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There is nothing better on a summer evening than spending time with the family grilling in the back yard and playing with the kids and the dogs. A well designed outdoor kitchen can be a great investment adding value to your home and your family life making dinner a fun event rather than a chore. A custom outdoor kitchen may be just what you need but where do you start? Here are a few tips on what to do to get started on creating the perfect outdoor kitchen and entertainment area in your back yard.

1. Hire a professional like Malone’s Landscape Design/Build and make sure they have lots of experience! This is not something to do yourself unless, of course, you are in the construction business but even then my guess is you don’t have the time because you are too busy working. (I can relate!)

2. Spend time up front with a Landscape Architect or Designer to plan out the space and how it will fit into your property and your lifestyle. How will you access the space? Make sure you look at all angles from the inside and the outside. Pay attention to the circulation flow throughout your entire landscape.

3. Will you want the space covered or open, here in the Northwest most people want to have a covered patio or at least a covered section for cooking and grilling so it can be utilized year round without getting soaked. If you do want a covered space, do you want it attached to the house or detached. You may need a permit if you want to attach it to the house and depending on the size you may need one for a detached covered patio.

4. What elements will you want to include? Obviously, you’ll want an awesome BBQ grill and probably a sink and refrigerator but what about cabinets, a smoker, a Green Egg or a pizza oven? Depending on your space you may even want to have an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. These are all things that need to be considered in the planning phase and are a lot easier to incorporate in the project from the beginning rather than trying to add it later.

5. What type of counter tops and flooring are you interested in. There are so many choices but I would recommend keeping your focus on tough natural stone, granite and or sealed concrete products for the counters and natural stone or concrete pavers for the flooring to be sure they will stand the test of time. Make sure you pay attention to the style of your house to help you make these choices, this is another room just outside.

Once you have your plans nailed down it can take time to get a contractor to install your new outdoor kitchen but the wait will be worth it. Hiring a Design/Build firm like Malone’s Landscape can speed up the process as we can do the whole project from design through permitting to construction. We are a one stop shop and have the experience to guide you through the process. Depending on the scope of your project it can take some time so don’t wait contact us today and let’s get cooking!