Outdoor Kitchen Design Part #3

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Things to consider when laying out your outdoor kitchen.

1. Relationships among the four functional zones (hot, cold, wet and dry) and how the workflows will co-exist for cooking, serving and cleanup activities?

  • Hot zones: Grills, cooktops, pizza ovens, etc.
  • Cold zones: Refrigerators, wine chillers, etc.
  • Wet zones: Sinks and ice reservoirs/beverage tubs
  • Dry zones: Prep areas/counters and cabinets/storage

2. One of the most common outdoor kitchen design mistakes is planning too little counter space.

3. Outdoor kitchens can be broken down into four basic size categories:

  • Small outdoor kitchen
    A grill plus storage, totaling roughly 8 linear feet
    At least 36 inches of useable countertop frontage is recommended, no less than 30″ deep.
  • Essentials outdoor kitchen
    Includes a grill and cooktop, storage and a refrigerator, totaling roughly 10 linear feet
    At least 48 inches of useable countertop frontage is recommended, no less than 30″ deep.
  •  Medium outdoor kitchen
    Adds additional storage, sink and counter space to an essential outdoor kitchen, totaling roughly 12 linear feet. At least 60 inches of useable countertop frontage is recommended, no less than 30″ deep.
  • Large outdoor kitchen
    Features all the amenities, and able to accommodate multiple cooks, totaling more than 20 linear feet.
    At least 156 inches of useable countertop frontage is recommended, no less than 30″ deep.

In the next part of the series will go over proper layout, along with counter space it’s one of the important principles of designing your outdoor kitchen.

Enjoying your outdoor living space with Richmond’s Landscaping: Part 2

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We started you guys out last month with a few tips to get you outside and enjoying your outdoor living area. We have a few more tips up our sleeves for your outdoor space from Richmond’s Landscaping of Cedar Rapids – your outdoor living specialist! Whether you have a lovely outdoor kitchen, a fire pit or just a basic patio, these are a few tips that can make any space feel more like your home “away” from home!

Privacy Screens or curtains
Privacy is essential for a true backyard relaxation. Sometimes you just wanna enjoy your outdoor sitting area with no one looking. If you decide to use a wooden arbor, trying spicing it up by hanging flower baskets on it. Curtains are great for creating privacy and the best thing about them is that you can always set them aside and open your backyard. They are also a great opportunity to add color or patterns to an otherwise boring outdoor space. And don’t forget, you can always use higher growing plants as a natural privacy screen!

Water Features
Water adds freshness to every garden. If you think you can not afford a water feature you are wrong. There are many options for water features and for all different types of outdoor spaces. You can go small and simple or you can go large and elaborate, it all depends on the space and the feel you are looking to create.  Let your imagination run wild and Richmond’s Landscaping can of course offer help and installation of all types of water features!

Light it up
Lighting can change the look of anything. Just like in a pretty photo, lighting can make things take a different shape and feel. The ambiance associated with lighting can really change your outdoor space and take it to a new level. Whether it is a full lighting set from Richmond’s, some hanging bulbs or just a lantern, lighting can add that soft, relaxing space you are longing for after a long day. In addition to creating a homey feel, it also adds an element of safety to your yard and warm place to spend time with friends and family.

We hope you enjoyed our design tips and if you have any questions or would like help designing/building the outdoor living space of your dreams, contact us today to get started!

Designing My Outdoor Kitchen – Part #2

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Thing to consider before designing your outdoor kitchen.

Site Assessment
1. Kitchen Location. As talked about in part#1, where are you going to locate the kitchen? Is there any obstacles that may make it difficult to transport food, dishes and other items back and forth?
2. What is the prevailing wind pattern and sun exposure?
3. Will you need to provide some shelter from the wind, sun or rain? (Pergola, Gazebo,Pavilion, Plantings)
4. How are you going to get utilities from the house? (Electricity, Gas,Water)
5. Are there and drainage problems that need tobe consider?

Don’t let these questions deter from your dream outdoor kitchen, they are only things that thought out before you start your dream.

In part #3 of Designing My Outdoor Kitchen series with Richmond’s Landscaping of Cedar Rapids, will be talking about basic kitchen layout.

Enjoying your outdoor living space with Richmond’s Landscaping: Part 1

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Outdoor living spaces expand your home’s square footage and gives you a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors as well. With the hustle and bustle of the world today, people are looking for a simple, quiet place to spend their free time. Years ago the front porch was the place to spend time, but today, an outdoor living space that combines the comfort and amenities of the indoors is taking over. If you are looking to create a space that feels like a home away from home, you have found the right place! At Richmond’s Landscaping of Cedar Rapids, Marion and Iowa City, we specialize in outdoor living spaces and we are here to help you make your outdoor dreams come to life. Periodically we will be writing blogs about how to take your outdoor living space to the next level. We not only want to help you build your outdoor living space with pavers and rock, but we also want to help you design and enjoy that space. So to start here are 4 tips for enjoying that outdoor space:

Forget that you are outdoors:
Use your space as an extension of your home. Try using colors and patterns that you use inside your home to break the boundaries of the space. Use rugs, pillows and wall hangings in your space that remind you of being inside. Make sure to finish off the designed space with candles, vases and flowers just like you would in your living room. Let the space be enjoyed just as you do the rooms in your home and you will bring life and love to your outdoor space!

Accessorize your space:
Having a party, why not bring your favorite dishes to use as a table setting outside. Bringing out accessories that you love to the outdoors will help you enjoy your outdoor space in the same way you love your kitchen or dining area. Have a favorite chandelier or light, bring it out too!! If you love it indoors, you are bound to love it outdoors too!

Add some color: 
Being in your outdoor living area is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, so adding bright colors can give off that warm summer time feeling. Use things like large umbrellas or hanging lanterns to add that pop of color. Pillows, rugs and accessories are also a great place to get that pop of color too!

Relax a little:
If you are looking for that ultimate relaxation spot, try moving your furniture away from your home to a garden area or under a nice tree. Surrounding yourself by nature is the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of coffee, read a book or just sit and unwind.
Keep posted for more tips on enjoying your outdoor living space with Richmond’s Landscape of Cedar Rapids and Iowa City!!!

Designing My Outdoor Kitchen. Part #1.

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The first thing to think about is how do I see myself using the space.

Is it for everyday grilling or for entertaining?
For family get together or large parties?
Are you using it after dark?
Do you need attentional shade?
Will you be using it in cooler weather?

Answering these questions will give an idea of some of the things you should think about before starting, for example, with an everyday grill you want to be closer to the indoor kitchen. This is so you are closer to where the food is stored and for grilling in cold and wet weather. With a grill for entertaining you might want your grill site a little further from back door. People tend to gather around the grill area so more room is nice.

In the next part of our Designing My Outdoor Kitchen blog we’ll dig deeper into these questions and how to plan your space. Keep watching for our next update.

How do I take care of my new paver patio?

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After your new paver patio from Richmond’s Landscaping of Cedar Rapids is complete, the care is similar to any other patio. You can sweep it as much as you would like. If you want to save on your back, one of the easier and better ways to keep it clean is to use a leaf blower. It’s fast and makes it easy to get everything out of the corners especially when there are seat walls along the sides of the patio.

You may also want to wash your paver patio. A garden hose with a nasal works great, just don’t use the jet spray setting right in the joints. They do have paver cleaners that can be use for a deeper cleaning. Apply cleaner as stated in their directions, then scrub with a long handled brush and rinse well with water. They also make tar, rust and stain removers. You may also power wash the pavers to really clean them up. If you chose to power wash them, just be sure not to spray directly down on the pavers, this will blast the jointing sand out of the joints. If you spray at an angle and don’t lineup with any long seams you should be OK. And finally, if the paver doesn’t come clean with any of these methods, the other option for a stained or damaged paver is to just replace the paver. This is also one of the great benefits of a paver patio, the ability to replace pavers and still have them to match the others.

Hope this information helps and keep posted to our blog for more tips for your yard and landscape!

Your friend’s at Richmond’s Landscape

What are differences between a paver patio and a stamped concrete patio?

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They both can be used to create a beautiful patio. The difference comes in the duality and flexibility of the products. Here in the Midwest we jokingly say we have two kinds concrete, concrete that’s cracked and concrete that’s not cracked yet. Stamped concrete is still concrete. They still have to cut relief joints in the concrete every so many feet. These relief joints are used to try to keep the cracking of the concrete in the joints. With paver this isn’t needed because the pavers themselves work like a relief joint every few inches. As for the flexibility between pavers and concrete, pavers are very flexible.

Some advantages of pavers are that they can be added to, moved and even sold.  Stamped concrete, however, is very hard to get colors to match if you decide to add on more patio later. As far as reusing there is nothing to do but break it up and haul way.

As far as cost, pavers do cost a little more than stamped concrete but in the long run with all the advantages of pavers over concrete, you might be better off looking in to pavers. If you are debating between the two types of material, contact us and we would be happy to help you in deciding which would work better for your space and budget.

Outdoor Living Show March 8-9

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Richmond’s Landscape Construction will be taking part in this years Clear Channel Media + Entertainment Outdoor Living Show! We will have a booth set up as well as staff ready to assist you with any questions you have about your outdoor living space. We will also doing a Aquascapes Fountain Giveaway during the show, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to get signed up at the event, as well as on our Facebook page. There will be all kinds of vendors there from the Landscaping & Garden Industry and it all happens March 8-9 at Hawkeye Downs Speedway Expo Center.  Get ideas for your lawn & garden, hardscape, recreation, home entertainment and much, much more!

New Website Launching

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From February 13-21st, 2014 we will be doing some much needed updates to our website. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that may cause. Please feel free to contact us by phone if you are struggling with the website 319-396-3035 Thanks for your continued support of Richmond’s Landscape!