Mike Johnson took the saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself,” to heart when he started his own business.
Johnson began his career in landscape maintenance in 1983, and 20 years later, in 2003, he launched Sonoran Rain Landscape Creations to do the work he enjoyed most. “I wanted to get into completely custom work so I could be creative,” he says. “At this point, my goal is to just build really amazing stuff, just do all custom work, no more cookie cutter, because it’s more rewarding for me personally.”
As his business developed, Johnson became frustrated with mistakes in inadequate pool designs. He put the word out that he was looking for someone with expertise in water features and found Cody Howard, a licensed pool builder. Howard is now the owner of Sonoran Waters Custom Pool and Spa, founded in 2005, which works in tandem with Sonoran Rain.
Johnson says his partnership with Howard has “given us the resources to offer all backyard services under one roof.”
“What we wanted to do was create an opportunity for people to have their entire project managed by one team,” Johnson says. “This way, there’s no dealing with prior design mistakes or omissions or anything like that.”
The Sonoran Rain and Sonoran Waters team tailors each design to the client’s specific needs and desires. Clients can even see their backyards redone in a full 3D digital rendering before even an inch of dirt is shoveled.
“That’s really the whole process in a nutshell — (listen) to people, find out what people want and provide exactly what they want, because, when it comes to the end of the day, it’s their yard, their project,” Johnson says.
Although the home building industry has taken a massive hit, Sonoran Rain and Sonoran Waters were able to switch gears from new home landscaping to renovating and remodeling existing landscapes. The companies have continued to be profitable in a tough economy by focusing on homebuyers who are “eager” to invest in their homes.
These homebuyers “have a long-term goal of making their homes exactly what they want them to be because … they are going to stay in them,” Johnson says.
He strives to give clients their own personal desert oasis on a budget and time scale that works for them. Clients can break up the remodel into phases, which “makes it easier in these times,” Johnson says.
“We do this because we absolutely love it,” he says. “We love to just get involved from the ground stage and develop something and carry it to the end, and build something we’re all proud of.”