Written by: Simonette Berry
Whether it’s a desire to stay close to family or because of the struggling economy, many people are spending their vacations at home rather than abroad. Rod Trahan, owner of La Pavers, has seen this trend develop over the past few years; instead of spending cash on a vacation that lasts a few weeks, his clients invest in an outdoor living room that they can visit year-round and will last for a lifetime. A well-designed outdoor living space can make your own backyard into a vacation destination, and La Pavers can make any dreamscape come true.
“The great weather in the last three or four years and the lack of tropical disturbances have encouraged people in Louisiana to enjoy their summers at home. Cable programming networks such as DIY, the Food Network, and HGTV have also highlighted outdoor living upgrades and shown people more exciting possibilities of eating and entertaining in your own backyard. People are inspired by these programs. They call us to help them bring their ideas to fruition, bringing magazine pictures and you tube videos of ideas they want to implement in their own backyards,” says Trahan.
La Pavers specializes in hardscapes, which are the patios, pathways, driveways, pool decks, privacy walls, and garden edges that outline an outdoor living space. “We use water and lighting accents to set the mood during a day or night excursion. Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are extremely popular now, too. An outdoor pizza oven, for example, will make any party into an exciting occasion,” he says. “We have expanded our installation services to give people what they want. Now we offer outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, pizza ovens, and outdoor kitchens. We handle lighting, irrigation, and residential landscaping services through our synergy partner Kim White at Acadian Landscapes. We can bring the whole package to the homeowner.”
Lately Trahan has seen a big demand for Travertine patios and pool decks. Travertine is a natural stone paver that comes in rich tones ranging from ivory to sunset walnut. “Our Travertine from Turkey is beautiful as well as very affordable. We just completed a 17,000-square-foot section of Travertine on the new pool deck at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans,” Trahan says. Because of its porosity, this Turkish stone retains a cool temperature even in the summer heat. “It is by far the coolest decking available that is completely natural and nonslick like the indoor Travertines.”
“Right now we are working on small courtyard space in New Orleans that will have Travertine pavers, a stack stone garden seat and wall, and a wall fountain that will spill over into a raised pond. Detailed and elegant, this design works well with the space provided. We are installing lighting in the fountain area, the seating area, and the bench as well as in some of the garden planters. Uptown New Orleans properties often have limited space but excellent visual appeal and potential. These courtyards are great to look down on from a second story. We can provide artwork as part of the patio, so when you see your patio from a second floor, it really comes to life.”
You may have seen some of La Pavers larger-scale work in the brand new Champion Square at the Superdome Outdoor Venue. La Pavers laid 247,000 pavers in multicolored contemporary lineal patterns to create the Superdome’s outdoor living area where tailgaters and fans enjoy hours of fun. “The Champion Square Project was more of a municipal dream patio for 25,000 plus people to enjoy. We are proud of the work we do, and it does show in our work,” says Trahan.
What’s your dreamscape? Trahan will help you realize its potential and tailor it to fit your needs as well as your budget. “Actually, in a consultation I spend more time inside my clients’ houses rather than outside. I see how they live, what their tastes are, where they vacation, and what’s important to them. I listen a lot to what they are saying, to their needs as well as their dreams. After this experience concludes, I usually have a great idea of what they want. We work under many budget conditions, and we maximize the conditions so that the client gets the best design, quality of materials, and installation for a price that is within their budget. When they see we can do this, they always come back for more.”
La Pavers also enjoys working with landscape architects to bring their visions to completion. “Some of our best work has come from the minds of New Orleans’ best landscape architects. We also work with local landscape companies that need paving and hardscape work done. This keeps us very busy,” Trahan says.
2011 saw La Pavers grow by almost 40 percent. Their high quality products and services are now available to the larger general contractors for commercial work. La Pavers has recently done projects for Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, the City of New Orleans Streetscapes, the World War II D-Day Museum, St. Martin School in River Ridge, St. Scholastica and St. Paul schools in Covington, the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
“We have also expanded our business to Baton Rouge and Lafayette. We never design and build the same patio, driveway, or pool deck the same. Every project reflects the spirit of the homeowner and their need for their personal outdoor experience in their backyard. We love what we do, and it shows in our work.” La Pavers makes hardscapes look easy.