When the sun comes out to play, it is natural to crave delicious barbeque! As you prepare for the summer months, take some time to review your HOA’s policies on grilling. Depending on the type of homes in your area (condo, townhouse, patio home, etc.), HOA policy may restrict grilling based on building and fire codes.
Before you get discouraged, remember there are several grill options out there, and there is a good chance one is best suited to your needs and outdoor space!
With an endless supply of fuel, this is one the most hassle free ways to grill. BUT before you hurry off to buy one, check to make sure you have easy access to your gas lines. If, for example, if your gas meter isn’t conveniently located next to your patio, you may find it very expensive/difficult to get everything plumbed properly. If hooking up a natural gas grill is fairly easy, select a one intended for residential use (commercial ones generally aren’t approved for small outdoor areas). And unless you’re a really good handyman or woman, have it professionally installed and inspected.
No wants to give up a quarter of their small balcony to an oversized grill. Electric grills are ideal for small outdoor areas, and all they need is some power! Before you buy one check to make sure you have a convenient power source, and that it has sufficient current to power your grill. The great thing about an electric grill is its reduced fire risk – with no flames or gas you’re less likely to catch something on fire, including your food!
Some die-hard grillers will only use charcoal for the smoky flavor it gives food, but if patience isn’t one of your virtues this might not be your best option! It takes time and work to get the coals hot enough, and that smoke we already mentioned will undoubtedly find its way into open windows becoming a possible nuisance. If you’re committed to charcoal, just make sure you allow yourself ample time and find an open area far enough away from other residents and their windows.
Propane grills are a popular choice, and they are easy to find! Depending on where you live, you might have to buy the small tanks (smaller than the standard backyard tank), and your HOA may also have guidelines related to how propane tanks are stored when they aren’t in use. And remember, the smaller the tank, the less storage space you need! Total perk.
So which option is best? Well, it really all comes down to your outdoor space, cost, practicality, and your preference! Just make sure to read over your HOA’s policy as it relates to grills. They were written to protect the best interest of its members and to comply with fire and building codes. And remember! No matter what type of grill or outdoor space you have, always keep a fire extinguisher handy in case of an accident.