5 Reasons why you should engage a specialist for your Outdoor Kitchen

An Outdoor Kitchen is quickly becoming the "must have" item to complete your alfresco space.

To last the test of time and give you a quality result, engaging the right business to deliver your project and give you peace of mind for your investment is becoming increasingly important. A specialist. 

The ability to provide a complete package for your Outdoor Kitchen project requires the knowledge of the correct materials to use along with experience in design and function that is unique to Outdoor Kitchens. Historically built by Cabinetmakers, Landscapers and Builders, it is important to understand the need for a business that specialises in just Outdoor kitchens - We have put our main 5 reasons forward here:

 

1 - Materials

A specialist in Outdoor Kitchens is always going to be up to date with the correct finishes to use on your project, maximising the life of your Outdoor Kitchen. Design flexibility and, more importantly, finishes that carry long-term manufacturer warranties for outdoor use. A great combination.

Cabinetry should be waterproof and able to withstand a good soaking if it is to last many years. Even in covered alfresco spaces, the need to pressure wash or hose down your Outdoor Kitchen can be achieved using the right materials. Overflowing or blocked drainage, guttering and downpipes can also affect your cabinets if they are not constructed of the right material. Just because your area is covered does not mean it is exempt from the effects of sun, moisture and air-born carbon pollutants. 

Whilst materials such as stainless steel and granite have been traditionally used for Outdoor Kitchens, we tend to steer clear. Our door and drawer fronts are made using external-grade aluminium frames and aluminium composite panel inserts. Aluminium is a non-corrosive metal and, as such, will never rust. It is lightweight, meaning the life of your hardware (hinges and runners) will be much longer than using heavier items such as composite laminate products.

We have just completed a three-part blog series on our "go-to" benchtop choices for Outdoor Kitchens, which is worth a read. Our choices are based on a few key criteria, including UV stability and a non-porous, easy-to-clean finish.

2 - Compliance

Regulations around Outdoor Kitchens are regularly changing. Clearances to combustible materials, adequate ventilation and a minimum 1200mm clearance from the cooking surface to BBQ range hoods are just some key regulations that have changed recently. As a specialist, we are constantly on top of all compliance requirements. Different states have gas and energy safety watchdogs. They enforce the relevant Australian building standards around gas safety and correct, compliant installations and connections.

Even completing your installation following the correct authorities' guidelines may still not be enough. The manufacturers' installation detail is recognised as the final say, and if additional requirements are deemed necessary above and beyond that of the local authorities, then these must be adhered to. With over well over 25 different BBQ models regularly installed by the LimeTree Alfresco team, we are continually updating our installation detail.

LimeTree Alfresco Outdoor Kitchen

3 - Experience

With over 75 years combined experience in the building industry, 10 years specialising in Outdoor Kitchens, and over 1000 projects completed, LimeTree Alfresco has an intimate knowledge of what works and has seen what doesn't. The removal and demolition of projects built from the wrong material choices have only reinforced our firmly held commitment to using quality, outdoor-specific materials and finishes on all of our Outdoor Kitchen projects.

Our management and installation team bring all of our Outdoor Kitchen installations experience to every project, and firmly believe that it matters who installs it. We are current and long-term members of both the KBDI and ACFA ensuring a solid commitment to our industry.

We have no interest in building and installing indoor joinery. This niche focus ensures we consistently deliver the right solution


4 - Outdoor Appliances

Whilst the materials and finishes are extremely important to the look and life of any Outdoor Kitchen, the appliances you choose to include will complete the package and should be heavily considered as a vital part of any project. Your Outdoor Kitchen specialist has an intimate knowledge of the appliances regularly used in Outdoor Kitchens, which are very different from the internal kitchen.

BBQs burn extremely hot and produce 6-10 times the smoke and grease an indoor cooktop produces. It is important the BBQ lasts the life of your kitchen, and this should be many years. Because of the heat generated by BBQs, a quality range hood that removes a minimum of 2000m3 + of air per hour is required. Alfresco range hoods generally have twin motors and commercial quality filters.

Glass door fridges are a popular item in the modern Outdoor Kitchen. A good-quality alfresco fridge will have triple-glazed, heated doors. The heating of the doors stops condensation from forming on the interior glass. Other items such as side burners, ice makers & pizza ovens are all items that an Outdoor kitchen specialist will have intimate knowledge of, giving peace of mind that you are getting the advice you need to make an educated choice.

LimeTree Alfresco Outdoor Kitchen

5 - Warranties

A good rule of the quality of a product is the term and nature of any warranty that is given. When sourcing raw materials and products for your Outdoor Kitchen project, a key factor in the procurement process is the warranty offered by the manufacturer.

As key criteria in selecting a BBQ, we recommend the manufacturer must supply a minimum 10-year warranty on the firebox (body of the BBQ). We see this as extremely important to ensure the heart of the cooking centre remains structurally sound for the life of your Outdoor Kitchen. A minimum 304-grade stainless steel is an additional requirement. Whilst burners, plates and other items can be replaced over time, it is important the BBQ is of a quality that will give many years of service.

External finishes such as benchtops, doors and drawers carry 10-year manufacturer warranties on UV stability. Additional warranties exist on the internal cabinetry against swelling, rotting and deterioration for up to 25 years.

In addition to the main 5 reasons we have touched on in this blog article, design, as a key element to any successful project, is another subject entirely. With the experience of so many completed projects and many more to come, we have put together a design guide checklist to help your planning that you can download as a pdf below:

Happy Grilling.

FREE Kitchen Design Guide