While most people think that building an island is difficult, it really isn't. The real problem, however, is finding the time to do it, knowing exactly how to make it structurally, and how to make all the cut-outs for each piece of equipment. Luckily, we use an island builder who's been with us for over 12 years, and thus far, we've NEVER had an island failure - and don't expect it to happen. :)
There are differences in construction and material, and sometimes the cheapest price is exactly that; the cheapest construction, the cheapest materials, etc. Recently, The Hideaway Golf Club chose us to supply them with their new Golf Cart Station after reviewing many different island builders. It pays to compare wisely, so please remember that we have many years in this game. Since 2000, we've completed LOTS of bbq islands and entertainment centers, so trust us when we say that we know what we're doing and we'll continue to do it! :) That means no cutting corners with cheap concrete board or non-galvanized metal.. or saving money by spacing out the metal at a great distance... Listen, you're paying for a product that will last, so that's exactly what we have built!
With your input, and our suggestions, we build a great island structure that fits your layout and design. And if you have an existing bbq that you want a bbq island or entertainment center built around, then we'll help you! Heck, if you go to Home Depot / Lowe's and grab something, we'll help you, as well!! :) Most people that truly shop around and compare will wind up at our doorstep - great prices, great service, expertise in our field, and did we talk about how nice we are? :)
See some helpful websites that help you design your island below... along with some pictures!! EVERYBODY loves PICTURES!! :) :) :)
There are really two things you need to decide on when building a bbq island; the Material you're going to build it with (MASONRY vs. METAL) and if the island will be an ENTERTAINMENT CENTER or COOKING STATION. See information below...
MASONRY vs. METAL
In regard to the material you will use for your bbq island, please note that both masonry islands and metal islands are built to withstand many years of use. There are, however, many differences between the two. Masonry islands are built only on-site and offer very little room inside for storage. You can build cement tops on block islands, but you are limited to designs when using block. Block islands require permits from HOA's and building permits because of their permanent design. And we won't even talk about the mess when they're constructed... Metal fabricated islands (often called 'pre-fabs') come in either pre-fabricated form, or are also built on-site. They can be bent and manipulated for any shape, size, etc. They are also extremely clean, offer plenty of storage area under the top, and can withstand solid granite, quartzite, etc. Additionally, metal islands are less costly, and thus, we see more metal islands than masonry islands. Another advantage to metal islands is time - things go quicker with metal! And most City's view a metal island as a non-permanent structure, so you are not required to pull a building permit, because really, the island is not much more than a potted plant - it can be carried away at any time! :)
ENTERTAINMENT CENTER vs. COOKING STATION
The next discussion is whether or not you will want to use your island for entertaining or for simply preparing your meal. An Entertainment Island is defined as a structure that offers seating, either on one or all sides. For those that want their guests to enjoy the bbq experience, then building an Entertainment Center is the most logical choice. You can have overhangs built for seating that have lights underneath... you can have stereo's and speakers installed for the music lovers in your family... you can add a Palapa and enjoy a tropical oasis right in your own backyard!! You can TRULY create a unique experience for you and your guests with a little help from your imagination! A Cooking Station offers no seating, and is 'purpose-built'. Typically, you would build such a structure if you were planning on simply using this island as a place to prepare your meal, but not as a place to serve it. When building a Cooking Station, you would have a nearby patio table or other seating area to bring the food out to, thus, you wouldn't need seating on the bbq island. A trend currently is to build a Cooking Station with a small design element, such as a small overhang, where people can place a drink, but not designed to eat at.
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