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Seizing the Moment
Seizing the Moment

Last year at this time, as life as we know it was changing before our eyes, the traditional avenues for entertainment or relieving stress were no longer available. Suddenly, it was not possible to take the kids to a movie, enjoy a meal at a restaurant or book a tropical vacation. Yet because of the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, we needed quality time with family and friends more than ever.

Many found those opportunities at home, specifically in their outdoor living spaces, which presented a chance to safely gather with loved ones. Not surprisingly, homeowners were relying on trusted companies like CKC Landscaping to deliver a stunning space with all the amenities they could dream of.

A family-run business with more than 25 years of experience, CKC is operated by Steve Compton Jr. along with his father and uncle, founders Steve Compton Sr. and David Connors. Their focus is on designing and building outdoor living spaces that homeowners can enjoy for years to come.

“Work initially dipped last spring, but then the market became a freight train and it hasn’t slowed down since,” says the younger Compton. “I’ve been doing this since I was 15 years old and I’ve never experienced anything like it. 

“What we’ve seen, especially over the last year, is that customers don’t just want a simple deck or patio. We’ve been adding roof structures, outdoor kitchens, fire features and lighting. They’re doing it with an eye on making their house bigger without putting an enclosed addition onto it. The $20,000 trip to Hawaii is turning into a nice outdoor living space that people can use every year.”

With the industry booming last summer, material shortages were an issue, but that problem has been resolved, albeit at a price. Now the major question is one of timing. In years past, reputable contractors might still be available in April or May, but now the demand is so high that projects are booked through June.

Needless to say, if homeowners are looking for a new space to enjoy this summer, the process has to start soon. Compton just cautions not to rush or make any rash decisions.

“It’s still important more than ever that you vet and pick the right contractor,” he says. “If it means you have to wait an extra 60 days, it’s well worth it for something that is going to add value to your home and your family. If you do it hastily and pick the wrong contractor, it can come back to hurt you.”

Just as it makes sense to do your due diligence before hiring a financial advisor or real estate broker, Compton welcomes potential customers to research CKC ahead of time. In a competitive industry, they will find a company where communication and honesty are of the utmost importance.

Homeowners will be kept informed throughout the project, CKC will never abandon a job in the middle of it and work crews will always treat the home with respect.

“At the conclusion of our jobs, customers will say how much they enjoyed interacting with our foremen and laborers—so much so that when they call us back for more work, they’ll ask if a certain foreman is still with us because they would love to have him and his crew back at their house,” Compton says. “That gives us a great deal of pride. For me, it’s more about people than it is pavers and decking. It’s the relationships we make with our customers and the relationships we have as a family company that are important, and I think people sense that as we’re collaborating on their project.”

The CKC team is certainly willing to share its experience and breadth of knowledge, but forcing ideas onto customers is not part of the agenda.

“We walk into every consultation with an open mind and open ears,” Compton says. “We let our customers tell us what they want to do with the space and how they see themselves using it with their spouses, kids and friends. While they may not be able to translate their ideas from their mind to a design or build, that’s where our expertise comes in. We can take the story from our customers on the very first day and translate that into a space that suits their needs.”

Although there is hope that the pandemic may be ending soon, the past year has taught us not to take family time for granted. People are seizing the opportunity to move forward with projects they long dreamed of, and if a similar situation arises in the future, they will be prepared.

“This has made it a reality that you might be stuck in your house without the ability to freely move around the way you’re used to,” Compton says. “So people are realizing if they have some money they were going to spend on a vacation, if they’re doing well in the stock market or they have equity in their home they can take out at a very low interest rate, they’re reinvesting it so they can spend quality time with their husbands, wives and kids.”

CKC Landscaping
930 S. Walnut St. | West Chester, Pa.
(610) 436-1810

Published (and copyrighted) in House & Home, Volume 21, Issue 7 (March 2021). 
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