An outdoor kitchen is the place to host family, hold big events, or simply cook outside and enjoy the warm weather as much as possible. There are a few tips listed below that explain what an outdoor kitchen can do for you, and you will discover that the outdoor kitchen can completely change the way you manage your home and your meal schedule.

1. What Is an Outdoor Kitchen? An outdoor kitchen is a fully-functioning kitchen that sits on your deck, on your patio, or by your pool. Everyone has their own way of setting up their outdoor kitchen, but these kitchens are no different from what you would see inside. The kitchen usually has a large countertop, stove, and oven. You can have a full fridge installed or you might have a mini-fridge placed under the counter. You might have a full bar set up with an ice chest, and you could have a blast chiller installed if you want a place to keep your cold desserts.

2. Why Would You Install an Outdoor Kitchen?

Everyone who installs an outdoor kitchen will find that they like cooking outside because they are not as concerned about making a mess. You can enjoy the Florida weather while you are cooking, and you can even lie down in a lounge chair while certain things are simmering or baking.

3. The Outdoor Kitchen Makes Things Easier The outdoor kitchen makes your life that much simpler because you can move your entire party outside. There is no need to walk in and out of the house, and you will find that you can fill the air with the smell of your cooking instead of sitting inside the house where the kitchen made everything a little bit too stuffy. You can easily wipe down and sweep the kitchen when you are done cooking, and you can spend more time outside.

4. The Kitchen Adds Real Value to Your Home The kitchen adds value to your home and backyard because it is not a common item. Most people do not have a kitchen sitting just outside their home, and you will entice more people to come over for gatherings because they want to see what the kitchen is like. The outdoor kitchen cuts down on the need for an excuse to go outside and grill because you can cook everything in this space. Plus, an outdoor kitchen is an installation that people will pay a premium for when it comes time to sell the house.

5. Hosting Is Easier The outdoor kitchen makes things easier because you can have your whole party in one place. It is very easy for you to bring people over, to cook for them in a public space, and watch over your food even while you talk to your friends or sit by the pool. You could even put something in the oven that you know needs to bake for half an hour, and you could jump in the pool while you wait for the timer to ring. You could get in the pool while someone else is cooking, and you could even shout a recipe from the pool or your lounge chair.

6. The Outdoor Kitchen Is Designed to Stand Up To Bad Weather The outdoor kitchen will stand up to poor weather, and it comes with a special cover that will protect the kitchen from wind and rain. The appliances can be locked and closed, and the cover will keep debris from damaging all your appliances. Plus, you can use any furniture in this space because you will have more area around the kitchen itself; an outdoor kitchen is much easier to sit in while people are cooking.

7. The Outdoor Kitchen Helps You Serve Everyone The outdoor kitchen makes it easy for people to serve the whole group. The countertop that comes along with your outdoor kitchen makes it easy for you to set up the buffet style meal that you plan to offer. Because of this, you can invite a lot of people over who can easily access the food that you have made. People who are hosting events inside have a hard time with the buffet arrangements because there is only so much room. Plus, you can set up a bar outside with your outdoor kitchen that does not get in the way. Wheeling in the cart for making drinks is much easier when you have extra space to work with.

Conclusion The outdoor kitchen that you have installed on your deck or patio could greatly benefit your lifestyle, change how you entertain, and allow you to enjoy the weather a lot more. You could set up a kitchen outside that allows you to cook everything you need for a big party, and you will find that the kitchen can double as a wet bar, allow you to serve all the food you just made, and will give you easy access to the pool. Enjoy the weather more this summer by cooking in an outdoor kitchen.

You can remodel your home with help from a contractor, but you need to know how to choose that contractor. You must be sure that you have found professionals to remodel the house that will listen to what you want. Contractors can do a full renovation inside the house or you could have a simple addition done; subcontractors can install tile or flooring or help with plumbing. Here are ten things you need to know when choosing your contractor:

1. The Contractor Must Have A License 

The contractor must have a current license and they must be licensed to do any specialty work that they offer. This means that a plumber has a plumber’s license, the contractor has a contractor’s license, and the company has a license to do business in the state. This is a very simple thing to check as it is public information. If you are not getting this important information on your contractor you could come across someone who will do you wrong.

2. They Should Do Free Estimates 

The company should do free estimates to remodel your home. A company that will make a full sketch of what they plan to do for you or makes a full invoice that explains expenses is a good company to go with. You can save a lot of money because the company may trim the estimate to make your job much more cost-effective. You should get more than one estimate so that you get the best deal.

3. They Should Use Good Products 

You need to look through the products that the company offers and they need to offer you a chance to look at the materials that they will provide to you. These companies should ensure that you have signed off on anything that might be a problem for you. You get to approve all the things that are used on your home and you will be in a place where you are doing the right thing for your home without compromising your safety.

4. They Work On A Schedule 

The company should work on your schedule and you need to be sure that you have given them a schedule and they have agreed to it. You may want to have your remodel done for a big family gathering, getting ready for the holidays, or getting ready for the summer season. Make sure that you have the right plan in place with the contractor for the remodel so that you can be confident that the work will be done on time.

5. They Will Check In With You 

You need to check in with the company often so that you know they are doing what they said they would do. The company will give you reports on what they have done and they will make you feel much more comfortable with the progress that you are making. You will be told when all materials are in and they will tell you how they are doing as they do the construction. If you cannot get in touch with them or they are not reaching out to you, they are not worth your time and your money.

6. They Are Friendly 

The contractor and staff should have a professional and friendly demeanor. They should be willing to give you explanations of everything that they do and they need to have someone in their office that will talk to you when you call. No one wants to work with a company employing rude staff and it will be very hard for you to have a good feeling about the job if the people doing it are disrespectful to you. The second you find a problem, you will start to wonder if they did a good job on anything.

7. They Have Good Reviews 

You can learn a lot about these companies by checking out their reviews. The company should have good reviews online and you need to call their references to find out how they do their work. You will never have to wonder if they will finish the job in the right way.

8. They Send A Large Crew 

You should not work with a company that only sends one guy to do the job. You have to be sure that the company you hire will send a large number of people to get the work done quickly. You also have to remember that you can get the best possible work done when all the right people are there. You will not have to wait to see the work done.

9. They Offer Discounts 

The best company will drop its prices on certain jobs through programs and discounts. These discounts make it easier for you to save money.

10. The Company Can Come Back 

You need to have access to this company in the future to do touch-ups or service on the things they have installed. Make sure at the beginning that they have a follow-up program in place.

You have the option to upgrade certain rooms of your home or add rooms to your home that you will find most useful. There are many people who want to increase the value of home properties by adding a media room, adding a wine room, or adding an entertainment room. You should look at each option here before choosing a path for renovations and upgrades. Some homes need to have all three rooms added, or you could add the room that you believe is best for your personal needs.

1. Hiring A Professional To Build A Wine Room 

Hiring a professional to build a wine room is one of the easier things for you to do to make your home more valuabl and more interesting. A wine cellar is a beautiful place to keep your favorite bottles, and it is a point of intrigue that will get people interested in your home. You could store wine in the wine room, or you could use the climate-controlled room to store everything from cigars to wooden artifacts that would be damaged by sudden changes in temperature.

You could have a wine room added just off your kitchen, or you might have the wine room added to your basement. Some people would prefer to put the wine cellar in their basement because they think that makes it an easier place use. The storage area will be away from the living areas of the house, or you might want to have the wine cellar closeby. These are humidified rooms that can be installed in a closet or cut out of an open section of wall adjacent to your living room.

2. Hiring A Professional To Build An Entertainment Room 

Hiring a professional to build an entertainment room allows you to create a home theater in the style you would prefer. You could have more than one TV set up against the wall, or you could have a projector installed that will help show your favorite programs. You could have speakers installed to create the surround sound effect, and you might want to use an entertainment room as a way of getting all your movies, DVDs, and CDs into one place. You could have a nice stereo installed in this room, and you might have the entertainment room filled with video game consoles that you plan to play.

You can make an entertainment room suit your style. Some people would like to have a couple couches in the room, and there are others who will put their recliner in the room. You might have the entertainment room set up just for gaming, or you might set up the room for watching multiple sporting events at the same time as if you are in a bar. The entertainment room is a comfortable room that makes you feel as though you came into a luxurious living room. There is another style of room you might create that is much more intense.

3. Hiring A Professional To Built A Media Room 

Hiring a professional to built a media room will help you create something that would look like a darkened home theater. You could have the media room set up with a way to watch movies and special recliners that will make you feel as though you are in a movie theater. You could put in a projector and a very nice screen, and you might want to add the video game consoles to this one projector unit. There are many people who will choose a media room over an entertainment room because they like watching movies in the quiet and dark of a viewing room.

The media room is the place you have family movie night, and it is a place that you can go to listen to music in peace. You might add instruments to your media room, or you could have a computer station set up that will allow you to use the music and video players from that location. You get to create a media experience that is good for everyone, or you could plug your video game consoles into the computer. You are making a place that ids a bit like a playroom, but it is not as cozy as a living room.

4. How Do You Increase Value Of Home Properties 

Increasing the value of your home is a very improtant part of owning a home. You want the house to get much more valuable, and you need to be sure that you have used all the tools at your disposal. You could have all these rooms installed, or you could have the rooms installed one at a time depending on your needs. You could use the rooms as a way to make the home more fun to visit, or you might like to use the rooms as a way to make the house more enjoyable.

5. Who Benefits? 

You benefit from the rooms because you have had them built to make you much more comfortable. You should use these rooms to make your family happy, and you might install something that you know will make you enjoy the house more. You could add a wine room because you want to enjoy the wines that you have collected over time, or you might want to use the rooms as a way to make the house easy to sell. People will pay a premium for these rooms, and you could use the rooms as a way to make the house look great in a listing.

6. Conclusion 

There are a number of things that you can do when you want to make your home a much nicer place to live. You could completely change the way that you are living in your home because these rooms have been installed, or you could have the rooms added one at a time because you are ready to sell. People pay more for these rooms, and they get excited to buy a home that is so unique.

There are probably a lot of things that you want to accomplish in the new year. Among them may be a bath or kitchen renovation. Before you undergo a renovation of any type, you need to plan ahead. Here are 7 planning tips for your kitchen or bath renovation in the new year.

Make A List Of Renovations You Want To Be Done
Before starting a kitchen or bath renovation, make a checklist. Write down things that you want to accomplish and what your priorities are. You may not be able to complete everything during a renovation right away and you will need to figure out what you want to get done first and what you are comfortable with putting off. For instance, you may be wanting to replace your cabinets first, but willing to wait a while for new countertops. When you are determining exactly what you want to do, don’t just focus on changing the colors in the room. Think about the areas in either your kitchen or bathroom that get the most use. This will allow you to figure out what you want to do to make this area more functional. The key to a successful renovation is to make a space work in the most efficient way for both you and your family members.

Put Together A File With Your Ideas
It’s always a good idea to know exactly what you want before visiting a showroom or meeting with a designer. Look through magazines and cut out pictures of items that you like. You can also look online and print pictures out. Keep all of these items in a folder so that you have all your ideas in one place and can show them to the designer who’s going to create your custom kitchen or replace your countertops. When you are creating your file, make sure you take measurements of things like your doorways so that you will know if you will be able to get large pieces through them. Also take measurements of sinks, countertops, and appliances. Put your measurements in your file so that they are easily accessible later on.

Take Pictures
It’s very beneficial to take pictures of your current space. You might just gain a new perspective as to what needs to be changed and what should stay the same. Print these pictures out and put them in your folder. You can keep them on your phone, but having printouts of these pictures will give a more in-depth look as to how the area actually looks. It’s also a good idea to take pictures at different times of day with different lighting. This will allow you to see different aspects of the room.

Seek The Advice Of Others
It’s very beneficial to get the opinion of others when you are trying to design your own dream kitchen/bath. Friends and family members can offer advice about their experience with their own renovations. They can tell you about what they went through and can even offer advice as to what you should include in your kitchen or bath remodel and what you might want to leave alone. Walk through your house with them and discuss areas that you would like to remodel. Their insight as to your home remodel can prove to be very valuable overall. Ask them what they think your focal point should be. You only want to pick one in each room so that space doesn’t look too busy. The rest of the space should complement the focal point and be aesthetically appealing.

Decide On A Budget
When you design your own dream kitchen/bath, you will find that there are all sorts of options available. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be to afford every single thing that you want. It’s important to decide on a budget so that you can determine exactly how much you can spend. It is also very helpful to inform your designer as to how much you can spend on things like cabinets for your custom kitchen or new fixtures for your bathroom. One of the things that adds a lot of expense to a bathroom or kitchen renovation is moving outlets or pipes. If keeping costs down is a big concern, don’t move water fixtures or appliances. This will allow you to stay within a reasonable budget. Keep in mind that some unexpected things will probably happen during your remodel. Allow for at least a couple extra thousand dollars of allocated money so that you can pay for these unforeseen expenses if they arise.

Tour Showrooms
You can get a lot of ideas and advice by visiting showrooms. Make sure you bring your file of ideas with you so that you can show the designers what you are thinking about doing to your home and what the current space looks like. You will find that there are quite a few options and brands. It’s nice to see things like counters and fixtures on display so that you can choose the right options for your home. Don’t forget to discuss your budget as well so that you can determine which items are within your price range.

Interview Remodelers
In order for your renovation to go smoothly, you need a remodeler that you can trust. Interview several of them to make sure that they have adequate experience and that you have a good rapport with them. You should be able to effectively communicate with one another and they should really listen to your ideas about what you want to be done in your home. Remember to show them your file with ideas, but also take into account their opinions on what they think you should do. They should be able to give you a rough idea about how long your renovations will take and how much it will cost if they don’t run into any issues along the way.

Make Your Kitchen The Hub Of Your Holiday Entertaining

There's just something special about the holidays. It could be that general feeling of happiness in the air or maybe its the anticipation of all of the festivities associated with the season that is about to begin happening. Whatever the reason, it's truly a remarkable spectacle to be a part of the holiday season every year. Many precious memories are created during this yuletide season as loved ones and acquaintances make time to celebrate the season with each other. With the kitchen being the heart of the house, a lot of those moments will happen there. Planning for people in the kitchen for the holidays is essential to making the most of those memorable times. Decorating in the kitchen is only one of several ways to enliven that festive spirit that abounds when families and friends come together during the holidays. Here are a few things to consider when planning for people in the kitchen for the holidays.

Color Ideas For Holiday Decorating In The Kitchen

Regardless of what colors the kitchen is for the rest of the year, this time of year allows the creative kitchen designer an endless array of options for adding holiday color. Basically, nothing clashes. Reds, greens, silvers, gold, and whites along with any combination of glitter and lights all seem to match around this time of year. While some kitchens may explode with colors and lights, others may follow a milder approach with only a little color. Either way, the decorations are always noticed and accentuate that feeling in the air and the overall happiness of the guests during the season.

Make Sure There are Adequate Seating Areas For Company

Since kitchens are generally adequately seated for the size of the household, it's a given that extra seating may need to be available at times for any planned festivities. And, extra chairs and tables can even be decorated in holiday colors and themes to fit the occasion. A great way to keep the kitchen ready for company is to do a bit of rearranging before the season and get the furniture in place. While the tables and chairs are not in use, they can be a great place to display treasured decorations and heirlooms passed down through the generations.

Dishes And Utensils Can Add An Extra Touch As Well

Everything from cups, plates, glasses, and silverware to serving trays can be decorated for the season. Whether they are purchased already made or maybe even a little more creative and handmade, festive plate-ware will always be noticed by those holiday revelers. There are even some great disposable and recycled options for dishes and silverware. Food just seems to look more appetizing when served on a decorated plate.

Keeping The Aroma Of The Holidays In The Kitchen

Those wonderful aromas of cookies baking or, maybe, just the hint of spices in the air is one of those memory inducing events that happen during the season. One way to keep that festive scent in the air is to simply cook those delicious goodies and let the natural aromas take over. Another way is to add some decorative and yuletide-smelling accents to the kitchen. Scented pine cones or festive potpourri are just a couple of the many creative ideas to help define and maintain that holiday atmosphere.

Keep Holiday Goodies On Hand And Displayed

There isn't much that can make a kitchen more inviting and hospitable than having a display of cookies on the counter in a decorative holiday container for family and guests to enjoy. Or, maybe it's a displayed fruitcake that nobody admits to eating. Yet, it always seems to disappear. Those holiday treats are always appreciated and will, certainly, keep everyone centered around the kitchen when entertaining.

The thing about memories is that you only get one chance to create them. Once the moment is gone, it's gone. And, while the memory that is missed will never be noticed, the memory that happens can be cherished forever. Life is about enjoying the simple things like spending time with family and friends and creating those special memories. Planning for those moments can take a bit of effort. But, the result of all that planning is the enjoyment of the moment as well as being able to cherish the memory that is created.


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