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A Cut Above

Primeline Outdoor Living offers a Unique Range of Features and Services

Writer  /  Jon Shoulders
Photographer  /  Brian Brosmer

Northside Indianapolis-based Primeline Outdoor Living underwent an ownership transition in January, and General Manager Russ Greene says several new, innovative offerings are helping to distinguish the 15-year old business as a landscaping, lawn service and outdoor living team.

Prior to 2017, Primeline operated exclusively as a softscape, lawn mowing and landscaping business, and before the official ownership transition, Greene sat down with Owner Brett Bontrager and Chief Operating Officer Scott Cooley to discuss a few additional, unique services they felt would separate themselves from the competition.

“Before joining Primeline, I ran the outdoor living department for a local competitor here in the Indianapolis area and actually did a project for Brett a couple years ago,” Greene says. “After he asked me to come on board, we thought it would be fun to add some services where we design and install outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, pergolas and other outdoor living products.”

Greene works with approximately 10 manufacturers to bring innovative outdoor products to Primeline’s customers including Werever Outdoor Cabinets, a line of cabinetry built for direct exposure to extreme temperatures.

“They’re based out of Florida, and we’re the exclusive dealer for Werever in Indianapolis,” Greene says. “It is truly outdoor kitchen cabinetry that looks like indoor kitchen cabinetry with a lifetime warranty, and it’s made with products that can withstand terrible weather.”

Primeline’s showroom will also offer clients a tangible view of what they have to offer.

“We built this showroom to help clients, but we also wanted a showroom where designers, home builders and contractors could bring their own clients,” Greene says. “With our capabilities and technology, we can help people see, touch and feel  everything from a paver block stone to actually putt on what could be their very own putting green, either indoors in the family basement or outdoors in their backyard.”

Bontrager, a 20-year Indianapolis resident, retired from Stanley Black & Decker a few years ago and soon became intrigued by the idea of purchasing a small business specializing in services he could feel passionate about. He promptly ran the idea by Cooley, his brother-in-law and a fellow outdoor living enthusiast.

“We both live on the north side and spend a lot of time in our backyards in the outdoor living environment, and we think outdoor living is all about memories with family,” Bontrager says. “We thought it would be a lot of fun to create the right environment for customers and come up with the right solutions for them.”

In an effort to further diversify its services, Primeline became a certified distributor for Celebrity Greens, a Phoenix-based business that offers custom artificial putting greens, in February. Cooley says the company offers artificial, low-maintenance turf products for a variety of applications.

“We can do anything from a small putting green in your backyard to a full-blown golf hole, and the products can even be used for indoor putting greens or outdoor pet runs,” he says. “We’re the only ones in Indianapolis that focus on this as one of the main features of our business model. With construction growing so quickly here in Indy in the past couple years and with the economy coming back, enhancing outdoor living space has become a primary focal point for folks making moves to new homes or building new homes and folks getting their home ready to sell.”

Primeline’s staff consists of about 17 to 20 employees depending on the season, and its client base is about 95 percent residential. Bontrager says his team strives to inject as much fun into the planning and design process as possible for clients, including a 3-D virtual reality design headset called Oculus Rift that allows customers to virtually experience what their outdoor design will ultimately look like.

“I come from a consultative and sales background, and there’s a series of questions that I go through upon meeting with someone on an initial call,” Greene says. “I’m trying to find out what’s important to them and their family. And then I try to create a design that they can grow into. Once we kind of tweak it back-and-forth, we go through different ways that we can implement it based on the budget that we’re given, and then we go to work.”

Cooley says the company offers distinct customer service touches for maximum satisfaction, such as emailing detailed photos of finished lawn mowing jobs to clients for their immediate review and approval.

“There’s no better feeling than seeing a customer smile after finishing a project, whether it’s landscaping or a simple mowing job – then passing that on to the employees that were involved and seeing them smile,” he says.

About Jon Shoulders

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