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lawnandliesureCharcoal grills may sound like a product of summer, and they perpetually are. But did you know that some people use their charcoal grills outdoors during the wintertime? Some people get a real thrill out of doing this out in the cold (and even snow). It can be a fun experience if your family or friends don't mind being outdoors during a snowstorm and want something warm off a grill without cooking indoors.

You naturally have some things to keep in mind before you do any wintertime grilling. Most of that comes in the safety of your grill as well as maintaining it afterward so you don't end up with rust if there's no grilling again until summer.

How Much Charcoal You May Need

If grilling burgers out in the cold, keep in mind you'll need extra charcoal to keep the heat up. The DadCooksDinner blog recommends using about 25 coals, which is considerably more than normal. The important thing is to keep the lid closed as often as possible to keep the grill and the surrounding area heated. If you keep opening the lid, more cold air will get trapped under there and force the grill to burn more charcoal to retain the heat level.

Dealing with Cold Winds

A real detriment to grilling outside during a snowstorm is the possibility of cold winds blowing around where you keep your grill. A persistent cold wind as you cook could force your charcoal grill to work overtime and never get heated properly. That's why you should place some kind of wind guard near your grill before winter even sets in. Having this in place in advance allows you to grill outdoors in cold settings without needing to adjust things at the last minute.

Dealing with Deep Snow

It's always better to keep your grill up on a deck so deep snow doesn't become a major problem for access. Regardless, not everyone has a deck, and you may have to tread through deep snow in your yard to get to the grill. All you'll need is a shovel, even though it may take some work to clear the area before cooking begins. It's worth it for many people, however, and creates fun wintertime activity for many. If the snow accumulates too fast, move the cooking indoors for the benefit of everyone.

Also, be cognizant of the time of day. It gets dark early this time of year and doing the grilling long before 4 or 5 p.m. is your best bet if you're grilling for guests. This isn't to say you can't attach portable lights to areas around or directly on your grill.

Be sure to wash your grill thoroughly afterward and keep it covered with a tarp for the rest of winter if you won't be using it again. You don't want a pile of snow rusting the internal parts before next summer arrives.

If you need to buy a new charcoal grill or need a current one fixed, we offer both services here at Lawn & Leisure. We sell items related to outdoor living, though we know that none of that stops with the seasons.

92248f15-8004-4da8-dd7d-62c0353d2d30-thumbJust because summer is officially over with doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about your gas grill. There are plenty of good reasons to consider propane refills for your gas grill in autumn, and here are just four we thought were worth mentioning.

#1. Autumn is still an excellent time to cook outdoors

Whether you’re tailgating or simply enjoying the beautiful weather, autumn is an excellent time for grilling out. The beautiful fall weather won’t last forever, so ensure you are prepared by topping off your propane tank now.

#2. Beat the winter doldrums

Should there be an unexpected warm winter day, you’ll want to ensure you are ready to take advantage of it, which is why you need a full tank of propane on hand just in case.

#3. Be prepared for a power outage

You never know when an unexpected power outage could leave you unable to use your stove. Should that happen, you can easily prepare delicious home-cooked meals on your grill rather than eating cold food out of a can.

#4. You won’t have to rush come spring

Once spring finally does arrive, chances are you’ll have plenty of other things to do in order to get ready for warmer weather. Filling the propane tank won’t be one of them, because you’ll already have that task taken care of.

As you can see, there are still plenty of good reasons to have your propane tank refilled right now. Here at Lawn and Leisure, we fill propane tanks, and have a wide selection of grills and accessories available as well. We are your “Suburban Survival Store”- contact us today to find out why.

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Summer is here, and we are ready for our outdoor barbeques! After this pandemic, where we spent most of our time inside, alone or with family, we have reached the point where we can safely gather with our trusted and loved friends and family. The summer of parties and get-togethers has come back. The best way to finish this scene is to turn up the music and do some outdoor grilling!

Although outdoor grilling is such a fun time, we must always be cautious. Propane grilling can have a tremendous danger associated with it. With the potential for an explosion, chemical inhalant inhalation, and gas leaks, it is important to be aware of how to safely use your propane grill. It is important, however, to recognize that when used safely, propane grilling is a super fun way to make food, spend time with your family and friends, and enjoy gorgeous weather.

We are Lawn & Leisure care about your safety, and we want to ensure that you enjoy any product that you purchase from our showroom. If you have any questions about safely using your propane grill, please know that you can always reach out to us, and we will happily answer any questions for you. Propane grilling is an American staple, and we want you to have the best time with your propane grill!

Safety Tip #1: Ventilation

As with most electric and gas appliances, always ensure that there is proper ventilation when you are using the grill. The best place to use your propane grill is actually outside, in your backyard, but away from your house. No matter how good your ventilation is inside of your house, and no matter how many windows you keep open, the safest place to use your propane grill is still outside. The breeze and the large surface area will ensure that your propane grill gets the ventilation that it needs to keep you and your family safe. Never grill indoors.

Safety Tip #2: Don’t Keep Propane Tanks in an Enclosed Space

In terms of storage, it is important that you never store your propane tanks in an enclosed space, such as in a shed, in your garage, or even inside of your home. You can keep the grill indoors, but make sure that the propane tank itself is not stored inside. Furthermore, ensure that your propane tank is stored upright, not sideways. Don’t store your propane tank sideways, or on or near another grill.

Safety Tip #3: Make Sure the Tank Isn’t Stored in the Heat

In the previous tip, we saw how it is important to keep the propane tank stored outdoors. However, it is also important to be mindful of the temperature. Make sure that your propane tank is not stored in a place where the temperature exceeds 120oF. This high temperature can cause the molecules in the tank to become too pressurized, causing an explosion.

Safety Tip #4: Don’t Smoke Near the Tanks

While it may seem obvious, it is important to never smoke near the tanks. At the end of the day, propane is still a flammable gas, and we want to prevent explosions. Even if your tank is off, it is safest to keep any source of ignition away from it.

Safety Tip #5: Grill Away from the House

This tip was mentioned briefly earlier, but it is deserving of another mention. When you are actively using your grill and your propane tank, make sure that you are not grilling too close to your house. Your house can be the source of a lot of different ignitions; all you need is that one spark to cause a fire. Also, you need to ensure that there is proper ventilation from all sides in order to reduce the chance of an explosion due to high pressure.

Safety Tip #6: Check for Tank Damage When Refilling

When you are refilling your propane tank, it is important to follow all instructions, including how much propane should be in the tank. Depending on the size of your propane tank, there is a limit to how much propane can fill the tank. Keep up to date on the laws to ensure safe handling of the propane tanks. Furthermore, another thing to keep in mind when refilling your propane tank is to check for damages. Never check for damages using a lighter or a match. You can use a leak-detection solution; Lawn & Leisure also has refilling services where we will check for a leak for you. You should also check for a leak every time that you disconnect and connect your propane tank.

To learn more about Lawn & Leisure’s refilling services, you can either come into the showroom or call us.

Safety Tip #7: Make Sure the Grill is Off and the Cylinder Valve is Closed When Not Using

Perhaps the most obvious safety tip, it is important to ensure that your grill is off and the cylinder valve is closed when you are not using the grill or propane tank.

A propane tank is a perfect solution to a summer of grilling and barbeque, after a long year and a half of COVID-19. Bring together your family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy the outdoor breeze and weather, cooking and grilling together. Propane tanks are very safe to use, as long as you follow these seven simple steps to safe propane grilling. We, at Lawn & Leisure, want to help you go on this journey to loving your propane grill. Visit us in our showroom to figure out the best propane tank for you, to understand how to safely use it, and to learn about our propane refilling services!

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Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. That means less sleet and snow and more beautiful, sunny days to enjoy the great outdoors. Now is the perfect time to start thinking about outdoor seating on your property. Whether you want to spice up your backyard, front yard, or side yard, there are a plethora of options of seating to choose from. Whether you want a rustic backyard barbecue vibe or a natural garden set-up to dine amongst the trees, there are many outdoor seating options to choose from that fit your style and blend in well with the rest of your home and landscaping. 

Outdoor furniture, or garden furniture, is composed of weather-resistant material such as aluminum, synthetic fiber, or wicker. In this article, we’ll show you 6 of our favorite opportunities for beautiful outdoor seating that will give your landscape the perfect touch.

  • Patio dining set

A dining set on the back or front patio is great for entertaining. On warm summer nights, you’ll be able to drink, dine, and enthrall your guests with both stylish and functional outdoor furniture. Outdoor furniture lets you re-create the function of your indoor kitchen table but made with materials that can withstand weather events like rain. Outdoor seating on a deck or patio adds a charming and elegant touch to any landscaping project. There are a variety of sets available to match your needs, including furniture for small spaces, large spaces, picnic tables, or bistro tables. 

  • Around a Firepit

Invoke the warm childhood memories of sitting around and telling stories at the campfire. 

Whether you want a casual, camp-style bonfire setting or a fancier dinner setup around a stone fire pit, adding outdoor seating around a firepit allows you to stay warm while entertaining friends or family. And, you can enjoy the outdoors anytime of year, especially in Maryland when the winter chill comes in. Built-in seating, like seat walls or built-in benches against a platform, are a great option for fire pit seating that accommodates small or large groups. Wood sectionals are a very popular choice. You can also add sand or gravel around the pit for a more polished landscape. Fire pit seating breeds community-- what better way to gather with your loved ones than in the comfort of your own backyard?

  • In a Garden

You don’t have to be English to enjoy a quiet cup of tea in the garden. If you enjoy the contemplative moments in life, you probably find the idea of a hearty lunch or coffee break in the garden absolutely delightful. A garden seating arrangement is a perfect set-up that allows you to smell the roses, take in the natural beauty, and harmonize with the plants and bees on your work break. Add a rustic, driftwood table and chairs for an organic look or a stone table with an attached bench for an elegant yet natural accent. Or throw in a hammock for a bohemian, nap-time vibe. And you also get to enjoy your garden outside of your gardening hours. The garden isn’t just for plowing and watering-- it should also be for relaxing!

  • By the Pool

Summers are made for swimming. On blistering hot days, jumping in the pool sounds like the best idea ever. Once you take a dip, you may want to relax and lounge by the pool. In that case, you’ll need some outdoor furniture to accommodate your lazy summer afternoons. Make your backyard feel like a spa or Carribean resort by adding a set of classic chaise lounge chairs. If you prefer nuzzling your head into a book, opt for a comfortable poolside reading chair. If you can’t decide between a reading chair or a chaise chair, get a convertible chair to experience the best of both worlds. For poolside cocktails, you may choose to add a bar table and stools. If your yard is not particularly shady, you may want to also purchase some matching umbrellas to protect yourself from the harsh sun. 

  • On a Balcony 

If you have a balcony jutting out of your home’s second story, you already know you are blessed. There’s nothing more tranquil than rolling out of bed and taking in the view and the fresh air from your own private little balcony. So why not mix things up and add a few pieces of outdoor seating? Add some flair with a colorful accent chair and a small table that just begs you to go outside for your morning coffee. 

  • Beside a Tree

If you have a beautiful large tree in your front or backyard that provides shade, you will love an outdoor furniture set to accompany it. Go for subtle, rustic, earthy pieces like wicker and wooden tables and chairs that blend into the natural atmosphere. You can even add a swing from the tree-- guaranteed fun for kids and adults! 

have-a-small-patio-3-tips-for-finding-the-ideal-furniture-chantilly-vaFurnishing a small patio can be overwhelming due to the limited square footage, but with some careful planning, you can get the space furnished to suit your needs perfectly. Whether you want your patio to combine a comfortable seating area with a lush garden or you would like to use the space for barbecuing, you’ll need to keep in mind the function you want while shopping for patio furniture.

Get Creative with a Layout

Even with a small space, you can fit in a lounger or bistro set with a little bit of creativity. Taking measurements of the space and coming up with a layout on paper or by using interior design software can help you figure out the best placement for all of your furniture. Think hard about how you want people to use the furniture and plan for ideal circumstances.

Opt for Furniture with Storage

While you may not need a lot of storage room outdoors, you can still benefit by having a secure place to store blankets, serving plates, and other items for your patio. The easiest way to get the storage you desire is through purchasing furniture such as a love seat that can open up to a roomy storage space inside. Plus everyone is delighted to see a secret compartment reveal its treasures.

Avoid Bulky Furniture Sets

Purchasing furniture in a set can be convenient and make it easier to coordinate the appearance of your patio, but it can also mean that the furniture takes up too much room. Shopping for furniture with the square footage in mind can help you choose pieces that look nice and will allow ample room for moving around. Planning to shuffle furniture means you can move unused pieces out of the way.

If you’re interested in buying furniture designed for smaller spaces, feel free to contact us for recommendations for your patio.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

pet-friendly-features-to-look-for-when-buying-deck-furniture-herndon-vaKeeping furniture clean in a home with pets is likely something that you intend on doing everyday inside your home, but it can be a bit more confusing when dealing with the outdoors. If you’re concerned about maintaining your deck furniture, it’s a good idea for you to look into what materials should be chosen and how to avoid damage to the furniture caused by your pets.

Resistant Against Tearing

The worst scenario for deck furniture when it comes to pets is experiencing the materials being torn by their nails. Avoiding furniture that rips easily, such as thin fabrics, can help it last longer in a home with pets. Since most animals love climbing on top of furniture, you’ll need to look out for pieces that won’t be torn easily.

Without outdoor furniture, you're likely going to want something tough like canvas anyway to stand up to the elements. It's no use having furniture that absorbs water and stays wet for days, so anything weather-resistant is more likely to be pet-resistant.

Washable Furniture Covers

An easy way to preserve your deck furniture is for you to keep an eye out for furniture that has covers included. The covers should be machine washable, allowing you to enjoy a deep clean so that any pet hair and tracked dirt can be removed properly.

Avoid Expensive Pieces

Spending a lot of money on deck furniture may seem like the right thing to do if you want your deck to look fantastic, but this can often backfire due to accidental damage your pet causes. Buying furniture that is priced reasonably will ensure that you won’t be disappointed by its condition in the years to come.

For more helpful advice on buying new furniture for your outdoor deck, please feel free to contact us at Lawn and Leisure.

 

outdoor-grills-revive-the-renaissance-reston-vaIn the 1500s everyone cooked over an open flame or hot coals and as a result the cooks of the day were experts at grilling large cuts of meat.  During the Renaissance only the affluent had kitchens; the common folk either ate porridge from a big pot on the hearth, or purchased their evening meal from a vendor who had a kitchen.  Workers would drop off the fixin’s for their meal on the way to work in the morning and pick it up fully cooked in the evening.  Some towns had community ovens where housewives could go to bake their breads or roast meats.

Today, not only do we all have kitchens, but some of us even have elaborate outdoor kitchens, and almost everyone has a gas or charcoal grill where they fix barbecued ribs, chicken breasts, hot dogs, hamburgers, and steaks.  But, if you haven’t tried grilling big cuts of meat outside, you’re missing out on a savory treat.  Grilling turkey breasts, whole chickens, pork tenderloin, or beef roasts is easy and cooking on outdoor grills adds a layer of smoky flavor you can’t get with a conventional oven.  Take a moment to check out the handsome Weber and Fire Magic gas grills in the Lawn & Leisure photo gallery.

When using a gas grill for roasting you need at least two burners.  Light one burner and place your foil-wrapped or uncovered meat over the unlit burner.  If your grill has three burners, leave the center burner unlit and place your roast above it.  Turn the heat down low and close the lid.  After 10 minutes check the temperature and continue checking and adjusting until the thermometer consistently reads 350 degrees. 

If your grill doesn't have a built in thermometer, you can place an oven thermometer inside the grill or use a wood stove thermometer that magnetically attaches to the outside of the grill lid.  If using a magnetic thermometer, it should read approximately 300 degrees.  Use a digital thermometer to check for doneness.  Most meats are done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees according to the USDA safe minimum cooking temperatures.  

Allow 20 to 30 minutes per pound for roasting unless you’re grilling a tougher cut of meat.  Wrap tough cuts in foil to keep them from drying out and roast for 2.5 to 3 hours.  For that delicious grilled crispness, remove the meat from its foil wrapping 15 minutes before the time is up, and place the meat over the lit burner to crisp lightly before serving.

The following is an authentic Renaissance recipe:

Roasted Beef

4 – 6 lbs. boneless beef roast (most tender cut)

3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp. dried leaf basil

1/4 tsp. rosemary, crumbled

1/4 tsp. dried leaf thyme

1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1 tsp. salt

Rub roast all over with olive oil.  Combine garlic, spices, salt & pepper, and roll oiled roast in the spice mixture.  Place the roast directly on the grill rack, or use foil or a shallow pan, if you prefer.  Sprinkle with remaining spice mixture.  Roast uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on desired doneness.  Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

If using fresh herbs, remember that they’re much more potent than the dried variety, so go easy with them.  For turkey breasts or whole chickens, you might add paprika, thyme, and oregano to your spice mix.  

If using a charcoal grill to roast meat, add another layer of deliciousness to your entrée by adding hickory chips or wood chips soaked in whisky or other marinades (try garlic teriyaki sauce), to your charcoal.  Keep the coals to one side of the grill and place your meat on the side without coals.  As with the gas grill, you need a lid and a way to monitor your temperature.

Let Lawn and Leisure make your grilling experience a historical one with a new, assembled Fire Magic or Weber gas grill.  Please contact us us for all your grilling accessories and outdoor furniture needs.

get ready for an indoor gas fireplace upgrade

Gone are the days of fireplace choices being limited to brick hearths and wire screens. Say hello to innovation and style with indoor gas fireplace upgrades that are cool, modern, and totally you. If you are one of those people whose fireplace is a central part of your home, prepare to be excited for some of the latest trends for indoor gas fireplace decor!

An Indoor Gas Fireplace Uses No Wood

For years households with loved ones who struggled with respiratory concerns, like asthma or emphysema, have had to forego the luxuries and pleasures of a fireplace because of the by-products of burning wood. Plus all the hassle of buying wood or having it delivered.

With a gas-burning fireplace, everyone can now enjoy better air quality while toasting toes before an open fire. And no more hassle of keeping a pile of wood on your property. For some time now, after the advent of indoor gas fireplaces, imitation logs were all a set of eyes could feast itself on while gazing into those mesmerizing dancing flames. Now, there are new choices. Nature lovers might opt for river rocks or pine cones whereas an insert of curious geometric shapes is perfect for a minimalist or contemporary decor.

An Indoor Gas Fireplace Needs No Lighters

There is probably not a single fire-starter on earth who has not, at one time or other, experienced "singed bang syndrome". Even if it hasn't happened to you personally, you probably know someone who has endured this nasty event. It occurs from having to approach the fireplace closely in order to perform initial ignition with a match or lighter wand. Mankind, although strongly attached to the warmth of fire, a deeply rooted instinct to its connection with the survival of our species, nonetheless almost always experiences trepidation at the thought of first igniting that fire. Questions may pop into your mind, "Did I pour on too much starter fluid? Did I drip some onto my sleeve? Have too many fumes built up in the firebox? Will a fireball surge out and blast me?" Such worries are now a thing of the past thanks to ignition remotes, wall switches and even smart device apps. Upgrade and start your fires with joy rather than flinching and hoping for the best.

An Indoor Gas Fireplace is a Centerpiece

Fireplaces have traditionally been centerpieces in family rooms. Before the ingenuity of electric and gas fireplaces, most homes were limited to whatever fireplace existed. If a home lacked a fireplace, a family simply had to accept a fire-less lifestyle. It was simply too costly and complicated to remodel a home to include a new log-burning fireplace. Gas fireplace innovation has changed the home decor game. Just like any new technology, over time this amenity became more and more affordable. Now, with an abundance of style options available, it is possible for homeowners to afford to install a fireplace alternative in virtually every room in the house. Want an alternative heat source in the dining room? No problem. There's a fireplace that will blend perfectly with your design scheme. Even if you live in an apartment, there are fireplace options available. Consider a tabletop fire pit, suitable for indoor or patio pleasure. Even if the only space you have is to hang a fire-feature upon the wall like a work of art, that, too, can be done! There is really no reason anyone who wants a fireplace should not have one.

An Indoor Gas Fireplace is Safe

Just mention the words gas, propane, or butane and some people tremble with fear. Is that what is holding you back from indulging in the luxury of a gas fireplace? Rest assured that modern gas fireplaces are designed with the latest technology, making them safe to use and enjoy. First of all, look for that "UL" label. That is reassurance that the fireplace design you are interested in has undergone rigorous safety tests at Underwriters Laboratory. Most manufacturers will even go a step beyond, employing an independent organization to provide additional certification to their fireplace product. Gas fireplaces have several standard safety features integrated into their design:

  • Safety pilot light system.
  • Safety combination valve.
  • Ignition options with safety back-ups to automatically shut off the gas valve should a pilot light extinguish.
  • Catalysts that clean the air of combustion by-products to preserve air quality (vent-free fireplace feature).
  • Sensors that measure oxygen levels with automatic shut off should oxygen level drop too far (vent-free fireplace feature).
  • Spill switches that monitor temperature and automatically shut down the fireplace if proper venting is not occurring (vented fireplace feature).

Different manufacturers may offer other safety features than those listed. With demand rising for gas fireplaces, designers are responding to the safety concerns of consumers as well as legislators. Don't let fear keep you from the pleasures of snuggling before a cozy fire with loved ones. Amp up the volume of your home's decor with a gas fireplace and put your worries aside!

An Indoor Gas Fireplace is Eco-Friendly

You may be asking yourself just how green a gas fireplace can be. After all, the most natural type of fire is a burning log, right? Well, the data is in and the truth is definitive. If you are interested in burning green, you want to go gas. Wood burning fireplaces are simply inefficient. They also contribute to pollution which is why many cities have actually banned them in new residential construction. Gas fireplaces, however, are quite efficient as space heaters. With affordable designs, homeowners can enjoy this efficiency throughout the house, a fireplace for every room! Gas is also a cleaner alternative to traditional wood because it releases fewer of those pesky emissions as it burns. Lovers of green living love their gas fireplaces. And no trees were harmed in the making of heat for your home!

Are you ready to order your gas fireplace today? I should think so. Please contact us for assistance with the best selection and prices on the perfect gas fireplace. Or, if you're in the DC area, stop in and visit the showroom. Our certified fireplace experts are happy to answer your questions and provide you with the best service in leisure living products.

74575e43-da9c-4b0c-8ff5-83aa73cf4809-thumbWhen it comes to outdoor furnishing, you have a unique opportunity to create a space that caters to your particular needs, which helps you get the most out of your outside space. While some homeowners prefer the standard approach of a table and several chairs, others may want to mix it up to create their own version of an outdoor paradise.

Whatever your preference may be, your number one goal should be to make your outdoor space an enticing place, and this begins with the outdoor furniture you choose to use.

Relaxation in Your Outdoor Space

How a person likes to relax really depends on the individual, but there are multiple ways of accomplishing this goal. From buying a hammock to simply having a long and comfortable couch to lay on after work, the choice is really up to you to decide what should go into your outdoor space for relaxation.

Eating in Your Outdoor Space

Adding an outdoor grill is an easy and effective way to encourage eating outside, but you also need outdoor furnishings to ensure you have the space to actually eat outside. It is possible to go standard with a table and some chairs, or go for a unique approach and have a fire pit installed. With a fire pit, you can encourage people to eat around the fire pit, making it an excellent option for dinner on cold nights.

Focus in Your Outdoor Space

While what it takes in furnishings to achieve relaxation and focus may be the same, you may not want too much direct sunlight when you are interested in focusing. In this case, you can rely on a patio umbrella, natural protection from nearby trees, or careful placement of outdoor furniture to achieve this goal.

Entertain in Your Outdoor Space

Having a conversation outside with family or friends is an activity that some people really enjoy, but you need the right space to make sure the opportunity presents itself.

Furnishing the outdoors so that everyone faces each other is one of the best ways to promote conversation, so getting the right furnishings should be the first step in your quest for great conversation.

The outdoors can be enjoyed in many ways. If you need outdoor furniture for your home, make sure to contact us as we would love to help you get the furnishings you want and need for your outdoor space.

outdoor furniture

Spring is only two months away, which means this is the perfect time of year to start thinking about updating outdoor décor (and to start looking for some good deals). But when it comes to picking outdoor furniture, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Here are five tips that can ensure you have a stylish and comfortable patio or yard area:

  1. Prioritize Function

    When choosing furniture, put function first. That means choosing the kinds of furniture that you’ll use often and grouping it in areas where you like to hang out or entertain. For most homeowners, that will include both a sofa set and a dining set. But you don't have to stick to these classics. About 78% of people who own a grill or smoker in the U.S. say that it’s an "extremely important" or “pretty important” part of their entertaining routine, for example, so you might consider a seating area near a propane grill (taking into account fire safety measures, of course), so that the grill master can still participate in socializing.

  2. Know Materials Matter

    There's quite a bit of surprisingly attractive and affordable lawn furniture available on the market. Before you jump at these good deals, however, make sure they're backed up by sturdy construction and quality materials. You can also think about the environmental impact of the outdoor furniture you're using; wicker, for example -- made by weaving strips of rattan, willow, bamboo, reeds or synthetic fibers -- is often made with renewably sourced material. Wicker made with synthetics should be marked as "resin wicker."

  3. Factor In Storage

    When you're picking outdoor furniture, one of the most important things you'll need to take into account is your storage space and how willing you are to move furniture in and out of it. If you have a clean shed nearby, then gathering up some white cushions at the end of the night and putting them inside might not be a big deal. But moving an entire patio furniture set inside because it’s too fragile to be left in the rain probably isn’t realistic.

  4. Think Dual Purpose

    Especially in small spaces, deck furniture that has more than one function is a smart (and fashionable) option. Consider an outdoor fireplace that has a wide enough hearth to set down drinks, or an ottoman that can serve both as a table and as a footrest.

  5. Consider Continuity

    If your outdoor space is connected to indoor living space by a sliding door (or visible through several large windows), it's a good idea to keep a sense of continuity and consistency between them. That doesn't mean the two spaces should match, but you might not want to completely switch themes. A good rule of thumb is to pick out a few elements from the indoor space -- a color scheme, theme or distinctive design element -- and then use punched-up versions of them in the outdoor space, since outside areas can handle a little more brightness and kitsch.

Do you have any tips for furnishing outdoor spaces? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

deck furnitureA full 63% of the U.S. population grills every single month, and that figure is probably much higher now that we’re solidly into grilling season. But even if you’ve been heading out to the backyard or patio to grill for years, you might be making some major grilling mistakes. Here are five of the most common you’ll want to fix before you have even one more summer cookout:

  1. Placing Your Grill Incorrectly

    First things first: safety. Data collected between 2007 and 2011 show that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 8,800 inside and outside fires related to grilling, and you definitely don’t want to be a data point in the next study. Grill in an open spot clear of flammable building materials or vegetation. And deck furniture is great, but it shouldn’t be placed too close to either charcoal grills or propane grills (the same goes for outdoor fireplaces, by the way). You can also look for deck furniture made of non-flammable materials to be extra cautious.

  2. Bringing Your Meat to Room Temperature

    For some reason, there’s a myth floating around that you should let your meat sit out and come to room temperature before you throw it on the grill. But that’s just a recipe for bacteria growth and possible food poisoning. Keep your meat safely chilled until you’re ready to cook; a grill can easily reach 600 to 800 degrees, so it will take only seconds for the meat to get warmed up once it’s over the flames.

  3. Salting After Grilling

    Don’t believe anyone who tells you that salting food before it’s grilled will dry it out and leave it tough. A generous sprinkling of kosher salt prior to grilling is the best seasoning you can use, and it won’t dry meat out unless you salt it hours in advance.

  4. Turning Your Steak With a BBQ Fork

    Don’t stab your steaks with a barbecue fork to turn them, as this will let all the juices run out (and avoid any other cooking techniques that involve cutting or puncturing steaks until they’ve been cooked and rested, such as cutting them in half to check doneness). Tongs are the tools for the job.

  5. Using Contaminated Serving Dishes

    Don’t forget about what happens when your masterpiece comes off the grill and is ready for serving. Instead of slapping cooked food back on the plate you brought raw meat or poultry out to the grill on, use a clean serving platter so everyone can enjoy it safely.

Do you have any other tips to share on perfecting the art of the summer cookout, from deck furniture choices to sangria recipes? Join the discussion in the comments.

27b3b878-ee74-4f5d-f6df-f8b7f33b5b2f-thumbCharcoal vs. propane for grills is an endless debate for people who grill on a regular basis. However, this debate often leaves those who are new to grilling confused as to whether they should purchase a charcoal or gas barbecue. The fact is that there are benefits to both options, and it comes down to personal preference whether one is better than the other. To help you in making your decision, here are a few reasons to consider purchasing a gas grill.

Operating Costs

For the everyday griller, one of the greatest benefits of using a gas grill is the cheaper operating costs. With a charcoal grill, you will end up spending about $3.00-$3.50 in charcoal each time you use your grill. This could add up quickly if you end up using your grill frequently. Propane on the other hand is much more affordable as it costs about $1.00 to operate a gas grill for one hour (which is the average amount of time most individuals run their barbecue).

Ease of Use

Barbecuing using a charcoal grill can be quite a hassle. Not only do you have to get the charcoal set up, and get it to light, before you can use it, but then you will have to wait roughly 20-40 minutes before the coals will be ready to use. For individuals who tend to be in a hurry, gas grills make the better option. With a simple switch of a knob your grill will be turned on and ready to go.

Wider Range of Features

Gas barbecues tend to have more options available for additional features. While charcoal grills tend to be plain and straight forward, a wide range of extras can be added to a gas barbecue including a rotisserie and a side burner for additional cooking space.

There are many benefits to both charcoal and gas grilling. Thusly, it is unlikely that the debate as to which is best will end anytime soon. However, for the average griller the additional features available on gas grills, as well as the ease of using these grills, generally makes them the superior option. Contact us to find out more about the benefits of using a propane grill.

renters how to make your outdoor living space feel like home great falls va

If you rent the home or apartment, you probably don't want to spend a lot of money on improving the outdoor living space. However, this doesn't mean that you can't make your outdoor living area feel like home. These are a few tenant-friendly tips for feeling more at home in your rented space.

Use Potted Plants in Your Outdoor Living Space

You probably don't want to dedicate a lot of time, money and effort into planting flowers and other plants in your backyard, and there's a chance that your lease forbids you from doing so anyway. You might even live in an apartment that doesn't have a lawn or that has minimal lawn space. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't enjoy the joys of live plants, however.

Instead of digging in the ground or living without plants, try adding potted plants to your outdoor living space. When kept in beautiful pots and when arranged properly, they can look great without actually being planted. Along with adding small trees, shrubs and flowers, you can even try container gardening if you would like to plant your own fruits, vegetables and herbs. Then, when you move, you can bring your plants with you, and you won't have to worry about digging up the yard at the home that you are currently renting, nor will you have to worry about living plant-free just because you're currently residing in an apartment.

Invest in Nice Outdoor Furniture for Your Outdoor Living Space

Using the right outdoor furniture in your backyard or on your patio -- or both -- can make your outdoor living space feel like home. Go ahead and invest in high-quality furniture that you can easily take with you to your next home. A good idea is to opt for outdoor furniture in neutral colors; then, you can ensure that it will match your next home, even if the color scheme is a lot different.

Even if you do opt for neutral colors, however, you can still brighten things up. A few outdoor-friendly throw pillows are great for adding comfort and color, and they can be swapped out for the seasons or can be traded for different pillows if you find that they aren't a good match for your next rental.

Install Portable Lighting in Your Outdoor Living Space

You might not love the standard-issue bright light that is used on your back patio, but replacing it isn't exactly a good option if you're renting. Luckily, there's still something that you can do about it. Try using lanterns or strings of holiday lights or party lights to dress up your outdoor living space without making any permanent changes. Another option is to use solar lights around your patio or around the backyard for an affordable touch of lighting. Then, you can bring your lights with you when you move.

Use Rugs in Your Outdoor Living Space

Look for large, colorful outdoor rugs that you can use to brighten up a boring patio. Along with adding some color, cheer and personalization to your outdoor living space, a nice outdoor rug will help prevent any spills or stains on the concrete, such as while you are grilling or enjoying a few drinks with friends.

You can then add yet another touch of customization to your outdoor living space by adding a nice outdoor rug in front of the back door. Along with brightening up your outdoor living space, it'll also help you and your guests brush your feet off so that you don't cause any stains or damage to your rental flooring, particularly if your rental has carpet.

As you can see, there are ways to make your outdoor living space feel like home, even in a rental. If you're ready to start shopping for furniture and other touches, contact us at Lawn & Leisure to find out about all of our great rental-friendly options.

get resilient patio furniture to improve your rental property 1

When your rental property has an outdoor space that can house patio furniture, you can leave the space empty to let a tenant decide what to do or get a patio set to furnish the space on your own.

While both options can work, you will find numerous benefits with buying resilient patio furniture. A great patio set gives you an additional selling point, will last for years, looks great in rental photos, and lets you charge more for your property rental.

An Additional Feature

Although you might have a potential tenant that will want to put in their own patio furniture, you cannot go wrong with offering an extra feature, especially when people want to use what you provide. When creating the rental listing, you can make it clear that the furniture can come with the home.

A Patio Set Guaranteed to Last

By investing in resistant furniture, you do not have to worry about the condition of the furniture. With little to no maintenance, you can provide patio furniture to your tenants for years to come.

A Patio Set Looks Great in Photos

While an empty home often looks great in photos, you can make it shine with furniture. Posting photos with an attractive patio furniture set in great condition is an effective way to increase positive exposure.

Increase Rental Value

Although it might not make a huge difference in the rental value, just about any improvement can help you increase the rental rate or justify the rate you decide on. It is for this reason that outdoor furniture can make an excellent investment to improve your property’s rental value for the next few years.

It is ideal to stick with neutral colors to avoid catering to a particular style.

If you have any questions about picking the right furniture, please contact us today.

impress guests with a unique outdoor fireplace

The holiday entertaining season is just around the corner, and you still have time to add a statement piece to your back yard to impress guests coming from near and far.

Whether your holiday entertaining entails a large group of family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner, a few friends from the office for an intimate holiday evening or an extended family stay during the winter school break, you are sure to impress you guests with a unique outdoor fireplace.

Our designers can assist you in creating an outdoor fireplace that fits with your home and back yard landscaping, but also one that can be a signature piece that guests will marvel at while they gather around on cold winter days and evenings.

Here are 5 unique materials you could consider working into your design to make your fireplace one of a kind:

Clinker Bricks

Clinker bricks are those that were miscolored or misshapen during the baking process and therefore were considered worthless at the time. But during the 1920s, the Arts and Crafts design movement discovered these tossed-aside bricks and incorporated them into designs that spoke out against the soulless, machine-made uniformity that had come about with the Industrial Revolution.

Their unusual curves, broken corners, trapezoid shapes and more break up the traditional lines of a solid brick fireplace, drawing your guests close to examine each brick for its unique nature.

While the heart of the Arts and Crafts movement was centered in California, it also gained a strong foothold on the East Coast and was woven into many great Tudor-style, Eastern homes.

Clinker bricks can be found in the lighter orange color of the California style, the deep reds of the Tudor homes and in the muted mix of orange, red, pink and purple that calls to mind the ancient Tuscany style from Italy.

Firebricks

A less radical but still unique option would be reclaimed firebricks, which are the bricks that have been removed from kilns in the old brickyards. These bricks were made to withstand the extreme heat of repeated firings, but have taken on a variety of colors over the years from exposure to so many firings.

The firebricks also come in nontraditional sizes, which will give your fireplace a different look that will have guests wondering where your bricks came from.

Poured Concrete

If the antique look of bricks is not to your appeal, consider the sleek, modern look of poured concrete. A tower of poured concrete can stand in stark contrast to your greener landscape and complement a modern home design. Large concrete tiles are another option to create a similar look.

Stucco

Bring a Spanish or Southwestern flavor to your back yard with a stucco fireplace, which also can combine with modern or antique bricks to provide a lovely contrast of colors. A tiled mantel or hearth also can add accent to the fireplace to create interest or make it coordinate with the design colors of your home.

Wooden It Be Lovely

Don't be afraid to add a little or a lot of wood design into your fireplace scheme. Wood doesn't have to be limited to a thick-beamed mantel. You can incorporate many wood features, including with exotic woods, around your fireplace to create a true outdoor environment.

With the right wood accents, you can mimic a Colorado cabin feel, a Swiss chalet or a Japanese Zen garden.

Whatever idea you have to construct a unique fireplace that will wow your holiday visitors can be accomplished with our professional design staff. Contact us today to get started with planning so your outdoor fireplace can be up and burning in time for the holidays.

allow-patio-furniture-experts-to-beautify-your-backyard-mclean-vaIf you want to make your patio the coziest place to be in your home, then you cannot go without the most important part, patio furniture. It is the main component to making a relaxing backyard getaway, but you may have specific wants and needs that turn the shopping experience into a challenge.

Letting patio furniture experts’ help you will ensure you make the right choices.

Patio Experts Know Your Needs

With so much variation in material, design, cost, and size, choosing the right outdoor furniture is not easy. In this case, you will find that relying on experts that sell and service this furniture can prove to be very helpful and just what you need in guiding you towards making the best purchase.

Patio Experts Can Deliver, Assemble

Once you have found the patio furniture you want to start using in your backyard, you need to get it delivered and assembled, which you can have professionals do. After helping with the purchase process, these experts can provide you with a hands-off experience, where you get to watch and enjoy.

Patio Experts Can Plan

Being able to spend time outside on patio furniture that fits your exact needs can make it rather tempting to begin investing in other outdoor additions. For instance, an outdoor fireplace or a grill can really transform your outdoor space into an ideal place for parties or get-togethers.

You can have just as much fun furnishing the inside of your home as the outside, especially when you let experts provide assistance with their extensive knowledge of making patios look amazing.

Contact us for help with finding, buying, and assembling patio furniture.

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Picking outdoor furniture is a bit trickier than picking interior furniture. Outdoor furniture needs to serve its function and look great, while standing up to the elements. You can’t just put any kind of wood outside and expect it to fare well, with some woods being naturally better suited for the outdoors because of their strength and durability. Other woods have natural oils that can repel insects. Teak is our (and many others’) recommendation for the best wood for outdoor furniture because it some of the strongest and longest lasting wood, as well as having natural oil that keeps it well conditioned.


Whether you’re replacing old, broken down patio furniture or looking to set some up for the first time, teak is the answer. For it’s natural good looks to its strength and durability, it’s the only option for your new outdoor furniture. It provides a perfect balance between the longevity of synthetic materials and the natural look of other woods.


When looking for outdoor furniture, aesthetics are right up there with functionality. You want to be able to comfortably use whatever you need, but it also needs to look great, too, as a complementary decoration for your yard. Teak is a beautiful wood, with a nice dark golden brown color and a tight, straight grain pattern. It has a very natural looking quality, especially because of how it the the color changes slowly over time, first fading a bit while turning to a classic looking silvery-gray (which can be reset at anytime with a nice polish). The weathered color brings to mind the worn looking adirondack chairs and shingles of a beach house, and goes well with anything else in your yard.


One of the biggest advantages of using teak wood is its natural strength. Teak is a hardwood, one of the strongest kinds of wood in the world, and it even dulls the tools of woodworkers when crafting with it. This means that your teak outdoor furniture will stand up very well to any bumps or bruises it may sustain in the elements, although it does mean that teak wood is relatively dense and heavy. But it comes with good news, you don’t even have to take your teak inside. Its natural durability can keep itself looking great for over a hundred years!


All wood has some kind of oil, like tea tree oil or sap for maple syrup, but teak retains its oil after being cut, unlike most other kinds of wood. This oil gives teak wood several significant advantages for being used in outdoor furniture. It protects against pests and vermin who eat away at and destroy the wood. It makes the wood waterproof, repelling water and therefore preventing warping and cracking. And finally, teak oil prevents dry rot, a common and annoying problem with using lesser wood outdoors. Teak is a great option for a hands off material that protects itself: you can just leave it and it will repel moisture and pests while also resisting rot and decay. Different woods experience those problems to different degrees, but you don’t have to worry about decline or decay with your teak furniture.


Teak is also very low maintenance. You could treat it if you want, to achieve a specific color or stain, but you don’t need to treat teak at all, just let its natural oils do their job to protect the wood. Over time, the wood will weather to become a very nice silvery-gray color, but you can also buff off the gray patina any time you want to return to the original golden brown color. For other spot issues, like dirt, moss, or other stains, you can clean them right off with a bit of soapy water and a soft brush.


Teak’s strength and oil make it exceedingly long-lasting. While it can be more expensive than other woods, the benefits from its graceful appearance, natural longevity, and lack of maintenance more than makeup for the price difference. Yearly wood treatment adds up both in cost and effort; better to sit back and enjoy watching it weather. You can leave the teak furniture outside all year in any climate, really, and the natural resistance to warping and cracking will keep the wood at tip-top shape through cold winters, hot summers, and the transitions between them. The same way it resists cracking and warping, it avoids shrinking and expanding, which can cause problems for the wood itself and how it fits in the furniture. Because of its shape retention, it’s been used in shipbuilding and other crafts for thousands of years. And it’s still used in shipbuilding, like for yacht flooring, both because of its natural weather resistance, and its natural beauty and beautiful weathering process.


Cheap synthetic materials might seem like an easy option for outdoor furniture, but they don’t really compare to wood, especially a great one like teak. These cheap synthetic woods look and feel mass-produced and cheap to the touch. But teak is the gold standard, having a great natural wood look and feel, as each cut of wood is unique with its own grain pattern. Teak wood also stays moderate in temperature: not too hot in the summer, and not too cold in the cooler months. This is subtle but important for maximizing the comfort and feel of your furniture, especially compared to artificial materials and metal. Imagine sitting on a cast iron patio chair that’s been roasting in the summer sun all day, or even a plastic Adirondack -- quite uncomfortable.


So, you have seen why teak is the best wood to pick for your outdoor furniture needs. But come in and see for yourself! Come check out our wide selection of great teak outdoor furniture. Our staff can answer your every question about the details of teak wood. But most importantly, you should come in to check out the teak in person so you can feel it and see what it looks like in a back yard.

outdoor grills 03

In today’s world, we are into parties and socials, mixers with coworkers, and neighborhood get-togethers. We serve drinks at a bar, make fancy veggie skewers, and we cook BBQs in outdoor cooking stations. These social society parties always need a venue and what better place than your very own backyard? Skip the cost of renting an expensive, formal venue and allow for your house to transform into the go-to party-central of the neighborhood. Imagine all of the accolades that come with it - suddenly, you know everyone, and you are invited to more parties. These relationships can then forge into business partnerships, and boom, you’ve got successful networking.

But how exactly can you transform your house into this social entity? It initially seems really complicated; you may think you need to upgrade the kitchen, add a fancy fireplace, or redo your flooring. Honestly, it is much simpler than that. There is one basic necessity any house needs to become a social venue for neighborhood parties, professional socials, and relaxing family hangouts: an outdoor cooking station.

I know what you are thinking - well, yes, a grill can be helpful, but how can an outdoor cooking station truly transform my house? Isn’t it just adding a grill? Yes, but it is also so much more than that. Food is often the central tenet of any party or hangout. Think about it: whenever you go over to someone’s house or you invite people over to yours, it is generally surrounding a meal. Maybe you went to a dinner party last weekend, or the holiday social was dessert and cocktails. Either way, there is typically food involved. So then it would make sense that adding something as simple as an outdoor cooking station could transform your house.

By adding an outdoor cooking station, like a grill, you have suddenly created an opportunity to centralize your party around food, but outside of your house, allowing for a change in scenery. You can bring your party to the outdoors, with fresh air and neighborhood sounds, creating a picturesque party environment. Just imagine all of the beautiful pictures you can take!

Imagine your current patio, but transformed with just the simple addition of an outdoor cooking station that can work as a centralized area for people to congregate. Add in a few outdoor sofas or chairs, and you have a completed setup for hosting an outdoor party. Maybe you would like to add some lighting for evening parties or consider adding a fence. Either way, by simply adding an outdoor cooking station, you have created a brand new environment to host a get-together.

An outdoor cooking station also adds visual appeal to your patio. All environments need a central piece, a feature item, to be the central display. For most living rooms, this center display may be the fireplace. In bedrooms, it might be the bed. In an office, the feature piece might be a painting. You use this same theme when dressing for an event; maybe you have a statement tie or piece of jewelry. A central piece is the first thing people see when they walk into a room, and it is meant to grab the viewer’s attention. Generally, this piece should be an investment, but it provides you with a return on investment, as you can show off and create an impression. You have control over what the central pieces of your life are, just as you have control over an outdoor cooking station being the central visual selection for guests who come over to your house. When people walk onto your patio, you want the first thing they notice to be an outdoor cooking station, your grill, as it demonstrates what is important to you - family and friends. The simple addition of an outdoor cooking station can seriously elevate the aesthetic of your home. An outdoor cooking station makes your home seem more established.

Additionally, imagine what an outdoor cooking station can do for your family and family time! Maybe you are not a big party-hosting person, but you want to create a space for you and your family to spend quality time together. An outdoor cooking station is perfect for that purpose. Imagine - board game and grill night! That sounds like a fantastic new weekly tradition for you and your family to get back in touch with each other, especially with the increasingly isolating activities that people are into these days. Consider making it a no-phones event, where the entire family has to be in touch with each other, focusing on the “here and now”. Pull out Monopoly or a deck of cards! An outdoor cooking station can provide a perfect excuse to bring everyone to the picnic table, while someone starts the grill and grills some burgers. By transforming your patio into a space for comfort and family, you can create a space for the family to focus on family.

There are so many reasons to install an outdoor cooking station on your patio. From creating an environment for social events to creating a centerpiece for your patio, to constructing weekly family time, the simple addition of an outdoor cooking station can transform your patio and your life. Installing an outdoor cooking station is not a tremendous change to your home, but it is significant enough to make a difference. Oftentimes, these small differences are what can elevate your home to a new level.

The next step is to decide what kind of outdoor cooking station you want in your home. Luckily for you, Lawn & Leisure has excellent options for you, while providing qualified and experienced staff to help you make that decision. We also provide selections for outdoor furniture, so you can completely furnish your patio right here with us! We have been serving the NOVA community since 1982, so we have trust and experience on our side. Give us a call today to get started on elevating your patio with an outdoor cooking station!

tips-for-safe-use-of-outdoor-grills-reston-vaDue to the fact that they’re used so much, it’s very easy for someone to get comfortable when they are using their barbecue grill and therefore stop taking precautions when it comes to safety. Fires can be caused by grills, as can serious injuries if the grill is used improperly. The following safety precautions should be followed constantly when you use a grill.

The Great Outdoors

These grills are made to be used outdoors only.  They are not designed to be used in tents, garages, or other spaces that are enclosed, even if the space is ventilated well.

Hoses

The hoses of the grill should always be checked for holes, leaks, and cracks before you start to barbecue.  This is something that is really important when you are using it for the first time after the winter.

Gas Containers

It’s a good idea to store your spare tanks of gas outside, but don’t store them near your grill. They are meant to be stored in an upright position and never lay it on their back.

Location

A recommendation from fire departments is to use a barbecue grill a minimum of ten feet from trees and buildings. You don't want the heat to damage your building or even possibly ignite something you don't want ignited. The best way to avoid these disasters is to keep a safe distance.

Burns

To avoid the risk of serious burns, grills should not be moved while it’s still hot.  You should also use utensils that have the extra long handles to avoid being burnt.

We are always trying to provide our customers with information about safely using outdoor grills. We have many products to use outside, not just grills. Please contact us if you want to know more or if you have any questions for us.

 

extend-the-lifetime-of-your-grill-with-helpful-gas-grilling-tips-great-falls-vaOwning a grill can be a great way to enjoy cooking when it begins to warm up outside, but it’s important for you to become familiar with the proper care for gas grills before getting started. Not only will your food taste better when you know how to care for the grill, you can also ensure that it lasts for many summers to come.

Allow the Grill to Heat Up Before Cooking

A common reason that people throw out their gas grill is simply due to how dirty and worn down it becomes over time. An easy way to prevent this is by letting it heat up entirely before beginning to grill. Since your food could be dripping with marinade, you’ll want it to cook as quickly as possible.

Giving the grill the chance to heat up entirely will help ensure that every dish you make comes out perfect.

Follow Up with a Thorough Cleaning Each Time

After you’ve used your grill, you’ll want to be careful to clean it. While a deep clean isn’t necessary for the entire body of the grill, you’ll benefit by brushing off any food after each use.

Clean the Grates and Burner Regularly

A deeper clean should be done every few weeks, or even weekly if you grill often. Cleaning both the grates and burner once they’ve cooled down entirely will help make a big difference in how the grill looks and performs.

Maintain the Fuel Levels

Whenever you intend on grilling, it’s a good idea to monitor the propane tank underneath. Making sure that the fuel levels aren’t low will help allow the grill to perform as well as it should.

Contact us if you’re interested in buying a new grill, just in time for summer.

 

48f86600-0cca-4c16-acee-ac3c8692878a-thumbFurnishing the outdoors of your home is important because it will determine how much time you spend outside. If you have unfitting furniture, you will likely not enjoy your time outside, and as a result, you will not go outside as much as you would if you had fitting deck furniture.

Taking a few critical details into consideration when comparing your options will help you choose furniture for your deck that meets or exceeds your expectations.

Invest in Comfort to Entice Outdoor Activity

Whether you are on a budget or not, choosing furniture that is uncomfortable will likely lead to an uncomfortable experience outside. It is ideal to prioritize comfort because it will motivate you to go outside, especially when you need to relax after a long day of work.

Pick the Right Material

Although you may have materials in mind, you need to make sure the materials used for furniture are good for outdoor use, which means resistant to fading and have UV protection. Deck furniture that can be disassembled for cleaning is often the best choice because it makes deep cleans possible.

As far as low maintenance goes, materials such as wicker and rattan make excellent choices. These materials only really need some additional weatherproofing as the years pass by, making them one of the least demanding furniture material types that you can have on your deck.

Get Proper Shading for Hot Days

In order to remain comfortable outside, in addition to comfortable furniture, you need to have adequate shading to protect you from the beating sun during summertime. As nice as it can be to soak up the sun on your deck, you should still have a shade cover, whether it is natural or man-made.

Contact us to learn more about getting the right deck furniture for your home.

783c7adf-5c31-47f8-eee2-df2643b86235-thumbGrilling is an excellent way to prepare food, but it does require going outside. In order to have the greatest experience, you should invest in fitting outdoor furniture and a high quality grill with features such as multiple burners, cooking grates, plenty of surface space, and a grease management system. With outdoor grills, you will want to look at a few grill accessories to ensure the best grilling experience. You don't want to be out there using just any old utensils!

Stainless Steel Skewers

One of the most popular ways to prepare food while grilling is through the use of skewers. Using stainless steel skewers will give the durability and strength you want and need. Stainless steel also makes it very easy to attach the food you want to have on your skewer because of how sharp one end can be.

Locking Tongs

Whether you are trying to place your food delicately onto the grilling surface or taking it off to enjoy after cooling down, you do not want to be in a situation where the food falls from your grips. In this case, using locking tongs is the best way to maintain a sturdy grip on food for the grill.

BBQ Gloves

It is imperative to be safe when grilling, and this means BBQ gloves are a necessity. If you need to get your hands on skewers without juggling them with your utensils, you can do this with BBQ gloves easily.

BBQ gloves are also helpful for getting scorching pots that may be on your grill, as well.

Spiral Brass Brush

After you finish cooking on the grill, you are going to want a way to clean it effectively. A standard wire brush may be sufficient enough, but a spiral brass brush will work wonders.

Contact us for more information about grills or outdoor furniture.

think about the outdoor furniture you want before investing in outdoor upgrades

When you purchase a home that already has an outdoor space, you are forced to work with the area that you have for getting outdoor furniture. Although you could make some changes to accommodate your particular needs, this would make it a considerably more expensive project to undertake. It is for this reason that most homeowners just work around what they already have. However, if you do not already have an established outdoor area in your backyard and you are looking to invest in such an addition, you should think about what outdoor furniture you want to get before making concrete plans.

Make Improvements or Additions That Align with Your Wants and Needs

For the most part, the outdoor space that you create is not what makes it enjoyable. Without furnishings, an outdoor area is not very usable, which brings about how important it is to have outdoor furniture. It might seem strange, but picking the furniture that you want before you invest in an improvement or addition to your backyard is a great way to make sure your wants and needs are accommodated.

Avoid Creating an Outdoor Area with Too Much Space or Not Enough

If you know that you want to get certain furnishings, you want to avoid a situation in which you create a space that is not able to fit everything. It is easy to underestimate how much room furniture can take up, especially if you do not go through what furniture you want to get beforehand. Also, overestimating how much space you need is also a problem because it leads to unnecessary project expenses.

Make Plans with Long-Term Furniture Investments in Mind

Although you might feel hesitant to make your plans based on outdoor furniture, you should do so with the intent to use the furniture for the long term. Just because it is common for people to go through a new furniture set every couple of years, this typically comes down to poor maintenance and planning. However, by investing a decent amount of money into high-quality outdoor furniture, you can expect your furniture to last for many years, especially when you take the time to maintain it properly.

Consider Covered Areas to Combat the Elements

An aspect of your outdoor space that you want to consider is whether you want to have an area that is covered. For instance, you can avoid dealing with elements by creating a covered space, which also opens up the opportunity to choose more outdoor furniture as the risk of damage is minimized or eliminated.

Decide Whether You Want to Have a Grill

Depending on what kind of outdoor experience you want to have, a grill may be an option or a necessity. It is important to think about this beforehand, especially because you will want to have an area for eating outdoors. If you know that you have no intentions to eat outside, then you do not have to worry about buying a large dining table, which is generally a requirement for eating outside with your family.

A grill is something that you should consider because it can provide you with a unique cooking experience, which can also lead to unique tasting food that you cannot get in the kitchen. Also, if you like to have a family or friends over, or even host large parties, you will certainly like having a grill to entertain.

Creating an ideal outdoor space for your family to enjoy is not an easy task to accomplish. However, when you look at outdoor furniture before drawing up plans, you can accommodate your needs well.

Contact us if you have any questions about patio furniture or our selection.

CONTACT US TODAY!

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Inside your home, you generally have a number of cooking platforms to choose from, ranging from built-in appliances such as a stovetop, oven, and microwave to appliances like a pressure cooker, slow cooker, toaster oven, and more. However, you can enjoy another high-quality cooking option when you incorporate the outdoors into your cooking, with an outdoor grill. Some individuals who have never cooked on a grill before will go out and purchase a random grill, but you need to understand the fact that this purchase can have a huge impact on your experience eating outdoors.

Decide Between Charcoal and Gas

One of the main decisions that you need to make is whether you want a charcoal or gas grill. Both options have their own distinct advantages, which can make it difficult to choose from. If you enjoy the convenience and easy cleaning, you might want a gas grill for the fact that it is so easy to operate and maintain. However, charcoal grills will provide you with incredible-tasting meals on a consistent basis.

Opting for Both Is an Option

Although it depends on how much space you have in your backyard, how much you want to spend, and how far you are willing to go to have an ideal grilling experience, you might want to invest in both grills. Having a gas grill and charcoal grill will allow you to enjoy the best cooking experience every time.

Party Size and Grill Space

When it comes to picking out a grill, you need to understand how many people you expect to have in your party. For instance, you might never intend on having parties or family get-togethers, so you only have to worry about cooking for your direct family and maybe a couple of friends at the maximum. With this in mind, you can easily determine the size of a grill that will meet your needs. When you love throwing parties, this decision becomes a little more complicated because you will likely have to cook in batches, but opting for a large grill is the best way to minimize the amount of time you spend cooking at the grill.

Workspace Availability

Small grills are portable as they only come with the cooking space, but you should definitely opt for grills that provide you with a decent amount of workspace to improve your grilling experience. For instance, you will likely want to take all of the food you intend on grilling outside at once, along with marinades and glazes. It is easier when you are able to take care of all of your grilling needs in a single, defined space.

Level of Portability

Although portability is not that major of an issue if you intend on grilling in the same place every time, you will want to have some portability with your grill if you intend on moving it around regularly. Two wheels on one side should be more than enough to help you get around, even without help.

Grease Tray

An easy-to-clean grease tray is essential for avoiding cleanup problems. Also, when you have a time-consuming and frustrating cleaning experience after grilling, it can discourage you from grilling again.

Sturdiness

While it might be nice to have a grill with sides that fold down, you should also consider the benefits of a grill that does not have this feature, mainly because it will often be a sturdier choice. A sturdy grill is exactly what you want to avoid mishaps around the grill and to enjoy your grill for years to come.

If you have any questions about grills, feel free to contact us at any time.

Three Things to Look for When Buying Patio Furniture in a Pet HouseholdIf you have pets at home and are currently shopping for patio furniture, it’s up to you to look for pieces that will blend in nicely with your existing decorations and stay in great shape despite your pets. Dogs and cats can cause a lot of wear and tear to your furniture if you’re not careful, making it important to choose furniture that is durable enough for them to safely climb on.

The following qualities should all be present when shopping for patio furniture so that your pets won’t cause any damage to the pieces.

  • Easy to Clean

The most important thing for you to look for when shopping for patio furniture is how easy they will be to clean. From a daybed that can easily be wiped clean with a wet cloth to a coffee table that is resistant against scratches, you’ll want to consider the kind of furniture that will be safe for pets.

  • Scratch and Tear Resistant

The materials of the patio furniture for sale make a big difference in how safe they are around pets. While you may be a fan of some materials, you’ll need to consider if your pet’s claws will cause any scratches or tears to appear.

  • Patio Cover Included

The easiest way to prevent your pet from damaging your patio furniture is to not allow them to climb on it using a patio cover. These covers can easily be draped over your furniture when not in use, preventing your pets from causing any damage.

As you shop for patio furniture, you’ll need to keep in mind the likeliness that your pet will cause damages. For more help buying patio furniture, feel free to contact us.

tips-for-cooking-on-outdoor-grills-leesburg-vaGrilling your meat on a barbecue is a tradition for the summertime in America.  When you take proper precautions, you are able to safely barbecue on your backyard grill. And the results are going to be even better than cooking your barbecue in your oven.

Backyard Grill Tip 1: Use Proper Utensils

Use some utensils that are made for grilling – in other words, they should have handles that are extra long. You need to have tongs so you can grab your meat, as well as turn the meat over and put it where the meat should be on your grill. Spatulas work well for meat pieces which are wide and thin, like fish. A grilling fork lets you spear your meat to see the inside of it and check juice color to see if it's cooked.  Another essential item is a brush for basting.

Backyard Grill Tip 2: Keep It Juicy

Due to the dry and high heat of a barbecue, you want to make sure that the meat doesn’t dry out. This is done by basting or marinating, or both. When you marinate you soak meat that is raw in a liquid which is flavorful for anywhere from 2 – 12 hours. If you find yourself without a recipe for marinade, there are lots of marinades that you can buy at the store.  Meat cuts that are low-fat get a lot of benefits from a marinade.

When you baste, it means that you are brushing a sauce or liquid that is flavorful onto your meat while it cooks. This is also going to keep your meat juicy as well as adding flavor to its exterior. Even if the meat’s been marinated, basting is still important. Put aside some of the marinade for basting or use a favorite sauce, such as teriyaki or barbecue sauce.

When your meat is almost done, put it your meat to the side and keep it away from the direct heat.  You can also put it on your platter and cover it loosely with some tin foil before putting it in a place that is warm. It should sit there for anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes, depending on big the meat is. This is going to allow the juices and the heat to have even distribution.

Backyard Grill Tip 3: Lighting the Charcoal

If you’re barbecuing with charcoal, it’s often very hard to light. A lot of brands available are now self-lighting, so all you need is a lighter or a match.  You can use a charcoal lighter that uses electricity or a good propane torch.  Pile your briquettes like a pyramid before you light them. When you have a big pile, you are going to have a lot of heat.

It’s also possible to use some lighter fluid. It makes lighting your briquettes very easy, but it also may give your meat a taste of petroleum.

You can also use the charcoal chimney, which is a cylinder which is tall and made for helping you light charcoal.  Put some crumpled paper in the chimney’s lower section and your briquettes in the upper part of the chimney, then light your paper. When your briquettes are ready for cooking, then you rearrange them in your grill.

If you wish your food to have a flavor that is smoky, add hickory or mesquite chips. Before you put them in your charcoal, soak your chips in some water for at least 30 minutes.

Backyard Grill Tip 4: Adjust the Gas

Lighting as well as adjusting temperature is easy when you use a gas grill, but your food isn’t going to have as much flavor as it does with charcoal. It’s possible to add some wood chips to give it that smoky flavor, but it’s going to be required that you put them in a smoker box made of metal before you put them down into the heat.

These are some tips that you can use when you are cooking on your grill. If you would like to get a grill for your home or to upgrade your current one, we have plenty of outdoor grills from which to choose. Just contact us to find out what we offer.

let-professionals-handle-propane-refills-for-maximum-safety-herndon-vaWhile it isn't grilling season, it'll be on us before you know it. It's a great time to get everything ready for when the time comes and that includes brushing up on propane gas refill safely. Instead of refilling the propane tank on your own, it’s a good idea to rely on professionals. You’ll find that you can enjoy your grill even more with the peace of mind that professionals can offer for propane refills.

Avoid Doing Your Own Propane Gas Refill Inspection

There could be problems with your propane tank that aren’t easily visible to the naked eye. This could mean anything from cracks to rusting somewhere on the tank. These small amounts of wear may seem like nothing to be concerned about, but they could be very dangerous if left alone.

You need professionals to give the tank a thorough inspection. During a propane gas refill, our experts run the tanks through a series of checks to make sure they function properly and safely. Unlike the tanks you swap for, you know for sure that your refilled propane tank has been safely 

No Propane Gas Refill Pumping Risks

Filling the propane tank itself can be quite dangerous if you don’t take the necessary time slowly opening the tank and shutting the valve immediately afterward. Other crucial steps are involved in the safe handling of the propane tank, so this is another task better left to professionals.

We have the right equipment to get the pumping done safely and efficiently, and we know how to check that it's correct once the job is finished.

We've been trusted by anyone needing propane gas refills for decades, and we'll be here for decades to come.

Please contact us if you need help filling up a propane tank for the grilling season to come.

wicker-the-old-furniture-is-new-again-washington-dcWicker chairs: They're not just for Morticia Addams anymore.  When great-grandma bought furniture for her front porch, it was usually wicker.  Of course, in her day, everyone had a front porch.  Now, most people prefer a deck or a patio, and all too often they end up with unattractive -- and worse, uncomfortable -- furniture. It's time to look back at wicker outdoor furniture.

The look of wicker furniture is timeless. Its light, casual appearance makes it almost synonymous with the outdoors in summer.  The old wicker outdoor furniture had some problems, though. Real wicker is fairly durable, but over years of use, it can start to break down.  Even worse, much of the wicker furniture of years past wasn't wicker at all, but a strengthened paper twisted into shape. After two seasons outdoors, it was finished. Besides, the old styles were attractive but frequently surrendered comfort to appearance. 

Modern outdoor furniture is considerably more durable, and more comfortable.  Newer technology and design have given us synthetic wicker that has the same beautiful summer look without the fragility (or the tendency to poke you in the back).

Take North Cape's woven furniture, available at Lawn & Leisure. It is one of the best examples of the new wicker look. Constructed of synthetic wicker, the extensive outdoor furniture line boasts a relaxed and classic look. Sofas and roomy wing chairs offer a cool and casual, yet traditional seating option that will be at home on any deck or patio (or even great-grandma's front porch).  Even Morticia would approve!

When you think of comfort, you should think of curling up with a good book in a bright sunroom. That's wicker.

As we wait for the spring flowers burst upon the scene, it's time to start planning for your outdoor months to come.  For a look at the North Cape Collection and other great choices for outdoor living, contact us at Lawn & Leisure.

 

 

dont have enough appliances for holiday cooking outdoor fireplace to the rescue

You’re going to have a record number of people at the house for the holidays this year. You’re carefully planning what has to be cooked the night before and then refrigerated, so you’ll have enough room in the oven for other food that must be cooked. Wouldn’t it be great if you had four ovens, two cooktops and a brick oven for keeping the food warm? Actually, you do have the brick oven. It’s just outside in the outdoor kitchen. Usually used for ambiance when guests are over, the outdoor fireplace presents the perfect “appliance” for helping cook holiday meals. Seriously, you don’t have to be a pioneer to make good use of the outdoor kitchen fireplace. Haven’t you noticed that only around the holidays do the kids decide to become helpful, as long as there is food to be tasted? Let them keep an eye on what’s cooking indoors while you create magic outdoors. You’ll need the right wood for flavoring the foods, a cast iron grate for resting pans over the coals, cooking utensils for stirring and turning as well as sturdy kitchen twine for rotisserie-cooking meats.

The Wood

You’ll need enough wood to make a respectable bed of coals over which to cook the food. Quick-burning woods like pine and a decent pile of sticks and branches for keeping it burning are good. Once that’s done, it will be time to place the wood for flavoring the foods. Fruit woods are best for this such as apple but many chefs (yes, chefs) use oak and hickory as well. You’ll also need tools with which to rake the coals onto and around the cooking pot or pan such as a small shovel and rake. Make sure if the tools have wooden shafts that they don’t catch fire.

The Grates

Although there are blacksmiths in the Virginia/DC area that can whip up a cast iron cooking grate, it might be easier to go to a sportsman’s store for cast iron Dutch ovens, legged iron grates, fireplace arms upon which to hang cast iron pots and even legged cooking pots and pans. You can always use bricks and concrete blocks as platforms on which to place the cooking pots and pans, all the while keeping the coals raked up and around the pans. Have plenty of hot holders and towels at hand for handling hot pans as they are turned to evenly cook the foods inside.

Rotisserie Cooking

Since we told you that you didn’t have to be pioneer woman to cook outdoors, we’ll let you off the hook with the rotisserie skewer. However, if you need to cook meats over the fire, then affix something to the mantel on the fireplace. It should be strong enough to hold some weight. To this affix the kitchen twine and make it long enough to dangle the meat before the fire and coals. Now truss up your meat, fowl or roast so that it is compact. Tie the trussed meat to the twine hanging by the fire. The weight of the meat, fowl or roast will make itself slowly turn by the fire, evenly cooking both outside and inside. When the meat is crisp and brown, you have yourself a fine dinner!

Into the Coals

Instead of putting the kids to oven duty in the house, grab some tin foil, some ears of corn, potatoes, carrots, onions and celery as well as any other veggie you put into your recipes. Dice, slice or leave them whole, but wrap them in tin foil, season them and then place them directly into the hot coals. In no time you will have either ingredients for other dishes or stand-alone veggies to complement your meal. Apples for the pie can be cooked this way as well.

A Word about Cross-Contamination

Nothing looks prettier than a roast bird on a platter surrounded by smoking dishes of aromatic foods. However, nothing is uglier than the emergency room full of people suffering food contamination. When that beautiful bird was placed back on the platter on which its raw self came to the fireplace, then cross-contamination happened. Make very sure dishes on which raw meats were placed are washed thoroughly before placing other foods on them for a happy and healthy holiday season.

For over 30 years, Lawn and Leisure has witnessed some marvelous cooking in the Virginia and D. C. area. Well known for our integrity and customer service, we make very sure our products are serviced regularly for your comfort and convenience. Contact us today for more information on our wares and how we can help you this holiday season.

how to create the space of your dreams using outdoor furniture

In the spring, fall, and summer, being outside is always a nice luxury. Especially if you have a beautifully landscaped home with a patio, deck, or just a nice outdoor living space, then you need to consider getting outdoor furniture. Nice outdoor patio furniture will really tie a space together.

What space are you buying outdoor patio furniture for?

When you begin your search for outdoor furniture, you first need to decide where you want to place it. Keep in mind the size of the space. It may be helpful to measure before you come to the showroom because people often overestimate the amount of space they have to work with.

Knowing the space and what exactly you want to do with it, like adding some couches or just some additional chairs, will help guide you in the right direction. Often times when you begin looking at beautiful outdoor furniture, you may lose sight of the space that you have available and just want to buy everything you can. Instead, be sure to know exactly what you want, because it will help to focus your shopping and make sure you get the right furniture for your needs.

Understand your outdoor patio furniture budget

Before you begin your outdoor furniture shopping, it's also important to know your budget. When you are looking for quality products then you'll want to be sure that your budget reflects that. You should also prioritize which items you want the most, and which ones you could add on to your collection as time goes on. Once you see all the beautiful options, it will be difficult not to want to get everything in sight.

What is your style?

Another question you must ask yourself: what is your personal style? Are you looking for something that coordinates with the rest of your home, or are you looking for pieces that make a statement outside?

No matter your personal style, there is outdoor patio furniture for you. If you like modern clean lines, then you can certainly find pieces to match with your taste, perhaps furniture with metal that has clean angles and lines.

Wicker is also a great product that is used a great deal with outside furniture. Wicker furniture tends to have a cozier feel to it, just because of the nature of the product itself. It's important to know that both wicker and metal are very durable and will keep your outside furniture looking new longer, and can be easily cleaned.

What functionality do you want your outdoor patio furniture to have?

When picking out the furniture to furnish your outdoor space, you want to make sure you know what you want to use it for. Perhaps you'd like to add a fire pit element to your backyard space, in which case you should be sure to look at one of the many beautiful tables with a fire element integrated right in. If you are adding chairs near a pool, you may want to be sure they have reclining features in order to allow the best soaking in the sun.

Wanting to feed and entertain guests on a regular basis? Then you'll want to consider a beautiful dining room set and a nice seating arrangement. Whether you are looking for more practical pieces, or over the top comfortable and indulgent pieces, you'll be able to find exactly what are you are looking for as long as you know what you're looking for ahead of time. 

Outdoor furniture is a great way to finish an empty space and extend your living area to outside your home. When the weather is beautiful, there is nothing better than going outside and relaxing. By having outdoor furniture you are adding even more living space to your home, adding another place to entertain guests, spend quiet time reading a book, or just relaxing together. When you are ready to create an amazing atmosphere outside, please contact us.

tips for choosing patio furnitureChoosing the right patio furniture can help to ensure that your outdoor space is a fantastic looking area that you will be proud to entertain in for years to come. However, many individuals struggle with deciding what patio furniture to purchase for their patio space, as they do not know what to look for when shopping for these items. While there are many things one must consider when purchasing patio furniture, taking a few things into consideration will help you to find the perfect furniture for your space.

Go For Easy to Maintain Patio Furniture

Maintaining the outdoor area surrounding one’s home, particularly for those whose home is on a large property, can take up a great deal of time. For this reason, you will not want to spend even more time cleaning and maintaining your patio furniture. Thusly, consider looking for patio furniture that will easily withstand the elements and will not require any extra work on your part. Most metal and wicker patio furniture is good at withstanding the elements and can be a good option.

Consider Patio Furniture Quality

While everyone wants to get a good deal on their patio furniture, as they will likely not be using it as much as their indoor furniture, it is important to consider purchasing good quality patio furniture. This goes back to the old adage “you get what you pay for”; if you purchase low quality furniture, it will not be able to withstand the elements as well as higher quality pieces and will likely have to be replaced fairly frequently. For this reason is can be advisable to purchase higher quality furniture that will meet your outdoor needs for years to come.

Look For Multi-Purpose Pieces

One way to get the most out of the furniture that you purchase for you outdoor space is to consider purchasing pieces that can serve dual purposes. For instance, if you are looking at ottomans, consider purchasing one that is large enough to double as extra seating when you throw your next barbeque. Furthermore, purchasing one that has a storage space inside will help you to have a place to keep those party items you do not use (and do not have space for) when you are not hosting an event. Finding multi-purpose pieces such as these will help you to get the most out of the patio furniture that you purchase.

Choosing the right furniture can help you to get the most out of your outdoor space, and these tips should help you to find furniture that will best suit your needs. However, there are many more things one must take into consideration when searching for new patio furniture.

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complete your unfinished landscape with a large patio furniture collection

If you have a large, beautiful, and unfinished landscape, you should think about moving on with the final steps, which will allow you to thoroughly enjoy the landscape once it is finished. Once you have taken care of the landscape part of the project, you need to start looking at the hardscape, which includes things such as architectural features, retaining walls, and patio furniture. With a large enough landscape, you can find a fitting home for most outdoor furniture to maximize your enjoyment of the space.

Lounge Chairs

When you want to get comfortable and read the news or a book outside, you want to have a lounge chair set up. If you plan on entertaining, then go for multiple lounge chairs. These are generally best placed near the entrance of the backyard, for easy access to your indoor amenities.

A Hammock

If you would like to take relaxation to the next level, you should consider getting a hammock. Although hammocks are commonly known for attaching to two trees for its main support, you do not need to get a hammock that is supported in this way for it to work in your backyard. It is possible to find hammocks that are designed in a way that no additional support is required to lay down in them.

Patio Chairs

Standard patio chairs are equipped with UV-resistant material to maximize their lifespan. It is also worth looking into materials that are not prone to rot or rusting as it will encounter the elements regularly. Our in-store experts can help you pick out the chairs that are right for your conditions.

An Outdoor Couch

When you have multiple family members or friends that you want to entertain, you should think about getting an outdoor couch. If you have a deck or patio, you will find that these areas are ideal for a couch, and having overhead protection is even better. An outdoor couch can complement your patio funishing, giving you more room for people and expanding your useable space.

A Bench

With a large and well-organized garden, you should have no problem fitting a bench in your backyard. Benches give you a chance to soak up the sun and enjoy being surrounded by a beautiful garden or water feature. You spent a lot of time and money installing features or gardening, why not have a place to relax and enjoy them?

A Fire Pit

If you like to roast marshmallows or invite family and friends over on a regular basis, you should think about getting a fire pit installed in your backyard. A fire pit is easy to maintain and even easier to use. It gives your backyard a focal point that your guests can gather around.

An Outdoor Dining Table

A large and attractive backyard is the perfect candidate for an outdoor dining table. If you have an outdoor kitchen, this is a no-brainer. Your guests will need somewhere to eat.

Dining Chairs

Along with the dining table, you will need to get some dining chairs. Since these will be outdoors, you'll want dining chairs designed to take on whatever nature can throw at them.

Investing in patio furniture is an outstanding way to make your backyard livelier and turn it into an excellent place for spending time with family and friends. Contact us if you have any questions.

using indirect heat to cook low and slow on an outdoor grill

Typically when you cook food on the outdoor grill, you put it on direct heat, over the gas burners or the burning charcoal, whichever type of grill you like to use. Direct heat grilling is a great way to cook hamburgers, hot dogs, links, steaks, ribs, chicken pieces, and fish fillets. But certain kinds of food require indirect heat, which can be tricky if you don’t know how to go about it.

What food goes well on indirect heat?

The sort of food that works best on indirect heat includes beef brisket, pork shoulders and whole chickens. The reason for this is because, due to their size and toughness, attempting to cook them on direct heat will burn the outside long before the inside gets done.

How do you cook with indirect heat on the grill?

On a charcoal grill, two ways exist to use it for indirect heat grilling. The simplest way is to place the charcoal on one side of the grill and the meat on top of the grate on the opposite side. A more sophisticated way to use indirect heat on a charcoal grill is to place the charcoal on two sides with a drip pan in the middle. Then you put the meat on the grate in the middle over the drip pan. You can also toss water-soaked wood chips on the charcoal to create smoke.

On a gas grill, it all depends on how your grill is set up. If you have a two burner grill, light one burner and place the meat on the other side. If you have a three or four burner grill, light the two burners on the outside and put the meat in the middle. If your gas grill has a smoker pouch, put your wood chips in it. Otherwise, you can make your own with foil and place it over one of the burners to create smoke.

In each case, indirect heat grilling is done with the cover closed. In effect, you have turned your grill into an outdoor oven.

What does “low and slow” mean?

“Low and slow” uses low heat and smoke to slowly cook meat over many hours and is considered true barbecue. Some professional barbecue masters will take a long as 16 hours to cook a large brisket. The result, if done properly, is a tender piece of meat that pulls apart easily with a pair of forks or a gloved hand.

Professional quality smokers are available with a huge barrel to place the meat in and a separate fire box for the wood or charcoal. But you can get the same effect with indirect heat using your backyard grill though charcoal works best in this case.

Cooking a brisket on indirect heat

Preparation is key for cooking a brisket. First, you need to trim the excess fat, but not all of it because the fat will be absorbed by the meat in the cooking process to add to the tenderness. Then, you place the brisket on some aluminum foil and apply the spice rub. Every barbecue chef has their own spice rub, which can include garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and so on. You wrap the brisket in foil and store it overnight in the refrigerator can be absorbed by the meat.

Just before putting the meat on the grill, you might want to use an injector to fill the brisket with a good marinade. After you put the meat on the grill, you can periodically mop the brisket with the marinade.

After the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 175 degrees, take it off the grill and wrap it in foil. The internal temperature will continue to rise to 185 degrees within a half an hour to an hour. Then it is ready to slice and eat.

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outdoor furniture stores find your autumn inspiration

As we embrace the dog days of summer and look forward to the crisp days of autumn, spending time outdoors becomes more enticing than ever. Whether you are happiest working in the garden, creating a gourmet barbecue meal, or relaxing in a lounge chair, you'll fully enjoy your leisure time with yard tools and outdoor furniture that match your interests and lifestyle. Your one-stop destination for the best in backyard living is Lawn & Leisure; we are your outdoor furniture store in the northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. metro areas.

Buy Outdoor Rooms at Outdoor Furniture Stores

Patio furniture sets a casual, comfortable mood and creates a space that is both sophisticated and enticing. Whether you create a living area on your deck or envision a serene seating area among the vibrant flowers in your garden, comfortable outdoor furniture in beautiful styles gives you a place to relax and enjoy your outdoor sanctuary. Choose couches, chairs, and tables, and group them together to encourage conversation when you entertain family members and guests. With many beautiful evenings yet to enjoy in our temperate mid-Atlantic climate, make the most of the beautiful weather with an inspirational outdoor room.

Think Outdoor Dining at Outdoor Furniture Stores

Whether you prefer a rustic barbecue picnic or an elegant gourmet meal that is prepared outdoors, you'll need a reliable, high-quality grill to cook your meat and veggies to the peak of flavor and tenderness. Create the outdoor kitchen of your dreams or select a portable grill to set up as needed. Choose a convenient gas grill or the smoky goodness of a charcoal fire; your backyard transforms into your gourmet kitchen, and you are the executive chef. As a gardener, you'll prepare your freshly harvested bounty and serve a farm-to-table meal that is straight from the soil. Corn, carrots, squash and apples create autumn meals that offer the freshness of summer with the rich flavors of fall.

Spark a Conversation 

Patio furniture vignettes are more appealing and memorable when gathered around a focal point, such as a water feature or fireplace. A crackling fire is a natural gathering place, and as the evenings cool, a fire is a welcome addition to an evening in your backyard. Roasted marshmallows, fine wine, or after-dinner coffee tastes sweeter when served around an outdoor fireplace or fire table. As darkness falls earlier each day, prepare the fire with a quick flip of a gas switch or with old-fashioned wood flames for a cozy evening of warmth and companionship.

Accessorize Your Space at Outdoor Furniture Stores

Although your beautiful landscaping will anchor the look of your outdoor living areas, you will enjoy accessorizing your space with colorful potted plants, garden artwork, outdoor rugs, and nighttime lighting. With the eye of an artist, design your seating area, dining table, and fireplace to include all the appeal of your home's decor and the benefit of your personal style. For ideas about accessorizing your patio, please visit our beautiful outdoor furniture store showroom in Sterling, Virginia. Not only do we sell high-end patio furniture, outdoor grills, and beautiful fireplaces, we have all the accessories you'll need to create a sophisticated, elegant backyard space.

Convenience and Style

Visiting your outdoor furniture store should appeal to your senses and help you visualize the options for seating, fireplaces and cooking in your own backyard. With a knowledgeable team and a broad range of unique products, Lawn & Leisure is ready to help you make good design choices while exploring the best options for your home. For your convenience, we offer delivery and assembly to your home in the Washington, D.C. area. Let us do the work to create a comfortable outdoor space to enjoy the rest of summer's warmth and the many lovely autumn evenings yet to come.

make sure your propane refills are handled safely with these simple tips herndon vaEnjoying a barbecue this summer can be such a nice way to spend time with friends and family, but safety needs to your first priority when transporting propane tanks and setting them up near your outdoor grill. In order for the propane refills to be handled safely the entire time, you’ll need to have the right know-how to avoid a potential fire or another disaster.

Secure the Propane Tank to Keep It Upright

When driving the propane tank home, it’s crucial that it’s positioned upright and isn’t going to be at risk of toppling over. On its side, the tank could open and allow gas to escape, putting you in danger of a fire. Secure it with a seatbelt in the backseat or use a box to place the tank in carefully on the drive home.

Inspect the Tank for Leaks Before Refilling

Refilling the same propane tank time and time again can be an effective way to save money, but it’s important that you check the tank thoroughly for any signs of leaks before using. Even a small leak can be extremely dangerous, making routine inspections so important.

Never Leave the Tank Exposed to Sunlight

Hot temperatures can be dangerous to your propane tank, making it important to never leave the tank inside your car for a prolonged period. Along with being careful about storing in your car, make sure to always keep the propane tank shielded from the sun.

If storing a propane tank outdoors, make sure you keep it somewhere that it won't be exposed to direct sunlight at any time. 

Contact us if you have any questions about propane tank refilling.

 

lawn and gardenIt sounds obvious that your lawn and garden space should be environmentally friendly. After all, isn’t that green space part of the environment? While in one sense, all plants are good for the environment (since they renew our air supply), people make a lot of less-than-eco-friendly choices in their backyards. Here are some tips for creating a lawn and garden area that’s both a good environment and good for the environment:

Mow Less Frequently
That’s right, firing up your lawn mower only once or twice a month, instead of every weekend, can be good for the environment. It’s just a bonus that you’ll be able to spend more of your weekend relaxing and spend less on fuel. Grass can still look neat when trimmed to a height of 3 to 4 inches, and you can even buy grass blends that grow more slowly than your average sod. These varieties also have deeper roots, which prevents soil erosion and means your grass will need less watering.

Just be sure you don’t let your grass grow so long that it develops fungus and weeds. These might force you to use pesticides that aren’t good for the water supply.

Less frequent mowing means less gas use and less wear-and-tear on your mower, which means less-frequent replacement of your mower. 

Fire Up Thoughtfully
It’s hard to say whether propane grills or charcoal grills have less of a carbon footprint; most experts say that when all factors are taken into account (pollution, fuel transportation, etc.), gas grills are the greener choice. However, the bottom line is that fire safety should be your primary environmental concern when grilling (or, if you have a fire pit or fireplace installed, lighting up a cozy outdoor blaze).
Make sure grills and fireplaces are located somewhere where there are no overhanging branches, nearby bushes, or dry grass and groundcover patches. You should regularly check the tank or hose on a gas grill to ensure there’s no leakage, and used charcoal briquettes should be completely cooled and properly disposed of to prevent fires.

Choose Furniture Wisely
When you’re choosing outdoor furniture, look for options made from recycled or recyclable materials. Wicker is a surprisingly sustainable choice; wicker furniture is made from flexible woven strips of rattan, willow, bamboo or reeds, many of which grow extremely quickly when compared to hardwoods. Wicker can also be made of synthetic polyethylene fibers, so you’ll want to do a little more research if you see a material listed as “resin wicker” or something similar.

bd878662-bd65-4628-be7b-cf66b1517cd2-thumbPurchasing furniture for your deck at the end of winter is a great idea since it will allow you to start off spring with a nice seating or dining area outdoors to make the most of the season. In order for you to be entirely happy with your new deck furniture for your patio or sunroom, it’s a good idea to explore your options before spring arrives. The following tips can all help you compare options for furniture so that you’ll be as happy as possible with your purchases.

Consider Your Deck Furniture Materials

The materials used for deck furniture vary greatly, making it a good idea to explore the differences in appearance and durability. A lot of people make the mistake of purchasing furniture based only on appearance, resulting in them being disappointed with their durability in different weather conditions.

The following materials are all commonly used in patio furniture, so you’ll want to consider each when comparing your options.

  • Wood
  • Wrought-Iron
  • Plastic
  • Metal

Think About Deck Furniture Ease of Storage

A lot of people want furniture that can be hidden when not in use, making storage a good feature. Many pieces of furniture can be folded away while not in use, making it a good idea to opt for this kind of furniture over other pieces for sale if you’re limited in space.

What's the Purpose of Your Deck Furniture

Whether you want to spend a lot of your time outdoors entertaining friends and family or you enjoy dining outside, you’ll want to choose furniture with this purpose in mind. From large dining sets to individual pieces that are good for relaxing outside, you’ll want to compare your choices. Think about what you'll be spending most of your time doing with the deck furniture and let that guide your choices.

With so many options for furniture that can be used on decks, you might want to contact us for advice.

protect your outdoor furniture with proper landscaping chantilly va

Winter weather can take a brutal toll on outdoor furniture. Even the best-made deck chairs, tables, couches, etc. can endure havok during the colder months. To protect your furniture from the cold and snow, follow these tips and have your chairs, tables, and couches survive the winter.

Wood and Wicker Deck Furniture

Wooden and wicker furniture can suffer a hard beating from snow and ice. If possible, it is recommended you store these pieces indoors during winter. If you don’t have room indoors, vinyl covers will provide protection from the elements. Make sure your covers fit snugly for the best results.

Painting your wood furniture with protective sealant provides an extra layer of defense for your pieces. Apply just two coats of sealant and watch as your furniture survives not only the winter snows but the summer showers, too.

Metal Deck Furniture

Be sure to check your metal furniture for signs of rust before winter arrives. See any rust? Simply sand it away with heavy grit sandpaper or a metal file. Add primer and then coat the area with at least a coat of paint for the best results. Still want more protection? Add a coat of wax to that sanded spot and your metal pieces are ready to withstand the cold.

Deck Cushions

Cushions that are exposed to the winter weather can develop mold or mildew. Store your cushions indoor during the winter months. Don’t have room inside? Get clear vinyl covers to protect your seats, pillows, and couches.

 

Do you have unprotected cushions that endured the snow and sleet? Don’t worry! Hanging your pieces to dry naturally will be the best preventative measure against any mold or mildew buildup.

Here at Lawn and Leisure, we want to help you make the most of your deck furniture so that you can continue to enjoy it for years to come.

For more helpful tips and advice, contact us.

maintenance tips to follow after looking at gas grills and buying one falls church vaWhen you want to set up your backyard for a good time, one item that commonly comes up is a grill. Grilling is a great way to make food fun and an excuse to get together with friends and family. With a grill, you can spend time with loved ones in intimate get-togethers or large parties.

After buying a gas grill, you should follow some important tips on maintaining your grill to make sure it provides you with delicious food for years to come.

Get a Brush Just for the Burner Tubes

Cleaning your grill is one of the most essential things you can do to keep it working. Although the burner tubes do not need to be cleaned that often, when you do clean them, you should do it with a brush that is solely used for the burner tubes to guarantee an efficient cleaning. You should also avoid using overly abrasive brushes because you do not want to damage the burner tubes.

Get Another Brush for Cooking Surfaces

For the cooking surfaces, you should get another brush. However, with this brush, it is ideal for it to be abrasive to make sure you are capable of getting the grime off sufficiently.

Wash the Outside Regularly

With regular use, you can expect the outside to get dirty. However, cleaning the outside is simple. It only takes soapy water. But, if you want to restore the shine to the grill, you should use a glass cleaner.

Purchase a High-Quality Cover for Maximum Protection

If you want to maximize the lifespan of your gas grill, you should get a high-quality grill cover to protect your grill whenever it is not in use. It is an effective way to protect your grill from the elements.

Please contact us if you would like help with purchasing a gas grill for your backyard.

FireplaceAdding a fireplace to your outdoor living area has many benefits. A fireplace increases the value of your home and expands your living space, making it a valuable asset. A fireplace is one of the hottest design additions, according to Houzz. Plus, not much can compare to the warmth and ambiance that a fireplace brings.

If you’re ready to buy, take a few steps to make sure you get the most out of your new fireplace.

What Type of Fireplace?

There are some factors to take into consideration before buying or building a fireplace in your outdoor space.

What is the Purpose of the Fireplace?

Take into consideration why you want to add a fireplace. Are you trying to update an existing entertaining area or do you want to add to an enclosed or open outdoor living area? Will you use it for meal preparation? Do you want to retain the value of your home by adding a feature future buyers will expect? Each circumstance will require a different fireplace solution.

A Wood-Burning Fireplace or Gas Fireplace?

Both wood-burning and gas fireplaces have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Wood-burning fireplaces bring rustic charm and ambiance. They can be placed in any area as long as it complies with local building regulations. Although it will provide ample light and heat, a wood-burning fireplace produces a lot of smoke. Its chimney will need to follow very specific requirements.

Gas fireplaces have fewer restrictions and usually do not require permits prior to building. Natural gas burns cleanly and safely since it does not emit ash or embers. However, placement can be restricted because a gas fireplace needs to be connected to a gas line. Additionally, a gas fireplace does not burn as hot as a wood-burning fireplace.

Consider Your Current Home Design

Is the style of your home traditional or modern? Do you want to complement your home's current style or design something that is contrasting?

Are you looking to add a small, cozy seating area or something to accommodate a large group of people? Do you want your fireplace to be the main attraction? Also, take into consideration the size of your home and choose a fireplace that is proportional to it.

What Additional Features Do You Want?

Consider furniture that will complement your fireplace along with any built-ins that you may desire, such as storage or seating.

Our staff at Lawn and Leisure help you find the answers to these questions and more. We’ve got a wide selection of fireplaces that offer features and functions that will allow you to customize your space.

Ensure Your New Fireplace is Safe

While a fireplace can look fantastic and give you an inviting space to gather with friends and family, it’s important for you to keep it safe.

Keep Drapes and Furniture Away

Wherever the fireplace is installed, it’s crucial that there’s nothing located too close to it. This includes drapes around a canopy or seats that you use to sit close to the fire. These objects can easily catch fire if you’re not careful.

Set Up a Guard Screen

You can easily prevent embers from flying out of the fireplace with a guard screen. Carefully choosing a screen designed for the size and shape of your fireplace can help ensure that embers aren’t a danger.

Carefully Pick What to Burn

In order for your fireplace to burn safely, you need to carefully pick materials that won’t become too dangerous. This means avoiding wood or papers with paint or chemicals present on them and sticking with woods designed for use with a fireplace.

Supervise Pets and Children

If you have any pets or children, it’s important to make sure that the fireplace is always monitored when lit. While a guard screen can be helpful, you’ll still want to supervise the fireplace whenever your children or pets are around.

As you begin the search for an outdoor fireplace, look into our testimonials so that you can be confident in your purchase. Contact us if you have any questions regarding our selection.

Prepare for Regular Fireplace Maintenance

One thing that many homeowners overlook when performing yard maintenance is their outdoor fireplace. A dirty fireplace not only looks unsightly, but it may also pose a fire hazard. Here are some steps you should take to ensure yours is ready for you to begin using again.

Cleaning the Chimney

Most outdoor fireplaces contain far less creosote than indoor fireplaces and also have lower chimney caps. This means that hiring a chimney sweep usually isn’t necessary. You can complete this task yourself by using a long-handled wire brush to thoroughly scrub the interior walls of your chimney and loosen creosote. Never use a garden hose or pressure washer to do this. The inside of your chimney may not be sealed, so water might damage it.

Check your chimney for signs of birds’ nests so that you can remove them if necessary. This is also an excellent time to consider adding a chimney cover to protect your fireplace against future damage from squirrels or other wild animals.

Eradicate Ashes

Remove all ashes from the inside of your fireplace by using a metal bucket and scoop. Allow these ashes to sit in the bucket for at least two days to ensure there are no active coals. Then, you may dispose of them by sprinkling them over top of your garden bed. Wood ash is an excellent source of potassium, which benefits tomatoes, artichokes, and collards tremendously. You can even add a few wood ashes to your compost pile as well.

Scrubbing the Exterior

While using a pressure washer on the inside of your chimney is not recommended, spraying down the outside of your fireplace is perfectly fine, so long as you do not have any damaged mortar. Spray your fireplace down from top to bottom, using a sweeping side-to-side motion. You can then scrub any spots that are specially stained with a stiff-bristled brush. Take care not to use harsh abrasives or chemicals such as bleach, as these could damage your brick. Some cleaning solutions that you may use include:

  • Mild degreaser
  • Dish soap
  • 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water
  • Gentle all-purpose cleaner such as Spic ‘n Span, properly diluted

After cleaning your fireplace, rinse lightly with a garden hose to remove any residue from your cleaning products. Allow the surface to dry for at least 12 hours before building a fire.

Cleaning the Firebox and Hearth

Never spray water directly into your firebox, as it is just as susceptible to damage as the inside of your chimney. Instead, you should carefully scrub your firebox and hearth by hand using a stiff-bristled (but not wire) scrub brush. You may need to go over these areas several times to get them truly clean. Remove any grates from your fireplace so that air can freely circulate to help your firebox dry.

Painting your Firebox

If your fireplace has seen years of use, it may not be possible to get your firebox completely clean. In that instance, you may want to paint the inside of it with black “high heat” paint instead. This paint is readily available at home improvement stores and can easily be applied with a paintbrush. Do not use ordinary black paint, as it will not withstand high temperatures and may even have flammable properties.

It shouldn’t take long at all to thoroughly clean your fireplace, yet your efforts will make a huge difference in the way your backyard looks. If you would like to know more about caring for your fireplace, please contact us and one of the professionals from our outdoor furniture stores will be happy to assist you.

The functionality of the outdoor grill has exploded in recent years.  An outdoor grill now has the capabilities to perform almost all of the cooking which an actual indoor kitchen can provide.
Take advantage of reclaiming your outdoor area this summer with a new patio grill.

your patio grill completes your outdoor living areaIn this featured blog from the Lawn & Leisure website, the countless ways a new grill will enhance your cooking experience are written.  The benefits of cooking on a grill are a focal point.

Patio Grills: Take Your Love of Cooking Outdoors

There are multiple benefits to cooking outside, especially with a patio grill. By combining fresh air with the aroma of grilled food, you are sure to lure your family outside to the patio.

Get Outside

Firing up the grill and preparing a meal is a way to bring the family away from the TV. Life is busy; many of us don't use our patios and if we do, they are just used for sitting and relaxing. Cooking on the grill is relaxing too. If nothing else, grilling chicken, burgers, or vegetables may result in children kicking ball or playing while dinner is cooking.

Summer Veggies

Summertime means fresh vegetables from the garden or local farmer's market. Sweet corn, tomatoes, and green beans are a great addition to any grilled meal. Don't be afraid to grill the vegetables along with your main course. There are many recipes on the internet for grilling vegetables. Not only will they taste extra delicious but grilling also retains more of the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables. Even grilling meat preserves riboflavin and thiamine, two nutrients that provide many health benefits.

Less Fat

Grilling is healthier due to there being less fat in your food. Excess fat simply drips off the grates. Grilling also seals in moisture, as long as you don't overcook the food. Moist food means you'll be reaching less for condiments and more for seconds on vegetables.

Patio grills are great for outdoor entertaining. From small family gatherings to a neighborhood block party, patio grilling draws people who follow the amazing aroma in order to "see what's cooking."

Cozy it Up

Take your patio to the next level by adding cozy comfort pieces. While the grill is the center point of the patio, consider adding patio furniture, lighting for nighttime grilling, and heaters for cool evenings. Now you have an outdoor oasis that you'll find yourself using more beyond summer and into fall.

Container Gardening

A small patio is a great place for container plants, herbs, and vegetables. Vegetables that are successful in a medium or large container (be sure to drill holes in the container for drainage) are compact cucumbers and colorful sweet peppers. Herbs for containers  include parsley, chives, oregano, and rosemary. Consider several containers of compact zinnias for an extra splash of color. Having herbs handy on the patio will save you a trip to the grocery store.

A Growing Trend

At the 2017 Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Expo in Atlanta, GA, participants learned of the most current trends in outdoor grilling. Energy efficiency and smart technologies are both growing trends. Another growing trend is the creation of outdoor rooms. Customization of outdoor rooms includes design for traffic flow with a specific area for eating and a fire pit area. This trend goes beyond the traditional patio and takes it up a level to an extended living space of the home. Referred to as outdoor rooms, these spaces are still open air areas that include the popular and important patio grill.

Get Grilling

Life is busy and sometimes, after a long day, picking up fast food for dinner seems like the easy thing to do. Instead of hitting the local drive-thru, have the family help prepare dinner by shucking corn or washing vegetables. Gathering around the grill as dinner is cooking is a great time to share stories about your day. The time spent prepping and cooking will be worth it when you take your first bite. To learn more about patio grills and how to create your outdoor oasis, contact us. At Lawn & Leisure, we're ready to help you get grilling for a healthy and happy summer.

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Anyone who has forgotten to clean a grill after use has known the feeling of being ready to cook outdoors, just to see a mess waiting to be cleaned.  However, clean-up does not have to be a chore when these tips are worked into your cooking routine.

4 Tips for Easier Clean-Up During Outdoor Grilling Season

While the weather is still warm, you probably want to enjoy outdoor entertaining as much as you can. Hosting a BBQ for all of your loved ones or even for everyone in the neighborhood can be a great way to enjoy the warmer, nicer spring and summer months, but you might not be looking forward to dealing with the mess. However, you shouldn't let clean-up get in the way of spending time with your loved ones and having a great time!

Luckily, taking a few steps now can help you save yourself a lot of clean-up later. Then, you can focus on the joy of outdoor entertaining instead of worrying about cleaning up a huge mess.

1. Invest in an Easy-Clean Deck

Some decks show stains and are more difficult to clean than others. Consider a composite deck, which can be a whole lot easier to clean, since you don't have to worry about stains "setting" into concrete or wood.

If you have your heart set on wood or already have a wooden deck, make sure that it is sealed properly to protect it from stains and to make it easier to clean. Along with making clean-up easier, choosing the right type of sealant will also help keep your deck protected from the rain and other outdoor elements and can help it last longer. You will need to reapply the sealant every few years for maximum results.

2. Keep Your Water Hose Close at Hand

It's important to keep a water hose close at hand when you are outside grilling; then, you can quickly wash off your deck if there is a spill or rinse off your hands after you've been munching on your BBQ meals. It's also important for safety reasons if you will be grilling.

Since you will have your water hose close at hand, it is best to go ahead and spray off any messes as soon as possible; the faster that you tackle them, the easier they will be to clean. Plus, you can help prevent insects and other pests from being attracted to your grilling area while you are cooking or enjoying your meal.

3. Make it Easy With Disposable Everything

Now is the time to use disposable everything to make clean-up a breeze. Styrofoam plates and plastic cups can be thrown away without you having to bring the mess into the house. If you cover your tables with disposable tablecloths first, you can wrap the whole mess up and throw it away with minimal effort.

If you have environmental concerns, consider looking for disposables that are made out of recycled materials. You can also look through your cabinets for old plastic cups and plates that you don't care much about; then, if they do get tossed out, you won't feel as bad about waste or have to worry about your "good dishes" getting ruined, but you can always rewash them and use them for future outdoor events as well. You will probably also find that they are lighter and easier to carry in and out of the house when you're hosting a lot of people.

4. Make Trash Cans Easy to Access

If your guests have easy access to a trash can to throw away their plates and napkins, they'll be less likely to leave them sitting around. Place several trash cans throughout your property to take some of the work off of your self. If you want to bump things up a notch, consider also offering recycling bins so that your guests can properly dispose of recyclables.

Entertaining outdoors during BBQ season is a lot more fun when you don't have a huge mess to take care of. If you want to enjoy your outdoor grill more than ever, consider following these tips. You can also contact us at Lawn & Leisure for all of your grilling and other outdoor needs.

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This blog from the Lawn and Leisure website makes a great point: people who have grand visions of their outdoor grilling area suddenly keep themselves limited once the grill is in place.
This easy read should help open your eyes to the possibilities your cooking area can provide.

Accessories that Make Outdoor Grills a Suburban Adventure

Many people don't take full advantage of outdoor grills because they allow themselves to get stuck in a rut. They make the investment in a nice new grill and maybe add a deck or patio and load up on the basic supply of grilling accessories. Sticking with that initial investment can often mean missing out on some very cool tools and accessories that have the power to enhance the entire experience of grilling in the great outdoors.  

The Grillslinger

The Grillslinger is one of the most perfectly suited accessories for everything that makes owning outdoor grills fun. Strapping on the Grillslinger holster is an act that transforms outdoor grills into time machines that send your hurtling back to the Wild West. Once you slip this belt around your waist and insert your tongs, forks, spatula and brushes, you'll feel like a backyard barbecue Butch Cassidy. The Grillslinger also celebrates the freedom of the pioneer spirit of outdoor cooking by providing areas to store spices, bottle and can openers, squirt bottles and even your cell phone. Head outside and stay outside when grilling.  

Flashlight Grill Tongs

Those lazy days of the long, hot summer may be perfect for firing up outdoor grills, but even the dog days of August can get away from you. Many people across the country can comfortably barbecue outdoors well into autumn and even before spring flowers start blooming.  The point is that outdoor grills are not limited to fun in the sunshine, but very often become the centerpiece of a meal enjoyed in the moonlight. One tool tat fits nicely into the Grillslinger or can just be hung on the grill itself is a pair of tongs equipped with LED bulbs that provide bright enough illumination to allow you to detect the subtle difference well and medium-well steaks even if the electricity goes out.

WiseHooker Clean-n-Flip

Quite possibly, the Wisehooker Clean-N-Flip grill tool will become as omnipresent at backyard barbecues as bottles of ketchup and mustard. The WiseHooker features a revolutionary design that could make much of what you might holster in the Grillslinger obsolete. This is multitasking at its finest: a grill accessory that can used as a spatula, fork, tong and scraper.

Personalized Branding Iron

Perhaps no other cool grilling accessory encapsulates the spirit and history of outdoor cooking in America more than a personalized branding iron. Instead of branding the cow before it becomes steak, these personalized and customized irons brand your meat on the grill just before serving. You'll never forget the look on the faces of cookout guests the first time you place a steak in front of them into which has been seared the letters, numbers or even image of your choice. Steak branding irons are available to personalize your freshly grilled beef with everything from your initials to the mascot of your alma mater to a silhouette of a duck seared into a T-bone if you just want to confuse people. Best of all are those BBQ branding irons that let you change out the letters so you can give each guest a steak emblazoned with their own personal message.

The additions and implements which a grill and grilling area provide is only limited by one’s imagination.  Visit lawn-and-leisure.com to help inspire your ideas for your outdoor cooking area.


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safety tips for spring grilling

*The summer is the perfect time to utilize your grill as often as possible.  The pleasant weather turns your grill into useable outdoor space.  Practice caution and remember these tips below to ensure your fun time doesn’t result in any accidents.


    Gas grilling is a great way to get outside, enjoy some time with family or friends, and share the experience over some delicious food. However, while you may get used to the grilling process very quickly, you should not let this allow you to stray from important safety measures for handling propane tanks.

Keep It Away from Heavy Traffic

    In order to store propane for Grills safely, you want it to be far away from regular traffic. Having a propane tank fall on its side creates a potential puncture risk, which is exactly what you want to avoid as it can lead to an extremely dangerous outcome when handled improperly.

Upright and on a Flat Surface

    While a propane tank can be stored on its side, you are best off keeping it upright to avoid worrying about the position of the relief valve. An effective and safe surface to store a propane tank on is concrete, which is a better option than limestone, tile, brick, mortar, and flagstone

Do Not Store Inside

    Since propane is extremely flammable, the last thing you want is for it to be inside, which is where it is the most dangerous it can be on your property. Keeping it away from the home is ideal as you do not want a punctured propane tank causing your entire house to catch on fire.

Away from Heat Sources

    It is important not to store the propane anywhere near a heat source because this may lead to the eventual release of the fuel inside due to the pressure relief valve opening.

Keep Watch for Propane Smell

    If you can smell the propane while it has been sitting in your backyard safely, it is likely that the propane has a leak, which is extremely dangerous to try resolving on your own. In this situation, your first and only option should be calling the fire department to get it looked at by qualified professionals.

Contact us for more information on propane or to learn about our grill or patio furniture selection.


    * Propane tanks can be dangerous if these tis for use and storage are not followed.  Practice these methods to ensure safety.

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patio furniture has become outdoor living room furniture

As the outdoor landscape of a home has developed, so has the patio furniture.  No longer are the same few designs only incorporated through random patterns on chair cushions.  Patio furniture has become regal and elegant, as countless designs exist to complement any and all tastes.

Choosing the Right Furniture for Your Outdoor Space

Indoor gas fireplace:

    You just had an incredible outdoor fireplace installed. Now you are considering how to proceed with the rest of the exterior design.

    Outdoor furniture is at the top of your list and you realize it can be overwhelming given all the choices out there. The pieces and styling can make or break your dream space.

    Lawn & Leisure carries several lines of high-end quality outdoor furniture that are guaranteed to turn any outdoor space into a veritable showplace.

    Let's take a look at a few of the furniture lines offered by Lawn & Leisure:

LLOYD FLANDERS FURNITURE:

    Have you considered Lloyd Flanders furniture? You may be wondering if it is right for you. So let's see if we can't answer that question, shall we?

     The process used to create this unique furniture is patented and has been since 1917. It was originally created by Marshall B. Lloyd, who opened Lloyd Manufacturing in 1906.

  • The furniture is incredibly durable. Each strand of cellulose fiber is coated in glue to discourage unraveling of the strands. Aluminum wire is used for reinforcement throughout the weave. Once the weaving is completed, it is immersed in resin which creates flexibility and protection from moisture.

  • The Lloyd Furniture company offers several collections with a wide array of pieces including; rockers, ottomans, lounge chairs, sectionals and love seats. You are sure to find a style that fits your tastes and preferred design.

  • There are a great number of tables that are available to complement the furniture as well as a selection of cushions for personalization and color.

  • The durability of the furniture ensures that it will last for many years to come and you will not be shelling out money every other season to replace your outdoor furniture.

    If you are in the market for outdoor, then you simply have to check out Lloyd Flanders.  

KETTLER USA:

    Kettler USA is the ultimate in versatility. Their outdoor selections are varied and you are sure to find something that fits your style and works fluidly with your outdoor space.

  • Kettler includes uses several different materials including; resin, wrought iron, aluminum and wicker options.

  • The company was founded in 1949 in Germany by Heinz Kettler. It has grown exponentially and now is sold in over 60 countries.

  • Kettler USA prides itself in producing high-quality furniture and has earned a reputation as a leader in the industry.

  • The furniture line includes not only table and chair sets, but chaises, benches and storage ottomans.

  • The company also makes fitness and recreational products as well as a line of toys.

  • They create a lot of fun outdoor recreation items like a giant chess set that gets everyone engaged and active and table tennis and foosball tables.

    Kettler is sure to add style and even a little whimsy to your outdoor fireplace area.

HATTERAS HAMMOCKS:

    What says relaxation more than a hammock? Hatteras Hammocks is the premier authority on hammocks.

  • Hatteras Hammocks does more than just hammocks. They a full line of accessories that includes curtains, cushions, and outdoor swings.

  • The company has been in business for over 40 years.

  • The have a line of care products available to keep your hammock and swing in tip-top condition for many years of use.

  • Customers can add-on to their hammocks with canopies and stylish pillows that can be purchased at any time. This is great when you have no desire to get rid of your hammock, but want to change up the theme or color scheme of your space.

MALLIN CASUAL FURNITURE:

    Mallin Casual Furniture offers comfort and elegance in the form of outdoor furniture.

  • Mallin has been a leader in style and comfort for over 50 years.

  • Their pieces are constructed of aluminum, heavy-duty tubular, extruded or solid aluminum to be precise.

  • They apply a hard, durable finish of polyester powder-coated protection to ensure long-lasting beauty for years to come.

  • The outdoor product line includes table and chair sets, couches, barstools, rockers, club chairs, and chaises.

  • Each piece can be customized with their line of fabrics and finishes and trim lines which include braidings and fringes.

  • They offer a complete line of outdoor firepits in several styles.

PALM SPRINGS RATTAN:

    If rattan is your thing, then Palm Springs Rattan is a must.

  • Palm Springs Rattan has been in business since 1971 and was founded in Florida.

  • The extensive outdoor line includes the standards like chaises and table and chair sets as well as bar seating and umbrellas.

  • Their accessory line is varied and customers can find selections in lighting, cushions, wall art and towel trees.

  • Customers can purchase furniture covers for added protection.

  • Palm Springs Rattan also has an incomparable line of 150 fabrics which are available by the yard and allow for total customization of your pieces.

  • Items have powder-coated finishes considered best for this type of outdoor application.

Many of these pieces can work in both indoor and outdoor settings, but some of our manufacturers have separate indoor and outdoor lines.

Whatever your vision is for your space, Lawn and Leisure can help you make it a reality. Time spent with family and friends is so important and is even better when spent in a beautiful and stylish setting.

If you purchase any of our featured furniture pieces or sets, get ready for the steady of stream of compliments from friends and family. If you don't already, you will develop of real love of entertaining, if only to show off your gorgeous furniture!

Check out our site for all of our lines including indoor gas fireplaces by R.H. Peterson Co. and Hearthstone as well as our line of grills and furniture.

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The outdoor furniture has incorporated itself to become one of the most important aspects of an outdoor living area.  Many homeowners feel that future additions to the landscape should be focused around the furniture, instead of vice versa.

Think About the Outdoor Furniture Before Investing in Outdoor Upgrade

When you purchase a home that already has an outdoor space, you are forced to work with the area that you have for getting outdoor furniture. Although you could make some changes to accommodate your particular needs, this would make it a considerably more expensive project to undertake. It is for this reason that most homeowners just work around what they already have. However, if you do not already have an established outdoor area in your backyard and you are looking to invest in such an addition, you should think about what outdoor furniture you want to get before making concrete plans.

    Make Improvements or Additions That Align with Your Wants and Needs

For the most part, the outdoor space that you create is not what makes it enjoyable. Without furnishings, an outdoor area is not very usable, which brings about how important it is to have outdoor furniture. It might seem strange, but picking the furniture that you want before you invest in an improvement or addition to your backyard is a great way to make sure your wants and needs are accommodated.

    Avoid Creating an Outdoor Area with Too Much Space or Not Enough

If you know that you want to get certain furnishings, you want to avoid a situation in which you create a space that is not able to fit everything. It is easy to underestimate how much room furniture can take up, especially if you do not go through what furniture you want to get beforehand. Also, overestimating how much space you need is also a problem because it leads to unnecessary project expenses.

    Make Plans with Long-Term Furniture Investments in Mind

Although you might feel hesitant to make your plans based on outdoor furniture, you should do so with the intent to use the furniture for the long term. Just because it is common for people to go through a new furniture set every couple of years, this typically comes down to poor maintenance and planning. However, by investing a decent amount of money into high-quality outdoor furniture, you can expect your furniture to last for many years, especially when you take the time to maintain it properly.

    Consider Covered Areas to Combat the Elements

An aspect of your outdoor space that you want to consider is whether you want to have an area that is covered. For instance, you can avoid dealing with elements by creating a covered space, which also opens up the opportunity to choose more outdoor furniture as the risk of damage is minimized or eliminated.

    Decide Whether You Want to Have a Grill

Depending on what kind of outdoor experience you want to have, a grill may be an option or a necessity. It is important to think about this beforehand, especially because you will want to have an area for eating outdoors. If you know that you have no intentions to eat outside, then you do not have to worry about buying a large dining table, which is generally a requirement for eating outside with your family.

A grill is something that you should consider because it can provide you with a unique cooking experience, which can also lead to unique tasting food that you cannot get in the kitchen. Also, if you like to have a family or friends over, or even host large parties, you will certainly like having a grill to entertain.

Creating an ideal outdoor space for your family to enjoy is not an easy task to accomplish. However, when you look at outdoor furniture before drawing up plans, you can accommodate your needs well.

Contact us if you have any questions about patio furniture or our selection.

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Consider the Long-term When You Decide to Purchase Patio Furniture

Once you get a backyard that can be used as an outdoor space, getting patio furniture is the first step to turning it into a place where you can spend on a regular basis. Although it is true that this furniture will spend the majority of its time outside, this does not mean you should not take the shopping process as seriously as you would for purchasing furniture to be used indoors. For an ideal shopping experience, you should take the long-term into consideration before making any final decisions.

Think About Future Restoration

While it is ideal when your furniture is able to last for years without needing restoration, you should keep future restoration in mind as it might be necessary for some pieces of furniture to maintain their function and looks. Restoration is one way to get an even better value out of the furniture you buy.

Pick Neutral Styles and Colors

Although you might be into a certain style or want wild colors with your patio furniture, considering natural styles and colors will help you maximize the longevity of the furniture. It is helpful when you avoid a predicament in which your patio furniture no longer fits in with the rest of your home.

Prioritize Long Warranties

Reputable furniture manufacturers provide lengthy warranties, so you should be looking for at least a five-year warranty on the patio furniture you purchase. It is not hard to find longer warranties, but most importantly, you want to purchase furniture from a manufacturer that is confident in their products.

Expect a Longer Lifespan

While you should expect your furniture to last as long as the warranty does, most furniture pieces, as long as they are well-maintained, should be able to last a considerable length after the warranty ends.

If you have any questions about patio furniture, call Lawn & Leisure today at (703) 635-2124.

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lawn and leisure blog4

As we arrive into the thick of winter, wouldn't it be nice to have a custom fireplace in your home? If you haven't thought about doing that yet, it can certainly be done before winter ends. Here at Lawn & Leisure, we can provide numerous custom fireplaces built to your specifications. Take a look at the different options that are possible, including placing fireplaces in rooms you may not have considered.

Vent-Free Fireplaces That Hang On Your Wall

These type of fireplaces are starting to be seen more often in homes. They're unique in that you don't have to worry about having a chimney in order to have them heat a room. This works using innovative venting technology without causing any danger whatsoever.

What makes vent-free fireplaces so beautiful is that you can place them virtually anywhere as if hanging a picture on a wall. With this ability, you can have a fireplace in any room of your house, including the bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms or wherever you want it. These can be installed into your wall at any height so you can look directly into the fireplace without needing to get down on your haunches.

Indoor Fire Pits

Here you have another stylish custom fireplace option that gives you the illusion of a fire pit in the middle of a room. These can provide real style to your home and provide the atmosphere of a summer fire outdoors. Yes, go ahead and picture yourself sitting around your custom fire pit and roasting marshmallows next summer. Fortunately, these are designed to be perfectly safe for use indoors.

Gas Log Fireplaces

If you're using natural gas or propane to heat your home, a gas log fireplace might be a good bet. These are made to look like real logs, yet burns with natural gas without you needing to buy anything. Considering how economical natural gas can be, you'll be saving plenty of money already without having to worry about cleaning out your fireplace. You can even control gas log fireplaces with a remote control so you can stay in your chair while getting warm.

Custom Fireplace Doors or Screens

In order to stylize your home, you'll want customized glass doors or screens on your fireplace, whether it's the real deal or the variations above. We can design something ornate, antique, or a more contemporary design if you wish. Glass doors can also come in masonry or zero clearance style for the utmost in safety. We'll even work with you to design a door or screen that incorporates your own design if you so choose.

No matter what you design, we'll make sure the door or screen is energy efficient so you save the most money.

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bringing families closer together this winter with outdoor fireplacesWith winter now here, it is harder than ever to have family time in the outdoors. Even if you haven't built your dream patio or deck yet, an outdoor fireplace provides a place to gather around and enjoy time as a family. In even the coldest weather, there are so many great things to do around the fire. We'll go over a few here.

  • Tell Scary Stories: Campfire tales are one of the best things to do with friends and family. Kids and adults of all ages enjoy being frightened while in a safe place with people they love and nothing sets the mood here better than the soothing flicker of flames from an outdoor fireplace.
  • Roast Hot Dogs: Hot Dogs are the staple meal of the campfire family. Get some good long skewers (or sticks for the authentic feel) and spear those dogs. Sing campfire songs and enjoy the friendly conversation while they cook. Also, after you're done with them, that leaves you ready for dessert, which leads into...
  • Make S'mores: Let's face it, you can't go enjoy your fireplace in the winter without some s'mores! This great treat is great with any outdoor fireplace, but shines especially with wood-burning fireplaces so make sure you have bags of graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. You can even put your own twists on them with things like peanut butter or whatever your family likes best!
  • Drink Hot Cocoa: On a cold winter night lit only by the flames of your fireplace, nothing hits the spot quite like hot cocoa. Whether you make yours from the packet in the microwave or make it from scratch over the fire, you just can't go wrong with this winter treat for your friends and family.

Whatever the use, the outdoor fireplace is bringing families together and you'll always remember fondly these cold nights spent in front of the welcome warmth of your outdoor fireplace. In this world of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more electronics than you can shake a stick at, everyone needs some times to reset and disconnect so you can connect with the people who are really important to you.

When you're ready to get your outdoor fireplace set up so you can start enjoying these moments with your family, contact us and let our staff help you pick the perfect fit!

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using outdoor fireplaces to cook food

Outdoor fireplaces can be the perfect centerpiece for many an evening gathering on your deck or back patio. But they can also be a perfect tool for an outdoor cookout that goes far beyond roasting hot dogs or marshmallows. After all, before gas and electricity, many of our ancestors used the fireplace as a place to cook dinner.

The Firepit and Grilling Guru suggests a number of enhancements to make your outdoor fireplace into an appliance to cook food.

For instance, a hearth cooking string attached to a hook on the mantle can cook roasts evenly, spinning in front of the fire. Try roasting a leg of lamb or a whole chicken this way.

You can turn your outdoor fireplace into a rotisserie by adding a spit that can be cranked either by hand or with a small motor. Put meats and veggies on the spit for fire-kissed skewer dishes.

A hook and chain can hang a pot or Dutch oven to slowly cook stews and soups.

The addition of a fireplace grill will turn your outdoor fireplace into a barbecue grill. Wait until your fire as died down to glowing embers, and then cook brisket low and slow, or pork loin or directly cook steaks, hamburgers, links, and boneless chicken pieces.

Fireplace pans, chestnut roasters, and popcorn poppers are also available for cooking directly over the fire.

Thus an outdoor fireplace can provide that true 19th century cooking experience but from the comfort of a 21st century home. What and how you cook is only limited by the imagination.

For more information, contact us.

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outdoor fireplaces winter warmth

You have picked out that perfect outdoor fireplace. The spot was chosen right outside your home where it's cozy and beautiful. Everything is exactly as you pictured it would be except one thing, it's snowing! But who says you cannot enjoy an outdoor fireplace all year round? Creating the perfect place where you can cozy up in front of a fireplace while the snow falls around you is more simple than you would think.

If your fireplace is under an awning or covered area, then using it all year round is even easier. Just add these simple additions to keep your guests and you warm even in the coldest evenings.

  • Add a touch of warmth with a basket of mittens, hats and scarves.
  • Make sure your benches stay covered with warm cushions, even wrapping the cushions in fleece or flannel to add a cozier feel.
  • Include lots of pillows and blankets to keep warm under. Homemade quilts can add a country addition or soft crochets for an elegant touch.

Keeping your insides warm is also important!

  • Include a tray with hot chocolate, tea or coffee in your favorite flavors.
  • Want a more rustic look? Use a barn wood tray with horseshoe handles.
  • Add some whimsy with your favorite colorful mugs.
  • Marshmallows and coffee additions add a fun treat.

What if your seating is not in a covered area? Does that mean you cannot enjoy that lovely fire all winter long? It’s as easy as keeping up with snow removal on the seating!

  • A country broom nearby will be the perfect touch and make removing the snow an easier task.
  • Keep your cushions somewhere close inside where they can stay warm until you want to use them.
  • Keep your baskets of quilts and hats near the door to grab quickly when you want to go out.

Within minutes you can have a cozy spot to watch the snow fall or even catch a few flakes on your tongue!

To find out more about outdoor fireplaces please contact us.

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grilling in the winter season

The winter does not mean you cannot still enjoy the thrill of grilling outside. Check out some of the following meals you can prepare for your friends and family this winter. Don't let your outdoor grill go cold this winter just because of a little snow!

Meals to Grill:

1. Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks

2. Spice-Rubbed Grilled Salmon with Spicy Cucumber Salsa

3. Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken

Check out all the meals you can cook this winter in the article on Martha Stewart.

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the art of a chimney for outdoor fireplaces

Outdoor fireplace design usually focuses on the aesthetics of hearth or mantel. What about the chimney? Many famous fireplaces have chimneys that are works of architectural wonder. Maybe you would like to have one, too.

Thornbury Castle

The palatial Tudor home of King Henry the VIII and Anne Boleyn, Thornbury's impressive brick chimney is of complex design features with hideous gargoyles, latticed brickwork, and zig-zag lay patterns mixed with curves and geometric patterns. It's dizzying to look at but truly extraordinary

"This hidden home shopping gem gas a TON of stuff packed into a small space..."

Oldest Chimney

The oldest chimneys still standing are at France's 12th century Fontevrault Abbey. They are pencil shaped, smoothly curved, stacked stonework with pointed, conical stone chimney caps.

Tallest Chimney

The tallest chimney in the world is at a Kazakhstan coal power station and stands 1,377 feet high. A chimney this tall is the dickens to clean! But if you are looking for simplicity of style, the silhouette of a slender, graduated tube is appealing.

Non-Conforming Whimsy

If you are a fan of the unusual, Berlin's "Das Heizhaus" chimney, created by philosopher artist, Rudolf Steiner, may inspire you. Why have a run-of-the-mill outdoor fireplace when you can top it with a chimney that makes a fascinating statement?

Cap It

If an extravagant chimney is out of your budget, you can still have affordable fireplace artistry with a chimney cap. Whimsical dragon sculptures, the glimmer of a copper topper, Abbey inspired pencil shaped chimney caps of terra cotta and wrought iron, splashes of Antoni Gaudi style colorful tile, can transform any outdoor fireplace.

Inspiration & Creativity

An outdoor fireplace serves more than function. It's a statement of your personality and imagination with designs that are beautiful, contemplative or fascinating.

Who Does Such Work?

You don't have to go to Europe to get the fireplace of your dreams. Skilled artisans and craftsmen are well within reach. In fact, there may already be a fireplace created just as you imagined. Please contact us or visit our showroom to discover ready-made firepits or place a special order for one of your own design.

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3rd Annual Grill Fest

Join us at Lawn & Leisure for our 3rd Annual Grill Fest this coming Saturday, May 14th, 2016 in Sterling, VA.

3rd annual grillfest at lawn and leisure saturday may 14th 2016

 What You Need to Know

- Event begins at 11 AM and goes until 3 PM.

- Will be prizes, music, food, special offers, cooking tips, and factory representatives at the Grill Fest!

Come check out the event and get grilling this summer season. Hope to see you there!

why a tailored experience for buying patio furniture is ideal for long term satisfaction

Although you are certainly capable of having a positive experience with buying furniture for your patio either online, at a furniture store, or even a home improvement store, they may not provide you with the most rewarding or satisfying experience, especially when you consider long-term satisfaction. Most of the time, these stores are only able to provide you with a limited selection of furniture to choose from, which puts you in a position to pick only from your options, as opposed to picking based on your wants alone.

If you want to buy patio furniture and feel confident in your long-term satisfaction with the decision you make, you should opt for a tailored experience provided by knowledgeable professionals.

Adequate Accommodations

Professionals who sell patio furniture, grills, outdoor fireplaces, and everything else related to outdoor living spaces know exactly what a person or family needs to consider before making a purchase. With this in mind, you do not have to worry about missing out on important details. Choosing furniture that is able to accommodate your entire family is essential as you want to promote spending time outside, not discourage it based on making a mistake when you bought patio furniture.

Proper Measurements

Another benefit that comes from a tailored shopping experience with professionals at your side is that you will always get the right measurements for your patio furniture. Although you can measure everything on your own and double or triple-check them to guarantee that no mistakes were made, it is still easier to let professionals take the measurements and make sure you get the patio furniture you need.

Proper measurements can help you make the most of a small outdoor space, or it can help you furnish an oversized outdoor living area while making sure the finished result looks attractive and professional.

Ideal Style

If you plan on buying patio furniture that you intend on keeping for many years, you do not want to get a set that does not match your home or mesh with your personal preferences. A company that sells patio furniture will listen to your favorite styles and make sure to get furniture in one of those styles. Although you should not hesitate to choose patio furniture in your preferred style, you should think about opting for a somewhat neutral look to avoid the chance of clashing with the exterior of your home at any point in the following years. This way, your patio furniture will never cause any aesthetic issues.

Fitting to Your Lifestyle

Although you might want a standard patio set with a couch in a couple of chairs, you could want something unique, such as a hammock and swinging benches to accompany your outdoor space. A tailored experience will ensure that you get the furniture that fits your lifestyle. Maybe you want cushy seats, or you would rather not have to worry about removing covers in the rain as you travel regularly. No matter what your lifestyle entails, personalized shopping will lead to the furniture being a perfect match.

No Pickup or Delivery Hassle

Picking up patio furniture without a truck or SUV can turn into quite a challenge. Whether you try to take multiple trips, fit everything awkwardly into your vehicle, or ask for help from neighbors is up to you, but it is also possible to avoid all of these possible scenarios by getting professional delivery and installation.

Although it is not strange for families to go through patio furniture sets quite rapidly, you should focus on investing in high-quality furniture that will last you for many years with appropriate care.

Contact us if you have any questions about buying patio furniture.

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wow whats that smell did you properly store your patio furniture last winter

The baking heat of summer added to the howling cold winds of winter spell disaster for outdoor furniture fabrics. Tis the time to store the patio furniture before the wet winter accumulations destroy your outdoor fabrics all together. There are a few considerations, though, before you slam the shed door until spring. You’ll need to ensure your patio furniture is mold and mildew free before you store them. Certain conditions could cause mold and mildew to form on your outdoor furniture while it’s in storage. Let’s take a look at what causes mold and mildew and how to prevent it forming during storage.

Outdoor Furniture Fabrics

Chances are good that your outdoor furniture fabrics are synthetic like acrylic or polyester. Canvas and mesh are also popular outdoor fabrics. Synthetics are usually coated with something that waterproofs and weatherproofs them. These coatings frequently last the life of the furniture, if they are properly maintained. However, onslaughts from the weather can and will break down anything left in its path. Outdoor fabrics left in the sun and winter winds generally last only a couple seasons. That’s before mold and mildew sink their claws into the fabric.

Mold and Mildew

Mildew is a plant, a kind of fungus, which then turns into mold. Mold is actually of benefit to the environment, because it breaks down organic matter such as leaves and debris. Once it reduces its prey to its basic denominator, it moves on to adjacent organic matter. Mold spores fly through the air and get on and into everything. Add moisture from heat and humidity to the mix and you have a recipe for brownish grayish stains feeding on your organic materials. Also remember that moisture in the form of sun lotions and bug sprays adds to the problem. Mold and mildew love warm, moist dark places where they can feed and live without being noticed. Most homeowners look for it behind walls, beneath floors, behind the wallpaper and beneath leaky windows, in basements and in attics. The truth is, it can grow anywhere anytime the environment is right.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew off Outdoor Furniture

Modern fabrics are made to be weatherproof, waterproof and colorfast. If homeowners have misplaced the instructions, allow us to give you some cleaning advice. Bleach is the best chemical with which to clean mold and mildew off outdoor fabrics. Test an unobtrusive spot to see if the bleach will fade the pattern and colors. First, rub off and vacuum the outdoor fabric. If it won’t fade, then mix one cup bleach in a gallon of warm water and spray it on the affected item. Note to homeowners: if cleaning mold and mildew is a regular problem, the bleach mixture could very well eat up the textile. If the outdoor cushions become stained and you fear mildew, then mix one teaspoon borax and one teaspoon dishwasher detergent to one quart of warm water and spray on the stains. Give it about 15 minutes and rub off. Dry in the sun thoroughly. If these things are a regular occurrence, then prevention is the key to preserving your patio furniture.

Do This before Storing Outdoor Furniture

Since washing machines, clothes driers and dry cleaners destroy the finish on outdoor fabrics, then cleaning them as we discussed above is better for the longevity of the fabric. Make very sure the items are thoroughly dry. The tiniest bit of moisture could have you gasping for air when you open the shed door next spring. Placing the cushions in a mattress bag will prevent mold from find your dry fabrics. Also placing tins of charcoal or kitty litter in the storage unit helps absorb any moisture in the air.

What’s a Suburban Survival Store without survival tips? When it comes to the outdoors and the tools for the outdoors, we know our stuff! We have known it for over 30 years, and our service guys have yet to run into a question they couldn’t answer! If you need any more information about your patio or deck furnishings, please contact us.

top 5 outdoor grills for the holidays

If you still haven't found the perfect gift for that special someone, don't panic. There is still time to order the gift that keeps on giving - an outdoor grill. Outdoor grills make perfect gifts for the members of your family who can't get enough of the outdoors and good food. Plus, as the giver of one of our top 5 outdoor grills, you get to enjoy home grilled goodness year round.

1. American Outdoor Grill 30 PCL

Perfect for the backyard, patio, or deck, this portable gas grill manufactured by American Outdoor Grill is part of their new "L" series. It features an electronic ignition system, warming rack, and 4-prong adjustable rotisserie meat holder. Constructed with high-quality stainless steel, this grill lasts for years of use. The user-friendly drip collector helps prevent spills and stains, and the grill even comes with halogen lights to make late night grilling easy and safe.

The polished bezel thermometer is attractive and accurate, and the valves are made of solid brass. This ensures accurate temperate readings and precise control to prolong the life of your grill.

2. Primo Oval LG 300 Ceramic Grill

The gourmet chef in your life could not ask for more than a Primo Ceramic grill this holiday season. Ceramic does not radiate heat like metal grills. Food grilled in a ceramic grill retains its natural juices, and the ceramic exterior stays cooler than hot metal, preventing injury.

Ceramic grills do more than just grill the best tasting steaks around - they also act as ovens and smokers, allowing you to grill, bake, roast, and smoke for all of your outdoor cooking needs.

This grill has enough space to grill 15-25 steaks on its multiple racks. 300 square inches of cooking space means there is plenty of room for all of your favorites from hot dogs to shishkabobs.

If your special someone craves a charcoal grill that provides a superior taste, then this Primo product is the grill of choice.

3. Big Green Egg

It is hard to know what to expect from a company with a name like Big Green Egg, but those familiar with grills know the name is synonymous with quality. 

These ceramic grills come in a variety of sizes. All have the same distinctive egg shape, perfected for quality and efficiency. Their XXLarge EGG easily handles family gatherings, catering events and cookouts with taste and style, boasting 672 square inches of cooking space. For an ultra-portable gift option, try the Mini Egg. With 79 square inches of cooking space, this little grill still cooks 2 pork chops or breasts at a time.

Let your loved ones decide if they prefer grilling, baking, or smoking on their new Big Green Egg grill - if nothing else, grilling accessories make excellent stocking stuffers.

4. Weber Original Kettle Series

Nothing says summer like a Weber Original Kettle grill. Available in 18, 22, and 26-inches, these charcoal fired grills are portable, light, and perfect for the backyard. The wheeled base makes moving the grill simple, and Weber grills last for years.

Lovers of the standard charcoal grill appreciate the simplicity of the Weber Original. The three sizes offer small and large families a portable charcoal grill perfect for their needs.

5. Weber Genesis Series

Weber makes both charcoal and gas grills. Serious grill aficionados prefer the Genesis series for their convenient size and superior construction. Each of the 4 grills in this series boasts 637 square inches of grilling space, and the grill comes with a solid welded frame on wheels for easy maneuvering. 

The Genesis E-310 and E-330 come equipped with porcelain-enameled Flavorizer bars, and both the Genesis S-310 and S-330 have stainless steel Flavorizer bars. All 4 grills offer 3 stainless steel burners, and the E-330 and S-330 come with a Sear Station burner.

Finding The Perfect Grill 

Once you decide which grill to gift, contact us to get your order shipped before the holidays.

keep your pets safe around charcoal grills with these handy tips leesburg vaEnjoying charcoal grills during the summer can be a fantastic way to cook up fresh food and spend time with friends and family outdoors, but safety precautions are always important to consider. If you have pets such as dogs or cats that enjoy going outside with you, it’s important that you make sure to get the grill pet-proofed for their own safety with the following tips.

Set Up a Blockade Around the Grill

The easiest way to combat your pets natural curiosity around the grill is to set up a blockade. This can be done in a number of ways, but the result should always be making it more difficult for your pets to reach the grill. Some good options include typing up your dog far away from the grill or using fencing around your patio area where the grill is being used.

Make Sure a Screen is Set Up

If you don’t want to use a blockade, but are still worried about your dog or cat becoming burned from flying embers, it’s important you use a screen. While you won’t be using the screen while actively cooking, it can come in handy when the grill is cooling down or in between uses.

Avoid Feeding Your Pet From the Grill

One of the most common reasons why pets get too close to the grill is because they’ve gotten used to being fed scraps from the grill. In order to keep the grill free of being touched by your pet, make sure not to feed them from the grill so they won’t associate it with treats.

For more helpful safety advice on using your grill, feel free to contact us.

the-7-pieces-of-lawn-equipment-every-homeowner-needs

Buying a home doesn’t automatically grant you a green thumb. But owning a home does tend to come with a certain amount of outdoor maintenance, meaning that all homeowners should work on some basic lawn and garden skills. If you’re just getting started, one of the best ways to set yourself up for success is by making sure that you have the right tools at hand (without spending a bunch of money on lawn equipment you won’t actually use). Here are seven recommendations on what to buy that can help you get your yard in perfect shape for grilling, lounging around on comfortable deck furniture, toasting s’mores over a fire pit or outdoor fireplace, or any other backyard summer activities you can come up with.

  1. A Good Pair of Gloves

    Before you even start looking at lawn equipment, you’ll want some protective gear. That includes a thick, reinforced pair of garden gloves. Leather will provide the best protection. Depending on the size of the projects you’re planning to take on, you may also want a pair of safety glasses.

  2. A Lawn Mower

    For centuries, people cut grass by swinging small, sharp scythes as they walked through fields. Fortunately, an English textile worker named Edwin Budding developed a grass-cutting machine in 1830 (based on the machine used to shear the nap off cloth), and now there are a wide variety of push and riding mowers available -- in fact, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns each weekend. Push mowers are generally adequate for small yards, and are both affordable and easy to use; just be sure to choose one that propels itself to save yourself unnecessary work.

  3. A Weed Whacker

    A weed whacker, also known as a string trimmer, is a handheld piece of motorized equipment that allows you to trim growth around the edges of your lawn and tackle weeds in tight spaces. The most important thing is that you choose one that is light enough for you to comfortably maneuver.

  4. A Trowel

    A simple hand trowel costs only a few dollars, but you’ll find yourself using it over and over, year after year. These small, pointed shovels can be used for digging out weeds, loosening hard-packed soil and planting flowers (such as the bright annuals that can easily add so much vibrancy to an outdoor design).

  5. A Leaf Rake

    You’ll probably need a rake whether you have deciduous trees on your property or not. That’s because many lawn mowers leave behind clippings you’ll want to rake up for a cleaner look.

  6. A Hand Pruner

    Tree trimming is a job best left to the professionals. But you can give smaller plants such as bushes and hedges a few snips twice a year or so in order to maintain a neat appearance and encourage healthy seasonal growth. Spring-assisted trimmers will allow you to easily prune even tough, woody branches and stems, and are worth investing in.

  7. A Utility Bucket

    Something as simple as a large plastic bucket will make your life much easier when it comes to lawn and garden maintenance. Choose a size that you’ll be able to comfortably carry even when it’s filled with water or a heavy landscaping material such as gravel.

What other lawn equipment should beginners invest in? Join the discussion in the comments.

 

 

 

update-your-patio-furniture-for-a-big-end-of-summer-party-fairfax-va

If you missed your opportunity to invite your friends and family over for a fun get together over the Independence day weekend, it's not too late to throw a fun bbq bash this summer. If you begin planning now, you can have a fun end of summer party that will really send the sunny season out with a bang.

Start with your guest list. Once you know how many people you are inviting you'll be able to move on to planning food, entertainment and other details. 

Don't limit your guest list due to your current seating capacity. Extra patio furniture is a great investment, because once you have the adequate seating for entertaining, you are more likely to throw parties in the future. If you haven't shopped for patio furniture in a while, you will be surprised at the high quality of outdoor furniture that will add style to your backyard, while requiring very little maintenance. Sectional style pieces offer you the maximum amount of seating and comfort with a flexible set-up.

If you want to throw a party your guests are sure to remember, ditch the traditional BBQ foods like hot dogs and hamburgers and cook something a little more exotic on your grill. Lobsters are surprisingly simple to cook on your grill, as are clams. Grilled pizza is becoming more and more popular and there are some great recipes online, or you can invite your guests to create their own masterpieces.

If you need to transform your outdoor entertaining space, please contact us. We would love to help you create a backyard oasis that your friends and family will love to visit.

 

 

 

make-choosing-your-first-grill-a-little-easier-reston-va

Outdoor grilling season is here. If you're thinking this is the year to purchase your first outdoor grill, that's super exciting! But with such a variety of features and brands, it can also be overwhelming. Here are a few tips on getting started. 

Gas or Charcoal

One isn't better than the other, though committed grillers will likely side with one over the other depending on what they use. 

Think about your priorities. If you are currently career-focused with little free time, go with a gas grill. It's easier to use and to clean. If taste is more important than efficiency, consider a charcoal grill for that classic barbecue flavor. 

In general, gas grills are often a better option for the grilling novice because of its ease and consistency. 

Know your budget

Grills range in price from the teens to thousands. At every price point, you can find a great grill or a total ripoff, so know that any price point you choose is okay. Once you set your budget, you'll have a more manageable selection of grills to work with. 

Know your space 

You want your grill to look good and fit well. If you get a grill that's too big for the space, you'll be uncomfortable cooking, which means you won't use it as often. If you're working with a small outdoor space, you don't want to feel cramped or allow the grill to visually overwhelm everything else. Big spaces have more flexibility, but consider what your grill is next to and how the space will look as a whole. 

Focus on these three elements as you begin your grill search and it won't feel so overwhelming. Here at Lawn & Leisure, we can help you find the right grill for you. Contact us to get started. 

 

 

 

quick-tips-for-summer-ready-deck-furniture-cushions-mclean-va

As the summer season gets underway, patios and decks are often in need of a little extra attention.  Those cushions that were left outside over the winter months can be quite an eyesore in the light of summer sunshine.  What can you do to clean your deck furniture cushions and revive their look in time for those July backyard barbecues?

It is a good practice to clean your cushions at least twice a year.  A good cleaning in summer will take care of the accumulated grime left by winter weather. And autumn is an excellent time to inspect and spot clean your cushions after a summer of fun in the sun.

Follow these quick and easy tips for effective cleaning:

1)  Vacuum cushions carefully.

A surprising amount of dirt and grime can be easily lifted from your cushions with vacuuming or the use of a nice, stiff brush.  Your aim should be to get off any loose dirt you find.  Be sure to pay special attention to the seams and creases of your cushions, as grime loves to live there.

2)  Rinse with lukewarm water.

This should remove any dirt particles left from your vacuuming efforts.  No matter the degree of grime on your cushions, do not use water that is hot, as this is very damaging to the material. As an additional word of caution, never use a pressure washer for this job, as this could potentially create small tears in the fabric of your cushions, which would cause them to hold moisture and breed mold and mildew.

3) Spot clean sparingly.

Spot clean problem areas using only  1/4 cup of clear dish washing detergent such as Dawn per one gallon of lukewarm water.  Do not use oil based cleaners or harsh detergents.  Most outdoor cushions are treated to be water-resistant, and harsh detergents ruin this feature. For stubborn stains, a mild bleach/water mixture may be used very sparingly.  Be careful not to use too much bleach, as it can have the unfortunate result of ruining the color of your fabric.  If you must use bleach, take great care to blot the area quickly with a clean, dry cloth to minimize damage.

4)  Try an alternate method.

If you do not wish to risk the bleach option, alternately you may use 1 teaspoon of clear dish washing liquid, 1 tablespoon of borax, and 1 quart of lukewarm water.  For this method, mix the ingredients in a clean spray bottle and saturate both sides of your cushions.  Let the solution work for fifteen minutes and then rinse your cushions thoroughly.  Once you are satisfied that the solution has been rinsed well, stand your cushions on end in direct sunlight to dry.

For additional information about how to get your deck barbecue-ready and all your grilling equipment in order, please contact us.  We are here to ensure your summertime fun.

 

 

 

safety-tips-on-propane-for-grills-to-enjoy-grilling-outdoors-reston-va

Grilling can be rather enjoyable, lead to a delicious meal, and is the perfect reason to spend time with family and friends, but there are safety measures that must be taken to ensure a safe experience.

Charcoal grilling has some safety prerequisites, but propane grilling is a little more demanding, so you need to be more careful when using propane for grills by following a few safety tips.

Protect the Grill from Children and Pets

Although your pets or children might not have any bad intentions, they are naturally a safety hazard around grills, especially propane grills. Ideally, you want to keep them away from the grill at all times.

Place Your Grill in a Safe Place

A safe grill location is not just a place where there is a level surface. A propane grill should only be used outdoors, and it should always be several feet away from your home and away from potential hazards.

For instance, a grill is not safe when there are tree branches hanging overhead.

Keep the Grill Well Clean

A clean grill is not only better for having a positive grilling experience, but it makes it safer to use. Purchasing a heavy-duty grill brush is one of the best investments you can make for grilling.

Not only will it make cleaning the grill easy, but it will motivate you to clean after each use. Taking the time to clean the grill right after using it will help to prevent heavy build-up.

If you have any questions about grilling or patio furniture, please contact us.

 

 

protect-your-outdoor-furniture-with-proper-landscaping-chantilly-vaAlthough you can use a canopy, porch overhang, or awning to protect your outdoor furniture, you may not want to use a canopy or you may not have an overhang to provide protection. However, a viable alternative is to use landscaping to your advantage, which can supply protection while also improving your yard’s looks.

Use Trees for Shade and Protection

If you already have mature trees in your backyard, you may want to consider designing your outdoor space around them, or placing outdoor furniture where the trees can provide shade.

Protection from the sun will help your furniture last longer from reduced sun exposure.

Although you can apply a water sealant on most outdoor furniture, you will find that trees and furniture in the right position can work well together for protection from the rain.

Make Sure to Prune the Trees

While there are numerous benefits to having trees near your outdoor furniture, you also want to keep your trees healthy and pruned, especially because trees that are not pruned can lead to a hazard from broken limbs.

Plant Bushes to Protect from Winds

If you get a lot of wind on your property, you can have landscaping professional’s plant bushes around area in which you are going to place your outdoor furniture. This natural barrier will prevent lightweight furniture from getting knocked over, as well as making it a more pleasant outdoor experience for you.

Carefully planned landscaping can work greatly in your favor for protecting outdoor furniture. However, you should also take your time when buying furniture to use outside to make sure it meets your wants and needs.

Please contact us if you have any questions about buying furniture or furniture maintenance.

 

 

tools-that-will-come-in-handy-when-cooking-on-your-outdoor-fireplace-fairfax-vaOne of the best things about owning an outdoor fireplace is the ability to cook delicious meals on it. To make the most of your outdoor fireplace, a few unique cooking tools will come in handy:

  • Crane and Dutch oven, which can be useful for cooking stews and soups, or slow-cooking beans. For best results, purchase the crane and Dutch oven together so you can be sure they are compatible.
  • Rotisserie, which can allow you to cook whole chickens or leg of lamb until they are browned to perfection
  • Pie iron, which is typically made from cast iron and somewhat resembles a press. This tool is perfect for making grilled cheese and Panini sandwiches, in addition to numerous desserts
  • Skewers, to make everything from shish kabobs to roasted vegetables
  • Kettle popper, in order to make hot delicious popcorn with only a few drops of oil

In addition to these tools, a simple grate like those found on most park grills will enable you to cook directly over an open fire. Choose a grate with supporting legs that elevate it three to four inches to prevent food from burning. While you can use nearly any metal pan on one of these grates, cast iron cookware is preferred because it conducts heat well without becoming too hot. Your skillets will ideally have very long handles to make it easier for you to use them without getting burned.

There’s something about food cooked over an open fire that is appealing to everyone. If you don’t yet have an outdoor fireplace, contact us to find just how easy it is to install one in your own backyard.

 

 

dust-off-your-outdoor-furniture-and-get-it-ready-for-spring-chantilly-vaThe weather outside is getting a little warmer, which means that now is the time to dust off your outdoor furniture and get it ready for Spring. Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure your patio furniture is ready for you to enjoy again.

The first step is to take your furniture out of storage and/or remove any vinyl covers you may have placed over it in the fall. Place your furniture in a sunny area of the yard so that you can spray it down thoroughly with a garden hose. Next, use a solution of mild dish soap and water to wipe your pieces down from top to bottom. If needed, use a soft-bristled brush to help you get into hard-to-reach areas. Finish with a cool water rinse, and then allow your furniture to dry.

Cushions also need cleaning in Spring, and the best way to do that is to tie them to a clothesline so you can spray them down thoroughly. Next, scrub them vigorously with a stiff bristled (but not wire) brush on both sides. Leave them hanging until they are completely dry, unless your clothesline is in direct sunlight. In that case, you should remove them and hang them in a shaded area instead to keep them from fading.

Look each piece over carefully for signs of rust or other damage. If rust spots are discovered, sand them lightly with heavy grit sandpaper, and then touch them up with a protective paint. If the finish appears worn, you can then follow that up with a fresh coat of new paint in order to get your furniture looking like new again.

Provide some protection for your outdoor pieces by adding a coat of furniture polish to help repel dust. Finish by lubricating hardware with a thin coat of WD-40 to prevent rust from forming.

These tips will ensure your patio furniture is clean and ready for Spring use. To see the huge selection of outdoor furniture we have available, contact us.

 

 

fire-safety-tips-for-children-when-using-your-outdoor-fireplace-reston-vaOwning an outdoor fireplace can be a wonderful treat when the weather begins to warm up enough to be outside during the evenings. Whether you enjoy using the fireplace with your family or you like to throw large parties with all of your loved ones invited, it’s important that you take special care when children are around.

Taking care of your fireplace with the following tips will help reduce the chance of a fire.

Keep the Area Around the Fireplace Free of Decorations

While it can be tempting to dress up your fireplace with decorations, it’s important that you realize that these items can be a fire hazard. By removing any items near your fireplace, you can be sure that embers don’t fly out and start a fire.

Set Up Some Fireplace Doors

The easiest way to reduce the chance of a child burning themselves with the fire going is through having doors set up. These doors can help prevent anything from flying out of the fireplace and keep a child from reaching inside.

Carefully Choose Your Firewood

The firewood you burn can make a difference in how large the fire roars and how much embers are created. Generally speaking, you should choose wood that burns longer and avoid any wood with moisture.

Always Supervise When Using the Fireplace

Whenever the fire is roaring, it’s important that you keep an eye on it. Children are incredibly curious, so you’ll need to be sure that they’re not getting too close through supervision.

Enjoying a fireplace can be a wonderful way to spend time outdoors during spring, summer, and fall, but you’ll need to keep safety in mind. Contact us for more helpful safety tips.

 

 

extend-the-lifetime-of-your-patio-furniture-in-a-home-with-pets-reston-vaPets can be a joy to have, but they often come with a lot more mess than in a home without any. If you have a dog or cat that likes spending time in your patio, it’s likely that they’ll find their way on your patio furniture. The problem with this is that they can begin to make your furniture wear down, making it important for you to look into how to best care for your patio furniture.

Designate a Space for Your Pets

The easiest way to prevent your pets from damaging your patio furniture is through simply keeping them away. Dogs are fairly easy to contain with the installation of a dog run or a fence separating your patio from the rest of the yard. In the case of cats, you may want to limit their access to the outdoors altogether for the preservation of your patio furniture and their own safety.

Invest in a Patio Furniture Cover

A great way to keep your patio furniture safe from scratches and pet hair is through buying a furniture cover. These covers are generally waterproof and durable enough to last throughout all four seasons, allowing you to get the peace of mind that your patio furniture will be safe from your pets.

Choose Pet-Friendly Furniture

If you haven’t purchased any furniture for your patio just yet, it may be a good time to consider which materials would be best for your pets. Avoiding sensitive materials and opting for furniture made of wrought iron or wood can ensure that your pets won’t be able to cause any harm.

Feel free to contact us if you need any advice on caring for your patio furniture.

 

consider-your-low-maintenance-options-for-outdoor-furniture-falls-church-vaEnjoying outdoor furniture is easy, but keeping it maintained is often the problem that people have. In many cases, homeowners buy high quality furniture for their patio or outdoor space and after using it a few times, they stop with the routine maintenance and end up with dirty and rusty furniture.

It is best to consider low-maintenance outdoor furniture options to ensure quick and easy maintenance, which will make it easier for a homeowner to keep the furniture clean for routine usage.

Aluminum

Aluminum is an excellent choice for outdoor furniture, especially cast aluminum, and this is because it is not only durable and easy to maintain, but it is also rust proof. All of these benefits are the best you could ask for in outdoor furniture, so the rest comes down to finding the right style and price.

Plastic

Although it may not be the fanciest option, you cannot go wrong with plastic for the outdoors. It is often inexpensive to buy plastic outdoor furniture, and it is just so simple to maintain. With a standard hose, you can get practically any dirt or grime off of this furniture, which only takes a few minutes to do.

Wrought Iron

A heavier and slightly more demanding material to consider for outdoor furniture is wrought iron. While not being the easiest to move or clean, the overall maintenance required is quite minimal. Also, if you are looking for pieces of furniture to beautify your backyard, then wrought iron is an excellent choice.

Throughout the years, you will appreciate having furniture to enjoy your outdoor space, and having low-maintenance furniture is the icing on the cake that makes it all worthwhile.

Contact us with any questions you may have about outdoor furniture.

 

With spring approaching, homeowners in no time will be in full swing using their lawn equipment outside. If you have looking to upgrade or buy any new lawn equipment in the Chantilly, VA area, Lawn & Leisure is the store to go to!   

Make sure you are prepared for the spring season this year with the best lawn equipment on the market here at Lawn & Leisure.

Recently, one of our Chantilly, VA lawn equipment customers had this to say...

"What a big surprise -- excellent customer service with a smart guy. We bought a weed wacker and got one already assembled along with a little training course on how to use the tool. Good price too. We really were surprised. We'll be back." Lawn Equipment Customer - Chantilly, VA

Our mission at Lawn & Leisure is to offer the best quality lawn equipment at the lowest prices. This has been the reason for our continued customer appreciation over the years. Contact us today if your in need of any lawn equipment for your home.  

Offering high quality lawn equipment to the Chantilly, VA area!

With warmer weather on the horizon, more and more people will be using their gas grills for cooking. Here at Lawn & Leisure, we are pround to offer a wide-variety of gas grills for our Fairfax, VA customers.   

Get ready for this year's cookout season with a new gas grill from Lawn & Leisure. 

Recently, one of our Fairfax, VA gas grill customers had this to say...

"We found the store online, called and spoke with Tom, excellent knowledge on Weber's Grills. We purchased The Summit by Weber, (luv it) they ordered and delivered unit, kept in touch with us by phone with updates, everyone we spoke with the day we visited store was friendly & helpful...We feel confident if we have any trouble or need assistance with the grill, Tom will be ready to solve our problem." Gas Grill Customer - Fairfax, VA

Our mission at Lawn & Leisure is to offer the best quality gas grills at the lowest prices. This has been the reason for our continued customer appreciation over the years. Contact us today if your in need of any gas grills for your home.  

Offering high quality gas grills to the Fairfax, VA area!

35010413-ec49-4f28-824f-531574deaf80-thumbWhether your deck furniture is constructed out of hard plastic, iron, or wood, it’s important that you take the time to consider how to best care for it. A lot of people make the mistake of forgetting to take care of their outdoor furniture, resulting in them aging far quicker than necessary and showing wear that can look bad when you want to entertain guests.

The following tips can help make a big difference in extending the lifetime of your deck furniture.

Use a Waterproof Patio Cover

The simplest way to preserve the condition of your deck furniture, regardless of its material, is through using a patio cover. Not only do these covers protect your furniture from the wear of heavy rain, it can also reduce the damage that the sun can cause. When comparing patio covers, it’s an especially good idea to make waterproof materials a priority.

Keep Up with Landscaping

The landscaping around your patio can make a big difference in how much damage your furniture receives. For example, trees and bushes that haven’t been well-kept can result in branches and debris being blown around on windy days. By keeping the landscaping  maintained, you won’t need to worry about it causing any damage to your furniture.

Routinely Inspect for Any Wear

Many types of damages can be taken care of with some restoration work, such as painting chipped pieces of furniture or applying polish. Making a habit of inspecting your furniture on a regular basis can help alert you of any wear that you’ll want to take care of.

Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in how to best take care of your patio furniture in the years to come.

a99d888f-3040-42a2-dd66-865426348353-thumbChances are you don’t use your propane grill as often in the winter as you do in the summer. When not in use, store your propane tank properly to ensure it is ready to go the next time you need it. Here are some tips for storing propane for grills we thought you should know about.

Indoor Storage

Your propane tank should be stored inside if possible; however, storing it in your home or an attached garage is not recommended. Pressure building up inside the tank can cause the relief valve to blow off, which in turn could cause damage and increase your risk of fire. The best place for your tank is inside a storage shed that is ideally located some distance from your house.

Outdoor Storage

If storing your tank indoors isn’t possible, you should first disconnect the rubber fuel line from your tank and take it inside. Squirrels have a tendency to chew through fuel lines during the winter, so bringing it indoors will protect it.

Once the tank is disconnected, stand it upright and place it a few inches off the ground. An old pallet or scraps of lumber are ideal to use for storing your propane tank. Cover the entire unit tightly with a tarp or cover designed especially for that purpose. To ensure it doesn’t blow away, use bungee cords to help secure it in place. Check the tank occasionally to make sure the covering is still in place.

By following these tips, you can avoid some of the common problems people have with propane tanks. To see the huge selection of grills, propane tanks and accessories we have available, contact us.

27b3b878-ee74-4f5d-f6df-f8b7f33b5b2f-thumbDoes your gas grill become a winter widow? Do you think that single digits outdoors means your cooking needs to stay indoors? Grilling during the cold months can provide many opportunities for creative cooking, continued healthy cooking through the winter and those wonderful summer smells to permeate your home.

For obvious reasons, people find themselves inside during the cold months. Many sit inside wishing for the warmth of the sun and the smells of summer. Those summer smells can live through the winter, the nutty smell of asparagus marinated with olive oil, the smoky aroma of a juicy steak sizzling on the grill as you see the smoke spiraling upward. Bring those summer memories back and continue grilling throughout the year. You spend good money for an outdoor grill, why not use it year round?

In the summer, popular items to grill are hamburgers, corn on the cob or bratwursts. During the winter, get creative and take those winter foods and escalate them to the next level on the grill. Imagine the smells of a marinated turkey, butterflied for the best contact with the grates and flame or how about a leg of lamb slow grilled while you make a mint sauce in the warmth of your kitchen. Winter vegetables, when slow grilled will caramelize and take on a nice smoky flavor for your discerning palette.

Winter cooking usually means heavier cooking, cream sauces and a higher use of carbs in pastas and potatoes, beans (as in chili or ham & beans) and drinking higher calorie drinks, like hot cocoa or cider. Using the grill brings back a healthier cooking as meats do not cook in sauces or fat.

For many, it is a mindset that cooking needs to end in September or October. But grilling will infuse a flavor that you cannot get from your kitchen. Whether you are propane grilling or grilling with charcoal, continuing your grilling habits through the winter will be a benefit in many aspects. And your neighbors will be jealous as they smell the wonderful smells coming from your grill. Better yet, invite them over for a winter grill.

One of the best smells coming from the grill in the wintertime would be a slow smoke as you use wood chips or woof pucks to infiltrate a beef brisket or a pork butt. Smoking in the low temperatures allows a lengthier smoking time to truly infuse a smoky flavor into the meat you are preparing.

Take the leap and grill in the winter. It will provide a healthier diet and will continue the scents and feel of the summer. As you look at grilling, make sure you have proper tools and have properly cleaned your grill to extend its longevity.

 Contact Us to take care of your grilling needs.

1ba5e3ab-940d-470c-a4ec-48f4d1762399-thumbWinter has arrived and with it comes shorter days and longer nights. Last winter ushered in many ice and snow storms across the country, even dipping into the south. This year is no exception as The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts "another arctic blast with above-normal snowfall throughout much of the nation." Now is a good time to make sure your home is ready for winter's wrath by planning ahead. Here are some checklists to provide the bare necessities of heating and cooking when the power goes out, and how propane can help. 

Heating Checklist:

  • Have extra blankets, sleeping bags and coats handy in case you and your family need to gather in one location to keep warm.
  • Gather your portable heaters and ensure they are in working condition. Only use electric heaters with automatic shut-off switches. Keep them at least 3 feet away from furniture and drapes.
  • Purchase a propane generator or convert your gasoline generator to propane to power your heating system or portable heaters. Gasoline is in high demand during a power outage and has a very limited shelf life. Propane Refills can safely be stored for years, so it is economical to keep a few on hand.

Cooking Checklist:

  • Stock up on drinking water and canned food. Ensure you have a non-electric can opener, too. Check that you have enough for each member of the family for a few days.
  • If you don't already have one, consider purchasing a gas grill and stock up on propane tanks. If the power is out for a few days, freezer meat will begin to thaw and go to waste. Cook it on a gas grill to stretch your food supply.
  • Fumes are deadly. Always use gas or charcoal grills outdoors.

Propane provides clean burning fuel with longer run times than gasoline when using a generator. It is also longer-lasting. Storing a few tanks, even for a few years, will ensure you have a cooking and heating source year-round for weather emergencies. Offering propane refills and a large selection of grills, we are your "Suburban Survival Store" in the surrounding Washington D.C. area. Please contact us to help prepare you for what winter's wrath may bring.

c14b3d55-9691-41a0-8bc8-6a4c67f2cc45-thumbThe area near your outdoor fireplace can be the perfect place to entertain friends in, which is why you should make sure it appears festive. Here are some ideas you can use to decorate your outdoor fireplace area to make sure it’s ready for any get-together you might be planning.

Lend a Rustic Feel

Rustic décor work well near an outdoor fireplace, which is why baskets of pine cones, artificial greenery and grapevines wrapped in Christmas lights are all good choices. Avoid glass or ceramic objects, and opt for decorations made from wood, wicker or bamboo instead. Rather than traditional candles, use electric ones to cast a warm glow without increasing your risk of fire.

Create a Backdrop of Lights

Hang several strands of Christmas lights vertically from your roof or pergola beams. Choose gold or yellow lights, and hang them close enough together that they seem to create a “fountain” that gently cascades downward. When you light a fire, the flames will reflect off these lights and help to warm the entire space.

Throws and Pillows

Add some bright red or green cushions and pillows to your chairs to liven them up a bit. You can also cover chairs with burlap or tartan plaid and secure with festive ribbon. Drape Christmas-themed afghans or throws over chairs for guests to wrap up in if it does get a bit chilly outside. Add a few holiday throw rugs in strategic places to help people keep their feet warm.

Trees and Shrubbery

You don’t have to invest in a Christmas tree especially for your patio. If your outdoor fireplace is near some trees or shrubbery, decorate them with lights and ornaments instead. You could also buy miniature live trees wrapped in burlap and place them in the corners of the room.

These simple yet festive ideas will ensure your outdoor fireplace area is welcoming for holiday visitors. For help designing an outdoor fireplace that is perfect for your lifestyle, contact us.

3eba7b56-a826-4e40-d068-788df3d3a93f-thumbWith the chilly weather ahead this winter, it’s likely that you won’t be spending as much time enjoying your patio. While you may not be outside a lot, it’s still important that you take care of your deck furniture so that it’s in good shape come spring. Luckily, caring for your furniture is very simple if you set aside time to get it ready before the temperature begins to dip.

Invest in Weatherproof Covers

The easiest way to prevent damage to your patio furniture is through investing in weatherproof covers. When buying covers for your furniture, you’ll want to make sure to opt for durable materials and that the cover will tightly fit the pieces. The cover needs to leave no openings, allowing your furniture to be secure underneath.

Move Your Furniture Into Storage

Another good way to ensure that your deck furniture will stay in good shape is through removing it from the deck. Snow and rain can cause significant damage  to your furniture, so it may be a viable option to move it to your garage or a shed.

Make Any Repairs Before Spring

If you use your patio often during the spring and summer, it’s likely that it’s been damaged due to regular use. Repainting your furniture and taking care of any scratches or dents can ensure that you restore the condition of your furniture so that it continues looking its best.

After purchasing furniture for your deck, it’s vital that you take the time to care for it through all four seasons. Contact us for more helpful tips for maintaining your deck furniture in the years to come.

ccb4239d-7d5d-4f69-8d94-5e9e00eeb1c3-thumb

A great way to celebrate the season is to host an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner. If this sounds intriguing, there are several things you’ll need to do in order to get ready. Preparing your patio furniture is just one thing that will make your outdoor event a success. Here are some things to put on your to-do list.

  • Determine the location of your gathering so you can move your patio furniture if need be. Depending on the weather, you may want to host your party inside an enclosed deck or near your outdoor fireplace to ensure everyone stays warm.
  • Clean your patio furniture thoroughly by washing it down with a solution of hot soapy water.
  • Consider swapping your existing cushions for autumn-colored ones to add a festive touch
  • Add some bright orange, red or gold throws to the backs of chairs for your guests to cover up with
  • Fill a few glass jars with some colored stones and then place a large candle inside. Several candles placed in strategic spots around your deck will help give off warmth.

After preparing your patio furniture, you may want to provide a wind block for your seating area. This can be done by arranging potted plants, hanging outdoor curtains, or even using a folding screen. Be sure to add a few pumpkins, gourds and some Indian corn, and you’re ready for entertaining.

An outdoor Thanksgiving dinner is sure to be more memorable than one hosted inside for a number of reasons. For even more ideas on preparing your patio furniture for the holidays, contact us.

03cb6efb-4053-418b-f853-15482201f012-thumbSimple inspirations from meats to sweets

This season can still be a time to utilize your quickest and most versatile cooking device. On milder days, take your ingredients outside to enjoy the flavors only gas grills can bring. Here are some tips to make fall and winter grilling easier and safer, plus recipes to inspire your cold-weather fare. 

Tips for cold weather grilling:

  • If you have a safe spot, consider moving your gas grill closer to your back entry for convenience.
  • When the temps are colder, give your grill extra time to heat up. If it normally takes 10 minutes in summer, plan to heat up the grill 20 minutes before cooking.
  • Avoid opening the grill as often as you might in summer. This can bring the temperature of the grill interior down enough to affect cooking efficiency. A remote thermometer can be really useful to monitor your food in the comfort of your home.
  • Remember to wear warm clothing when heading out to the grill. Dress in layers to make it easier for coming and going. For your safety, avoid loose clothing like scarves. 

Cold weather meal ideas: click on a recipe name to link to its source

Salad course:

  • Grilled Romaine Salad- This is as simple as placing half a head of lettuce or two directly on the grill. It's delicious with or without salad dressing.

Main courses:

Desserts:

  • Baked apples- This warm treat combining apples, butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon is sweet and satisfying. Apples are grilled on aluminum foil, making clean up a snap. 
  • Grilled Gingerbread S'mores- The flavors of the season enhance the taste of traditional S'mores. Simply prepare them in a cast-iron skillet. 

Gas grills are a practical and efficient way to create warm meals now and into winter. Most meals prepared on the grill provide easy clean up, too. The flavors and aromas of the barbecue in summer will be even more welcomed and comforting in the dead of winter. Now, your gas grill can give you year-round enjoyment. 

We have a wide selection of gas grills to choose from, and we conveniently provide set up and delivery. Please contact us for further information. 

da40d63d-5d87-486d-dc47-839b3798fc9f-thumbMost people associate outdoor grilling with hot, summer barbecues and leisurely evenings under the stars. As fall arrives, there's no need to pack up your basting brush and "World's Best Griller" apron just yet. Cooler temperatures can make outdoor cooking and entertaining even more enjoyable.

Here are some tips and ideas to make the most of your gas or charcoal grill in the coming months:

Freshen up the grill:

  • Remove the residue of summer, such as hamburgers and chicken wings, by first heating up the grill grate. Then, use a wire brush to clean the bars. You can also use a ball of aluminum foil with long-handled tongs, if you prefer. 
  • Once clean, keep food from sticking by applying vegetable or olive oil. Simply wet a paper towel with the oil and rub the towel along the bars using long-handled tongs. Be sure that the oil doesn't drip onto coals or the surface below. 
  • If you've used your charcoal grill all summer, it might be advisable to dump the ashes and start fresh. If you have a gas grill, be sure to keep a full tank of propane on hand.

Get creative with cooking:

  • Think outside of the box by grilling food that is abundant in the fall, such as apples and acorn squash. There are many recipes for autumn's harvest online to give you inspiration.
  • More complex flavor profiles can be achieved by grilling comfort foods that we associate with the season. Macaroni and cheese, chili and even chicken pot pie can be cooked on the grill. 

Don't forget, you may need extra seating when your backyard becomes the most popular place on the block this fall. There are many options available in patio furniture, such as large dining tables and comfortable chairs, to create a pleasing environment for you and your guests to dine al fresco. Now you are ready to enjoy the crisp air of the great outdoors just a little bit longer. 

Please contact us for your outdoor grill and patio furniture needs. 

b2f0d7df-5d8c-425e-bb6c-47e142a033d6-thumbPets can bring so much joy to your life, but they can also result in furniture becoming increasingly dirtier than normal. If you have outdoor furniture on a patio outside that your pets have access to, you'll need to set aside some time for cleaning the furniture regularly. Understanding the right techniques for cleaning your outdoor furniture can keep them in great shape. 

Wipe Down Any Surfaces

Dogs often drool all over the place and cats can track their footprints onto surfaces, making your furniture a target for dirt and grime. Before spot cleaning or taking care of any fabrics, you'll need to use a towel and cleaning solution to wipe down the surfaces thoroughly. 

Remove Linens and Clean

Your patio furniture likely has numerous soft fabrics on it, from throw pillows to seat cushions. While these fabrics are generally weather-proof, making them safe against damage by the sun or rain, you'll still need to clean them regularly. This means unzipping any pillow and cushion covers and throwing them into a washing machine for a good cleaning so that any dirt and bad odors are removed.

Focus on Any Small Details

After you've taken care of a general cleaning of your furniture, you'll need to look out for any smaller signs of wear and dirt. This means focusing on any crevices and using small brushes to get your furniture looking clean again. 

If you're interested in replacing some of your older patio furniture or would like to furnish your patio with these tips in mind, please contact us.

f8666ba1-f1a2-4b0a-ad05-3bcaa08ca68d-thumbWhen what seems to be the eternal argument about outdoor grills between gas vs charcoal, the discussion usually revolves around how each type of grill cooks the food. Gas provides more even heat but charcoal gives food that smoky flavor that many desired in their grilled meat. But a new subject for argument has arisen. Which type of grill is greener asks the Watertown Wicked Local? By that we mean, which one harms the environment the least.

It turns out, not surprisingly, that gas grills are far greener than charcoal grills can ever hope to be. Charcoal grills emit 11 pounds of carbon dioxide, considered a greenhouse gas, per hour of use, according to a study by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, vs 5.6 pounds of co2 from gas grills. Charcoal grills also emit carbon monoxide and particulate matter that also contribute to air pollution.

On the other hand, charcoal, as it is derived from wood, is a renewable resource. Gas grills use propane, which is not a renewable resource.

So what is an environmentally conscious griller to do? Even resorting to an electric grill can be considered suspect, if it is powered from the grid and power sources connected with fossil fuel plants. One supposes one can hook up an electric grill to a solar power or wind power unit, secure in the knowledge that one is being sustainable in ones backyard barbequing practices. But is it really grilling if it’s not done with fire?

The solution to the conundrum is to resign oneself to the fact that there is no human activity that does not impact the environment in one way or another. Besides, backyard grilling is still more sustainable than going out to eat.

For more information contact us.

how-to-maintain-the-condition-of-plastic-deck-furniture-great-falls-vaPlastic furniture has long been a popular choice for decks due to its cheap price and durability in most climates. While plastic outdoor deck furniture has many benefits, it still needs to be cleaned regularly to continue looking it’s best. Following the right steps can ensure that your furniture continues looking great in the years to come.

Wipe Away Any Debris

The first thing you’ll need to do when caring for your deck furniture is removing any leaves and debris that have built up. If you haven’t used your deck in a few months due to poor weather or being away from home, it’s likely that your furniture will need to be rinsed thoroughly.

Use a Gentle Cleaning Solution

Once your deck furniture is free from large pieces of debris and leaves, you can move on to using a cleaning solution. The easiest option is combing the following two ingredients in a bucket and scrubbing the furniture with a soft sponge.

  • 1 tbsp of natural liquid dish wash detergent
  • Warm water to fill a 5-gallon bucket

After the furniture has been scrubbed, you’ll need to rinse.

Use Patio Furniture Covers

While it’s always helpful to clean your deck furniture on a regular basis, you can extend the time between cleanings by using a cover. Choosing covers that fit snugly onto your deck furniture can prevent them from getting dirty as fast and help maintain their condition.

Keeping your plastic deck furniture in great shape is easy when making cleaning a habit. If you’re interested in plastic furniture for your deck, please contact us.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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GrillFest 2014green-egg-grill-contest-1

Grill Fest 2014 is coming this Saturday, September, 20th, 2014 to Sterling, VA at Lawn & Leisure. Michael J and the 98.7 WMZQ team will be here for this great event!

 What You Need to Know

-Event begins at 10 AM and goes Until 3 PM.

-There will be cooking demos & food samples from all companies whose grills we represent.

-Gas Grills that we sell: Weber & DCS.

-Charcoal Grills that we sell: Weber, Big Green Egg, Primo, and Black Olive.

-Refreshments and samplings of grilling sauces and seasonings.

-Corn Hole Game contest with prizes. 

-Drawing to win Free Big Green Egg Grill.

-Free Assembly of Any Grill Purchased During Grill Fest

-Special Discounts for any fireplace accessories purchased with a set of gas logs on Saturday.

-Excellent selection of Outdoor Casual Furniture available for Saturday----for in stock items! Great Buys on Floor models and special packages.

-Great selection of outdoor propane, wood burning firepits, and patio heaters.

 We hope to see you there!  

ceramic-charcoal-grills-potomac-vaCeramic or as they are sometimes called Kamado charcoal grills is a popular new addition to the appliances designed to cook with fire in the backyard. They are modern versions of an ancient Japanese model and are generally more egg shaped than conventional charcoal grills. They are made of ceramics, terra cotta, cement, lava rock, and other refractory materials, the same stuff that pottery kilns are made of.

Because of the material, ceramic grills are better at radiating and retaining heat than more conventional grills. They can therefore be used for cooking pizza, baking bread, or for tandoori, an Indian style of barbeque that involves sticking skewers of marinated meat into a hot oven. They are great for more conventional grilling and smoking as well. For the latter, most ceramic grills come with a deflector plate that shields the meat from the direct heat of the burning charcoal.

Controlling the heat can be kind of tricky, though the grills come with intake and outflow dampers that, when you get the hang of it, work very well. Because the grills retain heat better, they take less charcoal to cook. However one should not use lighter fluid as an aid to starting the charcoal.

One caveat needs to be mentioned about ceramic grills. While it is less susceptible to flare ups, there is a danger of a similar phenomenon called a flashover. The grills are nearly air tight, so that sometimes become starved of oxygen. If you lift the lid unwarily the oxygen rushes in and can cause a fireball, so have a care,

For more information contact us.

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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5 Tasty Treats that can be made on a Gas Grill

Purists of taste will often tell you that you need a charcoal grill to achieve a true grilled flavor. But that is not always completely honest. Owners of gas grills can get much the same flavor, burn pattern, and taste as a charcoal unit.Here are some quick flavor smacking treats for your outdoor gas grill.

Caution, only adults should use gas grills.

1. S'mores, it is true that s'mores are best done over a camp fire. But a gas grill will work much the same. Provided you don't loose your marshmallow off the metal grill fork you can hold it just above the hot surface and you can get a fantastic brown marshmallow. Don't forget to get it into the gram cracker and chocolate sandwich while its hot. Or the chocolate wont melt.

2. For a healthy snack or great side dish at a pick nick grill some asparagus. Take the asparagus and soak them in water for about a half hour so they don't burn. Then just lay them on the metal rack till they brown and darken a bit. If you want a really tasty way, boil them a bit to soften them further and grill them on the top rack. They will take longer but the flavor will really pop.

3. It is said that, us Americans cook brussel sprouts wrong. This funny fact can actually be proven when you grill them. cut each in half and rub the open side with garlic butter. Be sure that with any veggie you soak it in water for 30 min prior to grilling so it does not burn. When you grill them do so on the top rack. They will come out with a surprising flavor. Not to spoil the fun but it wont taste like a brussel sprout the way you may know them.

4. You can also grill corn on the cob. Boil it until it is nearly cooked them grill it for a little while. You want a few dark lines all over it. This will give it a deep almost smokey flavor. You will also bring out some of the internal flavors and juices making it rather tasty.

5. For the grand finale. You can make a cake on your grill. Just heat the inside of the grill to whatever your temperature needs to be according to the recipe and put the oven safe pan of your choice inside. Most grills can get very hot so a grill thermometer will be handy for this one. You will get a slightly different flavor to your cake than what you are used to. But wherever you grill you now know you can make a cake. Nothing says awesome like a fresh baked cake at a cook out.

There are literally thousands of other ideas. Try a few of your own out and see what work for you. Your gas grill does not have to be confined to a life of cooking meat. Unleash its true power and don't bother heating your entire house up to cook. Its summer time, get out side and try some new ideas.

For answers to your questions or for comments please, contact us.

 

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If you have an outdoor fireplace, you don't have to stop using it during the summer months. An outdoor fireplace is an excellent place to make delicious S'mores in on a summer evening as well. When you think of S'mores, you probably think of marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers; however, there are actually several different ways to make them. Here are a few fun ideas you might want to try yourself:

  • Spread a bit of peanut butter on your graham crackers before adding chocolate and marshmallows
  • Drizzle some caramel ice cream topping over your marshmallows before placing it in the fire
  • Use mint chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels or any other type of baking chip you like instead of bars of chocolate
  • Add a slice of banana or strawberry
  • Place a strawberry on a skewer, and then stuff inside a large marshmallow. Melt over the fire, and then drizzle with chocolate syrup when done. Roll in crushed graham cracker crumbs and serve
  • Crush peppermint candies and sprinkle them on top of your chocolate before melting
  • Add miniature marshmallows, bite-sized chocolate and graham cracker crumbs to a drumstick-style ice cream cone before melting to make it easier to eat
  • Use chocolate or strawberry flavored marshmallows instead of plain ones
  • Cut a Butterfinger or Snickers candy bar into very tiny pieces and use in place of plain chocolate
  • Use sandwich cookies with the filling removed to make the base of the S'more
  • Spread your graham cracker with marshmallow cream, and cover with colorful sprinkles
  • Place a Reese's peanut butter cup between the two pieces of graham cracker and place a marshmallow on top

As you can see, there are virtually unlimited ways to make S'mores. Now all you need is an outdoor fireplace-contact us today in order to get started.

 

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the-case-for-gas-grills-herndon-va

In the eternal debate of gas vs charcoal grilling, Mike Mikulsky, an editor at Wired, comes down decidedly on the side of cooking with burning propane. Much of his reasoning derives from the inherent convenience that comes from cooking with gas.

Mikulsky disdains the argument advanced by the champions of cooking with charcoal that it imparts a better flavor that gas. He contends that once the charcoal is heated, the heat that it imparts is the same as any other source and does not emit the smoke that is said to impart meat with that special flavor. He argues that the flavor of grilled meat is caused by drippings of fat, which sizzle and smoke when they hit the bottom of the grill. It has nothing to do with whether the heat source is charcoal or gas.’

The main argument for using gas grills is convenience. With a charcoal grill, you have to spread the charcoal, anoint the coals with lighter fluid, strike a match and set the coals blazing. The wait for the fire to die down and coals to be covered with ash, glowing, hot, and smoking, can last 20 to 30 minutes. Then there is the extra cleanup afterwards.

Cooking with gas, it is so argued, is quicker in that all that one has to do is turn the grill on and lay out the meat. The time it takes to grill meat on a gas grill can often be half what it takes to do the same on a charcoal grill. Thus time is saved and one can enjoy one’s dinner far quicker than otherwise would be the case.

For more information contact us.

 

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The Case for Charcoal Grills

In the eternal debate of gas vs charcoal grilling, Joe Brown, the New York Editor of Wired, comes down decidedly on the side of using glowing hot coals. His rationale involves the unique aroma that he says that charcoal imparts to the meat. In other words, heat is just not enough. There is a chemical process that changes the nature of the meat and makes it better when charcoal is involved. It involves something called guaiacol.

Gualacol results when lignin, the resin that holds together strands of cellulose that form wood. This in turn imparts a bacon-like taste to the meat that is being grilled. The smoky, bacony aroma that is imparted by using charcoal grills enhances the taste of anything that is cooked on them.

This is the key to what Brown says is the superiority of charcoal over gas grilling. Food is cooked the same way no matter what the heat, whether it is gas, charcoal, or whatever. But taste is only one of our five senses. That is one reason why executive chefs put an emphasis on presentation so that a dish is visually appealing, which actually enhances the taste.

We east with more than just our senses of taste. We use our sense of smell as well, so that if a dish smells pleasing then it tastes better as well. If charcoal imparts a pleasing, smoky, bacony flavor, then it follows that a cut of meat cooked on a charcoal grill is better than the equivalent meat cooked on a gas grill.

For more information contact us.

 

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The Benefits of Charcoal GrillsMemorial Day having passed means that it is officially summertime. This means that you will likely soon be preparing for neighborhood barbeques. However, this could also mean that if you do not have a barbeque, or if your barbeque is old, it is time for you to start researching barbeques for your home. In your research, you will likely (or likely have already) come across the debate over whether gas or charcoal barbeques are the better option. To help you in making an informed decision, here is a quick overview of some of the benefits of charcoal grills.

They Cook Hotter

Unlike gas grills, which generally have a maximum temperature of 500 degrees, charcoal grills are not limited by this temperature range. You can increase the temperature of a charcoal grill much higher depending on how much charcoal you add. This can be extremely beneficial in the cooking of larger cuts of meat, as the meat will cook more evenly throughout at higher temperatures.

Charcoal Grills Allow You to Cook with Wood

One of the biggest downsides of gas grills is that the only fuel source you can use in them is gas. In charcoal grills on the other hand, you can utilize other fuel sources besides charcoal such as wood. The ability to barbeque with wood is a great upside of using a charcoal grill, as cooking with different woods allows you to incorporate extra flavors into your meat that different types of wood infuse into food.  

Charcoal Grills Make Smoking Meat Possible

Another great method of barbequing is smoking; however, when one owns a gas grill, smoking is not really an option (or at least, it is not an easy option). Charcoal grills allow you to choose to smoke meats if you would like to with relative ease.

The main benefits that charcoal grills provide over gas grills is that they provide you with a more versatile range of ways in which you can cook meat. However, gas grills can also be a great option if you do not want to deal with the hassle of burning charcoal/wood to barbeque. Contact us for advice as to whether a charcoal or gas grill would be best for your home.

 

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Purchasing new patio furniture can be an overwhelming task due to the variety of pieces that are available, ranging in function and design with different materials used. In order for you to buy new furniture that looks great and is able to last for years, it's best to take the time to look for furniture that is built well and will continue to remain in great shape with regular use. Since the furniture will be kept outdoors, it's especially important to become familiar with the different materials that are common in this furniture and what are the best options for your purchase. 

  • Wicker: A popular choice for outdoor furniture, wicker has remained popular over the years due to the natural look that is possesses. Generally in a brown shade, wicker can be a great choice for decorating schemes ranging from contemporary to tropical. 
  • Iron: If you're interested in furniture that will last, iron can be a great option due to how durable it is. Easy to clean and durable against breaking, iron is a nice choice for anybody concerned over the quality of furniture for sale. 
  • Wood: While wood furniture is quite popular due to its classic look, it may not continue to look great when exposed to the rain and other elements. If you're set on purchasing wooden patio furniture, it's important to use a patio cover.
  • Metal: Similar to iron furniture, metal is a common choice for use in patio furniture construction due to how durable it is. This can be an excellent option if you want your new furniture to be easy to clean and don't want to be worried about the condition of the furniture worsening over time. 

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In order for your patio to continue looking great and your furniture to be ready to use at any time throughout the year, it's best to learn how you can maintain your furniture so that it continues to stay in great shape. A lot of people assume that outdoor deck furniture doesn't need any maintenance due to the fact that it is used outdoors, but it's still important to take care of your furniture using the following tips. 

  • Using Specific Cleaning Products: Taking a look at your options for cleaning products can help a lot since it will ensure that you can wipe away dust and grime that has built up over the months. In order for you to take the best care of your furniture using a cleaning solution, it's best to opt for the least amount of chemicals possible and choosing a product that is best for wood, plastic, or metal, based on what your furniture is made of.

 

  • Using Furniture Covers: When you're not using your furniture, it may be best to use a cover that is designed for the size of your furniture. Reducing exposure to the sunlight and the elements can help prevent serious damage to your furniture without much work involved. Choosing a cover that is designed for the size of your furniture pieces can ensure that you'll have the most effective results at preserving your furniture

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  • Placing Furniture in Shade: In order for you to prevent your furniture from being damaged, you may want to place them in the shade. While a cover is helpful, nothing can make as big of a difference than simply placing the furniture somewhere on your deck that won't be affected by the sun.

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rsz f79d3798-87cb-4dc2-86e6-48d9536beb7fShopping for deck furniture is almost as fun as planning an outdoor living space. There are so many things to consider; do you want a fire pit? Where will the grill go? What colors do you like? What materials will look the best?

A lot of people are using Pinterest to get ideas and inspiration for how they'll be decorating their deck or patio this year. Pinterest is an online collection of photos.  Every user gets to create multiple "boards" which can be likened to a bulletin board. Photos are "pinned" for easy lookup later on and each photo is linked to a website that uses the photo as an illustration. Often, these are in DIY projects or online catalogs.

Deck Ideas and Furniture

Amberlee Ederington of Arkansas has compiled a collection of over 215 beautiful photos of deck furniture. In addition to outdoor furniture ideas, her collection has great ideas for planters and DIY projects to make your deck more inviting. She has an eye for color and texture, with ideas for upcycling pallets, rehabilitating tired concrete and beautiful lighting concepts.

Outside, Decks, Furniture, Lawn Ornaments

This board is curated by Emily Woodby from Tennessee. She is drawn to quirky and inexpensive patio furniture and outdoor decor that's classy and made of unconventional materials. She has quite a few amazing tree houses in this collection, too.

Patio Lights

This one is automatically generated from a search for patio lights.  There are several boards listed here with different ideas for making patio lighting and for hanging string lights. There are ideas for using glow-in-the dark paint that recharges in the sunshine as well as ideas for temporary party lighting using glow sticks. 

Beautify the Patio

This board is filled with garden decor ideas, for both veggie gardens and urban decks. The pins found here tend to be kid friendly and colorful, with a combination of purchased and repurposed items.

 Outdoor Furniture and More

It would be completely silly to not mention that we're on Pinterest, too. We have boards dedicated to outdoor furniture, outdoor grills,  fireplaces and more backyard lifestyle topics. 

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Annual Grill Out Spectacular 2015!

Our Annual Grill Out Spectacular 2015 is coming Saturday, April 25th, 2015 to Sterling, VA at Lawn & Leisure.

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 What You Need to Know

-Event begins at 10 AM and goes Until 3 PM.

-Gas Grills at event: Weber, DCS, Napoleon, & Fire Magic.

-Ceramic Grills/Smokers at Event: Big Green Egg, Primo, & Black Olive.                   

-Chicago Brick Oven Pizza Oven (Dedicated Pizza Oven)

-Free Food, Prizes and Giveaways, and Corn Hole Competition.

-FREE ASSEMBLY FOR ANY GRILL PURCHASED THE DAY OF THE EVENT!

-Excellent selection of Outdoor Casual Furniture available for Saturday----for in stock items! Great Buys on Floor models and special packages. 

 Hope to see you at the event!

e23cba84-dfbd-440d-e91d-bc353885368b 1Leaf blowers are an essential piece of lawn equipment for any homeowner, as they help to speed up various yard tasks such as the dispersing of fallen leaves and stray grass clippings. Without a leaf blower, one would spend a great deal of time cleaning up around the yard with a rake or broom. For this reason, leaf blowers can be extremely beneficial to homeowners, and are an item that you should consider purchasing if you do not already have one. However, for many individuals who have never owned a leaf blower, or even for those who have but are looking to purchase a new one, it can be difficult to decide which type to buy with all of the options that are available. The fact is, for the average homeowner the power and quality of a handheld leaf blower will be sufficient to deal with the size of yard you have (no need to purchase an industrial sized backpack leaf blower unless you live on a substantially sized property). The main choice you will have to make will be deciding whether to purchase an electric or gas leaf blower. The fact is, while electric leaf blowers are more environmentally friendly than gas leaf blowers are, the technology of electric leaf blowers has not yet reached an equivalent level to that of gas leaf blowers, and it is generally more beneficial to homeowners to purchase the gas option. Here are a few of the reasons why you should consider purchasing a gas leaf blower:

  1. More Efficient: The fact is that the majority of electric leaf blowers have not yet been able to achieve the same power and efficiency as gas leaf blowers. Gas leaf blowers can clear a required area in the fraction of the time that it would take an electric blower to clear the same area. This generally makes gas leaf blowers the less frustrating option for homeowners to use, as they can quickly get done with their yard tasks and move on to other chores and activities.
  2. Maneuverability: While varieties of cordless leaf blowers have begun to be released in recent years (though these come with rechargeable batteries that often times do not last very long), the majority of electric leaf blowers still require an extension cord. Depending on the layout of your yard and the location of available electrical outlets, this can make electric leaf blowers a more cumbersome option to use. Gas leaf blowers on the other hand simply need to be fueled with gas, and they can then be taken wherever you need to take them.
  3. More Power Options: While we previously touched upon the fact that a handheld blower is sufficient for most homeowners, there are individuals with extensive yards who will require a larger backpack style blower. The fact is however that a larger electric backpack style leaf blower has not yet been developed, meaning that if you require more power, it will be necessary for you to purchase a gas leaf blower.

It is mainly due to underdeveloped technology that electric leaf blowers have yet to be able to achieve the same power and efficiency as gas leaf blowers. In order to ensure that you have enough power to complete your gardening tasks, and to ensure the ease of doing so, it is generally best for homeowners to purchase gas leaf blowers.

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How to Prepare your Chain Saws for Storage in Spring

Chain saws are one tool that tends to get used most during the winter. When you’re done using your chain saw for the season, performing some simple maintenance on it first will ensure you are ready to begin using it right away again come fall.

Let your chain saw run until it is completely out of gas to avoid having gunk build up in the engine while it is sitting. If you’d rather not do this, drain the gasoline out manually into a gas can, or purchase a can of fuel stabilizer and place it in the tank instead.

Brush dirt and debris from the outside of your chain saw, and then pry any wood chips out of the chain with a utility knife or flat-head screwdriver. Next, take a damp cloth and wipe down the chainsaw body to ensure it is perfectly clean.

Use machine oil to oil the chain and any metal parts to keep them from rusting. You may need an oiler to help you get to the chain, but you can simply use a soft cloth with a few drops of oil on it to get to the other parts.

Now might be the time to have your chains sharpened, especially if you have used your saw a great deal during the winter. This task is best left to a professional, as sharpening the chains yourself can be dangerous if you don’t have the right equipment.

When storing your chain saw, place blade guards over the end to keep people from being injured by coming into contact with them. If you have a case for your chain saw, place it inside of it, and then store it either in a locked cabinet or on a high shelf where children will not be able to reach it.

By taking good care of your chain saw, you can expect to have many years of practical use from it. 

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2dc7fbc4-a355-4eaa-ccb3-87602e132a95Out of all power equipment for winter, a snowblower is obviously going to be used more than any other. Here at Lawn & Leisure, we sell some of the top names in snowblowers, and they've gone fast with winter weather gripping much of the nation.

If you've purchased one from us last year and had it storage until now, you're going to be in need of a tuneup. A snowblower tuneup can be done directly through us if you need one. However, because of the complex parts to snowblowers, it's one that needs as much inspection as a car. 

Cleaning the Fuel System

As part of our Value Tuneup plan, we'll be cleaning your fuel system first. That usually starts with looking at your snowblower's fuel filter and deciding if it needs replacing. Because fuel filters can't really be cleaned well, it's best to just replace it once a year. We'll check if it's clogged and install a new one so your snowblower runs well during the next snow event.

We'll also replace your snowblower's oil if it's looking overly dark. Oil needs to have a golden color if still fresh. After a year, though, you should expect an oil change. Based on your model, we'll be sure to tilt the snowblower appropriately in draining the old oil out.

Afterward, we'll check your fuel cap and make sure it isn't worn. We'll install a new one if there's any restriction to the ventilation. Then we'll put in some fuel stabilizer to help prevent any future clogging in your fuel lines. By adding the stabilizer, you'll also keep your fuel fresher while you use the snowblower through the winter.

Changing the Spark Plug

This common tuneup step is very simple and necessary in order to avoid the degrading of engine performance or emanating emissions. Sometimes the spark plug will look fine, even if carbon buildup on the plug is going to be inevitable. Also, the electrode can weaken, which means the whole spark plug should be replaced often. Doing that once a year is preferable and can be done concurrently with the fuel filter and oil.

Inspecting Other Parts and Cleaning

A snowblower has many different parts which need to be inspected annually. We'll inspect the tires carefully and their air pressure if your model happens to have pneumatic tires. The scraper blade and slide shoes should also be inspected to make sure they aren't worn. If they are, they'll need immediate replacing to avoid damage to the internal parts.

We'll even give a general cleaning to the whole unit as well as lubricate all the bearings.

Afterward, you should be ready to tackle any major snow event. With winter this year, it's possible you've had to give your snowblower more than a little overtime. We're here to service your snowblower if you start noticing any problems before winter can be officially declared over.

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lawnHave you ever thought about using your leaf blower in the wintertime? It may be something that sounds crazy when there's little around in the thick of winter to blow away. Others might find it crazier when they see yard workers using leaf blowers in the wintertime to blow away thin air just to look busy.

But some people are starting to use their leaf blowers during snow events to clear off walkways or even cars. Is this really a good method to get snow out of the way in a hurry? It's potentially a good alternative if you're not physically able to scoop away snow with a shovel.

Clearing Snow Off Walkways

While you'll need to warm up your leaf blower if you've had it stored away for a couple of months, a leaf blower can easily blow snow off walkways. However, as a Michigan blog on MLive pointed out, you sometimes have to tip the blower sideways to keep it from running sluggishly due to the cold weather. When the above blog owner's family did this as an experiment, it successfully cleared off every walkway around their home.

The only advice they give for the best results is to use the leaf blower early when the snow is light and freshly fallen. Once ice gets in the way, you'll have no choice but to use a shovel.

Using the Leaf Blower to Clean Off a Car

In the above blog, the same experiment was applied to cleaning snow off a car. The results were mostly good, and it particularly excelled at cleaning out the wiper wells that ordinarily would be more of a challenge. If there's any advantage to using a leaf blower on your car, it's managing to get snow out of crevices that some devices can't possibly reach.

Cleaning Off Your Leaf Blower After Use

It can be potentially hard on a leaf blower in the snow due to the ice and snow accumulation on the external parts. You have to be sure to clean all of it off thoroughly after use or face the possibility of rust developing when back in storage until spring. Take some towels and wipe it dry so the dampness on the blower doesn't stay there overnight.

Always remember to place some fuel stabilizer in the blower if you intend to not use it again for several more months. Regardless, with severe winter conditions afflicting many parts of the country this year, you may have to drag it out multiple times before you see the sight of any leaves.

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That new riding mower you used this last summer may be sitting in your garage ready to withstand any winter weather you perhaps already experienced. If this was your first year purchasing a riding mower, you'll have to realize you can't just park it and expect it to work perfectly next spring. Just like your car, it's going to need some maintenance before you store it away for a number of months. Otherwise, you face a riding mower that might not even start next time. And you don't want that when the lawn is up to your pant legs by March or April.

General Cleaning of the Mower

You'll want to clean your rider mower thoroughly so any grass or mud stuck around it won't harden over the winter. Once it hardens, it makes it all the more challenging to clean off if deciding to postpone cleaning until spring. When spraying a high-pressure hose on your mower, be sure to disconnect your spark plug wire. You should keep this disconnected through the winter by simply taping the wire off to the side.

Cleaning your blade on a riding mower usually means removing the paneling. It's better to remove dried debris on your mower blade with a scraping tool and not remove it by hand.

Removing Your Battery

You'd have to remove the battery from your car if storing it away for the winter, and it's no different with your riding mower. Anyone forgetting to do this will find a mower that won't start come springtime. But it's not hard to disconnect your battery. Merely disconnect the cables and store your battery in a safe location. It's a good idea to clean the battery cables so you'll be assured a good connection for your first lawn cut of the season.

Should You Empty Your Fuel or Use a Fuel Stabilizer?

This question comes up often when people store their riding mowers away for the winter. The answer is a double one, because either way is perfectly safe. Some people prefer to keep fuel in their mower through the winter so they don't have to fill up with fuel during the first spring cutting. When they do, they'll need to pour a fuel stabilizer into the tank to keep the fuel fresh.

In order to do this, you have to fill the tank full of gas rather than keeping it only halfway full. After the stabilizer is put in, run your mower for a few minutes so the stabilizer circulates throughout the engine. That's all it takes to keep the fuel fresh for as long as six months. By filling the tank, you also prevent condensation that could affect the carburetor.

Chances are, you'll be hauling that rider mower out before six months if you're just now storing it away. Be sure the storage location you choose is dry so you don't discover rust all over your mower after buying it new this year.

Here at Lawn & Leisure, we sell top riding mower brands for quality suburban lawn care. We also service those mowers if you think you need repairs before tackling that first cut of the season.

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How do you know what chainsaw fits your needs? Where is the best place to purchase one? How do you take care of a chainsaw, or for that matter operate it?

A chainsaw can be a handy piece of equipment to have around. From tackling the dead apple tree in your backyard to taking down the limb hanging over your neighbor's parking spot, it's never a bad idea to have one in your tool shed. Here we will answer some common questions about buying and using a chainsaw.

Where is the best place to purchase a chainsaw and does it really matter?

Yes it matters! A warranty is of little use if you have nowhere to get it serviced. A big box store isn't going to be of any help for issues and maintenance. A dealer that is knowledgeable about them and capable of maintenance and service will serve you better in the long run than trying to pick one up you know nothing about because it's the deal of the week at the big chain home store.

How do I know what chainsaw I need?

Once more this is where a knowledgeable sales person comes in handy. Be sure the saw you pick is one you are completely comfortable with. Fatigue from hanging onto a saw that is too heavy is a dangerous scenario. Too small is cheaper but is it powerful enough? When you are wearing yourself out pushing on the chainsaw to do the job that again isn't a good situation to find yourself in.

If you don't need a heavy duty saw, you might look into an electric one. It will require less upkeep and generally be easier to maneuver. Also make sure the bar isn't too long for the saw's power or too short for the diameter of the tree limb or trunk you need to cut. 

Do I really need bar oil?

Yes. A quality bar oil has a high tack additive to prevent the oil from slinging off. Motor oil burns up too fast to be cost effective and will leave a mess. 

What about upkeep?

There are great videos out there on using and maintaining a saw, many online. Stihl has a very good one, or your dealer can give you tips and demonstrations. One important point to remember is every time you use your saw, make sure it has fresh gas and a fuel additive to run correctly. Another thing is sharpening the chain. When your saw starts putting out dust and no chips and its getting harder and harder to get through a log, it is time to sharpen up. Also remember to keep the depth gauge set properly. This is the metal point in front of the teeth that determines the chip size as it goes through the wood. If you aren't an experienced operator, keep it at .025 to avoid nasty kickback. It is a good idea to take the bar and chain off occasionally and clean the oil passages in the bar and where it mounts as it tends to jam with wood chips as well.

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Blog-lawn-tractorMaintaining your outdoor space can be a lot of work and physically exhausting without the proper tools. A lawn tractor is the ideal investment for homeowners as they have many functions greater than just mowing the lawn. Lawn tractors offers homeowner the luxury of a comfortable ride and the enjoyment of relaxing without all the strenuous activity push mowers require.

Choosing the right size

Lawn tractors come in varying sizes with different cutting widths, motor sizes and overall size. Choosing the correct size for your property depends on the size of area you are maintaining and what you hope to achieve overall. Standard lawn tractors with a 30 or 36 inch mowing deck are ideal for the average yard up to one acre and larger models are often only needed on larger parcels. It is critical that you choose a model that has enough power as utilizing too small of a tractor can lead to break downs and broken equipment.

Uses and add-ons

The benefits of owning a lawn tractor is all the tools and attachments available that make your property maintenance easier. Tools such as lawn dump carts for yard waste, trailers for moving objects and snow blowers for removing snow from driveways are available for most models. Homeowners will find add-ons to their tractor to not only cut down on time and energy, but also cost much less than buying a specialized tool itself such as a snow blower or actual tractor. Lawn tractors are a great tool to haul items from locations throughout your property, pick up leaves in the fall and use as general transportation to cut down on walking.

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3 Tips to Help Winterize Your Outdoor Grill| Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia

Outdoor grills are fun items to have for outdoor entertaining during the summer. But what should you do with it when inclement weather starts during late fall and through the winter? You have the option of storing it inside or just leaving it outside until it's time to fire up the barbecue again next summer.

Considering how heavy it is, your better option is leaving it outside for the entire winter. This means you have some things to do in preparing your grill so it withstands any chance of wicked weather.

Before Anything Else, Clean Your Grill

You may still have food particles and grease on your grill from barbecues this last summer. Before preparation for winter, take a half hour to clean it thoroughly to prevent any dangers when turning it on next summer. Food particles could possibly catch fire or just create an unpleasant sight when turning on your grill again.

Taking Care of the Gas Line

Once your grill is clean, you need to turn the gas line off before you forget. That's important to avoid any fire hazards during the winter or next barbecue season. As far as removing the gas tubes, it's going to be up to you. Some sites say you should leave them connected through the winter. If you do remove the gas tubes, be sure to read your manual carefully to do this carefully. Every grill model is going to be different, and you don't want to cause damage to your gas line to avoid hazards.

Removing the Burner and Preparing it for Winter

As you take care of the gas line, you should lift out the burner on your grill and inspect it. You should also bring out some cooking oil and spray it on the burner to provide a protective coating so you'll avoid rust during the winter. Any other metal parts around the grill should also be sprayed to prevent the buildup of moisture.

Wrapping Up Removed Parts of Your Grill

Wrapping things in durable plastic is common when preparing things for winter. It's no different with your grill. If this is the first winter your grill will be outside, you need to wrap the burner thoroughly in a plastic bag if you're going to store it outdoors. This prevents any insects from getting into the gas tubes that could potentially cause a fire when reconnected.

As far as the gas tank, you can remove it and wrap it in plastic. You should keep it outdoors for safety due to the fire hazard of storing it in a garage or other indoor storage space. Be sure to place a protective covering over the body of the grill so that next monstrous winter storm doesn't turn your grill into a pile of rust come June.

If you're still looking for an outdoor grill to use next summer, come visit us here at Lawn & Leisure. We sell everything related to outdoor living as well as servicing those items when it's necessary.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you already bought an outdoor grill from us and it needs servicing before next summer. Representing Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., we're here to help make outdoor life more stylish and enjoyable for you year-round.

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(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

 



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