Intermediate: Planning an Outdoor Kitchen

couples sitting around an outdoor tableSummer is the season of outdoor entertaining and an outdoor kitchen is the perfect place to do so. Homeowners that are willing to put in some DIY work can create a functional and attractive outdoor space for cooking, eating, and entertaining. Before forging ahead with the project on your own, consider the following questions and factors for building a space that meets your needs.

First, think about how you’ll use an outside kitchen – solely for entertaining, or on a regular basis? How big do you want it to be? This question might be easy depending on the amount of space you have to work with. Is the structure going to be permanent, or do you want to break it down come winter? How much can you afford on materials. How much work are you willing to do yourself?

Location is another important factor for an outdoor kitchen, as it will impact both your house and yard. The space you create should not be an eyesore. The last thing you want to do is reduce the resale value of your home with a project that turns out to be a mess. Many people keep an outdoor kitchen close to their house for convenience, but that also means the outdoor space should match elements of the indoor space.

Once you select the location of your exterior kitchen, create a site map. This can be a basic plan drawn to scale on graph paper. Include any trees, walkways, gardens, and pools located on the property that have the potential to impact the project.

When considering materials for the outdoor kitchen, choose those that will withstand all kinds of weather conditions. Concrete, flagstone, soapstone, stainless steel, brick, sealed tile, and pressure treated lumber are all appropriate options.

In terms of flooring, if you build your outdoor kitchen on an existing patio make sure it can support the weight of the appliances you plan to install. The placement of elements must be planned in advance to take water, gas, and electrical lines into consideration.

When it’s time to start construction of your outdoor kitchen, be sure to buy the necessary power tools and materials at