What should you know about designing an outdoor kitchen? There are several elements to consider when planning an outdoor kitchen, including perhaps the most obvious concern: the cost of construction. Going the DIY route is possible, but not practical for most individuals. So, what can you do? We’ll go through everything you need to consider, to help you make an informed choice.
Is a Kitchen Even in the Cards?
First of all, is an outdoor kitchen even the right fit for your home? Is it even feasible for you to cook outside, enjoy the patio, and socialize with family and friends every weekend? Or once a month? An outdoor kitchen is a super-fun concept, but is it practical? Here are a few key questions you should ponder before pulling the trigger on your potential outdoor kitchen.
Is Your Climate Appropriate?
The greatest locations for outdoor kitchens are warm and dry climates, since they get the most use out of them. Frequently damp and rainy environments are not ideal, though this can be worked around (at extra cost) with pergolas, awnings, shade sails, and other kitchen coverings. And in arid zones, where it may just be a little too hot, good luck convincing your friends to spend a lot of
time outside away from the A/C!
Will You Use It?
It might seem like a waste of money if you can only use it for three to four months each year. And a lot of people think they’ll use it more than they really will! So be honest with yourself and make sure the patio kitchen is something you really want.
Do You Have the Means to Cover Your Kitchen’s Upkeep?
If you enjoy cooking outside but aren’t sure if you can afford or maintain an outdoor kitchen, a nice smoker or grill is probably a better investment. Outdoor kitchens may require more maintenance and work than their indoor counterparts. Still ready to start building the outdoor kitchen of your dreams? Then read on, there’s more to consider!
Where Are You Going to Put Your Outdoor Kitchen?
Obviously, your outdoor kitchen will be located outside. The big question is whether you want your outdoor kitchen to be close to your home or not. This is more significant than you may believe.
Having your outdoor kitchen in close proximity to your home will make life a lot simpler and potentially save you money later on in the construction process. If you’re closer to home, you’ll be able to access things like running water and electricity more easily. Also, if something is forgotten, you’ll only have a few steps to your actual kitchen. This type of outdoor kitchen is called a “perimeter kitchen.”
An outdoor kitchen outside your home will be more expensive and need more planning. You’ll have to run gas, water, and electricity out to your outdoor kitchen, which will be costly and might necessitate some major building work. It’s a good idea to verify with your local municipality to ensure that any modifications you’re going to make are permissible per city or regional code. The upside of all this extra work is that your kitchen will feel like its own little oasis, a safe haven away from home. This type of kitchen is called a “satellite kitchen.”
Entertainment and Seating
An outdoor kitchen design wouldn’t be complete without the proper seating and dining arrangements.
Patio furniture comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. The right patio furniture will establish the tone for your outdoor kitchen’s entire aesthetic. Are you striving for a chill, laid-back atmosphere? With plenty of space to lounge and exceptional comfort, wicker sectionals and chaise lounges would suit well with any style of outdoor kitchen. There are some fantastic cast aluminum dining sets available that would complement a modern outdoor kitchen design perfectly. Teak outdoor dining sets have a rustic feel that can’t be beat, but honestly natural wood is right at home in pretty much any outdoor kitchen design.
A heat lamp or a fire feature on the patio is another great upgrade to consider. It’s easy to become chilly at night, even when it’s as warm as it gets during your summer days. Installing a propane patio heater or heat lamp is a quick and simple method to ensure that your visitors are comfy and content all night. If propane isn’t your thing, consider a gel-based fire pit or fire table for that ideal atmosphere without the hassles that come with propane.
Outdoor Kitchen Countertops
Carefully choosing a material for your outdoor kitchen countertop is essential!
There are a number of choices to select from, but granite is the ideal outdoor kitchen countertop material. Granite has several disadvantages, such as weight, cost, and installation, but the benefits greatly outweigh them. To begin with, granite comes in a variety of hues that are all completely natural. It will be much easier to choose the right aesthetic for your outdoor kitchen design because of this. Granite is also heat-resistant, long-lasting, and simple to maintain. Although granite is more expensive than other alternatives (it’s in the $50 to $100 per square foot range), you’ll be glad you made the investment because it will last for many years.
After granite, another decent option is concrete. Concrete is less expensive initially, but you’ll often pay almost as much as granite because of the extra installation expenses. Concrete is more prone to cracking if installed incorrectly and usually requires a professional. Even when concrete countertops are installed correctly, cracking can still happen, which may lead to further repair costs down the road. Concrete is a softer material than granite, therefore it is more prone to chipping and staining. It’s not a terrible countertop material, it looks great and can be cheaper if all goes well, but it does need more ongoing care than granite. Pricing for concrete countertops is almost always below $100 per square foot, and can sometimes be had for less than $25 per square foot.
Outdoor Kitchen Power, Gas, and Water
When it comes to your utilities, you’ll benefit from hiring a specialist who knows how to install an outdoor kitchen. An electrician will know exactly how to install outlets, light fixtures, and other components while ensuring that everything is in compliance with the requirements. Installing a natural gas line and plumbing is also something you’ll want to hire a professional to do.
Utility lines and connections will be much, much more expensive if you are building a “satellite” outdoor kitchen.
Get cost estimates from local contractors. Hiring a professional to install your outdoor kitchen will likely be anything from $200 to $1,000 for the gas lines. For electricity, expect costs ranging from $125 to over $1,000. Plumbing will cost anywhere from $350 to over $1,800. In total, you’ll be paying around $700 at a minimum for these utilities, and possibly thousands of dollars. None of these projects are cheap; however, skilled labor will provide the best outcomes.
Choosing the proper grill for your outdoor kitchen is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make. Although grills are pricey, investing in a high-quality piece of equipment is well worth it. Gas grills will be the majority of those you’re looking at. This will need access to gas.
When it comes to grills, you have two major choices: a built-in option and a drop-in option. Either way, the size range of your grills is going to be anywhere from 24 to 48 inches wide and 15 to 26 inches deep. The dimensions you’re looking for depend on your needs, determined by how much cooking you’ll be doing. Wider grills obviously allow for more grilling at a time, while smaller grills are cheaper and are perfect for smaller gatherings. Like grill dimensions, the price range is pretty wide, so it’s important to know what you’ll be receiving at each price point. The typical range is between $200 and $4,000.
The $200 grill will be a typical portable barbecue with a propane tank installed below the bottom. This is an easy, inexpensive choice that has some versatility. In general, this will be a smaller grill with less power than a higher-end grill. When you move from a $500 grill to a $1,000 one, for example, you may expect more features, more power, and higher quality materials. Rather than a portable barbecue, you’ll get a built-in with a direct gas line to the grill. A high-end built-in grill will be a more attractive and more luxurious alternative for your outdoor kitchen, with the obvious advantages of quality and performance. Again, your mileage may vary, so take your assumed usage into account!
If you’re searching for the greatest bargain, wait to buy until after the summer season. Buying before or after the summer season will save you the most money. The end of summer is when previous models will go on sale to make way for new goods.
The next component in the outdoor appliance puzzle is the sink. Because there’s only one option that surpasses the rest, deciding on an outdoor sink is a simple choice to make: stainless steel is the way to go. Stainless steel outdoor sinks are extremely low-maintenance – they won’t rust or fade in the sun, and are easy to clean.
An outdoor sink isn’t nearly as expensive as a grill. On average, you should expect to pay between $100 and $250 for an outdoor sink. Don’t bother installing a hot water line when building out your outdoor sink; Cold water can be used for almost everything that can be done at an outdoor sink, and you’ll save a truckload going with just the cold water line. If you really need hot water, you can likely just get it from your indoor kitchen (refer back to “perimeter kitchens” vs. “satellite kitchens” to make your choice).
Your Outdoor Refrigerator
The refrigerator is another important component of your outdoor kitchen design. We propose choosing a stainless steel model that is suited for outside use, much like the sink. You don’t need anything too large in there; all you’ll be using it for is keeping things cold. Storing beverages isn’t out of the question; however, if you’re planning on a smaller fridge, you can always just throw drinks in a cooler filled with ice.
Most outdoor kitchen designs install the refrigerator under the kitchen countertop. The price of a refrigerator will vary depending on what you’re searching for, so it’s important to establish a budget before shopping. The cost of outdoor refrigerators is typically between $500 and $2000.
All Told, How Much Does it Cost to Build an Outdoor Kitchen?
How much does it cost to create an outdoor kitchen? According To our study, the average price is between $4,000 and $20,000. The price may easily exceed $50,000 based on the type of outdoor kitchen, materials used, gas, power, and water connections, as well as patio furniture options. To obtain current pricing in your region, we recommend utilizing a web service like HomeAdvisor. This tool is a total MVP for big, contractor-heavy projects like this!
Overall, building an outdoor kitchen can be a great way to entertain guests and add value to your home. However, it is important to consider the costs of materials, labor, and utilities before embarking on such a project. With careful planning, you can create an outdoor kitchen that fits both your budget and your aesthetic needs.