Cost-Effective Pool Building Tips to Transform Your Backyard into a Paradise

Texas summers are well-known for their broiling “fry an egg on the sidewalk” temperatures. As the summer mercury continues to climb higher each year, it’s a near necessity then to own a swimming pool. Imagine a refreshing oasis right in your backyard. A place where you can unwind, entertain, and cool off. But, as you know, installing a pool is not cheap. Still, with some smart planning and the right cost-effective pool building tips you can have your pool and swim in it too. 

A new swimming pool can bring joy to you, your family, and friends. It makes for a fine centerpiece to a perfectly manicured backyard, and a pool is perfect for those who love to entertain. At Carnahan Landscaping & Pools, we’ve been helping homeowners in The Woodlands and surrounding communities make this dream come true for over 40 years. In that time we’ve picked more than a few cost-effective pool building tips to help you say yes to the new swimming pool of your dreams.

Avoiding Hidden Pitfalls for Cost-Effective Pool Building

Building a swimming pool is a big project for your home and upgrade for your quality of life. It’s best to be informed about the quiet, hidden pitfalls of building a swimming pool. While building your cost-effective pool building plan, keep an eye out for these hidden line items that can surprise you.

  • – Land Survey & Local Regulation Setbacks
  • – Retaining Walls & Fencing
  • – Hidden Patio Costs
  • – Dirt Disposal
  • – Pool Drainage
  • – Landscaping Replacement
  • – Gas Connections

Covering the details of these hidden costs warrants an article in its own right. If you want to learn more about these hidden costs, send us a message, or call and speak with one of our pool experts

For your cost-effective planning needs, start with a survey. Before your heart is set on a pool design, it’s important to determine what designs are possible and account for any local regulations. One of the most expensive hidden costs of building a swimming pool is delaying an active construction due to an unforeseen setback that could have been avoided with a little planning upfront. 

Also, nail down the specifics with your pool builder. Often pool build projections will include a phrase like “price includes patio,” but provides no specifics about what shape or size of the patio to be included. This specificity extends to supplemental aspects like electric/gas work, dirt hauling, drainage systems, safety features, etc. 

And one final hidden cost of pool building is landscaping. Unfortunately, cost-effective pool building doesn’t happen in a vacuum and turning your yard into an active construction site WILL play havoc on your existing landscaping. Of course, Carnahan Landscaping & Pools, means we can directly address those issues for our pool build clients. But, many pool builds can leave you with a wonderful pool in the middle of a ripped-up,  muddy mess of a backyard in need of plenty of TLC.

Keep mind of these hidden costs and include them in your cost-effective pool building plan.

Navigating Pool Building Regulations, Permits, Ordinances, and Restrictions

Not all cost-effective pool building pitfalls are about the pool itself. Before breaking ground on your new pool, it’s crucial to understand all the regulations, permits, ordinances, and restrictions that affect the building and operation of your dream backyard pool.

And, as we would like to provide a comprehensive list of everything you will need to account for, we can’t. Your situation is specific to your property, which can mean different county, city, and neighborhood restrictions. 

For the unsuspecting homeowner, these easy-to-miss issues may not rear their head until construction starts. They can lead to costly construction delays or worse, having to completely scrap a pool mid-build.

For a cost-effective pool building plan, you need to find and pin down these regulatory issues before construction breaks ground. Here is a quick list of places to check concerning your planned pool construction.

Residential Swimming Pool Regulations

  • – Texas State Residential Swimming Pool Regulations
  • – County Swimming Pool Regulations
  • – Municipal Swimming Pool Ordinances & Permits
  • – Neighborhood Homeowners Association Pool Restrictions

Our best advice is to work with an established local pool builder in your area. 

For example, Carnahan Landscaping & Pools has 40 years of experience, building and maintaining swimming pools in Cypress, Katy, Magnolia, Spring, Tomball, The Woodlands, and the surrounding area. We’ve gone through the process hundreds of times and pretty much seen it all. We’re here to help you through what is likely your first pool design and build by providing perspective that can only come with deep experience. 

Any reputable pool builder will do the same.

Cost-Effective Pool Building Needs and Setting a Budget

Before diving into pool designs and materials, clearly define your pool needs and how much you’re willing to invest. Start by envisioning how you plan to use your pool. Are you looking for a serene retreat, a fun family hangout, or a centerpiece for entertaining? 

Cost-Effective Pool Building Tips to Transform Your Backyard into a Paradise 3

Your intended use will guide your design and feature choices. It’s helpful to create a list of cost-effective pool building features, accessibility options, and appointments to include in your build. Take your list and divide it into three sections: must-haves, nice-to-haves, and unnecessary items. Maybe you want an ultra modern pool look with clean zero-edge lines and subdued appointments. Or, perhaps you have young children and pets, where a zero-entry pool can improve safety.

Next, consider your budget. According to a recent Forbes article, the average homeowner should expect a standard in-ground swimming pool to cost $35,000. That price can easily double with added luxury features and customizations. Depending on your financial situation, that may be a shocking number. Not to worry, Carnahan Pools & Landscaping offers financing options to bring cost-effective pool building a possibility for many homeowners. 

Financing & Cost-Effective Pool Building

With an average cost of $35,000, even cost-effective pool building is not an inexpensive home improvement project. If you have been following along, you should have your list of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and unnecessary pool features and amenities. Include these items as part of the conversation with your pool builder. 

The more your pool building partner knows about your specific needs and wants, the more help they can be in tailoring a cost estimate for your dream pool. And, financing is available to help transform a smart, cost-effective pool build plan into a reality.

Financing for a pool build can be especially important in ensuring those must-have items are included. After all, what is the point of building a home swimming pool if it doesn’t have the features you want and need? Whether it’s something that’s a necessity such as fencing to meet regulations, or a safety feature like zero-entry that makes a pool better for pets, young children, and seniors, pool financing can help make sure you don’t have to cut something essential from your pool just to afford it. If you have questions about financing, or how to get started, send us a message.

Post-Construction Pool Budgeting

Remember, the cost of pool building doesn’t end with construction. As part of your cost-effective pool building plan, factor in maintenance, utilities, and potential upgrades over time. Ask your friends, family, and pool builder how much you should expect to pay for these items.

Be specific about how each of your pool design choices can escalate or de-escalate those maintenance costs. Like Carnahan Landscaping & Pools, many pool builders offer regular pool maintenance packages. We have a wealth of experience to tell you about the equipment and materials that require lower maintenance and what you can do to protect your investment once it’s built. 

Setting a realistic budget from the outset, with a cushion for unforeseen expenses, will ensure a smoother process and help avoid financial strain down the line.

Choosing the Right Pool Design and Builder

The foundation of a cost-effective pool project is selecting a design that aligns with both your aesthetic preferences and budget constraints. In the suburban areas North of Houston, homeowners have a myriad of pool design possibilities. Whether you’re drawn to the elegance of classic geometric shapes or the natural allure of freeform designs, it’s essential to work with a well-reviewed, experienced builder that can translate your vision into reality without unnecessary costs.

When it comes to choosing the perfect design for your cost-effective pool build, your starting place should be size and shape. Ready for this? A larger pool costs more than a smaller pool. Not only because it requires more material to build, a large pool requires more and more-rugged equipment. Larger pools need more returns, more skimmer buckets, more lights, more exits, a bigger pump, etc.

As far as shape, geometric shapes with right angles are much easier and cost-effective to construct than freeform organic shapes. For the absolute cheapest design, nothing beats the classic rectangular pool. And don’t worry, you can take some of the budget you would spend on a non-traditional shape and put it towards materials and extras that can make sure your pool is styled anything but ordinary.

One tip that we find often helps homeowners plan for a new swimming pool is to grab rope and a tape measure and outline the pool’s footprint in your yard. Then do a few laps around the perimeter. This can help to give you a clear idea of how much space you have available and what shape will work best with your existing yard layout.

When it comes to choosing a pool builder we recommend Carnahan Landscaping & Pools, but we’re a little biased. Like any contractor, you get what you pay for. It’s been many a homeowner who lamented the decision to splurge on design and pool amenities and go for the lowest bid on labor. There’s no substitute for quality of workmanship, and it is the definitive difference maker between a cost-effective pool build that looks great and an expensive, unhappy mistake. 

Our advice is to go with a well-established contractor. Check reviews, ask friends and family about their experience, and review the portfolio of your shortlist of cost-effective pool builders. Write down any questions you have and give us a call, getting each pool builder’s answer for your most important pool-building aspects before making a decision.

See Photos of Completed Carnahan Pool Builds

Incorporating Cost-Effective Pool Building Design Features

Choosing an economical pool shape is only one way to keep your dream pool within budget. Another key strategy is to focus on incorporating those must-have design features that offer the biggest bang for your buck. 

Construction materials play a major role in determining the look, price, and life expectancy of your new swimming pool. At the far low end are fiberglass pool shells and vinyl pools. While they are cheaper than common concrete they can be more limited in what features you can incorporate and what you can do to maintain, and especially repair your pool once it’s installed.

Prefabricated fiberglass shells are the most limiting in design size, shape, finishing options, and additional features. The tradeoff being they’re typically less expensive to install and provide a durable, algae-resistant surface. 

Consider how important the tactile feel of a pool is to you. One touch and people will know the pool is fiberglass. Another consideration is the flexibility of fiberglass. Movement of the pool shell can lead to plumbing issues, and any repair that requires digging under your pool to investigate and correct the issues will not be cheap.

Vinyl pool shells often come with a few more aesthetic options, but the many of the same restraints of a fiberglass pool shell. Your pool will look like thousands of others, and you may have yard space limitations that just won’t allow for extended construction like removing landscaping or tearing out a patio. One specific issue with vinyl pools is sun glare/heat damage that can warp the pool in spaces. Which is why we often don’t recommend this option in the oppressive summer heat and direct sun of Texas.

As a cost-effective pool building material, concrete is often the best option. Concrete can be poured and shaped to meet any custom pool design need. You’re not limited to a prefabricated design, and concrete pools can be coped and finished with tile or other surface options to create the specific look and feel you want for your pool. And perhaps most importantly, you can repair or update the look of a concrete pool much easier than other options.

Here is a short list of other great features to consider including in your design that won’t bust your pool budget.

6 Cost-Effective Pool Design Feature Options

  • – Tanning/Pet Ledge
  • – Programmable Color LED Lights
  • – Bubbler, Cascade, or Waterfall
  • – Seating Area or In-Pool Seats
  • – Partial-Cover Shade Structure
  • – Complementary Features Like Pathing, Potted Landscaping, Fire Pits, and More

This is one of the areas where a combined landscape/pool contractor can make a big difference. At Carnahan Landscaping & Pools, we take a holistic look at your entire outdoor space to create a pool environment that fits with your existing home and landscape, or vice versa.

Maximize Energy-Efficient Features for Cost-Effective Pool Building

Pool operating costs are often overlooked by homeowners when budgeting for their new pool build. It can be easy to hyperfocus on the large dollars attached to the construction costs of a pool without thinking about the monthly ongoing costs once the build is finished.

If you’re looking for cost-effective pool building tips, think about what energy-saving features you might incorporate into your design that can consistently save you money months and years down the line. 

Most energy-efficient features actually cost more upfront in price but provide significant savings dividends in the long run, easily paying for themselves. LED lights, especially solar-powered LEDs, are an easy way to cut down on the electrical costs of owning a pool. They’re cost-effective lighting that looks great and will save you money annually. And, solar lights will continue to work even when the power goes out.

A pool is a large investment and you want to ensure you get the best bang for your buck. One cost-effective pool building consideration is a pool heater. While most home pools don’t need a pool heater in our neck of the words, having one can provide you an extra month or two of pool use each year. Investing in an energy-efficient solar pool heater can help you attain those extra weeks of pool fun without a hefty heating bill each month. 

Investing in a pool cover is another way to save money. In addition to helping keep your pool cooler when it’s not in use, it reduces evaporation and the frequency you need to add gallons of water back into your pool. A pool cover also prevents leaves, trash, debris, and even animals from dirtying your pool’s water, which makes your cleaning system and pool pump work harder.

Which is important because the biggest operating cost of an installed home pool is cleaning the water. 

Energy-Efficient Pool Cleaning and Pump Choice

The rule of thumb is to run your pool’s pump for eight hours daily. This schedule ensures particulate is filtered out of the pool and the circulation process continues to agitate the pool water so your chlorine is well-dispersed throughout the pool.

However, you can more accurately estimate how long you need to run your pump by taking the estimated gallon volume of your pool design and dividing it by your pump’s GPH (Gallons Per Hour). The result is exactly how many hours you need to run your pool’s pump to clean all the water.

Pool Volume / Pump GPH = Hours Needed to Cycle Your Pool’s Water

Your pool builder should be able to help estimate this information for you and provide pump recommendations. One easy way to save money in the long run is with a variable speed pump instead of a fixed speed pump. Variable pumps are often quieter and waste less energy by adjusting to your pool’s needs. 

You may be asking, “OK, but they’re more expensive than single speed pumps. Is it worth it?” The easiest answer is that single speed pumps are considered so energy wasteful they’re banned from new pool constructions in multiple states.

These cost-effective pool building features can give homeowners some sticker shock, but when you consider the additional pool use opportunities and monthly energy savings, you can quickly see how they more than pay for themselves once your home swimming pool build is complete.

Implementing Essential Safety Measures Affordably

In most cases, pool safety is non-negotiable. If you’ve done your due diligence and followed our cost-effective pool building tip to research what state, county, local, and HOA restrictions will impact your pool, you discovered that many include specific safety features. At the state level, there are four primary safety regulations to which Texas homeowners must adhere: fencing, gating, doors/windows, and alarms.

To briefly explain, your pool needs to be encompassed by a fence with a minimum four feet in height. Your backyard fence should suffice so long as it is not easily climbable from outside your yard. That means no chain link fencing and wooden fences MUST have the rails on the side facing your pool.

Presumably your backyard fence has a gate, which must follow the same restrictions as your fence. In addition, it should open AWAY from the pool, be self-closing/latching and be able to be locked.

Now, your home can account as a barrier to the pool (part of the fence). Doors that face the pool area need to be fixed with keyless deadbolts or bar-and-pin locks. And, windows that access the pool area must be permanently sealed. Both doors and windows need to be installed with alarms, and the bypass must be out of the reach of children. 

You may be wondering why all the red tape? The end of the last paragraph is why. These regulations focus on keeping children from easily accessing home swimming pools without parental supervision. It makes sense in context, Texas accounts for more than 25% of all daily drownings in the US, in significant part because of the multitude of home pools across the state.

The information presented here is not meant to be legal counsel. For legal advice regarding pool safety requirements and any legal aspects of your future pool, please consult an attorney. 

These regulations are not very expensive for most homeowners, but it is worth a check on your home’s situation before breaking ground on a new pool build. It can be a costly surprise to find out you need to tear down and build a new fence or replace multiple windows in your home to accommodate a pool. Depending on your specific situation, it may be more cost effective to build a bespoke barrier around your pool area that meets regulations.

Other cost-effective safety features include a safety pool cover that can hold the weight of a person without collapsing into the pool. Solar and battery-powered door/window alarms are available that will save you plenty of money in electrical wiring costs.

Additional safety features to consider are aggregate coping and pathing around your pool to reduce fall risks and a pool alarm. Standard pool alarms detect infrared, sound, motion, or some combination of the three.

You may also be able to submit your pool’s new safety features to your homeowners insurance provider for a discount on your premiums.

Cost-Effective Pool Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is essential for extending the lifespan of your pool and keeping operating costs low. Simple steps, like regular cleaning, maintaining proper chemical levels, and timely equipment checks, can prevent issues that lead to bigger expenses. 

Draining/refilling your pool, replacing expensive equipment, and performing extensive repairs is exactly what you want to avoid through cost-effective pool maintenance. Here are the major items on our pool maintenance service checklist that we touch during each client visit.

Home Pool Maintenance Checklist

  • – Inspect the pool area for damage
  • – Brush the pool area
  • – Empty skimmer and pump baskets
  • – Skim, remove leaves, and vacuum pool
  • – Test water chemistry
    • – Adjust chem‎icals as needed
    • – Add sanitizer as needed
    • – Adjust water level as needed
  • – Inspect pool pump, filter, skimmer, and jets operation
    • – B‎ackwash/clean filter as needed
    • – Lube O-ring as needed

If you don’t feel confident about pool maintenance, you’re not alone. Dealing with a mixture of water, electricity, machinery, and chemicals can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. You can ask someone with experience owning a pool to help you learn the basics, or stick with the professionals. 

Carnahan Landscaping & Pools provides maintenance services that take the guesswork out of pool care. We ensure your pool remains working in pristine condition year-round. 

Learn More About Carnahan’s Pool Maintenance

Cost-Effective Pool Building Example

Imagine you have lived in your Katy home for five years, experienced five sweltering summers. During the COVID-19 shutdown, you realized how important it was to have access to a natural environment, a personal oasis to share with your family. 

You want to turn your outdoor space into a relaxing refuge. Only one problem, you have to work within a tight backyard space. With pen and paper, you scratch out a list of the pool features that are going to make the project worthwhile. 

  • – Integrated Spa Jets
  • – Tanning Ledge
  • – Partial Shade Structure
  • – Patio/Deck Lounge Area
  • – Ambient Lighting 

You do a little research and choose a short list of experienced local pool builders to contact about your dream pool. Through your talks, it’s clear you will also need to budget alarms for the window and door that access the backyard. Each pool builder offers slightly different answers that together give you a good idea of where potential issues might arise and what a ballpark estimate might be. 

After checking with your HOA about potential issues, thanks to a tip from one pool builder, it seems like every part of your dream pool build is doable. With some more questions and estimates you’ve chosen the right pool builder for you. 

Together, the two of you match estimate to budget, adjusting the finer points of your features and design preferences. On your pool builder’s recommendation, you decide to go with solar ambient lighting. They cost more per unit, but save money in electrician and operating costs.

Other recommendations include new patio concrete pour. It’s relatively inexpensive as they will be pouring for the pool anyways. The new arbor will be extended partially over the pool as a shade structure. And, adding a living wall, vertical greenery to help block the hottest of the afternoon sun from the lounge area. 

A few 3D landscape design proposals later and permits later, and things are decided. You and your family wait excitedly for the completion of your new pool and outdoor hideaway, knowing this summer is going to be one to remember.

Nothing speaks louder than success stories. Carnahan Landscaping & Pools takes pride in the numerous pool projects we’ve completed across North Houston, transforming backyards into personal retreats. We invite you to see our portfolio, online reviews, or contact us directly to hear first-hand what we can do for you.

The Top Cost-Effective Pool Building Tip

Building a swimming pool is an exciting journey that enhances your home and life. And, it can be easier and less expensive than you might suspect. That’s why the best tip for cost-effective pool building is having a plan. Spending a little time to plan your dream pool by focusing on the critical make-or-break aspects will help the pool builder you choose develop a wonderful pool design that will make you and your wallet happy.  

By focusing on cost-effective design, construction techniques, and maintenance, Carnahan Landscaping & Pools ensures your new pool will bring joy for years to come without straining your finances. Our dedicated team is ready to guide you through every step of the process, from initial design to the final touches, making your dream pool a reality.

Give us a call today to get started!

The Best Styles for Outdoor Kitchens

Are you considering building an outdoor kitchen in Houston but not sure what style would suit your backyard best? Carnahan Landscaping & Pools talks about the best styles for outdoor kitchens that will not only make your outdoor space more functional but also add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your backyard. From modern L-shape styles to traditional straight island kitchens, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and get inspired with some outdoor kitchen ideas!

Modern L-Shape

Looking for modern outdoor kitchen ideas that are sure to impress? Look no further than an L-shape design, ranging from various styles such as a sleek plank finish that is sure to catch your eye. Personalize it by equipping it with a refrigerator, built-in grill, double access doors, and pull-out trash, an outdoor kitchen has all the necessary features for seamless functionality. This design is perfect for small gatherings and is sure to be a hit with your guests. Just like an indoor kitchen, an outdoor kitchen is where everyone wants to hang out!

Outdoor Grill Island

For those who prioritize cooking excellent food, an outdoor grill island kitchen is the perfect solution. A straight island design is ideal for those with limited outdoor space and comes complete with high-quality appliances. From left to right, the island can feature various amenities such as a double side burner, double drawer, built-in grill, double access door, and pull-out trash – all in durable stainless steel. A double power burner is perfect for cooking multiple dishes at once, while the double drawers provide ample storage space for utensils and accessories. A built-in grill is the centerpiece of the design, while a pull-out trash makes cleanup a breeze. A covered outdoor kitchen is the ultimate space for grilling potential, with everything you need to cook and enjoy a meal with family and friends.

Pellet Grill

If you’re looking to upgrade your outdoor cooking game with modern technology, consider a pellet grill for your outdoor kitchen. These grills come with digital controls that make it easy to hold a consistent temperature, similar to your home oven. With a pellet grill, you can smoke, sear, grill, and even bake – all in one unit. A pellet grill on a straight island design offers plenty of counter space on each side for meal preparation, making it the perfect addition to any outdoor kitchen.

outdoor grill hoouston
The Best Styles for Outdoor Kitchens 7

Outdoor Kitchen with A Pizza Oven

If grilling isn’t your thing, consider adding a pizza oven to your outdoor kitchen for a unique cooking experience. This outdoor kitchen design features a wood-fired pizza oven in place of a traditional grill, along with a fridge for refreshments. Install an authentic, professional oven that allows for delicious, fresh pizza at any time. With a pizza oven in your outdoor kitchen, you can impress your guests with your homemade pizzas while enjoying a refreshing beverage.

Two-Grilled Straight Island Kitchen

Why limit yourself to one type of grill when you can have both natural gas and charcoal in one outdoor kitchen design? A two-grilled straight island kitchen offers the best of both worlds, providing the convenience of natural gas and the delicious smoky flavor of charcoal. An extra-long island layout is a non-traditional setup that maximizes the available space in your backyard. With this design, you don’t have to compromise on functionality or style. The possibilities are endless, so let your imagination run wild and create an outdoor kitchen in Houston that meets all your needs and preferences.


If you’re looking to create the perfect outdoor kitchen for entertaining, consider a U-shape layout that maximizes counter space and functionality. On one end of a U-shaped kitchen, you can place a built-in grill with multiple burners and a rotisserie for cooking up delicious meals. On the opposite end, install a sink with a faucet and under-sink storage for easy cleanup and storage of outdoor cooking utensils.

In the middle of the U, add a large prep area with plenty of counter space for food prep and serving, as well as a beverage cooler to keep drinks chilled. Don’t forget to incorporate bar seating along one side of the U for guests to sit and socialize while you cook up a storm.

Covered Outdoor Kitchen

Make the most of your shaded outdoor space with a covered outdoor kitchen. A long island beside the house is perfect for buffet-style serving, while an attached pellet grill and countertop make grilling and serving a breeze. The gap between the islands adds mobility, while the center island boasts a sink, refrigerator, and access door. A bar island can feature combo storage and ample seating for your guests. With a gas grill, combination storage, side burner, outdoor refrigerator, and sink, an L-shaped kitchen fits perfectly under a pergola, creating a seamless and functional grilling station. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue during the hot Houston summers or just want a shaded spot to chill and grill, a covered outdoor kitchen in Houston is the way to go!

Standard Outdoor Kitchen

Standard outdoor kitchens are pre-built units that can be combined in various configurations to create the perfect setup for your backyard. Want a large grill with plenty of prep space? Add an extra module for countertops and cabinets. Need a bar area for entertaining? Add a module with seating and a sink.

The best part about standard designs is that they can be expanded or reconfigured as your needs change. Whether you’re a master chef or just looking for a simple setup for outdoor cooking, a standard outdoor kitchen can provide the versatility and flexibility you need.

Incorporate Bar Seating

Consider incorporating bar seating into your outdoor kitchen to maximize your outdoor space and create a dining area. An L-Shape design is a great option for families looking for a simple yet functional setup, with an excellent grill, refrigerator, and combo storage. Spend quality time with your loved ones and enjoy delicious meals in the great outdoors.

Install An Outdoor Kitchen in Houston!

Contact us for more information on outdoor kitchens in Houston and to request a quote.

5 Ideas for Your Outdoor Kitchen in Houston

If you’ve decided to install an outdoor kitchen in Houston, it’s a great investment to make. Not only will it increase your usable square footage but also provide a boost to your home’s value. However, if you’re having trouble choosing what size or style, our Houston outdoor kitchen installation experts are here to help.

Here are five ideas for your outdoor kitchen in Houston from Carnahan Landscaping & Pools!

1. Install a Kitchen Based on Your Favorite Cooking Method

Are you an oven fan? Perhaps you can’t get enough sweet and smoky barbecue ribs. Either way, using your favorite cooking methods as inspiration for your outdoor kitchen is key. You can install everything from brick pizza ovens to smokers, and much more. Anything that suits your lifestyle.

2. Keep Weather & Location in Mind

When designing and installing an outdoor kitchen in Houston, it’s important to keep the climate in mind. This will likely affect the materials you use, in addition to the ideal location for your outdoor kitchen. Milder climates often call for more open-air kitchens. However, with the Houston heat, if you want to use your outdoor kitchen year-round, you’ll likely need to think of ways to keep it cool during the summer.

3. Choose Durable Building Materials

When designing and installing an outdoor kitchen, it will need to stand up to everything the elements are prepared to throw at it. This is why choosing the most durable materials available is essential. Weatherproof pieces of furniture, as well as stainless steel fixtures, are often a great choice for most outdoor kitchens if you want them built to last.

4. Accessorize

Your outdoor kitchen can act as your backyard oasis, so accessorize and create exactly what you want. You can add atmosphere and show off your personality by installing unique fixtures, artwork, or anything else you think will add a bit of flair to your outdoor kitchen. Just make sure you don’t go overboard and always try to maintain an equal balance with your overall design.

outdoor kitchen
5 Ideas for Your Outdoor Kitchen in Houston 11

5. Add a Bar

If you like entertaining guests, but don’t always want to be cooped up in the kitchen or living room, an outdoor bar and small kitchen can be the ideal place to spend an evening. Keeping a small mini-fridge outdoors to store wine, beer, and cocktail mixes is also a great idea.

Let’s talk about installing your outdoor kitchen in Houston today!

If you’re interested in designing and installing your very own outdoor kitchen in Houston, contact the experts from Carnahan Landscaping & Pools online or call (281) 376-6868.

Why You Should Consider Building a Pergola in Houston

A pergola is a beautiful and versatile outdoor structure that can be used to create a shady and inviting space in your garden, patio, or backyard. It can be a great addition to your outdoor living space and provide a place to entertain and relax in the fresh air. Let’s discuss why you should consider building a pergola in Houston and the many benefits it can bring.

Extend Your Space to the Outdoors

Your property can be enjoyed to the fullest if you build a pergola. It can extend your indoor space and bring the indoors outdoors. It can easily be used to separate areas of your garden or to create a new space for entertaining and relaxation. You can also use it to create the perfect indoor-outdoor floor with sliding doors or windows, creating a seamless transition from the indoor living room or kitchen to your pergola area.

The Perfect Complement to an Existing Deck

If you already have a deck, a pergola can be the perfect addition to add some shade and style. It can provide a beautiful backdrop for a hot tub, dining area, or outdoor seating area, and allows you to enjoy your deck all year round. Plus, it can also be used to add some vertical greenery, such as climbing vines or plants, to the space.

Use it for Dining and Entertaining

A pergola is a perfect spot to host a dinner party or evening gathering. You can easily set up a dining table and chairs and string up some outdoor lights to create a festive ambiance. And if it’s a hot day, you’ll have the perfect spot to keep your guests cool and comfortable.

Outdoors Space
Why You Should Consider Building a Pergola in Houston 14

Create a Luxurious Poolside Lounge

A pergola can be the perfect spot for a luxurious poolside lounge if you have a pool. It’s the perfect spot to relax and take in the sun, and with some outdoor furniture and a few plants, you’ll have the perfect spot to entertain your friends and family.

Create a Hidden Getaway Just Steps from Your Home

A pergola can also be used to create a hidden oasis just steps from your home. It can be the perfect spot to escape for some peace and quiet, or it can be used to create a more intimate setting for your next backyard gathering. Whatever you decide, a pergola can be the perfect way to create a unique and inviting space for you and your guests.

Find the Best Pergolas in Houston at Carnahan Landscaping & Pools

Building a pergola can be a great way to transform your outdoor space and add an inviting and stylish touch. At Carnahan Landscaping & Pools, we specialize in designing and installing custom pergolas in Houston. We use only the highest quality materials and craftsmanship to ensure your pergola is built to stand the test of time. Contact us today to get started on your custom pergola in Houston.

Building a Covered Patio in Houston? Consider This

Building a covered patio in Houston can be a great investment for any homeowner. A patio can provide an outdoor living space that can be used to entertain guests, relax, and enjoy the outdoors. It can also be a great way to protect your outdoor furniture and other belongings from the elements. A covered patio can also provide a number of additional benefits that can help you get the most out of your outdoor space. Let’s review some of the advantages of building a covered patio in Houston.

More Options for Outdoor Lighting

Having a structure and roof over your patio area can provide you with more opportunities for outdoor lighting. You can use string lights, lanterns, and other light fixtures to create a warm, inviting atmosphere on your patio. This can be great for entertaining guests or relaxing on the patio in the evening.

Climate Control Possibilities

Having a covered patio can provide you with the opportunity to control the climate of your outdoor space. You can install a ceiling fan, misting system, or other climate control system to help keep your patio area cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Enjoy Doing More Outdoor Entertaining

Having a covered patio can provide you with the perfect area to entertain guests. You can host parties, cookouts, and other events with plenty of space and protection from the elements.

Create the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

A covered patio can also provide you with the ideal area for an outdoor kitchen. You can install an outdoor grill, oven, refrigerator, and other appliances to create the perfect outdoor cooking space.

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Indoor-Outdoor Flow

Creating a good flow between the indoor spaces connected to the rear of the house and the outdoors feels natural. This can be achieved by having a covered patio that serves as an extension of the interior spaces.

Protect Your Outdoor Furniture

Covered patios protect your outdoor furniture and other belongings from the elements. This can help to extend the life of your furniture and other items.

Protect Yourself from the Sun and Elements

While it’s sometimes fun to enjoy the sun and get a tan, being exposed to the sun for too long can be dangerous. A covered patio can provide you with protection from the sun and other elements while still allowing you to enjoy being outdoors.

Request a Quote for a Covered Patio in Houston From Carnahan Landscaping & Pools

Carnahan Landscaping & Pools has extensive experience designing and installing covered patios in Houston. We understand the climate and the challenges of building in the area, and we can help you create the perfect covered patio for your home. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote.

The 3 Most Popular Uses for Pergolas

If you live in Houston and are looking for ways to improve your outdoor living space, you might want to consider adding pergolas in Houston. Pergolas are versatile structures that offer a variety of benefits and can be used in many different ways. Carnahan Landscaping & Pools covers the most popular uses for pergolas and how they can enhance your outdoor experience.

Backyard Entertainment Space

Pergolas offer a versatile outdoor living space, particularly useful for entertainment. The wide-open spaces created by a pergola provide a natural gathering place for guests to enjoy socializing or dining al fresco. Pergolas can be customized to suit individual preferences, with the option of adding walls covered with fabric or wooden planks to protect against the elements. Glass panels can also be incorporated to allow for natural light while minimizing the impact of wind or rain. The ample space under the pergola can be filled with various outdoor furniture pieces, from chairs and sofas to even mattresses for a cozy and relaxing atmosphere.

Whether it’s for hosting a barbecue during a hot, Houston summer or simply lounging with friends, a pergola can transform a backyard into a stylish and functional entertainment area.


Combined-use pergolas are structures that consist of two or more individual pergolas joined together to create a larger, more functional space. This approach is a smart solution for homeowners who want to expand their outdoor living area without the need for extensive construction as it maximizes surface coverage, providing ample space for storing outdoor furniture, creating a dining area, or other activities.

By combining the pergolas, a much larger covered space can be created, providing more room for outdoor furniture, dining tables, or any other use. The beauty of combined-use pergolas is that they can be customized to fit the specific needs and aesthetics of the homeowner. Pergolas can be equipped with features such as lighting and heating to make them more comfortable and functional in various weather conditions.

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Enclosed Spaces

A common example of this is restaurants that utilize the combination of two pergolas to create a spacious and inviting outdoor area. By adding fabric on the sides of the pergola and installing glass windows, the structure has the feeling of a room while still being an outdoor space. This innovative approach allows people to enjoy their meals or drinks in a comfortable and protected environment while still enjoying the beautiful scenery and fresh air. With the ability to customize the design and features of pergolas, they can be used to create unique and functional enclosed spaces for a variety of purposes.

Looking Into Installing a Pergola In Houston?

We’ve got just what you need. Contact our expert team at Carnahan Landscaping & Pools to request a quote on pergolas in Houston!

Ask Your Pool Builder in Houston These Questions Before You Start

A pool is a perfect tie-in for a backyard, adding luxury and beauty to any outdoor space. When it comes to having a pool built, it’s important to make sure you find the right builder who will bring your vision to life. Here are some important questions to ask your pool builder in Houston before you start the process. While not every builder will have the same process, there are a few things to discuss with every pool-building project that can help you make the most informed decision about your project needs.

Where should it be positioned?

Before you start drawing up plans and working on the design of your pool, it’s important to have a good idea of where it should be positioned in your backyard. This will help you determine the size and shape of the pool, as well as what type of features you’d like to incorporate. Consider the amount of sun that the area receives and the size of the space available, as well as any obstructions or landscaping features that may need to be worked around.

Excavation will be planned around this area, so you should also have a ground survey done to check for any buried utilities, septic systems, or other potential obstacles.

How do I choose the shape and style?

The shape and style of your swimming pool will depend on your personal preferences, but it’s important to consider the overall design of your property and the size of the space available. Freeform pools are popular for their organic shape and ability to accommodate a variety of features, while geometric shapes like rectangles, ovals, and circles can create a more classic look.

Additionally, you’ll have to decide on the type of finish that you’d like, such as plaster, tile, or pebble. This will also play a role in the overall look and feel of your pool.

Can my backyard accommodate a pool?

Before you get too far into the process, it’s important to make sure that the space in your backyard can accommodate the size and shape of the pool that you want. Having a professional come out and take measurements is the best way to make sure that your pool will fit in your space. This will also help you plan for the necessary excavation, as well as any additional features that you’d like to add, such as a deck or patio.

What are the main reasons I want a swimming pool?

Having a good idea of why you want a pool in the first place will help you make sure that you’re making the right decisions throughout the entire process. Are you looking to create a recreational space for your family, a place to relax and unwind, or just a space to entertain guests? Knowing the purpose of the pool will help you decide on the features that you’ll need and the overall design.

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Which materials should we use for the swimming pool considering the property and house?

The materials used for the pool will depend on a few factors, such as the design, budget, and overall look that you’re going for. The most common materials used for pools are concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl. Each material has its pros and cons, so you’ll have to decide which one is the best fit for your project.

Do I want more outdoor amenities and features with the swimming pool?

Adding additional features to your pool can create an even more enjoyable experience. Features like waterfalls, fountains, fire pits, and built-in seating can all help to create a more inviting atmosphere. You’ll also need to decide if you want to add a deck or patio, as well as any lighting or landscaping features that you’d like to incorporate.

Installing a custom pergola is a great way to create a pool house or lounge area next to or near the pool while providing a nice shaded area.

Who will use the pool the most and does this configuration make sense?

It’s important to consider who will be using the pool the most and make sure that the design and features make sense for their needs. If you have small children, you may want to consider adding a shallow area or steps for easy access. If you plan on entertaining guests often, you may want to add a patio or deck for additional seating.

Which pool features do I want to add?

Once you’ve determined the basic design of your pool and the materials you’ll use, you’ll need to decide what additional features you’d like to add. This could include things like a diving board, slide, or hot tub, as well as lighting and landscaping features. Taking into consideration the purpose of your pool and who will be using it the most will help you determine which features are the best fit for your project.

How can I build the pool with easy maintenance in mind?

The last thing you want to do is spend all of your time and money on a pool, only to find out that it’s difficult to keep clean and maintain. When planning your pool, consider features that will make cleaning and maintenance easier, and check your landscaping for anything that might add more work to your plate.

Trees overhanging the area will often drop leaves in the pool, making it more difficult to keep clean. Also, be sure to select materials and features that are easy to clean and maintain.

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Who is the swimming pool builder?

Last but not least, you’ll want to make sure that you find a reputable and experienced pool builder to handle the construction. Ask the builder for references and check online reviews before making your decision. Taking the time to do your research and make sure that you find a quality builder will ensure that you get the best possible results for your project.

Start Building the Swimming Pool of Your Dreams with Carnahan Landscaping & Pools, an Expert Pool Builder in Houston

While there are many factors to consider when it comes to having a pool built, you can trust the experts at Carnahan Landscaping & Pools to help you make the most informed decision about your project. Our experienced pool builders in Houston are knowledgeable about all aspects of pool building and can help you create the perfect backyard oasis. Contact us today to get started on your project and request a quote.

Why You Should Have an Outdoor Fireplace Installed

Outdoor fireplaces add both aesthetic appeal and practical value to any space. From wood and gas fire pits to fire tables and fireplaces, there is a range of outdoor fireplace options with varying benefits such as heat output, efficiency, and cost. Carnahan Landscaping & Pools lists five primary reasons why you should install an outdoor fireplace in Houston.

1.It offers a Focal Point

Outdoor fireplaces are highly effective in bringing together an outdoor living area or patio. Just as a fireplace is often the main attraction inside a home, an outdoor fireplace serves the same purpose by creating a central gathering spot. It can also assist in defining the outdoor space by providing a framework for items such as tables and furniture.

2. Use Your Outdoor Space During the Cold Months

An outdoor fireplace is a perfect addition for those who want to extend their time outside. With the cozy ambiance and warmth it provides, you can enjoy your outdoor space earlier in the spring and later in the fall. By installing an outdoor fireplace, you gain more days of usable outdoor time, even during the peak of summer. Plus, it allows you to continue using your patio into the evening while basking in the beautiful orange glow and benefiting from its ample light. Stay warm and enjoy your outdoor living space all night long!

3. Great Aesthetic

Adding an outdoor fireplace, such as ours at Carnahan Landscaping & Pools in Houston, creates an atmosphere of warmth and comfort, perfect for relaxing and connecting with others. The unique ambiance provided by a real fire is unparalleled, making it a highly sought-after outdoor living feature, second only to a pool according to realtors.

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4. Does Not Require Venting

An advantage of outdoor fireplaces over indoor ones is their lack of need for ventilation. This characteristic allows for greater flexibility in their placement and reduces construction costs. However, it is crucial to ensure proper ventilation to disperse fumes from the fireplace. Always take care when installing an outdoor fireplace, as proper airflow is essential to ensure safe and enjoyable use.

5. Adds Curb Appeal

Adding an outdoor fireplace is a highly desirable feature, making it a valuable investment for your outdoor living space. Fireplaces in general offer the highest return on investment for home renovations, and this holds true for outdoor fireplaces as well. An organization for real estate reports that adding another fireplace to a home, whether indoors or outdoors, can increase the asking price significantly. With its ability to create a cozy ambiance and extend the use of your outdoor living area, an outdoor fireplace is a sound investment that not only adds value and curbs appeal to your home but also enhances your lifestyle.

Want To Install an Outdoor Fireplace In Houston?

Our staff at Carnahan Landscaping & Pools provide professional service from start to finish. If you want to install an outdoor fireplace in your Houston home, reach out today for a quote!