If you have a balcony or a backyard, then it’s a good idea to have a grill, chairs round the table, and have dinner outdoors. Nevertheless, under the term “outdoor kitchen” we usually understand a real space situated somewhere outside, which demands special design, plans, construction. Pay attention to the following hints before you decide to spend a fortune on a giant gas grill in your store.
1. Comprise the main parts in your outdoor kitchen. Ann Porter, a designer of Kitchens Studio of Naples, Florida, advises to have a sink, a cabinetry that is weatherproof, and a fridge outside which is UL-rated. All of these, of course, together with a built-in grill. Another designer, Dawn Whyte (Designs by Dawn in Petoskey, Mich.), also admits a fridge, grill (it can be not built-in), but proposes a counter surface for cooking meals and seating, too. All these things, for sure, should be at the height of a deck, patio or something flat.
2. Think about materials. They should be enduring, weather resistant, low maintenance. Extreme weather conditions, rain, snow, snow, fat, itinerant softballs can do harm. Concrete, stone, steel that is stainless, solid surface, materials on acryl are good for counters, devices, patios, etc.
3. Pay attention to the place where outdoor kitchen is situated. It seems to be a good idea to organize it close to the main sink and devices, dishes and cooking appliances – outside the indoor kitchen. But it’s not always so. Whyte proposes firstly to make sure that the wind blows in the right direction and there won’t be any smoke in the house. You should think about the kitchen in relation to a garden, pool, dining place, playground and some other outdoor attributes.
4. Make a plan of utilities. If you want to append or swap electricity, gas or water lines, it will cost you much more as it is a part of interior remodeling. There are two variants to avoid these costs. 1. Take a charcoal or propane grill. By doing this you skip a sink and other devices. 2. Go for it. However, make sure that it’s in safety, utility lines are marked before being dug. If you don’t know how to do it, look through the Common Ground Alliance).
5. Your days and the season should be long. Having lightning outdoors will let you cook and communicate deep into the night. (Look for ideas at American Lightning Association).It’s better to use task lightning near the grill and paths because of safety reasons. If you want to feel comfortable on cold autumn and spring nights, a propane heater or fireplace will help you. A ledge, canopy or roof will protect you from rain.
6. Outdoor space has a lot of potential. It’s not only eating and grilling. Plenty of outside areas also contain TVs and sound systems, sofas, fireplaces, a pool, playgrounds. You may not have enough money for all these things today, but if you design in a right way, there won’t be any problems with adding them some other day.
7. Consider the people planning your kitchen: plumber, electrician, designer, landscape architect, general contractor and maybe some others. You must ask about building permits. Making an outdoor kitchen is not a simple DIY draft, it can be difficult for those who are not experienced in this sphere.
8. Be thrifty with money. Porter warns: “Outside kitchens are quite expensive, as they are large, but the materials of high quality, that you may need to bear the elements, will cost you even more. By calculations of Whyte you should have 15 thousand dollars as a starting point for an outside kitchen in her area.
You may look through the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association as a way of other cooking and living outdoors hints.