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Outdoor Kitchen “Need to Know”

Outdoor kitchen with BBQ pit, mini fridge, stove top, faucet and more.

There are many perks to adding an outdoor kitchen to your home. Aside from the obvious boost in outdoor entertainment for your family and guests, an outdoor kitchen will increase the value of your home, can save on energy consumption, expanding your living space, and more. If you are planning on expanding your outdoor living area, there are several things you should take into consideration before you get started. 

Budget

The cost of an outdoor kitchen will be dependent upon how extravagant you are looking to go and your current set up. If you already have good backyard patio space, structural additions may be minimal and utilities will be easier to implement. If you want your outdoor kitchen to stand alone rather than share in existing outdoor space such as a patio, your kitchen set up will require a bit more self sufficiency, making it a bit more expensive. Think about your specific needs such as how often you will utilize the outdoor kitchen, weather conditions in your area, storage needs, which appliances you need and which you can do without, etc. On the low end, a basic outdoor kitchen area that utilizes existing outdoor living patio space will be around $5000. On the high end, if you plan on incorporating an assortment of appliances such as an outdoor refrigerator, sink, dining tables, cabinets for storage etc, you can expect to spend an average of $15,000. Some tips to minimize costs are: 

-If you are handy, consider doing some of the installation yourself
-Only run cold water to the sink
-Find salvaged materials
-Focus on getting the right grill (you likely don’t need extra burners or the extras if you get the right grill)
-Utilize an existing patio

If budget is not an issue for you, utilize appliances to take your outdoor kitchen to the next level. A good quality grill, sink, counter space, side burners, and mini fridge are must haves if budget is not a factor. Below are some fun add on appliance suggestions to spruce up your outdoor kitchen even more: 

-Wine refrigerator
-Garbage disposal
-Dishwasher
-Ice Maker
-Outdoor fireplace
-Outdoor TV and entertainment system
-Outdoor Bar

Layout Considerations

Plan out your entire project before getting started. If you are working with an existing living space, be sure you measure out where everything will go prior to purchasing appliances. We recommend you start with the grill as it is typically the bread and butter of any outdoor kitchen. Find a good place with ventilation that makes sense and build everything else around it. Design options can be based off of your particular family needs. For example, if you have small children, you may want to build counter space opposite of your grill to direct traffic away from the grill.  Also, take weather conditions into consideration. If you live in a heavy rainfall area, make sure to have proper covering so cooking outdoors doesn’t get ruined by unwelcomed weather. Don’t forget to consider accomodations for heating and cooling, mosquitoes, etc. 

Lighting

Don’t overlook the importance of lighting in your outdoor kitchen area. When the sun goes down, your chef will need adequate lighting to keep a safe and efficient cooking environment. Make sure the grill and counter space have great lighting as that is where the cooking and meal prep itself will take place. Also make sure the outdoor dining space is adequately lit for a pleasant outdoor dining experience. Lighting options are only limited by your imagination. Our recommendations would be specific to your thoughts on layout and design. If you are stumped, we have custom design experts who specialize in lighting that would be happy to guide you in the right direction. 

These are a few of the many things to guide you through the process of planning your outdoor kitchen addition. Come and check out our outdoor showroom for all your outdoor kitchen appliances and lighting needs.  

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