Pools and Kitchens for the Back Yard


Landscaping is an essential component to making any suburban home or vacation home complete, but often, this aspect of home design is neglected due to budget or lack of interest. But if a home has a swimming pool installed, or an outdoor kitchen, the back yard can quickly be transformed into a party hub where the whole family, plus friends, can have a great time in the sun. Outdoor kitchen designs can vary as widely as any buyer’s budget or personal taste, and pool contractors can get a swimming pool set up with minimal hassle.

The Appeal of the Outdoors

One doesn’t have to visit a park or nature trail to have a good time in the sun. Swimming is among the most popular activities in the United States, and it’s healthy, too. Swimming ranks as the fourth most popular activity in the United States, and since it exercises many muscle groups and is based on resisting water, it is a great workout and can burn 800 to 900 calories in an hour. Pool maintenance, when done right, can keep any private or public pool open and ready for use, and homeowners can install extra features to their own pools such as a diving board or two, a rack for towels, a stone walkway to the pool, lights, and more.

Outdoor cooking, and outdoor kitchen designs of all kinds, can also turn the backyard into a social hub. Many American homeowners share that sentiment; Houzz data has revealed that the most common items being added to a given backyard are a grill or barbecue. Similarly, residential landscaping architects were once asked to rank the popularity of various outdoor residential designs in 2014, and outdoor living spaces, such as outdoor kitchen designs, ranked second, with a 92% approval rate. Custom pool designs, outdoor kitchen designs, and more can make a backyard like a second home. How can it be done?

Installing Outdoor Features

Pool installation usually requires hiring a team of contractors who will carry out a wide variety of work, such as scouting out the location (places under trees will get leaves in the pool and rocky areas are difficult to dig in), excavate the hole for the pool, and use liner such as vinyl or concrete to set up the walls. Water filters, pumps, and sanitizers are also needed to keep the water clean and fresh, and the contractors may perform the initial water pouring. Additional features like walkways, a diving board, lights, and more may be installed, and every so often, the owner will have to replace the plaster on the pool wall as it degrades, or else chipped and worn plaster will be visually unappealing and may even cut skin. Above ground pool liners should be replaced about once every 6-10 years.

According to Danver, outdoor kitchen designs start with setting up a budget, such as utilities like gas or electricity, and choosing between medium or higher quality (and more expensive) materials, not to mention whether tech such as WiFi will be set up, too. The weather at the homeowner’s location will also be a factor; high variance in temperature can warp metal or damage surfaces, so having a roof, fans, or heaters can help regulate the climate for the outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchen designs near the coast should involve materials resistant to corrosion from salty air.

Drawing up designs for the outdoor kitchen comes next, and the shape and size of the kitchen may be based on the available space. Different parts of the kitchen, such as those for hot or cold items, or dry or wet ingredients, should be set up correctly. Appliances should be purchased and set up for the desired cooking, such as grills, pizza ovens, charcoal based cookware, electric stoves, or anything else should be incorporated into the design. A bar can also be added.

Lighting should also be added to the design, especially when a chef is working into the evening or even twilight during a late party. Seating (which should also have lighting) can be set up nearby, such as campsite style tables and benches, smaller square tables, or anything else. The expected number of guests for a typical party should be factored into how many tables and seats are setup.

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