By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
A backyard pool at a home on Highland Oaks Trail in Harker Heights has been the source of many family memories.
Five children grew up taking summer dips, so when it came time to renovate the pool, Fabian Bailey, the pool’s owner, decided not to just stop at his now grandchildren’s watering hole. His whole backyard is getting a makeover.
“The summer is rolling around, and the backyard needs to look good,” Bailey said. “During the summer, we are out there two or three times a week.”
Nationwide landscaping firms reported a busier year so far compared to last year, and local landscape designers and outdoor living builders have done the same.
Rashad Holt, owner of Precision Landscaping and Maintenance in Killeen, said this is his busiest time of year.
“Right now, this is the busiest it is going to get,” he said.
Since about mid-April, business
has been nonstop for Holt, whose company designs landscapes and installation projects for yards.
“This is the best business we have had in years,” said Dan Thomas, a partner in Killeen-based Sprinklerman, who also does landscape design and installation.
A survey conducted by American Society of Landscape Architects stated 83.4 percent of firms polled claimed stable to significantly higher first-quarter inquiries from potential clients for new projects. The figure was a 2 percent increase from the previous year.
About 76 percent of the firms indicated an increase or the same amount of billable hours compared to the previous year, according to survey results. The figure decreased slightly from last year’s 76.1 percent.
Quinton Jensen, an installer of outdoors living spaces such as patios and decks, said his business, Jensen Outdoor Living, is on track to more than double the number of jobs this year compared to last year.
“Our biggest time is from February to July, and until August we do pretty well,” Jensen said. “We have already done as much business this year as we had done all of last year, so it is going good.”
Jensen said he believes a growing national economy and residential growth throughout Central Texas, including Austin, is impacting his business.
“With the better economy, people are doing things that they really want to spend time on,” he said.
Those could be deck projects, patio covers projects and outdoor kitchens.
Precision has built more outdoor kitchens this year than any previous years, Holt said. Basketball courts, not full-size ones, also are a growing trend.
“Everyone is kind of dressing up their backyard, I guess for the summer, to entertain,” said Holt, noting that a good backyard can be a reflection of the homeowner.
“It is important to take care of what you have and be a good steward,” he said. “You want your place to represent you.”
People remodel or renovate their yards for a reason, Jensen said.
“I think people really like to enjoy outside because they want to enjoy the fresh air and their yards,” he said. “People want to enjoy their yard and not be cooped up in a little blocked in patio.”
For Bailey, there is just something about stepping outside and taking in everything. “When you are sitting outside, the birds are out, the squirrels are running around, and I am able to enjoy nature and listen to everything.”
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