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A Kitchen Makeover, Florida-style

The weather in Jacksonville is nice for so much of the year that residents naturally head outdoors when entertaining. An outdoor kitchen can increase your property value while giving your home a new entertainment hub.

The weather in Jacksonville is nice for so much of the year that residents naturally head outdoors when entertaining. Patios are basic, and fire pits are fun, but the ultimate in outdoor entertaining is an entire outdoor kitchen. Rather than relying on a barbecue grill for all your dinner needs, you can cook everything from stir-fry to smoothies in a well-stocked backyard kitchen. If you’re considering doing a kitchen makeover, try adding new appliances outside of the house, rather than inside.

Pros and Cons

Using an outdoor kitchen regularly can save money on utility bills. Most outdoor ovens run on propane, which is very inexpensive. Use the oven outdoors for all your baking projects and you’ll avoid heating up the house and putting a strain on the air conditioner. In the summer, when Jacksonville residents already pay for constantly running A/C units, every little bit helps.

If you have a pool or outdoor entertainment area, or normally spend most of your days out on the patio or deck, installing an elaborate outdoor kitchen can be worth the money for entertainment value alone.

However, outdoor kitchens come with a few potential pitfalls. Floridians don’t have to suffer through snow and ice during the winter, but frequent rains and salt air still do corrosive damage on equipment left outdoors. Outdoor kitchens need to be built on roofed patios or in gazebos or other protected areas. If a roof is completely out of your price range, you should at least buy custom covers for every appliance, and use them every day when you’re not entertaining.

Something else to keep in mind: Just as northerners can’t venture outside during the coldest months of the year, Jacksonville residents have months in which it’s too hot to spend much time in the back yard. A forecast of 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity isn’t uncommon, and is too much to bear when an air-conditioned haven is only steps away. A backyard kitchen is useful for most of the year in Florida — but not all year long.

New Indoor Makeovers

Even if you opt for an indoor kitchen makeover instead of adding an outdoor kitchen, you can still concentrate on the entertainment value of your room. Turning your basic family kitchen into an entertainment center adds value to your home, giving it a multi-use flavor that encourages friends and family to linger.

Look for high-end appliances such as wine refrigerators that fit right under kitchen countertops, or computerized refrigerators that dispense ice and sparkling water at a touch. Trendy small appliances can be cause for a party themselves, with home espresso bars and panini presses turning lunchtime into break time.

Image Source: Morgue File

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