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Finding a home with an outdoor kitchen

This brick outdoor kitchen in Manhasset has a

This brick outdoor kitchen in Manhasset has a multicolored granite countertop, a stainless-steel grill, three refrigerator drawers, a sink, two gas burners, rotisserie, ice bucket, storage drawers and trash bin. The house is on the market for $4.995 million. Credit: Handout

For her Memorial Day barbecue this weekend, Bayville resident Ann Monsees says she is planning to catch some bass and fluke and grill it on the open flame outside.

The outdoor space at her cottage, which is currently on the market, is used year-round. She has a bluestone countertop with a stainless-steel 36-inch barbecue built into a stone-wall base. "I hooked the barbecue up to natural gas, so I am able to use the grill all the time," says Monsees, 33, a teacher.

Fifty percent of average homeowners on Long Island -- those who have been in a single-family home between three and 20 years with an average combined income of $80,000 to $150,000 -- have made their backyard more family friendly, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Many are adding not only granite countertops and bar stools, but large grills, smokers, wine chillers and even wood-burning stoves for baking pizza.

"It is an easy cooking experience and just adds to the outdoor ambience," says Lesa Dresher, executive director of the New York City/Long Island Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, a Melville nonprofit trade association.

Everyone has their own vision of an outdoor cooking space, says Leslie Wheeler, spokeswoman for Hearth, Patio and Barbecue, an association of manufacturers, dealers and retailers of hearth, patio and barbecue products.

"It can be just a grill dropped into a small cooking island that is modest, or it can be a $30,000 to $50,000 unit with all the bells and whistles, sinks, dishwasher, deep fat fryer, pizza ovens, additional burners," she says. "My gosh, basically now anything you have in your indoor kitchen, you can have outdoors, and that is what the manufacturers have developed."

One of the top three features home buyers request when they are looking for a new home is an outdoor living and cooking area, Wheeler says, citing information from the National Association of Home Builders. "They used to be called a trend, but now it is beyond a trend. It is now a lifestyle. People like that casual, informal lifestyle and cooking outdoors. It is an easy way to entertain family and friends, and people enjoy doing it."

A permit for an outdoor cooking space varies by town since each municipality, village and city has different rules. Homeowners should contact their town to find out what the regulations are.

Outdoor cooking spaces do add to a home's resale value, says Sal Alfano, editorial director of Remodeling Magazine, a monthly publication for remodeling professionals nationwide.

Here are a few homes on the market that feature such spaces, from the basic to the deluxe.


MANHASSET $4,995,000

THE OUTDOOR SPACE
The brick unit with its multicolored granite countertop features space for four bar stools, stainless-steel grill, refrigerator, three refrigerator drawers, sink, two gas burners, rotisserie, ice bucket, storage drawers and trash bin. The unit is housed beneath a pergola. There is also a custom-made wood-burning pizza oven, fire pit and several different seating areas.

THE INSPIRATION
When designing her outdoor kitchen, the homeowner says, she wanted a unit that was functional and would work well with her large family. She explains that growing up in an Italian family, there were always two sets of kitchens -- one in the basement, where the cooking was done, and one upstairs, which was just for show. Her outdoor kitchen is used just like the basement kitchen. The ample counter space and appliances is the ideal place for preparing her homemade tomato sauce, which she describes as a family tradition.

FAVORITE MEAL PREPARED OUTSIDE
Grilled vegetables for her, a porterhouse steak for him.

OTHER FEATURES OF THE HOUSE
The six-bedroom, 5½-bathroom Colonial features a billiards room, gym, wine cellar and wet bar. The 1.7-acre property has a gunite pool with spa and waterfall.

LISTING AGENT
Kathleen Collins, Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty, 516-850-7577


GLEN COVE $1,189,000

THE OUTDOOR SPACE
There is a black galaxy granite top around a four-burner 36-inch grill with rotisserie, griddle, two-burner stove top, a sink, stainless-steel refrigerator, three stainless-steel storage drawers, towel bar and stainless-steel garbage pail pullout with a pergola covering.

INSPIRATION
Seller Lisa Picciano-Hylan, 42, who is also a Realtor, says she likes to host intimate gatherings for friends in her outdoor kitchen. She looked to the outdoor living spaces popular in Southern California when she designed her own, keeping the outdoor kitchen as close to the indoor kitchen and outdoor dining area as possible -- yet as far as possible from the outdoor seating area and hot tub to minimize smoke while entertaining. "We even took into account the general wind direction off Long Island Sound, less than a half-mile away."

FAVORITE MEAL PREPARED OUTSIDE
Her husband, Tim, 46, and 5-year-old daughter, Abigail, make blueberry pancakes every Sunday morning during the summer.

OTHER FEATURES OF THE HOUSE
The 3,300-square-foot home has five bedroom and 4½ bathrooms, a den with fireplace, home gym, formal dining room, living room, eat-in kitchen, master bedroom with soak tub and steam shower, and a vaulted and skylit office. The half-acre property also features an in-ground saltwater pool, hot tub, gazebo, a resort-style chess board measuring 10 feet by 10 feet, a playhouse with sleeping loft, formal rose and perennial garden with fountain, vegetable garden and in-ground sprinklers.

LISTING AGENT
Lisa Picciano-Hylan, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 516-945-0215.


BELLMORE $899,000

THE OUTDOOR SPACE
A granite top and cultured stone unit houses a built-in six-burner, gas-fired Weber Summit barbecue grill and stainless-steel sink.

THE INSPIRATION
Seller Bruce Lyons, 51, a business owner, says he chose to build the space because of the location and landscape. "My previous home didn't have any outdoor features for entertaining. It is so nice not having to run into the house anytime you want to cook or entertain with friends and family."

FAVORITE MEAL PREPARED OUTSIDE
Shrimp and chicken kebabs with oranges, tomatoes, peppers and pineapple

OTHER FEATURES OF THE HOUSE
The four-bedroom, three-bathroom high-ranch features an extended kitchen, living room and foyer, 88 feet of waterfront property close to the open bay and a view of other waterfront homes in South Merrick.

LISTING AGENT
Tina Canaris, RE/MAX Hearthstone, 516-695-8462


BAYVILE $359,000

THE OUTDOOR SPACE
The bluestone countertop has a stainless-steel 36-inch barbecue with a natural gas hookup built into a stone-wall base. Additional features include a rotisserie and a searing burner (an additional burner that reaches a higher temperature than the main grill that makes it easy to sear steaks when grilling).

THE INSPIRATION
"I was looking for an outdoor retreat that complemented my seaside living," says seller Ann Monsees, whose cottage is 200 yards from the beach.

FAVORITE MEAL PREPARED OUTSIDE
"Whole striped bass, especially when I catch the fish myself and can grill it that night," says Monsees, who marinates the fish in a thyme, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper and garlic base.

OTHER FEATURES OF THE HOUSE
The cottage has two bedrooms, one full bath, eat-in kitchen and a full basement. Other features include a private back patio and outside shower.

LISTING AGENT
Terry Sciubba, Sherlock Homes Realty Corp., 516-671-1717.

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