Posts Tagged ‘outdoor kitchen’

Landscape Design Trends for 2014

Outdoor kitchenThe landscaping around your home is just as important as the exterior presentation of the home itself. There are big changes coming in 2014 as to what landscaping designs are going to be trending. Flowery beds of flowers are a thing of the past. A more masculine look is where homeowners are headed this year. Backyards are becoming entertaining spaces in many areas with climates shifting too.

Contemporary Colors

Pastels and light colors have left the building. Contemporary colors that make a statement have taken up residency in current landscape trends. The idea of using contemporary colors is to do so in a smart way. Pops of color rather than full sections of flowers are what homeowners seem to prefer. More shrubbery and framing plants are in the plans for re-designing the landscaping in front and back yards. Continue reading

Adding an Outdoor Kitchen

Today’s outdoor cooking arrangements are a far cry from the old days of a grill perched on the edge of a wooden deck. A modern outdoor kitchen can include all the amenities of an indoor kitchen, including the elegance.  There have been estimates that outdoor kitchens can add as much 130% of their cost to the purchase price. But the initial cost of outdoor kitchens varies from $3,000 on the low end to $100,000 or more, depending on the layout, design, quality and type of improvements.

Appliances and Accessories

You want to have the outdoor kitchen self-contained, with all the key elements of a kitchen.  The grill, the sink, storage units and the refrigerator, all need to be there.  In this way, the cook is no longer off by himself or herself. He or she is right there with the guests.  A searer on the side of the grill can be included to sear the meat at high temperatures before grilling to seal the juices in.  Weber, Lynx, Alfresco and Wolf are some of the top brands used by outdoor contractors and designers in Summit NJ.

Permits and Setbacks

You are going to want the outdoor kitchen as close to the house as possible, but the cooking units have to be at least three feet from the house.  You do not want to be running back and forth to the house for an outdoor kitchen that is a distance away.  Setting the unit closer to the home and to the pool area will encourage the family to use it more.  You are going to have a gas line that is underground if you use natural gas, and you need a licensed contractor to do that.  You will also need permits from Westchester including a building permit.  A licensed electrician should do the electrical work and a plumber will be needed if there is an outdoor sink.   Remember, you have to shut off the water and drain the pipes in the winter….. or they will freeze!

Setting the Scene

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen

The entire unit, with all the appliances, usually is set into a straight or L-shaped countertop made of granite, often with a matte finish to reduce glare. Some people want tile, but water can get through the grout and destroy the countertop. You can also have concrete tinted a color to match the surroundings.  Under the countertop, you can put storage units. The surrounding area usually is done to look natural, or possibly to match the house.   Ledge rock is popular for under the countertop so it looks stacked, rather than like an indoor-fireplace rock finish. Kitchen designers recommended real stone rather than veneer, which can flake if it is power-washed


To use your outdoor kitchen in all weather, you can add a roof or a pergola.  The roof can be vinyl or fiberglass. Fiberglass comes in more colors today than in the past, when it was only white.  Another feature many customers like to add is a fire pit, to provide warmth on those Westchester chilly nights. This can take the shape of a built-in unit for the bar area, to add elegance.  Outdoor lighting sets the mood for night parties and adds accents. A stereo system can add music to the occasion, with the speakers hidden in fake rocks. An outdoor kitchen usually includes at least a modest dining area, which calls for a good-quality table and chairs. Choices have improved considerably since the days of the spindly metal, wooden or plastic patio set. Resin wicker is popular, because it does not require cushions like aluminum does. Some people do not want to run outside and take cushions in every time it rains. However, that high-grade aluminum still is popular.

Summer Home Remodeling Projects


Composite deck & Vinyl Rail

The warmer months are just around the corner and NJ homeowners are beginning to plan their home remodeling projects for the summer months. For many homeowners it is about making their home more efficient, more usable or to give it more functional. Others want to maximize indoor or outdoor spaces or install a pool or backyard deck. Many are already planning exactly what type of remodeling they want to do this summer while others are still looking for some good ideas. Here are some useful summer home remodeling projects that will maximize your outdoor space. Continue reading