Building an Outdoor Kitchen: What You Need to Know

by | Jan 30, 2020 | Additions, New Construction

Living the Florida life means plenty of sunshine and outdoor activities. From hosting pool parties to backyard cookouts, there isn’t anything quite like enjoying time with friends and family around the grill.

However, so much time can be spent away from those loved ones if you are constantly in and out of the house shuffling drinks and preparing side dishes. If you love to host and entertain, an outdoor kitchen is a worthy investment that will provide timeless memories and fun.

Determine the scale of your project

Depending on your purpose and budget, you may have to consider a lower scale outdoor kitchen addition. If you are the type of person who barbecues, but you do not see yourself throwing a full-on outdoor dinner party, you can probably do with just a grill, a counter for prep with storage underneath, and a small beverage fridge.

If you plan on hosting many parties that will feature a variety of cuisines that involve more than just flipping a burger on a grill, a full-scale outdoor kitchen will satisfy all your needs. This includes a cook-top and stove, sink, and cabinetry in addition to your counter top, fridge and grill.

For those who really love to entertain, special amenities can be considered such as a pizza oven, wine fridge, warming drawer, TV, and a bar ledge with beer on tap.

You will also have to consider adding a shelter over your outdoor kitchen if it is not being built underneath an existing patio cover.

Codes and regulations

You will need to check with your local permitting department about adding additional electrical and gas lines to your outdoor space. If you are including your outdoor kitchen in the build of your new construction home, then this can be addressed at the same time as obtaining your initial building permits.

However, if your outdoor kitchen is an addition to your existing home, you may need to take a few extra precautions first.

Timing and cost

The great thing about outdoor kitchens is that they do not take long to build. You can expect a time frame of about two to three weeks. You will need a professional and licensed contractor to complete this type of job as it involves plumbing, electrical, and gas lines.

According to a study from Homeadvisor, an outdoor kitchen will range from $4,536 – $20,838.

Create a checklist

You will need to keep several factors in mind when embarking on this project. After all, an outdoor kitchen varies vastly from your traditional indoor kitchen.

  • Location – the kitchen should be close enough to the home to run your electrical, water, and gas lines. The ground should also be stable and level.
  • Base – Your kitchen will either be built on a deck, existing patio, or a new slab of concrete or patio pavers. There are several stone options, so make sure to choose wisely.
  • Plan – Be sure your kitchen layout makes sense in terms of which items will be used at the same time. The fridge should be further away from the grill, preferably separated by the prep area.
  • Shelter – You will need some type of covering for your kitchen. You can opt for a pergola or retractable canopy if you do not wish for such a permanent shelter made from concrete or wood. More than likely, your kitchen will be built under the existing patio covering on your home.
  • Materials and appliances – Everything should be weather proofed and durable. Your contractor will be able to help you pick out the best options at the best price.

This is just the beginning of building an ultimate outdoor oasis. The possibilities are endless for expanding on the outdoor entertainment hub of your dreams. Pools, fire pits, outdoor bars, spa tubs, outdoor theaters and more are great additions to your outdoor kitchen.