10 Things to Consider When Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

Budget items to keep in mind:

  • Material Quality: Higher quality finishes and materials may cost more, but they also tend to last longer.
  • Utilities: More than likely, utilities such as electricity, gas and running water will need to be added to the area. Planning for this extra expense is important as it will include additional trades, materials and may be subject to local permitting/inspections.
  • Technology: If internet or cable will be in demand in the new space, be sure to include additional WiFi and network installation line items.

2. Location, Location, Location

Designing an Outdoor Kitchen with Location in Mind

Consider the climate and environment where the home is located. Both will have a significant impact on the design, materials and the length of open-season for the kitchen outdoors. Each climate has its own unique challenges and solutions including:

Weather fluctuations:

  • Every climate experiences temperature changes, some may have drastic changes throughout the year. Areas with this potential should avoid tile and natural stone countertops and building materials as they risk cracking. Weather extremes may also wreak havoc on your outdoor kitchen cabinets depending on the materials used. This includes PVC and other non-stainless steel materials as they tend to warp and bend in extreme temperatures.
  • Adding outdoor heaters, fans, pergolas or a roof to the plan will extend the usable amount of space usage. These additions extend the usable amount time for the outdoor space.
  • Creating a transitional exterior room, also known as a Florida or California room, will provide shade and shelter from less desirable weather while still allowing access to an outdoor kitchen/grilling area.

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