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Before You Build an Outdoor Kitchen, Consider This

Building Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is one of the most convenient home improvements you can make if you enjoy spending time outdoors. With a full-featured kitchen, the chef can stay with their guests while preparing food. And dishes served straight off the grill are warmer and more delicious than those prepared indoors and brought outside. Not to mention, the enticing smells of cooking will waft through your yard.

But, before you decide to take this project on, know that it is a large undertaking that will put your skills and patience to the test. Not only that, but it may also exceed your budget.

What Is an Outdoor Kitchen?

An outdoor kitchen is usually a patio or deck that has been outfitted with some of the same amenities as an indoor kitchen, such as cooking appliances, storage cabinets, and a dedicated eating area. A true outdoor kitchen will have utilities like electricity or gas lines, and more elaborate versions may even include sinks and running water. This is generally more permanent than simple grilling areas, often featuring built-in appliances and storage features.

Before you construct an outdoor kitchen, here are some things to think about!

The amount of money you're willing to spend, the size and shape of your yard, as well as your favorite outdoor activities will all help determine what type of kitchen you build. People who entertain often or have large budgets may want full-scale kitchens with an oven, stovetop, sink and counter space, fridge, shelter, and built-in grill. If you only host occasional parties or barbecues though, it's more affordable to stick with key items cabinets, counters, and a cooking area and save the extravagant additions for later down the road.

On average, it takes two to three weeks to construct an outdoor cooking place. If you plan on doing all the work by yourself, this is a project that should preferably be executed by expert DIYers. Even skilled DIYers sometimes need assistance from contractors for specific parts of the project like running plumbing lines, gas pipes, and electrical wiring. In terms of cost, materials alone for very basic costs of approximately $3,000 while building a full-featured outdoor kitchen with complete appliances can reach up to or exceed $10

It's best to build your outdoor kitchen close to the house so you won't have to worry about connecting electrical, water, and gas lines. The area should also be dry, level, and stable. If too much sun is shining in the proposed location of your kitchen, look for leafy trees that can provide shade. However, if you want more sun exposure in that spot, plan accordingly.

If you don't want any issues later down the road before you start digging check for anything that could get in your ways like pools, hot tubs, flower beds, fences, or buried lines. Septic tanks – even if they're no longer being used – can also cause problems when trying to bury utility lines. And finally, take a look at your home's title for any information on easements that might limit where you can build and what you can do.

More so than indoor kitchens, outdoor ones give you more space to be creative with your design. Though, there are some general guidelines you should follow. For example, it is suggested that you place the sink, stove, oven, and barbecue grill closest to the house. This is practical because most likely you will need to connect gas, water, and electrical lines from either the side or back of your house. Additionally,[outdoor ones still have building code regulations they must adhere to.]

Codes and Regulations

It's crucial that you converse with your neighborhood permitting department about building codes and any potential permits. Integrating electrical and gas lines into the kitchen will usually set off the sanctioning procedure. Any framework projected to cover the kitchen may also necessitate a permit if it satisfies particular conditions—like if they're mounted onto the house, or if they need poured foundations.

Earlier than beginning to dig, always phone 811 or your community utilities' harm prevention hotline. Specialists will come to inspect your property and mark areas for gas, electricity, water, and other essential lines.

The Best Time to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

If you have a plan and all the materials and appliances are ready to go, building your kitchen will take one to three weeks of active labor. Note that this time frame may lengthen if you need to prep a patio slab or construct a deck first. It's best to carry out this project during mild weather since heavy precipitation, snowfall, and summer heat waves can make working outside very difficult.

You may want to build a permanently covered shelter before continuing with the construction of the kitchen. This will make it easier in the long run if you live in an area with cold winters. If you decide to do this work in mid to late fall, it'll be difficult because the ground will be frozen solid; however, running underground gas and electrical lines is best done when thawed soil from spring has arrived but try to finish before the summer heat arrives.

Another important factor to consider when planning your kitchen construction is the availability of yourself and any potential helpers. This project will go much smoother with at least one or two extra sets of hands, so try to plan for a time when friends or family who are experienced in DIY projects can come over and lend a hand. If you don't have anyone available, you may need to hire professional help, which needs to be scheduled in advance. Electricians and plumbers especially often book up quickly, so keep that in mind as you're making your plans.


Building an outdoor kitchen can be a fun and rewarding project, but it's important to consider all the factors mentioned above before beginning construction. Take your time planning and make sure you have all the necessary permits and materials, and work around mild weather and the availability of helpers for a smooth building process. With careful planning and execution, you'll be able to enjoy your new kitchen in no time.

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