For those who have been dreaming of a major landscaping change to their property, or who want to maximize their yard design so that there is more to do outside of the home, an outdoor kitchen may feel like the final frontier. Not only are they a symbol of elegance and success but they bring an exciting new dynamic to any outdoor seating area; now the patio or deck isn’t just good for sitting or playing games, it can be an ideal gathering place to cook and eat meals. An outdoor kitchen can be the perfect place to host Thanksgiving or put on a Super Bowl party, and the convenience of not having to transport a lot of food from inside the house out to the patio table means more trips for seconds and (potentially) fewer toppled plates.
Keeping Your Equipment Looking Good
Despite all the practical and emotional benefits having a beautiful new outdoor living space undoubtedly brings, fully outfitted kitchens, bars, or lounges are still considered unconventional despite their rise in popularity. This might discourage those who haven’t taken the plunge to resist jumping into a major landscaping project. Not only will our experts at Cottonwood Landscapes help instruct you on how to properly maintain your outdoor space once it’s completed, but we’ve also put together a shortlist of tips that all aspiring home remodelers should know.
Consider Installing a Patio Covering
Perhaps the easiest way to shield your furniture from the elements is to put a roof over it. This doesn’t mean that you need to make a major addition to the home in order to turn an outdoor space into an indoor space; rather, we at Cottonwood Landscapes can add a roof or awning over the deck that will give it the seamless appearance of always having been there. These covers won’t just protect your property from rain or excessive sunshine but will keep you cool in the shade.
Be Kind to Your Countertops
Outdoor kitchens are particularly susceptible to grime and wear, thanks to always being in the elements. While most countertops are constructed with stainless steel or marble in order to decrease how much regular maintenance is required, cracks and distortions can make cleaning harder outside. Having plenty of hot pads and cutting boards nearby will help mitigate those problems, as well as a good steel polish and soft rags for cleaning. Remember to always wipe along the polishing lines and avoid using steel wool, so as not to scratch the counters needlessly.
Inspect Fuel Lines Often
Your grill is often the centerpiece of the kitchen and will likely get the most use. This means that you must be extra diligent to make sure that fuel lines and gas hoses are kept in good working order. Temperature changes can cause hoses to contract and expand, while the fuel pressure could slip over time, causing you to not get as good a burn. Taking a few moments to inspect the quality of the flame (blue with a yellow tip) and the state of the equipment is essential to keeping appliances running as intended.
Cleaning Outdoor Furniture
As Martha Stewart reminds us, outdoor fabrics are treated with moisture-resistant chemicals in order to make it harder for undesirable growths like mildew and rust to occur. That being said, furniture should be cleaned and maintained often with a few simple steps. Brushing cushions and pillows with a soft-bristled broom is a good way to break up dirt before turning to a warm water and dishwashing soap mixture. Avoid using harsh chemicals that might stain the fabric and void the furniture’s warranty.
Don’t Forget the Fireplace
Cottonwood Landscapes has installed many outdoor fireplaces over the years, which are beautiful and elegant additions to any gathering place. They can often be neglected, however, since they tend to get blackened and sooty, which feels natural for an outdoor appliance. A clean fireplace will always burn more pleasantly when it’s clean, so keeping the chimney covered and brushed out periodically will keep the fireplace a draw for years to come.