Personal Stories

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:

photo courtesy:

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

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