hardscape

How to Assist York, PA, Clients When Choosing Hardscape Materials

How to Assist York, PA, Clients When Choosing Hardscape Materials

Getting your client to express their true wants and needs for their landscape isn’t always easy. Some homeowners have trouble visualizing a finished hardscape, and they rely on you for advice. Here is how to assist York, PA, clients when it comes time to choose hardscape materials.

Protecting Hardscapes with Ice Melt Products During Harrisburg, PA, Winters

Protecting Hardscapes with Ice Melt Products During Harrisburg, PA, Winters

A slick layer of ice coating a driveway or patio is a major hazard. Keeping your clients’ hardscapes free of ice is, therefore, very important during the winter months in Harrisburg, PA. The most common way to get rid of this ice entails the use of ice melt products. Read on to discover the ins and outs of ice melt products - how to pick them and utilize them whilst preserving your client’s driveway, walkway, or patio from their potential harmful effects.

5 Beautiful Fire Pit Designs for a Modern Hardscape in Lancaster, PA

5 Beautiful Fire Pit Designs for a Modern Hardscape in Lancaster, PA

Fire pits maximize the amount of time people spend outdoors in Lancaster, PA, by offering an enticing ensemble of warmth and light. They can also enhance the high-end look of a hardscape when boasting clean-cut contemporary design elements.

How to Help Clients Select Hardscape Materials in York, PA

How to Help Clients Select Hardscape Materials in York, PA

Helping a client pick their favorite hardscape materials is one of the first steps toward building a good relationship during the build. It’s a chance for you to show your knowledge of pavers that will match their style and to steer them toward materials that they are sure to love. In York, PA, use these tips to help make sure the customer will get the landscape they’re imagining.

The Advantages of Using Concrete Wall Units to Build Retaining Walls in Lancaster, PA

 The Advantages of Using Concrete Wall Units to Build Retaining Walls in Lancaster, PA

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to materials for customizing your Lancaster, PA, landscape designs. From sleek concrete blocks and large stone slabs to small, charming natural stone pieces and burnt bricks, there is a vast range of materials at your disposal. However, this can make choosing the right material for a particular feature a little more difficult than if you were presented with more limited options.

A Guide to Maintaining Hardscapes in Winter

Homeowners are increasingly turning their attention to hardscaping — those landscape elements that are made of hard materials such as brick, wood or stone — to transform their outdoor space. For those looking to maximize beauty while minimizing work, extensive hardscaping is an attractive solution. These beautiful and functional walkways, decks and patios don’t need to be mowed in the summer nor be replanted in the spring.

However, while it is true that hardscapes can be considered low maintenance, they are not “no maintenance.” This is especially the case during winter, when harsh weather and freezing temperatures can adversely affect your hardscaping.

Luckily, with just a little bit of effort, you can preserve your outdoor space for years to come.

Preparing and Maintaining Hardscapes for Winter

The key to properly maintaining winter hardscapes is preparing them before the harsh weather actually hits. Consider the mild temperatures of autumn. This is one of the most enjoyable times to do work outside, so what better time to do the majority of the preventative maintenance on your outdoor living spaces?

Here’s what to do:

1. Prep your furniture.

Despite being designed for the outdoors, patio furniture should be your first step when prepping for winter. Because outdoor furniture gets very little use in winter and because it will be exposed to the harsh winter weather, winter is tougher on your furniture than all other seasons combined.

With that in mind, you have one of two options when prepping outdoor furniture for the colder months. Many opt for covering their furniture. Depending on the quality of your outdoor furniture, it may have come with custom sized covers. If so, use them.

If you don’t have custom covers, don’t fret. Generic furniture covers come in a variety of sizes, and unless your furniture is a particularly odd shape or size, you can easily find a cover that will fit snuggly and do the job just as well as a custom one.

If your seating has fabric cushions, you should bring the cushions inside, even if the base of the furniture remains outside. If the fabric can be removed, this would be a great time to launder them as well, as the warmer months can cause mildew to form even if it isn’t visible.

The best way to protect your furniture is to bring it inside so it doesn’t fall victim to the winter weather. If you have an outdoor shed or copious garage or basement space, store your furniture there. But, if you don’t have that space or if your furniture is large, leave it outside and take the steps to protect it so you’ll be able to use it again when the weather warms.

2. Prep your outdoor kitchen.

Most homeowners have at least one classic outdoor cooking appliance — a grill. Outdoor cooking has only increased in popularity, though, and as such, many homeowners have increased the size of their outdoor kitchen to include brick ovens, wet bars and even refrigeration.

Whether you are still working with the basic round charcoal grill or you are firing homemade brick oven pizzas, you should always take care to protect your outdoor kitchen before the first snowfall, especially since the colder weather will likely cause you to do the majority of your cooking inside.

If you have a grill and you have the space to move it inside, by all means, do so. Simply add it to your list of furniture you bring in every fall.

However, whether your grill is too large to bring inside or you are the adventurous type who still likes to light up the charcoal even in sub-zero weather, many people are better off leaving their grill outside year round. If so, just make sure you have a good snug cover that will keep it protected.

If you have a more extensive outdoor kitchen, you also want to make sure to shut down and drain the water lines before they have the chance to freeze. Cover your sinks to ensure they do not collect debris or ice that could cause damage. You’ll also want to disconnect the electricity to any powered outdoor appliances. Finally, give all of your outdoor appliances a thorough cleaning.

Just keep in mind that unlike your sink, you do not want to cover any outdoor appliances that have electric components. A cover will actually cause moisture to collect on the wiring and could potentially damage your equipment.

If you have a stone countertop, make sure you use a specialty winter sealant to prevent unsightly leaf stains or cracking during the winter.

prep your outdoor kitchen for winter
prep your outdoor kitchen for winter

3. Prep your water feature.

Since water freezes in winter, water features require special care during the colder months.

Depending on the size and nature of your water feature, there may be detailed specific steps that will be outlined by their manufacturer. However, there are a number of general rules that any water feature owner should follow, regardless of the size.

Start by removing any tropical plants or fish that are not able to handle freezing temperatures. Follow that with a good cleaning of your water feature. Winter conditions can make the build-up associated with water features much more damaging, so it’s best to make sure your fountain or pond is clean before it freezes.

If you have a feature like a fountain that does not need to run during the winter, shut off and drain the water lines. Also remove the pump so it isn’t damaged by the winter cold. Make sure to do this well before the first freeze so any residual moisture can evaporate first.

However, if you own a pond containing fish that are capable of withstanding the winter, you want to make sure water continues to circulate. Consult the water line and pump manufacturer recommendations to properly maintain the water circulation to keep your fish happy and healthy.

4. Prep your deck.

Regardless of the materials used, winter can be hard on a deck. That’s why the autumn is the best time to do the prep work before winter sets in.

Start by both power washing and sealing your deck. Power washing removes build-up that can be locked into the wood by a winter’s freeze. Sealing gives your deck a layer of protection against the elements. These are also good practices for the spring as well, as the harsh summer rays are equally hard on decks.

You also want to make sure any plants, trees or bushes near your deck are well-trimmed. Mold and moss on plants can easily travel to the wood of your deck, so it is best to leave a 12-inch gap between plants and your deck.

Make sure you have been keeping up with your deck sweeping as well. Just leaving leaves and other debris to sit can wreak havoc on a wood deck, so make sure even the corners have been properly swept.

If you can, also move all your furniture and potted plants off of your deck for the winter. These items can leave stains on the wood and be damaged themselves in the winter months.

prep your deck for winter
prep your deck for winter

5. Prep your potted plants.

Your plants also need to be taken care of and properly prepared for the winter’s freeze. This is especially important if they are plants that do not naturally do well in the freezing temperatures.

If your plants are small enough, bring them inside before the first frost. Not only will this help preserve them, but adding some green to your indoor space is a great way to brighten up the winter — when you are likely going to be spending a lot of time inside. Just make sure if you do bring your plants inside, you are keeping them in a place where they will get enough sun.

If your planters are too large to move inside, you should wrap the plants with an insulating fabric, such as burlap. Not only will this protect the plant by keeping the soil warm, but it will also preserve the planter itself.

6. Tackle those gutters one last time.

While this isn’t directly related to hardscaping, there is one unpleasant home care task that can also benefit your hardscape in winter: cleaning your gutters.

Remember, snow and ice can collect on your roof all winter long. When it melts, you will suddenly have a large amount of water that needs to be guided to its proper place. Also remember that autumn leaves are the most common gutter-clogging materials. A combination of thawing snow and leaf-filled gutters can do a lot of damage to your hardscaping — in addition to your home’s foundation and other portions of your property.

So while cleaning the gutters isn’t fun, it is important, whether you have extensive hardscaping or not.

Ongoing Winter Maintenance

While much of the winterizing work actually takes place before winter sets in, there are things you can do during the winter to ensure your hardscapes and landscapes are weathering the cold well.

First and foremost, if it does snow, consider shoveling your hardscape just as you would your driveway or sidewalks. While you may not be using your outdoor brick patio during the winter, a blanket of snow could still be doing damage to your hardscape just by sitting there.

To avoid damaging your hardscaping materials, you will want to keep in mind that some surfaces can handle the scraping of the shovel while others can’t. If you are going to shovel your patio, use a plastic shovel rather than a metal one, which is more likely to gouge. If you can sweep the snow rather than shovel it, that’s even better.

Also avoid using de-icers such as salt, if possible. These are especially harsh and can leave divots in your surface, cause unsightly discoloration or even cause your pavers to become brittle. If you do need to use a product to make walking on your hardscaping safer during icy conditions, consider using cat litter. This adds grit to reduce slipping without damaging the surface of your hardscape.

If you do have to use ice melt, make sure to clean it up as soon as the winter event is over to prevent it from seeping into your hardscape surface.

ongoing winter maintenance
ongoing winter maintenance

Keep Entertaining All Year Long

What if you plan to keep using your outdoor space rather than closing it up for the winter? If that’s the case, great! You’ll still want to ensure your space stays free of debris, snow and other elements that could damage your hardscape, but you can incorporate features that will provide warmth and comfort even when the temperatures plummet:

  • Fire pit. Many outdoor living spaces these days include a fire pit. They are great for roasting marshmallows or singing campfire songs during the summer, but they can also be used to provide enough heat to enjoy your outdoor space in the winter. Whether your fire pit is portable — generally a metal structure with legs to keep it off the ground — or a permanently installed one, just make sure you have a sufficient fire break surrounding the pit. This is a non-flammable flat surface that surrounds the pit where people can gather but won’t catch fire if a spark or ember lands outside of the pit.
  • Chimenea. A chimenea is a variation on the fire pit, but it’s instead more like an outdoor fire place. Some are made out of clay while others are metal, and they include a chimney. Just keep in mind that while they are more contained than a fire pit, sparks and embers can still escape, so they should also be used with a fire break.
  • Patio heaters. Patio heaters are an easy and energy efficient way to temporarily heat outdoor spaces. They come in a variety of sizes, making it easy to find the perfect heater for the amount of space available and the size of the crowd you are trying to keep warm. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid the risk of fire.

For All Your Future Hardscaping Needs

Here at Watson Supply, we have been meeting the landscaping and hardscaping needs of Central Pennsylvania since 1993. We supply the essential tools and materials from industry leaders to help you transform your outdoor space into the landscape of your dreams.

If you are in need of winterizing supplies, are looking to make a big change in the future or you are just looking to make some small alterations to your hardscape, contact us today.

For all your hardscaping needs
For all your hardscaping needs

Your Comprehensive Guide to Hardscaping

The outdoor elements that surround a residential property are typically divided into two categories: softscapes and hardscapes. Softscapes are the natural elements that spring from the ground, such as grass, trees, flowers, bushes and gardens. Hardscapes consist of all the man–made elements that facilitate human activity, such as walkways, decks, patios, fences, lights, pavilions and fountains. With the proper balance of hardscaped and softscaped elements, a residence can be just as beautiful and comforting on the outside as it is on the inside. Some houses come with well–developed hardscaping, while others could use work in terms of the organization and balance of walkways, seating areas and visual fixtures. As with all types of home improvement, however, hardscaping involves foresight, planning and a significant investment of resources, time and labor. Before you decide upon a hardscaping project, consider both the practical factors, such as how the structure in question might impact the livability of your outer space, and the visual factors, like the finishes and design of your outdoor space.

Hardscaping
Hardscaping

The Benefits of Hardscaping

If you intend to remain at your current property for years to come, the benefits of hardscaping are twofold. First and foremost, hardscaping could greatly enhance the look and functionality of your property. Whether you opt for an all–American backyard look or something more akin to the Japanese garden, your property is sure to come out looking better than ever. As such, the backyard and patio could ultimately be more enjoyable for you, your guests and other members of your household. Curb appeal: A house can have a beautiful design and be equipped with a solid roof, immaculate paint job and cozy interiors, but the property's overall appeal could still be lacking if no care is given to the outside areas. If a house looks depressed to the average passerby due to poor lawn maintenance, it could be hard to move on the resale market. Likewise, a ghostly backyard replete with broken decks, cracked/drained ponds, dilapidated play structures, rotten vegetation and chipped fixtures are a major turnoff to any prospective buyer. Simply put, hardscaping is an essential component of home maintenance, whether you intend to occupy or sell a property. Livability: Hardscaping can also make your outdoor space easier to manage and navigate. For example, if you build a gravel walkway that extends from your backdoor to around your garden and back, your whole entire garden would be easier to access and manage. Likewise, a strategically placed fence will make your yard safer and more secure. Essentially, hardscaping could render your property more livable. In terms of overall livability, hardscaping can improve a residential outdoor space with the following benefits:

  • Increased privacy
  • Essential boundaries
  • Leveled topography
  • Improved shelter
  • Reduced need for bush trimming or lawn mowing

Privacy and security: The privacy that you could gain from adding a fence or replacing any preexisting fencing could come in very useful if you have a hot tub or pool installed in your backyard. Likewise, fences can also serve as boundaries, such as when the play area and garden need to be separated for practical reasons. If you have children or pets in the house, yet also maintain a garden in the backyard, a fence could allow for a playing area while keeping the crops safe from stomping feet or digging canines. Land evenness: On some properties, topographical unevenness is an issue that must be solved for practicality and safety reasons. If there's a sharp slope in your backyard or along the sides of your house, a retaining wall could be erected to prevent soil from sliding down and causing damage in the process. There are different types of retaining walls available, including concrete, gravity and anchor–based walls. Soil slopes, however, can still be a threat if there's no proper drainage because, unlike flat ground, slopes prevent water from sinking straight into the soil. Therefore, a retaining wall must be equipped with a draining mechanism to reduce the risk of a collapse at some point in the future. Shelter: Roof–equipped forms of hardscaping can serve as outdoor shelters, which come in handy during certain weather spells. A gazebo, for example, is a convenient place to go if drizzle starts during a backyard cookout party. Likewise, a tree house could function as a safe haven on hot days when sun rays cover the patio. Reduced lawn maintenance: With increased hardscaping, there's less greenery along the outer space of a house that needs to be maintained. If you consider tasks such as lawn mowing and bush trimming to be burdensome rather than joyous, an increased amount of gravel, structures and fences could make your home a lot more manageable. If your outer space is small to begin with, the addition of a patio or rocky path could reduce the spread of your lawn to a size that might only take minutes to mow on a weekly basis during summer months.

Softscaping
Softscaping

The Principles of Hardscaping Design

Hardscaping generally works in a complementary balance with the softscaping of a given property. This is not to say that the two should be balanced out 50/50, but that each should enhance what is special about the other. Ultimately, the hardscape–to–softscape ratio of your outer space will likely depend on the size of your property. If you live on a large piece of land, softscaping will inevitably account for the majority of your outdoor property, and a rocky trail or miniature pond would thereby serve as an accent to the overall greenery. By contrast, a basic hardscape feature — such as a patio or fountain — could ultimately monopolize your backyard if the property is smaller. Asymmetrical balance: In terms of balance, hardscaping elements don't need to be set up as bookends, but there should be some respect to symmetry in the overall layout. This can be achieved through asymmetry, where elements are arranged with regard to balance, but without the mirror–image constraints that characterize symmetry. A perfect example would be a backyard that features a fountain on the left side and a stone path that curves out from the right of the backdoor. Despite their contrast, the fountain and path could serve as complementary elements that would balance out the hardscaped scheme of the backyard as a whole. Other examples of asymmetrical hardscaping could include the following:

  • A patio bookended with a hot tub to the right and an outdoor fireplace to the left
  • A cobblestone path leading out leftward from the backdoor; a goldfish pond to the right
  • A waterfall along a rocky slope that leads into a stone swimming pool

Focal points: At the heart of every hardscaped scheme lays the focal point: the object that draws the majority of attention from household members and guests. Whereas surrounding hardscape and softscape serves as a backdrop, it's the focal point that not only attracts the most attention, but also tends to standout within the periphery of people's vision. A hardscape focal point tends to be a large, tall and somewhat unique object that contrasts with its surroundings. An example could include any of the following:

Interior/exterior continuity: The purpose behind hardscaping is relatively simple — to provide a sense of unity between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Therefore, the intent is not to overwhelm with contrasting styles between the inside and outside of a home. To the contrary, a hardscape should lift much of its thematic elements from the styles, colors and motifs seen within the rooms and hallways of a corresponding property. Examples of how hardscaping could reflect an interior scheme might include any of the following:

  • Stone panels mirrored between the indoor fireplace and outdoor path, steps and patio
  • Decorative wood panels on the interior walls and outdoor structures
  • Exotic design elements, such as Mediterranean motifs, on the inside and outside
  • Lighting features
  • Color schemes that extend from the interior rooms to the backyard

For utmost unity, a hardscaped design scheme can reflect not just the interior colors and structural elements of a house, but also the style and textures of the indoor furnishings. Outward view correlation: The continuity principle can even be extended to the natural view beyond your property. If you live on the crest of a panoramic view of mountains, hilltops or ocean water, you might consider correlating some of the hardscape elements to the sights that lie within view of your windows and deck. For example, if a mountaintop can be seen far off beyond the valleys and hills behind your house, consider utilizing white and grey stone along the curved walkway that leads outward from your backdoor.

The Materials of Hardscaping

Concrete pavers: While traditional poured in place concrete has long been associated with the dull, urban landscape, homeowners are now embracing interlocking concrete pavers due to their durability and aesthetic appeal. Consisting of flat, pre–hardened concrete pieces, pavers come in a wide variety of sizes and can be installed in a variety of patterns. Unlike traditional concrete slabs, pavers do not weaken under the changing extremes of weather. Thanks to the interlocking capability of a properly installed paver job, the pavers move with the freeze thaw cycle and remain structurally sound for a lifetime. Because of the joints in a concrete paver installation they are not susceptible to the cracks that form on poured sidewalks and patios when the underlying soil softens or redistributes. Furthermore, concrete pavers are capable of enduring quadruple the weight of slabs. When it comes to residential hardscaping, concrete pavers are an optimal choice for the following elements:

  • Patios — Unlike wood, concrete pavers don't need finishing and aren't subject to mold or deterioration over time. Also, they are not subject to cracking like poured concrete. Many finish styles and colors allow for a truly custom patio that will last for the lifetime of the house.
  • Walkways — Whereas stone can be more costly, brick can be uneven and gravel can feel loose and awkward, concrete pavers provide solid, even surfaces under the feet.
  • Pool decks — Concrete pavers are a great option for pool decks. They are salt resistant, slip resistant, and chlorine will not affect their colors. Around pools, the joints will take on moisture and leave the pavement cooler underfoot.
Concrete Pavers
Concrete Pavers

Wood: While concrete lends itself to a strictly modernized look, wood has a timeless quality it owes to its natural origins. As the primary basis to homes throughout the ages, wood has also been one of the principle hardscaping materials in everything from patios to fences. In terms of interior/exterior thematic continuity, wood is one of the most applicable materials for mirroring outdoor fixtures to indoor walls and furnishings. Wood is ideal for numerous hardscape features, including:

  • Decks — Concrete might be stronger, but the spaces between wood bars allow for rain to drain through to the ground underneath, which is vital not only to the state of a patio, but to the sanitation of an out space.
  • Gazebos — A common feature of old country estates, the typically octagonal, pavilion structure of a gazebo is best constructed with wood.
  • Tree houses — Likewise, wood works best for tree houses, which in a sense serve as man–made outgrowths of wood's primary source, the tree trunk.
  • Fences — Yes, the age–old residential necessity is best constructed with the use of wood, whether you opt for a traditional picket fence or something taller, more secure and modern looking.

Brick: Though its popularity has ebbed in recent decades, brick remains a reliable building material that carries over well between interior and exterior elements. A brick hearth to a living room fireplace, for example, can serve as the starting point to a thematic trail that extends out through the backdoor and runs between the lawn and garden. Despite its relatively high cost, brick is a reliable material that can last for years under various weather conditions. Even though cracks can sometimes form along the mortar, those can easily be fixed with some basic maintenance work. Stone: Known as a classier, more sophisticated alternative to concrete and other building materials, stone can give your hardscape an appearance akin to the outdoor spaces of a lavish estate. As with brick, stone can thematically link fixtures between the interior and exterior of a home. The following stone types are among the most popular choices for hardscaping on residential properties:

  • Sandstone — With a range of hues that includes canyon orange, sandy gray and beige, sandstone offers a look that can range from neutral to sedimentary.
  • Limestone — Salty in tone and sandy in texture, limestone can be used for a gravel base to paths and trimmings. As a bonus, the limestone will help neutralize your soil if you live in an area where the rain is acidic.
  • Flagstone — Perhaps the most popular of all hardscape stones, flagstone is usually applied in panels of various size and shape over paths of grout.
  • Quartzite — A light colored stone with a smooth texture, quartzite is ideal for sleek tiles and trimmings.
  • Slate — Much darker than other stone types, slate has a sedimentary appearance that looks especially well in hardscapes with a deep gray or charcoal theme.
Stone
Stone

In today's hardscapes, another option is synthetic pavers. Though lacking the natural qualities of wood or stone, pavers can be colored and textured to approximate the look of various materials, including brick and flagstone. On properties, both large and small, hardscaping is a major undertaking. Whether you opt to do the work yourself or hire a contractor, it is essential that each project be handled with the proper tools and parts. For home improvement projects both in and around Harrisburg, PA, come to Watson Supply for all of your hardscaping supply needs.

Elephant Armor

The World's Most Amazing Cementitious Patch and Overlay Product!

GST International's Elephant Armor™ is designed to limit catastrophic failure no matter what material it is applied over. Due to its ability to micro-fracture and flex over moving surfaces, Elephant Armor™ reduces the potential for structural cracking.  Surfaces include: concrete, asphalt, steel, wood and EPS structural foam.  More importantly, it is the only product on the market that can be applied over existing cracks and limit the propagation of those cracks through the new Elephant Armor™ surface.

Specially engineered as a patch or overlay product that offers tremendous flexural and tensile performance as thin as 1/4".  High ductility, allowing the overlay or patch to ‘FLEX’ without failure

  • 500 times the tensile strain capacity of other cement-based products
  • 10 times the bond strength of other fiber based mortars for superior crack resistance
  • Up to 4,000 psi in 4 hours
  • The unique chemistry of Elephant Armor makes it resistant to UV rays, chemicals and provides an expected life of 100 years
  • Prevents the propagation of existing cracks through the surface
  • Resists de-icing salts, freeze/thaw
  • High abrasion resistance
  • No harmful chemicals, acrylics or epoxies are used
  • Zero slump to flowable is adjusted onsite by controlling the added water.

If you are in interested in more information about Elephant Armor or in purchasing the product, please email us or call us at 717-238-9730.

EasyPro Joint Stabilizer makes short work of finishing a patio, even in the rain!

One of our contractors recently installed a (roughly) 500 square foot patio using Techo-bloc's Blu 60 in the Sandlewood color.  For most contractors, one of the final steps to finish this project would have been the installation of polymeric sand into the joints between the pavers. Problem: it was supposed to rain later in the afternoon on the day that the job was supposed to be finished.  (With regular poly sand you cannot apply it when it is going to rain.)

Solution: EasyPro joint stabilizer by Unilock.  Not only can EasyPro be applied when it is going to rain, but it is actually applied with water!

The whole joint stabilizing process took about 1 hour to finish the 500 sq ft patio.  Here are some pictures from the job:

Blu60 w/ Grey EasyPro1
Blu60 w/ Grey EasyPro1
Blu60 w/ Grey EasyPro2
Blu60 w/ Grey EasyPro2
Blu60 w/ Grey EasyPro3
Blu60 w/ Grey EasyPro3

So don't let a little rain get in the way of finishing your hardscape project! Here is a video showing how easy this product is to use:

What do you think?  Please leave us a comment below.  We have some EasyPro on display at our warehouse, come on in and take a look!  While you're here, you can check out our 2800 sf hardscape display, our multiple water features, and see our selection of landscape lighting fixtures.

Everything You Need to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

It used to be that “outdoor cooking” meant simply throwing your food on a barbecue or fire pit. Thanks to the increase in popularity of outdoor living and especially outdoor cooking over the past decade, there are now many great choices for complete outdoor kitchens. At Watson Supply, we have everything you need to create a custom outdoor kitchen that fits your needs perfectly.

When you’re in your backyard enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, the last thing you want to do is go inside to prepare a meal. It’s no fun to be running in and out of the house, taking care of food preparation away from your guests. Create a functional outdoor kitchen that keeps everyone together and allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space more than ever.

The Right Equipment Makes All the Difference

The key to building an outdoor kitchen is including all of the cooking and food preparation equipment you love. While a traditional barbecue is handy in a pinch, a large, professional-style grille is the way to go for maximum outdoor eating enjoyment. Make a list of all of the different equipment you’d like to install in your outdoor kitchen:

  • Different cooking surfaces, such as grilles, ovens, pizza ovens and burners are available, depending on the type of cooking you like to do. Think about the types of food you like to prepare and plan a cooking centre that lets you explore your inner chef! Select a variety of interchangeable grilles for maximum flexibility.
  • A fireplace can make a great addition to an outdoor kitchen. Many can be used with a grill to warm food or cook things like hotdogs and marshmallows, and a fireplace creates an inviting atmosphere to keep your guests warm in the spring, fall and during cool summer evenings.
  • A sink and running water turns your outdoor cooking space into a real kitchen. When you’re preparing your food outside, it’s a hassle to have to run inside to wash or get water. A well-planned outdoor sink can easily be winterized when the cold weather comes, and reopened in the spring.

Once you know what equipment you want in your outdoor kitchen, you also have to think about how you’re going to build and install it. That’s where our design experts at Watson Supply can really lend a helping hand. We have the experience and product and materials knowledge to help you plan and build the perfect custom kitchen.

We’ll sit down with you and help you select things like your kitchen layout, patio and walkway pavers, electricity, lighting, ventilation and storage to ensure your outdoor kitchen is as convenient and practical as your indoor kitchen. With our experience, we can help you optimize these points:

  • Layout: Just like with like your indoor kitchen, your outdoor kitchen should be arranged in an efficient, easy-to-use pattern. Some customers even like to mimic their indoor kitchen layout so that they feel right at home cooking outside.
  • Pavers: Pavers and walkways can help visually separate your kitchen from the rest of your outdoor living space. This is especially useful if you entertain a lot and want to show off your dedicated outdoor kitchen area or create an adjacent eating area.
  • Lighting: Adequate lighting in your outdoor space, especially in your kitchen area, makes a big difference. When you have the right lighting, it’s as easy as cooking indoors. The easier you can see, the more you’ll be inspired to spend more time outdoors, cooking and entertaining.
  • Ventilation: You might think since you’re outdoors, ventilation won’t be a problem. However, depending on where you install your outdoor kitchen, the grills, cooktops or ovens can direct smoke and odors into your house. Think about placing them so they ventilate away from your home.
  • Storage: There never seems to be enough space to store all of the things we need for our kitchen, inside or out! Integrate storage spaces such as cupboards, drawers, bins and closets so that you have all the space you need in your outdoor kitchen.

Trust Watson Supply with Your Outdoor Kitchen

Our outdoor materials are designed to withstand the wear and tear of your family and the elements, so you can enjoy your high-end outdoor kitchen for years. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning to do a DIY installation or require the help of a contractor. We can help you choose the equipment and materials and even put you in contact with a local contractor with the experience and reputation to take care of your installation.

Our entire team at Watson Supply looks forward to hearing from you and helping you create the ultimate outdoor kitchen. Before you know it, you’ll be grilling your favorite foods to perfection all while enjoying the great outdoors!