Cost Considerations When Planning an Outdoor Kitchen

More and more homeowners are looking to include outdoor living or, even better, a design that allows for a flowing indoor-outdoor living space – in their home design. Some backyard spaces are little more than artfully done seating areas that encourage conversation. Others are more extravagant, boasting everything from outdoor kitchens to large entertainment areas with huge television sets with surround sound.

However, there is usually one feature many of these areas have in common – an outdoor kitchen. According to a recent survey by American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), outdoor kitchens rank in the top five for demand in Outdoor Design Elements coming just after outdoor furniture.

Like its indoor counterpart, the outdoor kitchen can be designed as basic or as unique as the homeowner’s taste – and budget – call for. The cost of an outdoor kitchen can vary but, with a strong return on investment ranging from 100% – 200%, according to CNN Money and Remodeling Magazine, this type of home improvement will get homeowners the most bang for their buck. However, the ROI formula works best when your outdoor kitchen design is proportional to the home value and location, points out.

If you’re thinking of adding an outdoor kitchen to your home’s outdoor space, you’ll want to consider this list of the top 10 items that will impact your project budget:

  1. Resources – consider hiring an expert(s) to get it right the first time – your design team may include a designer, landscape and/or residential architect and a construction specialist.
  2. Utilities – this can include natural gas, propane, electricity, plumbing and cable tv.
  3. Amenities – lighting; consumer electronics such TVs, speakers, phone charging station; seating that considers comfort, quantity and sizing; outdoor cooking appliances including a sink, built-in grill, smoker, pizza oven; and refrigerator – kegerator, wine cooler, fridge and ice machine.
  4. Cabinetry – pricing fluctuates for kitchen cabinets based on color and material selection, which should take climate into consideration, along with door panel styles. Stainless steel cabinetry is recommended for longevity.
  5. Heat sources – fire pits, heat lamps and patio heaters to cozy up your outdoor living area.
  6. Prep surfacescountertops and counter space. Price will fluctuate depending on the countertop materials used.
  7. Storage Space – shelving for above counter storage; cabinets below for grilling equipment, drawers for utensils, linens, mitt and aprons. Cabinets can house grilling pans, pots and other large cookware and décor.
  8. Plants/planter boxes – herbs placed nearby for cooking and decorative plants to brighten up your backyard space.
  9. Coverings/covered roofs – pergolas, awnings, canopies, shades and umbrellas, retractable outdoor blinds – material and fabric choices will impact price as well as motorized settings for convenience.
  10. Flooring – pavers, seamless, tiles, planks, decking, flagstone, geckos, stone, slate among other materials.

Simple or elaborate, an outdoor kitchen remodel can go from a grill and some patio furniture to a fully functional and well-equipped entertainment hub. Using these 10 criteria to carve out a budget will set homeowners up for an outdoor living space they can truly enjoy.

Need help ticking off the cabinetry budget items on your Top 10 list? We’re available to help.

Contact us at (203) 269-2300 or

Related: Top 5 Reasons to Invest in an outdoor kitchen

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This article is based on industry knowledge and research by outdoor kitchen design professionals, including our in-house experts and engineers with decades of experience.Our goal at Danver is to provide factual information on relevant topics to help readers make informed decisions about their outdoor living spaces.

This article uses trusted sources with references hyperlinked to the source material.

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