The demand for Out-Door Kitchens is on the rise according to a survey conducted by American Institute of Architects’ Home Design Trends Survey for the fourth quarter of 2016. Moving into this year, the Freedonia Group estimates the Out-Door Grill/Kitchen industry will increase from 6.2 billion in 2016, to 7.5 billion in 2017, and another 4.7% is projected for 2018.
With the increase of demand, we at Grill Tanks Plus thought it worthwhile to share some of our experience on the subject. Of course, a book could be written on the subject, but this post will illuminate the top mistakes to avoid when planning and installing your outdoor kitchen. If you get these issue right, theres a good chance the process will be a success!
OUT DOOR KITCHEN MISTAKE #1
Using a General Contractor over a Specialist
Nothing against General Contractors, but make sure the contractor is delegating the work out to the proper authorities, instead of doing it himself. Even in new home construction, we recommend using a specialist like Allied Kitchen & Bath. The logic is as follows: you wouldn’t ask your primary care physician to do brain surgery; you would instead go to a Neurologist … right? The same logic applies here. Companies like Allied have decades of experience specializing in such installs; they eat, breath, and sleep the many nuances involved in getting an outdoor kitchen not only to look beautiful but also to code and made to last.
“We have seen many outdoor kitchen islands installed in new homes by general contractors that had ZERO vents installed … We assume contractors aren’t doing these as often as they might do indoor kitchens, and therefore, they overlook such things.” – Paul Ricard, Owner of Grill Tanks Plus.
OUT DOOR KITCHEN MISTAKE #2
Where are the Vents?
All outdoor kitchen islands are required to have ventilation systems installed. The reason is obvious, having no vents increases the likelihood of your outdoor kitchen island becoming an outdoor kitchen bomb! If a Propane leak occurs from inside the island, and there are no vents to release the gas, it will remain trapped indefinitely; and that again is obviously not good. You might think it’s a no-brainer, but you’de be surprised how often this is overlooked.
The type of gas your grill uses also is taken into account. Natural Gas (NG) rises, but the heavier Propane Gas (LP) sinks; therefore, if your grill uses NG, the vents should be paced as high as possible. For LP grills the vents should be low to the ground. Vents should be placed every 4 to 6 feet of Island.
OUT DOOR KITCHEN MISTAKE #3
No Grill Insulation Jacket
In general using the wrong materials for the island build is an issue, but the most common of these issues has to do with the grill insulation jacket not being installed. We believe sometimes it’s a classic case of “cutting corners,” while other times it’s a simple oversight due to a lack of experience. In any case, it’s always a good idea to install the insulation jacket. The purpose is to keep the flammable materials used in the island framework from combusting.
“Ideally you should purchase a grill that includes an insulating jacket to protect the wood outdoor kitchen framing from heat.
In addition, use granite, porcelain or ceramic tile or metal sheeting to cover any other exposed, flammable surfaces above, behind or to the sides of the barbecue grill.”
– Countertop Specialty