A BBQ on your patio is great, but a full outdoor kitchen is better.
It’s an investment in the outdoor and family-entertaining lifestyle you live, and it increases the value (and appeal) of your house in the competitive southern Ontario real estate market.
You should never leave everything up to your builder, no matter how experienced they are. It’s important to stay present through the process so you are never surprised by the choice your builder makes.
Follow these tips and you’re more likely to avoid any surprises as your outdoor kitchen comes together.
Don’t rush the planning
Poor planning explains most badly executed outdoor kitchens.
Measure your space, draw out a plan. Make some calls for quotes on materials, appliances, landscaping, etc…
Write out your intended use for the kitchen and get specific. Don’t just write cooking – of course you plan to cook.
- What kind of meals will you most likely cook outside?
- What size groups do you intend to entertain? How many seasons do you hope to use the kitchen for?
- Will you transport things back and forth between your main kitchen, or do you expect your outdoor kitchen to be fully self-contained?
Get the details down so you are clear when you bring in a contractor.
Update your knowledge
Appliance features change from year to year, and most people buy new appliances every decade or so. A lot has changed since the last time you bought a cooktop.
Get a firm grasp of what’s available.
An outdoor fridge had to be brought in over the winter 10 years ago. Today, you just unplug it and your fridge lives comfortably in the snowy, icy weather until you need to use it again in the spring.
Make your kitchen part of the scenery
The materials in the design of your outdoor kitchen should be dictated by the home and its surroundings
Use the same trim and stone you find on the exterior of the and in the landscape.
Or build with updated materials you plan to incorporate into your home and landscape down the road. Continuity is the key to making an outdoor kitchen that enhances your house and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Think about the size
If your home is large, your outdoor kitchen should be too.
If your home is a more modest size, the kitchen should reflect that.
After all, you aren’t building a home addition. It’s a home improvement.
Smart designs incorporate numerous structural elements to make a kitchen fit into its surroundings, including pergolas, screens and plantings.
Don’t ignore positioning
People using the pool shouldn’t have to walk past a hot grill to get a cold drink.
Guests sitting at the table shouldn’t be showered with smoke from the grill.
You shouldn’t be cut off from the social part of entertaining because you’re cooking.
Where will you put food after you take it off the grill? Where will you put a dirty pot?
The more you think about the kitchen as part of a whole functional space, the better (of course, your designer is here to help you with that. You don’t have to be the expert, you just have to think about it).
Don’t try to save money by cutting out lights
It’s hard to see food cooking on a grill at night, so you need bright task lighting.
It’s also hard, to eat food if you can’t see it.
Combined kitchen and dining areas, like your outdoor kitchen, should have ambient and ornamental as well as task lighting.
We also recommend dimmer switches, so the light can match the situation.
Outdoor cooking gives opportunities to do things you don’t normally do with an indoor kitchen. Searing steaks over incredibly high heat, smoking slabs of ribs for hours, or cook pizza in a wood-fired oven are all more enjoyable outdoors. Make sure your kitchen design lets you do everything you want to do more of.
We can help you design an outdoor kitchen your family will love, and handle all the building work, keeping you involved through the entire process.
This is a partnership, not a simple transaction. Your outdoor kitchen will serve your family for years, it’s important to get it right.
Give us a call today to talk about your vision and find out if we are the right fit to build you rnew luxury outdoor kitchen.