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Dream Outside, Live Outside, Play Outside

The Complete Backyard can bring outdoor living to any space. All that’s left to do is make it a reality. 

In 2008, Ross Woerner was working in the fine dining industry. When he met a couple with a small family hardscaping business, they offered him a job, and Woerner said he’d give them two weeks. He has yet to work in a restaurant again. “I fell in love with the outdoor living business. I worked for this small business until 2018 and learned every aspect of the job. I worked my way up from design and sales to project management to managing the day-to-day operations of this company. I’ve been a superintendent, I’ve been out in the field on the projects with the subcontractors, I’ve done it all,” he says. 

The Complete Backyard, the company Woerner now owns, is a design/build company. They are the ones who bring to life the pool, the spa, the patio covers, the casitas, and all the aspects of outdoor living that are so central to North Texas homeowners. They do everything from the initial design aspect to the drafting and permitting process and the installation. Woerner loves what his company offers its clients. He spoke of not having a pool as a child and now being able to bring years of memories to homeowners. 

“Once I saw my first completed project, I realized how much this space can mean. People will spend an entire day in their backyard. It’s a comfortable private setting where you can be yourself and have fun. The kids can jump and run around. It’s important to have that. It’s a friends and family gathering spot. The memories made there can be looked back on for the rest of your life, full of belly laughs,” he says. 

According to Woerner, a few elements of the perfect year-round backyard include shade, water, and heat. After all, this is North Texas, and the ability to use a space, whether it’s July or April, is essential. It starts with a gazebo and a pool and might slowly grow into having an outdoor kitchen, a hot tub, and a fire pit so that homeowners can enjoy the space in almost every type of weather. 

“You’re putting your money towards memories. We don’t build for the party you’re going to have this 4th of July. We build for the party you're going to have ten years from now. We dream that the kids that grow up in these backyards will make memories with their kids down the road,” he says. 

The Complete Backyard is all about asking questions when working with a client. The designer will always start in the homeowner’s element for the first consultation “We want to see the space, we want to know the function, we want to know what it’ll be used for,” says Woerner. And they work with the client to find common ground between the wish list and the budget. The clients often have their ideas, and the designer needs to know what they’ve got to work with. 

“It’s all about communication. What we do very well is mold them together to give the client something they’ll be happy with—give them a backyard they’ll fall in love with,” he explained. He likes to remind his clients that it’s an investment in time, and they need to be sure they’re staying for a while. If they’re not sure they’ll be staying in the home—is it worth it? And if they are, will they have any regrets if they don’t do what they envision? 

“The sweetness of saving money will fade away, but the quality will equal a much more pleasant experience for years to come, says Woerner. 

After the design and pricing are settled, The Complete Backyard will take a project from concept to creation. A recent project that spotlights this was in West Fort Worth. The homeowners love to entertain; their kids and grandkids are a big part of their lives. When designing the backyard, despite being smaller square footage than newer homes, The Complete Backyard gave them what they wanted. Now, according to Woerner, it’s a place where the family can use the pool in the warmer months; the hot tub, and the fire pit when it’s cold outside. It’s a place people can go outside, enjoy the backyard, and be comfortable through all seasons.

The home, with its stucco exterior and tile roofing, is reminiscent of Spanish-style architecture in 1920s-era Los Angeles. The backyard, while much newer than the home, is a perfect extension of the house. A stunning champagne spa (infinity edge) is nestled alongside the pool with a stucco backside wall and a tile inlay, where a fall of water trickles down. There’s also a modern edge to the backyard design, which can be seen in one of Woerner’s favorite features, the fire table. One side is a swim-up bar; the other is perfect for pulling up a chair. “We don’t usually do a lot of stucco, but this backyard design flows perfectly from the house and looks as if it’s always been there,” he says. 

“I’ve made a name for this company by taking on the tiny spaces. There’s not a space too small where I can’t do something. Our designer, Phillip Vino of Vino Aquatecture, collaborated with the homeowner on the concept, and although we had to come up with some creative ways to get this backyard to look the way we wanted, we overcame those hurdles; we take a lot of pride in the result,” he says. 

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