Everything You Need to Know About Building Your New Patio

December 5, 2022 Outdoor Living

There’s no better time to upgrade your patio than the new year. Whether you’re looking for a simple redesign or want to add to your current space, there are plenty of factors to consider. Here are a few tips on how to get started.

Beginning the Process

There are plenty of things to consider before starting the design process. Whether you’re wanting to know prices or the patio process timeline, we have you covered.

“What should I do before calling TCP?”

With factors like usage, family size, and weather all playing a factor in designing your patio, find out what to do before you give us a call.

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“How much should I expect to spend on my patio?”

It’s important to know your budget before beginning your process. Find out what factors make the difference between a $30,000 and $300,000 patio.

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“How long will my patio construction take?”

If you’re looking to have your patio completed in a certain time frame, it’s good to know how long the process is. Find out when you can expect your completed outdoor living space.

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Patio Design Tips

There are plenty of things that go into designing a patio. We’re more than happy to help you along the way, but if you want to start thinking about the design process, here are some great places to start.

“What style of outdoor lighting should I go with?

From spotlights to chandeliers and everything in between, there’s an outdoor lighting fixture to match your patio. Check out some of our favorite options.

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“Should my patio have a retractable screen?”

If you want a great way to stay cool and avoid bugs year-round, retractable screens are a great option for your backyard. Find out more about these patio game changers.

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“What kind of stonework floor goes best with my house?”

There are plenty of great options when it comes to patio floors, whether it’s stone, brick, or tile. Learn more about the pros and cons of each.

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Everything About Outdoor Kitchens

An outdoor kitchen can increase your home’s value and make it the perfect gathering place. From appliances to countertops, we have everything you need to know about your new kitchen.

“What kind of kitchen sink should my backyard have?”

An outdoor kitchen sink is a great way to add convenience and functionality to your patio. Learn about some of our favorite designs.

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“What countertop fits my kitchen best?”

There are many types of countertop materials, all varying in style, durability, and price. Check out a few of our favorites.

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“What appliances should be in my outdoor kitchen?”

From ice machines to pizza ovens, there are plenty of great outdoor kitchen appliances you’ll love. Learn more about these great options.

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All About Water Features

Water features are a great way to cool down year-round. If you’re looking to add one or already have one, we can help make it perfect for your new backyard.

“Which water feature fits best in my backyard?”

Whether it’s pools, ponds, or fountains, the perfect water feature is waiting for you. Learn more about each feature.

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“Should I get a chlorine or saltwater pool?

While both water treatment options have advantages and disadvantages, read our blog to learn more before making a decision.

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“Should I build a cabana or pool house?”

Nothing helps make your backyard an outdoor oasis like these two structures. Find out which one is best for your outdoor living space.

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With these tools, you’ll be ready to take the plunge and make your patio dreams a reality.

Project of the Month: December 2022

November 17, 2022 Project of the Month

This home had a large pool in the yard and a very small covered area, but the homeowner was looking to upgrade the entire yard and create their own paradise.

TCP added a new patio cover along the side that includes an outdoor kitchen and fireplace. We upgraded the existing cover as well as added a pergola and firepit.

We added about 1000 square feet of new stamped concrete to the backyard. The new covered outdoor living area is roughly 435 square feet with a high-vaulted ceiling and an open gable on the end and along the front side. The ceiling is English Porter pre-stained tongue and groove from Woodtone. The outdoor kitchen was placed at the end and is also an L-shape to allow plenty of room for the 40” grill, sink, outdoor-rated fridge, and storage. All appliances RCS are from Cunningham Gas, while the counter has a raised bar top for seating on the outside and is Coffee Brown Leather granite from Instyle Granite.

We placed the fireplace along the side to help provide privacy to the yard. It is a custom-built gas fireplace with an insert from Perfection Fireplace, and all of the stone caps are Chiffon Moire Ashlar Natural White from Apex Stone. The fascia of the fireplace, kitchen, and columns are Blanco Chopped from Rock Materials, and the mantle is custom-stained cedar.  On the far side of the pool, we added a gas firepit. All stones and caps match the rest of the project, and the black lava rock to fill it is from Republic Gas Bowls.

To upgrade the existing patio cover, we changed out the ceiling to match the new cover and hung new lighting. To extend their space along the home, a new pergola was added. At roughly 185 square feet, this structure has a Hercules Pergola Cover from Cover Your Pergola to keep everything nice and dry underneath.

This backyard is now truly a place to Live it Out.

How Do You Choose Between Free-Standing or Attached Patios?

November 3, 2022 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

Picking between an attached and free-standing patio may be confusing at first, but both can serve different purposes for your backyard depending on your usage and the space you have.

Attached Patios

Attached patios, as the name suggests, are outdoor living spaces connected to the back of your house. There are plenty of factors to consider when designing your attached patio, including your price range and usage. Because of its close proximity to your home, attached patios are easier and are typically less expensive to run water, gas, and electric lines to appliances like sinks and grills. Other things to consider when choosing an attached patio are the roof lines and elevation of your backyard, as well as windows on the back of your home that may need to be worked around.

While it may seem like the easier option to have an attached patio, there are some circumstances where that may not be possible. Previously installed pools and uneven terrain may only leave room for a free-standing patio. Multiple roof heights and breezeway placement are also factors that may prevent an attached patio.

Free-Standing Patios

Free-standing patios are outdoor living spaces that provide an outdoor retreat just a few steps out of your backdoor. These are also commonly known as pool houses or cabanas, which we’ve previously discussed. Being in the middle of your backyard, most of these structures are shaded to keep you and your guests away from the heat. Both spaces can be fitted with a privacy wall, but you might find it more beneficial with a free-standing patio, depending on its location. However, being far away from the house means that adding water, gas, and electric lines can be more difficult. 

Regardless if your backyard has a free-standing or attached patio, both provide shade and great areas to spend time outdoors. The decision between one or the other all depends on the layout of your home and the configuration of your backyard. No matter which outdoor living space suits your home, we’re more than happy to help you achieve your patio dreams.

How should I heat my patio?

November 3, 2022 Outdoor Living

No matter what time of year it is, you deserve to enjoy your patio. While we’ve previously talked about ways to cool off your patio on hot summer days, what happens when the temperature starts dropping?

Here are a few of our favorite patio heating options:

Fireplace

You can’t beat the classic fireplace. Whether wood or natural gas, it’s hard to deny the crackling, cozy comfort that a fireplace brings. Not only does it help heat up your outdoor living space, but it’s a beautiful addition to your porch that everyone will gravitate around.

Fire Pit

A fire pit is a great way to bring people together while still staying warm. Like fireplaces, fire pits are mostly wood or natural gas-based, but their size and central locations are great for huddling around. If you don’t want to add a permanent pit made of brick or stone to your backyard, you can purchase more portable options, allowing you to store the pit when you’re not using it. 

Patio Heater

Heaters from brands like Bromic and Innova can both be installed under your patio cover, which allows for them to be directly connected to your power source. This way, you won’t have to worry about filling up a propane tank, just enjoying your warm outdoor living space.

If you don’t want to install a permanent heater, portable umbrella heaters have become increasingly popular over the years. Usually running on propane, these heaters can keep your patio warm throughout the winter without taking up too much space. This is the way to go if you’re looking for a non-invasive, portable heater.

Regardless of which heating option you choose, the only other things you’ll need are some chairs, some hot cocoa, and your loved ones, and you’re set for a great winter.

What to consider before calling TCP

October 12, 2022 Patio Design

You’ve deliberated and deliberated. “Should I do it?” “Is the time right?” “Will it be worth it?” After giving it some thought, you’ve finally decided it’s time to take the next step and start building your dream patio. 

What is that next step? Before you give us a call, there are a few things you should consider.

Price

What will the budget look like for this project? When you work with us, we’ll be able to give you an estimate of how much the project will cost, but it helps to go in with an idea beforehand. Take a look at our article where we talk about patio pricing.

Use

How will your outdoor living space be used? Is it a place for gatherings and parties? Is it a relaxing getaway for you and your loved one? Is it a perfect paradise for your pool? Once you’re able to answer this question, we’ll be able to give you ideas on how to accomplish this goal.

Weather

How hot does it get around your area? If the answer is “extremely hot,” it might be worth ensuring your patio has shade. Water features can also help you cool off, but nothing beats staying in the shade.

Materials

There are many types of stonework and patio materials to choose from. From brick to tile to sandstone, nailing down the style you want to see in your dream patio can help us make that dream happen.

Appliances

If you choose to build an outdoor kitchen, it’s worth thinking about what you’ll be using it for. Will it be predominantly for gameday parties and gatherings? Check out our blog on types of grills. Are you looking for an elegant-looking sink that is stylish and functional? Check out our blog on types of sinks.

Solving some of these questions before giving us a call will ensure your patio vision can be executed to the best of our abilities.

What Kind of Fan is Right for Your Outdoor Space?

May 27, 2022 Patio Design

A ceiling fan is one of the simplest upgrades you can make to your covered patio. The right outdoor ceiling fan adds a decorative and functional touch to your design. 

Choosing a ceiling fan for your outdoor space is similar to selecting a fan indoors. However, there are a few things to consider to ensure the longevity of your ceiling fan.

Moisture

Outdoor fans have damp or wet ratings. This rating indicates the amount of moisture a fixture is built to withstand. 

Damp-rated fans can withstand moderate amounts of moisture. However, you should avoid installing these in areas that may be directly exposed to rain. Therefore, damp-rated fans work better under covered patio spaces.

Wet-rated fans have a more waterproof design. As a result, they can withstand more moisture and are better suited for exposed areas such as pergolas.

Outdoor fan with pool

Other Environmental Factors

High winds and salty humidity may impact ceiling fan performance. If you’re in an area with special weather conditions (hello, Houston), look for a fan specifically designed to withstand the elements.

Determining the Size

The best way to determine the best size for your ceiling fan is to use the square footage of the space. For larger areas that may require two fans, use the square footage of each section to determine the most suitable size for each fan.

Spaces up to 75 square feet = 29-36 inch

Spaces 76-144 square feet = 36-42 inch

Spaces 144-225 square feet = 44 inch

Spaces 225-400 square feet = 50-54 inch

Outdoor living room with ceiling fan

DC vs. AC

DC fans are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy efficiency and quiet, less bulky motors. However, these fans tend to be more costly and usually require remote control operation.

On the other hand, AC fans usually cost less and can be controlled via a wall panel and remote. Some also come with chain switches, making operation more reliable.

Pool house with fan

Style

Now for the fun part: choosing a fan that complements your outdoor living style

Whether you’re looking for an iconic mid-century modern design, something more traditional, or anything in between, there are styles available to fit any space.

One simple approach is to use the same ceiling fans you’re using indoors. If you plan to do this, make sure that your indoor ceiling fan is damp- or wet-rated.

Need help designing your outdoor living space? Give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

How to give your patio a makeover

April 5, 2022 Outdoor Living, Patio Design

Feeling limited by your outdoor space? Even a small patio can have grand appeal with a few simple updates. 

Transform your outdoor design with these small patio makeover ideas that work for any budget.

Comfy seating and couches and statement rug

Add a Statement Rug

If you’re feeling a little shy about daring design choices, try an outdoor rug to make a statement. Bold colors or patterns add an eye-catching anchor to classic patio furniture pieces. 

Fireplace

Bring on the Comfy Seating

Another simple way to add visual interest is with comfy seating. Arrange benches, chairs, or even swinging chairs in a way that makes it easy for guests to engage.

Increase the lounge factor with plush cushions and pillows. Layer different sizes, colors, or patterns for eye-catching, functional appeal. 

Outdoor fireplace and covered patio

Warm it Up

Maximize time spent on your patio with a fire feature. An outdoor fireplace or fire pit adds functional touch and ambiance on cooler nights.

Incorporate a Water Feature

A fountain is another way to add to the outdoor ambiance. Imagine enjoying your favorite book with the calming sound of water.  

Add Some Greenery

Brighten up your backyard with plants or flowers. Choose large plants for a more decorative look. Or try a vertical container with herbs for more practical gardening.

Not only will plants and flowers give your space a vibrant new look, but they can also be a functional touch. For example, some plants like lavender and lemongrass repel bugs and mosquitos.

Use What You Already Have

Save money on your patio update by reimagining the items you already have. For example, repaint an old table for a fresh look, or turn a bookshelf into a bar cart.  

Even small accessories like vases can have a new life in your outdoor living space.


Need help with your patio makeover? Give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Outdoor Fireplace vs. Outdoor Fire Pit

March 28, 2022 Outdoor Living, Outdoor Safety, Patio Design

An outdoor fireplace or fire pit is an eye-catching, functional addition to your outdoor design. A fire feature adds warmth and ambiance and can act as a point of engagement for guests.

While fireplace and fire pit structures add similar appeal, they have some key differences. These distinctions play apart in deciding which one is right for your outdoor living space.

Ask yourself these questions to determine whether an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit is right for you.

Pool House Fireplace

How much space do you have?

A fireplace is probably the better option if limited space is a concern. They are usually smaller and can be built on the edge of a patio to take up minimal space. 

A fire pit may require about 150 to 200 sq. ft. So if space is limited, a fire pit may not be ideal.

Outdoor Fire Pit

How do you plan to use your fire feature?

Desired experience is a key factor. Do you envision a group of guests sitting around the fire chatting? Or is warmth and ambiance the goal?

Fire pits are usually round, square or rectangular, making them ideal to sit around. They can act as a casual gathering and interaction point.

On the other hand, a fireplace offers space for a couple of people to sit in front. You may find that a fireplace creates a more elegant atmosphere or a focal point in your outdoor design.    

Do you live in a windy area?

Climate is another factor to consider. Do you live in a windy area?

Fire pits tend to produce a lot of smoke. Due to the unpredictability of winds, you can run into the issue of smoke blown in an undesirable direction. 

Whereas, fireplaces are built with a chimney to carry smoke away from the house. You can also use your fireplace on rainy days if your patio is covered.

Brick Fireplace

Are you looking for wood burning or gas?

With both fire pits and fireplaces, you have the option of wood burning or gas. 

With wood burning, you get that nice warmth, crackle and smokiness—almost like you’re sitting beside a campfire. However, there’s a bit more effort required in building and lighting the fire, and there are limitations on the style. Wood-burning options must be built using masonry with certain fire codes met for chimney height and distance from structure.

Gas, on the other hand, starts instantly, and there’s virtually no clean-up. There’s also more versatility when it comes to styling as you can add decorative fyre glass or lava rock. 

Cost of Installation

Going with a wood burning option can be good for your budget. Gas requires running a gas line, which can increase the cost.

Whether you go with wood or gas, an outdoor fire pit installation generally comes with a lower price tag. However, outdoor fireplaces generally increase your home resale value. 

In addition to the financial costs, a fire pit may require more cleanup and maintenance depending on the type and how it’s installed.  

With careful consideration, the right fire feature can add practicality and style to your outdoor living space. 



Our experts are here to help you make the decision easier. Give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston, or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth.

New Year, New Home

December 28, 2021 Patio Contractor, Patio Design

2022… the year of no more Covid-19? … health and new beginnings? … possibly even a six-pack stomach, and not beer this year? Whatever it is, make sure your goals will bring you happiness! For our customers this last year, a new custom patio brought great joy and a new place to make memories. See gallery of featured projects here. If you love what you see and would like to get the ball rolling, there’s no time like the present.

One of the first things that most people want to know, is how soon will they be lounging on their new patio? 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 excitement and work diligently to meet a desired date. The guide below was created to give you a ballpark look!

First, determine when you want your project completion to be, then discover what month you’ll need to contact our office to get started. For instance, if you would like to sizzle in style in your backyard for Father’s Day, pick up the phone and call now!

When you call our office, we’ll schedule an initial appointment. After the initial visit, we’ll follow up with a proposal. Once you’ve selected Texas Custom Patios as your outdoor design-builder, we’ll begin the permitting and homeowner association process. This can take up to 90 days depending on the particular rules of your community. When the design has met all requirements, a simpler concrete and cover takes about four weeks to complete(including a kitchen adds a couple more weeks).

Give one of our outdoor-living specialists a call at 281-265-1994 in Houston, or 972-915-2727 in Dallas/Fort Worth. Here’s to 2022 with a view!

Best of 2021

December 27, 2021 Patio Design, Project of the Month

In 2021, Texas Custom Patios completed 200 projects with each one having their own story to tell, all of them custom-designed and built to look as though it is original to the home. While it’s hard to pick a fav, here’s a look back at some top picks from 2021! Click the link below each image for full details.

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

Our Customers Love Us

We had very high expectations when Texas Custom Patios began construction on our back patio space. Because our roofline has a steep pitch and the odd location of our chimney, we were concerned about whether the addition would flow seamlessly with the rest of the roofline. Steven and his crews far exceeded our expectations. Professional and attentive to our concerns, Texas Custom Patios created the outdoor space we’ve always wanted – only better.

© 2023 TCP Custom Outdoor Living