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Build an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor KitchenWe sometimes find that people are surprised at the cost of installing an open air kitchen. The fact is that it is a substantial investment — for good reason. If you look at an outside kitchen, you will realize that installing one is every bit as much of an investment as replacing your indoor kitchen — sometimes more, if you are including a roof or other structural elements.

Adding an outside kitchen is really adding an addition to your home. Expect to budget at least $10,000 for a good basic kitchen for your outdoors. Of course, if you have the budget and the imagination, the sky’s the limit from there.

Much depends upon your taste and your expectations; for example a high-end grill unit can cost $10-15,000 by itself. However, if you love spending a lot of time outside and it enhances your lifestyle, it’s worth the expense!

An outdoor kitchen can become the centerpiece of your warm weather entertaining. When designing an outdoor kitchen the sky is the limit in terms of design, but that doesn’t mean that’s true in terms of your budget! Here are a few things to consider that will affect the price you pay to install an outdoor kitchen.

Kitchen Installation

Depending what you have installed, you may need to consider adding additional electric, gas and water lines to serve your new outdoor kitchen. This will add considerably to the cot of the installation, but will be well worth it in the end.

It’s all about the grill

The centerpiece of most outdoor kitchens is the grill! Here is the place where you should focus your energy, since once you have chosen the perfect grill, all the other components will be based around its design and placement. A high end gas grill may be the most expensive way to go, but will likely offer the most flexibility in how you want to use your outdoor kitchen. Some homeowners prefer the traditional coal grill for the smoky flavor it gives foods and for the money saving costs. Others like the ambiance of an open flame or fire pit, although that will be limiting in terms of its cooking abilities.

How about a sink?

Some people want a sink as part of their outdoor kitchen and some do not. This is a question of personal taste, but if you think you may be working with raw meat before they go on to the grill, a small sink is a great thing to have for the sake of cleanliness and convenience.

Other Components

As with any kitchen, indoor or out, the components you choose to add will affect the price for better or worse. Do you want countertops in your outdoor kitchen? Keep in mind even if the area is covered, this kitchen will get more exposure to heat, sun, moisture, and cold. Outdoor tiles or stainless steel may be more expensive, but they will stand the test of time in an outdoor kitchen better than less sturdy materials.

Do you need extra storage outdoors? If so, you may want to install cabinets or other shelving. Once again, keep in mind the outdoor elements and choose durable materials like stainless steel or woods that hold up against moisture.
If you choose to have a refrigerator in your outdoor kitchen, most people opt for a small under the counter version. Since an outdoor kitchen is as much about ambiance as it is about function, a larger refrigerator can be an eyesore. A small stainless steel fridge for drinks, or food waiting to be grilled is usually the perfect companion piece.