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What is the difference between a patio cover and a pergola?

What is the difference between a patio cover and a pergola?

 

If you are like many of our clients they love being outside but want a place to relax in the shade.  Two of the most common shade structures are known as pergolas and covered patios.  Patio Covers typically provide you with 100% shade protection while pergolas have an open top that provides you with partial shade.  Both are great additions to enhance any outdoor living space and our project consultants can help guide you to fit your specific needs and how we can make them best fit your space.

 

Similarities for Pergolas and Covered Patios:

 

  • Provide shade (partial or full)
  • Can include electrical packaging with recessed LED lights, scones, flood lights,  fans, and additional outlets. 
  • Posts or columns are typically 6×6 or 8×8 and we use a material ranging from cedar, alumawood, treated pine, steel or hardie board.  In addition, each post or column can be fully or partially wrapped with stone or brick.
  • Most need concrete piers prior to construction of the structure
  • Attached or detached to the residence
  • Allow for variations of roof designs, layouts, and pitches

 

Differences for Pergolas and Covered Patios:

 

  • A patio cover can be waterproofed with roofing and shingles to match the design of your home. 
  • A pergola is commonly open to the elements, but we can provide you with a polycarbonate top or tin top depending on your objectives and design.
  • Patio cover roofs are installed with asphalt, tile, metal or cement shingles to match your residence.  
  • Patio Cover ceilings have options including painted hardi-panels, stucco, cedar tongue and groove, and bead-board paneling.
  • Patio covers allow dedicated circuit / attic runs for electrical wiring to be hidden. Where it is commonly seen in pergolas to see exposed conduit running to electrical components (fans, switches, etc.), because of lack of ceiling enclosure to hide those electrical lines.
  • If you’ve opted to stain or seal your pergola, the frequency of re-staining and re-sealing your pergola depends on your climate and the type of stain or sealant you choose. Timeframes range from every year to every 2-3 years.

 

In working with Allied Outdoor Solutions, there’s a great peace of mind knowing your contractor has constructed thousands of shade structures for home owners all over Arizona and Texas.  We look forward to using our experience to build your structure so that you can enjoy the shade just how you want it for years to come.   Give us a call to set up a free in-home consultation with one of our project consultants.

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Allied Outdoor Solutions Houston Texas

How Should I Pick My Outdoor Living Concrete Contractor?

How Should I Pick My Outdoor Living Concrete Contractor?

Prior to the start of any outdoor living space project, it is important to do research on your contractor. There are numerous companies that have a specific focus.  Some contractors focus on certain materials or types of projects which can lead you to a less than desirable outcome for your project and home.

 

Beyond being physically able to complete a project, there are many other items you should have on your checklist. How does this person make you feel? Do you feel heard? Has someone you know worked with them before? Does this person have credentials and understand permitting and HOA approval processes? What are the reviews online saying about this person or their company? Are they listed on the Better Business Bureau?

 

Contractor Checklist:

  • Reviews (do they have more than 5)?
  • Are they easy to schedule an appointment?
  • Did they show up at the time you scheduled?
  • Do they have an office or do they work out of a garage?
  • Do they have insurance and can they show you proof?
  • Do they have workers comp?
  • Did they get you pricing when you met or do you have to wait?
    • Why do you have to wait?
  • Professional?
  • Have they completed enough projects to make you feel comfortable
  • Do they listen to your ideas?
  • Do they offer flexible payment options (credit card, financing)
  • Do they offer creative payment solutions or do they need draws?
  • Do they have schedulers to keep your project moving?
  • Do they project managers to ensure quality?

 

Honesty in key. Truthfulness is priority. Accountability is essential. Those three characteristics create not only a successful project, but an even better working relationship. We want our project consultants and project managers to take the same level of pride in your project as they would in a project in their own backyard.

 

Print off our checklist and use it on your next project.   And when you are ready, schedule a free consultation and experience the difference when we check every box.

 

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How is Carvestone different from a paver solution?

How is Carvestone different from a paver solution?

 

Allied Outdoor Solutions installs all hardscape options in order to deliver the best option for our clients needs .  Two hardscape options that our project consultants get asked to differentiate between are Carvestone and pavers.   It makes sense that we are asked to clarify the difference because both Carvestone and pavers can be used for driveways, walkways, pool decks and patios. Both Carvestone and pavers are wonderful solutions for a new space or updating an existing space that may be out-of-style, too small or damaged. Both options come in a variety of different shapes, patterns, colors and textures. Most importantly, they are both long term solutions that deliver results our clients love.  We have outlined the major differences as you navigate the best hardscape option for you:

 

Visual design differences:

  • Pavers have pre-set patterns and color options made by a manufacturer in advance
  • Carvestone patterns and color options are 100% customizable with endless options made on-site

 

Installation Similaries:

  • In certain circumstances, and with the guidance of your Allied Outdoor Solutions project consultant, you may not require demolition of your existing surface. In many cases we can overlay existing concrete with pavers or Carvestone.  This includes but is not limited to patios, walkways, driveways, and pool decks.
  • In addition, your project consultant can show you how we can overlay most coping with either pavers or carvestone and make it look original.  

 

Possible Installation Differences:

 

(picture of our process – this is in the brochure)

  • Allied Outdoor Solutions is ICPI certified which means we are held to the highest standards on our paver installations and we work hard to keep this certification each year.  The way pavers are installed this way is based on the following: First, we remove the existing hardscape (if needed) and then excavate down another 4”-6”. The depth is built back up using stabilizing sand and crushed concrete. We then will spread a layer of bedding sand for the pavers to nestle down into and level. There will be concrete edge around the perimeter of the project to ensure longevity. Once the pavers are laid and toe poured a broadcast of polymeric sand will be used to fill the joints. The entire paver system is roughly 8”-10” from stabilized base to top of your new pavers.
  • Carvestone is only applied on top of a structurally sound concrete substrate which means we need to pour new concrete or we can go on top of your existing pool deck, patio or driveway.  

 

Maintenance differences:

  • Pavers: do not require to be re-sealed, but are also subject to the elements and absorption of its surroundings.  Your polymeric sand will need to be replaced which is found in the joints of your pavers.
  • Carvestone:  we suggest that every two to three years you re-seal to ensure the beauty of your project . A dedicated re-seal team member from Allied Outdoor Solutions will contact you to remind you every 2 years and assist you in the process of resealing.

Warranty differences:

  • Concrete pavers provide a lifetime warranty on the materials and 2 year workmanship warranty on concrete pavers and travertine.
  • Carvestone provides a seven-year warranty on the chipping and delamination of the surface covered.

 

 

Your dedicated project consultant will listen to your vision and then assist you in designing a solution to fit your needs and budget with the products that fit your space best.  Then our dedicated production team that consists of schedulers, a dedicated project manager to your project will bring your project to life for you to make memories that you have been dreaming of for years.  Take the first step and schedule a free consultation.

 

 

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Allied Outdoor Solutions Houston Texas

How is Carvestone different from stamped concrete?

How is Carvestone different from stamped concrete?

As you can see from the above photo, both Carvestone and stamped concrete are solutions that can beautify any area around your home. When we visit your residence for a free consultation we can offer professional advice to ensure your needs and wants are filled ensuring we fit you with the right solution. A common misconception between these two hardscapes is that stamped concrete and Carvestone are one in the same. While they have some similarities, they are unique as you can see from the photo we shared with you above. The good news is that we offer both solutions.

Here are common ways that they are different:
Their name says it all, stamped concrete is concrete with a decorative design installed by highly experienced crews. Carvestone is a proprietary product that only Allied Outdoor Solutions offers that is a decorative limestone and quartz overlay that takes our specialized crews to install.

About Carvestone: Carvestone is a proprietary mixture of limestone and quartz. The limestone gives Carvestone the natural stone texture and allows it to be cooler, depending on the colors chosen, than stamped concrete. The quartz provides strength. In fact, a standard concrete pour is typically rated at 3,000 PSI while Carvestone is rated at 5,800 PSI.
Carvestone is hand-troweled at 3/8 inch – 1/4 inch thickness. Unlike traditional concrete or other overlay solutions, Carvestone is sealed which helps reject tough stains, two of which being red wine and grease.

Allied Outdoor Solutions installs all hardscape options but only recommends the one that best fits your needs. You can rely on your project consultant to guide you to the right solution and your dedicated project manager to bring to life a space you can enjoy for years to come.

Contact us for more great tips to set up an outdoor living area which will encourage you to spend more time outdoors.

 

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Landscape Lighting

Outdoor living projects come down to the details to make everything work.  Many times we finish and outdoor living job or pool and we just know their is something still missing.  If your going to invest in your backyard make sure not to overlook things that will make a huge impact.

One of the most overlooked outdoor products is landscape lighting.  Lighting creates the mood in your backyard.  You can splash some light on some large oaks or have some soft lights leading to your fire pit that connected by a pathway.
Allied Outdoor Solutions can help you with all your outdoor living needs.  We will look over your whole backyard.  We want to ensure you have a cozy place to relax in the backyard and enjoy the color flowers and enjoy the natural beauty of the large oaks but we also want to ensure that when the sun goes down in the evening you can still enjoy the flowers and the trees.
Enjoy your entire backyard all the time, not just part of the time by using landscape lighting by Allied Outdoor Solutions.

Choosing the Right Contractor

Choosing the Right Contractor

It’s a new year and you are looking to do some of the projects you dreamed up in 2017.  Maybe it’s a new concrete patio, covered patio, outdoor kitchen, pool, pergola, fire pit or fire place.  Maybe you want all of those items.  You have the idea but finding the right contractor can feel daunting!  Below is a checklist that you can use to help you find the right contractor.
Before you meet, find out how easy is it to get a hold of their company.  Can you pick up the phone and immediately get someone on the other end or does it go into a voicemail box that may or may not get returned.  This is important because when you start your outdoor living project whether it be a concrete patio, covered patio, pergola, pool, outdoor kitchen, or fire feature you will always want to know that you can get a hold of someone in a moments notice.  If you can’t a hold of them know do not expect anything different later on in the process.
Look at their reputation on-line.  You go look them up on yelp, google, angies list, or facebook.  Make sure you look at all of these areas because you will want to make sure that the feedback is consistent.  You will also want to be sure that the reviews support what they tell when they come visit you at your home for your outdoor living project.  You are going to spend a lot of money and this step is important to find out what their customers are saying about them.
After you have scheduled your appointment take note if they show up on time or late.  Do they respect your time by showing up when they said they would?  These little things are important when you are going through the process of finding the right contractor for your project.  Once they are at your house, use this time as an interview process.  Ask them to give you a price on the spot?  Ask them how many jobs they completed in 2017?  Ask them if they have an actual office or if they are working out of their truck?  These questions might sound silly but they are important.  You want someone you can relate with, shows up on time, and is running a business that is delivering results to the community you live in for years past and years to come.
Remember this quote, “Cheap pays twice.”  When you are about to invest thousands of dollars into an outdoor living project make sure you do not jump on the best deal.  Make sure you have done all your homework on the above.  Make sure you are asking the right questions.  Take note of their online reputation.  And when you have done that the price should take care of itself.  If you are dealing with a company that has a track record of many years of jobs completed, satisfied customers online, and respect you and your time the price they give you is probably going to reflect it.
So as you start this year searching for your outdoor living contractor for patios, pools, covered patios, Carvestone overlay, outdoor kitchens use this above checklist to find the right one for you!

Redefining Life Outdoors with Allied Outdoor Solutions

Redefining Life Outdoors with Our Skilled Austin Patio Contractors

 

 

When you’re looking to get a new patio, driveway, pool, pool deck, or outdoor kitchen installed in your backyard, you will more than likely need a contractor to assist you. Contractors will give you guidance on things that you haven’t even thought of. Redefining Life Outdoors with Allied Outdoor Solutions patio contractors is the best way help you carefully construct your backyard renovations exactly to you liking while making sure that everything’s placed just perfectly. Keep reading to find out exactly what our patio contractors can do for you.

 

Knowledgeand Experience 

Our patio contractors have the knowledge and the experience to get the job done right. We know exactly what to consider when planning to build a patio, such as the ideal location for it. This would include considering things like the architecture of your house, where the windows and the doors are located, where various equipment is located, and so on, in order to ensure proper and perfect placement of the patio. This will all make certain that your patio is as peaceful and flawless as possible.

 

Custom Jobs 

Our patio contractors will strive to make sure that all of your needs and desires are met. Whether you have a specific material in mind, a specific color, a specific style, or a specific finish, our contractors will work hard to make that vision a reality. Creating custom patios for our customers is what we do best, and not only will your patio look the way you want it to, but we construct them using only the best and highest quality workmanship and materials.

 

Contact us today and start Redefining Life Outdoors with Allied Outdoor Solutions.  We are A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau and Family Owned.

 

 

 

 

 

Redefining Life Outdoors

Redefining Life Outdoors

 

Get Ready to Entertain with Your New Outdoor Living Areas

Summer will be here before you know it. Warm weather and longer days will sneak in when you aren’t looking. Weekend cookouts and pool parties will become the norm, and many an evening will be spent outside sipping lemonade and watching the sun go down. 

Outdoor living areas can enhance your summer experience in many ways. Whether you are a summer chef, a fish at heart, or an observer, your summer will be improved by some simple backyard adjustments. Here are a few of the ways you can change up your yard to make it perfect for you.

 

 

Resurfaced Pool Deck

No backyard pool is complete without a nice surrounding surface. A beautiful new surface surrounding the water makes for a much prettier and enjoyable backyard landscape. Add some chairs, a grill, and a table for the perfect summertime hangout.

Fire Pit

Everyone loves late summer nights sitting around a fire. Campfire songs and s’mores bring back wonderful childhood memories and create fond new memories too. Custom fire pits built into your deck are an excellent way to add to your outdoor living space, and are a perfect addition to any summer party. Be sure to keep fire wood handy for those impromptu hot dog roasts and you’ll be ready for a summer full of fun.

Covered Patio

Sometimes the summer sun is too hot to handle. During these days, a covered patio is an absolute life saver. A covered patio gives you the ability to spend time outside without sitting in direct sunlight, so you can enjoy the great outdoors without the sunburn and sweating to go with it. Additionally, a covered patio area with a fan blowing is the perfect setting for an afternoon board game on a hot summer day. 

 

If these items sound like a good addition to your summertime fun, we would love to help you out. Please contact us today at Allied Outdoor Solutions for more information. 

 

 

 

Add a Kitchen To Your Outdoor Living Area

Outdoor kitchens are becoming a very popular way to transform your backyard into the perfect area for entertaining your family and friends. If you enjoy entertaining and outdoor cooking, then it only makes sense to combine the two into your own personal backyard oasis. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of adding a kitchen to your outdoor living area

 

 

Outdoor Enjoyment 

Outdoor kitchens give you the ability to really enjoy the outdoors. You’ll have a lot more fun entertaining when you can grill up delicious and healthy foods during your next social gathering right in your own backyard. And cooking is not the only thing that you will enjoy about it. You can really expand your outdoor kitchen to include a refrigerator, an ice maker, a patio heater, and lots of furniture and other accessories. Let your cooking and your entertaining preferences and styles run wild. 

Adds Value To Your Home 

Outdoor kitchens are a great investment and can add a ton of value to your home. It’s one outdoor home improvement project that can give you a serious return on your investment. You will get nothing but the best in materials and components, making your outdoor kitchen able to withstand even the harshest weather. 

Let us help you take your outdoor cooking and entertaining to a whole new level by creating your very own outdoor kitchen sanctuary anywhere in the Houston, Dallas, Austin, or Phoenix areas. It’s something that you’ll definitely be proud to call your own. Contact us today at Allied Outdoor Solutions to get started!

 

 

Just Bought a House in Austin? Hire a Patio Contractor to Make Your Backyard Special

Just Bought a House in Austin? Hire a Patio Contractor to Make Your Backyard Special

 

 

Austin, TX, has seen a dramatic increase in popularity over the past few years. It has become a major tech hub and it boasts Google Fiber, one of the fastest Internet providers you can get in the country. If you have just purchased a house in this growing and desirable city, you may want to make improvements. You might want more than just a pretty backyard, so hiring a patio contractor is just what you need.

Enjoy Safe and Attractive Flooring

With these professionals working on your property, you will get flooring that not only looks good, but is safe enough for you to feel confident when your family, friends, or coworkers walk around on the patio. Carvestone is a flooring that gives you a great deal of customization options. So, if you have a specific vision of how you want the patio to look, more likely than not, that vision can be realized.

Install an Outdoor Kitchen

If you want to increase the functionality of your patio, you should add an outdoor kitchen. In Austin, you will have warm temperatures throughout most of the year, so it is easy to use the patio for many months. Cooking outside is not limited to one season, so you are guaranteed to get your money’s worth.

Add a Fireplace

It may be hot during summer and fairly warm in the other seasons, but this does not mean that a fireplace is not a good addition. It can add a great deal of atmosphere to your backyard patio. You can bring out a book in the middle of the night and get just enough light from the fireplace alone to read comfortably.

When you want to add a patio to your backyard, you should not be swarmed with limitations. We strive to create a patio that fits all of your wants and needs. Contact us if you have any questions.

 

 

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