"Experience SBI" – The Remodeling Newsletter

Want to get free tips and hints for improving the appearance and livability of your home? Trying to sell a house and want to increase the value? Or are you looking for ideas on remodeling projects? You'll find all this and a lot more in Sound Builders' newsletter "Experience SBI".kk

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"Eating Out" usually means hopping in your car and heading to one of your favorite restaurants. For our clients in Redmond, it actually means stepping out to their covered outdoor kitchen. This space can be used for year round entertaining with fans installed to keep their guests cool in the summertime and dual element heaters to keep them toasty on cold days or nights.

Above is a picture of their 24"x18" stainless steel ice bucket, built into their circular refreshment center, to keep drinks accessible and refreshing.

The Pacific Northwest is so beautiful that it is a shame not to enjoy it as much as possible. Perhaps there is an outdoor kitchen in your future,

Remodeling Success 101

Q: What's the difference between the various grades of stainless steel used on outdoor appliances?

A: Grade is determined by how much chromium and nickel the steel contains. Because grade 304 stainless has more of these elements than 430, it's more rust-resistant. Try putting a magnet on the grill: if it sticks, it's probably 430. Some manufacturers use grade 304 on the lid but not the body, so place the magnet in different places. And check the screws—some stainless grills have rust-prone non-stainless screws. If the budget only allows 430, a thicker gauge is better.

More Than a Deck

Creating Functionality and Beauty in Your Outdoor Space.

Homeowners looking to replace or upgrade an existing deck or patio usually want something more versatile. Popular designs include multi-level decks, patios connected to decks and pools, screened porches, arbors and outdoor kitchens.

According to a May 2019 article on Zillow.com, a growing number of homeowners also want that new outdoor space to match their home's interior design. In other words, they want big spaces that serve multiple functions while also looking great.

Great spaces result from careful thought and planning. Before talking with your architect, remodeler and/or deck designer, spend some time thinking about how you will use the space as well as aesthetics, views, maintenance and the weather.

Here are some issues to ponder:

What Will You Do?

In good design, form follows function. Do you just want a place to hang out and read? Keeping the original, simple footprint may be sufficient, though you will probably want better aesthetics. Do you host sit-down dinners? You may want room for a grill, a dining table, chairs and a bar.

Do you prefer informal gatherings? Consider adding discreet spots for intimate or small-group socializing, such as a step-down from the main deck to a few chairs around a low table. Will your toddlers use the new deck or patio for play? You'll want a clear view from inside the house, which may mean adding a window or replacing a hinged door with a French door or slider.

These are just a few examples. Your questions will depend on your lifestyle and priorities.

How About The Weather?

Outdoor living means planning for the weather (rain, sun, etc.),  views and privacy.

Think about how much of the year you want to use the space. An outdoor fireplace or fire ring can extend your enjoyment through spring and fall. Maybe you'd like a three-season room with screens that you can replace with storm windows when it starts to get cold. And the roof will let you enjoy the outdoors on rainy days.

Speaking of rain, a lot of homeowners are adding that outdoor room below an existing, elevated deck. Today's waterproofing systems range from watertight interlocking plastic or aluminum deck boards to membranes that are installed just below conventional decking and divert water to a gutter. They keep the space below bone dry.

Maintenance and Views

When it comes to decking, more people are opting for quality composites, which is no surprise since they never need refinishing. There are some great-looking products where the only maintenance is to sweep the deck and hose it off.

A more critical design choice is the railing. It's what makes the biggest impression on visitors and what you will look through when seated. Pickets or benches make sense where privacy is a concern, but for a deck with a view, cable rail is more popular than ever. If you want views without wind, glass panels are an option but they will need to be kept clean.

Outdoor Dining

If you want to upgrade from a standalone grill to a real outdoor kitchen, try to design it as an extension of the indoor kitchen that just happens to be outside. Try to place the two spaces as close together as possible and in a way that makes it easy to move back and forth. If you have enough room, consider adding a pantry or dish cabinet that is easily accessed from inside or outside.

Marine-grade plywood is a good choice for outdoor cabinets, as is granite, glazed tile or stone for countertops.

If you want a new grill, get the best one you can. Quality, powder-coated steel will last if maintained properly but a better choice is grade 304 stainless, which has a reputation for long-term durability without rust. Also consider placing some shelter over the grill, such as a pergola for partial shade or a roof to repel rain.

If you want a sink, make it big enough to hold party platters. You can also install a steel beverage trough in a counter and fill it with ice.

Thinking through these and other design issues takes time and effort, but in the end, you'll have a new outdoor space that enhances your lifestyle and that you're proud to share with family and friends.

Warm regards,

Jay DePhelps, CGR, CAPS
Sound Builders Inc.
(206) 246-7100

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It is important working with a company that is responsive and keeps open lines of communication. We won’t hesitate at all contacting Sound Builders for future projects.

– Marsha and Steve P.



Sound Builders Inc. - PO Box 568, Ravensdale, WA 98051 Phone: 206-246-7100 or 253-859-7978 Email:
Washington State contractor license number: SOUNDB*241K0
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