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Outdoor Living Projects for Fall


Did you know that fall and winter seasons are a good time to initiate your outdoor living projects?

Naturally, many people think of building outdoor projects in the late spring and summer when the weather is nice and they want to get outside. Sometimes it can be challenging to get a good contractor during this time.

If you missed your opportunity this summer, don’t despair. Right now is a great time to hire Custom Fence and Masonry to get things in place for next year. Projects like outdoor kitchens, decks, covered areas, fireplaces and fire pits are not weather sensitive. Like many wood and masonry projects, they can be completed in any season, and if you begin now, you will have the time to improve and enjoy your living space. Call for a free consultation!

Our Redmond client Doug Myers couldn’t be happier with his outdoor “Man Cave” (pictured above) constructed by Custom Fence and Masonry. The covered patio is outfitted for year-round use and will likely be the popular place for many future gatherings of friends and family.

Featuring a sandblasted, colored concrete patio and benches, the space has an outdoor kitchen with barbeque, smoker, refrigerator and a sink with hot and cold running water. When the weather turns cooler, the gas fireplace and fire pit will supplement infrared heaters. A 74-inch wide screen TV and water feature with flame round out the impressive outdoor living area.

If you’ve been thinking about expanding your outdoor living space, we have a gallery full of ideas for you. Visit and then contact us to let us know how we can help you build your dream.

Time to Evaluate the Condition of Your Outdoor Living Space

spring driveway maintenanceNow that more daylight and milder temperatures signal warmer weather, homeowners get outside and begin to assess just how much spring maintenance work might be ahead.

Sometimes this leads to new possibilities for decks, patios, walkways and driveways. Outdoor surfaces require seasonal maintenance and over time, weather takes its toll. This year might be the time to increase your personal enjoyment of the beautiful Northwest seasons ahead by improving your outdoor space.

As you walk around your property this month, here are some thoughts to spark your thinking:

On the average, a deck has a life of 10-15 years. Evaluate whether the deck frame is sound. Is there any dry rot to repair? If your deck boards and handrails are looking their age, replacing and/or resurfacing could be in order. New handrails can change the whole look of a deck.

If starting over is the decision, a tear down makes room for designing something new, maybe larger, with room for a covered area or outdoor kitchen?  Our decks are built to last. All underpinning is built with pressure treated lumber and surfaces from renewable resources. We recommend several grades of cedar and hardwood decking materials

Driveways, Walkways and Patios
The life of your driveway or patio depends on its surface, how much it gets used, how it was installed and whether it has been maintained.  A driveway or patio may last an average of 12-50 years if treated well. Is the surface giving way to tree roots? Are bricks cracked or missing?

High quality materials provide durable and long-lasting patios, driveways and walkways. Proper installation is a key factor on our checklist.  For example, we use over four inches of concrete in our patio installations to extend the life of your investment.

If you are looking for options, good quality concrete and brick or cobblestone pavers offer a wide variety of elegant design options and improve both the exterior appearance and value of your home.

How much more would you enjoy your deck or patio if it were exactly what you envision? We are here to help you make that dream a reality.

Spring Hardscape Care

Stewart 10

This time of year, it’s a good idea to think about the maintenance of your hardscape: concrete, pavers, stone and retaining walls.

It is important that you maintain your hardscape.

The gloomy Northwest days cause moss and mildew to show up on all of your hardscape. This growth can cause premature aging and damage to the surfaces.

A good cleaning and possible sealing where applicable can help to protect and prolong their useful life. Our acid rains can cause the loss of texture and color of stamped concrete, therefore the loss of the original beauty of the product.

There are many companies that provide this service. Give one a call today and protect your investment. It will enhance the beauty of your home and its hardscape!

Planning Your Outdoor Space

Planning for deck and patioWinter weather doesn’t exactly inspire thoughts of outdoor living, but it is a perfect time to get going on your plans for spring, summer and fall. It’s a good rule of thumb to get started early, so your project will be completed when you’re ready to get outside and enjoy it.

Here are a few hurdles you may have to jump over between the start of your project and its completion:

Homeowner Association Rules
Your HOA likely requires approval of your project before you proceed. Architectural drawings may be necessary, adding more time before you can apply for a permit.

Depending on the type and size of your project, a building permit may be required. If that is the case, a permit can take from three weeks to three months to be issued.

Scheduling the Work
In the Seattle area, summer and fall seasons are prime time for installation. A qualified and reputable contractor can be booked out several months.

Materials Costs and Delivery
The cost of quality materials continues to rise steadily. Getting an early start on the season will help keep the budget lean.

Whether you require a complete overhaul with major renovations, or a subtle change to revive your space, our specialty is helping you to create a fresh stimulating outdoor atmosphere for your enjoyment. Take a look at our online photo gallery to review some of our custom designs and quality of work.

Please let us know if we can help answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by email or by calling 425-868-4114.

Get Started Now With Permitting

The 2014 outlook for American real estate places Seattle in the Top 20 markets to watch as the country finishes moving through the “middle innings” of the economic recovery. A comprehensive report “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2014” by PWC and the Urban Land Institute indicates that consumer confidence has begun to displace uncertainty, causing a ripple effect.

stone-and-brick-patio-designHomeowners waiting on the sidelines are poised to move forward with improving residential property, especially in categories affecting their profit. This includes luxury outdoor living improvements: outdoor covered areas and kitchens, patios and walkways, driveways, decks, arbors and fences.

Contractor Ted Flateau, owner of Custom Fence and Masonry, can see it coming. People are getting more liberal with their spending. Landscaping partners are calling now to get their spring, summer and fall projects on the schedule.

Though it is early in the year, now is the perfect time to get started with design and permitting. Getting a permit can be the hurdle that delays your project due to issues that can arise. For example, a plan submitted for permit can take up to six weeks before it is reviewed by a plans examiner. At that time they may ask for additional paper work, such as beam load, or seismic and wind calculations from a structural engineer, further delaying the permit process.

See our blog article “Planning Your Outdoor Space” to get more specific information about the kinds of issues you can circumvent by starting early.

You may be thinking about going ahead with your project without a permit, and some people do. It is not wise to accept a proposal from a contractor that does not insist on getting a permit for an addition to your home. That could be a good sign that the contractor is not licensed and bonded for that type of work. The trouble is, when selling your home you cannot legally use the improvements to increase the value of your sale, if the improvements have not been recorded with the County Assessor’s office.

Custom Fence and Masonry does it by the book. Our quality, craftsmanship and integrity will pave the way for you. Contact us today for a consultation at 425-868-4114.

What Customer Service Means to Us

There are a lot of opinions about what customer service is and is not.  If you look it up, Wikipedia says customer service is “the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.”

At Custom Fence and Masonry, Inc., we set standards for serving our clients and everyone lives up to them, from the owner of the business, the employees and the people we supervise and recommend. It’s the only way to maintain consistency and reputation in the hardscaping business.

Those standards include:

  • Return phone calls promptly.
  • Show up on time.
  • Estimate realistic project budgets and stick to them.
  • Bring all our experience to the table.
  • Promise keen attention to detail.
  • Help you get what you want.

A job well done is not only important to you, it is important to us. We create luxury outdoor spaces for clients in Seattle and The Eastside communities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond, Newcastle, Mercer Island, Redmond, Woodinville, Kenmore, Bothell, Sammamish and the Sammamish Plateau.

If our wood work and masonry clients are happy, then we are happy!

Choosing a Roof Structure for Your Outdoor Covered Area

Polycarbonate Roof Covered areas over your BBQ, outdoor kitchen or patio make the weather a non-issue and extend your outdoor living space year-round. If you’re thinking about adding a covered area to your outdoor living space, you will find many styles and sizes available.

We are often asked about using glass versus polycarbonate for outdoor covered areas. People want the visual clarity of glass; however, it has some issues when compared with polycarbonate.

In overhead applications, safety glass is required, similar to windshield glass. It is heavy material and requires a sturdy frame. Glass cracks easily and seals can fail over the years, leading to fog and leakage.

Polycarbonate is resilient and almost indestructible.  Due to its impact resistance and temperature resistance, it has similar value to insulated glass. This material diffuses the light and its flexibility insures a watertight seal.

A roof needs to be durable and watertight. You want to enjoy your new covered area for a long time without worry. We are happy to answer your questions about roof structure, so please contact us at any time.