(Introduction)

Kitchens are taking to the outdoors in ever-increasing numbers. In fact, 70 percent of Americans say that when it comes to saving money, they prefer cooking out to eating out. They also indicate that a cookout at home is more fun and relaxing than dining out, especially because it requires no travel, special dress, or dealing with crowds.Outdoor cooking is a very popular pastime that unites friends and family with great-tasting food that’s easy and affordable. Whether it’s a weekday family meal on the grill or a weekend barbecue, outdoor cooking can make preparing the meal just as easy and relaxing as enjoying the delicious food with others.The outdoor kitchen has become one of the most popular home improvements for consumers across America and just about every consumer we speak to is either planning on having an outdoor kitchen built or it’s at the top of their wish list for a future backyard projects. The outdoor flavors, the experience of enjoying food hot off the grill, and the fresh air all create a unique experience. And while a simple barbeque grill may once have sufficed, today’s outdoor cooking areas now include cooktops, fridges, sinks, dishwashers, beverage centres, wood-fired ovens, and warming drawers.

North Americans have always “lived” outdoors, but the concept of Outdoor Living is a relatively new and rapidly growing lifestyle phenomenon. What is Outdoor Living? It no longer means just a few folding chairs, a picnic table, and a hibachi. It means bringing all the comforts of indoor living to the outdoors.The mainstays of an outdoor room are:

  1. appliances to cook
  2. dining table and chairs to sit and eat
  3. hearth product to extend the season (in colder climates)

Today’s consumers have an incredible selection of products to make Outdoor Living one of the most pleasurable aspects of owning a home. But how do we put all of these components together to make it even more enjoyable? According to a survey of home builders, a patio or deck is one of the top three features most requested of new home buyers. Homeowners are building stone patios with outdoor kitchens complete with large, permanently-installed grills, refrigerators and work areas. They’re installing luxurious outdoor fireplaces or firepits to extend the season, adding beautiful outdoor lighting to extend the evening They’re even installing televisions, stereos and artwork specially made to be weather-proof.