When it comes to custom outdoor bar contractors in Union County, NJ, making the right choice can mean the difference between a smooth project and one that leaves you filled with regret. Outdoor kitchens and bars are all the rage, and adding one to your property can significantly boost your home’s value — but only if it functions well and is built to last.

So, how can you tell if you’re hiring a qualified landscape designer with the right experience for your unique project? Details are everything. Here’s what to look for as you search for a landscape designer to work with on your custom project.

1. A Creative Portfolio

A custom outdoor bar project should look like it was designed especially for your property — because it is! Any good landscape designer has a portfolio of photos from past projects that will give you a sense of their style and creative abilities. A large portfolio also indicates years of experience.

2. Experience With High-End Projects

A custom bar is a luxurious addition to your landscape, so your designer should have significant past experience using top-of-the-line materials and working on luxury properties. Ask for references from high-end clients.

3. A Thorough Estimate

When presented with an estimate for the job, you should be able to see the costs for different materials, appliances and labor. They should also provide you with an estimated timeline and payment schedule.

4. Licensure and Insurance

Qualified custom outdoor bar contractors in Union County, NJ and the state at large are fully licensed and insured. This will protect you in the event of any unforeseen accidents or damage, so it’s crucial to see this paperwork up front.

5. Access to State-of-the-Art Materials

Your custom bar shouldn’t look like it’s made of default choices from a hardware conglomerate. Ask your landscape architect about their suppliers so you know you’re getting gorgeous countertops and natural stone building materials instead of cheaper alternatives.

6. Knowledge About Appliances

Many components can be added to a custom bar to provide the best function for your lifestyle. A great contractor will know all about the different warranties, features and benefits of appliances and accessories from a range of manufacturers to make the right recommendations for your project.

7. Experience With NJ Laws

Every municipality in the Garden State has its own rules about permitting and building outdoor structures. Kitchens and bars are no exception, particularly when it comes to locating them a safe distance from the house to prevent safety risks from fire, smoke or fumes.

8. Attention to Nature’s Details

A great design should work with nature, not against it. This requires a deep understanding of the path of the sun throughout the day and the shadows it casts at different times. Knowledge of prevailing winds is also crucial to keep grill smoke away from the house and outdoor seating areas.

9. Design Savvy for a Functional Layout

The layout of your custom bar is critical for maximum enjoyment. A good contractor will help you orient the bar so that appliances form a work triangle that flows well while allowing guests to converse without any uncomfortable twisting on the bar stools. A great outdoor bar design will also keep the chef and bartender in the conversation.

10. Passion for Plants

It’s easy to forget that an outdoor bar isn’t just a construction site. All landscaping projects should include attention to the living, growing plants that will frame and surround your new entertaining area. Your landscaper should be just as knowledgeable and excited about installing trees and shrubs nearby as they are about breaking ground for building.

11. Advice for Aftercare and Maintenance

A great landscape architect will never leave you hanging when the job nears completion. Look for someone who is just as passionate about teaching you how to care for your outdoor bar and accessories and they are about building it.

12. Responsiveness

None of the previous skills mean much if you can’t get a hold of your landscaper to answer questions and explain what you need to know. A great contractor will return your calls promptly and work with you every step of the way to make sure you get exactly what you want out of your outdoor bar project.

Finding a Professional to Build Your Custom Bar

As you can see, building an outdoor bar or kitchen is not a good candidate for DIY work. There’s just too much involved in the design process to leave it to an amateur, which will take longer and could end up costing a lot if you’re unhappy with the end result. A qualified landscape architect will work with you to come up with the ideal design for your home — one that is specifically designed to take into account your property’s unique views, the sun and shade, the amount of entertaining you do, and the overall look of your home’s exterior. When you get the right custom design, your outdoor bar will look like it has always been a part of your property. In fact, you’ll probably have a hard time remembering what it was like to live without it!

Why Choose Parker Homescape?

We have transformed hundreds of landscapes in and around the Somerset, Hunterdon, Essex and Union County areas, including Short Hills, Warren and Basking Ridge since our founding in 2006. Unlike many of our competitors, we undertake only one client project at a time, ensuring that every deadline is met and that every detail is considered. Additionally, a lead foreman with over 30 years of experience oversees your project from start to finish. This approach makes us one of the most sought after landscape design companies in Central New Jersey, and translates into a seamless, stress-free experience for you and your family.

Whether creating a beautiful outdoor bar, installing custom landscape lighting or building a custom outdoor fireplace, we believe that each landscape project is unique. We proudly promise customized solutions, superior customer service and competitive pricing for each of our clients.

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