By MADOLINE MARKHAM
Outdoor Living Areas doesn’t just design outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, arbors, pergolas and outdoor kitchens—they create spaces that bring the family together.
“Our satisfaction comes when customers tell us that they don’t watch as much TV and the kids don’t play as much Xbox,” general manager Scot Thompson said. “It means they are spending time together as a family. Their lifestyles have changed, and family time has become cool again. As a contractor and dad, that is very satisfying.”
Patios and decks are designed to flow with the look of the house to create an area most fitting for the customer’s family. They offer a full selection of horticulture services, including irrigation, to complete the entire project typically in 7-14 days.
“When I start a project, I don’t leave until we’re finished,” Thompson said. “I think that’s why our customers like us and call us back.”
Their focus on the customer carries over to their designs as well. Situated on a mountain, one house had a particularly windy backyard that might get in the way of cooking at an outdoor kitchen, so Outdoor Living Areas suggested they build it in front of the house. The homeowner now cooks there at least four times a week, even in the winter, and is having a cover installed over the kitchen so he can cook in the rain.
In addition to enhancing beauty and creating family space, the right backyard design also adds value to the home and makes it stand out in a neighborhood. “I haven’t had a customer yet that didn’t say they could make their money back,” Thompson said.
The sales of backyard designs have quadrupled over the past year, and they have added a plethora of new product lines to provide the latest innovations in outdoor space design.
“We highly underestimated the demand for these types of projects,” general manager Jonathan Messner said. “Big or small, everyone wants one at their home.”
Among their new product lines are kitchen cabinets available in teak, cypress and bamboo “[It] gives our customers many more options than just stainless steel,” Thompson said. In addition, brick, stone, and mortar wash outdoor fireplaces now come as modular units that can be customized in many different ways.
The business’ designs transform existing space into retreats families will treasure for years to come. “What we are doing,” owner John Calloway said, “is providing a unique, private outside area that the entire family can enjoy. We are utilizing backyard space that has previously been ignored and turning it into something so special that it ends up being used more than any space inside the home.”
Outdoor Living Areas