Butler Stone Fireplace and Outdoor Kitchen
This Baltimore County Residence was a Design/Build outdoor living area at a home which previously had minimal usable outdoor space. The client desired an outdoor kitchen, dining area to include tables and chairs, and a gathering area to include a fireplace. The elevation changes on the site provided the opportunity to create a multi-level outdoor space. The existing exterior door provided entry onto the highest level of the patio. In order to create a multi-level space, reinforced concrete retaining walls and footers had to be constructed around the perimeter of the patio. After construction of these walls, reinforced concrete slabs were poured to provide the base for the stone floor on each level.
The client and contractor worked together to select a native Maryland stone for the walls, patio, and fireplace which would complement the existing color pallet of the home. Stair treads and wall caps were installed using Pennsylvania bluestone. Hand chiseled rock face was fabricated on all of the exposed edges of the bluestone treads and wall caps. This rock face finish was a time consuming process that took a skilled mason to properly create without damaging the stone. The outdoor kitchen was constructed to accommodate appliances and provide the necessary space needed by the homeowner for outdoor entertaining. Creating a kitchen that was functional for multiple users was a top priority for the homeowner. The layout of appliances and counter top area was a collaboration between the designer and homeowner to create an aesthetically pleasing and usable kitchen.
The outdoor fireplace was designed to use a remote control gas burning log fire system. The fireplace was situated on an angle facing the house to create a sense of intimacy within the lower patio area. Seating walls surround the fireplace and enclose the patio space while still allowing traffic to flow smoothly through the area. Lighting was installed under all stair treads and wall caps to provide accent lighting and improve user visibility at night.
The homeowner gave the contractor a strict budget at the start of the design phase of the project. Working within this budget while using the highest quality of materials posed a challenge for the contractor. Extra care was taken in the planning of the project to ensure that crews and materials operated and were handled in the most efficient way possible. This coordination between masons. carpenters, plumbers, and electricians by the project manager was a vital step in staying within the project budget and time line. Weekly safety meetings occurred and were attended by all employees working on this site. Topics related to the work that was being completed at the residence were covered in these meetings.
The goals and visions of both the homeowner and contractor were exceeded with the completion of this project. A functional outdoor living space, well suited for entertaining, was created by embracing a site that provided opportunities and challenges for the contractor. A testament to the well thought out design and construction is the way the homeowner and their guests frequently use the space for both large and small gatherings all year long.