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29 Jul

How to plan the outdoor kitchen of your dreams

Love cooking? Love the great outdoors? Tired of your rusted, old grill, broken patio furniture or hauling food back and forth from the house?

If you are ready to create an outdoor space for entertaining and relaxing that goes beyond a traditional propane grill and picnic table, an outdoor kitchen may be the answer.

When it comes to designing an outdoor kitchen, it’s all about the details. You can design and build an outdoor kitchen on just about any budget, but planning is key.

Keep in mind that an outdoor kitchen is an investment not only in fun, but in the value of your property. The right outdoor kitchen design can substantially improve the home’s equity.

Here are a few points to consider when designing the perfect outdoor kitchen to help you get the most from your outdoor cooking experience; know what you can do yourself; and when it is time to seek professional help.

Set a budget

If you don’t plan, your outdoor kitchen can get out of hand. That’s why we recommend working with a professional contractor from the get-go. They can help project costs so you don’t get in over your head.

There are numerous costs you might not have expected like a professional design and obtaining necessary permits. Then, additional costs for plumbing, electrical and gas lines need to be calculated.

Working with a contractor can help set realistic expectations to meet your budget, while maximizing the potential for your outdoor kitchen design.

Selecting proper appliances

Obviously your outdoor kitchen needs a grill — that’s the heart and soul of any outdoor cooking experience. But a grill is really just the beginning. You might consider a grill island complete with granite countertops for convenient cooking. Maybe you want to install a smoker for that classic smoky flavor. Are you a pizza fan? Nothing says backyard party like an outdoor pizza oven.

You might also consider an outdoor refrigerator to limit trips inside the house. Outdoor fridges are designed to be sturdier with greater insulation than indoor models. If you are reaching the high end of your budget, you could get away with a cooler, perhaps on wheels or built into the cooking station.

Finally, a sink can be a big help for food preparation and clean-up. Quick access to hot and cold water provides a variety of benefits during meal preparation and entertaining guests.

Planning for your environment

Nature is beautiful — sometimes. Any outdoor kitchen needs to be designed to handle the weather conditions specific to where you live. Appliances, fixtures and furniture need to be weatherproof and waterproof. Furniture needs to be designed for the outdoors. Grills and other appliances require protection.

Depending on the local climate, shade to stay out of excessive heat or propane heaters for added warmth will help extend the months of the year that your outdoor kitchen can be used.

Benefits from working with a professional contractor on your outdoor kitchen?

As noted already, working with a professional contractor can help control costs and avoid surprises, but that same contractor will reduce hassle and limit inherent dangers associated with inexperienced construction workers.

Gas, water and possibly electrical lines may be needed and each can present dangers both during installation and down the road. A professional contractor can help avoid costly mistakes that may require future repairs, and avoid wasting your money.

Plumbers 911 has access to a network of professional contractors ready to tackle your project. They can work within your budget and help you get the most value for your money. All our contractors are bonded, insured and certified.

Avoid costly or dangerous mistakes and work with professional contractors so the outdoor kitchen of your dreams doesn’t turn into a nightmare.