Hardware Retailing

FEB 2019

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | February 2019 66 Appliances and Plumbing Depending on a homeowner's outdoor space and budget, another segment of the outdoor kitchen that brings the convenience of cooking into nature is outdoor-rated appliances and plumbing options, like sinks. Installing a sink in the cooking area can help with cleanup and during the food prep process, like washing vegetables. Some homeowners may want to take cleanup a step further by adding a dishwasher to the outdoor kitchen. However, consumers should make sure they select a dishwasher that is designed to withstand weather in all seasons. It's also important for them to be aware of building codes and other requirements. Erickson says any appliance used outside must meet specific building codes. "Any appliance that can be used inside can be used outside, but it needs to be rated for the outdoors, even if it's in a completely enclosed area," Erickson says. "In Florida, we have to do this because salt can corrode appliances if they aren't rated for the outdoors. Up north, winter is the issue, so homeowners need to keep winterization in mind and have appliances that can stand the cold." Instead of wading through codes and requirements, connecting an outdoor sink to a cold water connection might be all a homeowner needs to do to get the job done, Erickson says. "If they want to incorporate basic plumbing like adding a sink, depending on their community's code, running water off the outdoor cold water line might be the best way to move forward with their project," he says. Some homeowners might also want to designate a bar area in their outdoor kitchen layout, which might include a separate icemaker or a wine cooler. Another appliance customers might consider adding is a minifridge designed for the outdoors. For homeowners who want to create an outdoor kitchen but want to finish the project quickly, Erickson says there are several different manufacturers that create modular, moveable counter islands, which include storage, a sink, a counter for preparing a meal and a cutout to fit specific grills or cookers. This might be a preferred option than a built-in design. In Your Store To help customers pick out the appliances and design features they want for their outdoor kitchen, be sure to ask questions and find out what the customer's intended use of the space will be. • Some items may need electrical or plumbing hookups, so be familiar with any accessories or add-ons that would support the project. Remind customers to check local codes before they make electrical or plumbing hookups outdoors. • If your operation doesn't sell appliances but you have the option to special order what they want, make sure you explain that to your customers early on so they don't take their business elsewhere. Appliances like dishwashers may be something a homeowner wants to include outside. However, these appliances must meet building codes. Photo courtesy of NatureKast

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