Top Notch Landscapes

Patio Extension & Landscape Refresh for The Courtney’s

May 28, 2020 | Landscape

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The Courtney Home

Zach and Shelly Courtney contacted us in February 2020 to extend their patio and update their landscaping in The Shores community of Rockwall, Texas. They are a friend and neighbor of a past customer who is the son-in-law of my middle school gym teacher. So, they are basically a referral from a referral. We love referrals. They are the best customers.

The Courtney’s showed me the space and how they envisioned using it. They have two young sons who they would like to have a safe and comfortable outdoor space to enjoy. Pair that with the occasional Super Bowl party or Thanksgiving with the family and it’s safe to say they simply needed more outdoor space. The outdoor space at the time was almost unusable. The porch was too small to entertain and the yard just didn’t lend itself well to outdoor gatherings.


We came up with a laundry list of things to do and I was up for the task. There were gutters and drainage to be done, rerouting of irrigation, stone edging, oklahoma flagstone and decomposed granite pathway, new plantings, concrete and composite decking, cedar/shingle patio cover, outdoor kitchen with grill and refrigerator, outdoor TV with surround sound as well as a fence and gate to separate the decking from the back yard. Oh, and we needed to get it done before the heat of the summer and shortly after our first meeting we found out we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. Not sure if we were even going to be able to get materials from vendors we pressed on towards our goal.

After permits were pulled, utilities were located, and we had the all clear for construction, we started on gutters, drainage, and irrigation work. The first large piece of construction was the building of the composite deck and cedar/shingle patio cover. Large, 8” square cedar post were set in the ground a large, 4”x12” beam used to hold the structure up.

The Deck

All cedar was stained prior to installation to match the existing fence. The roof was left open with the cedar rafters exposed giving the structure added character. I visited several suppliers and found the perfect match for the shingles.

Front Landscape

As that came to an end, we started the stonework in the front yard including the flower bed edging and decomposed granite pathway. Then, we started the star of the party, the beautiful custom stone outdoor kitchen with commercial-grade appliances. I picked a color of stone that complemented the trim and brick color of the house as well as the oklahoma stone used in the landscaping. I wanted it to complement these colors but not match. It needed to stand out as a distinguished piece of the area.

The Outdoor Kitchen

A slab was poured to extend the existing patio out towards the fence. We then overlayed the new slab and existing porch with saw cut oklahoma flagstone to make a seamless transition between new and old. 

As the stone work was coming along we ran the electrical for the grill, fridge, lights, ceiling fans, and the awesome outdoor TV and surround sound. As the stone work came to a finish, we started on the planting and mulch in the landscaping. We took out a few over grown shrubs and added a hardy hibiscus, a couple perennial flowers like lantana and blackfoot daisy as well as an annual bed area by the front door entrance. A final touch was to add a small vegetable and herb garden near the back door, kitchen, and outdoor kitchen.

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