Any Houston landscape of any design style can be beautified and accentuated by an arbor built by Exterior Worlds. Such a landscaping element lends the same sense of shelter and protection that one receives when one sits under the shade of an old, great tree. Its roof mimics the effect of overhanging branches, and its walls add a three dimensional motif to gardens and hardscapes. Furthermore, any Houston home, regardless of architectural style, will be complimented by these same features if professionally designed by landscape designers who know how to build outdoor structures in proper relationship to one another, and to the house proper as the signifying element of the entire property
An arbor that is professionally designed and constructed in this fashion does several things. Not only does it give the homeowner a relaxing and comforting place to sit in the shade, but it also gives visitors to the property an impressive and panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Residents should be able to take their guests under its shelter to admire the most distinguishing features of their yard.
At the same time, the structure must also ornament the landscape as part of a larger, specific landscaping theme. Houston homeowners can sometimes be very eclectic in their tastes, so custom design-build construction is imperative in order to get the structure to work with both traditional landscaping designs and derivative styles that require a highly individualized approach.
The arbor should also be constructed with some concealed creature comforts that make it possible to enjoy its many benefits year round, both day and night. The Houston heat is scorching in the summer, and the temperature in the winter can suddenly plummet from sporadic blasts of cold, damp air that sweep down from the north. Climate control has to be built into this, as well as any other outdoor structure, so the homeowners can enjoy their investment regardless of season or climatic conditions. Concealed interior lights and hidden lighting controls should also be wired in places where the homeowner can easily and discreetly adjust the lighting for guests without having to get up.
When it comes to construction materials, Houston landscape designers sometimes build arbors very differently than do other manufacturers. Exterior Worlds, for example, first develops the structural design for the facility in relationship to home architecture and surrounding landscape design, then bases material selection on this relationship. If the property has an ornate European look, such as we often see in River Oaks and Memorial homes surrounded by iron fencing, we may build the arbor out of iron in order to reinforce a classic, Old World look. This is also sometimes done in back yards where dark stone hardscapes are blended into gardens and custom fountains.
Typically, however, we prefer to build wooden arbors out of pressure treated pine. While many of our competitors would argue that cedar is a superior building material, we feel that cedar is both too expensive and deteriorates too quickly to adequately serve the needs of our clients. Pressure-treated pine is much less expensive to source and build with, and it lasts a great deal of time longer than cedar.
One of the primary reasons so many Houston landscaping clients commission us to build them an arbor is because it so beautifully compliments every adjacent landscaping element. There really is no bad place to build one, but there are locations where we tend to build more than others.
One of these preferred locations is at the far end of a patio directly facing another structure such as an outdoor fireplace or kitchen. Another popular location is poolside adjacent to the spa, where sheltered seating provides guests with a relaxing alternative to patio furniture. Another popular location is near a meditation or Zen garden, where a person can relax and look out into carefully sculpted greenery and a tranquil fountain that stills all thought.