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Outdoor Living At Its Best Web Series: Part 4

By: Danny Lipford

back yard with pool
It all comes together in our fourth and final webisode of the Outdoor Living At Its Best web series.

We install the outdoor kitchen accessories, including the grill, ceramic smoker, and a brick backsplash. The patio gets a new ceiling fan and lights, and the Phantom Screens are installed. And, we add landscape lighting that also serves as protection from mosquitoes.

This is truly outdoor living at its best.

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The renovation of my patio into a space for “Outdoor Living at its Best” has already taken longer than I had hoped. Like so many projects, when you start listing the changes you want to make, you see other things that could or should be done at the same time. The roof over this space worked that way. We had a shed style roof over the area where we wanted to add an outdoor kitchen, but it wasn’t quite big enough and it was far from ideal in design. So I decided to remove it completely and build a proper roof system that is architecturally correct for the house. That took more time, more labor and more money… but we did it the right way. Now we’re in the middle of another one of those scenarios with the patio doors that lead to the dining room. They offered a great view of the outside, but there was very little access since only one of the three doors was operable. So we’ve removed the doors and their transoms leaving us an enormous ten foot by nine foot opening that we’re filling with this OVERTURE full view folding door unit. Installing this massive thing is a little more complex than your typical patio door but Mike and Drew make it look easy.

Now that the counters have been polished and sealed, Allen and I can begin installing the accessories in the outdoor kitchen, starting with this cool grill.

Those concrete pendants Chelsea made are also complete now and they look Fantastic.

Allen and I still have lots to do installing the other necessities in the kitchen, but we also have company because the guys from Phantom Screens are here today. When the screens are complete they will enclose the area under the roof at the touch of a button. I’ve had the opportunity to include these screens in several projects over the years and the thing that impresses me most is how seamlessly they fit into the architecture of a space. They roll down into place when you need them and the completely disappear when you don’t. A lot of that has to do with the product design but it’s also obvious these guys take great care with the installation.

That spindle I mentioned has an electric motor inserted inside of it and mounts on brackets up inside the cavity we created earlier when we framed the ceiling. The electrician has supplied a plug inside the cavity to provide the motor with power. The screen itself fits into a slot on the spindle and slides all the way across the opening. To add weight and rigidity a frame with a rubber seal on the bottom is added to the lower side of the screen. After they test the travel of the screen the side tracks are installed and secure to the side brackets that went up earlier. This screen will not only keep out bugs, it will also filter sunlight and block the flow of most outside air, so we can actually heat and cool this space when we want to. To protect the space OUTSIDE the screen from mosquitos Chelsea is getting ready to install a device from NuTone called the Haven. It acts as both a mosquito repellant AND a landscape light.

The Haven works on a low voltage transformer like many landscape lights, but instead of a one dual conductor wire supplying power to all the devices on a circuit…there are two. One wire powers the lights and the other powers the vaporizers. Each fixture protects an area of about one hundred and ten square feet, so four fixtures will easily protect an average size patio all summer. The timer/controller allows you to program the lights and vaporizers independently. The controller also includes a photo cell so you can create programs based on the clock or sunset. Over in the kitchen there’s still plenty of details to be handled. The stainless steel cabinet inserts have to be mounted to the brick frames to trim them out. To smooth out the transition between the concrete counters and the brick wall we’re cutting slices from matching bricks to be glued up as a backsplash. Then we’re using even smaller pieces of the same material to trim out around the ceramic smoker. Plus, the recess lights and ceiling fans are going in overhead to cap off the space. It’s been a big job but this Outdoor Living Area has undergone quite a transformation. Before we had a great pool, but the fence that surrounded it was in sad shape and the landscaping needed some new life. We had space to cook and eat under the porch roof, but it was a little broken up and didn’t really blend into the indoor space easily. Now we have the “whole package” that we’ve always wanted. Our new Fence not only offers privacy for the backyard, it’s a thing of beauty in itself. Now the fence and the landscaping it surrounds are worthy of the pool and pergola we already had in place.

By extending the porch roof “the right way” we enhance the look of the house and created cover for the outdoor kitchen I’ve always wanted, complete with all of the amenities I’ll need to create gourmet meals and those cool concrete countertops Allen and Chelsea built. There’s also plenty of space to relax and enjoy those meals. And when we want to blur the line between the inside and outside we can simply open up those folding patio doors and the space becomes even larger. Plus we can enjoy it regardless of what the weather is doing outside by lowering those retractable screens to shield ourselves from the bugs and the outside temperatures.

You know it’s great to see our friends and family enjoying the results of our efforts and we hope you’ve enjoyed them too! Thanks for watching!



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  • Charlotte Guilbeau Says:
    July 2nd, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Love, love, love your new outdoor space. I just love the transformation. I really appreciate the workmanship. Real craftsman who take pride in their work.
    Love you guys so much!! God bless!


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