One of the biggest homeowner trends that the COVID-19 crisis has brought on is outdoor living. With no end in sight for the virus just yet, this trend is set to continue, with many homeowners extending their indoor areas to the outdoors via well-designed porches, dens, and decks.
If you and your family love cooking and barbecue and love the feeling of the sun on your skin while you devour some delectable food, you can turn your backyard area into an outdoor kitchen. Here are some tips and tricks for building your dream outdoor kitchen or barbecue station.
1. Determine the kitchen type you want.
Is it a regular kitchen? A barbecue station? How about a pizza oven? Ultimately, however, the kind of outdoor kitchen you get will be dependent on your budget, available space, and your family’s lifestyle—and the most basic equipment you can invest in can be a grill and an outdoor bar that can also serve as a counter. The first step is just deciding whether you want a simple, fully functional kitchen or something that has more amenities and features, like a cocktail bar station.
2. Consider your available space.
While you can certainly dream big, it won’t matter if your available space won’t allow it. One example is a grill on an area with a massive acreage—you might have to walk too far to fire it up. You also need to measure everything before you purchase certain equipment and furniture. Consider kitchen ergonomics as you plan where certain things will go; the last thing you want is a set-up that strains your neck and back. You should also consider safety and that you won’t place the kitchen or grill in an area in your home that might easily catch fire.
3. Decide between permanent and portable.
If you’re only renting or still seeing yourself moving to a different home someday, it might be best to go for a portable kitchen. However, if you’re already living in your forever home, then a permanent outdoor kitchen might be a wonderful project for you and your family to DIY together.
4. Don’t go beyond your budget.
It might be tempting to run wild with your ideas once you sit down to brainstorm, but setting a realistic budget will prevent you from resenting your outdoor kitchen later on. Here are some basic expenses you need to prepare for: appliances, materials, and labor, if it’s not a DIY job. The secondary expenses include designer fees, permit fees, other tools, and professional services like plumbing and electrical.
5. Identify the types of meals you will cook more often.
An outdoor kitchen can be any of the following: electric, charcoal grill, gas, propane, and it can also be a stove or various types of ovens. Decide on the type of kitchen that you want based on the meals you will cook more often. You also need to decide how many people you will be cooking for because it can help determine how big your counter needs to be and the dining area.
6. Acknowledge your town’s climate and environment.
The idea of an outdoor kitchen may be fun in theory, but it’s a whole different ballgame if you live in a state with more extreme weather. If you live in an area that rains pretty often, consider compromising by placing your kitchen or grill under a patio or a covered deck.
7. Be armed with information on how to maintain it.
It’s one thing to be excited about an appliance, and another to use it properly and maintain it so that it lasts for a long time. Before buying a certain grill or refrigerator, make sure that you know how the Viking range parts are replaced or repaired and how much they can cost. You also need to be honest about your and your family’s lifestyle and your ability to clean and maintain the kitchen. You don’t want to abandon your dream outdoor kitchen after a few months of use.
8. Make sure the design and materials are cohesive.
Make sure that the materials you choose are cohesive with your home’s exteriors. No matter how expensive the materials you choose, your outdoor kitchen will look jarring if it doesn’t coordinate with the rest of your home’s architecture.
Having an outdoor kitchen is a great way to strengthen the family’s bonds, eat more healthily, and refine one’s palate. If done within budget, it also doesn’t have to break the bank. If you and your family love cooking and eating, an outdoor kitchen might be a great way to beat cabin fever during the pandemic, too.