CUSTOM OUTDOOR KITCHENS AND BARBECUES
Outdoor living in Arizona is a lifestyle.
True outdoor living is about more than just having a great yard and pool. No one wants to leave the fun outside to go indoors to prepare a meal, snacks or even just drinks. Having an outdoor kitchen truly completes your outdoor living space and provides all of the function that you need to spend hours outdoors enjoying the natural beauty of Phoenix. UNIQUE Landscapes has many years of experience in designing and building outdoor kitchens to fit every lifestyle in Phoenix. From a very basic BBQ grill and bar area to a fully functional outdoor chef’s paradise, UNIQUE has the experience, knowledge and tips to ensure that your custom outdoor kitchen design meets and exceeds all of your needs and expectations.
Rolling a BBQ grill onto your patio might work in other parts of the country but Arizona outdoor living demands more than some charcoal briquettes. Burgers and hotdogs might be the BBQ fare in other places but in Phoenix you will find built in rotisserie units, side burners, inversion cook tops, built in griddles, smokers and even wood burning pizza ovens. And the secret to achieving functionality and visual appeal is a professional design. The UNIQUE design team will create an outdoor kitchen which is functional for everyday use as well as savvy and upscale enough to meet the needs of your next big party or outdoor function. With a few pointers from UNIQUE’S professional designers you will be ready to incorporate this final element to your outdoor living space.
All outdoor cooking areas center around a high quality stainless steel barbecue grill. These units can range in price from affordable to rather insanely extravagant. But it is critical to select a grill that will be able to live up to your expectations and meet your needs. No one wants to have buyer remorse after a few weeks when their grill is just a touch too small or does not offer all of the features you want. Even if you only imagine cooking a few meals a week on your grill, think of the future. You could very easily become passionate about outdoor cooking and be eager to try more adventurous recipes and cooking processes. Be open to investing in a high quality and high function grill unit when you design your outdoor kitchen.
All UNIQUE outdoor kitchens begin with a well-placed grill and expand from there. You will also want to select an access panel which makes service and storage simple. The final item for your grill area is a barbeque light. In the summertime, daylight is rarely an issue for grilling but the rest of the year it gets dark very early. You don’t want to be relying on a $2.00 flashlight as you are trying to sear a steak to perfection or grill the perfect piece of tuna. A basic countertop is often made of flagstone and can be a solid color tone or variation of tones. Natural cut flagstone seems to be the surface of choice for many homeowners due to the cost effective installation and the durability. UNIQUE custom counters are finished with a chiseled edge or smoothed edge and can also be sea
Not all homeowners are satisfied with a basic outdoor cooking area. They are looking for a place which will meet more of their needs. One of the most popular upgrades for these clients is the addition of a stainless steel fridge or ice cooler for refreshments. Having ice cold drinks within reach on a hot summer day is a great benefit. If you want to be able to grab an ice cold beverage anytime you are outdoors then a fridge is the way to go. If you are more interested in having cold drinks available when you are entertaining then an ice cooler is a suitable choice. Either choice is great as long as it meets your needs and the lifestyle that you want to lead. For easy access to all of your kitchen utensils and small items, steel drawers and cabinets provide that sealed environment which will keep everything organized and clean until you need to use them. And to keep the mess to a minimum, stainless steel trashcan bins make disposal of trash easy and keep it out of sight. Many of the UNIQUE upgraded outdoor kitchens and barbeque islands are topped with tumbled travertine. This surface provides a high end look while still being reasonably priced and durable. Travertine can be sealed to provide ease of cleaning and it also provides a great Tuscan look which is cohesive with almost every swimming pool and landscape design in the Phoenix area.
THE PREMIUM PLAN
Taking your outdoor kitchen to the gourmet level is definitely possible. Many discerning homeowners believe that a functional kitchen must include features such as a dishwasher, warming drawer and even a pizza oven. And their standards for an outdoor kitchen are equally as high. So the sky is the limit when designing an Arizona outdoor kitchen. It can include all of the features that you enjoy indoors and even more if you are truly ready to embrace gourmet cooking alfresco. The UNIQUE design team has a great deal of experience assisting clients when it comes to creating that one of a kind outdoor kitchen masterpiece. The counter tops are often honed from a solid granite slab or are made from granite or porcelain tile. All of these materials will look great and are durable enough to last for many years in the desert environment. Function, features and fabulous views are all that you can ask from a gourmet outdoor kitchen and the UNIQUE design team is the perfect choice when you are ready to plan your outdoor cooking oasis.
When you are designing your outdoor kitchen, remember that your grill is a critical feature for cooking but not necessarily the best choice for the focal point of your outdoor kitchen. By nature grills create smoke and heat. These are not going to create a good place for guests to gather and in fact it can be dangerous and bothersome to the chef. Placing the grill off to the side and away from your guests’ traffic pattern will make the area safer and keep the chef from being interrupted each time someone needs a drink or a snack. Also, consider more than just your budget when selecting your counter top surface. This is not a feature that can easily be upgraded in a few years. Also, remember that flagstone is a naturally rough and porous surface. This means that it can stain easily and can be uneven and abrasive. This can cause damage to dishes or other items.
QUALITY DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
All of our UNIQUE outdoor kitchens start with a solid concrete footer which includes a ½” rebar grid (@ 12” on center). This creates a solid foundation on which to build the structure. Next, the block base is built by our skilled UNIQUE masons. Finally, the entire structure is filled with rebar and solid grout to secure the corners and top block (bond beam), creating the best possible base.
The base is typically coated with a stucco texture to match or complement the house. It can also be finished with a variety of options including veneer stone or tile. Our counter top options include, tile, flagstone, granite slab, decorative concrete and more. UNIQUE offers a full line of grills and accessories to complete the look and function of your outdoor kitchen. Some additional features which are popular among homeowners include stainless access doors, stainless sink, stainless drawers, stainless barbecue light and stainless side burner. You can view our complete line of outdoor accessories at Capital Cooking. UNIQUE Landscapes is a certified dealer for Lynx Grills, Capital and Lion Premium Grills. We make it easy to purchase and warranty your grill and other fixtures if there are ever any issues with them. Let UNIQUE Landscapes, voted one of the 10 best landscape companies in Arizona, be the contractor who installs your dream outdoor kitchen in Phoenix, AZ.
The “UNIQUE” difference – After many years of perfecting our products, we have come up with the best possible way to construct many of our popular items. Here is how we differ from our competition:
• Bond beams, rebar, and solid filled block – Sadly it is considered an industry standard to just stack block and stucco it in place. But the UNIQUE mason’s mortar every block and then take an additional step to increase stability. They fill in the interior of all of the blocks with rebar and concrete. This adds to the integrity of the feature and eliminates the potential for cracks.
- Counter tops – UNIQUE counter tops could easily be called “kitchen quality” as they most resemble something found in a kitchen and not in a backyard. The overhang and solid concrete underlay are the critical differences. The tile work is meticulously installed over 4 inches of solid concrete and offers a 2” overhang on all sides. For those who prefer granite counter tops, the UNIQUE masons work efficiently with any slab selection, making your UNIQUE outdoor kitchen look every bit as fabulous as your indoor kitchen.
- Gas and Electric – As licensed pool and general contractors, we are one of the only landscape companies that can “legally” and safely perform these services for our clients. Don’t risk your home and your family’s safety by letting an unlicensed landscape contractor work with something as potentially volatile as gas, propane, or electric on your property!