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Outdoor Fireplaces.jpgMany of us love the warmth and comfort of a fire on a cool winter night — sitting inside, cozy and content while the thermometer outside creeps ever lower. However, outdoor fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular.

There is something very romantic about the idea of outdoor fireplaces — they provide for late nights in the backyard or on the patio snuggled up with your significant other, roasting s'mores over the bonfire with the kids, and opportunities for soirees hosted at your home with close friends or good neighbors. These are the top 11 reasons why you need to include an outdoor fireplace in your home decor.

Outdoor Fireplaces Create ‘Living Spaces’ in Backyards or Patios

Fireplaces exude warmth; not just physically but metaphorically too. Having a hearth on your patio or outdoor entertaining area gives your yard a friendly, inviting feeling typically only found in indoor living spaces.

Outdoor Fireplaces Let You Entertain in the Winter

Summer is the perfect time to have company. Everyone heads outside to lounge next to the pool, in the shade of green trees or under a patio awning. But when the weather gets cooler people tend to stay inside, which can keep you from having friends and family over as often as you like. Enjoying a nice evening outside is still a viable option when you have an outdoor fireplace to keep you and your guests warm and toasty.

Kids (and their Friends) Love Outdoor Fireplaces

If you have children, having other kids or teens around might be a common occurrence at your home. They love to watch movies or play video games, but when it’s your turn to use the remote they might be hard-put to find a way to keep themselves amused. Send your kiddos, and their friends, outside to sit and talk around the fire. Teens might sing, play games or just talk and laugh, and the younger ones will have a great time roasting marshmallows or telling each other ghost stories. Be sure an adult is always nearby to monitor the fire and keep everything safe.

Outdoor Fireplaces are Easy to Maintain

If you’re going to get the most out of your outdoor fireplace, you’ll need to keep in it good working order. Taking care of an outdoor fireplace is somewhat different than maintaining an indoor one, which is why we would like to offer you these easy tips.

Outdoor fireplaces need to be cleaned at least annually just like indoor units do. You should have a professional chimney sweep clean out the chimney and flue in order to remove creosote that could lead to fires. You may also want to check your chimney from time to time for debris such as tree limbs that might get inside of it after a heavy storm.

When your fireplace is not being used, be sure to cover the front of it. This is important for a number of reasons including:

  • Prevents children or animals from getting inside the fire box
  • Reduces the odds that embers will blow out of the fireplace and start a fire
  • Keeps ashes from blowing around and getting on outdoor furniture or fixtures

You’ll need to remove ashes from your fireplace on a regular basis, and this is done in the same manner as with an indoor fireplace. Be sure all embers are completely out before you remove ashes, or better yet, douse them with some water before disposing of them.

Outdoor fireplaces can get a little dingy over the winter. As a result, you may want to have the outside of your fireplace pressure washed each spring. After spraying down the outside, scrub the inside of the firebox with a stiff bristled brush to remove any caked on debris that might be stuck to it.

With Outdoor Fireplaces Comes Outdoor Furniture

You can't have one without the other. If you are diving in and getting yourself an outdoor fireplace, then you should complete it with that posh outdoor sofa you had your eye on for months. This will provide for warmth on a chilly spring night as well as optimum comfort.

Outdoor Fireplaces Add Definition

If you are looking into improving the design of your outdoor area, you may want to go with a fireplace. This could be the focal point of your outdoor living space. You can then begin to add around it and have an easier time decorating than you thought. 

A Little Bit of Warmth Goes a Long Way

Outdoor fireplaces won't just provide warmth because fire is literally hot, but because they will add to the ambiance of homes. They make your space very inviting for multiple gatherings, family events, and social soirees. An outdoor fireplace can make your home the center of camaraderie.

Additional Entertainment Space

One of the best reasons to consider adding an outdoor fireplace to your backyard is due to their functionality, particularly when throwing a party. When entertaining a group of guests, an outdoor fireplace provides a focal point in one’s yard that can act as an additional space for people to gather and converse.

Outdoor Fireplaces are Great Investments

Not only do outdoor fireplaces add great functionality to one’s backyard, but they also prove to be great investments due to the way in which they can increase the saleability of homes. Should you ever decide to sell your home, an outdoor fireplace can make a great selling point as it can make your outdoor space seem more attractive and functional. Furthermore, it can make your house seem unique and memorable to potential buyers who will have likely seen a great number of houses.

The key, as with a lot of home investments, is location. Do not underestimate the location of your fireplace to make all the difference. For instance, a major mistake that should be avoided at all costs is placing an outdoor fireplace where the wind will cause problems on a consistent basis. It is ideal to use the fireplace in an advantageous way to prevent the wind from becoming an issue, which is not only important for convenience, but for safety, as well. Flying embers can cause injury to people outside, or it can start a fire.

Additionally, you should take the overall style of your home and backyard before deciding. An inexpensive installation can be done by using stucco, which is great for those that are looking for a budget fireplace. It is a rather versatile option as it comes in various colors and can provide a classic look to almost any outdoor area. However, you should also consider the benefits of materials like brick, stone, and concrete.

Fun Outdoor Cooking

An outdoor fireplace can also provide a fun location for outdoor barbecuing during the summer months. You could use your fireplace to make dinner a fun grilling activity by getting the whole family involved. Start off by having everyone roast their own hotdog on a stick over the fire, then end the night with delicious s'mores. Later in the summer, you could move on to getting your family involved in employing more complicated fire cooking techniques. Getting the whole family into cooking this way can make your outdoor fireplace a fun and functional addition to your backyard.

Safe options

If safety is a major concern, you should try to avoid a wood burning fireplace. It is a risk, even though it may be a small one, and this means a gas-fueled fireplace is ideal. While both options are worthwhile, you should consider the necessary requirements that come with each type of fuel. Wood fireplaces are tougher to get licensing for because of the smoke. As for gas fireplaces, a pipeline has to be installed before this kind of fireplace can work, but it is important to consider that this option is smoke-free.

Outdoor fireplaces make great additions to any backyard due to the way they can improve the look and usability of your entire backyard. Contact us to find out about more of the benefits that adding an outdoor fireplace to your backyard can provide.

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.

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.

outdoor furniture 28

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.

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.

 

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.

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outdoor grills 06

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.

fireplaces 11Enjoying a fire in one’s fireplace can be an extremely relaxing experience; however, you may not always want to be relegated to the indoors when enjoying a fire. This is where having an outdoor fireplace can be beneficial, as it can create an oasis that allows you to feel as though you are on vacation in your own backyard. Giving you the ability to enjoy a fire under the stars on a summer night is just one of the many benefits an outdoor fireplace can provide you with. Here are a few of the additional reasons why you should consider adding an outdoor fireplace to your backyard.

An Outdoor Gas Fireplace Makes Your Backyard Useable

Many homeowners feel as if their backyard is an unusable, barren space. However, this seemingly dysfunctional space can be transformed through the addition of an outdoor fireplace. Your previously unused property can now be a place for you, your family, and your friends to relax and spend time together. This will not only make your yard more functional, but it will also make it look more beautiful and improve the way you perceive your home. Furthermore, by adding to the look, style, and functionality of your backyard, you can actually increase your home’s value and salability.

An Outdoor Gas Fireplace Extends the Season

For many people, the onset of colder weather means the end of outdoor entertaining. Furthermore, this can mean more overall time spent indoors. However, an outdoor fireplace can help to extend your outdoor season throughout a greater portion of the year, as the fire will provide you with the heat necessary to keep you warm on cold days/nights. Simply snuggle up by the fire with a blanket and some marshmallows, and what would have previously been another cold night night trapped indoors can now be a fun night spent outside.

An Outdoor Gas Fireplace Keeps the Bugs Away

Adding an outdoor fireplace to your yard can also increase the functionality of your yard during the summer. While backyard barbeques and parties are the highlight of many people’s summers, these gatherings can be ruined by an invasion of insects. Mosquitos in particular can put a quick end to any backyard gathering. However, an outdoor fireplace can actually help to keep insects away. Lighting a fire will create smoke that can help to keep insects at bay and away from your guests. In Conjunction with strategically placed citronella candles, an outdoor fireplace can be the savior of your summer season.

An Outdoor Gas Fireplace Adds Entertainment Space

Finally, the addition of a fireplace will provide additional entertainment space in your home for when you have large parties. Many homeowners do not have the space within their home to entertain all the guests they would like to invite to their gatherings. However, with the addition of an outdoor fireplace to your backyard, a new focal point will be created for people to gather around that will encourage the party to overflow from within your home to your backyard. In fact, when set up with inviting seating, and an already roaring fire, as well as the supplies to roast marshmallows, you will likely find that your backyard soon becomes party central.

The warm and cozy experience of lounging next to a fire does not have to limited to inside one’s home. Having an outdoor fireplace installed in your yard can bring you this experience while allowing you to enjoy time outside with your friends and family. While we have touched upon a few of the reasons why you should consider an outdoor fireplace for your home, there are many more benefits of doing so. Contact us to find out about more of the benefits of having an outdoor fireplace, as well as to find out about having one built in your yard.

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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.

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