Corey Krutilek started out mowing lawns as a student at Kingwood High School back in the 1980s to make extra pocket money. Fast forward 30 years, and Krutilek has built a landscaping company headquartered in Porter, Yard Birds Landscaping, that employs 24 full-time staff members. Yard Birds was incorporated in the mid-1990s after Krutilek finished a business degree at Stephen F. Austin University. Today, Yard Birds Landscaping provides services to the greater Houston area that run the gamut, most recently expanding to providing maintenance in The Woodlands.
“My first job was at Houston Plants and Gardens. Along the way, I kept buying out other little businesses and growing,” Krutilek said. “We're doing just wonderful and keep growing. I don't spend a lot on advertising; most of our jobs are word-of-mouth referrals.”
“If it’s outside, Yard Birds can pretty much do it,” said Krutilek. The company specializes in landscape and hardscape design and installation, outdoor kitchens, water features, patios and decks, fire pits, irrigation and drainage systems, routine lawn maintenance, and outdoor and holiday lighting. Their goal is to provide a high-quality job.
Don Unsworth, office manager, started working for Yard Birds after retiring from human resources more than eight years earlier. “I hired Yard Birds to build an outdoor kitchen and patio and was impressed by the quality of work, attention to detail and timeliness,” he said. He has been with the company for two-and-a-half years now. “The quality of work is impeccable and incredible. I believe in what Corey is doing and would put his values up against anyone's. We work together as a happy team.”
Unsworth continued, “I like the creativity and innovativeness and we are willing to work within anybody's budget. We listen and give customers what they are looking for.”
Candice Morgan started working for Yard Birds in January after graduating college with a degree in plant and soil sciences. She enjoys the camaraderie under the helm of Krutilek.
gWorking for Corey has entirely changed my perspective on what I value in a job,” she said. “We are constantly learning from each other and although Corey continues to push us towards new goals each week, he has never discouraged us from having a good time while we work. Most, if not all of our crewmen, have worked for Corey for several years and he has invested a great deal of time into all of them. On several occasions I have found him outside with the guys when they are back at the office on their lunch breaks. I never knew I could enjoy a job as much as I have enjoyed working here and it's refreshing knowing that they all have my back if I need them.”
Morgan continued, “What we do bring[s] enjoyment to our clients. We are providing a second living space that is outside of the house and it's exciting to know that a client will continue to utilize something that I thought up and created special for them.”
Krutelik employs his workers year-round, which he says is due to the good weather in Texas. The Yard Birds crews had already begun hanging Christmas lights before Halloween. Yard Birds currently operates 13 vehicles, with three members to a crew. Krutelik says he particularly likes lighting yards. “We can take an ugly yard and make it look good at night,” he said.
Krutilek said he’s often asked if the company was named after the 1960s British band, but he tells those who ask, “That was before my time.” He added that he knows a lot about the band now. The name for the company actually came from their original tag line: “If you feel like mowing is for the birds, call us and we’ll fly over.” For more information, visit yardbirdslandscaping.com.