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metroHOME • Challenge

Watkins Concrete Block Co., Inc. 5th Annual Ultimate Backyard Challenge

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“The Watkins Ultimate Backyard Challenge is great,” said Paver Designs co-owner Justin Hampton. “It not only gives well-deserved recognition to our workers who don’t otherwise get a lot of public recognition, but it causes all of us in the competition to step up our game, to really stretch when it comes to creativity, materials and design.”

Innovative approaches that were evident in all of the entries, he added, translate into client benefits that can be leveraged into all future projects.

“Omaha is way ahead of the curve in backyard trends due to the creative efforts and competitive spirit of all the entrants,” said Lisa Lackovic, Watkins’ marketing manager. “Homeowners are really getting into it, too. They come into our showroom and look at the photos and ask ‘How to do we get in to the game?’ This contest has taken on a life of its own and we are so appreciative that the homeowners have welcomed us in to their outdoor living rooms to see our products come to life.”

Two landscape architects judged 15 backyard projects entered last fall in the 5th Annual Ultimate Backyard Challenge, a contest sponsored by Watkins Concrete Block. Rules were scaled down to recognize current market conditions, but even so, the number of entries increased over the previous year. Qualifying projects had to be 3,000 square feet or less and could include retaining walls, concrete pavers or natural stone. Entries had to be cleaned, landscaped and sealed, and lighting elements had to be incorporated into each plan.

Other honors went to Ahern Hardscape Garden Design for Attractive Design Elements, Keystone Design Center for Unique Room Design, JNL Enterprises for Creative Fire Features, Outdoor Innovations for Outstanding Use of Stone and Colorburst for Best Use of Space.

The Bogatz’s seem to be recovering as well as can be expected in the face of such traumatic memory loss. Each day brings new recollections, new hints of what once was.

Do-it-yourselfers, warned Lackovic, are by no means immune from the malady.

And, no, she added, wearing tinfoil hats during the construction process has proven futile as a strategy to stave off the inevitably of the most blissful form of amnesia, the kind that strikes whenever such transformational home projects are completed.

“Our customers continue to amaze us,” she said, “with what they
can do with our hardscape products and their own hands.”  

~ Lisa Lackovic


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