Olathe Outdoor Kitchen Ideas Sure to Spruce Up Your Space

Nothing marks the summer like a good ole’ fashioned backyard BBQ, unless you’re the cook without an Olathe outdoor kitchen.

Instead of having fun, you’re stuck inside cooking and running food out to the guests. You don’t get to join in on the laughs or make memories. You just slave over the food inside while others enjoy outside.

It Doesn’t Have to Be

Cooks can enjoy backyard BBQs again by updating or adding an Olathe outdoor kitchen without it being too difficult. Here are a few great ideas to spruce up or create the ideal outdoor cooking place.

  • Cover the Basics

As landscapers, we’ve seen it all. One of the things we find funny is homeowners who install a lavish, yet incomplete outdoor kitchen. Focus on the basics of Olathe outdoor kitchen design before getting to lavish.

A basic outdoor kitchen will have a grill, stove or both. Then you’ll want to add in a food preparation area (countertop or all-weather table), a shelter for the cook(s), lighting to ensure you can cook and converse after nightfall, and if you’re feeling ambitious – appliances and a sink.

  • Blend It In

It’s always surprising to find an outdoor kitchen that doesn’t blend in with the home and the surrounding outdoors spaces. All too often we see an outdoor kitchen that looks like an extension of the house, but it doesn’t integrate the “outdoor” aspect of the space whatsoever.

While you want the outdoor kitchen to fit with your home, you always want to incorporate the outdoors into the space. Adding some plants to your outdoor kitchen may be the easiest way to do just that. With the variety of plants and flowers available, there’s always many options to find the perfect vibe of your kitchen.

  • Fine Flooring

Creating an alluring outdoor space has one unique advantage over updating indoors. Other than the ability to enjoy the great outdoors, you don’t have to worry much about walls, doors, windows, ceilings and more when focusing on an Olathe outdoor kitchen.

All you have to worry about is flooring. Don’t be afraid to invest in patio material for your outdoor kitchen. Your flooring choice will ultimately go a long way in determining the style and cost of your new kitchen outside.

Outdoor Kitchen Ideas On the Mind

If you’re looking to update your Olathe outdoor kitchen and need a helping hand, we’d love to work with you. At Huston Contracting, we take pride in designing the ideal outdoor spaces for your every need. Get in touch today!

What Does an Olathe Landscape Architect Actually Do?

landscape_design_02An Olathe landscape architect sounds like a fancy term for someone who cuts lawns with lines in it. However, landscape architecture is a profession that varies vastly and encompasses much more than mowing lawns. To clear the air, we wanted to break down what it means to be a landscape architect and what they do.

What an Olathe Landscape Architect Does

More than mowing lawns, landscape architecture is the profession associated with the design and planning of the land. Olathe landscape architecture is all around us. From the retaining wall in your backyard to the design of the playground down the street to the highways you drive on to work – an architect has designed every aspect of our urban land.

Here are a few things Olathe landscape architects work on:

Site Planning

Every home, office building, shopping center, or community requires site planning to ensure the spaces are created for human use. This aspect of the job includes technical aspects like utility layouts, circulation patterns, and more. Often, site design includes minimizing environmental impacts and costs.

Landscape Design

The core concept of becoming an Olathe landscape architect stems from landscape design. Site analysis, sharing of spaces, design concepts, a balance of indoor and outdoor spaces, selecting construction materials and much more go into this part of the job.

Park Planning

Designing parks in urban areas are big business. So are the redesign and cultivation of recreation spaces. Parks, golf courses, basketball courts, waterfront developments, and national parks all benefit from this part of landscape architecture.

Urban Design

Designing a full city or town is not an easy job. A lot of planning and strategy is involved. Plazas and streetscapes don’t just form themselves. Providing detailed plans and designs for implementation in cities is a huge aspect of the profession.

Land Development & Design

Undeveloped land often has city regulations and roadblocks to development, especially for commercial use. Olathe landscape architects connect policy with individual redesign projects to ensure economics, real estate, regulation and more come together to make a project reality.

Regional Landscape Planning

Regional landscape planning really took off once environmentalism became a hot button issue in the 1970’s. Before an urban development project can begin, surveys of natural resources, habitats and much more must be concluded. This is a major area of practice for many within the profession.

The Best Olathe Landscape Architects

At Huston Contracting, we have an experienced and professional landscape architect ready to turn your next project into a design masterpiece. Reach out today for a consultation. We can handle any project and look forward to making your landscaping dreams become a reality.

5 Reasons a Professional Olathe Landscaper Will Up the Resale Value of Your Home

huston-home-for-saleIt’s nearly impossible to change the first opinion. When your home is on the market, this rings even truer. What a potential buyer sees as they pull up to your home will determine the resale value of your house more than anything else. Curb appeal is king when selling.

Olathe landscaping is an important factor in determining the value of a house. When a buyer instantly likes the look of your home, it has a chance to sell. If there’s no appeal from the outside looking in, you’ll struggle to get full value for any property.

At Huston Contracting, we understand humans buy off emotion. As such, here are five reasons a professional Olathe landscaper will up the resale value of your home:

1) Experience a Major Key

Being in business over 50 years, we have the experience you need. We know exactly how to add value to your home through small landscaping projects. We know the exact makeup of your lawn and how to properly fertilize it. We understand how to add dollars to the resale value of your home with as little work as possible.

2) The Right Tools For the Job

Not only do the landscaping professionals here at Huston Contracting have experience, but we also have the professional tools to get the job done right. Tree removal, retaining wall installation and more all usually require the right tools for the job.

3) Monthly Maintenance

Homes for sale require one thing – monthly maintenance with regards to landscaping. You need to keep your home as sharp as possible when trying to sell it. Research has shown homeowners who purchase monthly landscaping before and while their house sells, finds a buyer nearly 40% faster.

4) High Quality Work

Most of us hire an accountant to file our taxes. When a lot of money is involved, it makes sense to hire a professional. Olathe landscaping is no different. When your home is on the market (and before), you need the highest quality work possible. That’s where we come in.

5) Value of Your Time

Lastly, we understand you’ll be beyond busy when trying to sell your home. Your normal day-to-day life doesn’t change, but you have to worry about open houses, keeping things 100% clean all the time and so much more. Taking one thing off your plate can make life a lot easier and give you some time back. Landscaping is an easy one.

The Premier Olathe Landscapers

At Huston Contracting, we strive to be your one-stop-shop for all things landscaping in the Olathe area. If you’re about to put your home on the market in Olathe, get in touch today for a consultation. We look forward to helping you up the resale value of your property.

Why Olathe Retaining Wall Installation Is So Important

Olathe retaining wall installation has garnered considerable importance over the years. Due to the uneven terrain in parts of our city, many yards have required a retaining wall for a variety of reasons.

Often, we install retaining walls in Olathe homes to solve a problem. A problematic slope needs conquering or aesthetics of a space need improved. The problem with these problem-solving solutions is mathematic. A structure designed to hold back tons upon tons of dirt offers no room for error.

What is a Retaining Wall?

Other than a bad idea for a DIY project, a retaining wall is essentially a structure built to hold dirt or land. Often, these structures remove precarious slopes from a yard, offer safety or improve the look of Olathe landscaping.

Normally, a retaining wall has six main components. Different materials may offer changes, but usually, these six aspects are present in every wall:

  • Drainage Stone
  • Filter Fabric
  • Batter
  • Weep Hole
  • Footing
  • Footing Drain

Retaining Wall Materials

There are many materials one can use during an Olathe retaining wall installation. Popular materials include:

  • Timbers
  • Stone
  • Brick
  • Concrete Blocks
  • Poured Concrete
  • Interlocking Concrete Blocks

While we don’t recommend DIY Olathe retaining wall installation projects due to the intricate nature of the math, you can attempt to do so. The best materials for DIY retaining wall include timbers and interlocking concrete blocks.

Poured concrete is not usually an option for a DIY, but the material is durable and offers great flexibility in design for many interested in Olathe retaining wall installation.

Traditional Olathe retaining walls often are made of masonry. Materials like stone, brick, and concrete blocks are all common place. However, your best bet is hiring a professional Olathe landscaper to create a wall with these materials. At Huston Contracting, we have a number of masonry styling to choose from when designing your wall.

Awesome Olathe Retaining Wall Projects

There are number of ways to add a wall to your landscaping. Some of our favorites include:

  • Stairs to sidewalk or another part of property
  • Creating a terrace in the backyard
  • Making a terrace
  • Creating a driveway

Upgrading Your Structure

It’s easy to take an old retaining wall from funky to fresh with a little professional help. Often, we upgrade old walls through a few different processes, including:

  • Smoothing Stucco
  • Staining
  • Adding Veneer

Captain Save-A-Wall

Not every retaining wall can be saved. Often, redoing the wall, not revamping it, is what needs to happen, but we certainly can try to save your wall. Occasionally, a wall suffering from the below can be brought back to life:

  • Cracking
  • Leaning
  • Bulging
  • Sagging

Olathe Retaining Wall Installation

If you’re looking for any Olathe retaining wall installation services or repairs, we hope you’ll get in touch. At Huston Contracting, we have perfected the art of the retaining wall. We look forward to helping you with any and every Olathe landscape project.

9 Springtime Tips for Olathe Landscaping

Spring has sprung, the frost is gone, and you’re ready to whip your yard back into tiptop shape. It’s time to get out in the sun and get green.

With that in mind, here are 9 springtime tips for Olathe landscapers:

Do Some Research

Don’t just start pulling weeds and planting pretty things. You need to do a little research before you get out there. Plan out a strategy, set some goals for your desired look, ask for guidance from a nursery, or hire a professional Olathe landscaper.

Understand the Climate

The first part of any research should involve the weather. You can’t put too much time into your landscaping until the frost is completely gone. One frost could hinder all your landscaping efforts.

Look Into Pests

Understand that there are many a pest after your beautiful landscaping. You need to think of insects and animals, along with weather, water, and the sun. Many times proper natural planting can ward off these uninvited visitors.

Find Inspiration

Inspiration is what you need to make sure your landscaping is ideal. Take a look at neighboring yards. Think back to the stunning greenery you saw on your winter vacation to a warmer climate. Even watching a little HGTV can help you figure out exactly what you want.

Growth On Growth

Many beginning Olathe landscapers forget one important factor: plants GROW! You need to estimate how large a plant will be 5-8 months down the road, not in a few weeks. Read the height and growth requirements of any plant and make sure you allot proper space.

Right Timing

Another must when it comes to landscaping in Olathe is timing. You need to listen when a package says a plant should be planted at a certain time. This isn’t a rough idea. It’s what you must do if the plant will grow and bloom properly.

Decide Your Effort Levels

Plants are pretty. Some more than others. As well, some plants take more care and maintenance than others. Don’t select your Olathe landscaping solely on looks. You may end up with greenery that requires much more maintenance and care than you would ever want to handle.

Hire the Best Olathe Landscapers

Finally, if you’re fully committed to creating the best outdoors space possible – you may want to hire an Olathe landscaper. Now, we don’t mean to be too modest, but here at Huston Contracting, we do fancy ourselves, the best landscapers in Olathe.

If you have any questions about landscaping or are looking for Olathe landscaping services, we hope to be of service to you. Get in touch here. We look forward to discussing your Olathe landscape project.

Celebrating 50 Years!

50th-anniversary-logoToday, April 5th is the official day of our company’s incorporation in 1966. On this day, we recognize 50 years of doing business in Olathe and Johnson County. We are extremely grateful for all God has allowed us to accomplish.

We would like to thank all of those who have been employed with us in past years as well as all of those who faithfully serve with us today. We are proud to have spent our entire 50 years in the community called Olathe. I would like to thank the Government Officials, along with the many Community Leaders who have endeavored to cultivate an environment in which we could grow and prosper. We would also like to thank the many friends we have developed over all of these years. Your common sense approach coupled with insight, intellect, and business acumen have contributed immeasurably. Thank you!

We have survived a multitude of economic conditions. They taught us fortitude, patience, and perseverance to sustain our business. It has been a blessing for us to give back to our community in many different ways. How easy we all forget the blessings from God. Reasoning in our own minds that we accomplished this by ourselves. May it never be!

God Bless,
Doug and Mary Huston

6 Quick Tips to Ensure You’re Working with the Perfect Landscape Architect

When you’re ready to renovate the landscape of your property – questions, concerns, and confusion tend to arise. Thoughts of doing it yourself loom, but can seem daunting. The work may seem doable, but the design – you probably didn’t go to school for that. Luckily, this is where a landscape architect comes into play. Large landscaping projects require detailed design. Often, this design requires professional help. This is especially true when city building codes and neighborhood homeowner’s associations come into play.

So here are six quick tips to ensure you find and work with the perfect landscape architect:

Gather Ideas

Before you contact any Olathe landscapers, it’s a good idea to wrap your head around the type of project you want to get done. Put some ideas together and formulate a rough image of what you want to see done. Discussing the design can be difficult when things stay too vague.

Budget Properly

As you formulate ideas, it’s crucial to pay attention to budgetary concerns. You will want to come up with a rough estimate of how much you want to spend on your project.

Ask Around

Get in touch with anyone you know who has paid for Olathe landscaping services in the past. See if you can round up a few referrals. Don’t be afraid to knock on some doors and ask your neighbors if you love their landscaping.

Perfect Projects

When deciding to do it yourself or hire, the primary concern should be the project. Obviously, no reasonable person is installing a swimming pool alone, but even smaller projects can turn tough without a great design. The type of Olathe landscaping company you’ll want to work with may differ depending on the scope of your project.

Consulting is Important

Even if you’re a flowerbed beautician – designing a whole landscape takes a lot more effort and artistic flair than gardening. Hiring an Olathe landscape architect can help you create the ideal master plan for your property and this step can help save you thousands in costly mistakes.

Handle the Little Stuff

If money is an issue, then make a commitment to handle the small stuff like mulching, flower beds, lawn care, and more by yourself. These little items can add up when doing a full-blown landscaping overhaul.

Olathe Landscape Architects

If you have an Olathe landscaping project you’re thinking about, we’d love to hear from you. Here at Huston Contracting, Inc., we take pride in offering premier landscaping services in the Johnson County area. We look forward to helping you create the property of your dreams. Get in touch today for a consultation.

Retaining Wall Installation Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

Home improvement isn’t ever easy. If something can go wrong – it will! With that being said retaining wall installation doesn’t have to be difficult. By planning and designing your wall before the first shovel of dirt is moved, you can ensure the perfect structure for your home.

It’s important to note that building a retaining wall for your home isn’t for people new to DIY home improvement. The structural component of retaining walls requires more than a little elbow grease. For this reason, many people find hiring an Olathe landscape architect useful when designing a wall.

Whether you hire a landscaper or do it yourself, here’s why retaining wall installation doesn’t have to be difficult:

Lot Lines

Retaining walls can often be large projects that take up a lot of space on your property. Before beginning a large-scale project – make sure to identify property lot lines.

Neighbors

If you’re going to undertake a large project, it is neighborly to let all around you know of the future construction.

Utilities

Utility lines are dangerous. Get your lines marked before beginning any project – retaining wall or not. Call your utility company to have this done.

Permits

Retaining walls above certain heights will require a building permit. Check with the city code before starting your project.

Soil

It’s crucial to determine the type of soil found at your dig site. Test the ground to see if it’s clay, sandy, or organic type of soil. Organic soils are not to be used for retaining wall projects. Sandy soil is the best, but clay is more prevalent and can still work on your wall.

Environment

The environment and vegetation surrounding your wall will play a critical component. Trees and bushes can be used to enhance the overall look and landscape of your retaining wall. Just remember that planting trees behind your wall once it’s installed can add pressure to the structure of your wall.

Foundation

Solid ground is essential for retaining wall installations. The type of soil is important, but compacting that soil firmly is also vital.

Wall Height

Retaining walls featuring greater heights will usually be harder to create than shorter ones. You may have to consult the code within your city if building a giant retaining wall.

Cut and Fill

Many retaining wall installations take place on a hill or slope. If you’re building in one of these areas – make sure you determine how much cut and fill will need to be taken or brought. Projects requiring cuts or fill are better suited for professionals, like Olathe landscape architects.

Olathe Retaining Wall Installation

If you have an Olathe retaining wall installation project forthcoming, you may want some professional help. If so, we’d love to hear from you at Huston Contracting, Inc.

9 Essential Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips

Entertaining family and friends is one of the best aspects of home ownerships. Everyone heads over to your place for an afternoon or evening of food, drinks, and good times. The host often comes away from these gatherings feeling exhausted and left out.

It’s hard to mingle when you’re stuck cooking and cleaning all day and night. No one wants to come inside and chat with the chef while a summer barbeque is going on in the backyard. Many homeowners find themselves away from all the action when hosting get-togethers.

The outdoor kitchen solves this problem and many more. Here are 9 essential Olathe outdoor kitchen design tips:

1) Keep good kitchen design principles

An outdoor kitchen is still a kitchen. You still must keep kitchen design principles intact. The cold areas, wet areas, hot areas, and dry areas must all work in unison. Make sure you allocate enough space for each.

2) Set and store

You don’t want to be continually heading back inside when cooking outside. Your outdoor kitchen design must include enough space to place and store everything you’ll need to prepare. This means ample countertop and refrigerator space.

3) Start with the floor

When beginning your outdoor kitchen design, you’ll want to start from the ground up. Plan the layout of your kitchen with the floor in mind. Pay attention to different weather elements you may encounter and select a durable flooring type before moving forward.

4) Outdoor materials and equipment

All materials in your outdoor kitchen should be made with outdoor materials. Stainless steel is great for an outdoor kitchen. Concrete countertops are long lasting. Even if your kitchen doesn’t bare all the elements due to certain factors – you’ll want to select materials that could.

5) Build it to blend in

One of the most valuable outdoor kitchen design tips I can give you is to blend it in. Your outdoor kitchen should not stand out from the design of your home. The space should add to your home’s ambience and blend in with the inside of your house.

6) Ambiance lighting is needed

The last thing you’ll want in your outdoor kitchen is bright light when you’re trying to relax. While you’ll need decent light to cook, you’ll also wish to incorporate ambience lighting for the times when you want to relax.

7) A bar area is important

You should think about incorporating a bar area into your outdoor kitchen. One of the best aspects of cooking outside is the opportunity to interact with others. Building a bar area around your outdoor kitchen will give you time to catch up with family and friends as you do your cooking.

8) Water and beer tap need to be at the end

You won’t want people bumping into you while you’re cooking. Even if they’re just trying to grab a glass of water, beer from the fridge, or some brew from the tap – they’ll be in your way. Build the water tap, beer tap, and refrigerator into an easily accessible area of the kitchen.

9) Include entertainment

A bar area, a lounging area, music, television, and more can all be included in your outdoor kitchen. Make sure you include entertainment in your initial outdoor kitchen design plans. It can be a hassle to add entertainment options after the fact.

As always, we recommend you consult with Huston Contracting Inc. before you start any Outdoor Kitchen Design in the Olathe or Johnson Country area!

Where to Find the Best Olathe Landscapers

It’s a homeowner’s job to keep the home up-to-date, alluring, and bursting with curb appeal. Even if you’re not planning on selling your home soon, it’s important to feel a bit of pride swell up in your chest as you roll home from a long days work. That feeling of pride often comes with a price.

Stunning curb appeal takes time and effort to cultivate. Your landscaping isn’t going to take care of itself. Many individuals and families find themselves drenched in sweat with dirty hands and knees come Saturday afternoon. A day out in the sun, as you work on your landscaping, is hard work.

While landscaping can be tough work, there is some good news. You don’t have to handle your landscaping by yourself. Instead of spending all your free time working, you could just hire an Olathe landscaper to take care of enhancing your home appeal.

What Do You Want?

Before you hire an Olathe landscaper, you’ll want to do a little bit of research. You need to know what you want. You need to have an idea of how you’d like your landscaping to turn out. Do some research online and get a sense of the look or beautification project you’re interested in. Walk around the neighborhood and search for ideas.

Once you’ve got some ideas in mind, it’s time to find your landscaper. Here’s how to find the best Olathe landscapers:

Word of Mouth: If you hear any friends or family talking about a landscaping project or curbside addition – ask them about it. Find out if they like how the project turned out. See if they’d recommend the landscaper they used or if they were not that pleased with the work.

Take a Name: Olathe landscapers often leave little signs in yards after a project is complete. If you see a project you like completed and a sign in front – jot down the name of the company or take a photo with your phone. Then look the company up online when you get home.

Ask Around: If you see some amazing landscaping on a home, then don’t be afraid to ask the owners who did their project. If you’d like to emulate some design elements from a landscaping project you saw, but don’t know who completed it – just knock on the front door and ask nicely.

Google It: Lastly, you should Google “Olathe landscapers” if you’re in the market. Read reviews of different companies and look at portfolios. Get an idea about the landscaping companies in the area. And always remember – the best landscaper may not be found on the first page of Google. Do some digging and make an informed choice.

Once You Found an Olathe Landscaper

If you found an Olathe landscaper you like (or a few), then you’ll want to get in contact with the company. Ask some questions. See if your project will require a consultation or if you can get a bid over the phone, and always feel free to give Huston Contracting Inc. a call with all your landscaping questions!