One way to set your backyard apart from the rest of the neighborhood is to add an outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens are becoming increasingly popular as more and more people recognize the convenience and socialization opportunities that these spaces provide. By installing electric grills, food preparation areas, and some basic appliances outside, you can transform your yard into the perfect venue for everything from low-key cookouts to a full-blown dinner party. Before designing and building your outdoor kitchen, however, there are several important factors to take into consideration.
Outdoor kitchens can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire. From built-in grills to granite countertops, sinks, refrigerators, and even dishwashers, there is a wide range of appliances and amenities designed to withstand the elements and make outdoor entertaining as easy as possible. When deciding what to invest in, try to make an honest assessment about how likely you are to use the item so you don’t waste money on an expensive appliance that just looks good.
Protecting your outdoor kitchen from the elements should be a top priority. Some people elect to build a roof over the kitchen to limit exposure to rain, snow, or direct sunlight, while others just cover the area with a large tarp while not in use. If you live in an area that is subject to extreme heat or cold, make sure the building materials you choose can withstand the temperature variations. For example, stainless steel grills and tile countertops are both durable enough for outdoor use in any climate.
There are generally two schools of thought as far as location goes. Some folks like to have their outdoor kitchen close to the house because this makes it easier to transport food, supplies and dishes. Others prefer to have it live further away to prevent cooking odors and smoke. Although electric grills don’t generate nearly as much smoke as charcoal or gas barbecues, there are still some emissions to consider.
As with any home improvement project, you must weigh the cost of the job against the potential benefits. Designing and building an outdoor kitchen can be an expensive proposition even if you diligently price compare for your grills, appliances, and materials. The value you would receive in terms of enjoyment and property appreciation could go a long way towards offsetting the initial investment.
Designing and constructing an outdoor kitchen involves evaluating your wants, needs, and limitations to craft the design of your dreams.