Summertime Concepts


Exterior Concepts has had outstanding project management through the sweltering heat of a Florida summer this year. When the sun is high and the job has only just begun, our experienced carpenter and project manager Justin is ready to take on any unpredictable challenge a work site can throw at the outdoor living construction process.



Over the course of this summer season, Justin has handled over a dozen projects with his own crew and many others he has overseen as the representative of the Exterior Concepts construction process. He handles a project with the utmost integrity and leaves nothing but certainty at the end that the project was built with quality and care.



Carpentry is Justin’s forte but he does not flinch at the opportunity to work with other medians as you can see from this water feature he built back in June. The materials were ordered and a few days later, the water flowed beautifully into the pondless reservoir completely concealed underneath the polished mexican river pebble below adding nature’s music to what once was an unused outdoor space.

A Beautiful Day in Palm Bay

When given a nearly blank canvas with environmental obstacles, it is not the difficulties that are focused on but rather the possibilities. Behind this beautiful home in Palm Bay lies a drop off into what seemed to be swamp land. The grass was gone, and just a few trees were left protruding in all directions.






After reviewing the possibilities for creation and brainstorming those ideas, we decided to construct a 3-tiered deck to account for the 36” elevation drop and allow the 4 existing palm trees to blossom through the deck floor. This seemed like the most natural approach to blending the house, deck, and backyard together with gestalt.

Project Manager, Shawn Sims, worked enthusiastically throughout the project, and took great care aligning the retainment wall with the house and sanding the beautiful curve along the 2nd tier’s step. The efficiency and accuracy of our project managers coupled with quality materials ensures a finished project that is functional, well-blended, and can stand the test of time.

Composite decking provided by Moisture Shield is our personal choice in building a deck of this magnitude and grace. It ensures the elegant appeal of a colorful deck over many decades with minimal maintenance. Moisture Shield’s composite decking, holding the original 3 patents on composite formulation, has provided a durable and reliable product and has not had a field failure for 28 years. Moisture Shield composite decking is designed and proven to withstand the world’s most extreme environments and is guaranteed under a lifetime transferrable warranty to do so. When decided how best to suit Rob’s needs we chose only the best to build with and Moisture Shield was an easy choice for Exterior Concepts.

With a clear sky and a beautiful rainbow over the horizon, this multi-tiered deck has evolved into an organic part of this backyard living space.


LawnStarter Recognizes Exterior Concepts

As an outdoor living space expert, landscaping is one of the many talents of our founder Dave Hetrick. Although landscaping is one small part of creating an exceptional experience for our customers, it is not overlooked. We are honored to have been rated among the top 8 landscape designers in the Tampa area and will continue to work with diligence and detail to give our customers beautiful outdoor living spaces.

Top Landscapers in Tampa

A Touch of Glass

We were given the pleasure of rejuvenating an older second story deck in Riverview, Florida. This particular deck had several different elements brought together. This project has truly come full cirle, from an interlocking paver landing, two flights of stairs, a durable Trex Select composite decking, a newly set hot tub, custom lattice work, and a view through custom tempered glass railings. Each aspect of the deck took careful consideration to design and transform.

Once the demolition of the existing deck took place, the true craftsmanship started to commence.

 The custom lattice is hand constructed on site from pressure treated 1″ x 2″ lumber that beautifully conceals the underside of the deck. There is also a double lattice gate at the private dock entrance that ties it all in to the home. The home owners wanted to integrate a relaxing, sunken hot tub into the deck.

This decision made the decking choice an easy one. We constructed the decking out of Trex Select composite decking. Trex brings many positive factors to the table, such as their 25 year warranty. Not only does Trex come in an array of appealing color options, but also it will last through many years of use and look just as good as the day it was installed. Putting material like this up against a hot tub, where water is a constant element, is a huge safety benefit to the customer.

With a second story view like this, how could we cover it with traditional railing? You shouldn’t, and we

definitely did not. We used a strong tempered glass, polished to perfection. Looking through the glass to see such luscious vegetation, while enjoying yourself in the sunken hot tub leaves most questioning why one would ever want to go back indoors.

The Clarion Courtyard Make-Over Pergola and Waterfall Installation

The Clarion Courtyard Make-Over Pergola and Waterfall Installation

rsz_imag0937A few years ago, we constructed a series of cypress pergolas and water features when the Clarion took over the Best Western and preceded with an ‘over the top’ restoration. Our scope of work was limited to the outdoor courtyard and swimming pool area. A series of five big timber Cypress Pergolas were constructed surrounding three sides of an existing L-shaped swimming pool. All five pergolas were constructed in similar fashion with similar components. Each pergola was built rsz_imag0933approximately 10’ in height, using 6x6” posts wrapped with circular cast concrete ornamental columns. The entire upper carnage framework of each Pergola was constructed using rough cut cypress, while the members of each pergola were also in uniform. Dual ornamental, boxed 2”x12”s were used as girders, ornamental 2”x10”s were used as shades, and 2”x4”s were used as purlins.

rsz_imag0932We used two milled 2”x12”s, 32 feet in length, as girders for a pergola that was constructed over one end of the swimming pool. This pergola would also be used as the framework for two separate water features. A stone waterfall was constructed in one corner of the swimming pool, around one of the 6”x6” pergola support posts. This waterfall was built using Navajo Fieldstone, a tannish white stone blended in with the courtyard patio. The second water feature was built using a 2” copper pipe inset between the two cypress 2”x12” girders. rsz_imag0934A hole was drilled every 1/4th of an inch to create an effect of a sheet of water falling. The frame of the stone waterfall was constructed using a low voltage lighting transformer, and concrete blocks, leaving the center hollow to house the pump. We used a Pentair (intelliflo xf) pump with a 2”2” intake and a 3” outtake to supply both water features. The Pentair pump was sufficient, even with the 10 feet of head pressure needed for the pergola water feature.

We constructed a third water feature as a backdrop to the raised travertine patio, that was built to be utilized as a bandstand. This water feature was basically a rectanglular, raised retainment pool veneered in tile, that projected a sheet of water approximately 8 feet across and 8 feet off the ground.

rsz_imag0945Finally, because this entire travertine courtyard area would be occupied more often in the evenings, all the Pergolas and water features were lit up using LED Low Voltage lighting. In part, low voltage lighting was used for function, lighting up the sitting areas, as well as pathways, exits and entrances. Low voltage outdoor lighting was also used for an aesthetic effect by lighting up the water features, as well as some of the landscaping. Lastly, as we have done with a lot of our pergolas, outdoor ceiling fans were attached. Looking at our final product, I really feel we accomplished our customer’s goal. The space has a lot of appeal and can accommodate a large volume of people for enjoyment and entertainment. It has the rsz_imag0950variables needed to draw people in; a swimming pool, a full service bar, a large bandstand, etc. But, most importantly to me, it has a great aesthetic and artistic appeal. I have listened to many people talk about the Clarion Courtyard and its appeal. Even my own daughter, who is not easily impressed after years of exposure to my organic designs, was in awe of it after spending a few evenings there, and had no idea that I designed and constructed it until I gave her this blog to post.