Our Company Blog

Closing Down Your Outdoor Kitchen For The Season

When you are finished using your outdoor kitchen for the season, there are a few things you should do to preserve and protect it through the off season. Winter can be hard on surfaces and equipment that isn’t prepared. Many small things that can make a difference can slip your mind during your winter prep. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your winter prep, so that you can enjoy your outdoor kitchen again in the spring.

Remove Cloth

Even cloth that has been treated for water resistance and stain prevention can become damaged during winter. Remove all removable cloth and store in a dry area. This includes cushions, curtains, cabinet coverings, and pergola coverings.

Cover Anything That Holds Water

Anything that can hold water will. First snow will pack into a space, and then eventually melt, leaving standing water. Water will stain sinks, furniture, and flooring if it’s allowed to sit and rust. It will ruin cloth furniture if it’s not covered. You should cover your sink to prevent water and other debris from falling into it, clogging pipes, and staining. You can prevent water from filling furniture cup holders and penetrating cloth furniture by covering your furniture or storing it in a dry area. Other things, like a fire pit can be covered or turned over to keep from collecting water.

Disconnect Fuel and Water Supply

If you use a propane, or gas grill or fire pit, you should turn off all the fuel connections that you don’t plan to use this winter. Shut off the water supply to the sink and refrigerator, and unplug any appliances that are exposed to the weather.

Secure Cabinets

Make sure your cabinets are securely closed to prevent animal intrusion, as well as theft during the winter months.

Clean Surfaces and Cabinets

Use a cleaning solutions to clean the surfaces and cabinets of your outdoor kitchen. Make sure to remove any food products from the cabinets, as they will attract animals. Use your favorite grill cleaner to clean your grill, stove, and oven if you have one. Any bit of crumbs or grease can attract unwanted guests this winter.

Utilize Storage

Perhaps you still would like to use your fire pit or fire place, but won’t be using your cooking surfaces or appliances in the cold months. You can utilize the spaces in your outdoor kitchen to keep your furniture cushions close by. They may fit inside your cabinets or your refrigerator, where they’ll stay dry and you can easily grab them at will.

Your outdoor kitchen may be one of your favorite places. It is an investment, and part of your home, even if it’s outside. It’s important to protect it from damage, disrepair, and animal intrusion. You can close out your outdoor kitchen for winter and it will be ready with little difficulty this spring for your first cook-out. If you’re looking for a little more added protection, fall is the perfect time to build a custom structure. IBD Outdoor Rooms can find the perfect design for your needs, that will not only protect your outdoor kitchen this winter, but offer shade and protection year-round.

Fire Safety Tips

As cool weather arrives, so does burn season. If you have a custom outdoor room by IBD Outdoor Rooms, you may have a fireplace or fire pit. Even a gas stove should be used with caution. This is in order to keep the family and property safe from injury and damage.

Fire Safety Tips Image - Concord NC - IBD Outdoor RoomsAt IBD Outdoor Rooms, it’s our priority to provide beautiful and functional products for homeowners that are safe and durable. It’s important that those who enjoy the fire products will also exercise caution. Remember fire safety while a fire is in use! As you prepare for cool weather, it’s a good idea to brush up on your fire safety. This way you can make sure everyone in your home does as well.

Identify Who Should Operate Fire Appliances

Hosting a get-together at your home? Simply relaxing by a fire in the evening? Either way, it’s important for everyone to know who is and isn’t allowed to feed, stoke, or control the fire. Let everyone know their role so that those that are young or inexperienced are aware of the danger of the fire. Make sure that you have rules established for guests, and that children are kept out of harms way at all times and NEVER left unattended with a fire.

Is Your Fireplace, Fire Pit, or Appliance is Ready for a Fire?

It may be unsafe for a fire to burn in your appliance. Haven’t had a recent inspection or sweep? You may have a venting issue that puts your family at risk. If you haven’t had your fireplace inspected in the last 12 months, you should schedule an inspection now. Have an outdoor fireplace or fire pit? If so, you should make sure that it is clean, connections are secure, and that it’s clear of flammables.

Make Sure You’re Using the Correct Fuel

Believe it or not, some homeowners buy products from a home improvement store or online. In doing this, they often forget about securing the correct fuel or having it installed and connected to the fuel source. Make sure you know the difference between bio-ethanol fuel and natural gas. Mistaking one fuel for another can cause a devastating accident. If you plan to burn wood, make sure you burn properly seasoned wood so that it burns cleanly. In addition, it throws less sparks into the air that may ignite nearby debris.

Keep Children Away from a Flame

Some fireplace and fire pit designs can be decorative. The Art of Fire designs sold by IBD Outdoor Rooms are visual expressions of art, that children may not realize are dangerous. Again, be sure children are not left unattended. Also, if your guests have children they keep them under a watchful eye.

Watch the Weather

Do not use your fire appliance during times of high wind or when your area is at high risk for wildfire. Despite the safety testing and features on most fire products, natural disasters happen frequently and unexpectedly. One strong wind gust can create an uncontrollable fire. If you’re not certain how to prepare for your first season with your outdoor fire pit, consult the campfire safety tips compiled by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Better Safe than Sorry

When it comes to your family, your property, and your community, it’s important to exercise caution first. A little more planning, a little more discussion and preparation, and you just might prevent a costly disaster. For more information about fire pit safety, click here.

By Sheryl Isenhour | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Tips For Keeping Pesky Bugs Away From Your Outdoor Kitchen Gathering

Depending on where you live, bugs may be a big problem. No matter where you live, though, bugs can become a big problem if measures aren’t taken to prevent it!

Keeping Pesky Bugs Away Image - Concord NC - IBD Outdoor Rooms (1)Clean Up After Yourself

Bugs like roaches and ants are not just a nuisance indoors. These bugs will become a problem outside if your outdoor kitchen isn’t kept clean. After cooking, eating, and entertaining, the area should be cleaned of crumbs and trash. Grills, stove-tops, counters, and sinks should be wiped down, and refrigerators, coolers, and cupboards should be closed securely. This prevents the bug buffet that can lead to repeat visits through the year. Invest in a good cleaner for surfaces, as well as accessories like trays or wheeled carts to take dishes and leftovers indoors.

Protect Against Water

You can prevent a lot of mosquito problems by preventing water from collecting in your outdoor space. Keep your yard trimmed nicely. Treat cushions, furniture, and curtains with a waterproofing solution. This helps water to run off. Covering fire pits, sinks, and cup holders will prevent standing water–a necessity for mosquito eggs to mature and hatch.

Repel, Repel, Repel

There are many options for repellents to use while you’re cooking or entertaining in your outdoor kitchen. Sprays, candles, and torches are favorites, although not especially effective.

Landscape to Your Advantage

A lesser-known option is using your landscaping to your advantage. While you’re planning your outdoor space, you can line the area with natural repellents like catnip (repels roaches and mosquitoes). Planting an herb garden can also repel bugs–basil, lavender, lemon grass, lemon thyme, mint, and rosemary are natural bug deterrents that you can also use as ingredients! Ornamental flowers do the same thing, and can beautify the surrounding area. Aliums, mums, marigolds, petunias, and geraniums are natural insecticides and repellents.

D-I-Y Traps and Solutions

Not everyone wants to bother with planting or maintaining a flower bed or herb garden, putting bug spray on ourselves or our children, or listening to a bug zapper all night long. A good option would be to build bug traps or invite animals into the area that can deal with them. Building a bat house not only helps the bats, but means the bugs get eaten before they can bother you! While you’re cooking, you can also catch flies by hanging a bag of water nearby. There are also instructions online for making wasp traps or to remove wasp and bee nests safely. It’s important to preserve bees, so if you have a nest, you can call a professional bee keeper who will be happy to take them off your hands.

The last thing you want is for bugs to ruin the last few weeks of summer. If you were frequently annoyed by bugs this summer, it’s never too late to deal with them and plan for next year while you’re at it. Browse IBD Outdoor Rooms for information about liners and removable components – as well as finishes and extras that can help you keep bugs at bay!

Enhance Your Outdoor Space With A Pergola

A sure-fire way to enhance your yard, increase your property value, and create your dream space is to invest in a pergola. A pergola can transform simple patio furniture into a place to relax or entertain. It’s not a stuffy room, and it’s not a pavilion that will block out the stars. You can even enjoy the beauty of the outdoors from beneath a well-constructed pergola during all seasons.

Outdoor Space With A Pergola Image - Concord NC - IBD Outdoor RoomsPergola or Pavilion

Often confused with a pavilion, a pergola is a structure that consists of parallel columns supporting an open, flat roof of girders and cross rafters. A pavilion is similar, but has a full roof. Some homeowners actually prefer to have both, as pergolas are growing in popularity. They are ideal for gardens and flowered patio areas, as they allow sunlight and weather to pass through the roof. This is not an option for pavilions.

IBD Outdoor Rooms Builds the Best Pergolas

At IBD Outdoor Rooms we are proud to build the best pergolas because we take care to choose the best materials, designs, manufacturers, and assembly. We don’t want your experience to be a negative one. One thing that can ruin your dream space quicker than anything is a bad assembly experience or incorrect assembly that results in damaged property or injured persons. That’s why we take every opportunity to perfect and streamline our system.

The Best Wood

At IBD Outdoor Rooms, customer satisfaction is our main goal, so we can build from any wood species you prefer. However, for the best combination of price, color, longevity, and finish quality, we know that Douglas Fir is the best, and it’s our standard material. Other manufacturers may charge more for the type of clear fir we use, but we partner with the best manufacturers to offer the best “free of heart” heavy timbers that offer the most beautiful finished product.

Our Superior Designs

The design staff at IBD Outdoor Rooms offers several standard designs and sizes that allow for easy assembly yet have subtle touches that enhance the elegance of the structure. We work with customers to find the design that best suits your need and your space. We also have several talented and experienced designers on staff who can help you custom design a pergola.

Quality Manufacturers

We use the best technologies to transform whole logs into beautiful structures. These technologies help us to keep costs down and still allows for the touch of our skilled artisans to create the elegant look many desire in an outdoor structure.

Ready to Assemble Pergolas

With our system of manufacturing, packaging, and labeling, you can put your pergola up easier than ever. You start with the post base and then follow the numbers to erect the unit. The boards are bundled in reverse order so that the piece you need next is next in the stack. There is no trimming needed, and all fasteners and plugs are included for securing the structure together.

With our streamlined system, affordable prices, easy assembly, and beautiful products there’s no reason not to invest in a pergola. Purchase now and yours can be ready for fall festivities!

By Sheryl Isenhour | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment

Protecting Outdoor Furniture and Appliances

When you’ve put consideration, time, and money into your outdoor space, you want it to last. You want it to be beautiful. Over time, though, even furniture and appliances designed for outdoor use can become damaged due to weather and sun exposure. The best way to prolong its life is to protect it from the damage.

Protecting Outdoor Furniture and Appliances Image - Concord NC - IBD Outdoor RoomsThings You May Need:

  • Outdoor Furniture Protectant product
  • Bucket for soap and water
  • Brushes
  • Upholstery Cleaner
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint or stain

Protecting Fabric Furniture

When it’s time to prepare for summer, take all the removable cushions from your furniture and wash them. If the cover doesn’t come off the cushion, you can use an upholstery cleaner for the same affect. Once cushion and cover are clean, you can spray the entire surface of the furniture with Outdoor Furniture Protectant. An added protection you can try is to place the cushions in plastic before returning to the cover. This will ensure your cushions are as long-lasting as the furniture itself.

Protecting Wood Furniture

Wood is most often stained or painted at the manufacturer, but this process may need to be repeated due to time and sun exposure. First, clean the surface of the furniture with soap and water (some homeowners use a power washer) and allow to dry. Then, use a brush to apply Outdoor Furniture Protectant to the furniture, paying close attention to the frames and supports, and allow to dry. This is when you will apply stain or paint to your liking. Make sure you purchase appropriate paint for use outdoors. Your wood will need a coat of primer before paint is applied.

Protecting Metal Furniture

Much of the damage your metal furniture will withstand overtime is due to where it’s placed. If you place metal furniture beneath a tree, it will most likely have a steady drip of water in one particular place following a rain. This small place will rust, then eventually form a hole. Be sure to place your metal furniture completely under a canopy or roof, or completely in the open sunlight to avoid drips that add rust to your furniture. To clean and protect it further, you should wash with soap and water (or power washer), and allow to dry. At this point you can paint the furniture with a product rated for outdoor use. When you purchase paint specifically for metal, it usually includes a rust inhibitor.

Protecting Outdoor Appliances

The most effective way to protect your outdoor appliances is to cover them when they’re not in use. Your products should be rated for outdoor use, but can still be affected by the elements. Additionally, by covering your stove-top and sink, and closing your grill, you keep animals and debris from getting into your appliances. For your refrigerator, it’s important to clean it regularly. If you have an awning, roof, or custom structure with limited space, the refrigerator can go inside with full protection.

Like every good investment, your outdoor space is only going to be as maintained and long-lasting as you allow. It’s a space to enjoy, but requires some upkeep.

Have a product from IBD Outdoor Rooms? Feel free to contact us and gain an expert recommendation about protecting your furniture and appliances!