A native Houstonian, Kenneth was born and raised in the Spring Branch area. At the age of 15 he went to work for Buller Plumbing and Steel as a summer time pool plumber’s helper. Over the next few years he worked on steel tying crews in addition to the plumbing crews. During that time the Houston economy wasn’t doing very well so the contractor he worked for sent the Houston steel crews to New Jersey.
In 1987 he joined the Army Reserves and went to boot camp in Missouri. After boot camp he returned to Houston and went back to work for Buller Plumbing and Steel. In 1988 the owner of Houston Spa and Deck offered him a position as plumber. On days that there were no pools or spas to plumb, he helped out other crews where he learned a great deal about all aspects of pool building. He installed stone patios, learned to install tile, became a very proficient carpenter, poured and finished concrete. If it involved building anything in a back yard he educated himself about it.
In 1988 he and Laura got married. Then in 1990 Desert Storm happened. His army reserve unit was activated and he was deployed to Saudi Arabia. He actively served for 7 months, and while overseas his boss offered him a promotion upon his return from active duty. Also during this time he was becoming a father. Laura had the first of two children only 2 months after his return from Desert Storm in 1991.
That promotion moved him from being exclusively a laborer in the field to being a job manager/salesman. He managed all the company’s jobs in the field and he started selling in the showroom. Being a personable type of person, he had a talent for sales so the next logical step was to learn to design. He always enjoyed working on and building swimming pools with Buller Plumbing and Steel but his current employer didn’t focus on pools. They primarily sold spas, decks and arbors. Building only a few pools a year made Kenneth start thinking about moving on.
In 1996, he started Custom Outdoors. Custom Outdoors was literally created while he and Laura drove down the Katy Freeway one afternoon. Kenneth wanted to call it Custom Outdoor Living but Laura thought that name was too long, and Custom Outdoors was born. Kenneth continued to sell decks and arbors however more focus was placed on swimming pools. Today we design custom back yards and create complete outdoor living environments. We would love the opportunity to create one for you!
Custom swimming pools, outdoor kitchens, Texas porches, shade arbors, pergolas, fire places, fire pits, water and fire features, patios, wood decks, elevated decks, gazebos, fish ponds, fencing, lattice, bath houses, walkways…if you want it in your back yard, Custom Outdoors can create it for you.
Laura and Kenneth married in 1988. For a few years she worked in Human Resources and had clerical types of positions. Then in 1991 Anna was born and then in 1993 Eric came along. Trying work full time with 2 small kids, and a husband that was always working to build a new business, proved to be impossible. So, in 1995 she became a full time Mom.
She stayed home and raised the kids while Kenneth built Custom Outdoors. Over the years she took care of smaller tasks for the company, handled the marketing and advertising but the kids were the priority. When Eric, the youngest turned 17 in 2010, and finally got his driver’s license, she began to work full time with Custom Outdoors.
It took a while to find her niche within the company but then she learned to design pools using 3D software. Now, since 2011, she has been helping design and sell fabulous custom back yards for hundreds of happy customers. She has even sold designs to homeowners from out of state who found the website and wanted to purchase a design.
Fernando has been with Custom Outdoors since 1996, almost since the beginning. He, Kenneth, and Linda had a prior working relationship that made his transition to Custom Outdoors feel like welcoming home a family member.
Fernando is our On-Site Supervisor for all phases of the construction process. He works hand-in-hand with Kenneth to see that the design, schedule, and quality of construction is maintained to achieve the desired result the homeowner envisioned.
He makes himself available to our customers to answer any questions, make changes, or to simply set their minds at ease during the construction process.
Linda has been a part of Custom Outdoors from the beginning. She is also our much loved Yankee, having moved to Houston from Michigan in 1989. She and Kenneth worked together at another company, and when Custom Outdoors became Kenneth’s vision in 1996, she was asked to join him.
She is the Office Administrator and is responsible for all things financial, including all day to day bookkeeping, insurance needs, and financial reporting. She performs these same functions for The Pool Nanny where she also oversees all management tasks.
Monica joined The Pool Nanny team in 2004 performing pool maintenance. As The Pool Nanny began to grow she was transitioned into the office where her knowledge of pool care resulted in her becoming the leader and mentor of all future Pool Nanny employees. She has expanded her role over the years and currently is in charge of Customer Service, A/R, Payroll and the scheduling of all service calls.
Her primary function for Custom Outdoors is to conduct a “Pool School” for our new customers, as well as help guide them through their maintenance and equipment questions now and in the future. She is “Girl Friday” helping out wherever she can.
Since 2009, Lily has been the official door greeter at Custom Outdoors. She makes us all smile and laugh when we need it most. She is Laura’s faithful guardian and does an excellent job keeping the kitchen floor free of crumbs.
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