Another Happy Vinyl Pavilion Owner

Here’s a recent email copied directly from here email after we completed her vinyl pavilion project. Her name is Crystal. Trying to be nice, she left out one detail – and that is we actually had a problem on her project – the reason WE are telling you about it is we believe it’s a great example of just exactly why we’re in business. Which is to make the process as easy it can be for our customers.

Hi Jim,

Happy Monday. I hope you’re doing well.

Did my friend ever contact you? I’ve recommended you to a bunch of people, let me know if you hear from anyone I’ve sent your way.

I am thankful to say that as of today I am crossing your recommendation off my list of things to do. Here goes nothing:

As an Interior Designer, I work with all kinds of vendors and am particular about choosing the best. American Landscapes fits the bill completely. I cant say enough good things about my experience with the company and more specifically about my experience with James Adams. When I first contacted him, I was unsure about the process, cost and design. He was exceedingly patient as I tried to sort through potential ideas. He answered all my questions and walked me through the process with confidence and ease. We conversed on several occasions and he was great at following up with me when I was too busy to get in touch. He was able to supply every detail, such as the book of construction documents my town required for permitting, in an incredible professional and timely manner. He was an asset to us when difficulties in the permitting process came up after the installation, sending his team back to meet the towns unique demands. Scheduling the installation was effort-less, the team was accommodating and the installation was quick and efficient. Our pavilion is beautiful, functional and the whole experience was made that much better by my interaction with Jim and the team at American landscape Structures. I highly recommend them.

If you need anything else let me know. I would love for you to share a link to my company https://www.silverwinginteriors.com on your website. I’m not sure when I will be able to get professional photos because we’ll need landscaping and furniture for that and were unsure of when that will happen. I’ll let you know when we do.

Stay well,

cM

This “Fix” Was Neither Easy Nor Cheap, But We Knew What Was Needed To Make It Right.
Construction projects can be difficult, especially when trying to coordinate and communicate clearly with different contractors – who like most people – some are better communicators than others. And we all know from life experience that “average communication” things often turn out badly.
But not in this case. Somehow we didn’t get the word about this inspector’s process and requirements and there ended up being an issue with the electric resulting in a rejection.

With many businesses/contractors there may have been a back and forth about who was supposed to do, and who said what etc. – you’ve probably been there. We didn’t put Crystal through all of that. Neither She nor her husband Andrew had to even ask. We simply sent our crew back out to meet the inspectors requirements which, by the way, involved lifting up the vinyl pavilion and replacing one of the vinyl post sleeves.

It’s not typical for one of our customers to take this kind of time to right us such a detailed note.

Niki on Long Island is another example. This is one of the trickier custom projects we’ve done as her masonry walls were already in place when we installed her custom vinyl pavilion requiring detailed communication and precision.

Just finished building a high-end 6,000 sq ft new construction home in Long Island…What a nightmare that was!!!…..The ONLY contractor that delivered painless and superb service was American Landscape Structures. Right from the start of the project, Jim Adams was extremely patient and professional at helping us design and put together the most perfect pavilion for our 20′ x 20′ outdoor kitchen. He even customized it by matching the exact roofing material of our house. The young men that built it were also very quick and professional. They finished the job in a day in a half and did not bother me at all. They came well prepared and were very knowledgeable and respectful! Would use them again in a heartbeat!!! I Love the job they did! 🙂

Pavilion Kits

Starting with a pre-engineered pre-fabricated pavilion kit, you know before you start exactly what you’re going to get. You know what your pavilion going to look like, what the post/beam trim is going to be, how the ceiling is going to look, and what all the dimensions are going to be.

On the more serious side, you’ll know that your pavilion kit rated up to 140 wind load and 45 lb/sqft snow load.

Most municipalities do require a permit and if you intend to be compliant, we have the documentation you need so your pavilion gets approved.

Here’s a photo of the Boss brothers after day one in Western North Carolina.

pavilion shell completed by customer

We have 2 16′ x 20′ and one 30′ x 40′ Vinyl Pavilion Kits scheduled to go down to Florida in June 2020. Their engineered drawings will be completed next week.

We have detailed illustrated assembly instructions we can email you ahead of time. We recommend you review them ahead of time and call the shop with your questions.

All of the pieces are pre-cut and when necessary pre-drilled. If something isn’t lining up, you had best stop and call the shop. Not that we’re always perfect, but most of the time when pieces aren’t fitting, the frame isn’t straight.

 

How much does it cost to build a pavilion?

You can find plans online for a 20′ x 30′ Pavilion. for FREE. Our 20′ x 32′ A Frame Pavilion Kit is $14,920.

We have the plans available – but not the cut lists.

Wiliford Conservacy Pavilion Project

Here’s the materials list.

  • A – 12 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 132″ long POSTS
  • B – 4 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 206 3/4″ long, 2 pieces – 240″ long TOP PLATES
  • C – 16 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 48″ long, 2 pieces – 60″ long BRACES
  • D – 2 pieces of 6×6 lumber – 68 1/4″ long, 1 piece – 408″ long TOP RIDGE

The inside of the made-from-scratch pavilion is NOT going to look like this:

Wiliford Conservacy Ceiling Pavilion ProjectAn

And after a few years, it might look like this:

 

Should I build a wood pavilion from scratch or buy a kit?

Our price on an unfinished 12′ x 16′ wood pavilion kit is $6,095.

How much do YOU love woodworking?

If you love woodworking as much as we do, you might want to build it yourself from scratch. But if you’d rather spend your weekends relaxing under your pavilion, our pavilion kits are tough to beat.

We haven’t actually priced out what the materials would cost at the lumber yard to build a wood pavilion, but suffice it to say you can probably build some kind of pavilion for under $2,000. And if you’re asking, you probably already have the tools you’d need. If you’re going to enjoy turning a pile of lumber into your backyard dream pavilion, and the bragging rights to go along with it, please don’t let us deny you that satisfaction.

Custom Wood Pavilion

One of the first questions your design consultant is going to ask you when you contact us about your wood pavilion kit is what you’ve seen on our website or in our catalog. If what you’ve seen at AmericanLandscapeStructures.com is what you truly want, the answer to that question changes quite a bit.

You can literally drive hundreds of miles and not find the wood we use in our pavilions.
– It’s premium #1 grade.
– It’s pressure treated.
– It’s kiln dried after treatment.

Lumber yards tried marketing premium outdoor lumber a few years ago under a variety of trade names like “Yellawoood” for outdoor decks another other exterior applications. Visit their website, contact your local supplier, and check pricing and availability. You’ll find it’s quite a bit more costly than the wet #2 most home centers stock.

Right at the top of google is a set of building plans. 

Our price on a 16′ x 16′ A-Frame Wood Pavilion Kit with 5″ Actual Posts is $7,585. Something bigger like a 20′ x 20′ – $11,285.

We don’t have cut lists but will send you our designs.

Now, let’s talk about the equipment you would need.

  • Planer.
  • Shaper.
  • Edger.
  • Compound miter saw.

If you have that equipment, chances are you really DO want to build it yourself. You may be thinking, “I want to know what these kits cost so I can tell my friends how much money I saved doing it myself.” We’re here to serve. We’ve given you a couple of examples. You can buy A LOT of lumber for what we charge for our kits. At American Landscape Structures, we’ll all about enjoyment. And we love woodworking. So if you’re going to really enjoy spending time in your wood shop, we totally get it. Custom Wood Pavilion

Bids for the shade structure in their architect’s rendering were coming in North of $70,000…not happening.

In 2016, John and his wife Julia wanted something very special to cover their open air living room for the home they were having built in Stafford Virginia. John was a successful local business owner and they had earned their dream home after years of hard work…but not with an unlimited budget. At first they contacted an architect, with whom they shared their vision. Once they had the renderings of the beautiful and ornate design, they reached out to local builders – but unfortunately – they were shocked to find the lowest bid was North of $70,000. Not happening.

In February of 2017, they found American Landscape Structures doing a web search; John caught me up on their situation and what they were trying to do.

They didn’t want to settle for an “off-the shelf” pavilion, and certainly did NOT want to spend $70,000, not even close. But they truly did want something special. In fact, our first pass having listened to what they said was important to them was STILL $10,000 more than they wanted to spend.

John and I persisted over the course of 3 months that Spring; it took some resourcefulness and creativity, but we came up with a solution that in the end they were absolutely thrilled with. And we did it all over the phone and email. It’s in our projects section, the 16’ x 24’ pavilion with the arched beam, and copper top cupola. It’s pretty hard to miss. And it’s like nothing you’ll see anywhere on the internet – or anywhere actually.

If you’ve owned a home for long, chances are good you’ve had an experience like this…

In 2004, my wife Cara and I bought a fixer upper in Summerville, South Carolina near Charleston. We wanted something with some character, and trees in the yard. Well…we found it.

After we fixed up the inside, we went to work on the outside. We started off just wanting to replace these landscape timbers. But we met a contractor, I’ll call him Carl, that showed us this brilliant idea to accent our backyard with old style Charleston brick. We saw an example nearby – at an Econolodge Motel of all places, and we loved it. He sketched his ideas out on a yellow notebook – it seemed simple enough, he gave us what seemed to be a very reasonable price, about $6,700 and a 30 day time line – and we commenced.

Work started – we had a trip scheduled to Pennsylvania and when we came back the work was supposed to be done. What we came back to was a mess. Carl had “reasons” of course. We were a little frustrated, but we reset our expectations, paid the next draw and kept going.

Next came misunderstanding. Somehow the amounts we were being asked to pay were going over what we originally agreed to. And of course, Carl had his “reasons.” We spent a lot of time going back and forth, (frustrating) we wanted to get it done and over with and agreed to his charges.

So we paid more than what we thought we should for a project that took much longer than what was agreed. The work was good, but the experience was very frustrating and took up way more of our time managing it. Time that took away from our family and working on our family business.

The reason I tell you this story is that we are very intentional about not just getting you a truly awesome result, but making this a great experience. Construction is challenging, but we work very hard to make it as easy as it can be.

It takes forethought, time, and care to see to all the details so you don’t have to worry. But that investment is much better than trying to recover from a botched project.

3 Important Things you may not have thought of if You’re Planning for a Pavilion

There are some considerations and steps that are somewhat obvious that are covered in our helpful information section on AmericanLandscapeStructures.com. The features and options of your pavilion are certainly important and getting the most you can for the money. There are just a few things that may not be so obvious if you’re aware of early on can save you some time.

Finish Quality
Space/Value
Getting it done

Finish Quality

Any carpenter can build a pavilion. But there’s a huge difference between framing carpentry, finish carpenter, cabinets and furniture. You might not want to invest in a furniture grade pavilion, but need to decide if you’re OK with framing level work or what’s important to you. Most pavilions are essentially “a roof on 4 legs.” Here are a few things to consider:

  • The ceiling. What are you going to be looking at in the ceiling? Will the joints be tight and neat? Will the wood be attractive and relatively free of knots and rough spots? Will it be low maintenance?
  • The posts. If you pay attention while you’re out and about, most park pavilions are built with the pressure treated lumber you see at the lumber yard. Maybe at a spot out in the woods; but most people we talk to are not OK with that being close to their home.
  • The post/beam connection. This is a critical area where it requires some craftsmanship to trim it out nicely if that’s important to you.
  • Space/Value

    With more nicely finished pavilions, a 14’ x 18’ has many of the same parts, pieces and labor as a 10’ x 12’. A good bit of labor goes into our finish pieces such as our corner cap trim. Our 14’ x 18’, 16’ x 20’ and 18’ x 18’ are our best buys. It’s also important to consider your space how much actual usable space you need. When you’re getting estimates, make sure you’re clear on what the size means; post to post, or roof. For example, our 14’ x 18’ our posts are 13’ x 17’ on center and the roof is 14’ 8” x 18’ 8”. 8” posts are a very nice upgrade. 10” round columns and arched beams are pricier.

    Getting it done

    There are literally a dozen outfits near you in many cases that can give you an estimate for an outdoor structure or home improvement job. In home improvement especially, getting the job done is another matter. Everyone giving you a proposal knows how important price, warranty and lead time are to you in getting you to give them your down payment and sign on the dotted line. Anytime you’re entering into any type of agreement, particularly in construction, the contract and warranty are only as good as the people signing it. What every consumer needs to ask themselves is “What’s going to happen if there is a problem?” Everyone has problems. What separates one provider from another is how they respond.

    References are one way to get assurance, and we can provide those. The problem with references is “what company that’s been in business for any length of time can’t provide 3 good references?” Reviews are good. The question about reviews is are they from actual customers? The Better Business Bureau is a good reference. It’s easy to complain to the BBB if you don’t think you’re getting treated right, so the company has to be accountable to make sure there aren’t complaints.

    14' x 16' Artisan Cedar Pergola 10in Round Columns EZ Shade Canopy

    Shade Structures for Outdoor Living

    I’ve specialized exclusively in shade structures for 8 continuous years and have spoken to literally thousands of homeowners about their outdoor living areas. When we have the opportunity, we try to engage in a conversation about what the client is going to use the space for, what problems they’re experiencing, and what’s most important to them.

    Here’s a short list:

  • Aesthetics/beauty. Finishes, material type, roof style, contemporary/traditional, post/column type, lighting, cupola/weathervane.
  • Shade. Avoid getting too much sun. Cooler in the heat of the summer.
  • Rain protection. Continuing activities through afternoon showers. Protecting valuable furniture and fixtures.
  • Coordinating with existing structures. Light fixtures, doors, windows, effect on view from home, effect on natural lighting.
  • Bugs.
  • Keeping an eye of the kids while they play in the pool.
  • Outdoor living.
  • Living room.
  • Dining area.
  • Kitchen.
  • Lounging.
  • Entertaining.
  • Last but not least, budget. You can spend $100,000+ on your outdoor living area. Make sure you budget enough for shade/rain protection as you’re making your decisions on the other components so you can actually use the space you invested in.
  • Hardscape. Patios, walls, water features, sidewalks.
  • Landscape. Plant material, grass, mulch/pine straw.
  • Swimming pool/hot tub.
  • Structure types
    Which type structure is most suitable depends mostly on what you’re going to use the space for and what your biggest problems are. If bugs are your biggest problem, a screen porch or screen room is your most obvious solution. But screen rooms don’t work so well as outdoor kitchens. And depending on the side of your home it’s being attached to can be budget busters.

  • Attached vs detached.
  • Screen Rooms.
  • Pergolas.
  • Pavilions.
  • Gazebos.
  • Continue reading “Shade Structures for Outdoor Living”

    Crumpin Fox Golf Club

    Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor – Common pitfalls and tips

    If you’re hiring someone to do any type of home improvement, you can avoid some of the common pitfalls. Anyone can make promises, but not everyone delivers.

    • Lack of detailed and documented scope of work.
    • Time expectations.
    • Focus on lowest bidder.
    • Checking references vs reputation.

    Before you provide a down payment and agree to start work, it’s very important to know about who you’re going to be working with. No one wants to over-pay, have cost over-runs, or workmanship that doesn’t measure up. Yet it happens all the time. Contracts are promises of results for a given price, not the results themselves. Getting the result you envisioned for that contract price is another matter. Take your time and plan ahead to make sure you have the right people.

    Detailed scope of work and terms
    The goal is to get to the finish line and end up with the result you envisioned without cost overruns or surprises. There’s a very wide spectrum of finish quality in the construction industry causing a lot of projects to go sideways at the end. Before you give anyone a down payment, think through what’s going to happen if somewhere along the way you’re not both on the same page. Memories fade over time. Make sure to have documentation on what you’re expecting as well as what’s communicated along the way.

    Continue reading “Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor – Common pitfalls and tips”

    Planning Your Pavilion

    Three Important Things – Planning Your Pavilion

    There are some considerations and steps that are somewhat obvious that are covered in our helpful information section on AmericanLandscapeStructures.com. The features and options of your pavilion are certainly important and getting the most you can for the money. There are just a few things that may not be so obvious if you’re aware of early on can save you some time.

    Finish Quality
    Space/Value
    Getting it done

    Finish Quality

    Any carpenter can build a pavilion. But there’s a huge difference between framing carpentry, finish carpenter, cabinets and furniture. You might not want to invest in a furniture grade pavilion, but need to decide if you’re OK with framing level work or what’s important to you. Most pavilions are essentially “a roof on 4 legs.” Here are a few things to consider:

    • The ceiling. What are you going to be looking at in the ceiling? Will the joints be tight and neat? Will the wood be attractive and relatively free of knots and rough spots? Will it be low maintenance?
    • The posts. If you pay attention while you’re out and about, most park pavilions are built with the pressure treated lumber you see at the lumber yard. Maybe at a spot out in the woods; but most people we talk to are not OK with that being close to their home.
    • Continue reading “Planning Your Pavilion”