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Michael James Remodeling

Outdoor Kitchens

How to Plan Your Perfect Outdoor Kitchen

The days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising. If you’re like us you enjoy being able to spending more time outdoors. You might be thinking about ways to optimize your backyard and expand its livability. What better way than with the perfect outdoor kitchen?

With the right approach, you can create a luxurious and functional space that you’ll want to retreat to time and again. From cozy family meals to large gatherings, you’ll think of any reason to cook, entertain, and dine outside

Ready to get started? Let’s take a look at how you can plan the perfect kitchen for your outdoor space.

Research Types of Outdoor Kitchens

To start with, outdoor kitchens are not one-size-fits-all. There are all kinds of setups you can choose from, ranging from expansive, high-end models to simple, budget-friendly ones.

If you want to keep things simple, you can stick with a basic built-in grill and a simple bar. Or, you can choose to get a little (or a lot) more extravagant, depending on your needs and budget.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few factors to consider during the initial planning phase.

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Understand Your Must-Haves

Do you love to spend a ton of time in the kitchen, cooking up large quantities of food to feed your friends and family members? If so, then you might not be satisfied with a small-scale setup.

Instead, you may need a large area to spread out your materials and complete all of your prep work. You may also require a range of different appliances, such as a traditional oven, pizza oven, and hibachi grill. An ice-maker may come in handy for keeping the crowd cool and comfortable.

On the other hand, you might be eyeing an outdoor kitchen as an extension of your in-house one. In this case, you may only need a few extras, such as a chopping area or cocktail bar. If this is the case, think about how far you’ll have to travel between the two spaces.

It is important to note that if you plan on being able to take care of everything from you outdoor kitchen you have more flexibility in its placement and you may have the flexibility to situate it a little farther away from the back door. However, if you intend to make multiple trips back and forth, it’s best to keep it as close as possible. 

basement wine cellar

Think About Your Cooking Style

Next, think about the kind of foods that you typically enjoy creating and eating. Do you love cooking hot dogs and hamburgers over a charcoal barbecue grill?

Or, do you envision cozy pizza nights with a pepperoni pie emerging from a brick oven?

Keep in mind that you can add almost any appliance you want to your outdoor kitchen. This includes everything from gas or propane grills to griddles, smokers, and more. While it can be exciting to browse these options and visualize them in your space, you don’t want to invest in anything that you won’t actually use.

Start by thinking about the appliances you use the most in your current, indoor kitchen. Are there any appliances that you don’t have but wish that you did? Now is the time to incorporate those into your new space.

In addition to appliances, remember to add any other utilities that you’ll need to accommodate your usual meals. For instance, if you’re used to rinsing veggies from the garden for a daily salad, you’ll definitely want a sink in your food prep area.

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Consider Luxe Additions

Once you’ve determined the features you need for your outdoor kitchen, think about the luxury items that could make it even more comfortable and functional for family meals or entertaining.

Depending on your personal style, this might encompass a range of additions, from a stunning range hood to a stone fireplace. You can even enlarge your outdoor kitchen to encompass other exterior living spaces, such as a sitting area, sunroom, or entertainment center.

In addition, you can also incorporate luxe touches by simply upgrading your finishes. Consider installing granite or quartz countertops in a cool, neutral color scheme. Invest in gorgeous bar stools that complement your patio furniture. Even the hardware on your sink or oven can make an impression, so look for ways to incorporate sleek metals, like copper or brass. 

Lighting

As dusk approaches, you really need to see what you’re cooking. The best outdoor kitchen lighting will make your chopping, grilling and serving easier. You’ll want outdoor task lighting placed above your grill or flexible lighting next to it. It should have a switch to turn it on and off independently of other lighting so you can use it just when you need it.

If you have a roof, pergola, or deck over your kitchen area, you can mount lights in the beams above, so they shine down on the grill. Flexible stainless steel grill lights are another option.

Of course, all sorts of lighting options can be incorporated in and around your outdoor kitchen to enhance the over-all experience.

Back yard exterior remodel

 

Plan Your Layout

Walk around your backyard. Make note of the space and placement of your outdoor kitchen. Now picture yourself working in your outdoor kitchen. How is everything arranged? Do you prefer the simplicity of a linear layout, or would an L-shaped layout be better suited to your activities?

You might consider a U-shaped layout that keeps everything a little more compact. For homeowners who love entertaining, an L-shaped or U-shaped kitchen offers a better layout for conversation, especially if you add in an island with plenty of seating.

However, if you just need a place to cook, then a linear layout will work fine. This design works especially well if you have a separate space on your patio designated for dining and relaxing. Just make sure to allow plenty of space between your countertop and kitchen island, so everyone can move around the area with ease.

If you aren’t sure how you’d like your space laid out, think about your current indoor kitchen. If it’s linear, do you like that layout? Or, would you prefer a more inclusive design that allows you to see and mingle with your guests while you work?

Use that space as inspiration for your next design. Repeat features that work well and eliminate those that don’t. Remember: This is your chance to start fresh and create the kitchen of your dreams! 

Calculate Your Budget

Before beginning any type of home renovation project, take the time to create a detailed budget. This way, you know the features that you can comfortably afford, and you won’t spend time looking at models that fall too far below or above your average. 

While you’re crunching numbers, keep in mind that recent economic conditions will directly affect market prices. Around the country, demand is high and inventory is low, which means one thing: Costs are up.

Supply chain issues continue to plague major manufacturers, but that doesn’t mean you have to abandon your dreams of sipping wine as the sun sets. Instead, your best move is to be proactive. 

Prices may only go up from here, so it’s smart to get ahead of the curve. Even if you don’t plan to install your outdoor kitchen until next year, go ahead and initiate the project as soon as you can. This way, you can lock in prices with manufacturers, even if you don’t plan to execute the effort right away.

 

Hire an Expert

Sure, you can gather a ton of inspiration for your outdoor kitchen on social media sites or platforms like Pinterest. Yet, it’s putting it all together properly that can take work.

A kitchen design expert will know which elements to incorporate into your kitchen, and how to lay it out to maximize the space. Plus, they will be able to bring in all the other contractors you need, such as plumbers and electricians.

It’s well worth the cost of hiring a design-build contractor when you’re ready to start this project. They can also help you set a budget and work within it as you choose the features you want to include. The result will be a fully customized design, meant to enhance the way your family lives and eats. 

 

Design Your Perfect Kitchen Today

We’re all spending more time at home than ever before. You deserve an outdoor kitchen that expresses your personal style and allows you to enhance your backyard living area.

While there are many different factors to consider, this should be a fun project with results that you love. At Michael James Remodeling, we’re committed to helping you turn your design dreams into a beautiful reality.

We’ll work with you every step of the way to design the perfect kitchen for your home and family. Contact us today and let’s get started together.

 

See: How to find the best remodeling contractor.

 

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No More Cold Feet

Of course, one of the biggest benefits of a radiant tile floor is that you won’t have any more cold feet when you get out of your shower. There are few things more unpleasant than stepping out of a nice warm shower onto a freezing tile floor. This can be especially bad in the wintertime, when cold feet can become agony.

Heated tile floors will keep your toes nice and toasty when you get out of the shower and during those early morning chills. Best of all, studies have shown that keeping your feet warm can play an important role in regulating your overall body temperature. A heated tile floor can make your overall bathroom experience more comfortable simply by warming up your toes.

Fewer Microbes

Most people who don’t have heated tile floors cope with that chilly tile by putting down bath mats. This helps to keep water off the floor, which can eliminate slipping hazards, and it provides a barrier between your feet and the cold floor. The problem is that these bath mats can become a breeding ground for microbes.

Mold, mildew, and other microbes love environments that are warm and damp, and bath mats make the perfect environment for them. Depending on how often you wash your bath mat, you could be stepping out of your shower onto a thriving colony of germs. Because heated floors eliminate the need for bath mats, they could make your bathroom more hygienic.

Fewer Allergens

If you struggle with allergies or asthma, forced air systems could cause you a lot of problems. These systems heat your house by blowing warm air into the room through vents in the floor or ceiling. The problem is that this blast of air can kick up dust and allergens, not to mention providing a system of ducts for all these allergens to collect in.

Radiant heating doesn’t blow dust or allergens around, and it can do much more than just warm up your feet. In fact, a radiant heat system can warm up your bathroom by as much as five degrees without any forced air assistance. Using these systems can reduce the amount you have to use your forced air system, keeping your allergies and asthma at a minimum.

More Uniform Heating

One of the other major downsides of a forced-air heating system is that they tend to heat rooms unevenly. We’ve all experienced times when we were sitting under a vent that was blasting hot or cold air on us. We were uncomfortable, but the people on the other side of the room might feel perfectly fine.

Radiant heating systems can help to eliminate these cold spots in your bathroom. The mesh or tubing is distributed evenly throughout the floor, meaning every area will get the same gentle warmth. As you move through your bathroom, you’ll stay at the same perfect level of comfort, rather than sweating in one spot and freezing in another.

Greater Energy Efficiency

Now at this point, you may be thinking that offsetting forced air systems with radiant heat is fine and good, but what will it cost? Although you will be able to use your forced air system less, you will have to pay for the extra electricity or gas to heat that system. The good news is that you could actually save money on your utility bills by using a radiant heat system.

Radiant heat systems tend to be more energy-efficient than forced-air systems thanks to their design. Heat rises, so radiant heat systems have to put off less heat to get the room to a comfortable temperature than forced air systems with ceiling vents do. They can also cycle on and off without involving a heat pump and compressor, saving you money and keeping you more comfortable.

No Wasted Space

One of the biggest struggles with adding extra heating systems to your bathroom design is figuring out where to put the components. If you have floor vents, you have to arrange your furniture so those aren’t blocked. And if you’re using space heaters, you wind up with unattractive units hanging on your walls or sitting on your floors, taking up space.

Radiant heat systems are completely invisible and don’t take up any extra space in your home. Because they live under the floors, they blend in seamlessly with your layout. You can get the extra comfort you need without having to work around an unwieldy heating system.

It is important to note that if you decide to use a hydronic radiant heat system, you will have to find someplace to put the water heater for that system.

No Extra Noise

When you walk into your bathroom, you want it to be a relaxing, spa-like experience. This should be someplace you can breathe and unwind, escaping from the noise and demands of the outside world. Unfortunately, that can be a little hard to pull off if you’re listening to the buzz and whoosh of a forced-air heating system.

Other heating systems can be annoyingly noisy, but radiant heating systems are completely silent. In particular, electric systems make no noise, heating your floors without a whisper of extra sound. You can relax in the oasis that is your bathroom without having to tune out extra noise.

Customization

If you’ve ever lived with another person, you know that we all have different preferences when it comes to comfortable temperatures. You may like things toasty warm, while your partner may swelter in those temperatures. Heated bathroom flooring can eliminate fights over the thermostat, since they’re completely customizable.

Your radiant heat system will come with a thermostat that you can set to whatever temperature range is comfortable for you. As we’ll discuss more in a moment, you can even set schedules so the system heats to a different temperature depending on when you and your partner each get ready. And don’t worry – these systems never get hot enough to burn even the most sensitive toes.

Scheduling Features

As with any heating system, radiant heating systems take time to warm up. So it may seem pointless to have one of these systems if you’re still going to have to walk on a freezing floor while you wait for it to warm up. But these system designers aren’t about to let you live with cold feet every morning.

Heated tile floor controls usually come with a scheduling feature that allows you to program when you want your system to kick on. If you have to get up at 7 in the morning and you know your system takes about fifteen minutes to heat up, you can set it to turn on at 6:45. Your floors will be heated to perfection by the time you’re ready to get out of bed in the morning.

No Maintenance

One of the best things about installing a radiant heat system is that you’ll never have to do any maintenance on it. Because these systems live under tile floors, they aren’t exactly accessible. This means that designers create them to last for a lifetime without any ongoing maintenance needs.

Once again, hydronic heating systems can be a little different in this regard. The boiler that heats the water for your system may need attention from time to time, although this is rare. But for the most part, these systems are set it and forget it, providing ongoing comfort in your space for the duration of their life.

Improved Home Value

When you’re doing a bathroom remodel, one of the factors you need to think about is how it will impact the resale value of your home. You want to create something that you will enjoy, but also something that will get you more money when it comes time to sell your house. In general, bathrooms and kitchens tend to bring the most extra resale value to homes, especially when they’re luxurious.

Heated flooring says to a buyer that your home is built for luxury and comfort. When you list your home, adding that feature to your description could get you more viewings and even a higher sale price. These systems may well pay for themselves thanks to their extra energy efficiency and the value they bring to your home.

Discover the Joys of Heated Tile Floors

Heated tile floors are a fantastic way to make your bathroom more comfortable all year round. They can provide a more even heat and may even reduce the amount of allergens and microbes in your bathroom. They can also save you money on utility bills and improve your home value, paying for themselves in the long run.

If you’d like to discover the joys of heated tile floors for yourself, check out the rest of our site at Michael James Remodeling. We are here to bring your vision of your dream home to life in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, and more. Chat with us today and discover what to expect when you experience renovation the Michael James way.

 

Serving North Georgia:  Forsyth, Hall, North Fulton, Dawson, and Lumpkin Counties, Including Alpharetta, Cumming, Dahlonega, Dawsonville, and Gainesville

Michael James Remodeling

3473 Thompson Bridge Rd. Gainesville, GA 30506

(770) 599-2575