According to the latest AIA Home Design Trends Survey, 69% of architecture firms have reported an increase in designing a project related to outdoor living. As clients start to look for more luxurious designs in the backyards, remodelers need to take note of the new and upcoming products for “outdoor living rooms.” BUILDER’s Mary Salmonsen reports on some of the new developments in composite materials, outdoor lighting, and outdoor kitchen features.
Pavestone’s newest stackable stone system, SplitRock, can be used to construct a variety of outdoor living features, such as walls, kitchens, or fireplaces. The kits feature natural split-faced blocks fitted in a six-piece dry-stack system that does not require mortar. This allows projects to be constructed with minimal labor, skill, or material, though construction adhesive can be used to strengthen the product. SplitRock blocks are available in five colors.
The manufacturer has expanded into modular outdoor cabinetry under its new WeatherStrong brand. The cabinets’ durability is based on their marine-grade PVC polymer and 304-grade stainless steel hardware, which provides resistance to rain, sun, and snow. WeatherStrong cabinets are available in three styles: freestanding island base cabinets, wall-based open-back cabinets, and bar-back cabinets meant for installation against a bar counter. A variety of sizes, colors, and door styles are also available.
Simpson Strong-Tie’s new MPBZ moment post base is designed to provide moment resistance for wooden columns or posts, reducing or removing the need for knee bracing in outdoor structures, including carports, fences, and decks, and allowing for more versatility in these structures’ design. The post base is available for 4x4 and 6x6 posts, with the required 1” standoff tabs and a hole for water drainage. Its ZMAX finish is designed to withstand exposure in many environments.
Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
The Smoker Cabinet by Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet is designed not only to provide efficient function for outdoor cooks, including precise temperature control, but also to match the style, performance and rigorous quality control of Kalamazoo’s existing product line. The Smoker Cabinet is available either on a freestanding rolling cart or as a built-in under-counter unit, made to blend into a Kalamazoo outdoor kitchen.
The Tapco Group: Clubhouse Decking
The Tapco Group’s Clubhouse Decking composite boards are manufactured with the company’s proprietary Korelite technology. Its dense cell structure is engineered to create a lightweight, durable board which minimizes surface voids and moisture absorption. The timbers are denser at the top and bottom, like the structure of an I-beam, according to Tapco. Their dual-sided composition, which bonds high-performance capstock with a PVC core, also allows for greater design flexibility, including border use, framing use, and even curved designs.
Deckorators Vault Decking
Deckorators Vault composite decking is now available in Hickory, a light brown natural wood tone, in addition to dark brown mesquite and gray dusk. This color pairs well with mesquite for two-tone projects, including picture framing and breaker boards.
Vault decking is made with a blend of polypropylene and mineral filler. The manufacturing process utilizes Deckorators’ proprietary Eovations technology to form air pockets inside the boards, creating a light, strong board. Vault’s composition is resistant to moisture absorption, and its polymer cap is resistant to staining or fading.
The Smart Security Light is part outdoor light and part home security camera, all controlled from a smartphone. The company’s proprietary Kuna app allows users to set an on/off schedule for the light, sound an alarm, view live video, and review captured footage for up to two hours. Premium subscription plans are also available. The light includes a Wi-Fi camera and a two-way speaker, and also features panel lights for a wide range of vision.