues surfaced during the project he was quick to deliver a solid solution. Well worth the investment. We are very pleased with the outcome of this patio and are happy to be a reference to anyone with questions.

© 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!