Winter often puts an end to your gardening and landscaping tasks. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning for new improvements in spring. For most homeowners, making their outdoor living space a more inviting place is a great place to start. While adding a patio can help add to the space, nothing makes your yard more functional and fun like an outdoor kitchen. Before you start planning out a design, there are a few things your Denver sprinkler installation and repair pros want you to know to reduce the risk of damage to your landscaping. Here are a few of the most important things to think about when creating your designs this winter.
Think About Your Landscaping
Outdoor kitchens are a wonderful way to increase the usability of your yard, but they can take a toll on your existing landscaping. Depending on the footprint of your kitchen, you may need to remove garden beds, take out established plants, and even reroute your irrigation system. This is all doable, but it can make your project more expensive.
Ideally, you’ll be able to create a design that works around your existing landscaping without sacrificing the amenities and features you need in your outdoor kitchen. Think about how the garden beds and plants can add to your design instead of removing them. This can make the design feel more integrated into your yard instead of making it look like a haphazard addition.
Consider Your Sprinkler System
Your sprinkler system was laid out and designed to work with your landscaping as it is. Adding any large feature, like an outdoor kitchen, can change how your irrigation system needs to work. When picking the ideal location and size for your design, you’ll want to look at where the sprinkler heads are placed.
If there are heads right where you plan on laying the foundation for your outdoor patio and kitchen, you’ll want to have them moved by a professional. If the weather is mild enough during the winter, your sprinkler installation team may be able to take care of the project. However, if you’re worried about disturbing your soil during winter or aren’t completely sure about where the kitchen will go, wait until spring. Keep in mind, you’ll need to take care of the irrigations system before any work can begin.
Understand What Types of Prep Work Needs to Be Done
Moving sprinkler heads is only one part of the preparation process. You may need to bring additional dirt in to fill holes and keep the foundation level. Once the ground is built back up, you’ll need to level the dirt thoroughly. You’ll also need to make plans to have gas lines run for the appliances and could need additional electrical connections installed to provide power to the space.
Create a checklist of things you need to accomplish before the kitchen can be installed. This will help you stay on track and keep your project from running well into summer. After all, you’ll want that kitchen and outdoor living area to entertain friends and family once the weather warms up!
Pick the Right Appliances
Every outdoor living space is unique and that means you get to choose the types of appliances
you install. For most people, a built-in grill and outdoor sink are absolute musts. But the only limit is your imagination (and maybe your budget).
If you want to create a full outdoor living area, consider incorporating a firepit into the design. If you’re building a gas grill area, you can install gas lines to power a fireplace at the same time. If you want to have cold drinks on hand at all times, a mini-fridge is a no-brainer. Best of all, you’ll be able to keep your food at safe temperatures without having to run back and forth between your guests and your indoor kitchen.
Don’t Neglect Outdoor Lighting
Lighting is one of the most important components of any outdoor living space, but it’s also the most neglected. When thinking about your design, start considering your lighting options. You’ll want to install task lighting around the food preparation areas. If you’re also building an outdoor seating area, you’ll want to include lighting for that space.
If you don’t have landscape lighting installed already, you may also want to install features throughout your yard. If you’re entertaining outdoors, your backyard will be noticed by more people. Why not highlight the landscaping elements you love? This can help accentuate the impact of your existing landscaping and make the yard appear more unified after the outdoor kitchen is complete.
Focus on Seating
Seating is just as important as the kitchen space, especially if you’re planning on entertaining guests. But with seating, you have several options. You can choose freestanding and movable seating options or incorporate built-in seating into the design of your outdoor kitchen.
When choosing movable seating, make sure the furniture is rated for outdoor use. Bringing indoor furniture outside is a recipe for mold, mildew, and damage. Outdoor furniture, on the other hand, is made to withstand the elements and stay in good condition even when exposed to rain, snow, and ice.
If you’re installing built-in seating, make sure the seating platform is deep enough to be comfortable. The last thing you want is to feel like you’re perching on a wall. Additionally, make sure there’s room to install cushions. Asking anyone to sit on solid stone or hardwood for more than a few minutes can quickly ruin their enjoyment of your outdoor living area.
Designing an outdoor kitchen and living space is the perfect way to keep your mind focused on your yard during the winter. Come spring, you’ll have everything you need to gather estimates, find an experienced contractor, and get the project finished in time for all those summer barbecues.
Once you’re ready to start the prep work process, schedule a consultation
with Water Solutions Sprinkler Service. We’ll take care of your sprinkler placement and make sure your yard is properly hydrated no matter where you decide to build your outdoor kitchen.