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Outdoor kitchens are increasingly becoming popular. And having a good one in your backyard will significantly increase the value of your property too. According to experts, building an outdoor kitchen gives you a 100% to 200% return of investments.
While you may think that outdoor kitchens are expensive, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. You can DIY and build it totally from scratch. However, if you are planning on selling your home in the future, you might be better served to look at this home improvement project as an investment that should deliver a return when your home sells.
Now, when you’re planning to hit the do-it-yourself route—you need to remember the basics. In this article, you’ll learn valuable tips on building your own outdoor kitchen.
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Planning and designing your outdoor kitchen is crucial and needs to be included in your building process. The first task you should do is measure your space to see how much available room you can work with and see the most suitable design. You should also assess the site to see how you will be integrating home utilities like electricity, water, and gas lines.
Once you know the amount of space you can work with, determine your outdoor kitchen shape. The most popular shapes are a straight island, L-shape, and U-shaped design. Depending also on your available space, decide whether you want a permanent or a portable outdoor kitchen. Keep in mind though that there are various laws and permits requirements when building an outdoor structure.
Maximize your outdoor space by designing a functional kitchen. Moreover, if you have a garden, it’s best to consult with your landscape contractor on where to position your outdoor kitchen. This creates an organic flow and harmonious overall design.
Think also in terms of zones when building your kitchen. There are four main functional zones to consider:
- Hot zone – where you place grills, side burners, and pizza ovens
- Cold zone – dedicated for refrigerators, freezers, and wine chillers
- Wet zone – space for sinks, and beverage tubs
- Dry zone – includes entertainment and dining areas, prep areas and storage
When assessing your outdoor kitchen space design, you should also consider its proximity to your house as well. If you are blessed with a large backyard, make sure your outdoor kitchen won’t be too far from your house. Also, don’t forget to leave enough room for entertaining or dining.
Aim for your outdoor kitchen to be as functional as its indoor counterpart. Depending on your available space, you can include things that can make your kitchen more useful and convenient. Such as storage, refrigerator, sink, furniture, and so forth.
Choose the right materials, equipment, and other components to make your outdoor kitchen truly a gem. Choose dependable construction materials too such as good types of natural woods, stones, metals, bricks, and tiles. Look also for non-combustible materials.
When it comes to equipment, pick those that complement your overall kitchen design but are also functional enough. Make sure that all your materials and equipment can withstand outdoor conditions. Try also looking for outdoor-rated appliances.
Now, decide whether you’ll use natural gas or propane. If you’re opting for natural gas make sure to hire a professional to work on your gas lines. Consider also your heating and cooling sources. For plumbing and lighting, consult or hire an expert too.
3. Cooking Center
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Your cooking area should reflect your cooking style too. Think about your preferred method of outdoor cooking so you can better design your kitchen.
Typically, an outdoor kitchen’s cooking zone has the following:
- BBQ Smokers
- Doors & Drawers
- Side Burners
- Propane Tank Bins
Think also about the average number of people you’ll be entertaining or be cooking for. This way, you can incorporate this on your outdoor kitchen design so you can better accommodate your guests or handle cooking preparations. Moreover, if you intend to dine in al fresco style—never forget to add comfortable and enough space as a dining area.
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Decide on a budget first before building your outdoor kitchen. Never start without considering the costs it will take as it can stress you out, or worse, leave your project unfinished.
Determining the most suitable outdoor kitchen for you will depend ultimately on your budget, daily routine, lifestyle, available space, and other factors. Don’t go for an extravagant design when you don’t have the budget. Instead, see if you can have a simple yet beautiful and functional outdoor kitchen without having to spend much.
A functional outdoor kitchen doesn’t need to be expensive. You just need to distinguish first what are the essential amenities and materials for your kitchen—then add the extras when you have more budget in the future. In fact, many modern designs now can be easily done without the need to hire a professional. Moreover, if you really want to achieve a certain look, see if it’s possible to do it in batches.