The kitchen is the heart of every home. It is the most dynamic area where we prepare food, eat and socialize. Access to food, beverage, and appliances is why we spend so much time circling in and around the kitchen. However, when the weather is nice and warm sunny days lure us out in the backyard, an outdoor kitchen is exactly what is missing, since going back and forth with hands full of pots, ingredients, drinks, and cutlery can be quite exhausting. Every backyard that is big enough to accommodate outdoors-loving family should have an outdoor kitchen. This type of addition to home requires some planning, certain budget, and a few useful tips that can help you avoid common mistakes and needless expenses.
Create a budget
Determine how much you are willing to spend and keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be a high-end project as long as it is well-designed and functional. Anything can cost incredibly lot if you wish to, but few thousands of dollars will be a fine budget for a simple and practical outdoor kitchen. Make a list of all the things and required works, add costs and if you exceed the budget remove unnecessary details or opt for more affordable choices.
Plan entire project
Outlining outdoor kitchen involves setting the exact spot for building as well as establishing the building stages. Before establishing a building spot, make sure to take weather conditions into account as well as winds and the amount of sun and shade. Also, determine are you going to install water and electric lines or you will locate outdoor kitchen on the external house wall. Phasing the work can be very handy since you can add different features and even change original plan as budget allows. Phase one is building the hardscapes. Stage two includes installing cooking area, while stage three involves installing the serving station.
Custom-made or prefab?
Depending on the budget, size and time you can opt for simple prefabricated kitchen islands, modular kitchens or custom-made built-in kitchens. The latter is the most advanced and most expensive option, usually built by landscape companies to match that area with the rest of the garden design. However, if the budget doesn’t allow that kind of a splurge, prefab kitchen islands are the best buy since they are efficient and money saving option. Modular kitchens include pre-built cabinets that are easy to combine and match with other modules, similar to indoor kitchens. The only difference is in the materials that are capable of withstanding harsh weather.
Have a shed? Have a kitchen instead
Converting a shed into a cooking area doesn’t have to be complicated at all since some small upgrades are all it takes. Although it is ideal for every kitchen to have electricity and water, consider cutting down the costs and install a wood oven or grill to prepare the food. As for the running water, be prepared for some hard work since you’ll probably have to run a pipe from the house. Outdoor kitchen needs to be open, so either install big windows or create a four-post design with a roof and no walls. No matter how passionate DIY-er you are, consult professional remedial builders for renovation solutions and let them do the work for you.
Don’t save money on important things
Regardless of the budget limits, keep in mind that opting for first-class appliances and materials is the best investment. For instance, do not hesitate to buy a high-quality grill, preferably made of stainless steel because it will last longer and it will save you from replacing it every two years. Same goes for countertops, sinks and other components that should be durable and able to withstand elements. Spending a bit more, in the beginning, will turn to be cost-effective in the long run.
There is a variety of garden furniture out there, but the best option for dining sets are tables and chairs made of wrought iron or aluminum. Wrought iron furniture requires good undercoat and surface coating to make it durable, as for aluminum furniture, opt for some heavyweight pieces. Choose water-resistant seat cushions and look for outdoor furniture with at least 10-years long warranty. Also, consider covering the kitchen area, but since roofs and awnings can turn out to be a huge expense, look for the cantilevered umbrellas to cover the countertops and seating area.
Building an outdoor kitchen is a good investment since this type of addition will significantly raise the value of your property. Aside from this obvious return on investment, an outdoor kitchen will make your home more comfortable and welcoming. Not only you will be spending more time outdoors, but it will bring your family and friends closer.