Since the initial release of the Belgard Elements Collection, demand for the product line continues to grow. Contractors recognize that these modular prefabricated outdoor kitchen and fireplace units allow them to construct stunning custom outdoor living designs without relying upon the highly skilled labor that would be required to build the same designs from scratch on-site. In addition, what would take weeks to build on-site can be installed in a matter of minutes or hours, allowing contractors to turn jobs around much more quickly.

However, there is a slight learning curve associated with the handling and installation of Belgard Elements, which are shipped to the site in sections on individual pallets to be installed using a forklift. In addition to recommending that contractors work closely with their local reps regarding the planning and installation, Belgard has also developed some best practices tips. Check out the Elements Installation video for more information.

Re-engineered Installation Specs

Recently, Belgard engineers released new installation specs for Belgard Elements, which depend upon local soil conditions. In the past, it was recommended for all Elements units to be installed over a reinforced concrete pad to support the weight of the unit. However, through additional research it was discovered that in most cases, concrete footings are no longer required, which represents a significant cost savings and simplifies the installation. New specifications typically use a compacted base, similar to that of a standard paver installation, but may require a deeper base with additional gravel. Contractors are encouraged to consult their local rep regarding local base specs.

Product Handling Recommendations

Belgard Elements arrive on shipping pallets, wrapped in sturdy breathable cover. Belgard recommends to keep Elements units wrapped and on the pallets as long as possible, which will protect the units from chipping and breaking prior to and during installation. For additional protection during installation and on-site transporting, place a block of wood between the Elements unit and the forklift cage to prevent damage to the unit.

Benefits of Incorporating the Belgard Design Studio

Utilizing the Belgard Design Studio to create a mock-up of the outdoor living design can help to insure that the designer, installer, Elements team, local rep, subcontractors, and homeowner are all on the same page. A Design Studio mock-up will give the homeowner a realistic idea of what their outdoor space will look like and take into consideration issues like furniture placement and traffic flow, eliminating last minute design changes and potentially costly installation errors.

In addition, the biggest challenge to a successful Elements installation is typically the back-end coordination. A mock-up will also help contractors and subs understand where and how to run any needed utilities – such as electricity, water, or gas – and during which phase of the construction each sub will be needed.

Building Out Coordinating Outdoor Living Areas

Belgard Elements are all constructed with Belgard wall and paver products, thus allowing for the creation of seamlessly integrated outdoor living designs. The Bristol and Brighton Elements Collections both utilize Weston Stone® for the primary structure, with accents of Anchor Highland Stone®. Bristol also includes accents of Arbel® pavers. All of these hardscape products can be integrated into surrounding patios, walls, columns, and fire pits to create a cohesive design. The Bordeaux Series uses Lamina® Stone veneer for the primary structure, with accents of Cordova Stone™. The Bordeaux Elements can now also be ordered with Cordova Midnight, which is new for 2016. Lamina can be used to enhance surrounding walls, wrap columns, or build out additional kitchen space. Cordova Stone can also be special ordered for use as step treads, pool coping, additional countertop space, and as a number of other trim accents.

Looking to the Future

The Belgard Elements Collection is continuously evolving and expanding. The newest line, the Bordeaux Series, has been well-received relative to modern trends in both interior and exterior design. Belgard currently has plans to expand this line by adding additional pieces, as well as explore the addition of entirely new collections. To stay abreast of the evolution of the Belgard Elements Collection, subscribe to the Belgard Pro eNewsletter, which offers monthly advice to outdoor living design and installation professionals regarding tips, trends, industry news, upcoming events, and product announcements.