The Right Design is Key

Outdoor Living

Viewing posts tagged Outdoor Living

The Right Design is Key

Sunset Designers & Builders actually started as Sunset Fence & Patio Company. That was the idea of the day when Long Beach was Iowa by the Sea where no fences were built between most of the early track homes. My step-father Bob Dare decided that although the idea of building fences sounded grandiose, homeowners really had a need for more than the fences and patios on their property. This business approach was simple and effective early on. It only took 5 short years, back in 1953, they changed the name to Sunset Designers & Builders going forward. Design was in the name because it is so important to the creation of beautiful “Outdoor Living” spaces. When you don’t have professional help to put together a great design to work from, you often end up with a sub-par final result. I often see projects around the neighborhood that appear to have been worked on by the “Weekend Warriors” who try their best to piece together a yard and end up with a hodge-podge mess.

At Sunset Designers & Builders, we like to take a fundamental and creative look at a yard to determine: 1) what the function of the yard is i.e. family time, entertainment, relaxation…, 2) what materials and style the customer prefers, 3) what the environmentally responsible opportunities are, 4) ensuring we match with Mother Nature as far as drainage and planting options.

We recently published an article about our friend Kristie Nelsen, Architect, who helps us put these designs into digital plot plans with 3-Dimensional renderings. This really helps our clients better understand the design while providing us the opportunity to make changes very quickly. While the printed ink on paper helps us see the design, we realize that the final design work really happens in the yard on the job-site. We will often have a design that the customer loves, we scrape out the yard and remove old items to leave us a dirt lot canvas ready for work. We then paint on the ground where items will be, sometimes mocking 3-Dimensional aspects with stakes, boards and string-lines. This allows us to get a better perspective of the design in the yard with a real 3-Dimensional experience.
We are always here to help and believe the design is paramount. We keep in mind that the build relies on the design so we are able to keep within budget by starting with a strong, flexible design process.
If you need any assistance, please call us.

DigitalSitePlanDigital Site Plan

Got Shade?

The hot days last week have made me appreciate my newest installation in my backyard. This Sail Shade is a unique way to create shadow and it even sheds water when it rains. It is also a beautiful feature adding depth and functionality to the backyard. At night I am able to illuminate it for a great presentation. The covers are designed to withstand up to 150mph winds. As you can tell, the support posts are pretty heavy duty. There is also a support cable that runs the perimeter under tension by turnbuckles. This keeps the shade very taught in the wind to ensure it is safely secured.


I am in the process of taking timelapse photography to showcase the shade created by the sail throughout the day. This will show us how the shadow is experienced as the sun travels across the sky. I as given instructions by wife to ensure the lounge chairs were not under cover; but to also ensure the patio set is under shadow. The timelapse will also show the illumination of the cover as the sun sets for the night.


Keep your eyes peeled for the Sail Shade Timelapse Video in the coming weeks.