Summer is coming, and that means that you’re not far away from being able to cook outside! This year, rather than those terrible, ineffective little card-and-foil boxes, wouldn’t it be nice to have a proper, permanent, beautiful outdoor cooking area especially for barbecues? You can build one yourself for less than you might think – and, with the simple design tips Kedleston Landscapes have prepared for you in this article, it’ll look expensive and professionally designed.
Let’s get started!
Thinking about where to put your barbecue is one of the most important factors. Thinking outside the box can be a good idea here. The walkway between your front and back yard, if you have one, is actually an intelligent place to put your barbecue. It’s often sheltered, preventing corrosion and weathering, and can offer immediate access to your kitchen. It allows you to put more seating space in your front and back yard for your guests to relax by while you cook. It also forces the men who’d otherwise crowd around the grill to be more social!
Your barbecue should be placed on an even, flat surface. Wherever you choose to place your barbecue, if it’s not already paved, you might find that installing at least a few square feet of patio to be helpful. Ideally in stone, create a space for both the grill and also two or more side tables. Make sure these are even and properly installed – an uneven surface will only end in disaster when it’s time to fire up the coals!
This also goes for your dining area. Either install picnic benches, or at least make sure the place your guests will eat are even. Decking is perfect, or at the very least a well-maintained, properly leveled lawn. Eating on an uneven surface is an uncomfortable experience, and if you guests start to migrate inside to eat, the purpose of a summer barbecue is somewhat defeated!
They say tall fences make for good neighbours, but in this case, you’ll actually be installing fencing for your neighbours’ sake. Barbecues create smoke and delicious cooking smells, but if your neighbours are sun drying their laundry, they’ll not thank you. Creating some kind of partition, at least around the cooking area, is a considerate thing to do for your neighbours. It also adds privacy, which you might find useful if you’ve brought a date home for a romantic outdoor meal.
A few lattice panels around your cooking area will give you privacy and protect your neighbours, while keeping the rest of your yard open and not looking oppressive or standoffish.
Creating a cooking area against the outside walls of your house is a good idea (so long as it’s safe to do so!) because then you’re able to add a foldable awning to your house. This will provide protection against weathering and corrosion, provide shade on the hot summer afternoons, and also protect you from the rain should you be struck with the typical English summer rains we are occasionally “blessed” with!
An awning is an excellent way to compliment your property’s look. Perhaps you’d like to go for a pastel terracotta fabric awning to subtly blend with your red brickwork – or perhaps you’d like to add some personality with a brighter colour! The choice is yours. An awning can look wonderful as well as be practical for your outdoor cooking pursuits.
That should give you plenty of ideas for your outdoor cooking this summer – no doubt we’ll be back next month with more ideas, so please do check back here at Kedleston Landscapes every few weeks!