“Cooking and eating food outdoors makes it taste infinitely better than the same meal prepared and consumed indoors.” – Fennel Hudson, Fine Things – Fennel’s Journal – No. 8
Are you considering redoing your backyard, adding an entertainment area with a new BBQ grill? Are you interested in hosting parties all year round? And, do you have a specific date that the renovations need to be completed by so that you can organize your first social gathering or party?
Finally, the last question that needs consideration is whether you are going to be doing the renovation work yourself or hire a professional home renovation company to complete the job instead.
These questions highlight the many decisions that need to be made before beginning with the renovation project. Also, it stands to reason that doing a proper job could end up being rather pricy; therefore, it’s vital to consider all your options carefully before going ahead with the revamp.
Therefore, to help you make the right decisions, let’s consider the pointers, hints, and tips provided in the following discussion
Benefits of installing a home barbecue grill
There are several advantages to, or benefits of, installing an outdoor home barbecue grill as part of your new entertainment area. Moreover, the most important reasons are:
Increase the value of your home
Statistics, as quoted by statista.com note that in 2016, circa $1.47 billion (USD) “worth of grills and barbecues were sold” in the USA. In comparison, only $1.21 billion (USD) were sold in 2009. And 64% of all of these grills sold were powered by gas.
Thus, it stands to reason that by installing a gas-powered BBQ grill in your backyard as part of a new entertainment area will substantially increase the value of your home.
Expands your living area
If you are a person who loves entertaining, both in winter and summer, installing a backyard BBQ grill as part of an outdoor kitchen or entertainment area will add to the total square meterage you have for entertaining guests. This is particularly relevant for people who live in a small home. Thus, the renovated backyard will add a considerable amount of square meterage to your living area.
People love outdoor entertaining, especially in the summer; however, by adding a few outdoor gas heaters, it is also possible to entertain outdoors through the winter months.
Good for entertaining
This point follows on from the previous point. An outdoor entertainment area or outdoor kitchen is a perfect entertainment space for both family occasions, informal gatherings of friends, as well as more formal functions.
Reduces utility bills
Cooking outdoors in the hot summer months will reduce the use of your air conditioning unit. Every time you cook anything indoors, it raises the inside temperature by a couple of degrees. This results in the need for the air conditioner to work harder to cool the house down; thus, increasing the electricity cost.
The cost of renovating your backyard to include an outdoor BBQ grill will be offset by the money saved by not eating out at restaurants as much as you would without an entertainment area.
Healthier eating options
Grilling instead of frying meat is a healthier option; consequently, the fat drips off the meat when cooked on a gas grill instead of in a frying pan. Thus, by installing an outdoor grill, you are ensuring healthier eating habits which in turn will help with weight loss, reducing the opportunity to gain weight, and preventing high cholesterol and heart disease by not eating fatty, fried foods.
Keeps food odors outside
There are unfortunately few things worth than the stale smell of cooked food trapped in the heating or air conditioning ducts. These smells circulate around the home with the hot or cold air that is circulated through the home via these ducts. Thus, to avoid a stale food-smelling home, there are merits in spending as much time cooking outdoors as possible.
Choosing the right sized grill when installing a backyard BBQ grill
There are several different outdoor BBQ grill models available; however, the decision which one to install fundamentally depends on the size of the area available and the design of your outdoor kitchen or entertainment area. The size grill that you ultimately purchase also depends on its primary function.
Are you planning on cooking for large crowds regularly? If so, then it makes sense to purchase a large grill. On the other hand, if you only intend on entertaining a select few friends and family, then it is better to buy a small grill. Otherwise, you will end up wasting a lot of gas.
Finally, when deciding which model to purchase, it’s best to consider what the maximum and the minimum number of people you could invite to a party at any given time. And, choose the size of the outdoor grill based on a number somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.
The best way to explain this calculation is to look at the following simple case study:
Let’s assume that the area size of your backyard is not an issue, and your design will incorporate any sized grill. And, for the purposes of this case study, you only throw a large party with up to one hundred guests, a few times a year. One of these occasions is an annual Thanksgiving party, the next event is a New Year’s party, and the last event is a milestone birthday of one of your family members. But this does not happen every year. So, for argument’s sake, let’s assume that you throw an enormous party on average twice a year.
The rest of the time, you host small- to medium-sized gatherings that mainly consist of family and close friends. Thus, for the purposes of our calculation, you generally host no more than twenty people at any given time. And, you generally entertain every second weekend throughout the year, but every weekend during the summer holiday.
Thus, you entertain 20 guests every second weekend throughout the year. For, the sake of this case study, let’s assume that the extra entertaining will offset the times that you won’t be able to host parties outdoors during the winter during the summer holiday.
Therefore, if we calculate the total number of guests you entertain throughout a calendar year, it comes to 26 weeks multiplied by twenty guests each of the 26 weeks, plus 100 guests multiplied by the two significant events, New Year and Thanksgiving. This gives you a total of 720 guests in total.
In order to derive the average number of guests per event, the next step is to divide the 720 guests by the total number of parties hosted. In this case, it is 28 events held during a calendar year. This results in an average of 26 guests per event. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that the correct sized grill to purchase is one that allows you to cook meat for an average of 26 guests at any given event.
Installation tips and mistakes to avoid
Now that your outdoor entertainment area’s design and the size of the grill you need to purchase have been decided, the next step to consider is whether to revamp the area yourself, including the installation of your new backyard BBQ grill. Or, whether to hire a professional building contractor to complete the work on your behalf.
As part of this decision-making process, let’s look at several installation tips as well as some of the more common renovation mistakes to avoid.
Hire a licensed architect to help you finalize the outdoor kitchen’s design
Even though you might have decided on a design, there are several design decisions that you might need to consult a specialist architect about. For example, do you need to install a ventilation hood system to protect your proposed overhead structure from spontaneous combustion?
Also, the next question to consider asking is for advice on what materials to use to construct the kitchen or outdoor area around the gas grill. For example, will you use brickwork with granite countertops next to the grill? Or, are you interested in using a natural material like wood? If so, it’s essential to ensure that the wood is coated with a fire-retardant material to reduce the risk of the wood catching fire in the event of an accident.
In essence, several decisions like this need to be made, and it is worth spending a bit extra to ensure that that the job is done correctly. A proper job that lasts for years will increase the Return on Investment (ROI).
Check the bylaws in terms of installing a gas grill
Because the statistics at the beginning of this article demonstrate that nearly two-thirds of all outdoor BBQ grills sold are gas grills, let’s assume that you plan on following the trend and purchase a gas grill yourself.
Depending on the size grill you purchase, and the area you live in, you might need to contract a professional heating expert to install the gas grill, especially if you plan on installing a natural gas line grill. Incidentally, this question can also be answered by a professional architect.
Even if, according to the local bylaws, you do not need to hire a professional to connect that gas to your new grill, it is still worth considering hiring an expert to ensure that there are no gas leaks and that everything is properly installed.
Should you install a custom-made BBQ grill?
This question is quickly answered by looking at your outdoor entertainment area’s design and the ROI of paying extra for a custom-designed grill. And, if money is not an issue, why not spend the extra for a custom design. If you prefer a custom design to a standard, factory manufactured grill, and are prepared to foot the bill, then there is no reason why not to go for this option.
The only caveat here is to ensure that the person or company you contract to build a custom BBQ grill will deliver a quality product. There is nothing more frustrating than designing your outdoor gas grill, having it made up, and having a shoddy product delivered on-site.
Prepare the site
It is vital to ensure that the site where the entertainment area or outdoor kitchen will be installed is adequately prepared. Should you need to dig foundations for the external structures, it is vital to dig foundations the correct depth before starting with the brickwork.
And, it is essential to ensure that the ground where the floor will be laid is either flat or slightly inclined outwards to improve water drainage. You do not want water pooling at the center of your kitchen floor.
Finally, ensure that the ground is compacted to the correct strength before laying the floor to ensure sections do not collapse and form hollows. Not only will this break your floor tiles, but it can end up being a health hazard and dangerous to walk on without tripping and falling.
Succinctly stated, if you take the time to adequately prepare the site instead of taking shortcuts, no matter how innocuous, you will have a solid, enduring foundation on which to build a stunning outdoor entertainment area.
In summary, the quotation mentioned at the outset of this article by Fennel Hudson, provides the raison d’etre for spending the time, effort, and money to install a new backyard BBQ grill. Succinctly stated, it is far better to eat food that is prepared outdoors, especially meat that is cooked on an outdoor grill, rather than on a frying pan on a stove indoors.
Thus, it is vital to draw up professional plans that are reviewed by a licensed architect to ensure that all the bylaws and local codes in terms of gas installations are met. And, that you use fire-retardant materials and install an adequate ventilation system over the gas grill and other appliances should it be necessary.
Finally, it is essential to ensure that your new entertainment area’s site is correctly prepared because it will form the foundation for a fantastic outdoor entertainment area, that will not only be value for money, but it will provide for endless hours of outdoor summer, and winter, fun.