Thursday, May 24, 2012

3 Outdoor Kitchen Essentials For Memorial Day

It's been a long, cold journey since your last day off.  Memorial day weekend is the unofficial start to summertime and it's time to be thinking about how you're going to spend those days and nights in the season's unofficial headquarters: your backyard.  When it's time for grillin' and chillin', nothing beats the outdoor kitchen.  Good friends, good food, mixed in with a whole lot of fun and some adult beverages....how bad can that be?  Here are some great tips on what it takes to begin or complete your outdoor kitchen.

1.  The Grill
The smell of cooked meat conjures memories of great times at backyard parties.  Essential to any outdoor gathering is top notch, high volume grill.  For value and convenience, I highly recommend a gas grill.  Gas grills can vary between $50 and $5000, so it's best to consider how often you'll use it, and what extras you might need.  If you've got the money, I'd suggest a grill between $400 to $800 depending on how many people you'll want to be feeding.  These are typically stand alone models (as opposed to built in models) and are above average in capacity, durability and quality.  Invest in a heavy duty cover (typically $30-$50 bucks) and possibly a $20 gas gauge so you'll always know how much gas you've got left.  There is a difference between propane and natural gas, so if you're hooking to a gas source from the house, make sure your grill can accommodate it. 

2.  The Outdoor Sink
Nothing makes preparation and clean up easier than an outdoor sink.  Even when not in use an outdoor sink can be filled with ice and becomes an easy access cooler for all your summertime drinks.   The real cost of outdoor sinks comes in running an outdoor water line from the home, which depends on the home.  There are two main issues to consider when purchasing a sink:  material and thickness.  For the money, most outdoor sinks will be stainless steel; however, they can be made from most anything depending on your tastes.  Some grades of stainless steel are more resistant to corrosion (such as grade 304) because of the material properties.  As for thickness of material, that really depends on your intended use.  Obviously, thicker material will cost more, but will be much more durable.  Anywhere between 16 and 20 gauge should give you value and durability.  Consider most sinks to be between $250 and $500 with the additional plumbing of $1000 to $3000.

3.  The Fridge
Believe it or not, there is a difference between indoor and outdoor refrigerator models.  Because of the varying levels of temperature and humidity, outdoor fridges typically work harder and have to be more durable.  Venting is also an issue, which will influence whether you need a built in or free standing model.   Free standing models are vented in the front so less clearance is required.  Typically, all outdoor fridges are made out of stainless, to prevent rust and corrosion.  Refrigerators run off of a 110 volt GFCI outlet which will be an additional cost if you don't have an outlet to accommodate it.  Outdoor fridges are perfect for homes with pools because you can always grab a cool drink without tracking anything in your home.  Let's also not forget the options you have with dedicated beer fridges or kegarators. Oh the possibilities...


All in all, setting up and paying for your outdoor kitchen doesn't need to be difficult.  By doing the right research, you can really make an outdoor kitchen come to life.  Nothing is better than hosting your friends and family over Memorial Day and making memorable experience.  I wish you a very safe and happy holiday!

Jared Reimer is a real estate broker with Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors in Northern Colorado.  Real estate is his passion and he always wants to connect with like-minded and savvy real estate fans.  For more information or to get in touch with Jared, please visit his website at www.ReimerRE.com or email him at JaredReimer@ReimerRE.com

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