If you are the kind of extroverted person who likes parties, family gatherings, romantic dinners for two or hosting events for children etc then an outdoor kitchen in your yard is the way to go.
Depending upon your budget, layout and needs everything in an indoor kitchen can be located outside. If you have more than enough budget, a full scale outdoor kitchen can also be done. Here are some tips to get you started on your outdoor kitchen:
1.Codes and Regulations
Before starting, be sure to speak to your local permission authorities about the building regulations in your area. The electrical and gas lines needed for the outdoor kitchen may trigger the permitting process of the department. Other than that any structure or digging required for the shelter and flooring of the kitchen will also need permission. Technicians usually visit and mark water, electrical, gas and other vital lines before starting.
2. Base for Kitchen & Utility lines
The location of your kitchen should make sense both logistically and aesthetically especially if the electrical water and other vital lines are running from the house into the kitchen. Moreover the ground should be dry, stable, and level, if the sun is creating a problem look for an area which is covered with shady trees. Likewise for more sun plan accordingly. One of the most expensive and time-consuming parts of your outdoor kitchen project would be running the utility lines. Make sure the burial is in the specified depths and correct areas. Hire good electricians, plumbing contractors, after getting permission from the local building department.
3.Shelter for the kitchen
One of the most crucial works of your project would be building a shelter over your outdoor kitchen. This will not only protect users from elements when they’re being used and when they’re not in use but also give your kitchen that outdoorsy feel. A pergola open or retractable on the top or a fabric or wood awning could be two of the good options for your shelter. Other than that you could also go for weather tight kitchens as well.
4.Install cabinets, countertops, sink and cooking area
Cabinets countertops should be made of material which is not prone to much damage with changing weather. Such as stainless steel, palette wood stone etc. We recommend making your own concrete countertops for tough countertops that will last for a long time. The method to make them would include pouring concrete into mould then flipping them over, for a smooth countertop. For more sensitive material your outdoor kitchen has to be weather tight then you can go for materials such as veneer faced plywood or butcher block.
The electrician and plumber at this point will do the GFCI outlets and also complete any gas and water supply work. This will include keeping an eye for installing sockets to keep your electronics handy. If you decide to go for alternate options that would include charcoal grills, Island barbecues, pizza ovens etc. Also when the connections are completely done you would need one final visit from the building inspector to finalize your permits.
5.Outdoor dining plan
While building an outdoor dining area be realistic about the size and type of outdoor kitchen and the budget you have. We recommend keeping it comfortable, fun and to the minimal which can be replaced or changed frequently. Furniture such as patio heaters, chairs and propane grills and stoves would be needed at the very least.
We hope these tips will help you plan your project in the most efficient way. While to make a full fledged or even a semi outdoor kitchen you will require professional help from different contractors, if there is a reduced budget convert this into a DIY project.