Backyard remodeling is a core services offering of Exterior Worlds intended to improve the quality of outdoor life and bring Houston-area homeowners better return on their real estate investment. Remodeling a back yard adds value to a home on two very important levels. First, it creates a more balanced and amenable environment that better compliments the architecture of the home and brings the landscape into greater unity with the residence proper. Secondly, it creates spaces within outdoor space that are more conducive to recreation, relaxation, and home entertainment. Scale and aesthetics are the key determinants that we use to create this new living experience so that the backyard becomes more warm and inviting to guests, and so it will better project a better sense of personal, individual lifestyle into the entirety of the property at large.
Backyard remodeling is a very scientific and systematic process that begins with a determination of scale before any new structures are planned or physical labor of any kind undertaken. Our team conducts a survey of the entire property, taking measurements of the perimeter and of every individual form present on the landscape. Existing features are evaluated in reference to home architecture, total acreage, and the number and size of trees in a back yard. These elements are then mapped out in a landscaping master plan that allows us to quickly and accurately assess which form must be altered first to create balance. Our intention is to make each individual form work both individually and collectively with the aesthetic of the back yard as a unity. Design software is essential to the initial phases of remodeling because it allows us to manipulate features from multiple vantage points until the right mathematical proportions are established and a working template for physical construction is finalized.
While every back yard is unique in its proportions and remodeling design needs, certain elements are practically universal to Houston backyards that require our immediate attention before anything else can be done. The swimming pool is perhaps the one thing in every Houston back yard that invariably requires significant remodeling. Homeowners who contact us have either moved into a home with an existing pool, or they have previously purchased custom or luxury swimming pool from one of the many local pool contracting companies in our area. While these pools may be impeccably design as structures in their own respect, upon closer examination, we almost always discover that most of these pools, while very well designed as structures in their own right, simply do not look proportionate to the home itself or the surrounding forms of the landscape. In order to better establish a new aesthetic for the back yard, we must remodel the pool in such a fashion that directly supports home architecture and blends more harmoniously with the surrounding terrain.
Other back yard elements vary widely in the extent that they require remodeling work. Exterior buildings often require new roofing in order to bring their height more into scale with that of the house and surrounding trees. We may also have to modify interior floor space within these buildings to make them more appropriately suited to home entertainment. When it is not feasible to expand an outdoor building’s square footage, we may opt to create adjacent, outdoor space by adding a custom patio at the entrance. This additional hardscape expands seating room and also brings the gathering more in touch with the surrounding natural world. Certain decorative elements, such as fountains, may have to be relocated or completely rebuilt in order to give the backyard a more updated, sophisticated sensibility.
In most instances, remodeling existing structures and hardscapes in this fashion almost always creates new open areas in a back yard that in turn provide new opportunities for entertainment and décor. In larger back yards, special elements such as putting greens and natural swimming pools can be added to give adults and children alike new areas of recreation and fun. Sometimes, couples with children will ask us to dedicate an entire portion of the backyard exclusively to their children. Ball courts and practice fields can be constructed in this area so kids can have a safe place to practice and play, and where parents can supervise the activities from a patio or living room window. For residents intending to entertain large numbers of guests throughout the year, outdoor lounges, outdoor fireplaces, and summer kitchens can be constructed that will accommodate a specific, anticipated numbers of guests. Proportions, again, are always kept to scale to surrounding features in order to preserve the overall aesthetic of the property.
Trees, gardens, and other organic elements must always be proportionally scaled to compliment surrounding architecture and vegetation. This usually involves trimming trees to some extent in order to bring them into balance with outdoor architecture. Sometimes, too, it we decide to install special tree lights that help expand outdoor entertainment areas with better visibility and an aura of mystique ideally suited to backyard events. Garden designs must then be re-shaped around the newly remodeled buildings and hardscapes. Tree preservation techniques are always practiced in these projects in order to ensure that no damage is done to root systems that may run just underneath the surface of older walkways, patios, or flower beds. Professional landscape architects and designers are the only people who should be trusted to undertake this type of remodeling work due to the complexities of these methods and the special equipment needed to protect trees from damage