Hoover landscapers give new life to yards

Outdoor Living Areas constructs features like fireplaces, walls and patios to transform clients’ yards.

Outdoor Living Areas constructs features like fireplaces, walls and patios to transform clients’ yards.

The warm glow of a fireplace, smell of burgers on the grill and sound of friends laughing on the patio are just a few of the things homeowners can enjoy with the help of Outdoor Living Areas.

The Hoover landscape company can make people’s outdoor dreams a reality, says Scot Thompson, general manager.

A native of the area, Thompson grew up in the green industry. His father had a lawn maintenance company, and Thompson went on to own a retail garden center.

It was at the center where he met John Calloway, who talked to him about starting a landscape business together. The two decided to combine their experience and knowledge to create a company.

Thompson and Calloway started American Lawn Company (ALC) about 25 years ago, specializing in landscape, irrigation and lawn maintenance services. But, they didn’t feel like they had the identity they needed with landscape design work — especially with the outdoor living market growing so quickly.

So, they created sister company Outdoor Living Areas in Hoover six years ago and now offer a variety of landscape services including patios, outdoor kitchens, walls, fire features, decks, arbors, fencing, walkways, pergolas and steps.

To further diversify their offerings, they also have Water Drainage Solutions, which specializes in providing water-management solutions for drainage issues.

“We are a full-service landscape company,” Thompson says.

Being in Hoover, the company has the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and designs.

“Hoover is a great melting pot of different folks from all over,” Thompson says. “They bring a unique view on what the world around them should be like. It helps us expand on what we know and keeps us on our toes.”

Some of the top landscape trends Thompson has seen around Hoover include stone patios, fire features and outdoor kitchens. As for plants, he says residents are more interested in full-grown plants, instead of having smaller ones installed that will take some time to mature.

“The larger plants look established from almost the day we put them in,” Thompson says.

Thompson says he enjoys transforming outdoor spaces into areas where customers can entertain guests, relax with their families and just enjoy.

“It’s so much fun to walk into someone’s backyard,” Thompson says. “It’s a clean slate, and we can take an idea and just get started. We try to take the existing architectural elements and turn the area into something different.”

While it’s hard to pick just one, his favorite project is one where the team and he installed a tile porch in the backyard, outdoor kitchen, front porch and fireplace.

“I’d love to buy that house one day because I’ve done so much on it,” Thompson says with a smile.

To give the patio area some shade, the team installed a pergola.

To give the patio area some shade, the team installed a pergola.

On another standout project, Thompson says the highlight for him was seeing the homeowners’ reactions.

“They didn’t understand the grandness of what it would do to the people in their lives,” Thompson says. “Now, they can just sit outside by the fireplace and talk. I get goose bumps just thinking about it.”

But there’s more to a successful project than the finished project. At the end of work each day, the team cleans up the area and takes their items.

“We get as many compliments at the end of the day as we do at the end of the project,” Thompson says.

He says their success has also come from their level of service, craftsmanship and the quality materials they use.

When homeowners decide they want to hire a landscaper, Thompson suggests they have an open conversation with the professional and share what they do and don’t want with the project, from plants to materials.

“Try to ask your friends and neighbors about who to call,” he says. “There are good and bad ones out there.”

Outdoor Living Areas office is located at 1367 Moss Rose Lane in Hoover. For more information, visit Outdoorlivingareas.net or call 402-2110.

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