December 8, 2015
Outdoor grills provide an effective cooking mechanism that most home kitchens cannot accommodate for. The nature of grills and the smoke it naturally produces means that they must remain outside for the fumes to dissipate. However, the versatility of grills means that many people love to use them, regardless of weather conditions. For people that love to grill, consider obtaining a built-in grill in the patio or yard to show that you mean business when it comes to grilling and entertaining. Grills make house parties easier by attracting everyone to come outside. Adorn your backyard or patio with some contemporary outdoor furniture and you have the foundation to rule as the king of outdoor entertaining. Consider some factors for outdoor grills before diving into this project.
When selecting a location for a built-in grill, consider the amount of counter or platform space that can surround the grill. For example, a grill built into a stone or concrete counter means that the grill would have that counter space around it to make cooking and serving much easier. Some setups may even have shelves built in to the stone. When not using the counter space to cook, you can adorn it with potted plants or other ornaments. To get even more productive, add a sink or cutting board to the counter. If the spot has ample overhead space, a pergola can add a nice frame to the cooking area. Some lights and other details can contribute to make this a functional and beautiful setup.
Once you have a rough blueprint, idea, or plan for your built-in grill, the next step involves who to hire and the costs. Many contractors have done built-in grills in the past, so when browsing for contractors, ask to see photos of past projects, or better yet, ask to see projects in person. This can help you compare your vision to others, and to see if something else may catch your eye or if something seems too unrealistic. Some businesses or stores that sell grills may offer their own design setups and/or offer their own building services. As far as other services go, look for a landscape architect if you do not have a flat or clear space, especially on slopes, or look for a designer to incorporate your grill with existing landscape features. Regardless of the services you desire, seek additional opinions as soon as possible because they can offer suggestions that you may not have yet considered, and may even suggest ways to save money.
Speaking of saving money, make sure you have the budget to go through with the grill setup, plus a little extra in case your budget may not have enough funds. Nice gas grills run around $1,000, and it will need a base to support it such as a wood frame with a stucco finish. Additionally, labor, materials, and design can run up a few hundred dollars. The more extravagant you go, obviously the more the cost will rise, so a stone or concrete counter can already pad the cost. By the time you obtain the materials, grill, designs, and labor, your bill’s total will reach the thousands.
The available space plays into the cost of the setup. Uneven terrain can add to the cost as well. An intimate patio may function well for families or small groups of friends. Large yards can accommodate intricate designs, while smaller spaces will need appropriate spacing. A small space between structures makes a perfect small patio for a small grill setup. The architecture of the house should dictate the placement and parameters of the outdoor grill. Look for a logical spot to place the grill, especially if it has easy access to the kitchen. Keep in mind that grills close to structures require adequate ventilation and heat control to prevent accidents. A contractor or designer will typically already have these factors in mind.
From start to finish, a built-in grill project takes a lot of time to complete. On average, expect a project to last about two months. Smaller setups can take a month or less, while more complex designs can take about half a year or more. Think about starting this project in the middle of winter so that construction will start when the weather starts to warm up and complete by summer. Consult with your contractor or designer about obtaining a permit for this design, since most grills need a gas supply. While you can use a propane tank, a fixed gas line brings more convenience for a built-in grill. But for all this work, you will have a functional work of art that will impress all those who come to see it.