Exscape Designs can help you build the life you want, in your own backyard

Exscape Photo 1
With the Covid-19 pandemic shutting down community swimming pools, resorts, airlines, and local restaurants, now is the time to build the life you want right in your own backyard—where these amenities can never be taken away. Find out how Exscape Designs is helping Northeast Ohioans take control of their lives with gorgeous backyard resorts.

By Mitch Allen

One of the things the Covid-19 pandemic and accompanying social distancing requirements have taught us is that we can no longer rely on outside institutions to provide for our quality of life. We have to take responsibility ourselves. In other words, we must build the life we want in our own backyard.

If your country club pool or community swimming pool can close at any time, then build a pool in your backyard.

If your summer vacation can be cancelled because of travel restrictions—or you cannot get to your home in Florida or the Carolinas—build a resort at home.

If your favorite restaurants can suddenly close, build your own outdoor kitchen and adjacent patio dining right outside your back door.

If you cannot enjoy an evening out, light up your backyard with spectacular landscape lighting and an outdoor fireplace, and enjoy your family and friends well into the evening.

Build the life you want…at home.

For many homeowners, this is the new logic behind Exscape Design’s gorgeous design/build projects, which often include swimming pools, spas, specialty structures, fire pits and fireplaces, outdoor kitchens and more.

“With a swimming pool, you always know where the kids and grandkids are: they’re at your house,” says John Peterson, an Exscape Designs project director with over 30 years of experience. “When we complete a pool project, the homeowners usually say, ‘I wish we would have done this years ago.’”

The team at Exscape Designs includes (l-r) project director John Peterson, project director and landscape architect Michael Beightol, and founder Bill Dysert.

Total Outdoor Living Experts
A swimming pool is far more than a hole in the ground. That’s why it’s a good idea to engage a company like Exscape, which features an experienced team of “total outdoor living experts.” Your pool will require essentials like fencing, seating areas, and electrical service, but you might also want to include resort-style options, like waterfalls, spas, fire features, shade structures, landscape lighting, a grilling area, home audio, and a sun shelf—a shallow area for kids to splash in or for the grownups to lounge in.

“These days, almost everything can be controlled with your smart phone,” says Michael Beightol, another Exscape Designs project director who has 18 years of experience as a landscape architect.

“You can control your heater, music, LED lighting, TV, landscape lighting and water features—like leapers—with an app on your phone.” (A “leaper” is a jet on your pool deck that shoots water, transforming your backyard into the Bellagio Hotel.)

“Proper lighting is essential because much of your enjoyment will be from the inside looking out,” adds Michael. “The aesthetic beauty of a swimming pool is impressive from inside your home, and a well-designed project flows from the inside out. It becomes an extension of your home, additional square footage of gorgeous living space.”

Many Exscape Designs projects—like this home in the Chagrin Valley—include specialized structures so families may enjoy the outdoors even when the weather does not cooperate.

Details, Details, Details
Building a backyard resort requires enormous project coordination and attention to detail. In addition to the pool (if you opt for one), the build will require electricians, plumbers, masons and a host of other sub-contractors, not to mention architectural plans, permits, inspections, trucking, zoning variances, and knowing how to work with architectural review boards.

“That’s the beauty of working us,” says Exscape Designs founder Bill Dysert.

“Our clients are busy professionals, so we handle every single detail from start to finish. That takes the worry and stress out of the project. Behind the scenes, we’re taking care of scheduling conflicts and resolving issues with zoning boards so the homeowner doesn’t have to. And because of our experience, we know how the decisions we make now will affect the project down the road.”

Exscape also understands how to design and build in Northeast Ohio’s harsh climate. “We know what’s going to hold up over time and what’s not,” says Michael. “Yet we don’t allow the freeze-thaw cycle to hinder our designs.”

Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces have become one of Exscape Designs’ most popular projects. They not only create opportunities for valuable family time, they extend outdoor enjoyment well into the evening—and well into the late fall.

Getting Started
Designing and building a stunning resort-style outdoor living space takes time, typically six to 12 months. That means now is the time to get started so you can enjoy your new backyard next summer.

“The design process usually takes two to four months, depending on the number of approvals and city engagements required,” explains John.

“Every community is different. The ideal timeframe is to develop the design during the summer, get the pool in the ground in the fall, then complete the landscaping in the spring so you are in your pool by Memorial Day. Right now, we’re doing a lot of initial design meetings online with Zoom, but also in person while practicing social distancing.”

Gorgeous outdoor living spaces have been popular on the East and West coasts for many years and now they’re here in the Midwest.

“All of these features have finally found their way to Cleveland, thanks in part to the internet and the popularity of home and garden shows,” Bill says. “And right now is an important time to be in this industry, as businesses may be closing again and again in the future. That’s why more families are choosing to build the life they want right in their own backyard. We’re here to make that happen.”

If you’re not quite ready for a complete backyard resort, the company also designs and installs smaller enhancements, such new flowerbeds, outdoor lighting systems, patios, and drainage work, all of which can be accomplished in a matter of days.

Full-service Landscape Maintenance
In addition to stunning design/build projects, Exscape Designs offers full-service landscape maintenance for both residential and commercial clients. The company has bundled the top five landscape services into a single, convenient annual package:

  • Spring clean-up
  • Lawn and bed maintenance
  • Pruning and mulching
  • Lawn care
  • Fall clean-up

You’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager who becomes your single point of contact.

Employment Opportunities
As Exscape Designs continues to expand, the company is hiring for many positions, from entry level crew members to supervisory and management positions. To apply for a position with Bill’s growing firm, visit ExscapeDesign.com/careers to complete a simple online employment application.

The Exscape Designs’ offices and design center are located at 10121 Kinsman Road in Novelty. The company serves all of Northeast Ohio. For more information or to schedule a free initial consultation, call 440-729-0011 or visit ExscapeDesigns.com. You may also visit Houzz for idea books, example of the company’s work, customer testimonials and more. Spring is here, so call soon to get on their 2020 schedule.