Personal Stories

Team member De’Nielle Riley

Who she is: De’Nielle Riley, Extreme Exteriors Retail Manager

De’Nielle was born and raised in Southern California but relocated to Texas about 18 months ago in order to slow down and create real and lasting memories with her family. De’Nielle and her husband Joe have been married for 15 years and have two daughters, Jaydin (14) who is a member of the Granbury High School cheer team and MaKenna (10), who participates on a power tumbling competition team. De’Nielle enjoys baking and dancing with her girls, planning and hosting parties, shopping, and completing DIY projects with Joe. She’s also a fan of USC women’s volleyball and traveling to the Bahamas for some major downtime! 

Why she does what she does: 

“For the first time in my career, I truly feel at home. I’m doing something that matters for others and I’m given the opportunity every day to make a difference in someone’s forever. I work for a company that exceeds our clients’ expectations and delivers an amazing space to call their own. My other why is my girls. Teaching my girls that you have to love what you do and who you do it for because at the end of the day, it’s about you and your family’s happiness. I am blessed because working for Extreme Exteriors makes my entire family happy.” 

Phillip and Alexa Guillen

Project: Pool and spa, pergola and pavers, landscaping

Why: They love water and wanted to create a natural oasis for their home.

Extreme Exteriors services used: Design and construction, maintenance

What do you do when you can’t get away to enjoy nature? You bring nature close to home! Especially if you love everything about water as much as the Guillens do, from the sound of it cascading over rocks to soaking in the spa or jumping into the deep end. Phillip and Alexa love living in West Texas, but they miss the trees and water that were so abundant where they grew up in Seattle and Northern California. They were inspired by their love of the outdoors and were both involved in helping design their dream backyard.
Alexa in particular was a strong voice for keeping the trees close to the pool, even if it meant a little more cleanup during fall. They both wanted a lot of natural stone and worked closely with their project manager, Scott Littlejohn, as the design progressed from paper to production. Phillip said, “I think we were very blessed to have Scott as one of the leaders here. He has this artistic eye and even if he couldn’t explain it to you he could visualize it and say, this boulder needs to go here, this boulder needs to go there. I’ll be honest, while it was being constructed, every week we were mixing and matching different items and ideas. A lot of that I have to attribute to Scott’s vision.”
Backing up a little, Phillip and Alexa reviewed how they chose to work with the Extreme Exteriors team. First of all, they were impressed by what they saw and heard. They had a recommendation from a close friend and then they visited the showroom. Phillip saw a grotto in one of the photos on the wall and decided that was something he would like also. After meeting with their designer, both Phillip and Alexa were confident that the Extreme Exteriors team could deliver a total backyard transformation. For example, they wouldn’t have to find a pool builder and then a landscape architect. They both liked that they would have the full design in their hands from day one and know how things would look upon completion.
Probably one of the most noteworthy compliments that Phillip gave the Extreme Exteriors team was that the backyard actually feels bigger than it did before the pool, hot tub, and landscaping were added. It’s almost antithetical to consider that going from a bare backyard to a space with a pool and spa, pavers and pergola would actually look bigger, but it really does.
Is it okay to be proud of your work? We hope so. We as a team are proud of how the Guillen’s backyard turned out. It really looks amazing and it wouldn’t have been as successful without the vision and diligent effort that Phillip and Alexa put into the project themselves. Their project is an outstanding example of how homeowners, designers, and project managers can work collaboratively to take a backyard from ordinary to extraordinary.

Freshen up for fall

photo courtesy: pexels.com

Spring is the season we typically equate with new life and new growth – a season of renewal. Even with that being true, fall remains an excellent time to breathe new life into the yard or garden. How is that so? Some thoughts probably come to mind easily, such as re-seeding the lawn. But there are other things you can do at this time of year that will make a big difference right now and will also be a benefit come springtime.

Many summer annuals have run their course. Instead of letting their pots stay empty for several months, try planting some winter pansies or ornamental cabbage. If you’re unsure of what to do, just call the ever-helpful Miranda Alumbaugh in our Abilene office and she will be more than happy to give you some pointers! Fall is also a wonderful time to give new trees a healthy start. Planting in the fall allows trees to develop their root system before warmer months roll around. Our Extreme Exteriors designers can help you determine the right trees for your home and our landscaping crews will do an excellent job planting any new trees if that is something you would like help with.

American Smoke Tree, photo courtesy: wildflower.org

With our busy lifestyles, sometimes it is hard to keep live plants flourishing. If this is a challenge for you, there are still solutions! Just as cut flowers breathe life into a room, many plants are harvested in the fall and can make your outdoor space look more alive. A few bright orange pumpkins will really add some color, as will striped or spotted gourds. Consider how an interior designer uses texture in a space, and think about adding some corn stalks or hay bales to add variety and visual interest. If you want to add something green, why not consider a small evergreen? They can go in pots or into the ground and will be a welcome constant as the seasons change.

Finally, remember that fall is a wonderful time to plant various tubers and bulbs, giving you something to look forward to when spring does roll around. We encourage you to try one or two things this season to keep your exterior looking fresh and vibrant. We’re here to help if you need a question answered or a design created for your unique space. Most of all, we hope you enjoy this wonderful season of the year!

Team member Steven Crowder

Who he is: Steven Crowder, Branch Production Agent

Steven was born and raised in Abilene, Texas and graduated from Wylie High School. He has been a staple to the Extreme Exteriors team for over ten years! Steven stays very busy overseeing scheduling, purchasing, and receiving at the Abilene branch, and he also has extensive experience as a project manager. When he has downtime, he enjoys golfing and hunting. You may also find him out on the lake or watching a Texas Rangers game. Steven is kind of quiet, but he has a dry sense of humor with a touch of irony that keeps the mood in the office light!

Why he does what he does: “I have been with Extreme Exteriors from the beginning and with Randy before that. I’ve seen many different ideas and designs for clients. When Extreme Exteriors is given an idea for an outdoor living space, I enjoy being part of making it come to life for the client to enjoy their own unique outdoor living.”

Stephen and April Herriage


Project: Pool and spa, custom firepit, pavers, landscaping

Why: Their home is a gathering place for their family. With the addition of the pool, Stephen says the family frequently comes over early and stay late!

Extreme Exteriors Services Used: Design and Construction

Stephen and April love to be outside and with a newly built home, they had a blank canvas to work with. They both wanted to add a pool because as Stephen said, “It’s much better than a swingset!”

The Extreme Exteriors design team created a unique, crescent-shaped spa as well as a jumping rock with waterfall on the far end of the pool. “What he (Randy) drew up, we liked,” Stephen said, “we didn’t tweak it all.” Stephen and April both enjoy looking at these features when they’re inside; in fact, they both said the spa and waterfall are their favorite parts of the design. He also commented that the waterfall is probably the kids’ favorite part because of the jumping rock.

Stephen and April’s experience in working with the Extreme Exteriors team was very positive. Stephen said, “The quality of the work was good and if you could see the original plan, it’s pretty spot on to what I thought I was going to get. Also, at no point did any of them attempt to cut a corner. I feel like it was done right.”

Stephen and April’s only regret is that they didn’t start the project sooner. He said they practically live outside and once their outdoor TV’s are mounted, they may never come back inside! Because the pool is heated and the spa is always warm, they feel that they can get year-round enjoyment of their new outdoor living space. 

Forrest and Candice McCray


Project: Phase 1: Outdoor fireplace, pergola and patio space. Phase 2: Pool and spa, retaining wall and stairs, outdoor lighting

Why: The McCray’s wanted to create an outdoor living space that the whole family could enjoy. They also greatly appreciate their peaceful view of the pond, so they wanted something that complemented the natural beauty they enjoy every day.

Extreme Exteriors services used: Design, construction, retail sales

After completely renovating their home’s interior, Candice and Forrest turned their attention to the outdoor living area. During phase one of construction, the Extreme Exteriors team extended the patio space to accommodate a dining area. A nice seating area by the new outdoor fireplace was also constructed. The McCray’s knew they eventually wanted a pool because they are such outdoor people who love the water. They have access to the pond, but they probably didn’t want to swim in it, unless they planned to paddle alongside the family of beavers that make their home there!

Candice wanted a pool that was beautiful and elegantly simple. Although Extreme Exteriors completed phase one to her liking, Candice spoke with a few other pool builders to see what they could offer. In the end, she was most impressed with the design process Extreme Exteriors offered. She said, “Our pool design was a total collaboration between me, my husband Forrest, and Randy. We told Randy what would go well with our home and he came up with a design. We told him the features that we wanted: a spa, bowls, and a little area that you can take a chair into the pool. Randy came up with the seats underneath the bowls, so if you’re sitting there the water comes from the bowls and runs down your back.”

Candice also worked together closely with project manager Jeremy Scott on details such as the pool’s plaster finish, the columns around the pool, and the design for the wrought-iron gates that will soon be installed.

Candice’s level of involvement has really paid off in terms of her achieving the look that she hoped for. Her advice to anyone who is thinking about working with Extreme Exteriors is, “I would give Extreme Exteriors 100%, totally go with them, and be on the same page. I think it’s important to be involved in the process so that it’s done exactly as you want it. When you’re involved, it’s nice to be able to bounce ideas around. Because sometimes you don’t know what you want and it’s nice to rely on the experts who’ve done it a bunch of times.”

The confidence that Candice and Forrest developed with the Extreme Exteriors team is a huge reason why she would use us again. Their home site is an acre and a half, so they may continue to make changes to it with time. For instance, she’s thinking about adding a seating area with a firepit closer to the pond and installing a small bar area near the dining table.

One little finishing touch Candice may have to add soon is a cute sign that says, “McCray Resort”. Her parents came from South Carolina and couldn’t believe how beautiful everything looked. Her mom started calling it the McCray Resort and it really does fit. The elegance and beauty Candice and Forrest wanted to add to their home is abundantly present. A home should reflect who you are, and the McCray’s really got it right due to their level of involvement from start to finish.

Team member Kerstin Bodily

Who she is: Retail sales consultant / Marketing team leader

I grew up in southern Oregon, but I’ve also lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, Olympia, Washington, and Las Vegas, Nevada. My husband Chris and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in December, and we have four children, Elizabeth (15), Bret (13), Ethan (10), and Jenise (9). We moved to Texas seven years ago and I’ve been fortunate to work for Extreme Exteriors the past two years. In my free time I enjoy reading, walking my dog Ashes, visiting friends, scrapbooking and baking. I’m a word nerd so I also love playing Scrabble. 

Why she does what she does: “I love working at Extreme Exteriors for many different reasons. One of them is the quality of our team. I know I’m valued as an important part of Extreme Exteriors, and I equally value the contributions made by other members of the team. Another reason is that our workmanship is so creative. It’s fun to be part of something truly transformative. There’s also a culture of optimism at Extreme Exteriors that makes it enjoyable to come to work every day.” 

Team member Aaron Briley

Who he is: Aaron Briley, Project Manager

Aaron was born and raised in Winters, Texas. He attended Novice High School and Western Texas College and graduated with a degree in Golf Landscaping Technology. Aaron is a Texas Tech Red Raiders fan and his favorite thing about living in Texas is the open attitude to learning and the exceptional friendliness towards new people. Aaron and his wife Mariah have two sons, Quentin (7) and Albert (2). As a family, they enjoy gardening, playing board games, and traveling. In his free time, Aaron likes to golf.

Why he does what he does: “The goal for the Extreme team is to give our customers a living, touchable vision of their dreams. I enjoy being a part of taking someone’s abstract concept and breathe it into a slice of paradise right there in the backyard. We are constantly changing, growing, and helping make the customer happy.”

Vicki and Perry Draper


Project: Outdoor kitchen, landscaping, irrigation

Why: A fire destroyed their home, but it didn’t take away the Draper’s love for their property. They rebuilt their home and outdoor living spaces better than before. They enjoy swimming, playing with their dogs, entertaining, and being together outside as often as possible.

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

Vicki and Perry Draper have been through a lot in the past two years with a total loss of their home. The fire destroyed everything, thankfully sparing their family from loss of life. They are both so cheerful, you would never know the trial they went through. They are a great example to their two children, Sadie and Samy, of moving on and not looking back.

Their cheerful personalities are reflected in the bright, happy furniture and décor which brings a fun vibe to their outdoor living areas. Within the last year or so, the Drapers have selected bar stools, dining sets, benches, and more so that there’s plenty of seating when they entertain. “There’s so many places to sit, half of our guests don’t even have to get along!” Perry commented with a laugh.

Perry loves to cook for friends and family and worked with the Extreme Exteriors design team on his outdoor kitchen. Perry had an outdoor kitchen before the fire, but it wasn’t as big as it is now. He has plans in the near future to make it even bigger, as he finds that he’s cooking out often enough that it makes sense to expand. “I want it 100 percent independent from the house, with a full-size refrigerator so I can keep all my stuff out there,” Perry said. He’s also thinking of adding a TV and more cabinet space. He’s eagerly waiting to see what the Extreme Exteriors design team comes up with!

Sadie and Samy love their outdoor space just as much as their parents. They have plenty of room to run around with the pet dogs, play on the play equipment, and most of all swim. Perry said the kids swim almost every night year-round. Vicki loves being outside with the kids and dogs too, and finds she’s at her happiest when the kids are swimming, the dogs are running around, and Perry’s cooking dinner. She loves the privacy and the peacefulness of her home.

Beyond the outdoor kitchen, the Extreme Exteriors team was also able to landscape the front and side yards, which needed a lot of help after the fire. The Drapers are pleased with their landscape design and the team’s efforts to bring new life back to their property. Their home is a true reflection of who they are and we are grateful we’ve played a small part in their story.

Fort Worth location opening soon

The countdown is on to opening our new Fort Worth location! We’ve recently added key staff members and we’re ordering in retail products to fill the new showroom. We’re very pleased with the interest we’ve received from the community and we hope to see a lot of local residents at our grand opening event, which we’ll share on our Facebook page. (facebook.com/ExtremeExteriorsFtWorth) Our goal is to open the store by the end of July.

If you or someone you know is looking for a job, we’re taking applicants now for our frontline crew members as well as project managers and sales team. Interested applicants can email contact@extremeexteriors.us

Here’s a little bit more about our new building!

The building was designed entirely in-house, with input from our executive team members. In many places inside and out, we’ve used materials that we typically build into client projects. This helps clients see the quality and durability of what we offer for their homes or businesses. When the store opens, we invite you to take a look around and see the beautiful Soci tile pavers, Big Ass fans, and Belgard patio pavers.

We often hear people say they’ve noticed our Extreme Exteriors trucks in the area too! The team has the privilege of taking on client work even before the building is fully operational. If you drive by often enough hopefully you’ve started thinking about what we could do to help transform your outdoor living space!

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