For the Love of Cookouts

Yee haw!  Memorial Day is coming and the cookouts are on!  I always bring the fruit salad.  You?

This Spring I’m doubly excited because my first outdoor kitchen design project is getting underway.  We are going to build something like this…

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The design will also feature a mahogany deck with wrap-around stairs, a new bluestone patio and built-in benches to create an outdoor room for frequent entertaining.  It’s going to be just beautiful and I can’t wait to share photos of the finished space!

In the meantime, I want to share some helpful information I learned while doing research for this project.   Despite the manufacturer’s installation instructions for grills, the Fire Department does not recommend placing a grill within ten feet of any building even if it is made of brick or stone or other seemingly fire-proof material.  Our local Fire Chief explained that wood trims and roof overhangs pose a fire hazard when close enough to come in contact with stray embers.   You might think this is a no-brainer, but I recently heard a story of a NASA engineer who melted the siding of his house because the grill was too close.  

Also, when researching different types of construction materials for an outdoor kitchen, I learned that while you could use Spanish Cedar or Mahogany for a wood surround, stone is far better for longevity and maintenance.  Again, it may seem like a no-brainer but there are lots of photos out there of wooden outdoor kitchens.  (I can’t help but wonder what they look like after one or two hard winters.)

Lastly, a solid stone surface counter top is the best choice over wood or tile.  Wood requires a lot of protective maintenance while the joints in tile are very susceptible to erosion, allowing water damage to the structure.  

If you’re going to invest in such a luxury, why not do it right and for the longest return possible on that investment?  In fact, that should be the philosophy for every investment in one’s home. 

Happy barbecue-ing!

 

 

 

 

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