The Building Blog: How To’s & More for Block & Masonry Projects

Dreaming of an outdoor kitchen or fireplace for your back yard?  Hinkle Block & Masonry LLC can help you make that dream a reality.  These planning tips from Hinkle Block & Masonry Sales Representative Robin McKenzie will get you off to a good start:

 CONSIDER THE SIZE–OF YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE, AND YOUR WALLET.  

As you decide how large or small your project will be—whether it’s  a small fireplace or a full blown outdoor kitchen with all possible features—you’ll need to determine how much available space you have, and what size your budget will be.  It’s also important to decide on “extras” early on.  For example:  It’s nice to have wood boxes on either side of an outdoor fireplace—but that requires more available space, and a larger budget.  Other features such as a retaining wall and outdoor seating are great, but they also increase space and budget requirements.  “It’s best to consider all of the possibilities as you plan your project, rather than trying to work things in at the last minute,” Robin said.  

CHECK YOUR CALENDAR.

Once your order is placed, Hinkle Block & Masonry can deliver to you within 7-10 days.  At that point, the schedule is up to you—and your contractor.  “A contractor who stays on the job from start to finish can typically finish a full blown outdoor kitchen within 2-3 weeks.  Or, it can take only a couple of days to put together a fireplace—even for do-it-yourself-ers—if you already have a pad down,” Robin explained.  (No matter what time of year you begin your outdoor project, Hinkle Block & Masonry can help you find a contractor to suit your needs.)

Spring and early summer are typically great times to start an outdoor project because it usually gives you the opportunity to spend the summer months enjoying your new outdoor features.  “Keep in mind, though, that this is also the busy season for most landscapers—the contractors most often used to create outdoor kitchens and fireplaces,” Robin cautions.  “Fall is also a good time to start your project, because the weather is typically still nice enough to allow outdoor work, and landscapers aren’t quite as busy.”

BE PREPARED TO MAKE CHOICES.

In addition to deciding how large you’d like the general scope of your project to be, and which elements to include, you’ll need to consider the size and shape of the individual elements.  For example, outdoor fireplaces can be large, medium or small, round or square.  “Of all of the choices that must be made, though, choosing colors can be the most difficult—and the most fun, because that’s a personal choice.  It has nothing to do with how much space you have, or what size your budget it.  Whether you’re looking for a color that contrasts existing structures, or blends in—it’s best to look for a color you love and go with it,” Robin said.