Team Member Derek Koen

Who he is: Derek Koen, Accounts Receivable and Asset Manager

Derek was born and raised in Abilene, graduating from Abilene High School. Derek has a B.S. in Accounting from McMurry University. Derek loves any recreational sport, but especially enjoys kayaking, bowling, and playing disc golf. He recently got married and describes his wife lovingly: “My incredibly talented wife Melanie is an eighth-grade algebra teacher at Abilene ISD and we have been married for four months now.” They have a one-year-old husky named Aspen who they like to take to the park. Derek and Melanie also enjoy spending weekends with their families. Derek worked part-time for Extreme Exteriors before joining the team full-time in December 2016. 

Why he does what he does: “I do what I do for Extreme Exteriors for a sense of accomplishment. I strive every day to leave work knowing I’ve done work that matters and that I have assisted in turning our clients’ dreams into reality.”

Lynn and Dee Ann Key


Project: Pool and spa, landscaping, outdoor living areas

Why: They love their home and neighborhood, and couldn’t picture being happier anywhere else. They had already remodeled the interior of their home, and the next logical step was to improve their outdoor living space.

Extreme Exteriors Services Used: Design, construction, irrigation, retail

The Key’s starting point was truly a blank slate. Lynn and Dee Ann rarely used the backyard because it was only grass. It wasn’t the kind of place that they would invite people over to enjoy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love their home. They are very comfortable there and over the years, they had remodeled their home to suit their needs. From time to time, their interior remodeling contractors would say, “Let me know if you’re ever interested in a pool.” Without causing any offense, Lynn and Dee Ann decided the best course of action would be to find a professional pool designer.

The Keys were referred to the Extreme Exteriors team by some friends who were satisfied clients. They were shown several different design options for their pool and were happy with the clarity provided, especially because they hadn’t owned a pool before. In the end, they settled on a pool that features a raised spa with waterfall and a tanning ledge with bubblers.

Their favorite thing about working with the Extreme Exteriors team was there were no surprises. Lynn said, “Looking back it was a very wise choice because everything went off without a hitch. They would tell us what they were going to do and then they did it. They made progress every day, stayed on track, and were able to finish ahead of schedule.” Dee Ann and Lynn are very happy with the outcome and feel that it’s the best money they’ve ever spent!

The backyard has truly been transformed from a place that they didn’t really use to an extension of their home that they use every day. It’s also now a place they feel comfortable inviting guests to enjoy. Dee Ann is looking forward to hosting some special events soon — a graduation party at the end of May and a baby shower in June. Her college-age son and daughter have also invited their friends to come enjoy the newly renovated space and that’s been fun for the family. Dee Ann and Lynn are the kind of people who feel comfortable being at home, and we are thrilled that we got to be involved in making their home even more peaceful and inviting.

Team Member Archie Crosby

Extreme Exteriors Team Member Spotlight

Who he is: Archie Crosby, Purchasing Agent

Archie has worked for Extreme Exteriors for a year and half. He enjoys camping trips with his family and taking nice long road trips to Georgia, where he grew up.  He misses the tall pines of south Georgia, but he’s settled into country life with his beautiful wife and soul mate Shasta. Together they have a daughter, Scarlett, and two sons, Evan and Frost. They also have two dogs, six cats, and a small flock of chickens. His land adjoins his brother’s and his parent’s, and Archie enjoys being close enough to spend time with family but far enough away to still have his own space. Archie also enjoys drawing, helping others, going to zoos with his kids, and working outdoors.

Why he does what he does: “The why is such an important part of our lives. It’s who we are. Why is not a question, it’s an answer. I want to be part of something that is so much bigger than myself and I get to do that with Extreme Exteriors. I get to help make memories for families and generations. I’m a part of that regardless of whether I get credit or not. I don’t need my name passed around the fireplace we built. I just get to know that I was a small piece of that positive effect on someone’s life.” 

Dr. Ameeta Kapu

Clients: Dr. Ameeta Kapu and family

Project: Pool, pavers, and landscaping

Why: She previously had more time to travel, especially to the beach because she loves the water. As her work became increasingly demanding, she couldn’t get away as often, so she wanted her home to be her oasis. She also wanted her son and daughter to more fully enjoy being at home.  

Extreme Exteriors Services Used: Design and construction

What do you do when you can’t visit your favorite vacation destinations? You bring the feel of those amazing places home! When her children were younger, it was easier to get away. But as they grew and her work increased, Ameeta decided to contact the Extreme Exteriors team to see how we could help transform her backyard.

She wanted to capture the resort-style feel of some of the nicer hotels she stayed at during her previous travels. She also wanted a lot of plants because she enjoys beautiful scenery. She was very happy that her design selection process was easy and that the Extreme Exteriors team could offer her what she wanted. “The reason I chose Extreme Exteriors is because they offered high end materials. If I showed them a picture, they could get what I wanted. A lot of others just didn’t offer enough choices or didn’t have the knowledge that I expected.”

One of Ameeta’s top design priorities was a water feature for the pool because she loves the sound of falling water. She also wanted to make sure the pavers around the pool looked like they belonged there and tied in with the house. She said, “They did a great job on the patio. It almost looks like a French street! They listened to what I wanted and tied everything together so well. And they built the pool really fast, which is especially good.”

The pool was ready for her daughter’s high school graduation last year, and they hosted a celebration for her. “Lots of people came over and it was so beautiful,” she said. Ameeta is happy that she could give her kids a nice place that they could enjoy and that she has her own scenic views. Even though she still likes to travel, she doesn’t have the same need as she once did to “get away” for beautiful scenery. We’re so grateful that Ameeta gave us the opportunity to help transform her backyard into the restful, pleasant space she was looking for and that she could share her “story of why” with us.

Team Member Jake Griffith

Extreme Exteriors Team Member Spotlight

Who he is: Jake Griffith, Project Manager

Jake has worked for Extreme Exteriors for seven years. Over the years, he’s worked on some pretty large projects and has been a part of exciting changes within the company. He lives in Hamlin, Texas with his wife Kimberly and children Hailey, Lexi, and Charlie. He also has two dogs, Bobo and Harley. Jake’s interests include old cars and rat rods. Jake enjoys hanging out watching movies with his family and playing video games. And whether you call it a recreational activity or a necessary evil, from time to time he goes “varmint hunting.”

Why he does what he does: Jake enjoys that his work contributes to people’s happiness; and he loves how clients are able to make memories that carry on for generations.

Garza Family

Clients: The Garza’s

Project: Pergolas, outdoor kitchen, firepit, concrete walkways and patio spaces, new trees

Why: The Garza’s have a large piece of property, but before their Extreme Exteriors renovation they rarely went outside. They wanted a safe, fun place for the girls to play and a space to entertain friends.

Extreme Exteriors Services Used: Design, Construction, Retail

Over a period of 20 years, Armando Garza renovated and added on to his original home, making it more comfortable for himself, his daughter, and four grandchildren. When they got to the point to make the outside just as comfortable as the inside they called the Extreme Exteriors team! The Garza’s were looking for two main things; seating areas so they could eat together, and concrete walkways so the younger girls could ride their bikes around. They live on a busy road, so they wanted the girls to have a safe place to play in their own backyard.

The design team went to work and came up with a plan that the Garza’s loved and that fit their investment goal. Stacie explained how they chose Extreme Exteriors over another company. “We had another estimate, but they were going to do less work for the same price. They were also going to have to outsource some of the work. We liked the Extreme Exteriors design because it was more detailed and we got more bang for the buck.” The Garza’s design includes two pergolas. One fits directly over the outdoor kitchen and the other adds visual interest to the backyard patio. They also chose a new wood-burning fire pit and concrete walkways that connect the two patios and curve around the sides of the house. This allows younger sisters Kambri and Addalyn plenty of space to ride their bikes. The Extreme Exteriors team also defined a space for their play structure, adding mulch for safety.

With these enhancements in place, Stacie said, “We’ve been cooking, entertaining people and relaxing by the firepit. It’s just been great. In the past, we’d never come outside and now we’re out here a lot more!” They had fun celebrating with friends on New Year’s Eve, and Stacie is looking forward to throwing birthday parties this year in the backyard, something they’ve never done before. Stacie loved working with the Extreme Exteriors team and encourages anyone who is thinking of working with us to go for it. The whole family really loves their outdoor living spaces, and they look forward to making lots of great memories together in the years to come. 

Team Member King Buchanan

Extreme Exteriors Team Member Spotlight

Who he is: King Buchanan, Accounts Payable

King loves exercising and outdoor adventures! His favorite outdoor sports include skydiving, rock climbing, and hiking. This year, he’s also trained for and completed a variety of running and cycling races. In addition to his full-time work with Extreme Exteriors, King owns a small property rental business. He looks forward to building equity with his business for a more comfortable and stable future.

Why he does what he does:

King has worked for the Extreme Exteriors team for 3.5 years. The company has earned his loyalty through a culture of excellence and comradery along with caring and personable leadership. Building friendships within the team has been one of the many experiences he values from his time with Extreme Exteriors. King said, “It is common for people to attend work and communicate well with coworkers, but the work week becomes fun when you view your coworkers as your team and friends. I have been blessed by this taking place. I have also grown to love the products and quality that Extreme Exteriors provides. Meeting customers and seeing their excitement from our work is a powerful, driving force that inspires me to do my part for all our future customers. I do what I do because of my conviction for excellence, my loyalty to the team and leadership, and a desire to provide the absolute best to our customers.”

Dr. John and Kelley Bliznak


Project: Pool, pavers, firepit, and landscaping

Why: There are two significant reasons – first, they wanted their home to be a gathering place for their family which would give their children great memories and serve as an inspiration for the future. Second, John takes weekend call as a neuroradiologist from his home office. In between sometimes stressful cases, he’s able to take a break to enjoy his plants or jump in the pool to unwind.

Extreme Exteriors Services Used: Design and Construction

John planned his home and backyard to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and most importantly, people! So far, it’s working great. John’s father loves to stop by and check out the hummingbird activity, and his kids enjoy spending time in the pool. The Extreme Exteriors team designed the flowerbed layout, but John himself organized and planted his abundantly blooming backyard. He is a serious plant-lover, and his yard includes cacti he brought from Arizona, salvias, honeysuckle vines, and blue mist flower shrubs that grow from early spring to late fall. “I had a strong desire to build something and landscape it the way I wanted it. It can be hard to make modifications to an existing home. Kelley sometimes tells people we built the house for the plants!”

When it came time to work on the pool, John drew inspiration from a home tour he took when he lived in Tucson for his neuroradiology fellowship. He said, “I was awestruck by this pool. There were rivulets coming off of flat rock boulders and no coping at all. Kelley and I talked about it and decided if we built a pool, we wanted to emulate that. When we started getting bids, Extreme Exteriors was the first to respond and the pricing was good. Everyone else was extremely expensive.” John and Kelley’s pool has a look unlike Extreme Exteriors has ever done before, with impressively large boulders hugging the pool’s edge. John said the team was able to do a phenomenal job with the resources at hand to build the pool. He admits it’s not exactly like his “inspiration pool” in Tucson, but that pool had a quarry next door and they could get all the granite they wanted at a very low cost. John appreciates that the team working carefully to position each boulder, achieved the right look, and did not drop them into the new pool! In addition, John literally went the extra mile, and drove to Marble Falls to choose more large boulders he wanted to include in his landscape.

Other elements that add to the character of the Bliznak’s backyard include: a custom built firepit, inspired by John’s travels in Africa; and a multi-tiered fountain they like to turn on when they’re hosting parties.

John and Kelley have enjoyed their pool and backyard for more than three years now. Judging from the pictures, everything looks like it could have been completed yesterday! The Bliznak’s are doing a wonderful job of keeping the pool looking great and all the plants healthy and happy. We appreciate them for taking the time to be our client profile and for sharing their story of why. We all have a story of why, and we hope that we can be a part of your story.

Team Member Blayne Street

Who he is: Blayne Street, Project Manager

Blayne and Lindley Street

Blayne and Lindley Street

Blayne loves everything about the outdoors, including golfing, hunting, fishing, or just plain working around the yard. He also loves spending time with his wife Lindley. They like to watch sports together, especially the Dallas Cowboys. Lindley works nights at Abilene Regional Hospital as a labor and delivery nurse, so the time they spend together is always precious. Blayne and Lindley are high school sweethearts and were married October 3, 2015, after they both graduated from college. Blayne said, “My wife is very outgoing and tough, but is also very kind, generous, and loving. She is going to be an amazing mom and will always be the love of my life.”

Why he does what he does:

“I do what I do with Extreme Exteriors because I feel that the work I perform matters. It gives me tremendous satisfaction to turn my customers’ dream outdoor living spaces into a reality. It gives them a space to make countless memories with their friends and family.”

 

The Big Green Egg

Have you ever tasted a dish so delicious that you just had to find the recipe? When you join the community of Big Green Egg aficionados, you’ll be blown away at how much amazing food you can cook on your EGG. Whether you’re cooking for two on a BGE Minimax, or cooking for a crowd on an extra-large EGG, you can guarantee that friends and family will ask you, “How does this taste so amazing?”

photo courtesy: thepatrioticpam.com

photo courtesy: thepatrioticpam.com

Let’s face it, cooking is work, but the Big Green Egg makes it fun and easy! Getting the temperature right is simple, with the high-quality temperature gauge that measures accurately up to 750 degrees F. Big Green Egg also offers several digital thermometers, so you’re never guessing about the meat’s internal temperature.

Prepping your EGG is a breeze, with BGE’s own organic charcoal that has no by-products, chemical fillers, or petroleum additives. Use BGE’s all-natural charcoal starters or the Looftlighter to get your charcoal ready. Throw in some BGE wood chips to create your signature flavor! Choose from mesquite, hickory, cherry, pecan, and even Jack Daniel’s barrel chips to create hundreds of mouth-watering combinations. Caroline McCann, owner of Braeside Meat Market said, “Once I did a home-made bacon smoking demo on the Big Green Egg using some smoking chips and the result was ridiculously divine. When I opened the lid ready to remove the bacon, the smell reached the audience and there was a collective sigh and everyone looked longingly towards the EGG – I wish I’d taken a photo.”*

You’ll have photo-worthy results every time because the EGG is so consistent. The EGG was specifically engineered to provide the best heat retention, durability, and strength of any outdoor cooker on the market. These qualities make the EGG the product that withstands the test of time and can even be handed down from one generation to the next!

photo courtesy: Lauren Wilson, Extreme Exteriors

photo courtesy: Lauren Wilson, Extreme Exteriors

Literally anyone can cook, grill, or even bake on the BGE. Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer in North Carolina said, “At first we were a bit intimidated by the EGG because it’s such an impressive looking piece of equipment. You might think it requires a tremendous amount of skill to use, but it’s infinitely easier than our old grill. I was never the one in my family to cook on the grill and now, more often than not, I am. The EGG has made me the grill cook that I always thought I could be.”*

Essex residence

photo courtesy: Anchoring Hope Photography, Essex residence

Using BGE items such as the baking stone or the Conveggctor, any pizzas, breads, or pies will turn out perfectly. The Conveggctor provides a heat-directing barrier between the charcoal and the food, essentially turning it into an outdoor convection oven.

Many Extreme Exterior’s clients love to use the EGG, and our construction team often builds them into our clients’ outdoor kitchens. Our showrooms in Midland and Abilene also have a good selection of EGGs and accessory items so you can see for yourself how impressive they are. You can find even more cooking tips, warranty information, and tasty recipes on the Big Green Egg website. Once you’re cooking with your own EGG, you can join the online EGGhead forum, and share the unique culinary creations that you achieve. So come see us to buy your EGG and get grilling!

Meet Gary and Ginger Causey

causey5Project: Pool/spa (spool), pavers, sod, landscaping, outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchen

Why: The drought years had taken their toll on the backyard. Gary and Ginger knew their view of the golf course had the potential to look really amazing. Gary is a do-it-yourselfer, but he knew what they wanted would require professional services. They also finally had the time to enjoy being at home, after many years of frequent travel to support their sons’ sporting activities.

Extreme Exteriors Services Used: Design, construction, irrigation, retail

Good things often start with imagination and creativity. Ginger and Gary had both of these qualities in abundance as they pictured a causey3beautiful backyard for their home. Having lived in their home for twelve years, they knew the potential it had – and the challenge it would be to bring out that potential. “I would have loved to do it myself, but it was too big of a job. We wanted something worthwhile to match the view and add value to the home,” Gary said.

At around the same time as the Causey’s were seriously considering upgrading the backyard, the golf course was undergoing a major revision. The greens close to their property were redone and the lake was enlarged. Thankfully this made their view even more beautiful than it was before, and provided additional motivation to move forward. 

Ginger and Gary wanted an outdoor fireplace or a firepit, a moderately-sized outdoor kitchen, new landscaping, and just enough grass for their new dog, Kona, to have a place to play. After meeting with the design team, Ginger and Gary decided to include a spool as well. Because the Causey’s yard is very open, it doesn’t have natural wind breaks such as tall trees, so they realized a firepit would likely be causey1too smoky for the space. A large outdoor fireplace with the natural stone that Gary liked was chosen and constructed, matching the stone on the spool and highlighting the color of the travertine pavers. Ginger especially likes the Versailles pattern of the pavers they chose.

The project has only been completed for a couple of weeks; but in that time, Ginger has enjoyed spending time outside on the patio, just watching people go by on the golf course. Gary and Ginger have spent some time in the spool and even Kona has tried it out a little! Ginger is very happy that the project was completed on schedule and that the team was so helpful. “They said to call at any time if I had questions and they were very responsive to our desires. They sent me pictures of exactly what to do with the spool and also made a video of how to test the chemicals so I wouldn’t forget. The crews were very respectful and were some of the hardest working people I’ve ever met.”causey2

Gary and Ginger envisioned a nice place to relax and socialize and as of now, it’s nearly picture-perfect. The big-screen TV is in the box ready to be installed, and the Extreme Exteriors team has only a few minor adjustments to make to the outdoor kitchen and landscaping. Other than that, Ginger’s friends are asking, “When are we having a girls’ night?” The Causey’s may end up being more popular than they want to be! In all seriousness, the backyard looks amazing and definitely adds the value to their home that they were looking for. There’s no doubt at all that they have many years ahead of enjoying their Extreme Exteriors renovation to the fullest.causeyfinal

Team Member Steve Freeman

Extreme Exteriors Team Member Spotlightextreme exteriors team member

Who he is: Steve Freeman, Senior Consultant for Development, Growth, and Team Leadership (Retired Athletic Director and Head Football Coach for 30 years.) Steve, “Coach”, has worked in his current position with the Extreme Exteriors team for 2 1/2 years.

Steve and his wife of 37 years, Jani, enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren. Steve says, “Our family enjoys family time. Lake Brownwood has been a destination for me since I was five years old. Growing up on a family farm and ranch operation around Roscoe, Texas, my four siblings grew up knowing how to work. Back when “getting caught up” was still a terminology that meant something, my mom and dad would reward us by taking us to Lake Brownwood for a few days. A few years later, the lake continued to be a special destination for our children. Now our grandchildren enjoy the same stretches of smooth water we enjoyed when I was a kid. Only now, we live on the lake. Just about anything that happens at our place these days is a festive event, no matter the day, month, or season.” 

“Our family continues to have a strong interest in Texas high school and college football. Game days are a big deal with our family! Growing up working on the farm and ranch and having a grandfather in construction, I still tap into those areas. I normally have a welding project waiting in the wings to work on in a hobby-type way. Messing with equipment is enjoyable, with emphasis on the “messing with” part, which is a lot different than the daily grind of necessity while growing up. My hobbies normally involve a project and most often includes family help.

Why he does what he does: “I’ve been in and around athletics my entire life, and most of my life has involved being on a team or a staff of people. I’ve been very fortunate not to have ever been on a bad team or staff, but that doesn’t mean that we won all the time. The point is that we were all working toward doing all the things necessary to win. When retiring from the coaching profession almost three years ago, my every intention was to quickly be positioned in the batter’s box of entrepreneurial business. My number one priority was to continue with a good team and a good staff. I was introduced to Extreme Exteriors and discovered that a good team and a good staff was looking me square in the eye. I was clearly drawn to the beautiful work and credibility of Extreme Exteriors. The need to work for the win hasn’t changed, nor has the need of a good team working together to gain success. Extreme Exteriors continues to enhance the important things I’ve believed in throughout my athletic coaching career. Every day is an opportunity just as it’s always been — only now our Extreme Exteriors team can play again tomorrow and we don’t have to wait until the next season! 

 

 

 

 

 

Blake and Leslie Fulenwider

 

f2

  • Project: Pool and spa, outdoor kitchen, basketball court, pavers, sod, landscaping, outdoor living accents
  • Why: Their outdoor living space is where they can slow down and enjoy every day moments as a family. They spend more time outside than anywhere else in the home.  This is where they can be together, “taking it all in.”
  • Extreme Exteriors Services Used: Design, Construction, Retail

Imagine for a moment the excitement and wonder you might have felt as a child catching a firefly in a jar. Taking a close-up look, you would admire the firefly’s light and might question how it could be such a unique and awesome creation. There is a thrill from seeing something beautiful in the natural world, and the Fulenwider’s home is a showcase for many of these awe-inspiring natural elements: stone, water, wood, and beautiful plants in every direction.

Leslie said she is huge on aesthetics and that she and Blake really knew what they wanted. Being able to work with the Extreme Exteriors team gave them everything they were looking for. The Italian Cypress trees are an example of the kind of streamlined, symmetrical look that Leslie wanted, as was the shape of the pool, and even the seating area. “Randy listened to us and embraced what we wanted. He’s very good at listening and asking the right questions until it’s right and it all clicks.” She said some of the things they were looking for were very specific and the Extreme Exteriors team took care to ensure that they got what they wanted. Some of those specifics were challenging because the team needed to duplicate the look of the previously built-in fireplace and wood beams above the patio.  Meeting challenges such as this is what sets Extreme Exteriors apart from others, thanks to our team members who can design and build structures in addition to designing and building pools.

f4Blake and Leslie love to sit in the black and white swivel chairs, watching TV or keeping an eye on the kids in the pool. The kids are typically sitting at the bar stools, or running back and forth between the basketball court and the pool. All kinds of games take place in the pool — basketball, volleyball, even pool baseball! They also really like playing around the beach entry and using the steps in the pool next to the spa to position players for maximum enjoyment.

Leslie herself enjoys the look of the pool, and how it feels at different times of the day. “Blake and I work out together at 5:30 in the morning, and we’ll catch just a glimmer of light on the pool. f3Then I’ll go out when the full sun is up in the morning and I love how the light hits the water and the pavers. In the afternoon, I’ll take my laptop outside to work, turn on the fans, and the temperature by the pool is just right. In the evening, we’ll all be out there getting a ton of use out of it. I’m not lying, we use it all the time and we can use it for everything. One day it might be a houseful of kids — another day, it might be entertaining a keynote speaker who is in town for an event,” Leslie said. 

No matter if it’s a large gathering or an intimate dinner with close friends, the Fulendwider’s now have the outdoor living area that they envisioned.  The space combines to present a very aesthetically pleasing view, day to day and year to year. The Fulenwider’s know this won’t be their forever home, but they’ve had a lot of fun working with Extreme Exteriors on this space and the experience has given them plenty of ideas of what they’ll do for the next time! We sincerely hope that whenever that time comes, Blake and Leslie will entrust us again to help bring their vision to life.  f1

Terry and Garnet Essex

Clients: Terry and Garnet Essexessex1

Original project:  Pool with waterfall, grotto and spa, sunken outdoor kitchen, outdoor lighting, wood-burning firepit, sod and landscaping

Additional renovation: Custom therapeutic spa, replaced wood-burning firepit with gas firepit, remodeled stairs to bridge

Why: Terry and Garnet wanted to create a place they could enjoy with their friends and family year-round

Services used: Design, pool and landscape construction

When Terry was in Acapulco dreaming of his ideal retirement location, he loved the thought of living right there with the magnificent ocean views and a golf course steps away. But for an asking price of a cool $1 million for an acre lot, Terry knew the dream would have to be realized elsewhere. Fortunately for Extreme Exteriors, Terry and his wife Garnet settled on Abilene to build their home. And though he’s missing his ocean view, he has created a backyard paradise that he loves to use each and every day – and he did get his house on the golf course!essex2

Terry and Garnet lived and worked in Montana for a number of years and although he loved cooking outside, the cold climate naturally limited the amount of time they could truly enjoy their backyard. He knew that by moving to Texas, he would not only be able to cook outside a lot more, but he would also be able to live his ideal lifestyle more easily.

The original build approximately seven years ago included the pool with the bridge, the grotto with a spa, a sunken outdoor kitchen, and complete landscaping. It also included a wood-burning firepit. After enjoying this for several years, Terry and Garnet decided there were a few design changes they would like to make it ideal. First of all, the wood burning firepit was removed and replaced with a gas firepit, making it easier on Garnet who is allergic to smoke. Additionally, the rock steps were remodeled, making them more level than the original build thus making it easier to negotiate the steps without stumbling. The spa under the grotto was removed and completely redone. The new spa features four Bullfrog therapeutic chairs, two of which are completely customized for Terry and Garnet and the other two were placed for guests.essex3

In working with the team on the spa remodel, Terry praised the Extreme Exteriors team saying, “This was creative stuff that’s not easy to do. We appreciated the crew being here on the build, making sure everything was done right and completed the way we wanted it to be.” Terry considers his backyard the perfect place to be outside, and he said there isn’t a week that goes by that they’re not cooking outside. Terry consistently cooks on the Big Green Egg, and he’s gotten pretty good at ribs and brisket. He mentioned what a great cook Garnet is and how she loves to entertain. “The Saturday before Thanksgiving, Garnet hosts a party as a gift to her friends as a celebration of the Christmas season. She includes a wine tasting, along with a variety of cheeses and hors d’ouevres.”  Garnet and Terry also recently hosted a baby shower and dozens of guests were easily accommodated. They love having a place where they can host special events and where they have no problem getting the grandkids to visit!essex-5

Terry is impressed with how company president Randy Glenn has grown the business and put a good team together. He summed up his thoughts saying, “If you’re considering doing something creative outside, that’s not cookie cutter, and you don’t talk to Extreme Exteriors, you’re going to make a mistake.” Terry has generously trusted us to create some very original work. Without clients such as Terry and Garnet, we wouldn’t grow as a company.  And so we graciously say “thank you” to the Essex family for allowing us to be a part of their story.essex-4      

Ali and Craig Hanagan

Clients: Craig and Ali Hanagan hanagan-010r

Project: Pool and spa, outdoor kitchen, outdoor lighting, fence, and landscaping

Why: They love being outside as a family and they wanted to create a place where they could relax and their kids could play.

Services Used: Design, pool and landscape construction

When Craig and Ali bought their home in Midland, they quickly realized that the only member of the family who enjoyed the backyard was their pet dog, Chip. hanagan-015rChip loved digging and romping around in the bark mulch. The kids, however, were uncomfortably hot playing on the artificial turf, and Ali and Craig didn’t have much reason to even venture outside, although they both consider themselves outdoor people. After one particularly hot Independence Day with family visiting and no relief from the heat, Ali and Craig decided it was time to seriously consider renovating the backyard.

Ali and Craig’s top priorities were to have a spa and a beach entry. hanagan-012rThe pool that the design team came up with includes both of these and other beautiful features such as the water fountains and a gas firepit. hpoolatnightThey love turning off the pool lights and the landscape lights and turning on the firepit, watching the firelight dance as they relax in the spa. They were both also pleasantly surprised with how much they enjoy the sound of the cascading water. “We love hearing the fountains in the morning when we’re out drinking coffee. And at night, the fountains also drown out any traffic noise,” Ali said.  hanagan-006r

Another sound barrier that the Extreme Exteriors team worked to create was the tall fence. This is also a great privacy screen. The height is proportional to the elevated patio area, where sunbathers can relax or the kids can jump hanagan-019rfro into the pool below. A second patio area extends just out from the backdoor and adjacent to the new outdoor kitchen.  Everything was considered, including a grassy area for the kids to play when they’re not enjoying the pool.

Ali is happy that everything went according to plan. She and Craig originally planned on getting other bids for the job, but they were very encouraged with the design plan from the start and felt confident that the Extreme Exteriors team could produce the expected results. “Everything went really well and according to schedule,” Ali said.

The Hanagans look forward to many fun times outside in their new backyard. Long gone are the days when they couldn’t sit outside for more than ten minutes at a time. Whether they’re enjoying a meal with friends, watching their kids play in the pool, relaxing at night in the spa, or simply listening to the gentle sound of the water fountains, they have the backyard that they envisioned and that the Extreme Exteriors team had the privilege to build for them.   

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