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OUTDOOR COOKING AT ITS BEST!

Poolside Cabana

Outdoor kitchens are a great way to add a dynamic, friendly atmosphere to your space. Equip your backyard for entertaining and feeding friends and family!  These types of elements are always a hit with visitors and homeowners love the flexibility of indoor/outdoor living. In addition, homeowners see an incredible return on their investment (especially in the Austin area) when it comes time to sell.  A new case study reported by Quicken Loans shows area homeowners today can expect an ROI, or return on investment, of 100% to 200%. Not a bad investment in your property.

When planning an outdoor kitchen, you’ll need to think about how many people you intend to accommodate, your entertaining needs, and your budget. At this point we recommend reaching out to a professional landscape designer to go over options for your next steps—determining the best location for your kitchen, the size requirements, design layout, countertop placement, materials (granite, concrete, aluminum, etc.) and then finally, the appliances you’ll need.

Speaking with a trusted professional about your needs, your wants and your budget will get you off on the right track and will ensure your area turns out exactly how you envisioned it.

Adding an outdoor kitchen sees an average ROI of 100 to 200 percent!

Outdoor kitchens, once offering little more than a grill to fire up the burgers, have evolved into increasingly sophisticated and multi-featured spaces perfect for luxury entertaining.  While outdoor entertaining has always been one of Central Texas’ favored casual pastimes, today’s outdoor kitchens offer so much more than just fresh air, sunshine and the delicious aroma of burgers cooking on the grill.

The simple grill has been replaced with elaborate, multi-functional cooking appliances – including hybrid grills that cook with wood, charcoal or gas – plus warming drawers, griddles, pizza ovens and more. Often, the space may be rounded out with fire pits, bars and beverage centers, upscale cabinets and countertops, lighting, tile designs to rival the fanciest indoor backsplash murals, plus dishwashers, wine units and entertainment centers that include everything from big screen TVs to audio equipment.

These spaces aren’t just used during summertime; many Central Texans use them year-round to expand their kitchen space and enjoy an extended array of cooking and entertaining options.

Outdoor Kitchen designs are also completely customizable when it comes to size and location. Whether you envision a sprawling, scenic paradise or want a smaller functional space, today’s outdoor living features have homeowners re-envisioning what it means to enjoy cooking and dining in the great outdoors. Likewise, today’s designers are taking up the challenge of creating sophisticated spaces for a variety of budgets that are perfect for entertaining, escaping or just being one with nature.

The overall goal for any outdoor kitchen is to create a highly functional space that makes outdoor cooking and entertaining effortless and enjoyable.  Not only do outdoor kitchens have one of the highest ROI’s for home renovations, most homeowners in the Austin area are able to use their outdoor space year-round.  Not sure where to start or where your budget should be? Try contacting your local landscape design-build professional for a good start.

Outdoor Kitchen Builders Best of Texas Landscapes

Landscape Design for Central Texas

In Central Texas, designing a beautiful landscape can often mean enhancing the natural elements that Texas has already given us. However, with a lush native landscape and a fairly mild climate, we’re also able to enjoy plants from many regions.

With so many options, it’s important to consult with a professional landscape designer. A seamless design connects your home’s interior to its exterior, increasing your overall living area. By hiring a professional, you can transform the look and appeal of your outdoor space to make your yard more functional and inviting.

MAKE A PLAN

First things first, you need to have a plan before you begin shopping for plants, pavers and other items to redo your outdoor space. A landscape designer can help you create a design plan that fits your budget and meets your goals, so you can choose materials and plants according to functionality and your design aesthetic. Then, you’ll have a realistic idea of how much your project will cost, how long it will take to complete, and what your ultimate vision will look like.

Survey Your Property

Central Texas is home to just about every kind of terrain you can think of, from rolling hills to vast fields, groundwater, layers of rock, red clay and lots of cactus. If drainage is an issue on your property, that will need to be addressed before the installation of plants or hardscapes. If your home faces north, you’ll need to plan for blasts of cold air and a lack of direct sunlight.

Understanding what your challenges are will help you build a realistic plan for construction. Some places around the Austin area, like Lakeway or Lago Vista for instance, are very rocky, and may require more time or added equipment to complete certain projects like a deck or fence installation.

Planning Your Space

Visualize your outdoor space as an extension of your home, so that each individual space flows seamlessly to the next. Knowing how to best utilize your space will help you place plants accordingly. Decide if there are any kinds of functional spaces you’d like to include, where they should go and what needs to be built. That will help you identify where you need specific elements, like added privacy for a yoga or meditation garden.

Remodel Planning

Even if you’re planning to spread your project out over time, it’s important to have a plan based on one grand vision. This will help you stay on track toward your goal and save you time and money. Instead of back-tracking and changing newly installed elements, build towards that grand vision so elements installed now will complement those installed later.

Installation

Before you begin installing plants or constructing design elements, make sure your project is executed in a logical order. If you need a new sprinkler system, that needs to be done before you install new sod. Remodeling your front and back yards? Start in the back so you don’t hurt the front yard with contractors trying to access the back. By planning to install in logical steps, you won’t waste time and money by damaging new or existing designs.

Now that you know why you need a landscape design and what to plan for, our next installment will go over different landscaping elements to consider for your project, and which backyard designs are trending in the Austin area.

To see an example of one of our landscape designs, click here