Is your home summer ready? – Rated People Blog

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With National BBQ Week around the corner, homeowners around the UK are preparing their gardens for a summer of outdoor entertainment. From fire pits to outdoor kitchens and pergolas, there has never been a better time to turn your garden into the perfect place to host a barbecue party with friends.

To help you revamp your garden, keep reading to find out what this year’s top summer garden trends are. On a budget? Don’t stress, we have you covered with a range of different options, from DIY friendly, budget garden features to higher-end options too. And when you’re ready to get started, simply post a job and speak to a skilled tradesperson in your local area.

Picture of a garden with BBQ in forefront and table of people sitting towards the back

1. Fire pits

Human beings have been gathering around fires for hundreds of thousands of years. It’s no surprise then that with over 701.8 million views on TikTok, fire pits are as popular as ever. Clearly, homeowners want a simple way to keep the BBQ festivities going after the sun has gone down. And what better way to do that than with a cosy outdoor fire pit?

With a fire pit, you can…

  1. Keep warm. Let’s face it, we live in the UK. This means even summer evenings can get chilly. An outdoor heater is a great way to make your garden accessible all year round. Add comfy seating and use your outdoor fire pit as a warm, after-hours spot, so you can keep the party going long into the night!
  2. Cook. Why not kill two birds with one stone? By getting a fire pit with integrated grill features, you can do your cooking and grilling all in one place. And if you don’t need it for a BBQ day, they’re still great fun for roasting marshmallows…
  3. Entertain. Garden fire pits are great for hosting outdoor movie nights and dinner parties. Place a table nearby (or get a fire pit table that combines the two together) to put down all the food and plates, then gather your guests around the fire. Want to watch a film under the stars whilst keeping warm by your fire pit? All you need is a projector and you’ll be good to go!

Fire pits are great at creating a calm and relaxed atmosphere, perfect for hosting gatherings. However, which you end up getting will depend on your personal preferences and your budget. To help you decide, we’ve put together a handy table using the top criteria for fire pits:

Fire pit type Affordable Easy to use Easy to clean Easy to move Good heat output
Wood-burning
Gas
Gel Fuel
Electric
Portable

Generally, wood-burning fire pits and gel fuel fire pits are cheaper to buy up-front since you don’t have to spend extra money on electrical installation costs. However, you will then have to account for the cost of fuel, since you’ll have to periodically have to buy wood or fuel canisters for your pit. You might want to check out log stores and online websites to get a sense of prices.

On the other hand, electric and gas fire pits cost more to have installed, and often require a professional since you’ll need a gas line connection or other electrical components. If you do need the help of an expert, speak to a skilled electrician or gas heating engineer to get started!

How do you build a fire pit on a budget?

If you’re on a budget and don’t want to buy an outdoor fire pit, why not make your own? A basic fire pit is relatively easy and cheap to make, and could be a fun weekend project to get stuck into before summer begins! You’ll need clay bricks (which cost less than £2 each!) and some cement, as well as a few other things. Are you going to make a round fire pit or a square fire pit?

Picture of an outdoor fire pit with fire burning

2. Outdoor kitchens

Simply put, few things offer a ‘wow factor’ like outdoor kitchens do. Imagine hosting a BBQ in your garden this summer, and having all the kitchen supplies you need right there and ready to use…

According to our 2023 Trends Report, outdoor cooking areas are a top 20 home improvement homeowners are planning on spending money on this year! No wonder they’re so popular on TikTok, where they’ve been viewed over 285.8 million times.

Picture of an outdoor kitchen with table and chairs

Outdoor kitchens are definitely one of this year’s top trends, and are great if:

  • Outdoor entertainment is a priority ✔
  • You want to add value to your home ✔
  • You want to increase your home’s liveable space ✔

However, keep in mind that…

  • They’re prone to theft ✖
  • They can be high maintenance ✖
  • They can be expensive ✖

To find out more about outdoor kitchens, and how much they cost to install, check out our blog: Is it worth investing in an outdoor kitchen?

Picture of an outdoor kitchen with dining area and pergola

How do you build an outdoor kitchen on a budget?

To make your outdoor kitchen budget-friendly, why not build it around your BBQ using bricks? You can then buy a second-hand worktop to place on top of the bricks…and voila! You have a kitchen.

To create a budget kitchen:

  1. Shop smart: Look for deals in outlet stores and online marketplaces or buy second-hand
  2. Opt for cost-effective materials: Avoid expensive marble and stone and opt for cheaper but durable alternatives
  3. Get creative! Inexpensive decorations can really elevate the look of your outdoor kitchen, and at a relatively small cost. Use fairy lights, colourful potted plants and other decorations to bring your outdoor kitchen to life in a way that suits your style.

If you’re not a confident DIYer, we recommend you don’t try and install plumbing or electrics yourself. Instead, speak to a skilled kitchen fitter in your area:

FIND A KITCHEN FITTER

3. Pergolas

Garden pergolas are popular. With over 523.4 million views on TikTok, they’re definitely a big summer trend that can truly transform your garden.

Picture of a garden pergola with plants

Pergolas are a fantastic addition to your outdoor space, and can be a true asset when it comes to hosting BBQs and garden parties. They can:

  • Act as an extension to your home, creating more liveable space. You can use this space as a dining area, put your outdoor kitchen there, or even lay out a few couches for a relaxing spot.
  • Offer shade. Pergolas are great at blocking direct sunlight whilst still allowing a good amount of natural light to come through the slats. They also protect from excessive heat and rain, making them great in lots of different situations.
  • Make your garden more private. Simply add a curtain or screen to your garden pergola to block out your neighbours, and give yourself the gift of privacy!

In many cases, they can also raise the value of your property, and act as great support for climbing plants. Not to mention that they add a lot of visual appeal to your outdoor space, often looking incredibly modern and stylish. In other words, pergolas are great!

Picture of a pergola covered in a climbing plant

How do you build a budget pergola?

Have you considered building your own garden pergola? DIY pergolas are relatively easy to build with the help of online videos, and don’t require lots of tools or materials. You can even purchase budget pre-made pergola kits that simplify things even more! Metal pergolas, wooden pergolas and aluminium pergolas are the most standard options, but wood might be the easiest (and cheapest) for you to work with if you’re going DIY.

Want someone to build yours for you? A local builder is ready to help, just click on the button below:

FIND A LOCAL BUILDER

Are you ready for BBQ season?

Once your garden is ready for hosting season (you can hire a gardener here if you think yours needs a little TLC), you’ll need a good, sturdy barbecue to cook on. To impress your guests and keep everyone safe, make sure you follow these BBQ safety tips…

1. Clear out dead plants – clearing away dead plants, leaves and cutting back trees close to your BBQ space will reduce the risk of a fire.

2. Keep your BBQ on a flat area of the garden – this should be somewhere that is clear of any potential trip hazards like slippery leaves.

3. Keep your BBQ away from sheds and fences – you want to make sure your BBQ isn’t too close to anything that could catch fire. Whilst it might not always be possible to be metres away, think carefully about the direction of the wind, especially if you’re cooking with a BBQ that has an open grill.

4. Consider children and pets – whilst BBQs are a great way to socialise in the summer, you want to make sure that young children or excitable pets don’t get too close.

5. Keep your BBQ clean – it’s important you take some time to clean your BBQ thoroughly. If you don’t regularly clean the grill, grease will build up which can impact cooking and lead to flare-ups when you come to light your BBQ next time around. It’s also important that you leave time after cooking for your BBQ to cool down before you store it under covers or in a shed.

Picture of a garden BBQ party

National BBQ Week is nearly here. Fire pits, outdoor kitchens and pergolas are just three of the ways you can make your garden the perfect summer spot, but there are tons of great trends for you to choose from. Always hire skilled tradespeople to help you with your projects, so you can ensure everything goes to plan.

The only question left to ask is: is your garden ready to host some of this summer’s best barbecues?



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