South Sioux company extends homes with outdoor living space

SOUTH SIOUX CITY — Firepits, grilling islands, kitchens, bars, outdoor TVs, smokers, outdoor structures with retractable screens, pergolas with color-changing lighting and artificial turf are just some of the amenities South Sioux City-based Outdoor Environments, Inc. is using to create outdoor living spaces.

Doyle Van Dyke, who owns the landscaping company, said most people want “an extension of their house” outside. He said one of the most elaborate spaces he created included a trampoline built into the ground and a water feature. Outdoor Environments, Inc. works with other contractors, including pool contractors, to make your dream outdoor living space a reality. 

“We’re a new dealer for Phantom Screens now,” Van Dyke said. “Basically, you drop the screen down, you turn the heaters on and that allows you to extend your season, possibly even a couple months or more.”

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With a heater and retractable Phantom Screens, which move up and down with the push of a button on a remote or the tap of your smartphone, Van Dyke said you could easily spend 10 months of the year in your outdoor living space.

Marty Reinert, manager at Outdoor Environments, Inc., lifts the lid on a Yoder Smoker.

Marty Reinert talks about various outdoor kitchen accessories available to clients.

So, do you need a lot of property to create an outdoor living space? Van Dyke said you don’t. 

“We’ve done outdoor kitchens in a really small space before. It’s really on how you design it to make it work for the customer,” he said.

Customers can come to Outdoor Environments, Inc., 725 W. 21st St., and check out an outdoor living space for themselves. Van Dyke can show them a 3D rendering of his designs on his laptop or a TV in the office. 

“The nice thing about having a showroom is we can invite customers here and actually show them what we do on an everyday basis,” Van Dyke said. “I can do a design consultation right in the office and, then, come out here and they can see what their options are before we even do it.” 

Doyle Van Dyke, owner of Outdoor Environments, Inc., describes his plans to complete this outdoor fireplace with a stone slab and crushed glas…

Outdoor Environments

Doyle Van Dyke, owner of Outdoor Environments, Inc., shows a remote that controls retractable Phantom Screens.

Van Dyke’s new showroom features a stack stone outdoor kitchen with slab porcelain countertops and accent lighting. 

“The nice thing about that is almost anything that you have on your house or any look you want, you can get a stack stone that works with that,” said Marty Reinert, Outdoor Environments, Inc.’s manager. 

Other highlights of the space include an Evo grill, built-in refrigerator, fireplace, retractable screens made by Phantom Screens, and a Yoder Smoker, which Reinert described as a “beast,” given its solidness.  

“It connects to your Wi-Fi, so you can do everything but turn it on from your phone,” Reinert said of the smoker. “You can adjust your temperatures. It’s got dual thermometers, so you can check what your meat is at.”

The outdoor kitchen is designed with convenience in mind. It has ample storage space and popup plugs in the countertop.

“On the top, you’ve got a paper towel holder and, then, a couple drawers below, and here’s the trash can,” Reinert said, removing a cutting board from the countertop. “You’ve got a cutting board over the hole and drop it into the trash can.”

The Outdoor Environments, Inc. showroom features an Evo grill, a Yoder Smoker and a fridge built into the stone outdoor kitchen.

The Outdoor Environments, Inc. showroom features an Evo grill, a Yoder Smoker and a fridge built into the stone outdoor kitchen.

The Phantom Screens in the showroom, Reinert said, are basically insect screens, but he said you could select a model from the company that is geared more toward privacy, lets even less light through and retains heat even better.

“It really depends on what you want. Each screen can be controlled individually, or they can all be controlled together by the remote,” he said. 

While customers low-maintenance landscaping, Van Dyke said there’s really no such thing. However, he tries to design outdoor living spaces that require the least amount of maintenance as possible. 

“No matter what you put in, it requires maintenance,” said Van Dyke, who recalled a customer who bought real palm trees and was told by the seller that the trees would live in Siouxland. Metal palm trees were installed in the outdoor living space, instead. 

Reinert added, “Whatever they want, we can figure it out. I usually tell people, their pocketbook and our imagination is the only limitation.” 

The Outdoor Environments, Inc. showroom features an Evo grill, a Yoder Smoker and a fridge built into the stone outdoor kitchen.

Doyle Van Dyke is the owner of Outdoor Environments, Inc.

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