As a cabinet manufacturer or woodworking industry specialist, you must be on top of the latest trends and designs for all types of living spaces. According to a report done by the American Institute of Architects, outdoor living has emerged as the most popular special function room among homeowners in the second quarter of 2014. With the popularity of outdoor kitchens only continuing to grow each year, shouldn’t you be thinking about what outdoor options you can provide your customer?
There are two very important questions that must be posed as you begin to consider what options are best suited for your offerings. First, what are the building materials available to you? Second, what are the different budget options? There are many options to consider style and appliance-wise, and if you do not have these two questions answered, you will not be able to assist your customer in their building needs. Here are a few options that we suggest as a starting point for any builder or designer cooking up outdoor options for their customers.
Building Blocks of a Great Outdoor Kitchen
Knowing your building material options is obviously a good place to start. This is one of the most important decisions that  your customers' will make in the decision process. Choices on building materials can (literally) make or break any project. Not only will this be the road map for style, but it is also a key factor in the expected lifetime and maintenance for an outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens require weather resistant materials that will withstand all of the elements.
The newest outdoor material, that all builders and designers need to know about, is Polyethylene, a marine-grade polymer, well-known for its regular use in the boating and pool industries. This sturdy material provides UV resistance and a high degree of durability, making it ideal for commercial and medical applications, as well as residential use. Brutal sun and rain are no match for Polyethylene doors and drawer fronts, and there’s no need to worry about fading, yellowing, staining or panel warping. Conestoga Wood Specialties now offers Polyethylene door and drawer fronts, as well as many other great outdoor materials, including Teak, Cypress, Thermally-Treated Poplar and Mahogany.
What Budget Options Can You Offer?
In addition to cabinetry and countertops, other features that must be considered are grills, exterior grade appliances, plumbing for sinks, and any stone or tile work that may be needed. When all is said and done the costs add up. Typically, exterior kitchens can range anywhere from a conservative $5,000 to upwards of $25,000. Some high-end exterior kitchens can easily surpass the $50,000 mark. Remember to remind your customer that spending the extra dollar goes a long way. Splurging a bit on high-quality materials and appliances will make the investment worthwhile – and worth their dollar. It’s helpful to know your customer’s budget ahead of time so you can give them the best recommendation possible for their needs.
How Can You Best Assist Your Customer?
Overall, your customer knows best what they need from an outdoor kitchen. No two outdoor kitchens are alike, and it should be created to reflect your customer’s individual needs. You just need to be there to provide them with the best options available and recommendations along the way. If you’re interested in
learning more about all the outdoor building materials available and pricing options, checkout the Conestoga Wood Specialties website.

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