An outdoor kitchen is one of the most popular remodeling projects that homeowners are incorporating into their homes. While cooking outdoors is not a new concept, an outdoor kitchen takes it to the next level. Equipped with cooking appliances, stunning weatherproof countertops, seating, refrigeration, and storage, this home improvement project elevates both your culinary and entertaining experience, while sophisticatedly enhancing your backyard.
While planning an outdoor kitchen is exciting, it can also be overwhelming and a bit intimidating. There are so many different outdoor kitchen ideas and components to consider, all while making sure the entire project fits into your budget and available backyard space. Although you may not be able to get every item on your wish list, you don’t want to overlook something important only to wish that you thought of it while planning. Luckily, there is no wrong or right way to plan an outdoor kitchen. However, there are certain considerations that you want to make during the course of planning. Here is a checklist to help guide you as you create the blueprint for the perfect outdoor living space for your needs.
Of all the different parts of your kitchen, seating is one of the most important ones to consider. After all, once your remodeling contractor has completed your outdoor kitchen, you’ll be eager to send out your first evite for a backyard party; and your guests will need somewhere to sit. No matter how awesome your grill is, not everyone is going to want to stand around it while you cook. Instead, make space in your plan for outdoor living furniture or ask your remodeling company about including a built-in bar with bar seating.
Especially in Texas where the weather is not exactly predictable, you need to be prepared for every environmental situation – rain or shine, hot or cold. In order to enjoy your outdoor kitchen no matter what Mother Nature throws at you, include a shady area somewhere in the design. A patio cover or gazebo is a stylish way to keep your kitchen and guests sheltered from harsh sunlight and rain.
Like all home remodeling projects, building an outdoor kitchen is an investment. After all of the time and money that you spend planning the design and layout, you want to be able to use it beyond just a few months in the year. A heat source, such as permanent or portable space heaters, allows you to extend the season for enjoying your outdoor kitchen into even the cooler months. Depending on the style of your backyard, a built in fire pit or outdoor fireplace are also great options that add character while keeping you and your guests warm and cozy.
Tip: While shopping for outdoor living furniture, look for an ottoman or seating with built-in storage. Throw in a few blankets to have handy when you’re entertaining in the fall and winter months.
What are you going to cook in your outdoor kitchen? Your answer to this question can help you prioritize the kitchen appliances that you’d like to include in your design. For example, if you don’t plan on preparing gourmet meals for large groups, you probably don’t need state-of-the-art equipment built in. That being said, don’t to limit yourself to just a grill either. Pizza ovens, refrigerators, and Kamado style cookers are all wonderful options that allow you to prepare a wide variety of foods. If you don’t plan on preparing food at all, leave out the big appliances and spend your budget on built-in refrigeration, an ice maker, counter space, and bar seating where you can prepare and serve cold drinks and finger foods.
If you plan on using smaller countertop appliances, such as a blender, juicer, toaster, or convection oven, be sure to inform your home renovation contractor so they know to include enough electrical outlets that are easily accessible.
NARI of Greater Dallas (The National Association of the Remodeling Industry) connects homeowners with its professional members and provides tips and tricks so that the consumer has a positive remodeling experience. NARI of Greater Dallas is an organization of high-quality remodeling professionals. Its members are committed to integrity, high standards, professional education, ethics and market recognition.