This outdoor entertainment hub was designed and built by two football fanatics, Bill and Amy Aldridge, who love to cook outdoors while watching pro and college games. Originally, they had a small patio off their deck, but wanted a larger, covered room. (Photos by Renee Sauer).
Acting as weekend warriors, from March to September of 2020, Bill and Amy did the vast majority of the prep work themselves, along with Bill’s team from Rainstorm Solutions. Fortino Martinez of Grampa Masonry installed the stonework and tile.
The Aldridge’s worked with Emily and selected the Fossil Snow Porcelain tiles for the flooring. This good looking, low maintenance product offers an anti-slip surface that is resistant to fading, excessive humidity and stains.
For the fireplace and kitchen, they chose Echo Ridge Southern Ledgestone topped with Pacific Bluestone caps — which echo the stone they used on their front entrance.
A treasured, 75-year-old butcher block table, gifted by Bill’s Mom, anchors the kitchen. Originally from the meat department of a small, family-owned grocery store in Durham, it is a versatile feature that now serves as a prep area, buffet or dining space.
The charcoal and wood grill station is flanked by a two-burner gas cook top and prep sink with plenty of room for the big caldron used for chili or stew.
Opposite the grill stands another cabinet that houses a bar with an ice box to supply beverages for any occasion.
During football season, when not heading to Chapel Hill, the Aldridge’s start a fire on Friday night and keep it going until Sunday. Saturday breakfast is cooked outside as they start the marathon of games played throughout the weekend.
The haint blue ceiling keeps wasps from building nests and reflects the family’s love of the Tarheels. A drop-down panel on the right side of the ceiling hides a dartboard which has become a well-loved feature, used often by all members of the competitive Aldridge family.
Amy, a realtor with Remax Executive, regularly shows the yard to clients and associates so they can imagine and plan their own outdoor space. She shares with them how the pavilion got its name.
We were trying to come up with a plaque to christen the structure. While working in the front yard, a neighbor boy asked:
How do you like your space in the back?
I told him how much we love it.
Well, my Dad said, “It’s a Bit Much’”
… and the name was born.
Stay tuned, the Aldridge’s plan on adding a swimming pool in the Spring.