An outdoor kitchen may be easy or difficult to build depending on the specifications and size of your appliances. You can put together your own outdoor kitchen provided that you have the necessary tools and skills to set up these appliances.
It is note-worthy to have electrical, plumbing, and masonry skills as building an outdoor kitchen requires electrical and water outlets as well as provision for exhaust. If you don’t have these skills, it is easy to consult a plumber or an electrician.
You can use their help to set up the water, gas, and exhaust requirements while you can still manage the overall designing. A builder may also be needed if you have no prior carpentry skills. This is necessary for the countertops and other cabinets.
Building the outdoor kitchen and designing it per se, may only require your efforts and attention. To help you in building your dream outdoor kitchen that will entertain friends and guests or be used for some fun-filled family time, we have listed some advantages to set you up in creating your own outdoor kitchen and some tips for designing it.
What are the advantages of having an outdoor kitchen?
- Outdoor kitchens give you the opportunity to host a fun-filled party where everyone can socialize including the cook, who is almost always ostracized while everyone is enjoying the food and the weather outside.
- Let’s face it; having an outdoor kitchen is very entertaining. A small addition of wine coolers and beverage centers in your outdoor kitchen can vamp up your party in a lot of ways.
- Apart from using it for parties, the whole family also suddenly jumps at having a barbecue bonding. Lazy afternoons and boring dinners suddenly become exciting just by having an outdoor kitchen.
- An outdoor kitchen allows you to be in touch with nature. You can cook, dine, and grill while feasting your eyes in the beauty of the surroundings, which is one of the best ways to relax with your family’s company.
- It lessens the mess inside the house since all preparation and cooking will be done outside.
- Heat will not be contained in one area, which means that you will save electricity, as the air-con won’t exert much energy in cooling your kitchen and other parts of the house.
- It gives you a second kitchen, which is really handy if in case you will have your indoor kitchen remodeled or repaired. It can also help you get through sudden power outages and other emergencies (plumbing or electric).
- An outdoor kitchen adds value to your house. This would later be beneficial if you decide to move and sell the house especially since Americans spend a great deal in upgrading outdoor living spaces.
How can you build your own outdoor kitchen?
First you need to build an island, which will be the foundation of your outdoor kitchen. To build the island, you must create a design. After you have finalized the design, determine if you will need the help of a plumber, an electrician, a mason, or all of them. However, if you are a handyman, you might just need the help of a few fellow handy-friends.
Step 1: Pick Resilient Materials. The surfaces of your outdoor kitchen must be able to withstand climate conditions. The suggested materials of your appliances, sinks, and vents should be made of stainless steel.
The counters, floors, and walls, should be made of stone, slate, or tile. The hardware of your counters should be advised for exterior use. An example of a resilient counter top is the:
Giani Granite Countertop
- Low VOC, low odor, water-based acrylic paint for transforming outdated countertops without costly replacement
- Fun, easy DIY project complete with step-by-step instructions
- One weekend application process that dries in a high gloss finish to simulate the look of granite
Step 2: Build counters that may effectively house or contain cabinets, refrigerator, grill, burner, oven, dishwasher, sink, recycling bins, etc. You may need to first measure the appliances to make sure that it fits in the counters.
Also don’t forget to build counters for food preparation, as well as counters for eating and drinking, paired by tall stools for built-in seating. An adorable high stool perfect for outdoors is the:
Winsome Wood Saddle Seat Stool
- From Winsome Wood, 29-inch high saddle seat stool for use at the kitchen counter or home bar
- Crafted in solid beech wood with attractive walnut finish
- Broad contoured seat; square legs with supportive rungs for sturdy base
Step 3: Build shelter overhead for maximum protection of your outdoor kitchen from rain and snow. The roof won’t only protect against weather conditions, you may also use it to install varying levels of light to maximize the hours you spend outdoors. An outdoor ceiling fan also helps keep the air moving. You may choose if you want a full roof, a partial roof, a pergola, or an outdoor umbrella.
Step 4: Pick appliances that will be tucked in the kitchen island you have built. Most outdoor kitchens don’t need to hold a lot of food; it only needs enough meal for the day depending on the number of your guests.
Put this in mind when purchasing affordable, small-space appliance that use less energy and only takes a small space. It is nice to have something like the:
Danby Designer Compact All Refrigerator
- Portable dehumidifier removes up to 70 pints of moisture from the air per day
- For use in rooms up to 4,500 sq. Ft. Depending upon conditions
- 2 fan speeds (high/low) and 24-hour on/off timer
Step 5: Install outdoor electric outlets near the appliances. Since your outdoor kitchen will be freestanding, make sure to have sockets nearby to power most of your appliances. Pick those outlets with cover to protect it when not in use such as the:
Safety 1st Double Touch Plug and Outlet Cover
- Includes two covers that fit over outlets with plugs
- Child-resistant double-touch release
- Removable and reusable
Step 6: Install a water source. Include a small sink to wash your hands or foods for preparation. This saves you from going back and forth inside the house. A bar size-sink may suffice if you already have a dishwasher installed. A great outdoor sink is the:
Bull Standard Sink Stainless Steel
- Outside Dimensions 30 X 18
- Depth 9 inches
- Drain Opening 3 1/2
Optional: To ensure a relaxing and enjoying outdoor cooking and dining, plant shrubs and flowers, decorate the whole place with potted or hanging plants, or better yet, plant your own homegrown vegetables and herbs for ready to pick ingredients.
It is not difficult to build your own outdoor kitchen; you just have to consider how spacious you want it, how often you will use it, and what amenities you want in it. It could go as small as just having a grill, sink, and refrigerator and go as big as a full-fledged kitchen. It is all up to you and of course, how big you want to spend in building it.