Planning And Budgeting Your Outdoor Kitchen

By | 14.11.2006

If you have been thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen to your home, you might be a little lost on just how to go about doing it. The best possible thing you can do is to go into the process with a good plan. If you plan the project correctly, you will lessen the chance that surprises will pop up while the project is underway.

The first basic decision you need to make is to determine your budget for the project. If you go into this with a budget of $5000 and a wish list that in reality is going to cost you $10000, well, that will only cause a lot of stress. An outdoor kitchen means different things to different people. Some people have no use for a sink outside of the home, while others would never dream of doing the project without one. The same goes for a refrigerator. And speaking of refrigerators, will it be an outdoor refrigerator, or just any under counter fridge? You might wonder what difference that makes at this point. The answer is, a refrigerator that is UL approved and warranted for outdoor use will cost several hundred dollars more than one that is not. That alone should drive home the point about budget. This project requires real research before you even think about dealing with contractors and scheduling the work.

When it comes to outdoor kitchens, you can go about the project in one of two basic ways. You can set the lowest possible budget and get an adequate outdoor kitchen that will last a few years. But then the grill will rust, the refrigerator will break, the cabinets will warp, etc., and you will be left with either living with it, eliminating it, or replacing it with something that will last many years. My obvious point is that you can spend a little more money and have something that will last as long as you own your home. Sure, the refrigerator may break eventually, but so will the one inside your home.

If you really want an outdoor kitchen, and you plan on spending more than a couple of years in your current home, why not do it right? You can have a kitchen outdoors that will have cabinetry that is virtually weatherproof, and appliances that will never rust, but you will have to pay a little more for that scenario.

The basic outdoor kitchen consists of a grill, outdoor sink, and a refrigerator. The cabinet space required for this basic set up is at least 8 feet in length. You can have this outdoor kitchen for as low as $3500, or as high $12000. The price difference will be determined by the quality of the appliances, and the cabinet construction type. You can have a very high quality outdoor kitchen like this for around $8000. That is just a starting point. If you want something larger, or with more appliances, the price will go up from there. If you want granite countertops rather than tile, for example, the price will be higher. If you want a kegerator, wine cooler, vent hood, double burner…..yes, the price will go up.

As you can see, there is a wide range in quality and price when it comes to outdoor kitchens. If you handle it right, however, you can have an addition to your home that adds enjoyment as well as real equity to your home. Handle this wrong and you will only have disappointment, either soon because your budget falls short of your expectations or in a couple of short years, because you did not choose the best quality options for your outdoor kitchen.


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