Living in Northeast Ohio, outdoor activities used to be crammed in between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Nowadays, however, homeowners can enjoy the outdoors almost year-round in their own backyard, thanks to patios with fire pits, covered gazebos, and the like.
For one Wadsworth family’s backyard oasis (shown in the photos accompanying this story), it is providing additional living space that they can enjoy throughout the seasons—even in the winter.
“When designing outdoor living spaces for homeowners, we treat it like an extension of their home,” says Joe Chiera, who, along with his wife, Kristen, owns Impact Landscape & Home Remodeling.
“We are expanding outdoor living space by creating family rooms outside.”
This local, family-owned company is seamlessly blending indoor-outdoor living spaces—from designing backyard kitchens that look like they belong indoors complete with granite countertops, refrigerators and sinks to remodeling home interiors by taking down walls to create an open-concept design with views of the yard.
“We are designing new landscape projects right now and in just a couple of weeks we will be digging already,” says Joe.
Impact Landscape & Home Remodeling can incorporate a mix of water and fire features, as well as lots of natural elements, in its landscape designs with the same goal: to provide an outdoor space that is relaxing and rejuvenating.
“As a kid, I was always playing in the woods and creeks, so I really enjoy bringing that sense of adventure to backyard landscapes,” comments Joe. “There are a lot of different focal points we can add to your landscape design, including water features.”
“Water features are like a work of art,” adds Jeff Heinl, co-owner/operations manager, who has been with the company since its inception. “A water feature is like an abstract painting that you don’t really design but masterfully create on the spot, letting the stones and boulders lie naturally.”
Whether an intricate waterfall built into the hillside or bubbling basalt columns, the sound of trickling water will turn your backyard into a resort-like oasis.
“We think outside of the box and can make a water feature out of just about anything, including metal, vases and stones,” notes Joe. “The same can be said about fire elements as well. We can design a traditional stone fireplace, build a firepit farther away from the home surrounded by its own patio and seating area, and design sleek modern fire columns.”
With each landscape project, the company creates a detailed plan, which is meticulously hand drawn by Russ Luyster, the landscape designer. A seasoned horticulturist, he doesn’t rely on computer templates but rather designs by hand a custom plan for each home, which can include trees, shrubs, flowering perennials, boulders, lighting, patios, pergolas and other hardscapes.
The company also offers year-round landscape maintenance plans, which include spring and fall cleanups, mulching and grass cutting for residential homes and commercial properties.
“Landscaping is often the forgotten piece of your home,” comments Kristen. “Our company takes a whole approach to home design, starting with the trees and shrubs in your front yard, moving into your home’s interior and then into the backyard. We design it so it all flows and is seamless.”
What started as a landscaping business in 1998 has catapulted into a home remodeling company encompassing both interiors and exteriors.
“I started my business by push-mowing lawns,” says Joe. “While a senior at Walsh Jesuit High School, I mowed lawns to earn spending money while balancing time between school and playing baseball.”
With a strong work ethic and keen business acumen, his company has morphed two decades later into a full-service landscaping and home remodeling company with a staff of 45 landscapers and construction crew members.
“We take care of all things related to your home,” he says. “Whether you want to remodel your kitchen, finish your basement, build an addition, add an expansive patio or spruce up your landscaping, we can do it all.”
“Our company is unique in that we do both landscaping and home remodeling,” he adds. “This allows us to handle all of the homeowner’s needs.”
Specializing in kitchen and bathroom remodeling, the company provides design inspirations for homeowners. They can take what often is your smallest room—your bathroom—and elevate it to a sanctuary by creating a calming spa vibe.
“We have been building lots of wet rooms by combining the shower and tub in one tiled waterproof room,” notes Joe. “We can create a wet room in any area that is at least 6-by-10 feet, so you don’t necessarily need a huge space.”
“Our goal is to maximize your living space by providing more useful space for your family,” he says. “Both indoors and outdoors.”