Outdoor kitchens can trace their origin to the humble weekend barbeque. In recent years that simple idea of grilling on the patio has blossomed into a fully fledged rethinking of the way we use our yards. The outdoor kitchen has become a way to tie indoors and outdoors together like never before and outdoor kitchens today are high-tech, high-style statements that bring the family together and serve as the backdrop for unforgettable good times.
Building the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen
While the outdoor or “backyard” kitchen has renewed many a homeowner’s love affair with their house there are nonetheless a number of potential pitfalls involved in building one that could derail the good times if you’re not careful. In this post we’ll look at 6 of those potential mistakes.
- Forgetting a proper grill jacket – Outdoor grills get hot. If you don’t install an insulated jacket around your grill you may wind up having Toronto fire-fighters over for dinner instead of your expected guests. The insulated grill jacket protects combustible materials near the grill from catching fire. It also has the added benefit of protecting your grill from corrosion.
- Putting indoor appliances outdoors – Not all appliances designed for the indoor kitchen are up to the challenge of the outdoor environment. You’ll save a lot of time, headaches and, most importantly, money by making sure the appliances you purchase for your new kitchen are rated for the outdoors.
- Creating cut-outs before selecting appliances – If you design and build your outdoor kitchen before you’ve selected your appliances there’s a good chance the cut-outs you created for them won’t be exact fits. Make sure you know the exact dimensions of your new appliances before the construction process starts.
- Not leaving enough counter space – Some homeowners will get so caught up in making space for all the latest appliances that they forget to allow adequate counter space for food prep, cooking and entertaining. When designing your new backyard kitchen use your indoor kitchen as a starting point for how much counter space will work for you.
- Installing hot and cold side by side – It’s not uncommon for folks to place the grill right next to the refrigerator. It’s also not uncommon to see these same folks tearing things apart later on to create separation between the two. The heat given off by the grill can overwhelm the refrigerator’s ability to keep up. Leave a generous space between the two and fill it with some of that counter space we mentioned above.
- Expecting to use space under the sink or grill – All too often an outdoor kitchen design calls for cabinets beneath the grill or sink. What’s forgotten is that the sink requires plumbing and a gas grill will require gas lines coming up from the ground. These supply lines are not compatible with standard cabinet design and you may have to either rethink and rebuild the cabinets to fit the smaller space or abandon those cabinets altogether.
If there’s one mantra that should be on the minds of everyone designing a backyard kitchen it’s this: “Think it through”. The outdoor kitchen makes unique demands on appliances and materials so what worked indoors may very well fail outdoors. Careful planning, thoughtful selection of appliances and materials and an emphasis on safety are the things that should guide the design process.
There are few other projects our designers and craftsmen get as excited about as the chance to create a beautiful new outdoor kitchen environment for our clients. Don’t let your backyard kitchen fall victim to poor planning or construction, call the company more Toronto homeowners trust for all their landscaping, renovation and home addition needs; M.E. Contracting.