Wouldn’t it be wonderful to add a new outdoor kitchen or add to an existing outdoor kitchen? Outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular with homeowners across the United States. They add outdoor living space and help homes stay cooler during the summer months. Good planning will keep the costs down and ensure a better result for this project.
Planning is Everything
Outdoor kitchens do not build themselves and they represent a big chunk of money. It is important to plan carefully before starting to build that outdoor kitchen of one’s dreams. What space is available? What are the local building codes and limitations? What does the family need in this outdoor kitchen? It is important to spend money on features that are important to the family without overspending.
Decide on a realistic budget for the project. Is it feasible for the family at this time? Will the available budget cover the features the family wants? When talking to contractors ask how much for an outdoor kitchen like the one we are envisioning? The average cost for a new outdoor kitchen is between $12,000 and $13,000. The average cost per linear foot of outdoor kitchen is $1,200 to $2,000 when built from scratch. The cost can range from a low end of $5,500 to a high end of $27,700 or more.
If a family is adding to an existing patio or planning to use modular or prefab kitchen kits with a new patio, the kits cost from $4,000 to $10,000 for barbeque islands. When a person adds appliances, countertops, sinks, and finishes the cost increases.
Considerations When Planning
Determine the scope and size of your outdoor kitchen before looking for the cost. Some considerations involve:
- How easy is the backyard to get to and to navigate? This determines what equipment can be used.
- Can the kitchen be added to an existing patio? This saves a lot of money but is not always feasible. Can the existing patio handle the weight of the outdoor kitchen features? Is the patio large enough?
- Will utility lines need to be run to the area the kitchen will be located? If the outdoor kitchen is kept near the house fewer lines will need to be run reducing cost.
- Hiring an electrician can cost from $50 to $100 per hour. A new gas line can cost from $15 to $20 a linear foot. Installing a sink and water line can cost from $500 to $2,000
- The cost for an outdoor kitchen will depend on its size, design, features, and materials that will be used.
What Are the Most Important Features?
It is important to include certain features in an outdoor kitchen for it to function well and be convenient to use.
- A basic outdoor kitchen must have a barbeque or grill and a workspace. These can be purchased as modules.
- An oven is a popular feature along with the grill or barbeque. The oven can be in the form of an outdoor fireplace or even a pizza oven.
- A refrigerator for the outdoor kitchen adds functionality and convenience to an outdoor kitchen. It can be used to keep cold drinks handy or to keep food chilled and safe. It must be certified for outdoor use.
- A sink and counter add even more functionality. The sink and running water are good for food preparation and clean-up. If the outdoor kitchen is near the house, this is more economical. If the outdoor kitchen is some distance from the house running waterlines can add to the project cost considerably.
- Make sure there is some storage for the tools, dishes, and so on used in an outdoor kitchen and for entertaining.