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ideas and resources for your home

Photo: Gloster

Backyard Living

6 Decking Styles Cozy Outdoor Furniture M AR C H / AP R IL 2 010

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C HEST B ED Open this 4' x 5' cabinet by pulling down the doors to form a platform, then unfold a full-size innerspring mattress to create an instant guest room. Closed, the cabinet is deep enough for a stereo or TV, which makes it popular for family rooms and dens.

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B UILD I T G REEN 10 Sustainable Landscaping


Easy, thrifty, and beautiful. By Annette Hartsfield


Designing Your Deck The many surfaces for today’s decks. By Chris Vaughn


Moving Outdoors Casual furniture provides comfort and style. By John Rogers

CCIDC 20 Outdoor Eating Adventures Exploding demand for outdoor kitchens. By Joanne M. Stage, CMKBD, CID



March/April 2010 THM East Bay


ideas and resources for your home 22

Search the Bay Area’s ultimate


resource guide

Spring Forward

for more articles

Get inspired for all your home and garden projects at the Contra Costa Spring Home & Garden Show.

of interest, links

Kitchen Resolution Take your kitchen from lukewarm to hot in the New Year.

to more resources,

NKBA Luxury Bath 8 on a Budget

Web sites, and

6 Tips to creating a stunning yet economical bathroom. By Jennifer Ho, CKD,CBD

CLCA 22 Safe Home Repairs Protect your family, employees and property. By Barbara Landrith

professionals who can help you with all your home projects. Remodeling Made Easy Get the look you want with professional help all along the way.


Painting Spells A custom paint job can do magic for your home’s appearance.

Kitchen Remodeling Made Easy Suggestions for saving dollars and your sanity.

Find more great ideas and resources for your home on Post your Web page on! ON THE COVER Photo: Gloster Axis Collection in teak. Photo: Gloster (

Contact Information • Multiple Links to Your Web Site • Photo Gallery • Press

Call 925.659.6200 or e-mail for more information. East Bay THM March/April 2010


Save Up to 50% on Custom & Ready-made Draperies Solid Silks Velvet Linen Taffeta & Embroidered Silks

Volume 10, Issue 2 • March/April 2010

The Bay Area’s best resource for your lifestyle at home. PUBLISHER/EDITOR


Jason Douglas • Rosanna Jerkins FEATURE WRITERS

Annette Hartsfield Jennifer Ho Barbara Landrith John Rogers Joanne M. Stage Chris Vaughn ART DIRECTOR

Jeff Clinton WEBMASTER

Christina Carey ACCOUNTING

Diane Nasadiuk



(888) 274-1140 • (925) 659-6200 P.O. Box 2025 • San Ramon, CA • 94583

At the Drapery Boutique we are passionate about providing the finest quality “Ready-to-Hang Draperies” to our customers at the best price available. Our exquisite collection is available in colors and styles that will accent your home décor. We also provide complete custom window treatments in our signature fabrics. Visit our showroom and design center for a free personal consultation.

For more information, call or visit

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866.413.7273 Shop online at 6

March/April 2010 THM East Bay

© 2010. All editorial (headline, subhead, story, captions) published in Today’s Home is copyrighted and remains the sole property of Today’s Home. All rights reserved. Reproduction or reprinting without permission is strictly prohibited.

Today’s Home is looking for highly motivated Account Executives with 2 years of advertising and marketing experience. We offer a dynamic environment, excellent growth opportunities, competitive earnings, and a benefits package. Full and part-time positions available. Please e-mail resumes to

Get inspired for all your home and garden projects at the Contra Costa Spring Home & Garden Show. HE FIRST SIGNS OF SPRING HAVE ARRIVED: warm breezes, chirping birds, bunches of blooming wild flowers and the highly anticipated 25th Annual Contra Costa Spring Home & Garden Show. This amazing show is sponsored by the Contra Costa Times and runs April 9, 10, 11 at Concord’s Sleep Train Pavilion. True to tradition, the show will feature the latest windows, window coverings, insulation, roofing, gutters and money saving heating and air conditioning. Show hours are Friday 12 noon to 6 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM. General admission is $6 and children 12 and under are free. “This year’s show will have more kitchen and bath remodeling contractors than ever before,” says Show Manager Frank Adams. “This type of remodel is very big, right now, and it’s very convenient for the home owners to be able to find all of the top talents in one location.” If you were considering solar, now is the time to act. Manufacturers and installers are offering unbelievable incentives and financing. Why wait?


H OME & GARDEN Contr Contraa Cost Costaa Spring Spring Show

Friday, April 9 • 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM Saturday, April 10 • 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Sunday, April 11 • 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM One of today’s most luxurious outdoor trends is the backyard kitchen, which is both functional and aesthetically fabulous and can be equipped with grilling equipment, refrigerators, sinks and burners. “The high end ones are starting to become works of art, complete with sound systems, lights and umbrellas. Any of these extras can be added on,” Frank says. Today’s Synthetic Grass is so realistic and durable that it has become one of the most popular home improvement items in the show. Imagine, no watering, no fertilizing, no weeds and no need for a lawn mower. Also, check out the latest in long-lasting decking materials, such as Ipe Brazilian Hardwood and Timber Tech, a popular composite material that looks like the real thing, but wards off termites and harsh weather. Homeowners can also scope out the latest water wonders: spas, pools and lavish waterfalls. “This is a great time to start thinking about adding a pool or waterfall,” Frank states. “Our experts will be able to answer all of your questions”. Some people may simply want to bring the outdoors inside with a variety of garden inspired artwork, prints and pottery. Also for the indoors: Interior Decorating, Closet Organization, Garage Storage and every kind of flooring imaginable, including many varieties of exotic tiles, bamboo and imported hardwood. In addition, you can peruse gourmet assortments of delicious sauces by the nationally renowned chef The Crazy Cajun, plus Bistro Blends Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars and Garlic wonders from Primo Gourmet Foods. All are available to sample and purchase. For additional Show information: call (925) 682.7227. THM

East Bay THM March/April 2010


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Luxury Bath on a Budget 6 tips to creating a stunning yet economical bathroom. BY JENNIFER


HILE WE’D RATHER NOT THINK ABOUT National Kitchen & Bath Association the economy, it’s inevitably affected our Simplify Fancy Shower Systems lives. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to put You could still have the shower system of your dreams off remodeling that icky old bath. Quite the contrary, without all the bells and whistles. Don’t equate budget it’s the perfect time to do so. to budget brands. Do look into premium brands as they Being on a budget doesn’t equate to giving up on often offer quality shower products at budget prices. luxuries or cramping your style. Knowledge paired with creativity can go a long way in creating a drop dead Less is more gorgeous bath that’s functional, practical and budget friendly. Decorative tiles are jewels that set the tone for a bath. It’s nice to drench Here are a few tips to keep in mind: your bath in luxurious glass mosaics. But do you really need so much? Less is more when it comes to decorative tiles. You’ll be amazed that just a few Hire a Design Professional strategically placed decorative tiles go a long way. It may seem counterintuitive. After all, you are on a budget. But the right designer will actually help you save time and money. Don’t underestimate the Consider Green leg work needed to complete a bath remodel. Do interview 3-4 designers to Green is an investment that not only helps the environment, but your pocketbook get a feel for their work and chose one that fits your style, budget and trust. as well. A few extra dollars today can save you much more down the road. Do is one place to start in your search for a Bath Design Professional. think about water conserving fixtures and high efficiency lighting (i.e. LED, fluorescents). As an added bonus, tax incentives and rebates may be available Don’t skimp with current stimulus plans and green initiatives. Switching out that water It’s tempting, but do think twice when you see a price that seems too good wasting toilet may qualify you for rebates with your water company. to be true. It probably is too good to be true. You may end up spending more down the road in repair and replacement cost. Jennifer Ho, CKD, CBD is a designer at De Anza Interior ( and is the Vice President of Government Relations for NKBA Northern California as well as a member of Set a Realistic Budget the Marketing Advisory Council for NKBA National. From choosing a designer to picking out Your design professional will be crucial in helping you establish what is realistic colors, the NKBA is your source for design ideas, expert remodeling tips, and advice. To find and what is not. Do make a list of wants and needs and prioritize them. a design professional near you please visit THM



March/April 2010 THM East Bay



There is no reason to move to get that extra room or space you’ve always wished for.


NEW CONSTRUCTION Call for a free in-home consultation!

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East Bay THM March/April 2010


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sustainable landscaping

Easy, Thrifty, and Beautiful BY ANNETTE


TRULY GREEN HOME extends to its outdoor spaces as well. But don’t worry – “greening” your landscape is not as hard as you think. At Build It Green, a Bay Area based non-profit promoting green building practices, we encourage sustainable landscaping methods as part of our mission. Below are some of the do-it-yourself suggestions we teach in our training programs.


Nourish the soil Healthy soil is the foundation of every landscape. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised just how many benefits a robust, living soil has for your plant life and your pocketbook. Well-aerated soil acts like a sponge, absorbing and storing water and nutrients, which means you’ll spend less money watering plants and resupplying your topsoil. The beneficial organisms like bacteria, fungi and worms that thrive in healthy soil supply your plants with nutrients and protect them from diseases, saving the need for harmful and expensive pesticides and fertilizers. Creating healthy soil doesn’t have to cost much either – both organic mulch (e.g. chipped landscape debris) and compost, two major contributors to good soil, can be made from your own household waste. Check out the Bay Friendly Landscaping and Gardening program at for excellent free guidelines on making your own compost and other sustainable gardening tips.

Conserving water is essential for a landscape that is both budgetconscious and easy on the environment. Despite the heavy rains in California this January, the state remains in the grip of a serious drought that state Department of Water Resources officials say could “cripple our economy and quality of life.” But you can have a beautiful landscape without taxing the water supply. Selecting drought tolerant plant species and replacing unused lawn areas


March/April 2010 THM East Bay

Photos by Sarah Sutton of Design, Community & Environment

Conserve water

Plant wisely A well-planned landscape conserves resources and saves time and energy in a variety of ways. Hydrozoning for example, the process of grouping plants by their water needs, allows you to easily water in appropriate quantities. It’s also a good idea to give your plants enough room to grow to their natural shape and size. That way you don’t have to prune them, a time-consuming activity that just creates more waste for the landfill. Finally, consider strategically planting deciduous trees to keep the sun off your house during the summer months (deciduous trees will still let sunlight in during the winter). Shade trees can create a micro-climate that is up to 15 degrees cooler than in the surrounding area, reducing summer air-conditioning costs by 25 to 40%.

Integrate recycled materials This is a fun one. There are no limits on how to creatively integrate salvaged, reclaimed and recycled materials into your garden and landscape. Build fences and tool sheds out of reclaimed wood, use salvaged broken concrete for retaining walls and raised planting beds, and re-use any manner of containers for your plants – anything from old shoes to bathtubs will work!

with water-conserving California native groundcovers or perennial grasses will significantly reduce your water needs. Prevent rainwater from leaving your property by choosing permeable hardscape surfaces like gravel, and by minimizing the total amount of impervious paved area used for driveways, walkways and patios. You can also water your plants for free by installing a rainwater harvesting system to collect and store stormwater.

Conventional landscaping often damages the environment and can end up costing more in utility bills and maintenance. The eco-friendly choice isn’t always the more expensive or cumbersome way to go. Indeed, in this case it saves time, money, resources and results in a beautiful outdoor space you can feel good about. Annette Hartsfield is a Build It Green Program Associate and Grant Writer. For more information on sustainable landscaping and green building in general please visit THM

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East Bay THM March/April 2010


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DESIGNING YOUR DECK The many surfaces for today s decks. ’



ESIGNERS ALWAYS TALK ABOUT BRINGING THE OUTSIDE in, but there’s a simple way to do the reverse: Adding a deck to your home—whether it’s a simple extension off your master suite or a series of interconnected decks that show off your landscaping—brings the inside out. With a deck, you have the opportunity to create outside rooms that effectively expand your home’s square footage and help you enjoy leisurely afternoons or evening parties in your backyard. Where to start? Today’s decks come in all manner of materials, from natural wood to high-tech composites, concrete tiles, plastics and vinyl, and natural stone. Each creates a sturdy, unique deck. The key is to think about what you’ll use your deck for: Will it be a high-traffic deck where children run and play? Will it be a quiet retreat? Will it be the site of regular barbecues and backyard cooking? Each use requires a different level of sturdiness and may call for different materials. Also consider the material’s longevity and maintenance needs. Some materials are inexpensive to install but expensive to keep up. And, finally, think about the mood you want to set with your deck. Whether you’re looking for rustic, modern, elegant, or sturdy, there’s a decking material for you.


WOOD Before there was composite decking or more high-tech decking, there was always wood. The go-to material for decks for decades is notable for its wide variety of products, its numerous grades, and its inexpensiveness. What you will get with a wood deck is its traditional beauty. Whether you choose common pine or more exotic redwood, Ipe, tiger wood, or Jatoba, you’re investing in a natural product that’s handsome and costs less in initial investments. Look for pressuretreated woods, which have preservatives designed to extend the life of your deck and protect it from weathering, splitting, splintering, >> Composite East Bay THM March/April 2010


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pests, or rot infestations. Also consider harder-grade woods, including heartwood, the oldest, hardest part of the tree that’s naturally more resistant to rot and pests. Most exotic woods, including teak, are naturally harder. Although these woods are more expensive, they’re expected to last longer and have fewer problems. What you won’t get with many wood decks is a lifetime guarantee. The harder and the more extensively treated wood can carry a warranty for the lifetime of the original purchaser, but many decks will need to be replaced within 10 years. And all wood decks need to be sealed, cleaned, and sometimes repainted yearly or every few years. Worried that wood might not be the environmentally friendly choice, no matter how beautiful or eye-catching it might be? Consider wood carrying the FSC label. That means the wood has been certified grown in an environmentally and socially conscious manner by the international Forest Stewardship Council. You can also use companies that individually promise they’ve harvested the lumber in a sustainable way or use reclaimed lumber that has been remilled and made into new products.

COMPOSITE Did you ever imagine you’d be sunning yourself on top of milk jugs or soda bottles? When you install a composite deck, you might well be. Composite decking is notable for its environmental friendliness, variety of styles, longevity, and low-maintenance materials. It’s also growing in popularity. Composite decking is a combination of wood products, like sawdust and plastic that usually comes from recycled containers. People who buy eco-friendly varieties can feel good about reusing old materials and making use of wood chips and sawdust that go into the construction of composite decking. Manufacturers like EverGrain, NexWood, Tendura, Trex, and WeatherBest make decking in a variety of colors and wood-like finishes that mimic everything from exotic hardwoods to knotty pine. Composite decking also doesn’t have some problems of natural wood decks: It often carries a warranty of 15 years or more, is less prone to rot and pest infestation, and doesn’t splinter or warp. It’s also usually made with a nonskid texture. However, because composite decking contains natural wood fibers, it reacts somewhat to moisture. And because the planks are less strong than wood, the joists under the


March/April 2010 THM East Bay



planks that hold the deck up must be placed closer together. Composite decks are often built on top of pressure-treated wood supports so when the supports need to be replaced, the deck is affected. Although it requires far less maintenance than wood, your composite deck should be cleaned yearly with a brush and commercial deck cleaner to remove debris that can breed surface mildew.

ALUMINUM If you’re looking for a sleek, modern deck, aluminum may be the material for you. With its polished surface, aluminum blends well with modern-style houses and can be a unique addition to more traditional homes. Aluminum decks are very strong, supporting as much as 240 pounds per square foot. They also have the advantage of being

fire resistant. Because the planks are strong, they require fewer joists underneath than some forms of decking such as AridDek. Aluminum is also extremely low maintenance. It runs no risk of cracking, splitting, or splintering. Like other forms of man-made decking, aluminum is nearly impervious to rot and pest infestations. Aluminum resists corrosion and doesn’t rust, so you won’t have to spend time keeping your deck from moisture or degradation. Aluminum decks also have a seamless surface. Many manufacturers, such as Lock Dry and DryDeck, sell interlocking planks that prevent moisture from seeping into the usually wooden supports, making the structure waterproof and creating a dry space underneath the deck. Look for aluminum decking with powder coating and ridges that makes it slipresistant. Powder coatings can also contain colors, allowing the homeowner to choose a tone that matches the décor, such as white, gray, light brown,and a wooden brown.


CONCRETE Does the thought of concrete decking summon to mind schools and other drab places? Today’s concrete decking is anything but boring, offering a variety of colors, textures, structural grades, and precast or stamped concrete tiles. Because it’s concrete, the deck is impervious to fire, rot, and pests. And concrete deck manufacturers have gotten creative with their decking, creating tiles with the look of natural stone but the sturdiness of concrete. You have two choices with concrete decks: One option is a poured and steel-reinforced deck that’s built at the site. The advantage is there’s no wood involved, so the deck isn’t at the mercy of wood supports. Poured concrete decks are supported by steel pylons that are sturdier and can support more weight than typical wood decks. However, these kinds of decks are also among the priciest of all decks. The other option is to use precast concrete tiles. These tiles can resemble stone decking, with a variety of colors and natural textures that’s both slip-resistant and varies in color to make each deck unique. Dekstone, a manufacturer of one of the main forms of this

kind of decking, ships its deck tiles unsealed. The tiles can be directly attached to wood joists or a waterproofing membrane can be placed under the tiles to protect the wood and concrete from excessive moisture. All forms of concrete decking should be sealed from moisture every few years.

PLASTIC There’s a reason plastic is used in so many products: It’s versatile, easily recyclable, durable, and easy to clean. Plastic decking is one more step toward man-made decking. It’s often environmentally friendly, made of 95 percent recyclable plastics like polyethylene, polystyrene, and polypropylene. As with composite decking, look at the manufacturer’s label to check to see how much of the deck is made from recycled materials, and whether it’s recyclable. You can also look at the material itself. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are the most common recycled plastics made primarily of milk jugs and soda bottles, respectively. Plastic also has the advantage of being one of the most lowmaintenance deck materials. Because it has no organic matter, >>

East Bay THM March/April 2010


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it’s impervious to rot that affects wood decks and (to a far lesser extent) composite decks. It also doesn’t split, splinter, or become brittle over time. If mildew grows on the surface of the plastic planks or they get dirty, simply hose off the deck or use a deck cleaner. Many decking manufacturers, such as Verdura, offer full 30-year warranties on their decks. Plastic decking is lightweight but strong, and usually installed above wooden joists. Many types of plastic decking come with a noshow type of installation that’s totally waterproof. It also comes in a variety of colors, including white, black, teak, oak redwood, and green.


Be sure to look for higher-quality stones because they are sturdier, more resistant to movement, and are less likely to crack. Warranties for stone decking materials vary by manufacturer, but many last at least 10 years.



STONE Decks made with natural stone, tile, slate, or pavers impart a different feel than rustic wood or modern aluminum. Stone decking is a cool and sophisticated look, and notable for its wide variety of materials, grades, treatments, and textures. Colors can be rich, like black or Tuscan red, or mellow, like beige or earth tones. The advantage of stone decking is that it requires less annual maintenance than wood and light colors remain relatively cool in hot weather. It also doesn’t warp, isn’t as susceptible to moisture as wood, and is impervious to pest infestations. It’s also extremely strong. When considering a stone, porcelain, or slate deck, check to make sure the tiles or pavers are for outdoor use and specifically for deck use. Many forms of stone decking come in interlocking tile formats. These types are stone mounted on a composite base that can be attached directly to joists without the need for mortar or grout. Like many other decking materials, stone decks tend to require less annual maintenance than wooden decks. However, many manufacturers still recommend they be sealed regularly to protect them from stains and moisture.


March/April 2010 THM East Bay

You might have heard of PVC pipes or even vinyl fabric. But a PVC deck? Absolutely! Vinyl decking, also called PVC decking, is another form of decking made with a different type of plastic. It has the advantage of being nearly maintenance free and impervious to rot, moisture, and pests. Although some vinyl is made of virgin plastic, not recycled, some varieties, like Quadra Vinyl, are made of 100 percent recycled vinyl. The planks can also usually be recycled after use. Look for manufacturer labels that identify if the planks are recycled or recyclable. Vinyl planks, like other plastic decking, are strong and easy to clean. Vinyl planks have internal reinforcement that make them rugged and make other reinforcements, like steel or aluminum, unnecessary. As with plastic, there’s no need to spend time doing annual sealing or maintenance of the planks. Simply hose them off if they get dirty and clean with a deck cleaner if the deck gets more stubborn stains. Like plastic, vinyl decks come in several colors, including white, gray, and wooden-like tan. They also usually come embossed with a wood grain texture that reduces the risk of slipping. And most vinyl decking comes with an extensive lifetime warranty. Popular brands of vinyl decking include Dream Deck and EverNew. Like other decking materials, vinyl decking is usually built on wood supports and is subject to the health and longevity of the wood. Because the planks are made completely of plastic, they’re also slightly more sensitive to the heat of the sun than other decking choices, though vinyl is also often treated to keep it cool. THM

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Axis Collection glass top dining table and chairs in Sable.

HETHER YOU’RE SOCIALIZING WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY or relaxing with a good book, the new preferred space of choice is no longer inside on a cozy oversized sofa or dinette set for four. Instead, more and more patios and backyards are being transformed into an outdoor oasis made to please everyone. Gloster continues to offer a broad spectrum of designs and styles in a variety of materials and their four new collections for 2010 are no exception in furniture design & innovation.


ESTATE ➤ Bright white and seriously smooth, Estate is a painted finish that can be relied upon to impress. Traditional design and a modern, resilient coating over mahogany frames guarantees a low maintenance finish in a style that will last. With all the advantages of more contemporary materials & every aesthetic quality of timeless design, Estate brings a classically simplistic look to any environment.

Moving Outdoors

Casual furniture provides comfort and style. BY JOHN


AXIS ➤ Stunning lines and sharp looks combine to place Axis at the center of design innovation. Solid teak sled style frames and stylish angles echo throughout the line by London designer Mark Gabbertas. Broad horizontally slatted seats combine with gently curving backs to ensure comfort, while optional cushions offer further indulgence. The Axis dining chair and table is also available in a stunning, durable warm grey painted finish fully suited to outdoor use. FUSION ➤ At the cutting edge of design, monochromatic stainless steel frames & single piece swooping slings ensure Fusion dining and lounging furniture stand out from the crowd. Sleek solid steel frames with integral peened armrests combine with Mercury colored slings offering the maximum in comfort and practicality. KORE ➤ Fusion dining chairs sit perfectly with any of the Kore dining tables also by Povl. Available in either rectangular, square or circular formats with slatted teak or acid etched, tempered glass tops and an integrated ceramic lazy susan on brushed stainless steel frames, Kore becomes a focal point in any dining suite. A seating capacity ranging from 4 to 12 ensure practicality not simply aesthetics are a key feature. Gloster Furniture Inc. is the world’s largest producer of quality teak outdoor furniture. Gloster’s reputation for sophisticated design and unrivaled attention to detail has led to multiple awards in the casual furniture industry for its excellence in design and manufacturing. For more information, please visit THM 18

March/April 2010 THM East Bay

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Your qualified salesman & designer just happens to be the owner. East Bay THM March/April 2010


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Outdoor Eating Adventures Exploding demand for outdoor kitchens. M. STAGE, CMKBD, CID

O YOU DREAM ABOUT planning your own outdoor kitchen and creating a place for family and friends to gather while you cook? Since the discovery of fire when cooking on the open hearth became the heart of the cave dwellers home, the alluring aroma of grilling has continued to captivate our senses. According to an industry survey, the latest trend is an exploding demand for outdoor kitchens! And, while a fire pit may have been suitable for our cave dwellers, today’s savvy consumer has the benefit of modern technological advances in appliances and finishes. Here are some ideas to help you get started. First start out by reviewing your local building codes and requirements for an outdoor kitchen.


Second, create a plan and your needs and wish list. The basic essentials are a grill, sink and some type of refrigeration or cooler. Third, review the features available in outdoor appliances and what you need. Consider that a Hybrid Grill can incorporate a selection of gas, charcoal and wood fire grilling with a 32,000 BTU side burner, wok or lobster pot ready. Customized grills are available for fish, meat and vegetables or teppanyaki-style cooking. Other outdoor appliances can include a countertop pizza oven, smoker, dishwasher, freezer, refrigerator, wine chiller, keg tapper, warming drawers, ventilator, sink, pantry storage and trash and recycling center. Enough selections to make your head spin! And lastly, your other considerations should include your lifestyle, privacy, view, prevailing winds, landscaping and the flow of traffic. In addition consider task and mood lighting, a sound system, internet, television, low-maintenance materials such as stainless steel for cabinets, stone or concrete for countertops and whether you require shelter for a cooking and clean up area. And, although California has great weather year around, think about possibly adding natural gas patio heaters. Most importantly, there are a lot of decisions to make when investing in your outdoor kitchen. Consider working with a professional who is familiar with codes, products and the planning of outdoor kitchens. Contact a Certified Interior Designer (CID) to work with you. Certified Photos courtesy of Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet.




No Nonsense Horticultural Services 925-820-1843

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Professional Paint Center 925-933-3315

Valet Custom Cabinets & Closets 925-362-8838


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Spring Fresh Cleaning 800-750-7175


Black Diamond Landscape & Designs 800-942-1955


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California’s Gunite 925-960-9500


Acanthus 925-866-1144


Borg Redwood Fences 925-426-9620


Exclusive Fabrics & Furnishings 866-413-7273 Interior Designers in the State of California are qualified by education, experience and examination. Your Certified Interior Designer can plan your space, help you make proper selections, and oversee the installation. Joanne M. Stage, CMKBD, CID is the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s representative to the California Council for Interior Design Certification board. For a list of Certified Interior Designers in your area or to view the CID pages, visit THM



Sunshine Construction, Inc. 925-472-8760


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California Shower Door Corp. 800-675-6225 TILE AND STONE

Western Tile Design Center 925-671-0145 WALLBEDS

Wallbeds ”n” More 925-570-5663 WATER HEATERS

Phillips Water Heater Service 925-584-9846 WINDOW TINTING

Solar Control Glass Tinting Co. 800-999-3828

List your business, call 925-659-6200

Proper Pruning • Fertilization Watering • Mulching Landscape Design Flower/Bulb Planting Gardening Consultation Offering weekly, monthly & quarterly maintenance programs.

Call 925.937.2253

ROEBER’S INCORPORATED has led the way in plumbing, heating & cooling since 1923. Specializing in service, repair & new installations for both business & residential. NATE Certified technicians. Carrier Factory Authorized dealers. ROEBER’S INCORPORATED 510.537.0556 East Bay THM March/April 2010


[ C L C A ]

SProtect AFE HOME REPAIRS your family, employees and property. BY


ALIFORNIA’S DEVASTATING STORMS have caused accidents, flooding, mudslides, erosion and property damage to homes and businesses across the state. After suffering property damage, it is time to think about getting your repairs done. The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) is pleased to offer some recommendations to help you make safe repair choices to protect your family, your employees and your property.


compensation insurance to protect you from liability in case one of their workers is injured on your property. If you hire an unlicensed person, you may be financially responsible if injuries, fire, or other property damage results. Licensed contractors are also required to disclose whether or not they carry liability insurance.

not a bad idea to have someone else review it as well. Homeowners have a three day right to cancel when signing a Home Improvement Contract. A Service and Repair contract is different and waives that right. Be sure you are signing the right document.

THREE Licensed contractors in California must demonstrate at least

SEVEN Do not let your

ONE The best way to protect your family, employees and property is to hire a licensed contractor. An unlicensed contractor is already breaking the law and there are many unscrupulous individuals who pose as contractors with the intent of stealing, defrauding or hurting the owner. There is a reason they don’t have a license or can’t get one.

TWO A licensed contractor with employees is required to carry workers’

4 years of experience/education in the trade for which they are licensed, be fingerprinted and have an FBI background check. If your project costs more than $500 the contractor must be licensed by the California State License Board (CSLB). The CSLB provides information about a contractor’s license, worker’s compensation status as well as pending and prior legal actions.

FOUR Don’t rush into repairs no matter how badly they may be needed. Be sure to get at least 3 competitive bids, check licenses and ask for recommendations. Be suspicious if the contractor does not want to give you adequate time to make a decision. Some unscrupulous individuals use scare tactics to force a quick decision on the part of the owner who often agrees to overpriced or unnecessary work. FIVE Contractors cannot ask for a deposit of more than 10% of the total cost of the job or $1000 whichever is less. Do not pay cash and do not pay up front for supplies and additional workers. Be suspicious of those going door to door offering cheap work for cash.

SIX Require a written contract and be sure to understand it before you sign it. It is also 22

March/April 2010 THM East Bay

payments get ahead of your work and keep a file of all papers relating to your project. Pay by check so you have documentation of payment.

EIGHT Soil erosion can happen slowly or it can happen very quickly in a heavy rain. The exact measures needed for your property are based on your soil type, slope grade, home/office location, weather, water availability etc. Also areas exposed by fire can open the door for invasive species and weeds. In some areas erosion control materials or mechanical control measures may need to be applied. Contact your local CalTrans office or local forest service for guidelines in your area.

NINE Water flow is an important factor of any property protection plan. Never underestimate the power of storm water and debris. Evaluating the area and planning for additional storm events in the near term is a critical first step to protecting your property and improper or inadequate measures can aggravate potential problems. If you need help with erosion control, water removal, mold and other items that have the potential for long term, serious damage and liability, be sure to hire a licensed professional who is an expert in that field. TEN For future reference, it is also a good idea to keep records and photos of your property as part of your home or business inventory list for insurance purposes. For more information about hiring a licensed professional, to check the status of a contractor or report an unlicensed contractor visit the State License Board at or call1-800-321-CSLB (2752). THM

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Š 2009 PremierGarage. All rights reserved. Each franchise independently owned and operated. Space is what you make of it. Make it work. Make it last. Make it PremierGarage is a trademark of PremierGarage.

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East Bay March 2010  

Backyard Living