Outdoor Kitchen Costs to Consider

You can spend just about anything on an outdoor kitchen, from a few hundred dollars to many thousand. But should you? Before you visit a single showroom, where it’s easy to be seduced by the gleam of stainless steel, or talk to even one contractor, you need to have your budget in place.

The first step to a smart budget is to decide how much you have to spend. Evaluate your resources and how much you can and should spend. Consider using cash. With savings accounts earning so little these days it’s not a bad time to invest those funds in your home, but don’t expect to get that money back at resale. Outdoor kitchens aren’t at the top of buyer priorities in these economic times, so consider it an investment in your own enjoyment.

Other options are home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, or a cash-out refinance, in which you refinance your mortgage, increasing it by the amount of the project.

Price out all the elements of the kitchen, remembering to include small details like hardware and light fixtures, which can add up in a hurry. Have this list in hand when you talk to potential contractors. It will give your contractor a sense of what you want to include in the kitchen, show that you’ve done your homework, and let the contractor adjust his bid to include actual products. Read more…

Estimating

What makes an outdoor kitchen so challenging to estimate is that every one is a unique creation. The constellation of elements within the kitchen as well as costs related to overhead structures and paving is highly variable. A primary division of costing out such a project is whether the kitchen will be composed of all new custom built structures or those modular prefabricated “frames” that are finished on site with more decorative surfacing and details. This is why it’s difficult to set an overall cost. Read more…

The Grill and BBQ Equipment

All outdoor kitchens start with cooking equipment. It’s usually a grill insert, around which the rest of the kitchen is designed.

If you’re looking to save money, it shouldn’t be on your grill, says Russell Greene, director of outdoor living for Family Leisure in Indianapolis. Unlike most other outdoor appliances, which come in standard sizes, grill inserts — even those of the same width — often have different depths or other dimensions, Greene says.

Likewise, grill heads and parts often vary, as do material grades and warranties, says Bill Botkin, president of Outdoor Life in Charlotte, North Carolina. Read more…

VIDEO: Finished Outdoor Kitchen

How to Hire A Tiling Contractor

Even a small error in floor, wall, or bath tile can be an eyesore. One minutely mispositioned tile, for example, can throw off the pattern and grout line, making the goof glaring. Worse, fixing a botched tiling job is expensive, disruptive and messy, especially if water has seeped through the grout and ruined framing, ceilings and finished walls.

That’s why hiring a seasoned professional and making sure the job gets done right the first time are essential. What’s more, certain applications might call for specialty tile, edging, grout, adhesive and backerboard. These are best sorted out by an expert who knows what he’s doing. http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,332763,00.html

VIDEO: How to Install a Transition Strip From Carpet to Ceramic Tile

Trolling For Tilers

Instead of getting prospects for contractors from retail tile stores, go where the pros go by checking at a tile supply store that caters to contractors. These outlets are more likely to know who does premium work.

Also, consider hiring a commercial contractor willing to take on residential jobs like yours. Because a large percentage of tiling goes into commercial buildings, these are the most experienced pros. http://www.todayshomeowner.com/hiring-a-tiling-contractor/

When hiring and working with a Tile Contractor, every homeowner needs to know: What services does a Tile Contractor commonly provide? What is the best way to find good prospects? What should I look for when I interview the Tile Contractor? And most importantly, how do I make sure that the Tile Installation And Repair Service is done right? http://www.homewyse.com/service_pros/tile_contractor.html

More Tips In Hiring A Tiling Contractor

Another thing to keep in mind is that most contractors will not give you a quote over the phone – ever. There are just way too many variables to consider and methods available for any given situation to say “this is what I charge” to someone over the phone. Most people will require taking a look at the project before even starting the estimate process. We do not do this because it’s a big secret or to “pressure” you or try and talk you into something you are not wanting, it is simply to look at the project. It also gives you a more accurate idea of the scope of the work you may need. Believe it or not, oftentimes is is less than you may think. http://tileartcenter.com/ten-tips-to-help-you-find-the-right-tile-contractor