There are three things that every homeowner looks for in built-in BBQ design; Phoenix, Chicago, Baltimore, or Vancouver… where you’re from doesn’t matter. The first thing you look for are the aesthetics, the required appeal to your sense of style must be met. Next comes the features, because there’s a lot more to barbecuing than these days. Grill assets can apply to a host of appliances, fixtures, and functions. Having found both of those, we weigh options against price. Unfortunately, this is totally backwards reasoning when it comes to a permanent structure in your yard.
How many years of great looking service do you want from this barbecue island or patio kitchen? Designs that make your investment a big value will not be found at the lowest cost, because in order to accomplish that corners are cut, and quality is sacrificed. This is where you begin to understand that the beauty of getting your money’s worth plays out over time, not at the moment you’re writing the check.
1) A built in grill is not like a car.
If you buy a car that is a poor investment chances are you’ll have no problems unloading it, as long as you sell it before it gets a lot of miles on it. You and this lemon are easily parted, but a poorly designed built in grill isn’t mobile. It has no wheels, and is impossible to move from the installation spot to someone else’s backyard in one piece. Once it’s completely built it’s yours for the rest of it’s life.
Obviously, this doesn’t apply to the ‘built in grills’ offered at Lowe’s or Home Depot. Those are definitely mobile, but they are portable grill cabinets, not a patio element. They aren’t built to last, they’re built to keep you spending money. Resale value will be slim to nothing.
2) Makeup only holds up a long time with a good foundation.
You’re probably wondering how we jumped from the patio to the bathroom vanity. We didn’t. This is about the most important part of your investment in this patio kitchen/built in BBQ. Design starts long before the eye shadow goes on. Both of these are the finishing touches that complete the aesthetics, but neither hold up well for long without a quality foundation to hold them in place. The top layer is what you shop for, but it’s the construction hidden beneath that give you value, or a poor investment.
With built in grill cabinets, the years of good looking service a savvy homeowner seeks will only come from concrete block construction. Low priced built in BBQ designs will have a foundation of wood, which won’t hold up well over time, and that pretty surface will crack and crumble long before you would expect to have to trash this important outdoor living feature and start over again. Always look at the bare bones of the plan first, because what you look at every day for the next 20 years is really only the makeup.
3) Someday, you might want a face lift.
Like anything else in your house, or around the yard, after so many years, there comes a time when updating or redecorating becomes of interest. Now, it’s unlikely that a well-designed stone or stucco grill island or patio kitchen will start looking dated, but there is always the chance that you will simply grow tired of the same look after a decade or two goes by. Also, if you sell your home, or are getting ready to close on one, what happens when that grill doesn’t suit the buyer’s taste?
A quality built in BBQ, the stucco can be repainted to give you instant change. You can have them resurfaced, switching from rough texture to smooth, or vice versa. Should it have stone facing, you can remove the unwanted stone, and change it to another stone or even a tile. This is only possible if it’s a permanent structure with a concrete block foundation. If the base is made from wood, you’ll have no choice but to totally rebuild it.
4) Only real stone lasts for ages.
With a talented mason, and top of the line cultured stone, it can be hard to tell you don’t have real stone on your house. But, the walls and beams of a house are nothing like a built in grill. You can’t slop grease and wine all over the chimney or porch columns umpteen times a year, and it’s unlikely that people and objects will be rubbing against it and slid over the surface constantly too. But that patio kitchen island will see all of this on a regular basis – all four sides and the top too.
Cultured stone was not designed to hold up well under all this kind of wear. It is meant to be looked at, not used. Sure, it looks great when the built in grill is new, but give it a year or two. The painted on surface will soon be parted from the concrete beneath from belt buckles, utensils, and what have you. Grease and food stains could be prevented with a good sealer, but do you really want your rocks plasticized? This isn’t a necklace, it’s a great big thing in the middle of your patio. You want real stone facing, it wears like iron, and only porous types will stain. Of course, if you made sure that the base foundation is block construction, it won’t be that difficult to upgrade to natural materials.
5) Life expectancy of a grill.
The price of the grill itself can have a lot to do with how long you’ll be enjoying it before it needs repair, or replacement. Generally, the cheaper the grill, the shorter it’s life span. If the price is too low, consider how many years parts will be available to do any needed repairs or replacement. The problem with beating everyone else in the marketplace on price is that either the model is quickly discontinued, or the company goes out of business. Making sure that you’ve got a reasonably priced grill helps to ensure that parts will be available to fix or replace parts as needed for years to come.
How about the grill company’s reputation? Just like a kitchen faucet, or a refrigerator, this manufacturer’s history for quality of construction and customer service can affect what you will get out of this part of your investment. Both of these can become your headache should there be problems, and it can start long before the warranty period is over.
For a built in grill that will give you all the functionality and aesthetic value that defines a quality patio kitchen in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the NW Valley, you can count on Desert Crest to provide you with everything you need. We make it our business to use quality materials in well engineered designs. The life expectancy of your built in grill’s cabinet, and the appliances will be a long time, making it a savvy investment in your home and lifestyle.