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North Hills Monthly

Funyak Landscapes One-Stop Shop for Outdoor Living Projects

Feb 28, 2018 05:06PM ● By Vanessa Orr

There are many things to consider when undertaking an outdoor living project, from where to locate a fire pit to what type of lighting will add the appropriate ambiance to whether a kegerator or a wine fridge is the right choice for a customized kitchen space. When planning a project of such magnitude, it’s important to hire a company that can visualize the whole picture—and has the in-house staff to turn your dreams into reality.

“What’s unique about us compared to other contractors is that over the years we have built a great team who designs each project comprehensively in-house,” said Jawn Funyak of Funyak Landscapes, L.P., which provides design, installation and maintenance services to clients throughout Pittsburgh. “Instead of hiring outside contractors, we have crews that can do everything; we are landscape carpenters, hardscapers, lighting experts, horticulturalists, water feature experts, stoneworkers, masons and more.

“We are a one-stop shop where clients can find a high level of skill and expertise in every area of outdoor projects,” he added.

The company has grown tremendously since Joe Funyak first started towing a lawnmower behind his bicycle to take care of neighbors’ lawns while a student at Seneca Valley Junior High. For the past 20 years, Funyak’s team, led by brothers Joe and Jawn, has focused on outdoor living spaces, which have not only grown in popularity, but in size and scope.

“A lot of these spaces are pretty large and elaborate, and require a lot of creativity when it comes to designing the perfect backyard escape,” said Funyak. “This is why proper planning is so important; it’s a lot easier to move something around in print or on a computer than it is in real life.”

While some companies offer clients two-dimensional designs that show an aerial view of where things will be placed, Funyak’s comprehensive design services include a 3-D option that enables clients to digitally “fly” through the conceptualized space. “This is especially nice for people who have a hard time visualizing the finished project,” said Funyak. “This may be the only large outdoor project that they ever do, so they want to make sure that it will be done right.”

Funyak compares the process with building a custom home, with clients choosing the different features that they want included in the space. “The sky is really the limit when you’re taking the indoors outdoors,” he said. 

Projects have included customized outdoor kitchens featuring kegerators, wine fridges, hibachis, smokers and sinks, as well as media walls, bars and grills, and of course, fire features.

“Fire features are the most popular because not only do people love hanging out around the fire, but it also extends the season,” said Funyak. “Who wouldn’t want to be outside relaxing and sipping wine as the leaves were falling?

“We have people using their spaces 365 days a year, grilling in winter and holding sled-riding parties,” he added. “What we hear most from our clients is that they love spending quality time with friends and family outdoors—and isn’t that what it’s all about?”

Funyak Landscapes also creates vertical elements such as pavilions and pergolas, as well as designer decks made of high-end composites or exotic lumbers. “Underdecks are really popular now,” said Funyak of the area underneath a second-floor weatherproofed deck that can be used as additional outdoor living space.

Technology also plays a big part in today’s outdoor spaces with TVs, sound systems and lighting all being controlled through smart devices. “It used to be that landscape lighting would be set on a timer to go on and off at certain times,” said Funyak. “Now you can dim lights, choose individual fixtures to light, or highlight certain areas at different times. It’s also safer—you can turn everything on 100 percent when you arrive home, and then dim it to 50 percent once you’re inside.”

In addition to providing safety and security, proper lighting and landscaping add to curb appeal and lend ambiance to a home. “Nice homes deserve nice outdoor spaces,” said Funyak. “It’s really awkward to see a million-dollar house with a square concrete pad outside. People are investing more into decorative stonework and pavers to match the scale and style of their homes; not only does it add resale value, but it brings great value to the property in a lot of different ways.”

Of course, a beautiful property requires upkeep, so Funyak offers full-service, comprehensive maintenance services. “We’re not like some companies that just mow 20 lawns a day; we manage all aspects of a property from taking care of the plants to adjusting lighting and maintaining water features,” said Funyak, adding that many of their landscape staff is certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. The company provides these services to both residential and commercial customers, and also provides snow and ice services in winter to its commercial clients.

While the brothers are proud of what they’ve accomplished, they appreciate that their company’s growth required the efforts of many. “We believe that who you surround yourself with is so important; your company is only as good as the people that you employ,” said Funyak. “We have some of the highest quality landscapers in the region, and many of our people who started at the entry level are now managers of divisions or multiple projects.

“We can’t emphasize our people enough—they understand that you do it right even when no one’s looking, and you always do what you say you’re going to do. It’s all about integrity.”

To learn more, visit or call 724-432-3232.