An outdoor kitchen can increase your home’s livable space and make it relaxing and enjoyable. But a lot goes into building an outdoor kitchen and many people who don’t plan well and rush the process usually regret it later. Therefore, don’t start your outdoor kitchen building process before you read these points. Get an outdoor kitchen contractor on board early on to avoid issues.
Hire A Licensed Contractor
Unless you’re skilled in landscape design and outdoor kitchen construction, you will need a licensed contractor who is experienced in designing and building outdoor kitchens. This should be your first step because you need the expertise of a pro in every part of the project. It will result in fewer mistakes and better decisions from your end.
Moreover, keep in mind that building an outdoor kitchen requires other professionals as well like a plumber and an electrician so make sure you hire the right people.
Permits And Codes
Outdoor kitchens mostly require a permit from local authorities so make sure that you understand everything about what you can do and what you can’t. This will make planning the kitchen design easier and you won’t have to change the plans if they are not approved by the authorities.
Your contractor can help you greatly in this as well. Many contractors provide the service of handling the permitting formalities themselves. As they do it frequently, they know the process better and can get permits more easily and, sometimes, faster than a homeowner who is getting a permit for the first time.
Other than that, if you’re part of a homeowners association, you should read their codes and terms as well to make sure the outdoor kitchen design and features you’re going with are permitted.
Location Of The Outdoor Kitchen
Outdoor kitchens can be installed almost anywhere in a yard, but you should take into consideration various things before choosing the location. If your priority is an outdoor kitchen that you can easily reach from the house, the kitchen should be close to the house and near the door or point from where you access the yard. However, it may not be right for many people.
For instance, if your house’s door to the backyard is a high-traffic area, you should avoid building an outdoor kitchen extremely near it. It should be a bit away from that door so the kitchen doesn’t come in the way of anyone who wants to go from the backyard to the house and vice versa.
On the other hand, if you have a swimming pool or a detached patio, it would make sense to build an outdoor kitchen near the patio.
Moreover, you should also keep in mind how much wind and sun a part of your yard receives so you can choose a better location for your outdoor kitchen. If an area of your backyard receives more wind or sun, you can go for another spot or consider a roof for the outdoor kitchen. But some homeowners may not like a roof because their winter months may be longer so a roof will only limit the usage of the outdoor kitchen due to the lack of sun exposure to the spot.
So, consider all these factors and discuss them with your contractor and family members to find the perfect location for your outdoor kitchen.
The Style Of The Kitchen
This is usually the part most homeowners love because it’s about deciding on the style of the kitchen. Don’t forget to give respect to the overall style of your house because you don’t want two distinct styles creating style chaos.
So, if you have a contemporary house, you should go with a contemporary outdoor kitchen instead of a rustic one. More so if the outdoor kitchen is close to the house. However, if your space is bigger and the outdoor kitchen plus the patio is a bit distant from your contemporary-styled house, you can even get away with a rustic outdoor kitchen or any other kitchen style you want.
Outdoor Kitchen Design
The style you want will also impact the overall design of the kitchen. However, in many cases, you can choose any design and add the style you want.
For designs, you can go with a basic patio kitchen design that features a grill, a sink, and a refrigerator located with the cabinets in a straight line. This design is simple and works for many small spaces.
You can also look into the U-shaped outdoor kitchen design where the space is maximized by using more counter space. The middle part can have the essential cooking equipment while the other two sides can be dining and seating areas.
There are also island kitchens that include a kitchen island as well along with the basic counter space for grills, appliances, and equipment.
There are many more outdoor kitchen designs and one of them will resonate with what you want your outdoor kitchen to look like.
Appliances And Fixtures
Outdoor kitchens need some essential appliances like a grill and some cooking elements but the rest is up to you to decide which appliances and fixtures you need for the kitchen. Most people will want to add a refrigerator for keeping drinks cool and storing food. You can go for an undercounter or a full-sized refrigerator.
Some people may want to use a toaster or other electric appliances so make sure there are enough power outlets incorporated in the outdoor kitchen design that are safe and functional.
Furthermore, sinks and faucets are required too so make sure the plumber works with the contractor to ensure the fixtures are in the correct place and of the right materials. Stainless steel is the most popular material for sinks and faucets. If you choose another material, ask the seller if it’s rated for outdoor use.
Moreover, connecting the plumbing with the outdoor kitchen sink may take some effort from the plumber so hire a qualified one.
Cabinets are part of your outdoor kitchen on which all the materials are usually installed. So, the material should be extremely durable and hard-wearing. Even though you may want to use natural wood cabinets, you should not because wood doesn’t fare well against too much sun exposure, rain, and snowfall.
If you’re dead set on wood, then use a durable one like mahogany, white oak, or tweak. They will be costly and require more maintenance though.
If you want practical cabinet materials, choose from PVC, marine-grade aluminum, and masonry cabinets. These cabinets will be less expensive than wood, require less maintenance than wood, and last longer than wood.
The working area of your outdoor kitchen will be the countertop surface so a durable material is required in there as well. Natural stones are popular, but you should avoid marble and only choose granite.
Other than that, many people are also choosing concrete countertops for their outdoor kitchens. They may also use masonry cabinets for a complete look.
Tiles are also popular but they can crack easily so if you want tiles, go for granite tiles instead of ceramic or porcelain tiles. But the former is costlier than the latter.
Your outdoor kitchen’s style, elements, and features should be what you want so don’t settle for anything less. Start planning by connecting with outdoor kitchen companies Port Jefferson.