Outdoor cooking is a significant part of home life and entertaining. With summer just around the corner, having your own outdoor kitchen is a great project idea. As such, we have put together some tips to help put you on the right track with designing your outdoor kitchen.
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Make A Budget & Match Your Cooking Style
The first thing you should always consider before taking on any home construction project is your budget. Making a budget is important for keeping your spending within your means.
With projects as big as this, unexpected expenses are bound to happen, and things might end up costing more than you bargained for. As such, before you undertake designing an outdoor kitchen, make sure you make a detailed budget. Be sure to include things like hiring costs for a designer, permits, tools, and professional plumbing and electrical assistance.
In addition, take into consideration your cooking style alongside your budget. Your cooking style could greatly impact where funds are directed in your budget.
There is a variety of ovens and stoves that can be used outside, but if you do not budget for the right appliance ahead of time, you might find yourself short. The same goes for other aspects of your outdoor kitchen, like a sink or counter space.
Also account for the mess and disposal during the building process. You will likely generate a lot of trash so invest in a construction container rental or a trash hauling business to help speed up the cleaning process.
Plan Your Outdoor Kitchen Properly
While the design of your outdoor kitchen is entirely up to you, there are a few details that you should not be overlooked.
First, your gas cooking appliances and refrigeration appliances should not be placed next to one another. Because both appliances give off heat, their cooling mechanisms can become compromised.
This could lead to your appliances breaking down faster. You want to place your heating and cooling appliances a safe enough distance that they can ventilate properly.
On the note of appliances, avoid buying so many appliances that you sacrifice counter space. A big part of an outdoor kitchen is cooking food and to cook you have to have the space to prepare and serve food.
Otherwise, you will be legging it between your indoor kitchen and outdoor kitchen more times than is necessary.
Buy Appliances that are Outdoor Rated
Next, it is important that you pick appliances that are specified for outdoor use. Appliances that are designated for indoor use might not stand up against the outdoors. As such, appliances that are rated for the outdoors will ensure the longevity and safety of your kitchen.
Additionally, make sure you are properly prepared to place your appliances by measuring and triple-checking the cut-out dimensions. There is nothing more frustrating than having the spaces for your appliances cut out only to find out that the measurements were wrong.
As such, try to measure your appliances and cut out dimensions by hand. You can also ask a sales representative to do the measurements for you. Either way, take as many steps to ensure accuracy.
Pick Materials That Withstand Climate and High Temperatures
Next, you have to be smart about the materials you pick to build your outdoor kitchen. The appropriate materials for an outdoor kitchen must be able to withstand the weather conditions and high temperatures. As such, the most popular material options are concrete block, wood, brick and steel.
- Easy to Work With
- Fire Resistant
- Weather Resistant
- Must use pressure-treated pine wood because it can withstand high temperatures from grills and ovens.
- Must use a cement backer board to protect wood from heat and water.
- It can be customized in a variety of ways, such as facing it with stucco, stone, or tile.
- This material can be more time-consuming and complicated.
- More structurally sound and can withstand the elements.
- Will not have to apply an outward finish and can be customized.
- Does require high-quality masonry skills.
- Heat and weather-resistant
- Extremely sturdy
- You can find steel frame kit already prepared for you.
- Can be finished with stucco, tile, or stone.
Get an Insulation Jacket for Any Flammable Materials.
If you plan to use a highly combustible or flammable materials, like wood, be sure to include an insulation jacket with your budget. They are not the most exciting part of designing your outdoor kitchen, but it is a necessity that can stand between you and a fire breaking out in your kitchen.
Insulated jackets should be installed with any grills. They essentially work to keep your outdoor kitchen cool and to prevent any burning. Moreover, they ensure your grill’s undercarriage does not suffer from any weathering or corrosion.
If you want to ensure the longevity of your kitchen, this is a safety accessory that cannot be done without.
Make Sure Your Provide Proper Ventilation
Along with insulation jackets, proper ventilation is important to have if you have any gas appliances. Should any of those appliances have a gas leak, a ventilation system ensures that there will be no gas build-up, which could lead to explosions.
If you are installing vents on your own, remember the vents need to be placed every four to six feet apart to prevent build up. However, it is best to get professional help or a licensed contractor to do this for you.
Designing and building your own outdoor kitchen is no small feat. It requires a mix of thinking creatively and realistically to achieve a beautiful, functional outdoor kitchen.
The tips we have suggested above will ensure that you can develop your creative dream into a reality, but they are only scratching the surface.
As such, it is so important that you undertake your own research and refer to professional contractors. We hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any thoughts, please share them with us.