Outdoor Kitchens & Living Spaces
In Central Texas, a lot of our daily lives are spent outdoors.
Having a beautiful and functional space for grilling, dining and relaxing outside is a great way to enjoy it to the fullest!
Our southern climate makes the outdoors a great place for grilling, swimming, entertaining, recreating and just enjoying the open air! Whether it’s making a meal after a good day’s work, or entertaining friends and family with an outdoor birthday party for one of your kids, having an outdoor entertainment area is a great addition to any home.
As an experienced full service building contractor here in Central Texas and the Highland Lakes area, our team at Westrock Contractors has designed and built a lot of different outdoor entertaining and living spaces. While the possibilities of things we can build in your outdoor space are only limited by your imagination, here’s a few examples of what your outdoor living space can be transformed into.
Custom decks can be built in all sorts of configurations, depending on your home or business and its layout. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. However, there are some basics about planning and building a deck that you’ll want to consider before starting.
The design and configuration of your new deck is the first, and most important, part of your plan. Is the deck attached to a structure or building? Or will it be free standing? Is there an existing pad or deck for it to rest on, or will supports need to be constructed? These types of decisions and more are best answered in consultations with an experienced and reputable deck building contractor.
The next decision is what type of deck material you want your new custom deck to be constructed with. It’s important to understand the characteristics of each different type. The final look and style of the deck, as well as maintenance concerns and budget, are big considerations when deciding on the material. The most common deck materials and their attributes are:
Composite – This type of decking is manufactured using a combination of wood and non-organic materials like plastics, usually formed in a woodgrain to keep the real wood look. The main benefit of composite deck materials is that they are highly resistant to weathering, rot, damage, and discoloration. They last much longer than real wood, and require almost no maintenance. The weather conditions here in Central Texas and the Highland Lakes area around Austin are extreme, and very tough on deck materials, and composites hold up quite well. Note – composites are available in “capped” and “uncapped” types. Capped decking material has a tough and durable plastic coating, while uncapped material does not. The capped material is more costly, but much more durable.
Wood – Real wood decking is functional and beautiful, and produces that completely natural look. Be aware however that for a real wood deck to last a long time, it requires frequent and regular maintenance. The most common types of wood decking material are:
Pressure treated lumber – An affordable and durable alternative to bare wood, pressure treated lumber is a great material for a wood deck. It is basically regular lumber that is infused with chemicals to resist rot, water and insect damage. While not as visually appealing as a cedar or hardwood deck, pressure treated lumber can be stained to give the deck a very nice look.
Cedar – A very affordable and common decking material, cedar is a high quality wood that produces a nice and natural look for any deck, and the color weathers nicely over time. However, it is raw wood and so it requires very regular and frequent maintenance. Annual refinishing with a wood sealant will keep cedar decking looking good and staying structurally sound for years but be warned, if you do not maintain it, it will degrade relatively quickly. Note – Use heartwood cedar and not sapwood as it is more dense and durable.
Hardwoods – Other woods like Ipe or Redwood are commonly used in decking. They are harder and more durable than cedar or pressure treated lumber and are more visually appealing. But they are still raw woods and so need regular maintenance and sealing to remain sound and visually appealing for years to come.
Alternatives – While not as common as wood or composite decking, there are alternative materials sometimes used for specialty decks. PVC plastic decking and aluminum are often used for commercial or high use decking, or in large structures like grandstands. In certain instances they can be used attractively for residential decks too!
Again, we highly recommend consulting with an experienced deck contractor on all these details before making any decisions or starting your project. Of course, we’d be happy to help! Just submit a free consultation request form here, or give us a call.
One of the most popular upgrades to any outdoor living space or backyard is an outdoor kitchen. With our climate here in Texas, preparing, grilling and eating food outside is popular and fun. Having a proper area to do it makes it even better!
Outdoor kitchen areas can be all shapes and sizes. Yours could be anything from a simple brick, stone, or wood storage area next to your existing portable grill, all the way up to a full blown gourmet style kitchen with a built in gas grill, refrigerator, granite top food preparation areas and counters, and even an outdoor bar! The possibilities are endless!
There are a number of things you will want to consider when planning a new outdoor kitchen area. How much space do you have to work with? Will the kitchen area be integrated with the rest of the outdoor space like a deck or patio, a cover, or new stonework? Will the area need water, gas or electrical hookups added? Our experienced team can help you through this design and decision making process with a free consultation and quote. Just fill out and submit our free estimate form or give us a call. We’d love to get started for you right away.
What is referred to as a patio can be anything from a basic slab and foundation of your outdoor living space to the completed space with stonework, furniture, decor, and even an outdoor kitchen. Here in the West Austin and Highland Lakes area, the most common types of patios start with a concrete slab. They can however be as simple as flat stonework on a crushed gravel base. No matter what style it is, the patio surface is important, both structurally and aesthetically. Make sure that it incorporates seamlessly into your complete design.
The patio surface itself is commonly a finished concrete pour, but it can also be decorative stamped concrete, or custom stonework. Again, the design and look that you want (as well as the budget) will be important factors in determining this choice.
We also highly recommend that you finish off the patio surface with some type of sealant. Concrete and natural stone are both porous materials that age, discolor and break up over time if the elements are allowed to seep in. A good quality sealing job is the best way to preserve the finish and look for years to come.
Of course we can finish off this beautiful new patio with a cover or pergola or a full outdoor kitchen too! Just give us a call or submit our free estimate form here.
Patio Covers & Pergolas
Patios are nice, but having a roof over them is even better! Patio covers and pergolas turn your outdoor living space into an all-weather refuge, allowing you to enjoy the area at any time, rain or shine! The conditions in our area here in Central Texas, especially with the summer sun, are extreme, so having a shaded and rain-proof section adds a whole extra dimension to your outdoor entertainment.
Patio covers and pergolas come in all types and sizes, depending on the size and layout of your space. They can be free standing or attached to the home or building. They can function like an extension to the roof on a home, or simply attach to a wall. They can also be a fully shingled roof, or incorporate outdoor roof materials like transparent plastic panels or metal roofing. If full sun or rain protection is not needed or wanted, a patio cover or pergola top can be a simple slat panel too. Totally separated pergolas can be a beautiful accent to an outdoor space or pool area as well. The design possibilities are limitless!
Patio covers and pergolas can be made from wood, metal framing, plastic composites, or combinations of the materials. Like a deck, the aesthetics and maintenance considerations will usually determine how you want to build them.
The bottom line is that having a covered area as part of your outdoor living and recreational space adds more usability and weather protection and greatly increases the amount of time you can spend enjoying your outside space. We would love to get one started for you right away! Just give us a call or fill out our free estimate and consultation form here.
Pool Cabanas, Boat Dock Covers & More!
Finishing off your outdoor living space can be done in so many ways! Maybe your pool needs a beautiful new cabana as a nice, restful seating area. Or how about some custom stonework around the pool area? Do you have a boat dock? Maybe having it covered with a secure storage area for all the boating toys is the way to go. Whatever needs you have for adding to your outdoor living areas, Westrock Contractors will turn that need into reality. Contact us today and let’s get your project started!
We complete an in person consultation to discuss the project and your needs.
We prepare an initial quote after we discuss and review your project.
We make any changes needed on the quote to form a final estimate.
We complete a pre-construction meeting with you to discuss the timeline, discuss selections, and prepare a contract.
The job is started and completed to your satisfaction.