Recent Review: We had an existing, oddly shaped patio in a very uninviting backyard. The space is southern facing, did not have enough shade, and no visual interest. Our family never hung out in the backyard, let alone entertained guests there. In addition to the strange shape, the patio was surrounded by an A/B pattern of bushes -- yews and barberry (thorns!), all grown together like some kind of barbaric medieval hedge. We'd lived with this terrible back yard for about 10 years since we bought the place. On our own, prior to contracting Poul's, we tore out the bushes to "clear the slate", and then we stared at it for awhile, trying to imagine what it could be. My imagination said "outdoor rooms", but I wasn't exactly sure how to make that happen. After reading the great reviews, I called Poul's to get a feel for how they would approach a project that I knew was going be a challenge. On that initial call, I could barely explain what we were looking for, but the person on the phone listened politely and said we needed to talk with a designer. So they sent Andrew to meet with me and provide estimates. Andrew came with a lot of ideas, patience, and enthusiasm for the project. He came up with a plan that entailed keeping but expanding the existing patio. He gave us options that reflected the desired budget vs the "dream" and patiently answered questions and "what ifs" until we got where we needed to be. He also discussed ways to phase in the project over time to deal with budget constraints. Ultimately we decided to spend more and get the project where we wanted it to be so we could enjoy it right away. We put off lighting for example, but went ahead w/ expanding the patio and adding a pergola. I'm very happy with how it turned out. Like others have written, our designer was professional, responsive, punctual, and knew his stuff. He has the skills of a landscape architect, but pays attention to the details, such as my desire for low maintenance plantings, and he thinks about what plantings are like now but also what will happen when they mature years from now. I know that should be a given, but I just want to note that he cared about longevity. He checked in frequently once the work began and had his crew redo portions of the paver work at his request, not mine, because he's a perfectionist, which of course is fine with me. He took full responsibility for the quality of the work every step of the way. The crew was polite and from what I saw, they worked really hard. Once the project began, I never had any doubts it would be completed in a timely manner and that all details would be attended to. There were a few problems, but that is to be expected with a project this size, and they were promptly addressed. A few of the pergola rafters were bowed. They were replaced at no charge and we were advised to hold onto the final $2k owed on the job until that was taken care of, which kind of impressed me. Instead of the pink roses specified in our plans, yellow ones were planted. That correction took a few weeks, but it did get fixed and the right roses were well worth the wait. The old patio had some sinking pavers and uneven areas, which they regraded and fixed. The project included removing and reconfiguring some of the existing pavers, plus interweaving a consistent border around the new pavers and the old which makes it seem like it was designed comprehensively all along. The beautiful transformation of the backyard has changed how the whole house feels. The "outdoor rooms" look amazing from the vantage point of our indoor rooms. I had my doubts about whether we'd ever be able to love our backyard, but we do.