For over 15 years Ryan Houston, with his hard working crews at Lawn-n-Order, has been providing quality low maintenance landscaping solutions. His all-inclusive landscaping services provide you with a one-stop contractor that can fulfill everything you may need in your front and backyard landscape from beautification to drainage solutions, hardscapes to softscapes and a little in between. Houston started at the age of 18 in Weaverville when he purchased a weed eater and set to work cleaning up and chopping in various yards. He passed out fliers to attract more clients Over the years one thing led to another; he found he really liked, “the trees, playing with God’s creations, and just playing in the dirt.”
The highly qualified crew for Lawn-N-Order with the owner, Ryan Houston, and his wife, Laura, found in the center of the photo are standing in front of some of the company trucks.
Bit by bit, with the sound economic principle of reinvesting all he earned back into his business, Houston was able to make his company grow. He has branched out into all aspects of landscaping but always emphasizes top quality work and seeks low maintenance on all jobs. He continued to learn all aspects of the business year after year by taking courses and getting certifications. He is a NC State Licensed Landscape Contractor #0063, has a NC Certified Plant Professional certification, is a ICPI Certified Installer, is a Certified Stormwater BMP Inspector. These certifications all require a great deal of learning and studying with comprehensive testing to pass. Now Lawn-N-Order has 12 company trucks, 18,000 square feet of shop space spread out over three buildings and a 14 acre farm. His workers are living wage certified with insurance and benefits. He feels fortunate that so far he has never had to lay off an employee in the slow months of the winter. He still reinvests the majority of the profits into the business and sees that as the key to his company’s success. In 2007 he was able to buy his first tractor, which his daughter Rylee loves to ride. This became the start of using heavy equipment. Recently all new environmentally friendly low impact equipment have been purchased (cement mixer, skid-steer loaders, dump trucks—too numerous to mention), some smaller in size to allow the crew to reach difficult locations
Landscaping adds value and presentation to the overall look of someone’s home and having it be low maintenance is of supreme importance—with rocks, trees, mulch, and appropriate plants for the area. The range of Lawn-N-Order’s capabilities is hard to imagine from lot clearing, to general landscaping design, and lawn care, maintenance, excavation, grading, to building retaining walls, adding walkways and steps, stonework, graceful waterfalls and water accents, decks, fencing, emergency storm and drainage solutions. It takes large, qualified crews with experience and knowledge to offer so many aspects of landscaping and then, beautify a property.
Dr. Alan and Marilyn Friedman were one of his first clients who trusted him early on, which boosted Houston’s confidence that he would, and could, succeed. Since then a number of clients in the Weaverville and Reems Creek area have been using his services, and have remained friends and clients. After he was able to solve a drainage problem that was clouding the ponds on the Reems Creek Golf Course, many more came on board. The word got out to the community that Lawn-N-Order could “fix the problem,” as well as truly beautify someone’s property. Houston now figures he has completed at least 100 jobs in the Reems Creek community, including the Golf Club entrance. In North Carolina sediment and fertilizers are considered to be top pollutants.
Currently he is working on a large job for Tim and Margo Carter on 5 1/2 acres on Hamburg Mountain Road. The property is very steep, so Lawn-N-Order has had to put in approximately 11,000 square feet of retaining walls, worked on erosion control, put in a dramatic 120 foot waterfall, and graded out a lawn. It certainly has been a challenge and should be a magnificent piece of property once completed. Lawn-N-Order has done work in other states too, such as Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Florida and even the Cayman Islands. His business has grown to the point that now his crews are scheduled out at least four to six weeks, and he finds he must concentrate on larger projects, say from $5,000 to $30,000 in size. Unfortunately he has to turn away some requests.
Overall, Houston remembers his football coach, Joe Bell, who taught their team to keep going when the chips were down and stay on track. He had the linemen say, “One, two, three, blue collar”—meaning stay on track and have pride in your labors. Every year this slogan means more and more to Houston. He wants people to know he is “extremely thankful to all: to God, to his family and particularly his wife who is his biggest supporter, to his excellent staff, to his community, to America, and to the men and women in the Armed Forces for keeping us safe.” He has been able to follow his dreams even through some rough times. Life doesn’t just stop with bad times, one must keep going and hope for better.