If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen to your Northern Virginia or Maryland home, congratulations! Outdoor living spaces are more popular and beneficial than ever before. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your exterior kitchen, make sure your design and build firm is accounting for all the environmental considerations in this region of the world.
4 Considerations When Building in Northern Virginia or Maryland
One of the environmental issues that plagues the northeast is acid rain. (Just check out these interactive maps that show the annual sulfur dioxide emissions, nitrogen oxides emissions, and wet sulfate depositions across the nation.)
Any product you use in your outdoor kitchen that’s going to be directly exposed to exterior conditions should be chosen with this environmental issue in mind. If you’re unsure how certain building materials interact with acid rain, talk to a local design and build firm. They should be able to offer guidance and advice about what materials to use, what materials to avoid, and other best building practices for the area.
Beyond acid rain, homeowners in Northern Virginia and Maryland also need to contend with general rainfall. Water is the worst enemy of any outdoor living space, and the project needs to be properly built to accommodate for it. This includes building 3/16th of an inch off level, which helps to divert water away from the structure and to avoid anywhere that water could pool.
Builders should be especially careful that water can’t find its way into the seams, crevices, or adhesive of outdoor cabinetry or outdoor countertops.
Extreme Temperatures (Summer and Winter)
Northern Virginia and Maryland both experience extreme seasons. Summers are hot and will expose an outdoor living space to lots of UV, and winters regularly bring snow, ice, wind, and freezing temperatures.
Again, as you’re selecting materials to integrate into your outdoor kitchen, make sure they can withstand these swings in temperature without cracking, chipping, warping, or outright failing.
Where possible, consider materials that have been specifically engineered to withstand exterior conditions. This includes products like the Solaris outdoor quartz countertops from Caesarstone.
Bugs and Insects
Insects. They are one of the biggest seasonal nuisances in Northern Virginia and Maryland. When it’s particularly humid, they can become so bad that an outdoor living space that wasn’t built to address them can become basically unusable.
Luckily, there are lots of ways to construct an outdoor living space that battles the bugs. From utilizing retractable screens to adding a simple ceiling fan, you have options to successfully keep your space a bug-free zone. (Read here for more tips on keeping the bugs at bay.)
The right solution for you will depend on the intended aesthetics and functionality of your outdoor kitchen. As always, speak with your contractor to collaborate and to create a viable design.
Have any questions? We’re a design and build firm specializing in high-end custom outdoor living spaces in Northern Virginia and Maryland. Whether we work together or not, we’re always happy to share our experience and expertise. Contact us today!