Designing for the Barbecue Nation

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Just like everyone else, new home buyers want to be outside as the weather turns warm.

May 01, 2003

Just like everyone else, new home buyers want to be outside as the weather turns warm. Make it easy for them to head out without leaving home by building great outdoor rooms.

"Living rooms aren't what they used to be," Heat-N-Glo president Dan Shimek says. "Outdoor living spaces are in high demand. And compared to finished interior space, outdoor living rooms cost much less to build yet add more livable space to the home."

Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association CEO Carter Keithley agrees. He says buyers are realizing they can get outdoor space for $10 or $20 per square foot, compared with $100 or more for interior space.

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Cal Spas' Cal Flame Outdoor Cooking Islands

What it is: Three levels of grills in customizable islands.

What's cool: The Sports Bar and Grill has a metal canopy with four automatic awnings; track lighting; three 9-inch, flat-panel, flip-down monitors; a DVD player; and a CD stereo system with marine speakers.

Price range: $3,000 to $27,000

More info: www.calspas.com
Lennox Hearth Products' Oasis

What it is: Wood-burning outdoor fireplace with stainless steel construction, optional bifold glass doors and two interior brick patterns

What's cool: Large, 43-inch viewing area Price range: $1,780-$2,390

More info: www.lennoxhearthproducts.com
Travis Industries' Ring of Fire

What it is: Outdoor gas fire pit

What's cool: It's also a fountain - three tiers of water jets encircle the flames for a multimedia show.

Price: $2,250

More info: www.avalonstoves.com/whatsnew.asp
Heat-N-Glo Builder Sets

What it is: Modular, pre-fabricated, components including fireboxes, fireplace surrounds, grill islands, tables and fire pits. All come unfinished.

What's cool: One-stop shopping

Price range: The Dakota (gas fireplace and surround) starts at $4,799.

More info: www.hearthnhome.com

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