The Wrong Builder
The outdoor kitchen has become one of the most popular home improvements for consumers across America and just about every consumer we speak to is either planning on having an outdoor kitchen built or it's at the top of their wish list for a future backyard project. As with any home improvement its important to do your homework and select a qualified design/builder with good references. They also need to understand what the proper materials to be used are and be aware of any special installation techniques required. If an outdoor kitchen is built out of wood products without using a stainless steel sleeve for the grill to rest in it can have devastating results, as it almost did for a consumer in Florida. In this particular case the consumer purchased a beautiful lake front home which already had a large outdoor kitchen installed on a covered lanai with tile counter tops, and bar seating area. The unsuspecting consumer assumed it had been properly designed and built. Unfortunately this was not the case. The builder of this outdoor kitchen was clearly unqualified and had no business building an outdoor kitchen without understanding the proper use of materials and the installation of outdoor cooking equipment.
The main concern was that the grill island was built out of wood without using a stainless steel sleeve for the grill. This unsafe design is usually a violation of local building codes and is a potential fire hazard. This lack of proper safety procedures and compliance with local building codes (as well as common sense) is the hallmark of an inexperianced, nonqualified design/builder. Another safety concern was the lack of access to the emergency gas shut-off valve. In the event of a gas leak, the owner has no quick, immediate remedy short of calling 911. To compound the situation, the island wasn't properly vented to allow the gas to escape as is required by most building codes. These are all basic mistakes made by an unqualified builder and clearly can have devastating results for the home owner. This new homeowner had a NOKFA qualified company inspect the grill because it was not working properly. During the inspection they realized that a nonworking grill was the least of their problems. Unbeknownst to the new homeowner, the grill island had already caught on fire once. When the unqualified builder returned, instead of correcting the installation problems he just did a quick fix repair of the damaged island before the house was sold. No attempt was made to address any of the safety issues that resulted in the fire.
The NOKFA design/builder informed the new home owner of the fire damage and the potential future hazards, offering several options to correct the problems that would bring the outdoor kitchen up to code. The home owner chose to have the old island destroyed and start over with a properly built and ventilated island for her new home. By using a NOKFA certified builder the consumer avoided any future safety issues. The NOKFA certified desgin/builder was able to replace a potential future fire hazard with peace-of-mind and have a satisfied client as a future reference.
The other problem we have in the industry is that the typical home inspection company lacks the knowledge necessary to properly evaluate an outdoor kitchen. NOKFA is currently working with the home inspection industry across the USA to help educate and create a standard inspection policy for the outdoor kitchen industry. If you have purchased a home with an existing outdoor kitchen we strongly recommend that you contact NOKFA for a qualified company in your area for a complete safety inspection of your outdoor kitchen and fireplace. You deserve to enjoy it with the assurance that it is safe and properly built.
Call NOKFA at (888)838-8272
|688-B Kingsley Ave
Orange Park, FL 32073
Director of Marketing