There’s no better season than summer to up your grilling game with a new barbecue. For some, it’s as simple as a trip to the local hardware store to upgrade to the newest, biggest, baddest barbecue model they can wheel to their truck– easy enough project for the casual user. But then there are those who take their commitment to grilling greatness to the next level, dreaming of their own monument to the pinnacle of patio entertaining. For these barbecue enthusiasts, only the built in grill and its ever growing range of custom options and add-ons will do. If you count yourself among this grill savvy elite, here’s our take on how to get the most out of adding a built in grill to your outdoor space.
Consider the Setting
Much like raising a pergola, pouring a new patio footprint, or adding a water feature, a built in grill adds immediate impact to a backyard space. As such, finding the right placement to fit and accent your backyard’s natural flow is important. Will the structure block or compliment your carefully designed landscaping? Is it close enough to your entertaining area for easy serving, but far enough away to avoid smoking out your guests? Even simple considerations like the direction of the setting sun’s glare have huge ramifications for your grill’s final placement. Much like a living room’s hearth, your built in grill will be central to tying together your outdoor space’s aesthetic.
With the wide range of possibilities a built in grill offers, it’s easy to get carried away with an endless wish list of features, add-ons, and modifications. While it’s fun to dream big, it’s also helpful to whittle down a core set of must have features before breaking ground on your project. As impressive (and delicious) as stone fired pizzas are, how often would you really use that outdoor oven added to your built in? Would a integrated wine refrigerator or kegerator be the best ROI for your entertaining needs? Do you have the time and patience to invest in tending to a smoker for ten hours before your party? Sometimes practical considerations like room for refrigeration, food prep space, and accessory storage can help prioritize your dream grill goals.
DIY or Professional Installation
While there are a number of simple and elegant designs for a built in grill that are DIY friendly, if you’re imagining a project that involves rerouting gas lines, electrical work, and connecting with existing architecture, you will almost definitely need a permit. As such, it never hurts to have the expertise of a professional to help bring your design to fruition and keep your grill in compliance with safety and zoning standards. They can also help integrate your grill into settings you otherwise might not have been able to, like centralized in a covered patio area or seamlessly against a structure wall, by adding plans for a vent hood and proper air circulation.
As with any home improvement project, always build with an eye to increasing the overall value of your property. Weigh your built in grill options as a long term investment with the most universal appeal in mind, and for years to come, you can look at your summer project as a decision that was well done.