Outdoor kitchens are gaining acclaim across the country. They’re giving families entirely new ways to enjoy not only their homes but their outdoor spaces. Design experts are also expanding outdoor living areas well beyond the traditional grill and dining set. On top of all that, those spaces encourage people to get out of their houses and enjoy the great outdoors. Plenty of health benefits can come from getting more fresh air and sunshine. Outdoor kitchens are even bringing families and friends together. When you factor in the value they can bring to properties, there’s really no end to the potential advantages of having an outdoor kitchen installed.
Considering Your Options for an Outdoor Kitchen
If you’re thinking of ramping up your outdoor living space or creating the ultimate entertainment area outside your home, an outdoor kitchen could certainly be the solution you’re looking for. They’re completely customizable, so you can design your kitchen any way you’d like. You can add a range of appliances to the mix to make it even more functional and versatile than the kitchen in your home. It can also be part of an even more inclusive entertainment space that offers lounging areas, a hot tub, a fire pit, and a television and sound system. Before jumping into the design and construction process, though, you’ll need to learn more about outdoor kitchens.
Looking at the Possibilities
Outdoor kitchens come in many varieties. Customization options and included features alone make for countless combinations and possibilities. To make matters even more complex, there are different methods for building outdoor kitchens.
One of the most common is the do-it-yourself approach. This is certainly an acceptable option, especially if you’re particularly creative and handy around the house. It’s generally the least-expensive approach as well. Keep in mind, though, things don’t always go according to your plans. Any number of things could go wrong along the way. When they do, they’ll complicate the project and could drive up its cost. Having said that, everything could go right, and you could ultimately end up with a finished project that’s well worth bragging about.
Another solution is having a contractor come in and complete the process. If you’re considering an incredibly intricate setup, this might be the way to go. After all, extensive outdoor kitchens and entertainment areas require gas, electrical, and plumbing hookups. Should any one of those aspects go awry during the installation process, you could end up with a disaster on your hands.
Some outdoor kitchens require highly involved fabrication and finishing work as well. At the same time, having an expansive outdoor kitchen built could require certain building permits, inspections, and other factors. Some come into play before the construction process begins whereas others have to be completed afterward before you can start enjoying your new installation.
Finding a Middle Ground
If you choose to build your outdoor kitchen on your own from the ground up, it’s important to understand all the steps and components involved. For one, you’ll need to determine how much space you have to work with and choose the right layout for the kitchen. Then, you’ll need to create a solid, durable, flat platform for the kitchen. Nothing lasts for long if it doesn’t have the right foundation to keep it on track. From there, you’ll need to choose the right materials for the cabinetry, countertops, shelter, and other features. You’ll also need to pick out the right outdoor appliances and build the cabinetry and countertops around them.
As mentioned, connecting all the fixtures and appliances to your plumbing and electrical system and gas supply can be quite tricky. Having a contractor on hand can help minimize the guesswork and risks. Contractors have ample knowledge about determining what will work in a given amount of space and helping clients choose the right setups. They also have connections to material suppliers, so they often have access to discounts that aren’t available to the general public. Hiring a contractor might cost more in the long run, but you might get better materials for your money.
Then, you have yet another option: prefabricated outdoor kitchens. Some standard prefabricated kitchens come ready-built. All you have to do is have them delivered to your property, placed in the right spot, and they’re ready to use. Still, they’re often damaged during transport. Many are made out of sub-par materials as well. In some cases, it’s still necessary to call in a contractor to finish them once you have them delivered.
You could also choose a prefabricated kitchen kit. These are fabricated in a shop based on your specifications. Then, they’re delivered to your home ready to be set up. They’re often made of higher-quality materials and with greater attention to detail than those that come completely prebuilt. They’re also designed to be simple to set up once they reach you. Depending on the complexity of your kit, you could have it up and running within a couple of hours. These are just as customizable as the other available options, and they’re generally easier and less expensive. You can even purchase an array of accessories, add-ons, and other features to help take your outdoor living space to new heights.
Outdoor kitchens offer endless benefits and possibilities. If you want a small, simple arrangement for your family to enjoy on the weekends, you’ll find an array of options in that category. On the other hand, you may want to entertain friends regularly. More sophisticated kitchens are available to meet those expectations. Of course, if you want to go all out with an expansive outdoor kitchen and living space that’s sure to make the neighbors turn ten shades of green, that’s certainly an option as well.
Taking the do-it-yourself approach to building an outdoor kitchen is usually less expensive but more complicated, and there’s always a chance something major will go wrong. Hiring a contractor is simpler and safer, but it’s also much more expensive. Prefabricated outdoor kitchen kits offer a middle ground. You’ll have professional design assistance and experienced builders on your side to create the kit. From there, you simply put it together yourself like a giant, extremely useful jigsaw puzzle and slide the appliances and other features into place.