7 Fall Outdoor Living Ideas To Extend Your Patio Season

Fall Outdoor Living Ideas

As the days of autumn whiz past, there is more urgency to squeeze in just a little more fall outdoor living time on our decks and patios.

It won’t be long before the snow and frigid temperatures make the backyard a recreational no-go zone until next spring.

The enjoyment of spending time in the backyard doesn’t have to come to an end so early into the fall, however.

How to improve your fall outdoor living experience

By making some forward-thinking decisions for an outdoor living space’s design, you can maximize its functionality for use virtually year-round. And by adding some simple fresh design elements, an outdoor living area can be made to feel cozier.

Backyard get-togethers with the family and friends can continue well into the autumn season. Use your outdoor living space as a spot to take a break from doing your fall chores like raking the leaves. Or just curl up beneath a blanket beside the warmth of a fire pit on a crisp fall day with a hot drink and a good book.

If you enjoy the bounty of autumn’s magnificent sights and smells and are looking for ways to extend your patio season, there are plenty of ways to revamp your outdoor living area.

Here are seven tips to improve your fall outdoor living experience.

1. Turn up the heat

An absolute essential to make your fall outdoor living experience more comfortable is a good heating source. When it’s chilly, nothing boosts the cozy feel of a space like adding some warmth to the area, especially if it’s generated by real flames.

Popular product choices to warm up an outdoor living area are fire pits (which also come in table and bowl designs), outdoor fireplaces, chimineas, propane patio heaters, and electrical heating appliances like infrared heaters.

There are numerous advantages of using propane or natural gas to fuel an outdoor fire source instead of wood:

  • propane and natural gas burn much cleaner than wood
  • there‘s no cleanup or maintenance required
  • starting and extinguishing gas-powered fires is instantaneous
  • both gases are cheaper to use than wood
  • there’s no annoying smoke to deal with

You’ll naturally want to locate any heating sources as close to your seating and dining areas as possible.

A high-quality fire pit/table/bowl becomes the centrepiece of an outdoor room. It doesn’t only have a magnet-like effect on everyone because of the heat it provides, they also add ambiance, a sophisticated touch, and visual appeal to an outdoor living space.

Before buying a heating product for your backyard, be sure to check on what your local laws allow for operating open fires. For example, the city of Toronto doesn’t allow residents to operate backyard fires that are fuelled by wood.

fire pit in outdoor living space

A heating source like a fire pit is essential for maximum comfort when using an outdoor living space in the fall.

2. Enjoy fall outdoor entertainment

An outdoor room with the right design can be used to bring the indoors outside and add another dimension to a home’s living space.

When coupled with a reliable heating source to help keep you warm and toasty, an outdoor living room can be used for longer into the year as an entertainment space.

The fall is prime time for North America’s four major professional sports. The NHL and NBA seasons get underway, the NFL is in full swing, and Major League Baseball offers up the excitement of September pennant races and October playoffs.

Why not enjoy your favourite fall sporting events or a family movie night with your friends and family in the comfort of your backyard? An exterior entertainment space with an outdoor TV, a great audio system, and high-quality furniture creates a comfortable extension of your living space.

To boost your comfort level, consider adding thermal outdoor curtains, which can usually be attached fairly easily to an outdoor living area’s overhead covering. They’ll help keep an outdoor living space’s heat in and are useful year-round for privacy, bug control, and blocking out the sun and wind. If you’re using a propane patio heater, just be sure the area has enough ventilation.

3. Keep your outdoor kitchen open longer

There’s no substitute for the unique, savoury taste of food grilled over a flame. It’s not difficult to set up an outdoor kitchen so it can be used well into the fall and beyond. A grilled meal during the winter is a welcome menu option that helps to alleviate those February blahs (use these winter grilling tips).

Any outdoor kitchen needs a good grill, so don’t cut corners when it comes to buying the most essential appliance in an outdoor cooking space.

Invest in a premium grill that provides a headache-free cooking experience. High-quality grills are more reliable and will:

  • start up every time
  • hold steady cooking temperatures
  • cook food more quickly and efficiently than cheap grills
  • allow you to grill foods at different temperatures with variable heating zones
  • offer convenient features like smart tech and under-hood grill task lighting

The damper, colder weather of fall is a good reminder that your outdoor kitchen cabinet and countertop materials need to be of the highest quality to endure through Canada’s ever-changing weather.

Outeriors offers a wide selection of distinctive outdoor kitchen countertops and cabinets in a variety of attractive materials, styles, and colours.

To feel cozier while spending time in your backyard on chillier fall days, set up a hot beverage station in your outdoor kitchen. Beverages like hot apple cider, hot chocolate, wassail, and pumpkin spice latte are perfect for autumn and will warm you up as you extend your fall outdoor living time.

outdoor kitchen and dining area

Design your outdoor kitchen so it’s available for convenient year-round use.

4. Use high-quality outdoor furniture

An outdoor living room’s furniture is another element where investing in higher-quality products will serve you better in the long run.

Winter may be the harshest season of the year, but the fall and spring’s unpredictable weather and constantly fluctuating temperatures will take a toll on outdoor furniture, too, especially cheap furniture.

Spend a little extra to buy high-quality outdoor furniture that has everything you look for when buying indoor furniture, including comfort, visual appeal, and durability. The latter characteristic is a little more important with outdoor furniture, of course.

Prioritize buying outdoor furniture made with weather-resistant materials that will reduce the likelihood of the furniture rusting, developing mould, fading, and warping. These outdoor furniture materials are considered the most durable:

  • powder-coated steel and aluminum
  • wrought iron with a weather-resistant finish
  • hardwoods such as teak, white oak, and eucalyptus
  • polyresin wicker

Weather-resistant cushions are another essential for outdoor furniture. No one likes to sit on a hard surface at any time of the year and especially not when the weather is cooler. Metal furniture materials like wrought iron can feel ice-cold on a chilly day and cushions act as a welcome buffer.

To extend the life of your outdoor furniture, keep them in a covered space to protect them from the elements and cover the furniture pieces up whenever possible.

5. Upgrade your exterior lighting

As the days get shorter, the lights come on earlier. That makes having good lighting extra important for an outdoor living space that will be used during the fall.

Lighting that is dim and harsh can singlehandedly neutralize any of your efforts to make a deck or patio area feel cozier in the autumn with heating and some decorative upgrades. The look and feel of a space is hugely impacted by lighting and simply using more bulbs to brighten an area isn’t a good strategy.

Incandescent and halogen lighting is considered outdated. Even relying solely on LEDs, today’s preferred exterior lighting choice, isn’t enough since there are a variety of bulb styles and colours that produce different results. Lighting also needs to be strategically located.

Consulting with a professional who can help with your outdoor living area’s lighting is a good idea. They’ll know how to achieve the best results so everything is well-lit for functionality and safety. A pro will also know how to effectively highlight the best parts of an outdoor living space and its surrounding landscaping.

-patio and landscape lighting for both functionality and to highlight your outdoor living space and make it feel more inviting and cozy.

6. Gimme shelter

Another of the essential fall outdoor living ideas to consider is adding an overhead covering for more comfort. A roof extension, covered pergola, gazebo, pavilion, or large awning are the most common solutions for covering an outdoor living space.

An outdoor living space should ideally have some sort of overhead covering to provide protection from the sun and rain during the summer. This is even more important in the fall when the combination of cool temperatures and rain is enough to drive everyone inside.

An overhead covering also prevents snow from covering your outdoor kitchen and living room area. That extends the life of your outdoor living products and allows you to continue using the grill year-round. When the weather won’t cooperate with your cooking plans, you won’t need to get out an umbrella or snow shovel before you fire up the grill.

outdoor living room

Lousy weather won’t limit the functionality of an outdoor living area if it’s got overhead covering.

7. Add cozy fall touches

Cool temperatures make it harder to feel cozy in a space. Along with heating your patio area, add some decorative touches that incorporate fall-themed decor elements to infuse the outdoor living space with a cozier vibe.

It doesn’t take much effort to quickly change the look and feel of a room by getting creative with the décor. This can be done several ways:

  • switching out furniture cushions
  • adding texture and softness to the space with outdoor area rugs, throw pillows, and blankets
  • using fall-inspired colours on your furnishings to set a festive mood
  • adding seasonal accents like a table centrepiece and foliage garland
  • light fall-themed candles to enhance the mood

Upgrade your fall outdoor living experience

There’s no reason any outdoor living space shouldn’t be enjoyed late into the fall, even in Canada!

All of the fall outdoor living ideas we’ve covered aren’t just practical in the autumn – they provide the same comfort benefits for the chillier days in spring when you’re itching to get outdoors after another long winter.

Outeriors provides the total package outdoor living remodel experience. Schedule a free consultation with us to get started on the design for your custom outdoor living space.

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7 Benefits of Grilling That Make Us Love Cooking Outdoors

benefits of grilling hero

Grilling is a beloved part of Canadian summers. Cooking and dining outdoors are responsible for some of our most memorable summer experiences.

Any opportunity to get outside and enjoy the precious few months of warm weather we get is an opportunity worth taking. And if enjoying the best weather of the year can be combined with the many benefits of grilling, it’s a win-win.

There’s something about the combination of the outdoors, cold beverages, a hot grill, and good company that never gets old. As chef, restaurateur, and TV personality Bobby Flay says, “Grilling means good times, good friends, and hopefully, great food.”

Being able to grill and eat outdoors provided us with a welcome escape from the inside of our homes during the pandemic and gave us a brief sense of normalcy, even if it was a short trip to the backyard.

10 interesting grilling facts and stats

Before we get into the benefits of grilling, let’s take a look at some revealing facts and stats that show how we use our grills.

  1. 66% of Canadians own an outdoor grill. 
  2. The most popular foods to grill for Canadians are (in order): steak, hamburgers, ribs, sausages and hot dogs, vegetables, fish and seafood, and chicken.
  3. The top reasons given for why people use their grill: flavour (72%), lifestyle (52%), entertainment (40%), convenience (33%), and health (18%).
  4. 22% of Canadian grill owners use the appliance 4-6 times per week during the summer. 27% of Ontarians use their grill that frequently.
  5. 56% of men say they grill year-round, compared to 45% of women.
  6. Corn is the most popular grilled side dish for Canadians, followed by potatoes.
  7. 7% of surveyed Canadians said they cook all of their meals in the summer on the grill. Conversely, 9% of people who own grills never use them.
  8. During the summer, 65% of grill owners clean the appliance after every use. 32% only clean it “a few times”, and 3% never clean their grill (yuck!).
  9. 67% of men surveyed said they were their family’s primary griller. 18% of the women surveyed stated that they were most likely to be in charge of grilling duties in their home.
  10. The most popular day of the year for Canadians to grill is on Canada Day.

*Data taken from surveys, polls, and studies conducted by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, Research Co., Michigan State University, and Applegate. 

man grilling

Two thirds of Canadians own an outdoor grill.

7 benefits of grilling everyone should know

“I profoundly believe that the power of food has a primal place in our homes, that binds us to the best bits of life.” – Jamie Oliver

We couldn’t agree more with the cooking guru. Grilling plays a big role in this concept, which is one of many reasons so many of us enjoy firing up the barbecue so often.

As for that mysterious 9% of grill owners who say they never touch their appliance, all we can say is that it’s their loss!

You’re likely familiar with some of the benefits of grilling. However, you might not know why, for example, food cooked over a flame tastes better compared to other cooking methods. We’ll explain why.

Almost no one (except about 9% of people who own grills, apparently) needs much coaxing to fire up their grills more. When you find out more about the benefits of grilling, however, your chef’s apron will become a staple of your summer wardrobe.

1. Grilling is a healthier way to cook

The world-renowned Mayo Clinic says in this article, “Healthy cooking doesn’t mean that you have to become a gourmet chef or invest in expensive cookware. You can use basic cooking techniques to prepare food in healthy ways.”

The most effective ways to cook healthier food include:

  • grilling
  • boiling
  • steaming
  • baking
  • stir-frying

One of the biggest benefits of grilling is that cooking meat on grates causes a lot of the excess fat to melt and drip off instead of being reabsorbed into the meat, as it would in a pan. The cooked meats still retain their juiciness and all of that extra burned-off fat never enters your body.

Grilling over flames and using high cooking temperatures also reduces the amount of time required to cook food. That helps meats retain important nutrients like thiamine and riboflavin.

The benefits of grilling also extend to another food group – vegetables. Shorter cooking times by grilling helps veggies retain more of their vitamins and minerals, as well as their flavour, colour, and texture.

While traditional vegetable cooking methods like boiling and steaming are relatively healthy, more of the food’s nutrients and some of their flavour get left behind in the water they’ve been cooked in.

Another reason it’s easier to lower your calorie intake by grilling your food is you don’t need to cook as much with butter and oils.

There are a few more things you can do to eat healthier when grilling:

  • spend a little extra to buy organic meats
  • cook leaner cuts of meat like sirloin steak, chicken, pork tenderloin, and extra lean ground beef
  • trim as much visible fat and skin from your meats before grilling them
  • make your own healthier sauces and marinades instead of using store-bought grilling condiments, which are loaded with sugar
grilling chicken and veggies

How fortuitous that the very process of grilling over a grate and allowing fat to drip off results in healthier, tastier meat dishes.

2. You can’t beat the taste of grilled food

“Grilling is the best way to cook, bar none. There is no other cooking technique that gives you this much flavour for your effort.” – Elizabeth Karmel (chef, author, and all-around grilling expert)

This quote highlights another of the main benefits of grilling – it doesn’t require any extra work to produce delicious tasting food. The unique flavour that only comes from grilling is simply inherent to the cooking process.

Why is that the taste of a burger cooked in an oven or on an electric grill inside can’t compare to the taste of a burger cooked on an outdoor grill, though?

A George Foreman electric grill isn’t in the same league as even the cheapest outdoor grill when it comes to the taste test for a few scientific reasons. Here’s a simplified breakdown of “the science of grilling”. It involves three main factors.

Smoke

Most people think the distinct flavour from grilled meats comes from the smoke generated while cooking, but it’s only one part of the equation.

This smoke is created when dripping fat hits the hot briquettes and burner in a gas or propane grill, or charcoal briquettes in a charcoal grill. Other methods can be used to generate smoke while grilling, such as cooking with flavoured wood chunks and chips, as well as smoking pellets.

Smoke functions essentially like a cooking ingredient. As the food absorbs the smoke, new flavours develop to produce that smoky taste.

The Maillard reaction

What do toast, coffee, and grilled meat all have in common? They all derive part of their taste from something called the Maillard reaction. It’s a reaction that occurs when you cook with temperatures in the 280 to 300°F range (138 to 149°C).

Food with amino acids react with the sugar molecules and break down to produce new flavour molecules. This process occurs on the surface of the food and produces that charred brown crust that enhances its taste so much.

Caramelization

A chemical reaction called caramelization plays another role in how grilled meat tastes. Once again, cooking with high heat activates the sugar molecules in food to bring out a sweeter taste.

Caramelization is very similar to the Maillard reaction, except it occurs in foods without protein. Meat has protein, so the caramelization process occurs with the foods you use to cook your meat with, such as sauces, marinades, and rubs.

Grill marks look nice, but don’t add flavour

Since we’re discussing where grilled foods get some of their flavours from, let’s briefly talk about grill marks. Grill marks don’t add flavour to food, despite the prevailing myth that’s out there.

Most people prefer the taste of grilled meat more than meat that is cooked with other methods. The association of seeing meat with grill marks has a powerful effect on us because we instantly make the association the food will taste better.

The association we make is so strong that food manufacturers and fast food chains have capitalized on this by adding artificial grill marks to some of their food products.

I’ve been fooled by this visual trickery for years. It’s only by researching this article that I’ve come to realize that most of the grill marks on the frozen and fast food I’ve bought over the years were nothing more than fake and superficial branding. How disappointing.

steak and vegetables on flaming grill

“The science of grilling” tells us why grilled food has such a distinct, flavourful taste. (Photo by Mustafa Türkeri from Pexels)

3. Grilling gets you outside

“The key to good grilling is to recognize that you are setting yourself up to cook in a whole new environment. This is actually one of the main purposes of grilling – to get yourself outside.” – Barton Seaver (chef, author, and seafood expert)

Canadians don’t need much of an excuse to get outside during the summer. As long as the temperature is at least 15°C, less than 40°C, and it’s not raining cats and dogs, most of us are good to go for some outdoor time.

Another of the big benefits of grilling is that it gets you outside and one of the benefits of being outside is that your body gets vitamin D naturally from the sun. Vitamin D helps the body absorb minerals we get from food like phosphate and calcium, which keep our bones and muscles healthy.

You might be surprised to learn that the quality of air inside most homes is worse than the air quality in most outdoor settings. Spending more time outside is good for our health in the following ways:

  • fresh air has fewer pollutants than indoor air, which boosts the cleansing function of the lungs
  • your body gets more energy from being outside
  • fresh air improves our mood
  • fresh air improves your ability to focus
  • our cells get more oxygen when we’re outside, which helps us digest food better and heal faster
outdoor cooking and dining area

Getting outside more for activities like grilling is good for your health in multiple ways.

4. Grilling outdoors is more convenient

One reason we love grilling so much is that it’s the most convenient way to cook next to using the microwave.

This is the case, at least, if you have a much easier to use gas or propane grill instead of a charcoal grill. Charcoal grills are comparatively harder to light and can take 30-45 minutes before they’re ready to use. Gas and propane grills are ready to cook on in about 10-15 minutes.

The food prep times may be the same as when we cook inside, but it’s the faster cooking times that is the real difference-maker with grills.

Cooking a meal outside when the weather is hot also doesn’t add heat to your interior living space. Even if you have air conditioning, the appliance will have to work harder to keep the house cooler when the oven is running.

One more of the benefits of grilling we love is that cooking right on the grates means there are fewer pots and pans to wash up.

5. Grilling is a great way to socialize

“Grilling takes the formality out of entertaining. Everyone wants to get involved.  I love the culture of grilling. It creates an atmosphere that is festive but casual.” – Bobby Flay

When we celebrate special occasions and holidays during the summer like Canada Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Labour Day, it’s often outside with the grill fired up.

Compared to other cooking methods, grilling is more sociable. At a backyard gathering, people tend to gravitate around the cooking area, which gives anyone operating the grill an opportunity to socialize with their guests. This makes grilling ideal for entertaining at home.

Barbecuing appeals to all of our senses (with the exception of touch), so it’s not surprising that the grill becomes a spot where people congregate. Everyone loves the smell of grilling food, which is accompanied by the sizzling sounds of dripping grease and the satisfying “plop” a juicy burger or steak makes when it’s flipped over.

There’s also the sight of the grill’s flames, the billowing smoke, and the mouth-watering sight of food you can’t wait to devour. And finally, there’s the all-important moment when we finally get to savour the delicious taste of freshly grilled food.

The combination of all of these things ends up making grilling feel a lot less like tedious work, especially if you’re cooking for a large group of people.

people watching man grilling

Grilling appeals to four of the five senses we have, which is why the cooking area tends to become the area people gravitate to at a backyard gathering.

6. You can grill almost anything

Grilling is one of the most versatile cooking methods because almost anything can be cooked on a grill – and we mean anything.

Adventurous and resourceful cooks know that barbecuing staples like meat, seafood, potatoes, and vegetables are a tiny fraction of what you can cook on a grill.

To get you thinking outside the box with your summer menu options, here are some ideas for unconventional things to cook on the grill that will surprise you:

  • bread
  • fruit (pineapple, peaches, and watermelon are particularly tasty)
  • pizza
  • quesadillas
  • rice (try this recipe)
  • eggs and bacon

7. Anyone can cook on a grill

One of the many things that makes grilling so great is that virtually anyone can do it. Cooking on a barbecue is so user-friendly that even someone who is a lost cause around a stove can create delicious grilled foods.

Anyone can toss a stack of burgers or steaks on the grill and all they have to do is make sure the meat isn’t undercooked or too well done (unless the person eating it wants it cooked that way).

Sure, an otherwise bad cook may have a limited repertoire of menu items, but they’re still cooking, right?

Naturally, grilling with high-quality meats and using condiments and spices will produce better results, but that’s fairly easy to do. And if someone isn’t into doing prep work like making their own burgers, there are many great buying options for pre-made burgers at butcher shops or high-quality frozen burger products in food stores.

After a while, any grilling newbie can spread their wings a little. There are an endless amount of burger recipes online worth trying that are well within the skill range of an amateur griller. A cooking novice can even produce tasty results with easy gourmet burger recipes for something like blue cheese burgers (not to be confused with blue cheeseburgers, which you probably shouldn’t eat).

black outdoor grill

Anyone can create delicious dishes on a grill with minimal effort, even if they have no cooking skills whatsoever.

Enjoy the benefits of grilling in the perfect outdoor kitchen

These are just some of the many benefits of grilling.

Is your outdoor cooking space doing all it can to allow you to savour the taste of outdoor grilling as much as you’d like?

Make a great investment in your home, health, and happiness by transforming your backyard into the perfect outdoor kitchen and living space.

Outeriors can handle your complete outdoor kitchen design and installation. We carry the highest-quality grills, countertops, cabinetry, appliances, and fire pits to give your family everything they need to enjoy your backyard more.

Get your project started by scheduling a free design consultation with us.

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Pandemic DIY Projects: The Risk and Reward Of Going It Alone

pandemic DIY projects hero

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

The home improvement industry is booming as many homeowners turned to pandemic DIY projects to improve their living spaces during 2020 and 2021.

Both home improvement retailers and home contractors have been doing robust business. This has happened during an unprecedented time of struggle in most sectors of the economy.

It makes a lot of sense. Locked-down homeowners had more time than ever before to really take a look around the houses and condos they were confined to. Clearly, a lot of us saw room for improvement in our homes and chose to take action.

The most popular pandemic DIY projects

Pandemic DIY projects ranging from the small (like staining a deck) to the large (such as a flooring renovation) were started. Considering the unpredictable nature of DIYs, we’d hazard a guess that not all of them were finished.

It wasn’t only home building and repair projects we took on to improve our living spaces. Some of us kept the power tools on the shelf and took the time to finally clean up those clutter hotspots in the home, such as the garage, basement, or our closets. Every little bit helps, right?

The reno projects that are routinely popular with homeowners (like interior painting and kitchen and bathroom remodels) continued to get a lot of attention. A number of the other projects that rank high on our home improvement to-do lists reflect the unique times we’re living in:

  • home offices
  • home gyms
  • outdoor living spaces
  • home entertainment rooms
  • mudrooms
  • landscaping
using tape measure while doing DIY project

Lots of free time, boredom and restlessness, extra savings, and the opportunity to learn a new skill translated into a home improvement boom. (Photo by Los Muertos Crew from Pexels)

9 reasons pandemic DIY projects are so popular

The reasons behind the surge in DIY projects are both obvious and a little less apparent. Here are nine reasons we have invested so much time in refreshing our homes during the pandemic:

1. We finally have time to tend to our homes: it took a global pandemic for many of us to find the free time to dust off that home to-do list and finally get around to completing some of the tasks on it.

2. We need to nurture our mental well-being: being stuck at home 24/7 and cut off from our social lives (aside from socializing virtually) took a toll on our mental health. The opportunity to be productive by tackling a building project or pursuing creative outlets like crafting or learning an instrument helped us tend to our mental well-being.

3. Canadians saved more money: Statistics Canada reports that Canadians saved an average of $5,574 in 2020, compared to just $479 in 2019. It stands to reason, then, that if the average Canadian had over $5,000 more in their bank account than usual, the average number of home renos done would be significantly higher, too.

4. Sheer boredom and restlessness: everyone who experienced cabin fever during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 can relate to people looking for anything to do to keep themselves busy. Doing the “Netflix and chill” thing day after day only goes so far before it starts to feel old. As boredom and restlessness set in, working on one of those long-delayed DIY project ideas might have become the highlight of your day!

5. We got a new perspective on things: having so much at-home time made us view our living spaces with a completely different perspective and make some changes to better suit our lifestyle. Our eyes were opened to upgrade opportunities we perhaps wouldn’t have considered because of the busy nature of our lives during “normal times”.

reasons for starting pandemic diy projects

44% of the 1,500 Canadians surveyed have invested in home renovations or plan to do so during the pandemic. These are the top reasons given for improving their homes. (Infographic from Abacus Data)

6. Cost-effectiveness: not everybody’s bank account was flush with extra cash, so naturally anyone wanting to save a few bucks on a home upgrade or two was willing to use their free time to handle their own projects.

7. The chance to learn a new skill or hobby: home improvement enriches our lives and so does self-improvement. One of the silver linings of having all this “you time” is that we’ve been able to take on new hobbies and develop new skills that might have otherwise remained unfulfilled aspirations.

8. Add value to our homes: one of the main incentives for starting a DIY project anytime is to increase the value of your home. The pricey GTA real estate market right now, which is being driven by low inventory, record-high demand, and low interest rates, makes upgrading your current home more attractive than moving.

9. Home renovation tax credits: some provinces offered tax credits that anyone who had done work on their home might be eligible for. Saskatchewan, for example, allowed homeowners to claim up to $11,000 for renovation work done during 2020 and 2021. Here in Ontario, the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit allowed seniors or anyone with senior relatives living with them to claim 25% of up to $10,000 for work done to make a home more accessible and safe for seniors.

Pandemic DIY projects give us a sense of purpose

That second point above about nurturing our mental well-being warrants some further examination, considering how rough 2020 and 2021 has been on our mental health.

When anyone who experienced the pandemic is asked in the future about the feelings they experienced during this period of time, words like “stressed”, “fearful”, “disoriented”, and “helpless” will be used. Pandemic DIY projects have helped function as somewhat of a coping mechanism for many of us. They give us a sense of purpose and some structure in a daily routine that has been completely upended.

So many things during the pandemic were out of our control. Home building projects let us focus our energy into something positive we could control – building new things, making repairs around the house, and getting organized.

That let us feel more in control and productive, as we worked our way through those home to-do lists and satisfyingly checked things off them.

Medical experts believe there are psychological benefits to learning new skills and staying productive during trying times. Keeping busy with a creative and physical activity like a pandemic DIY project can help reduce feelings of depressions and anxiety.

DIY floor project

Keeping busy during difficult times by learning a new skill or having a creative outlet is good for our mental health.

It’s no surprise backyard upgrades were popular

Backyards have gotten a lot of DIY love during the pandemic. That makes a lot of sense, considering we couldn’t travel anywhere internationally, nationally, or even locally most of the time, for that matter.

Outside of taking socially distanced excursions to a local park or going out for a walk or jog, a staycation in the backyard was just about the only option we had to enjoy ourselves outdoors while the weather was nice.

Extending the home’s living space to the backyard to get some fresh air and sunshine took on a variety of forms. The most popular backyard renovation projects include adding or updating:

  • pools
  • outdoor kitchens
  • outdoor living rooms
  • decks
  • patios
  • landscaping

A HomeAdvisor survey found that 27% of homeowners shifted their spending to upgrade their outdoor living areas and some of them left their backyard projects to the pros.

Basil Larkin, the vice president of sales for premium grill maker Hestan, told Forbes at the end of 2020, “Our summer orders have increased by 80% compared to what they have been historically. Moreover, we have maintained this throughout the remainder of the year to date, even after the traditional grilling season has concluded in many parts of the nation.”

As the article says, “New outdoor kitchens add a new and enticing dimension to the home.”

Shifting needs led to homeowners investing more in projects that upgraded kitchens, home offices, home entertainment areas, and outdoor living spaces. (Infographic from HomeAdvisor)

4 drawbacks of DIYing home projects

Although there are lots of benefits to taking care of your own home building projects, it’s an activity that does come with some pitfalls. Here are some ways DIYing can be challenging and not worth the headaches:

1. Inexperience: the most obvious reason for thinking twice about starting a home reno project is if you don’t have any experience in the renovation area you’re looking to tackle. Most people can handle an interior painting job. Someone who can tell the difference between a screwdriver and a hammer might be able to handle a deck build with some help. Something far more complicated like building an outdoor kitchen is a whole different ball of wax, however. Building inexperience also raises the risk of injury.

A recent survey of 870 American homeowners by Bid-On-Equipment found that 77% of DIYers thought their project took too long to complete without a pro’s help.

2. The finished project is disappointing: It’s one thing to start and finish a DIY project, but what does the final result look like? There’s nothing more deflating than struggling through a time-consuming, challenging DIY project and feeling disappointed when the completed project falls well short of having the kind of professional look that comes from the hands of a skilled contractor.

In that Bid-On-Equipment survey, a third of the homeowners who did a pandemic DIY project said they were disappointed with how the project turned out.

3. Getting building materials has been a challenge: access to the vast majority of brick and mortar stores has been severely restricted in Ontario during the pandemic. That made picking up tools and building materials you needed for a job difficult. Curbside pickup services were available, but high demand could sometimes mean waiting days for an available pickup time and delays to your project.

4. Supply chain shortages: as much as actually getting your hands on everything you needed to work on your home project has been challenging, sometimes the tools and building materials we needed weren’t even available to get. Since the pandemic began, supply chain shortages in many types of manufacturing industries has been an ongoing issue.

DIYers are basically at the mercy of whenever their local home improvement store gets in a new shipment of those deck boards they needed for their deck-building project, for example. Most contractors have existing relationships with suppliers they use often. This gives them a slight advantage to get the supplies they need for their projects quicker than a DIYer can.

Have a pro make your backyard staycation-worthy

Anyone can spruce up their backyard with a simple DIY project. Fixing a deck or patio and setting up a small outdoor cooking station with a basic barbecue allows your family to enjoy your backyard more.

Not all home improvement projects are for the average DIYer, however. As a Toronto plumber told CTV News, “My advice for starting any DIY during COVID-19 is keep it within your abilities. The last thing you want is to be staring at a half-finished project in your home and adding to your stress levels.”

outdoor kitchen and living space

Building an outdoor living space so nice that it could be featured in a magazine spread requires years of expertise.

Outeriors specializes in taking backyard home improvement projects to the next level. We create beautiful outdoor living spaces with fully outfitted luxury kitchens and comfortable lounging spaces that will transform your backyard into a part of the home that provides more fun and function.

If you’d like an experienced pro to handle everything with your outdoor kitchen and living space project, schedule a free design consultation with us.

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10 Outdoor Living Room Ideas That Bring the Indoors Outside

outdoor living room and kitchen

What’s better than having one nice living room you enjoy spending time in? Two of them, of course, in the form of an outdoor living room.

When people look to increase the amount of living space their home has, it’s usually a house extension or addition that comes to mind.

Anyone who has undertaken a renovation project like this knows how daunting it can be. They’re messy, expensive, tend to drag on for longer than expected, and will inconvenience your family.

Instead of knocking down walls to expand your living area, why not make better use of the space you already have?

One very practical way to extend your home’s living space is to upgrade the backyard to include an outdoor living room.

The outdoor living boom is in full bloom

The livability of our homes has never been as front of mind as it is these days. The pandemic has reminded us that our families and our homes are everything.

Prioritizing the functionality and quality of our living spaces has made the backyard a logical area to focus on when making homes upgrades. The increased interest in backyard improvements actually started well before the pandemic and now the outdoor living boom is in full bloom.

High demand for outdoor living products means there are a wealth of buying options when you’re shopping for things like outdoor rugs, outdoor furniture, patio heating sources, and outdoor kitchen products.

Bringing the indoors outside to expand our living spaces led to an 8% surge in outdoor living product spending in 2020, according to a study from The Freedonia Group.

Experts weigh in on the hot outdoor living trends

Fixr.com, an online network that connects consumers with renovation professionals, revealed some interesting statistics in their recent annual Trends for Outdoor Living Spaces Report. A group of industry experts were surveyed about which outdoor living trends they expected to be popular with homeowners:

  • 80% of the experts believe outdoor spaces that have been upgraded would be used for gathering with friends and family.
  • 61% said outdoor kitchens were the most in-demand addition for outdoor living areas.
  • 48% of the surveyed experts expect outdoor spaces to be designed for year-round use.
  • 85% said that homeowners are more interested in outdoor living space upgrades compared to before the pandemic began.
  • 63% of the experts said that homeowners wanted bigger outdoor living areas than before the pandemic.
Trends for Outdoor Living Spaces infographic

Infographic from Fixr.com

The benefits of an outdoor living room

A well-designed outdoor living room adds practical exterior functionality to the home. There are innumerable ways to decorate the space, which gives the home’s décor an update as well.

Just like indoor living rooms, no two outdoor living rooms will look the same. Each design will be dictated by how the owner plans to use the space, as well as personal style and décor preferences.

Once your backyard lounging room is completed, here are just a few ways it can be used:

  • for outdoor dinner parties with your friends and neighbours
  • as a great setting for a kids birthday party
  • for exercising or meditating
  • as a spot to watch the sunset while enjoying a nightcap
  • to work on your tan
  • as a quiet backyard sanctuary where you can put your feet up and enjoy a good book
  • as a makeshift work-from-home space

To design the ultimate deck or patio outdoor living room with all the trimmings, here are 10 ideas you can’t go wrong with.

outdoor fire pit and seating

An outdoor living room can be used to relax, for social gatherings, or even as a private work-from-home space.

1. High-quality outdoor living room furniture

You can’t do much “living” in a living room without comfortable, high-quality furniture.

Modern outdoor furniture design has come a long since the days of those wobbly folding patio chairs in gaudy colours and hard Muskoka chairs that you could never quite get comfortable sitting on.

That also means good outdoor furniture isn’t cheap, either. If you’re going to the expense of having an outdoor living space built, make room in your budget to buy the best quality furniture you can.

Looks, comfort, and function are the main things you concern yourself with when buying indoor furniture. Since exposure to the elements is now a factor, you have to add durability and how much maintenance is required to your list of outdoor furniture considerations.

Choosing materials for outdoor furniture

Wood, wicker, plastic, and metal (commonly wrought iron and aluminum) are the materials used to make most outdoor furniture. Wood furniture is the most high-maintenance, while plastic and metal furniture require the least amount of upkeep. Invest in furniture with resilient, easy to clean fabrics.

Note that furniture made with cheap metal does rust quickly. If possible, buy metal outdoor furniture that has a powder-coated paint finish, which protects against rust.

Consider the weight of the furniture if you expect to change the arrangement of your seating from time to time. You also want it to be heavy enough to stay anchored in windy weather.

A wide array of outdoor furniture types are available to help you decorate your room exactly how you want. Outdoor tables, chairs, sofas, ottomans, umbrellas, loungers, and day beds are a few examples.

To maximize your outdoor storage space, buy furniture that has room for hidden storage where things like cushions and blankets can be stashed.

2. Cover your outdoor living room

There are few things more enjoyable than spending time in a comfy outdoor living room when the weather is perfect. But when that sun gets too hot or the skies open up, an outdoor living space isn’t much use unless it has some sort of overhead covering.

If a home’s roof is extended to cover the outdoor living area, it’s important to keep the sides of the room as open as possible to still make you feel like you’re outside. The photo below is a good example of this.

A large awning is an ideal option for anyone who wants some versatility with their outdoor living room. The room can stay uncovered when the weather is nice and then quickly covered up when you need to take refuge from the hot sun or rain.

A pergola is another popular backyard shade protection solution. The overhead slats provide just enough partial coverage from the sun to keep things comfortable. Pergolas can be custom-designed to create a beautiful backyard showpiece. This chic pergola with a lattice roof and gorgeous white drapery really caught our eye.

Locating your outdoor living room inside a pavilion or gazebo are additional ways to keep the space covered. And for a less costly way to stay dry and cooler, there’s always the reliable patio umbrella.

outdoor living area with kitchen

In an outdoor living room with a permanent roof like this one, it’s important to keep the sides of the room as open as possible to still make you feel like you’re outside.

3. Add some style underfoot

To accentuate the flooring of an outdoor living room on a deck or patio, add a stylish outdoor rug or two.

Whether it’s the flooring materials or the materials used in an outdoor kitchen, most outdoor living space colour schemes lean heavily on earthy neutral colours like brown, grey, and beige. While this looks beautiful and ultra-modern, you may want to add some pops of colour to your outdoor setting. Furniture fabrics, cushions with bold colours, and some colourful rugs are great ways to accomplish this.

To really make your outdoor living room’s décor stand out, put in some extra effort to find rugs that coordinate nicely with your outdoor furniture. And if you want to switch up the look of your room in an instant, get reversible outdoor rugs with stylish patterns on both sides.

Many types of outdoor rugs are made with 100% recycled plastic and are stain-resistant and UV-resistant. They’re low-maintenance and can be cleaned with a hose. For more stubborn stains, simply use a little laundry detergent.

Outdoor floor tiles are also worth looking at as a backyard floor décor upgrade option. They’re super-easy to install and come in a variety of styles that simulate the look of grass, stone, and wood.

4. An outdoor kitchen and dining area

The only thing better than relaxing in an outdoor living room while enjoying the weather and the company of your friends and family is to do it on a full stomach.

An outdoor living room by itself qualifies as an outdoor living space, but pair your backyard lounging area with an outdoor kitchen and dining area and now you’ve got a truly complete outdoor living space.

Clearly, more homeowners feel this way based on the results from that Fixr survey, as well as other recent surveys from Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens and the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Data from those organizations are surprisingly consistent and show that 60-65% of homeowners consider an outdoor kitchen to be an important part of an outdoor living space.

Like the living room, outdoor kitchens are another big part of the trend of adding interior functionality to the outside of our homes.

Outdoor kitchen designs can be so elaborate nowadays that they can even rival the designs of many indoor luxury kitchens!

With a high-performance grill, a range of outdoor appliances, sturdy countertops for dining and food prep, and weatherproof outdoor cabinetry for storage, cooking in the backyard has never been easier or more fun.

outdoor kitchen and counter

An outdoor kitchen paired with an exterior living room gives you the full outdoor living experience.

5. An outdoor bar

An outdoor kitchen and living room takes your backyard’s functionality to the next level, but there’s still something missing…like an outdoor bar.

Brown Jordan’s 2021 Outdoor Living Report, which was part of that trio of surveys we referenced above, found that 42% of homeowners want their backyard space to include an outdoor bar. During the pandemic, online searches for outdoor bar products skyrocketed.

To set up an outdoor bar that enhances your backyard living space even more, here are some of the essential features to include:

  • an outdoor fridge
  • a kegerator/beer dispenser
  • an ice making machine
  • an outdoor sink
  • a complete beverage centre/cocktail station that includes a sink, ice bins, and bottle storage area
  • comfortable bar stools

6. Bring the home entertainment room outside

Remember when watching TV in the backyard involved using one of those tiny, boxy portable TVs with lousy reception and a grainy picture to catch the afternoon ball game? Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from those days.

Modern outdoor televisions offer the same high-quality features available on “regular” indoor TVs, such as 4K video resolution, smart technology integration, and streaming capabilities.

You might hear outdoor TVs referred to by a few different names, including:

  • weatherproof TV
  • weather-resistant TV
  • all-season TV
  • four-season TV
  • waterproof TV
  • outdoor-rated TV

They’re all essentially the same thing and specifically built to be used outside. High-quality outdoor TVs are constructed with materials and electronic components that are durable enough to handle moisture, dust, temperature fluctuations, and humidity. Part of their weatherproof design includes exteriors that have powder-coated finishes.

Just as with a modern indoor TV, the thin flatscreen design allows for some versatility when you’re considering where to locate it. Most people choose to wall mount their TV. Although most outdoor TVs provide a brighter picture to offset the effects of glare and natural outdoor light, you still need to locate it in a good spot that is out of direct sunlight.

If you want to make your outdoor living room even more unique, you could have a pro install the TV so it folds down from the ceiling when you want to use it or raises from the floor at the touch of a button. Talk about a conversation piece!

Audio ideas for an outdoor space

When you’re enjoying summer movie night in the comfort of your backyard, you’ll want the same movie theatre-quality sound we’ve become accustomed to in our indoor entertainment rooms.

A good soundbar built for outdoor use can produce rich, dynamic sound that makes the experience of watching a movie or sporting event more immersive. You could also opt for a more traditional audio setup with low-profile speakers or hidden speakers that are incorporated into the outdoor living room design.

Wireless speakers are being used in more homes because of the cleaner look that comes without any wiring. There’s also less setup involved with them and they offer convenient smart tech functionality.

Don’t just locate your speakers anywhere outside, however! Outeriors specializes in outdoor audio solutions. Our experts can get you set up with a high-quality outdoor audio system that is configured to perform beautifully in your backyard.

outdoor speaker beside patio

With the right high-quality products, you can enjoy the same level of audio and video quality outside as you can indoors.

7. Make your outdoor living room more private

If you’re looking for a little more privacy in your outdoor living room and don’t have a few years to wait for a new hedge to fully grow, there are a few options to consider.

A fence is a natural solution to add more backyard privacy. A trellis is another way to give a backyard living area a decorative touch and more privacy, especially if you add vining plants to grow on it.

Along with giving an outdoor living space shade covering, pergolas are also useful for providing privacy and a structure to decorate with greenery. In addition to climbing plants, you can hang planters from the roof.

Waterproof outdoor curtains and patio privacy screens are other ways to maintain your privacy and they’ll also help out a little with bug control.

It’s important to avoid overdoing it with any privacy-related additions to the overhead and sides of your outdoor living space. You don’t want the space to feel too enclosed and be unable to enjoy a mild spring or summer breeze!

8. Include heating for more comfort

Outdoor Spaces Adapted for Year-Round Use infographic

Infographic from Fixr.com

As you can see from the above infographic, homeowners want to use their outdoor spaces all year round. The most practical way to make an outdoor living room a three-season or four-season room is to add some type of heating element.

Outdoor heating allows you to stay outside longer when a summer evening cools off and also during the early parts of spring and late weeks of fall.

The most popular outdoor heating products include:

  • gas or propane outdoor fire pits or fire tables
  • wood-burning fire pits
  • gas or propane outdoor fireplaces
  • wood-burning fireplaces
  • gas lamps/patio heaters
  • electric outdoor infrared heaters

Gas and propane fire pits have quickly become a favourite backyard heating solution for homeowners, mostly because of their ease of use.

59% of the experts in that Fixr survey named fire pits as a must-have for outdoor living areas.

fire pit with two chairs

Fire pits are a popular choice to heat backyard living areas.

9. Pamper yourself with a hot tub or spa

If you have the square footage in your backyard living space and really want to pamper yourself, add a hot tub or spa.

If you’re wondering what the difference is between a hot tub and a spa, it’s quite simple: a hot tub is installed above-ground, while a spa is typically installed in-ground.

A spa or hot tub provides a soothing space to relax, can be used for hydrotherapy, and are sure to become one of the most memorable features of your outdoor living space for guests.

If possible, try to strategically locate a spa or hot tub to take advantage of one of the best views your outdoor living space has to offer.

10. Light up your outdoor living area

Good lighting is essential for a backyard living area. You want your outdoor lighting to look elegant and add ambiance, while also providing enough illumination so you can function in the backyard after dark and navigate around safely.

Enhancing your backyard curb appeal with lighting can include using everything from mini lights to floor lanterns to patio lanterns to outdoor chandeliers.

There are lots of cheap outdoor lighting products out there, so do your homework before buying anything. Choose products that are built to last in Canadian weather and have a good warranty.

Unless you have experience with installing outdoor lighting, it’s best to let a trained pro handle the job. They’ll ensure everything works safely and things like wires are well-hidden.

outdoor living space at night

Boost your backyard curb appeal with functional and stylish outdoor lighting.

Make your outdoor living room something special

We hope this article has given you some ideas and inspiration to help make your planned outdoor living room and backyard living space something special and unique.

Get started on making better use of your backyard with an outdoor living project that is customized for your home. Schedule a free design consultation with Outeriors today.

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7 Reasons To Hire an Outdoor Kitchen Company and Not DIY

Investing in a home improvement project that expands your living space is a big commitment. Building an outdoor kitchen is no exception.

Taking on this project is no easy task, which is why hiring an outdoor kitchen company is smarter than trying to DIY it.

A survey from Porch.com found that 55% of homeowners DIYed a recent home improvement project, yet only 31% of them admitted that the project was a success.

outdoor kitchen company

Sure, DIYing an outdoor kitchen has its benefits. Saving some money and getting that satisfying feeling knowing you’ve improved your home with your own two hands is nothing to sneeze at.

There are a lot more benefits of letting a professional handle the job, however. Here are seven reasons to hire an outdoor kitchen company for your backyard building project.

1. An outdoor kitchen company has experience

A ship needs a good captain to guide the vessel safely and efficiently along its journey. Any ship embarking out to sea is always under the guidance of someone with lots of on-the-job experience.

An outdoor kitchen company designer is very much the captain of any building project they’re involved with, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

There is no substitute for experience

Call it experience, expertise, know-how, or whichever word for “knowing what you’re doing” you prefer – they all definitely matter with an outdoor kitchen building project.

Building an outdoor kitchen and entertaining space from scratch by yourself is beyond the skill level of most homeowners. Some weekend DIYers could put together a serviceable space for cooking outside. Why settle for just serviceable, though? It also may not be the safest to use, nor will it have the professional, high-end look that an experienced outdoor kitchen company can create.

“Figuring it out as you go along” may work for doing a small plumbing repair using a helpful YouTube video to guide you. An outdoor kitchen build is on a whole other skill level, though.

There are a lot of moving pieces involved when designing and building an outdoor kitchen. Finishes and colours need to complement one another and be tailored to the homeowners’ taste. The backyard space where the kitchen is being installed needs to be utilized efficiently. And complicated tasks like hooking up gas, water, and electrical lines need to be handled.

And that’s just scratching the surface of what’s involved.

Measuring twice, building once

A reliable outdoor kitchen company will have a tried-and-true work process in place that makes the project run efficiently. That’s starting from the initial design consultation right through to the point where the company’s truck is leaving your driveway after the installation is completed.

An honest contractor knows that time is money – both yours and theirs. They are more likely to adhere to the “measure twice, build once” philosophy that ensures the job is done right the first time.

DIYers often need to go back and fix up things they didn’t install or build properly, which wastes their time and isn’t cost-effective. In many cases, these homeowners end up having to hire a pro to fix the work they’ve done, which only makes the project’s cost balloon even further.

Another area where experience from your contractor is important is problem-solving. An experienced contractor can come up with a quick solution to an unexpected problem because they’ve probably seen it before. There’s no hitting a building roadblock as you try to work out a conundrum like why that darn upper-right cabinet isn’t aligning with the bottom-right cabinet.

Outeriors truck

A reliable outdoor kitchen company will have an efficient work process that starts from the initial design consultation right through to the final installation work.

2. Convenience

The convenience of having a good contractor handle your home improvement project is something virtually everyone can appreciate (other than perhaps the most skilled DIYers).

Ontario summers are all too short. Hiring an outdoor kitchen company will allow you to use your free time to spend on other summer activities that don’t include a time-consuming construction project. A professional with experience building outdoor kitchens will get the job done faster, too. That lets you start using your backyard kitchen space that much sooner!

Everything is designed at the same time to create a unified, attractive look with every component functioning in perfect harmony. There’s no need to inconveniently add accessories or make design changes later on that don’t aesthetically fit and stand out as a design afterthought.

For the ultimate in convenience, hire a full-service outdoor kitchen company like Outeriors. We handle everything from creating your kitchen space to installing a fire pit to enhancing your outdoor living space with landscape lighting and an outdoor audio system.

This simplifies the process of building a backyard kitchen even more. There’s no coordinating with different tradespeople to handle different installation jobs on different days. That’s never not a headache.

outdoor living space

Most DIYers couldn’t build an outdoor living space this nice. Take advantage of the convenience of letting a pro handle the work. Enjoy your summer doing something more fun than tackling a complex backyard building project!

3. Customize your outdoor kitchen design

If you’re building an outdoor cooking space by yourself, you’re obviously customizing it to look the way you want.

That’s not quite the same as working with a professional designer on a customized outdoor kitchen design, however.

The best outdoor kitchen companies will have designers who can take your core ideas and design goals and elevate your vision into something truly special.

The ability to create customized contemporary outdoor kitchen designs with a limitless number of design options is one of several difference-makers between DIYing the kitchen and working with an expert.

They can create an outdoor living space that is tailored to fit your lifestyle, cooking habits, design preferences, and backyard space.

Dealing with customization challenges

Of course, customizing means there’s a higher chance you’ll encounter some design challenges.

Where a custom outdoor kitchen design concept begins is rarely how it eventually turns out. Tweaks, improvements, and modifications are usually involved, especially when clients get a better visual idea of what their finished kitchen will look like with 3D CAD renderings.

You’ll find that a creative, flexible designer who can solve problems quickly and adapt to any challenges is worth their weight in gold.

4. Work with the best outdoor kitchen products

Your outdoor kitchen company should have high standards for the products they will use when building your kitchen. If you’re DIYing a kitchen and unfamiliar with the various brands of outdoor kitchen products available, you might not know any better that a certain brand you didn’t buy was a better choice.

Doing some research online will help educate you. Once again, there’s no substitute for the experience that comes with working in the industry. A good designer will stay up-to-date on all the latest products and the pros and cons of certain models of outdoor kitchen appliances, for example.

Outeriors works with only the best outdoor kitchen equipment brands in the industry. We know that manufacturers like Danver, Brown Jordan, Coyote, and Dekton offer the highest quality outdoor kitchen products that look stunning, perform exceptionally, and last for years.

You get what you pay for

Remember that the quality of the outdoor kitchen products you buy will have a big impact on the project’s final cost.

It’s in an area like this where going with the contractor who gives you the cheapest quote can come back to haunt you. One reason you might be getting an attractive low quote is because the contractor uses cheap outdoor kitchen products that won’t last.

Visiting a showroom always helps

Another way to tell if an outdoor kitchen company you’re considering hiring is a fly-by-night type of operation is whether or not they have a showroom.

If they don’t, it certainly doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted. They may just be a small one or two-person operation.

If they do have a showroom where you can get a better sense of their product offerings and standards, however, that’s a strong indicator that they’re more established and going to be around for a while.

outdoor kitchen showroom

Does the outdoor kitchen company you’re hiring have a showroom? There’s no substitute for getting a better idea about the quality of the products you’re buying than an in-person, hands-on “test drive” of them.

5. Attention to details matter

When we say “attention to details” with an outdoor kitchen, what exactly are we referring to?

Here’s an example. Outeriors president Daniel Albo was interviewed by the Toronto Sun and explains why the finishes and colours used in an outdoor kitchen aren’t just about aesthetics. He tells the Sun that finishes with darker colours are harder to maintain and keep clean in an outdoor setting.

Albo goes on to say, “Darker surfaces also absorb more heat from the sun and can be hot to the touch if open to above. Earth-tone colours are typically easier to keep looking great.”

Important considerations like this indicate that you’re working with a professional that has your best interests in mind. A reputable outdoor kitchen company wants you to love your kitchen 10 years from now, not just until the warranties run out and they’re off the hook for fixing any issues.

A shady contractor often only cares about meeting the bare minimum of the project requirement so they can get just paid and quickly move on to their next project. Remember that with unscrupulous contractors, corner-cutting is a feature, not a defect or bug.

Attention to detail when designing and building an outdoor kitchen also matters in other areas you may not have considered.

Building safely and pricing responsibly

Safety is one example. A kitchen that uses natural gas, electricity, and running water outdoors and has an open grill flame and hot cooking surfaces needs to be designed with safety in mind. This is even more essential if kids and pets will be around the kitchen.

Attention to detail also matters when you’re discussing pricing with the outdoor kitchen company you’ve hired. Get a detailed summary upfront of the costs for each product and the services that will be performed so there are no surprises with hidden fees later on. That’s a move right out of the shady contractor’s handbook!

6. Peace of mind

Hiring any contractor requires some homework on your part to differentiate between which companies have a reliable track record and which ones don’t instil confidence in you to handle your building project.

Home renovations rarely come without some degree of stress. Getting things off on the right foot by doing your research and finding a reliable outdoor kitchen company that does great work will provide you with a comforting peace of mind.

Always check online reviews, references, and ask a potential contractor for a portfolio of their past work. Make sure you can verify that any photos they’re showing you are, in fact, from projects they’ve worked on and not just impressive outdoor kitchen photos they found online.

Positive word-of-mouth or a glowing reference from someone you know is perhaps the best way to find out how an outdoor kitchen company works. 

Make sure your contractor isn’t just qualified to do the work, but that they’re properly insured, will work safely, and will build everything to code.

design consultation

Most people find home renovations to be stressful. Do your homework before hiring a contractor for your own peace of mind.

7. Accountability for your building project

A reputable outdoor kitchen builder who cares about the work they do and strives to keep their clients satisfied will stay accountable throughout the design and building process.

Poor communication between a contractor and client results in inconvenient scheduling, disputes over a project’s cost, frustration on both sides, and a customer who ultimately isn’t happy with their experience.

Outeriors is a division of Garage Living, a trusted leader in the field of garage remodels. Garage Living has been around since 2005 and transformed thousands of garages across North America into stylish, more functional extensions of their clients’ living spaces.

We’re an outdoor kitchen company that brings that same philosophy and high level of standards to the backyard with every outdoor living space project we work on.

Our design professionals stay connected with our clients as their project progresses, receiving their input and providing clear timelines on the work being done.

Our goals are one and the same – we want your outdoor kitchen space to look stunning!

Outeriors Google review

A customer’s Google review about working with Outeriors.

Hire an outdoor kitchen company you can trust

Don’t get in over your head trying to build your own outdoor kitchen. Hire a reliable outdoor kitchen company that can transform your backyard into a one-of-a-kind outdoor living space.

As one home improvement professional told CTV News in the early days of the pandemic, “My advice for starting any DIY during COVID-19 is keep it within your abilities. The last thing you want is to be staring at a half-finished project in your home (that’s) adding to your stress levels.”

If you’re looking for a qualified outdoor kitchen company in Toronto that can handle your building project, look no further than Outeriors. We specialize in designing outdoor kitchen and living spaces of all sizes.

Get a free quote for your planned outdoor kitchen by scheduling a free design consultation with us.

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