by Lisa Berry
As a family owned business, Brett and I have always believed our business is about more than just providing finances. We’re grateful for all we’ve been given and are honored to give back to our community. This is why, at DekTile, we are passionate about supporting local nonprofit organizations. Two of the organizations that we are passionate about supporting is DuckHorn Outdoor Adventures and Christ Prep Academy.
DuckHorn Outdoor Adventures is an organization that offers outdoor programs for veterans and first responders and their families. Brett has served as co-chair to the board for many years. Through his work at Duckhorn, Brett provides opportunities for veterans to spend time in a healthy outdoor environment, involved in fun, positive activities. He networks with veteran groups to make them feel welcome.
“Our mission at DuckHorn is to revitalize the lives of the citizens of our Heartland community through life-changing experiences, in a healthy and safe environment, using outdoor activities to support our rural community. We accomplish this through unplugged outdoor adventures, conservation programs, and education and volunteer opportunities, in collaboration with other organizations that share our vision.”
At the DuckHorn property, about an hour south of the Kansas City Metro area, Brett cultivates the plant and animal life. He develops, plants, and manages the ecology and habitat at the property. In fact, how Brett began his passion about DuckHorn when he took the declining population of quail in the Midwest personally, and ordered hundreds of quail eggs and an incubator and set up a hatchery in our garage in Brookside. We hatched hundreds of baby quail in our makeshift urban ranch before introducing them into the habitat at DuckHorn
The Christ Prep Football Program is another organization we are passionate about. The program teaches core values such as confidence, courage, humility, and self-discipline in young men using the skills and disciplines football offers as a teaching device. The team is also unique, being self-funded and run entirely by volunteers.
I contribute to the Christ Prep football program by writing content for the gameday program when the team needed bios for each of our volunteer coaches. Later I pioneered the inclusion of a half-page profile for each of the senior players in their final year with the team. I also co-chair the annual fundraiser gala and can be found working concessions at most varsity home games.
Facebook: DuckHorn Outdoors Adventures
Facebook: Christ Prep Football
Whether it’s dinner with your family, entertaining friends or just enjoying the time outside creating an outdoor space doesn’t end when our work is done.
At DekTile we believe your outdoor space should feel as comfortable as your indoors. So we put together a few tips and ideas to keep in mind when decorating your outdoor space.
The first step to decorating your space finding the furniture that fit your family and entertaining needs.
Next you want to keep the same color scheme/style between indoors and out helps to connect the two spaces seamlessly. This can be done by simply adding a few accent pillows, a table runner, or oversized rug.
Last is lighting. String lights is a budget friendly way to create ambiance to any outdoor space. LED lights throughout your space is another way to add lighting but a more expensive permanent solution to lighting your patio.
We hope these tips help create a cozy space for your family and friends to enjoy all seasons of the year.
By Lisa Berry
I love how each project has their own story to tell, like this French-Country remodel. The owners of this Lakewood home wanted to update their outdated backyard living area to match up to its traditional, manicured English garden exterior.
The homeowners wish list included updating their deck, outdoor kitchen, and pool area. The 20 year old deck had been previously resurfaced with interior-grade tile that was cracking and had widespread settling. Since this was a covered deck we needed to preserve the main structure by installing our outdoor-grade DekTile to hold up this large roof without deteriorating or cracking.
After fortifying the deck by re-bracing and re-leveling it, we installed a new Del Conca porcelain tile surface. The deck area now blends nicely into the garden, matching up with the exteriors English garden feel.
Apart from the deteriorating deck, this Lakewood home also had an outdoor bar and kitchen in a sorry state of disrepair. We started by rebuilding the bar counter and cooking center. We installed custom built teak cabinets crafted by Snowbird Homes and a stainless steel built in cooler courtesy of Wolf Appliances.
We then contacted Fusion Electric to integrate an outdoor lighting system along with an outlet to power an outdoor TV. The homeowners were happy to have a one of a kind poolside living area that was custom built to fit their needs.
Now on to the sorely dilapidated lattice fence surrounding the pool equipment. We suggested that a brick wall would be a great compliment their backyard design. After the homeowners agreed, we contacted our friends at Kansas City Brick to match the existing brick on the home.
This Lakewood French Country Remodel was the perfect example of how to extend the existing style of your home throughout any outdoor space.
Poolside with DekTile
Ahhhh sweet summertime!! Nothing is better than lounging poolside on a hot summer day, especially for a pool owner! Summertime is when we receive a lot of calls from pool owners wanting to add on or restore their existing pool deck.
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard pool than you know the upkeep required, not only to maintain chemical balance, but the care of the surrounding pool deck. A pool deck provides an aesthetic look to a backyard but also a safe space for family and friends to lounge and play, so choosing the right materials is very important.
Because of its versatility, our parent company Berry Outdoor LLC has been installing DekTile to new and existing pool decks for over a decade. In fact, this past week weve been restoring a pool deck in the Iron Horse neighborhood using DekTile paver in the Midwest Blend.
Over the years of providing hardscapes to homeowners we’ve learned a lot about different materials used for patios and pool decks and this is what we have learned:
- Plain concrete – The least aesthetic less expensive option. Does not weather well (especially around pool water) leaving unsightly cracks causing major trip hazards.
- Concrete with cool surface treatment overlay – Will crack and begins to deteriorate, leaving repairs impossible to restore back to its original design
- Stamped concrete – Generally affordable, but deteriorates like plain concrete and sealants that need to be applied every year to maintain quality produces a slick finish, which is a safety concern around a pool.
- DekTile pavers – Price range as low as the cost stamped concrete to a higher end using natural blue stone or porcelain tile. Offers a non-slip, permanent solution requiring no maintenance.
We found that our pool owners choose DekTile pavers for two reasons:
1. DekTile offers a non-slip, permanent, maintenance-free finish outlasting alternative options
2. DekTile is placed over an existing surround saving time and expense versus other alternatives that require a process of tearing out the existing pool deck and building a new one using heavy equipment, creating a mess of the property lasting up to three-to-four weeks longer than our DekTile process.
In addition to the pool deck overlay, we incorporate our DekTile products into new coping around the pool, creating an upgraded look that carries over from the deck straight into the pool. A typical pool deck and coping resurfacing with DekTile can be completed in approximately one week.
If you have a pool deck that needs updated or considering adding a pool to your backyard space, we offer a full design and construction service! We include a 3D layout considering drainage, grading, and surrounding structures, allowing the pool design to feel like it was part of the original home design. DekTile pavers is an unmatched finish for any pool deck.
Taking the Heart of the Home Outdoors
After a long winter here in KC our family is ecstatic that the weather has turned and we can finally spend time together on our patio! Over the last decade we noticed the increase in our customers installing outdoor living spaces to allow spending time outdoors more enjoyable.
The kitchen is the heart of your home! It’s the space where you prepare meals for the ones that you love. Why not take that experience outside?
When customers want to include an outdoor kitchen to their DekTile patio the first thing we look at is the size of the existing space. Do we need to extend the patio to create more room? When the McDonnell family contacted us to help transform their backyard they had an existing patio that they wanted to extend to add more sitting room and they wanted an outdoor cookings space!
The issue with extending an existing concrete patio is the difference in color. The McDonnell’s were wanting the space to have a cohesive design to their patio. This is one reason why customers love the DekTile option is that it allows the space to look like it was always there.
The second step is choosing materials for your outdoor kitchen as well as the appliances desired for the space. Durable materials are important components of any outdoor kitchen. By choosing natural materials it really causes the space stand out, but more importantly stands against all types of weather!
The McDonnell’s already had a grill that they wanted built in. We added in a side burner, a trash can, and a cooling drawer. Also, thanks to Fusion Electric we added in led lighting all through out their space.
By incorporating a outdoor kitchen station into your DekTile patio design, the chef gets to prepare meals while entertaining their guests! Outdoor kitchens create the perfect environment for outdoor entertaining. Whether you’re hosting a family gathering or a dinner party with friends outdoors an outdoor kitchen space is a place to gather around: have drinks and serve food while creating memories!
Click here to search our gallery of outdoor kitchens
Springtime in Kansas City is one of my favorite times of year! The temperature is raising and we can finally get out and enjoy time outside. As the evenings approach the cool crisp air creates the perfect environment for enjoying time around a fire pit. It reminds me of the first fire pit Brett built for us!
Several years ago we bought a charming house in the beautiful neighborhood of Brookside located in Kansas City, Missouri. Being a family of four our cozy little house was fairly small. We knew right away that we needed to somehow create more options for our family to gather together as well as a larger space to entertain our guests year round. Being the great husband that he is, knowing that my 41st birthday was approaching and how much I love sitting around a roaring fire, Brett decided he was going to build me the biggest fire pit he’d ever built! My birthday is in February, so you can imagine my surprise when I glanced out my kitchen window and saw our amazing crew working hard building this firepit on my actual birthday!
Our loyal friend, Halle jumped right in. She always knows where the action is. When it was finished the fire pit provided an inviting centerpiece for many of our family gatherings and backyard parties.
A majority of Brett’s outdoor living design spaces include a fire pit or an outdoor gas fireplace, so I know I am not alone when it comes to enjoying time around a warm fire. Here are just a few designs that Brett has built over the last several years.
This one has a naturalistic feel, as it overlooks a pond and several acres of woodland. The fire pit was one component of a larger outdoor living area where Brett incorporated porcelain tile for a modern DekTile finish. We love the way this DekTile platform ties together the rustic environment with a sophisticated aesthetic.
Pictured above Brett used amix of natural stone on the vertical surfaces and DekTile pavers on the ground level making this firepit absolutely stunning. Added was a built in sitting wall which creates a warm and welcoming feel to the space.
This fire pit sits on a DekTile inset within a beautiful larger flagstone patio that really accentuates the beautiful DekTile pavers.
Whether it’s roasting marshmallows, sipping a glass of wine or just propping your feet up, there is something special about sitting around a fire pit with family or friends.
View our Patio gallery to see the firepit possibilities we can develop and build for your home.
The Palmers contacted us to help update their outdoor patio into a space that would better fit their needs. Although the 20 year old concrete maintained its structure, it definitely showed its age with cracks and chipping in various places. The Palmers wish list was to expand their existing patio, enlarge their stoop, and to create an outdoor kitchen.
DekTile overlay system was the perfect solution for homeowners like the Palmers who have an existing old patio they want to expand. What was appealing to the Palmers and why they chose DekTile was that the pavers could be applied directly over their existing patio–tying in both the old and new concrete. This option saved them $2,500.00 and about two weeks off the project timeline. Saving both time and money is always appealing to any homeowner.
The Palmers selected the “Midwest blend” color blend that consists of a blend of beige, earth tones, charcoal accents, limestone, and gray with a slate texture, which is non-slip. What is great about the color of the pavers they selected is that it runs through the full body of the paver and also acts like a sealant to preserve the longevity of the pavers.
The Palmer project began by power washing the existing patio and then pouring the concrete patio, giving them an additional three feet of living space. While waiting for the concrete to dry we began constructing both the cooking center and stoop structure.
The cooking center was constructed of concrete block, natural limestone countertops, and travertine “ledgestone” that we custom-designed around the appliances the homeowner selected.
Then it was onto enlarging the stoop. We started by framing the structure, then we employed our proprietary DekTile installation system.
With four crew members we were able to install 95% of the patio in one day, leaving us to complete only the custom-cut pieces around the cooking center, stoop, and home the following day. After the patio and deck pavers were in place and bonded down, we grouted the entire patio and began the cleanup process.
What was once a 20 year old patio that looked every bit its age was transformed into a larger living space that now feels like part of the original design of the home. The enlarged stoop allows for easy and seamless traffic flow which is important when carrying food to and from the outdoor cooking center.
The Palmers were very pleased that the DekTile project came in on budget, on time, and resulted in a project that was less messy than tearing out their concrete and starting over.
Spring is here and we can finally get outdoors and spend time with our family and friends! What we love most about what we do at DekTile is that we get to create those spaces where family and friends gather and enjoy the outdoors together. This month you’ll see that highlighted in the 2019 Outdoor Living Guide of 435 Magazine, Kansas City’s premiere lifestyle magazine.
Flipping through the March issue you will find several examples that are beyond our DekTile division. Our parent company, Berry Outdoor, is featured in a beautiful spread highlighting our approach to design and outdoor construction.
435 Magazine has been covering the life and style of Kansas City since 2005. It has evolved into the destination for readers to stay up to date about what’s happening in the Midwest, everything from restaurants and shopping to real estate and culture.
Did you know you can watch a DekTile installation in progress on the DIY Network show “Bargain Mansions?” Hosted by Kansas City native Tamara Day, “Bargain Mansions” showcases Tamara’s work of buying and overhauling neglected properties in the Kansas City metro area using all local contractors!
We were fortunate enough to work with Tamara in Season 2 of the show, designing and building outdoor living spaces as well as landscaping all her properties.
Episode 6, “A Pain in the Deck,” features our outdoor renovation of a pool deck, fire pit, kitchen, and fireplace.
In this episode Brett advises Tamara about the materials used in the pool deck and surrounding landscape. Brett also created the design for the enormous outdoor living area. For the DekTile finish on the patio surrounding the pool, he installed ceramic tile provided by Del Conca, USA.
The finished pool deck beautifully showcases a high-end DekTile installation.
A bit of behind-the-scenes scoop: Before Tamara filmed this segment, Brett arranged the filming with local stone company Semco Outdoor. He was pleased to help her choose the boulder used in a “bubbler” water feature near the pool.
We enjoyed being a part of Bargain Mansions and feel honored to be chosen by the show. Here’s one of our favorite photos of this project, showcasing the transforming power of DekTile.
You can watch both entire seasons of Bargain Mansions now on Amazon Prime, Vudu, and in reruns on the DIY Network. Soon all the episodes will air on HGTV. You can check your local listings for that. We hope you enjoy seeing DekTile on the small screen!
When it comes to planning an outdoor renovation project, we know the importance of being able to trust the contractors you hire. That is why we offer free consultations, so homeowners have a chance to meet our team members and learn more about our company. The step-by-step process with DekTile gives you a peace of mind before you hire us for your project.
Here’s what one local homeowner had to say about the consultation process with Brett:
We engaged Brett Berry to bid a courtyard project in our new home. He was quick to respond, was knowledgeable, professional and easy to work with. It is obvious to us that he is an ethical contractor. We heartily recommend him to anyone wishing to beautify his or her home.Hal H.
Step 1: Free Consultation
In this consultation you will meet with our DekTile representative who will conduct a preliminary walk-through of the space we’d be working. We will be looking at elements like drainage around the home, the architectural style and color scheme of the home, as well as the condition of any existing outdoor surfaces. This gives us a chance to see your vision and ideas for the space. We will then sit down together to brainstorm and generate a sense of design by browsing through photos in our online catalog of the different DekTile products and finishes we offer. After discussing your project budget, the we will then draft a written proposal with pricing and give an estimated timeline of the project. Depending on our schedule, we can usually start projects within a week of the initial consultation. With larger outdoor projects that require detailed measuring and estimating, a proposal will be sent via email and/or a follow up meeting will be scheduled to review final options, budgets, and proposal.
Step 2: Hire and Design
Once you contract to hire DekTile we start the process according to the timeline discussed in our first consultation. We can usually order the materials needed that same day. Depending on the size of the project, homeowners may purchase a comprehensive 3D visual design to more fully grasp the finished look of what their project will look like. After we have completed all measurements of your space our design specialist can create a computerized visual of your completed outdoor project including the DekTile design and any additional elements of your project. We use UVision software to create a state-of-the-art rendering of your home and potential project.
Step 3: Project Construction and Completion
With the DekTile products we can complete our projects in one-half to one-third of the time it takes to construct a traditional paver patio. Depending on the size of your project DekTile can be completed in as little as one or two days with smaller spaces and up to several weeks with larger spaces.
This project features a ceramic tile product sourced from Del Conca, USA. Insider tip: If you want to see more of this DekTile outdoor living area, tune in to Bargain Mansions, Season 2, Episode 6, “A Pain in the Deck” on the DIY Network.
Not all of our projects encompass kitchens, fireplaces, and pools, though. We specialize in updating existing concrete patios with our proprietary DekTile overlay system. We like to believe we can make any backyard into a more livable space.
What sets apart the DekTile process from other companies is that we value communication and trust throughout the entire process from start to finish as well as offering a 3-year warranty on each DekTile project.
Berry Outdoor has installed more than 150,000 square feet of DekTile in Kansas City area since 2007. Our intent is to make the outdoor renovation process as timely and professional as possible.