host a holiday dinner in your Olathe outdoor kitchen

Celebrate the Holidays in Your Olathe Outdoor Kitchen

Be honest…have you ever thought of making a holiday meal in your Olathe outdoor kitchen? Picture it: a twinkling landscape of snow as your backdrop, blazing fire in your custom-built fire pit, and your family and friends in cozy coats, fuzzy hats, and super-warm gloves gathered round to toast the blessings of the holidays. All that’s missing is the food, right?

Grilling a Holiday Meal

If you have an outdoor kitchen, you can plan and execute a holiday meal made—if not entirely, then partially—outdoors. Like any other successful party, the process begins with planning. Do you want a traditional meal? Are you feeling adventuresome and want to change things up by preparing a non-traditional feast? How about timing: do you have your heart set on dinner, or would a lunch—or even a brunch—be better? Take some time now to really think about what you want; that will make pulling off an impressive gathering much easier.

Bring on the Bird!

Now it’s time to get down to details. Going traditional? You can cook a turkey on your outdoor grill, provided the grill is large enough to accommodate the bird you choose. You can prepare sides, too; roasted vegetables are easy either wrapped in foil or skewered, but you can make other things in cast iron cookware: stuffing, casseroles, and even dinner rolls. You can even make dessert on the grill! In this respect, cooking a meal in your Olathe outdoor kitchen isn’t much different than cooking indoors: you still have to make a schedule and figure out what takes longer to cook. Start there—and keep your options open, just in case you hit a snag or two.

Get a Little Crazy

Not feeling a traditional menu this year? Hosting an Olathe outdoor kitchen holiday meal gives you the perfect backdrop to change things up. Consider grilling your favorites; ribs are especially good for a crowd! Fill your table with other non-traditional holiday foods like grilled corn on the cob, roasted potatoes, and baked beans (cooked in cast iron, of course).

Other options include a chili fest, burgers and brats, or a potluck. This is your party—you get to make the rules! Just be sure to let your guests know ahead of time what to expect; you don’t want anyone disappointed because they thought “holiday meal” meant turkey or ham and the typical fixings.

Make It Cozy

Don’t forget to make sure your guests are comfortable–and in this case, details count. Have extra wraps or blankets ready, stock up on knit gloves and mittens, be sure you have plenty of warm drinks, and have a warming spot inside just in case someone needs to take a break from the cold.

Let’s Talk Logistics

You’d never throw a party without cleaning and prepping your home, would you? Same holds true for an outside holiday party. Take time now to make sure each component of your kitchen is in working order, plan for adequate—and warm—seating, and plan for Plan B: keep the inside warm and ready, too, just in case one or more of your guests needs a break from your winter wonderland. Check out our tips for prepping your Olathe outdoor kitchen for cold weather, or give us a call to discuss your needs. We’re always here to help!

Wondering how to create an outdoor kitchen or need help planning your backyard landscape? We might be based in Olathe, but we plan and create outdoor kitchens throughout the Kansas City Metro. Check out our Facebook page for photos of recent projects or reach out to learn more.

When Is It Time to Redesign Your Landscaping?

With spring coming, many people are wondering when is a good time to redesign their Olathe landscaping. While we’re firm believers that there’s no bad time to redesign a landscape, there’s a few rules to follow that ensure you get the most out of your time and money invested.

At Huston Contracting, we’ve seen some amazing Olathe landscapes. We’ve also noted some horrific lawns that could use a redesign. Here’s how to ensure you redesign your landscape at the ideal time:

When is the best time to redesign your landscaping?

You can begin redesigning your Olathe landscaping whenever you please. There’s different ways to improve your lawn and landscaping in every single season. However, certain jobs are better completed at different times.

For example, you’ll want to plant most plants towards the beginning of spring or the end of summer. This depends on the plant, but generally gives them the best chance to plant roots and grow during the mild temperatures of spring and fall.

In the winter, you have a great opportunity to improve your landscaping infrastructure. Spaces like outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, and more can all be installed during the winter months when there’s no snow around.

In the hot summer months, your landscaping is easiest to mold. You can do a lot of projects during this time. We often recommend completing projects like irrigation systems, retaining walls, and more during these warm months.

How Do You Know When It’s Time?

Now, every single landscape is different. There’s no perfect or exact time to redesign your landscaping. Generally, it all comes down to the individual or family. It comes down to when you’re ready to redesign your Olathe landscaping.

You have to be ready to invest your time and potentially, your money, into your new landscape design in Olathe. If you’re not willing to invest resources, then it’s not a good time to redesign. If your landscape is enough of a priority to invest resources, then it’s time to get going.

Huston Contracting and Landscaping is here for You!

For many Olathe residents, the landscape becomes a priority in the springtime. This means the sun starts shining, weather warms up a bit, and you realize that the lawn needs a little love and care.

We’ve been there, too! If that’s you, then it’s time to get going. Make a list of landscaping projects you want to complete. Decide which projects you can do by yourself. Then see if anything would require professional help.

If so, get in touch with the pros at Huston Contracting. As the premier Olathe landscaping contractors, we’re here to make your lawn look great, again. Just get in touch. We look forward to helping you with projects like planting, outdoor kitchens, irrigation systems, and so much more!

Landscaping Without the Lawn! 4 Fun Ways to Spruce Things Up

Your Olathe landscaping is so much more than some grass and a few shrubs. In fact, the greenery is only one part of an amazing landscape. There’s just so much to it once you really dive in.

At Huston Contracting, we get questions all the time about how to make landscaping improvements with bad weather, what changes to make in the winter, and so much more. 

4 Fun Ways to Spruce Things Up – Without the Lawn!

So, we put our landscaping minds together and came up with a short list of ways to improve your landscaping that have absolutely nothing to do with your lawn. Here are four of our favorites:

  • Outdoor Kitchens

One of the best ways to make the most of your landscape? Add an outdoor kitchen to your home. Outdoor kitchens have been all the rage as of late. Why? Because they look absolutely fantastic when done properly and they’re functional.

With a full-scale outdoor kitchen, you’ll be able to cook, clean, and eat meals outdoors while entertaining guests. That’s a huge value to any home and landscape. If you’re looking to make a big landscape change in 2018, an outdoor kitchen might be exactly what the doctor ordered.

  • Water Features

We may be biased here at Huston Contracting, but we’re huge fans of water features. There’s not much that can completely change the face of your landscape without working with green spaces. Water features are one of the few elements that can do that and so much more.

Koi ponds, pondless waterfalls, and natural creek beds are all stunning ways to alter your Olathe landscape without touching the lawn. While these aren’t quick fixes and require professional help, there’s no doubt your landscape will be upgraded once complete.

  • Outdoor Fireplaces

One of the best ways to make your outdoor spaces a place to gather and spend time with family and friends? Add an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. There’s just something about fire that brings people together.

Whether wood burning or gas, your new outdoor fireplace will change your whole landscape. While fire pits look fantastic as a standalone piece, many add outdoor fireplaces to their outdoor kitchen for added benefit.

  • Concrete Structures

Sometimes you need to add some concrete to your landscape. It could be to create a patio or a sitting area. Maybe you want to create a walkway from your outdoor kitchen to your koi pond. It all depends on your needs.

No matter how you utilize it, concrete is another great way to change your landscape without much worry about the lawn.

Your Landscaping Without the Lawn Experts

If you’re looking to make Olathe landscaping improvements before the grass turns green, get in touch with Huston Contracting. Here at Huston, our professionals specialize in creating your dream landscape – no matter what that may be!

What’s New in Landscaping For the New Year?

The New Year is finally here and it’s cold as can be! You walk outside and the cold air hits you like a ton of bricks. You shiver and shake as you start the car and wait for it to warm up. While those five minutes in the morning might be miserable, that’s all day, every day for your Olathe landscaping.

Luckily, the cold won’t last forever. Within a few months, the winter weather will be gone and spring will have sprung. The grass will green, again, and soon you’ll be sweating when you step outside.

What’s New in Landscaping For the New Year?

Before the grass gets green, it’s time to prepare your landscaping for the New Year. But, how do you do that? How do you capitalize on landscaping trends in 2018 and create an amazing yard?

Well, that’s where we come in. At Huston Contracting, we work to keep our clients ahead of the landscaping curve. As such, here are a few unique trends we’ve noticed:

  • Embrace Small Spaces

While you may have a ton of Olathe landscaping to work with, don’t neglect the small spaces. With a little attention to detail, you can take any yard and turn it into the amazing landscape you’ve always dreamed of.

One easy way to take a small landscape and make it look incredible? Add Japanese garden elements into your landscape. Japanese gardens focus on nature and completely natural spaces while incorporating streams and flowing water elements.

  • Stick Together

If you’re creating a stunning garden space throughout your landscape, it’s important to not spread yourself or your plants too thin.

What does this mean? Well, a lot of things. In 2018, one of the trends we noticed is planting same species plants in close proximity to create a “social network” within your garden. While plants can talk, that doesn’t mean they don’t communicate in some fashion.

We’re not trying to get too “new age” on you here. Just stating that it’s often beneficial for species to be plants close together. It’s great for the health of the plants, but it can also make your garden pop.

  • Water Features

Each and every year the popularity of water features throughout Olathe landscaping tends to increase. There’s just something soothing about watching water move while sipping a hot cup of coffee on a spring morning.

So, what type of water features are popular these days? Well, we’ve seen a couple trends. Most people are opting for pondless waterfalls or natural creek beds. Both offer a stunning, yet natural addition to landscaping.

Let’s Create Your Ideal Landscape in 2018!

If you’re ready to take your Olathe landscaping to the next level in 2018, then you’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with our landscaping professionals here at Huston Contracting and let’s put together the perfect plan.

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Olathe Outdoor Kitchen

While wintertime may not be the ideal time to build an outdoor kitchen, there’s no reason you can’t improve the one you’ve got. With that in mind, we wanted to detail a few ways our clients have been adding, improving, and updating.

At Huston Contracting, we specialize in Olathe outdoor kitchens. We know how important an outdoor gathering space can be for families and friends. We also know a few minor tweaks can take your space from a place to cook to the premier gathering spot in the neighborhood.

5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Olathe Outdoor Kitchen

With that in mind, here are a few different ways you can improve your Olathe outdoor kitchen in the coming year:

  • Strip Lighting

One quick and simple way to add a ton of value to your outdoor kitchen? Strip lighting. Use strip lighting to highlight stairs, walkways, and so much more. You can even put lighting under fixed seating areas and storage units.

Strip lighting partially makes a space look great, but there’s another aspect to it. Strip lighting is a safety feature when it’s dark out.

  • Fire Pits For All

One way to add huge entertainment value to your outdoor kitchen area? Add a stunning fire pit that the whole family can sit around.

These days there’s a fire pit for every size and situation. They have some that can be moved around to different areas, while others are designed to stay in one place. They even have fire pits that can double as coffee tables.

  • Build the Bar

Often, a family builds an outdoor kitchen with cooking and socializing in mind. Building an outdoor bar is often an afterthought. But maybe it shouldn’t be.

Most Olathe outdoor kitchens would only need a few minor updates and additions from a professional, like our staff here at Huston Contracting, to turn your outdoor kitchen into a bar/kitchen combo space.

  • More Stone

At Huston Contracting, we’re a little partial to outdoor kitchens with natural stone. While you can build with any style you please, we’ve found natural stone truly compliments the outdoors better than almost any other material. If you’re looking for a quick improvement, add a little stone around the area.

  • Covered Porches

Ok, this is a little bit more than a quick and simple improvement. In fact, most will want to work with professionals to add a covered porch to their outdoor kitchen.

But, there’s no denying the benefits of adding covered space. Many families start to use their outdoor kitchen more and more each passing year. Instead of taking the food inside, they want to eat it in the great outdoors – where it was cooked.

That’s where a covered porch comes in. Instead of baking in the sun or worrying about the rain, you simply cook the meal outdoors and then eat it under the comforts of your covered porch. A true win-win!

 

 

How to Create Your Winter Wonderland with Unique Olathe Landscaping

How to Create Your Winter Wonderland with Unique Olathe Landscaping

It’s that time of year. While fall has been mild and November has seen a little sunshine, there’s no denying winter is around the corner. With the weather about to cool off, there’s a few fun ways to handle your unique Olathe landscaping.

At Huston Contracting, we know the grass isn’t green and the leaves are gone. That doesn’t mean your home can’t look fantastic in the winter months. With a few tweaks here and there, your yard can still be the talk of the town – even when many a conversation happens around the fireplace inside.

Creating a Winter Wonderland

So, how can you use your Olathe landscaping to create an exciting outdoor space in the winter? That’s easy. Just follow a few of the tips below and watch your space shine in the wintertime:

  • Tight & Tidy

First and foremost, you must keep everything tight and tidy in the winter. While the grass won’t be green and the flowers certainly aren’t blooming, you can still have a yard that looks pleasing to the eye.

How? By cleaning up every little thing. Rake debris and leaves up every month. Clean the gutters out. Trim the shrubbery before the first snow. By handling the little things on a consistent basis, you’ll prep your yard to look lavish come snowfall.

  • Always Evergreen

Speaking of snowfall, there’s no tree that looks better in the winter than an Evergreen. And if you’re concerned about having an amazing looking yard in the winter, you absolutely must have a few Evergreens around your property.

Luckily, it’s not too difficult to plant full-grown Evergreen trees throughout your landscaping before the first snow hits. There’s a little more to it, but the staff at Huston Contracting can certainly help you figure all that out.

  • Lovely Lighting

Of course, lighting is essential in the wintertime. Christmas lights are all around us and they can be quite stunning. However, there’s more to lighting than the bright lights around Christmas. In fact, that’s not even what we’re recommending here.

Strip lighting is what we’re talking about. If you have outdoor structures or walkways, which most of us do, then strip lighting is a great way to add to your Olathe landscaping during the winter months. Strip lighting especially looks great when placed under outdoor stairways.

  • Professional Snow Removal

Last, but not least – snow can look absolutely amazing covering your yard. However, it can be damaging when covering your concrete structures, like a driveway or walkway. Luckily, there’s a simple solution.

The Olathe landscaping pros we have on staff can help you get rid of it. Here at Huston Contracting, we offer professional snow removal services for any type of driveway or walkway. If it snows, we can clear it off.

Olathe Landscaping in the Winter

Don’t work hard all spring, summer, and fall only to let winter ruin your landscaping. Get in touch with us here at Huston Contracting and we’ll help turn your home into the talk of the town as the snow comes down!

Going Green! 5 Ways to Conserve Energy Through Landscaping

Going green has become popular in nearly every industry. We’re all trying to be environmentally-friendly these days, and that’s a great thing. However, most industries have to make huge changes to help the environment while improving their operations.

With Olathe landscaping, things are a little different. See, by changing your landscape just a little bit, you can also help the environment. There’s tons of ways to do this. Why? Because your landscape is the environment.

A tweak here and a change there can mean hundreds in savings for homeowners. Plus, the environment wins, too. A true win-win situation!

5 Ways to Conserve Energy Through Landscaping

So without further ado, let’s dive into the five ways you can conserve energy with your Olathe landscaping:

  • Shade Over Everything

The easiest way to save money on your landscaping is to shade your home. When the sun beats down on your home, things heat up inside. In the summer months, this means your home continually gets hotter and hotter. A hotter home always equates to higher A/C bills.

By using leafy trees to shade your home, you can drastically lower your utility bills in the warmer summer months. At Huston Contracting, we believe this is the best way to go green. Add some large trees to your property.

  • Wild Wind

In the winter months, the cold wind actually does more damage to the inside temperature of your house than just the cold. As such, you’ll want to insulate your home from the wind as much as possible.

How do you do that? Simple, add some evergreen trees and shrubs around the sides of your home. These plants will take the brute force of the cold winds and keep your home as warm as can be. This will lower heating bills.

  • Landscape Design

One costly concern for landscapers around the world is water. In Olathe, there are many months that our lawns need water. As such, many Olathe residents spend hundreds of dollars a year watering their lawns.

There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s certainly not a “green” principle. Luckily, there’s a simple solution. By working with a landscape design professional, you can incorporate drainage solutions and irrigation systems into your landscape.

By adding these two things to your landscape, you’ll be able to significantly lower your water bills in the hot months. We believe this is one of the more efficient ways for Olathe landscapers to truly go green.

Go Green Today!

If you’re looking to increase efficiency within your home through landscaping, get in touch today. At Huston Contracting, we have dozens of ways for specific homeowners to lower energy bills through their landscape.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Basics of Proper Landscape Design

Proper landscape design is art form. People go to college to learn how to design amazing landscapes for homes and commercial buildings alike. While things can get incredibly complex, they don’t have to – especially when taking Olathe landscape design into account. 

Instead of having you read books, take classes, and go overboard – at Huston Contracting, we wanted to break down the basics of proper landscape design. We’re going for simplicity here, so experts may roll your eyes. But if you’re new to landscaping, let’s dig in.

Proper Landscape Design 101

Now, landscaping can be different in every single climate. As such, we’ll be focusing on the great state of Kansas – specifically landscaping in Olathe. Here we go:

  • Plan for the Future

The first and most important aspect of proper landscape design – plan for the future. Plants grow, and not always where we want them to. As such, you need to plan growth into your design. Make sure no matter how a plant grows you’ll still have access to anywhere and everywhere you need to.

  • Focus on Focal Points

Now, when talking about Olathe landscape design, you must decide what the focal point of your yard will be. Is it the outdoor kitchen? The immaculate yard work? The huge tree with a swing attached to it?

Once you have the focal point (or two) of your Olathe landscaping, coming up with the rest of the design will be so much easier.

  • Accent Your Home

It’s much easier to change how your landscaping looks than to change how your home looks. As such, you should focus on cultivating a landscape that accents your home. Not vice versa. Our favorite way to do just that is by softening the edges of a home with pots and plants.

  • Start Small

If you’re new to landscaping projects and design, it’s absolutely important to start small and work your way into things. Make a small garden. Add some plants to the front patio. Trim the trees and bushes. Once the basics are handled and you feel comfortable, you can move onto other projects.

  • Mulch Matters

While this is a fairly basic tip, it’s also advanced. Mulch is a simple, yet effective way to add colors and layers to your landscaping. By keeping the mulch fresh each season, you’re sure to add visual appeal to your yard.

  • Change the Focal Point

When you’re ready to make a huge landscaping change, think about your focal point. You can change the whole landscape with a major project. Maybe you want to add a retaining wall, a small pond, or an outdoor kitchen. This could have a dramatic effect on the landscaping around your house.

The Olathe Landscapers You Need

As professional landscape designers, the staff at Huston Contracting is here to help you. If you have any Olathe landscaping needs, just give us a call today. We look forward to helping you design the yard of your dreams!

7 Fantastic Olathe Landscaping Ideas For Everybody

Landscaping ideas matter. It doesn’t matter what season it is. You want your Olathe landscape to look great whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter. Maybe we want to keep up with the neighbors. Or maybe you take pride in showcasing your stunning home in the best way you can.

No matter why your Olathe landscaping matters to you, we all know it’s important. As such, we wanted to throw together a quick list of simple ways to improve your landscape all year long. Sure, some ideas work better during different times of the year, but we’re going to keep things basic.

  • Front-Facing Flowers

One of the best ways to ensure your home is inviting and welcoming is to greet guests with flowers. A number of annuals and perennials look good nearly all year long. You can also add some flower pots inside your entryway when things get too cold.

  • Utilize Planters and Baskets

One unique way to make your landscape “pop” is to add planters and baskets. These tools ensure your garden grows in height. You bring the plants up to eye-level and create a stunning visual appeal.

  • Outdoor Kitchens Galore

You can grill a thick, juicy steak in your outdoor kitchen in the heart of winter. You just need an amazing outdoor kitchen to cook it in. Luckily, once you have the kitchen created, your landscape will look amazing all year.

  • Retaining Wall WOW

While certain plants and wildlife won’t grow during the winter months, your retaining wall can look ideal all year around. A well-made retaining wall adds a unique layering element to your yard that stands out year around.

  • Create a Surprise Area

One of the coolest ways to create a unique landscape is to add a surprise. This means you build a fun walkway to a “hidden” area, an oasis in your backyard. For some this is a hidden patio or gazebo, but others use the walkway idea to end up at a small pond. Where your path goes is up to you.

  • Timely Trimming

Make no mistake about it – a little timely trimming here and there can ensure your landscaping looks amazing all the time. Keep your trees and bushes in order, especially in the warmer months when evergreens grow like wildfire.

  • Mix and Match

One popular landscaping tip that’s become popular lately is mixing stone with wood. The combination adds an alluring rustic appeal while still staying modern. Try creating a stone path walkway with wood structures along the side for an impressive landscape.

Olathe Landscaping For YOU

If you have any landscaping you need done before the freezing winter months, get in touch. The pros at Huston Contracting are here to help prepare your home for the winter. We look forward to working with you.

5 Low-Cost Olathe Landscaping Ideas to Boost Home Value

There are a number of cheap Olathe landscaping ideas that can improve the look of your yard while not breaking the bank. Many of these low-cost ideas will improve curb appeal and raise the value of your home.

With many landscaping projects costing between $2,000-4,000, it’s easy to spend a lot on your lawn.

5 Low-Cost Olathe Landscaping Ideas to Boost Home Value

If budget is tight this summer, you can still keep your Olathe landscape looking fresh. Here are five cheap ways to boost your home’s value through landscaping in Olathe:

  • Clean & Tidy

First and foremost, always keep your landscape clean and tidy. This is the easiest and cheapest way to makeover your yard. Power wash your sidewalks, decks, or patios.

Rank up any debris and make sure all grass clippings are cleaned up. Replace any old looking flowerpots. Trim the bushes and make sure all tree limbs are tidy. These little items will take a few hours, but will make a significant improvement in the look of your Olathe Landscape.

  • Mow the Lawn

It’s that simple. Mow your yard. Do it right. Switch from horizontal to diagonal each week. Be consistent with it. Don’t try to cut things too short so you don’t have to do it for a few weeks.

Proper law care has been shown to increase home value more than any other landscaping project. Plus, it’s pretty easy. All you need to do is lace up the old shoes and push the mower for an hour once a week.

  • Go with Perennials

Perennials are more expensive than annuals, but there’s reason for that. Perennials last longer, they look better, offer varying sizes, and unique textures. The combination of these factors offers impressive visual interest – year after year.

  • Seal It All

By taking care of your decks, driveways, and patios – you can offer enjoyment and value to a home. Sealing will reduce rotting while hindering any insect infestation. Plus, a sealed driveway is less likely to have weeds growing through cracks.

Sealing is a once a year project that’s sure to pay dividends when looking at home value.

  • Find the Focal Point

Last, but not least – find the focal point of your landscape. Then take amazing care of this area. Whatever is the most important part of your landscape – invest in it. Make the focal point of your landscape amazing.

For example, if you have an Olathe outdoor kitchen, make sure the space pops. Invest in making this space stunning and unique. This will help your Olathe landscape sell your home when the time comes.