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5 Questions to Consider Before Installing an Outdoor Kitchen

Aug 5, 2019 | by Erin Onushco

Outdoor cooking is popular—and why not, who wants to miss out on all the fun when hosting a party. An outdoor kitchen space gives homeowners the freedom to entertain and enjoy the outdoors all while preparing and dining within the same vicinity. Even more, MSN real estate experts suggest that an outdoor kitchen could result in a 100-200% ROI upon sale of the home.

outdoor kitchen

Be the King of The Outdoor Kitchen

You may already be the grill master, the designated person to man the meats (and vegetables!) during the summer days. But are you the master of your outdoor domain? An outdoor kitchen takes it to the next level, but before you jump right into this project, consider these five questions to help you work through the decision.

outdoor kitchen design

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1. Will I get good use out of it?

The first question you should ask yourself is, do you enjoy cooking outside? We all love a good summer party—Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day anyone! But even when not playing the host with the most, a simple grilled dinner under the stars is enticing too. If you enjoy eating and grilling outside, an outdoor kitchen may be worth the investment. If you only do it once-in-awhile, save your money for another inside the home renovation instead.

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. You may get use out of it, but not nearly as much as in a warmer climate.

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2. What features will I absolutely need?

This factor goes hand in hand with budgeting yourself. Selecting the right materials and appliances is just as important because you want to include the right tools for the job. Are you thinking of just a grill space for all your BBQs, what about a brick pizza oven? Maybe you want room for a smoker to smoke up some tasty meats. These all things to consider in your decision-making process.

Just like with the inside kitchen, there are a few items that will always be needed. It’s suggested that you include a water supply, direct gas line, and refrigerator as part of the design. In addition to appliances, choose weather-resistant materials. It may be in your best interest to invest in more quality materials upfront. Otherwise they’ll break and you’ll have to repair and replace items in the long run.

outdoor kitchen furniture

3. Where is the best location and, do I have enough space for my outdoor kitchen?

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

If you’re planning a larger, well equipped kitchen, consider building it further away and giving yourself more room to maneuver. This gives you more space to work with, you’ll have room for counter and prep space, and all the appliances you want to include. Either way, getting professional advice is a good idea. They can pass along knowledge about municipality codes, layout options, and safety.

Outdoor kitchen

4. How much maintenance will the kitchen require?

If installed correctly, the installation process should be simple—this is also another reason why you should consider hiring professional kitchen specialists. Post-installation maintenance is a different story. Keeping the area and appliances clean can be a nuisance, especially during inclement weather. You’ll need to protect surfaces and appliances during the colder months and rainier days. This involves draining supply lines during cold months to prevent cracking and breaking of pipes.

You’ll also want to think about the effects of storing food outside. Standing food may attract animals and other pests. If you’ve dropped food or leave a mess on the floor, you’ll have to think about cleaning that in order to prevent pesky intruders. That’s why the type of flooring will be another consideration. The materials you select will determine how easily it is to maintain your space.

outdoor kitchen design

5. Can I afford an outdoor kitchen?

Now that you’ve given thought to the rundown of questions, you can finally understand the cost involved. How much an outdoor kitchen will cost may vary greatly depending on the size and scope of what’s included. Remember, this is an addition to your home that, if done right, will boost the resale value should you decide to put it on the market.

Keep in mind that a basic grill setup will generally cost you around $5,000, while a higher-end kitchen with a variety of appliances could cost up to $25,000—again specific to what you’re including in your space. Check out some of these outdoor kitchen designs for ideas.

It’s 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.

outdoor kitchen space

If, after all this planning and deliberating, you decide that you want to update the kitchen inside your home instead, you’re still making a great investment in the overall value. Reach out to the design consultants at Kitchen Magic to discuss how to upgrade your kitchen today.

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Topics: Kitchen Installation Kitchen Design and Style