ALL HANDS ON DECK
Transform Life at Home by Extending Comfort to the Great Outdoors
By Sam Byrd
In Houston, “heat” is our middle name. Despite the mercury, we've found ways to provide shade in our daily lives. There's no tiptoeing around the resolution: We can outsmart Mother Nature to make Houston more habitable. Decks, patios and outdoor shade covers are — no pun intended — the hot trends right now. And, to ease the transition, we questioned the experts.
When it comes to selecting composite or wood for a deck, there are merits for both options. Though Brian McQuin, owner of Texas Decks & Patio Covers, says he’s seeing a preference with customers for strong woods. In those instances McQuin recommends treated pine or IPE that, with regular maintenance, will stand the test of time and stay gorgeous for years. “From the very start, [wood is] just working its way toward replacement,” McQuin mentions. “A good patio is worth the money, and it deserves the money, time and attention it requires.” So regular upkeep is a necessary buy-in with this choice.
For those who select composite, McQuin prefers to use Trex®, Fiberon and TimberTech, materials that are made from reclaimed plastic, high density polyethylene or wood and that otherwise would be sent to the landfill. As their aesthetics continue to improve, Texas Decks & Patio Covers has noticed an increase in popularity for these types of materials.
Mike Logan from Texas Pit Crafters agrees that hardscaping and backyard built-ins are a worthwhile investment, and he suggest doing it all at once. “People are doing bigger projects rather than dragging it out over phases. People want more extensions to the back of the house rather than just a shade cover. It’s bringing the living space outside.”
Bigger. Better. More shade. Yep, sounds like Texas. Mike Flynn from Texas Best Installations also chimes in on the matter.
“It’s about expanding your living space outdoors. Having a patio or hard surface — a patio made of concrete or tile or a deck with wood or a Trex® [high-performance composite deck boards] — that’s where you begin. And then, you cover it with a pergola. It’s designed for shade or a full fledged patio. The name of the game is budget but, also, how do you intend to use the space? If you want it to be an outdoor living area and extension of your home with tables, chairs, sofa, televisions…you can be that elaborate, or you can just put a shade cover over your grill or seating area,” he says.
The most difficult part about creating a backyard environment comes from the multitude of choices. We’ve seen screen rooms, sunrooms and pool enclosures, which all work for keeping out the mosquitoes and flies. For shade, options include patio covers, pergolas and Sunbrella® awnings. Our recommendation is to browse around the galleries of local contractors and builders to get some ideas for what you want, then fine tune that list through the bidding and quotation process. If you’re going to make an investment like this, it might as well count, and all agree that it’s worth the dollars. Spending a good amount of time, money, and attention toward creating something worth the effort is going to pay off in the long run.
A Affordable Aluminum
Archadeck Outdoor Living
Best Investments Siding & Windows
12314 FM 1960
Colony Builders, Inc.
6613 West Sam Houston Parkway North
Frederick Builders & Remodelers, Inc.
Home Exterior Systems
Houston Home Improvement Construction
Texas Custom Patios
Texas Decks & Patio Covers
405 East 31st
Texas Pit Crafters
31909 Decker Industrial Circle, Pinehurst