6 Outdoor Features for a Living Space You’ll Use All Year

6 Outdoor Features for a Living Space You’ll Use All Year

Why not revamp your backyard this summer and build a paradise you can enjoy any time of year? A trustworthy design service can help you create and build your new outdoor living space with a fireplace, pool, outdoor kitchen, patio cover, and more. Your new hangout spot can be as creative or as standard as you’d like–customize it to your preferences!

Start planning your next backyard party with these awesome features you’ll enjoy all year! Click To Tweet

Designing Your Dream Backyard

Before you start building, consider how often you’ll use the backyard and how many people will be joining you. If you regularly have parties, your backyard should have an open, modern look to accommodate all your guests. If you tend to hang out with just a few other people, consider scaling down the designs to your tastes. Whichever style you choose, you can’t go wrong with these popular outdoor features:

  1. Swimming pool
  2. Pool house
  3. Patio cover/cabana
  4. Outdoor kitchen
  5. Pergola/arbor
  6. Fireplace or fire pit

1) Consider a Swimming Pool

Indulge in the classic summertime activity of swimming with your own custom pool! Work with our professional designers to create a swimming pool perfectly tailored to your backyard and personal preferences. A swimming pool is a crowd-pleaser–your backyard parties just got a lot more fun!

2) Construct a Pool House

If you’re planning to use your swimming pool a lot, a pool house might be a great choice to add on to your project. A typical pool house provides a private spot to change and store towels and supplies right next to your pool. Some models will even encompass the entire pool for an indoor swimming experience. To go the extra mile, add a bathroom and pull-out couch to make the ultimate guest house!

3) Add a Patio Cover or Cabana

For the homeowner who wants a pool cover without the total enclosure a pool house offers, a patio cover or cabana is an excellent choice. A covered patio will keep out the Texas sun, as well as most leaves and bugs. Our designers can create a patio cover that matches your home or one that stands out for a truly unique look.

Pro Tip: Customize your patio and poolside lounge with classy pool furniture! It’s easy to find a balance of style, function, and comfort.

4) Outdoor Kitchen

How else will you feed all your hungry party guests? Design your own outdoor kitchen with all the same style and functionality as your indoor kitchen! You can even connect it to your patio so you don’t have to carry food too far. Ready to start planning your next picnic?

5) Design a Pergola or Arbor

If you can’t afford a full patio cover or just aren’t a fan of the design, consider a pergola or arbor instead. They can provide the same shade and protection as a typical cabana, with different styles available and a lower price tag. This is also a great choice for designing a slightly lower-key backyard. Get the same appealing look for less money and effort.

6) Design Your Outdoor Living Space with a Fireplace or Fire Pit

An outdoor living space with a fireplace comes with a rustic, old-fashioned feel perfect for evening backyard hangouts. Roast marshmallows, grill over an open flame, or just let the smoke keep the mosquitoes away while you relax by the fire pit.

You have several unique options for fire features. Some homeowners add a wood-burning fireplace to an outdoor kitchen or seating area, where it can double as a pizza oven. Others will add “bowls of fire” around the edges of a swimming pool for a magical effect at night. What’s your ideal fire feature?

Outdoor Living Areas for Friends and Family

Your backyard should reflect your hobbies and make your lounging and parties as fun as possible. Not all of these features will appeal to you, and that’s okay. The best backyard is one that you and your loved ones will enjoy and take advantage of no matter the time of year.

Curious about how other homeowners decorated their outdoor living rooms? Connect with us to see photos of completed projects!

5 Essential Backyard Design Ideas Near Your Houston Pool

5 Essential Backyard Design Ideas Near Your Houston Pool

A new swimming pool certainly adds a lot of pizzazz to your backyard. But don’t let that be the only new feature for your outdoor space! There’s a variety of ways you can add more creative designs to your yard. Whether it’s just buying furniture or remodeling more of the yard, you can make your backyard into your own personal paradise. Let’s look at a few trending backyard design ideas you can customize into your dream hangout spot.

Decorate that space around your pool with these elegant design ideas! Make your backyard your own! Click To Tweet

Popular Backyard Designs for 2019

Depending on how often you use the backyard and how many people use it, not all of these ideas will appeal to you. The most important thing is what complements your pool and provides a pleasant experience for you and anyone else in the yard. Some of the most popular outdoor decorating trends for Houston homeowners include:

  1. Outdoor lighting
  2. Fire pits
  3. Stylish pool furniture
  4. Pool house
  5. Outdoor kitchen

1) Outdoor Lighting

Decorative lights can provide a festive atmosphere and help you see in those after-dark pool parties. Wind string lights around a pillar for an enchanted look, or install lanterns for a more rustic appearance. Lighting is a truly universal design choice. The only limits are your own preferences!

2) Fire Pits

Speaking of lighting, why not go back to the source and light up your backyard with an open flame? A fire pit or fireplace adds an exotic appeal and helps chase away mosquitoes. Best of all, it’s a perfect place for the kids to roast marshmallows!

3) Stylish Pool Furniture

For anyone spending more than a few minutes outside, pool furniture is a must. Give yourself and your guests a comfy seating area to sunbathe, chat, have dinner, and just spend time in the sun. There’s plenty of elegant pool furniture on the market that will complement your backyard and your pool while withstanding the Houston weather. Explore your options!

4) Pool House

For a family with a new swimming pool, a pool house is a fantastic option. The conveniently located structure provides quick storage for towels and pool toys, as well as a place to change. Some Houston families take things a step further by adding a fridge for snacks and drinks, or even a restroom and small bed so guests can sleep there overnight. Use your backyard space to its full advantage with a pool house!

5) Outdoor Kitchen

Take things further than just a grill with a fully furnished outdoor kitchen. This provides the perfect chance to host outdoor dinners or cook fresh food for your pool party guests. With a variety of accessories and styles to choose from, your outdoor kitchen is sure to be an elegant addition to complement your pool.

Pro Tip: Don’t waste time hauling food or supplies from the house to your outdoor kitchen! Add customized cupboards and drawers to keep your cooking utensils handy.

Personalizing Your Outdoor Space

Adding a pool to your backyard represents a significant amount of dedication to improving your home value. But don’t stop there! There’s so much you can do even in a small yard. By researching trends and deciding on your own preferences, you can make your backyard design ideas come to life!

Looking for more design ideas? Join the conversation to see how other Houston homeowners decorate their backyards.

6 Functioning Outdoor Design Ideas to Complement Your Houston Swimming Pool

6 Functioning Outdoor Design Ideas to Complement Your Houston Swimming Pool

For a Houston home, an outdoor swimming pool is a fantastic addition. But don’t forget to add complementing designs to the rest of your backyard! Fortunately, you have a wide variety of choices to make your backyard a custom oasis. Get ready to make the neighborhood jealous!

That new swimming pool needs some complementing decor! Check out these outdoor design ideas to help you get started. Click To Tweet

Custom Features for Your Backyard

Depending on how often you’ll use your new Houston pool and how many people you’ll be sharing it with, you may not want to add all of these features. However, a couple of favorites from this list could give you the elegant outdoor area you’ve always wanted! How would your pool look next to one of these?

  1. Outdoor kitchen
  2. Fire pit
  3. Pool house
  4. Patio cover
  5. Pool furniture
  6. Backyard lights

1) Outdoor Kitchen

Do you host a lot of parties or just enjoy cooking? Either way, an outdoor kitchen could be a perfect addition to your backyard patio! Enjoy all the functionality and atmosphere of cooking under the stars. Best of all, serve your pool party guests right next to the pool in an outdoor dining area.

2) Fire Pit

Open flames may seem unnecessary in the Houston warmth, but a fire pit by your pool could increase your atmosphere. Imagine an open fire illuminating your backyard at night! Plus, an outdoor fireplace will give you and your friends a chance to roast marshmallows and reminisce around the fire.

Pro Tip: If you get a fire pit for your backyard, make sure any furniture and accessories nearby are fireproof.

3) Pool House

For a family who spends a lot of time in the pool or frequently hosts overnight guests, a pool house could be an invaluable addition to your home. You and your guests will have a convenient place to change, use the restroom, or store snacks before swimming. Take the design a step further with a bed or fold-out couch, and you have the perfect guest house overlooking your pool! The additional time spent on the pool house will be worth it.

4) Patio Cover

A patio cover can cover just your patio or your pool. For a Houston homeowner, investing in a patio cover for the pool is a great idea. Not only will the cover provide shade and keep out the heat, but it will also prevent common debris like bugs or leaves from collecting in your pool. See if a cover is the right choice for your backyard.

5) Pool Furniture

Whether for your dining area or poolside lounging, your outdoor paradise should include comfy outdoor furniture and seating areas. Just make sure it can withstand the Houston weather! Find designs and styles that appeal to your personal tastes while also being practical for their setting.

6) Backyard Lights

Do your pool parties regularly last past sundown? Why not add some outdoor lights to keep the party going after dark? String lighting on a patio cover or wound around a pillar can create a festive atmosphere. Meanwhile, LED lights inside your swimming pool can make the water look magical and appealing. What atmosphere will you create with your lights?

Designing the Perfect Backyard

Whatever you choose, your backyard design should reflect your personality and give you and your loved ones a great place to spend time together. Your outdoor space will be part of your house for a long time and provide plenty of entertainment. Make sure you design the right one for you.

Looking for more pool design inspiration and ideas? Join the conversation to see what other people chose!

The Stages of New Pool Construction

The Stages of New Pool Construction

If you’re interested in a new swimming pool but don’t know where to start, you might want to first get an overview of the entire project. Although it would be convenient, your pool won’t be done in one day. Let’s look at what you can expect from each stage of the construction work.

Planning a new swimming pool? Feeling a little lost? Here’s what to expect from your pool construction project. Click To Tweet

The Construction Process

Each step in the construction process can last anywhere from one day to a few weeks, depending on multiple factors not always in your control. But each stage is crucial to giving you a long-lasting, stylish new pool. The project will generally consist of these basic stages:

  1. Design
  2. Excavation
  3. Plumbing and reinforcements
  4. Concrete and tile
  5. Electricity and tests
  6. Finishing surface
  7. Final touches

1) Design

Construction can’t begin without a pool design! You’ll start by going over your ideas and any questions with a pool design professional to discuss any special features or other preferences you may have. Once your design is complete, you’ll have a good idea of how the finished product will look!

Pro Tip: Once you have your pool design complete, try not to make changes at the last second or during construction. This will only extend your anticipated pool completion date.

2) Excavation

Time to start digging! At this point, the pool builders will bring heavy machinery into your backyard and excavate the space for your future pool. Generally, you can expect this process to take at least a full day. If the weather causes problems, the crew hits bedrock, or your pool is simply bigger than usual, excavation could take longer depending on how quickly the problem is resolved.

3) Plumbing and Reinforcements

Your pool will, of course, need pipes to pump the water and a structural steel skeleton to support the structure. Once the excavation is complete, plumbers will install the necessary machinery in preparation for the next step.

4) Concrete and Tile

Your pool shell–the “bowl” of the pool that contains the water and withstands pressure from surrounding earth–will be made of concrete, gunite, or a similar material. The construction crew will pour the concrete over the metal skeleton, and then line the shell with capstones and lining to aid with future draining. Your pool will start to look finished at this point, but don’t get too excited yet! You’re just halfway done.

5) Electricity and Tests

Now that your pool has a definite shape and structure, it’s time to put in the electrical components. At this point, you’ll see the pump motors and other key pieces installed. The construction crew will also test everything repeatedly and likely bring in a city inspector to complete the work.

6) Finishing Surface

Your pool may have a shell and all its equipment, but it’s not waterproof until the construction crew has coated the shell in plaster. This is the fastest stage, averaging three to five hours.  Make sure to listen to any instructions the crew has about basic plaster maintenance.

7) Filling the Pool

Your pool is finally waterproof and ready to fill! The plaster will dry quickly and allow the builders to start filling your pool almost immediately after they’re done. Once the pool is filled to a safe level, it’s done–you’re ready to start swimming!

Be Ready for Things to Change

Even if you have a good idea of what the construction process will be like, unpredictable problems such as bad weather or delayed building materials can stall the project temporarily. Don’t worry, the crew wants to finish quickly too! You’ll still get a great pool even if you have to wait a few more days.

Ready to start the process for yourself? Connect with us to talk with a pool designer and see what we can build for you!

New Pool Construction: What to Ask Your Houston Pool Builder

New Pool Construction: What to Ask Your Houston Pool Builder

Once you have an idea of what kind of pool you want, it’s time to look for a pool building company to make your dream a reality. But don’t just hire the first company that shows up on Google. As the future owner of a swimming pool, you owe it to yourself to know exactly what you’re getting into.

Make an informed decision about your swimming pool construction project. Here’s a few good questions to ask your pool builder before work starts. Click To Tweet

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Remember that the pool builder is working for you, and the final swimming pool will be a part of your home for the foreseeable future. Don’t be afraid to ask questions until you’re fully satisfied. Here are a few important questions to start with:

  1. Can they accommodate all your requests?
  2. Do they have a good reputation and good reviews?
  3. What plumbing, electrical, etc. needs will the finished pool have?
  4. What will the complete project cost?
  5. What warranties or insurance are available?
  6. What building materials will be used?
  7. What maintenance will the completed pool require?

1) Can They Accommodate All Your Requests?

You probably have an idea of the shape, size, custom features, etc. you want for your swimming pool. See how much your pool builder can create for you. Be prepared for the unexpected when it comes to new pool construction. You may have to scale your project down slightly if your original ideas are too expensive or complex, but don’t give up on your dream pool. Keep looking until you find a pool builder that can make your dream come true.

2) Do They Have a Good Reputation and Good Reviews?

Customer testimonials, while not necessarily a dealbreaker, can give you an idea of a pool builder’s community standing. Do they do quality work and offer good customer service? How often do their pools need repairs done? Ask around and look online to see what kind of company you’re hiring.

3) What Plumbing, Electrical, Etc. Needs Will the Finished Pool Have?

This partially depends on how many custom features you want to be included in or near your swimming pool. Make sure you know what kind of mechanics will be in the finished product. This will give you an idea of how frequently maintenance will be required and how much repairs can potentially cost you.

4) What Will the Complete Project Cost?

Don’t let yourself be surprised by the price. Before you sign the contract, make sure you know down to the penny how much your swimming pool project will cost. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often people rush into a project without considering the total cost. Make sure you know how much you’ll be spending.

Pro Tip: Don’t default to the pool builder with the lowest price. You may be getting a good deal on paper, but the lower cost may indicate the builder will cut corners elsewhere and leave you with a defective pool.

5) What Warranties or Insurance Are Available?

Whether due to damage or wear and tear from age, your swimming pool will need repairs from time to time. A reputable pool builder will offer insurance and limited repairs for your pool, though exact services will vary. Ask about future repairs and how much you can expect to pay for them.

6) What Building Materials Will Be Used?

The more durable the building materials in your pool, the fewer repairs it will need and the longer it will last. Ask for details on construction materials and additional costs for upgrading to more durable ones if necessary.

7) What Maintenance Will the Completed Pool Require?

Finally, make sure you know how to care for your pool when it’s finished. Will you have to regularly call in professional help for maintenance, or will the biggest chore be pulling bugs and loose leaves out of the water with a net? See how much time and money will go into keeping the pool functioning.

Creating Your Dream Pool for Houston Summers

Your swimming pool will add value to your home and provide hours of entertainment for years to come. You deserve the best. Before any construction begins, make sure to get swimming pool questions and answers from your pool builder.

Want to learn more about designing your dream pool? Join the conversation to speak with our professional pool designers!

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