You love to cook. But you also love being outside, listening to the birds, entertaining friends, maybe watching the kids splash in the pool.
An outdoor kitchen blends the best of both worlds, adding value to your home and a wonderful place to enjoy your favorite pastimes.
And have you seen all the features of outdoor kitchens lately? Sprawling stone counters as far as the eye can see, fancy mosquito-control misters, outdoor air-cooling systems and shiny appliances that make your indoor kitchen look like Barbie’s.
That all sounds expensive. And it can be. The cost of an outdoor kitchen varies widely, depending on its size, the materials you choose and the appliances you want installed.
A basic outdoor cooking area with a patio, grill and countertop can run a few thousand dollars. A luxury design with top-of-the-line built-in appliances and stone countertops will cost much more.
Here’s a look at how to plan and budget for an outdoor kitchen.
First, Do Some Thinking
Spend some time thinking about what you really want and need in an outdoor kitchen. Don’t get carried away by the fabulous spread you saw in a magazine or the set-up you saw on TV.
How will you really use this new space?
Some questions to ask yourself:
- How often do I cook outside?
- What kinds of foods do I cook outside?
- How many people will cook in the outdoor kitchen?
- How much prep work will I do outside?
- What do I want to store in the outdoor kitchen?
- Will it also be an entertaining area?
Once you have a tentative plan, start pricing the various elements of your outdoor kitchen, from the appliances you’ll need to the surfaces you’ll use to prep and serve. Grills can run from $200 to $4,000, depending on the size and BTUs. A stainless steel sink runs about $100, and refrigerators between $400 and $1,000.
Don’t forget small details like hardware and light fixtures, which can add up in a hurry.
Zero In On Your Actual Needs
Man, that super-sized shiny grill with the infrared back burner, rotisserie and halogen surface light looks prime. But if all you ever grill is hot dogs, it probably isn’t worth it to break the bank on features you don’t need.
But don’t scrimp on the grill, either. This is the workhorse of your outdoor kitchen. You may not need the biggest grill or the one with the most features, but choose one that will perform well and last.
Don’t Forget Storage
If your outdoor kitchen is a sprint away from your indoor kitchen, allow at least a small budget for storage space for frequently used items like grill brushes, forks, spices and paper towels.
Running back and forth between kitchens is good exercise, but it can spoil the fun.
Research How To Save A Few Bucks
For instance, re-think the sink. Building codes and plumbing costs can make a sink one of the most expensive outdoor kitchen propositions, when plumbers have to run hot water from the house.
Consider an under-counter water heater instead, for a budget-friendly $300.
There are plenty of little ways to save — if you do your homework!
Get Cooking With Neave
Neave Masonry can help you design custom-made barbecue pits and fully stocked outdoor kitchens so you can enjoy your New York or Connecticut landscape while roasting up your favorite goodies.
You have lots of choices. Choose from pre-cast concrete units or natural stone veneers. Counter-tops can be built from blue stone, decorative concrete or marble. Neave Masonry will help you select the best materials for you.
Neave works with top brands likeWeber, Viking, Big Green Egg, Lynx and more. Select from a wide range of grill units, sinks, warming trays, serving racks, smoking units, beverage bars, keg-erators and storage compartments so your kitchen is ideally suited for you.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.