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5 Questions to Consider Before Installing an Outdoor Kitchen

Sep 13, 2016 | by Erin Onushco

In more recent years, outdoor cooking has become more popular than ever. An outdoor kitchen area gives homeowners the freedom to entertain and simply enjoy the outdoors while dining. Even more, MSN real estate experts suggest that an outdoor kitchen can result in a 100-200% ROI upon sale of the home. But before you jump right into this project, consider these five questions.

Can I Afford an Outdoor Kitchen?

According to, the average cost for an outdoor kitchen is roughly $13,000. However, it's really all about the features you choose to add to your kitchen that will affect the price. A basic grill setup will generally cost you around $5,000, while a higher-end kitchen with a variety of appliances is likely to cost up to $25,000.

So, it is important to budget yourself and find a balance between what you need, and what you want. Before you get discouraged by costs, know that there are a variety of solutions to create a stylish and functional outdoor kitchen. For example, you can purchase a pre-made grill island or bar-style structure as an alternative to installing expensive countertops or islands.

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Will I Get Good Use Out of it?

If you enjoy eating and grilling outside, an outdoor kitchen may be worth the investment. If its a once-in-awhile type of deal however, save your money for another home renovation.

One of the biggest factors that dictates how much use you will get out of your outdoor kitchen is the climate that you live in. To put it in perspective, it would make more sense for someone living in the south-west to invest in an outdoor renovation as opposed to a homeowner living in colder climates such as Maine or Vermont.

What Features Will I Absolutely Need?

This factor goes hand in hand with budgeting yourself. Selecting the right materials and appliances is clearly the most important part of planning your outdoor kitchen. It is suggested that you include water supply, a direct gas line, and a refrigerator. In addition to appliances, choose weather- resistant materials. It may be in your best interest to invest in more quality materials upfront, than having to repair and replace materials in the long run.


Where is the Best Location For my Outdoor Kitchen?

Most homeowners choose to install their kitchen on their patio, close to the home. Having a kitchen so close to the house provides shelter from wind and sun . In addition, running utility lines outside is generally cheaper the closer it is to the home. However, installing a kitchen close to your house may limit you in space.

If you’re planning a larger, more equipped kitchen, consider building it further away from the home. This gives you more space to work with, and your kitchen wont be as cluttered. Either way, getting professional advice is a good idea. They can pass along knowledge about municipality codes, layout options, and safety.

How Much Maintenance Will the Kitchen Require?

If installed correctly, the installation process should be fairly simple-- this is also another reason why you should consider hiring a professional. Post-installation maintenance is a different story. Keeping the area and appliances clean can be a nuisance, especially during inclement weather.

Storing food outside in your kitchen may also attract animals and other pests. In addition, you will need to protect surfaces and appliances during inclement weather, and drain supply lines during cold months.

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