A lot of times, we wish we could employ some creative skills to build an outdoor kitchen for comfort and improvised functions. Outdoor kitchens are a beautiful sight to behold. You have the warm air on your skin, the sun smiling, birds chirping; you are admiring nature in its raw form.
This serves as a good spot for relaxation or a friends and family outing. However, before you set out to design/build your outdoor kitchen, there are a lot of factors that you should consider.
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What is an outdoor kitchen?
An outdoor kitchen is an extension or building outside your home, where you can cook, eat and entertain your guests. Outdoor kitchens serve as open-air relaxation centers.
Outdoor kitchens are great spots to spend some time with your family and friends. Outdoor kitchens consist of a grill, a stove, a fireplace, or any preferred heating equipment. Outdoor kitchens are great home improvement ideas that you can try out.
Anyone can build an outdoor kitchen; you need the right source of information and creative DIY skills. However, you can also hire the services of a project manager or a home designer.
What do I need to know to build an outdoor kitchen?
1. Design and style
Building an outdoor kitchen requires a lot of planning and expertise. Beautiful designs are not all that make up a good outdoor kitchen.
In your outdoor kitchen planning, you must put into consideration the durability and safety standards of your proposed outdoor kitchen. You wouldn’t want to set your fields on fire while cooking your favorite meal in your outdoor kitchen.
You can start with looking up some top design outdoor kitchen trends, analyze your style, build your imagination and merge it into your budget. From choosing an L-layout or a rectangular-styled outdoor kitchen, you must survey the available space in your home. Effectively plan what will fit into the available space.
2. Size and Capacity
How large do you want your outdoor kitchen? An outdoor kitchen usually occupies a certain space outside our home.
You have to decide how much of your exteriors and fields do you want to sacrifice to build a kitchen. You must also understand that the larger the space and capacity, the more funds that you will need to set it up.
The truth is, you don’t need to break a bank to set up your outdoor kitchen. You need to plan your budget and make effective use of it.
Your budget should cover your furniture, appliances, heating equipment, and lighting. You should consider your design and initiatives.
The quality of materials you want to purchase. Frugality will help you get more value at an affordable price. There is nothing wrong with starting and building your outdoor kitchen in bits till you complete it.
4. Need and function
Why do you need an outdoor kitchen? Your outdoor kitchen planning procedure should border around functionality and purpose. You have to decide if your outdoor kitchens are just for personal use.
Do you have plans to make it a relaxation spot for your friends and family? Will you add additional structures like bars? Any need for an extension? Is your proposed outdoor kitchen a casual kitchen or a family-friendly kitchen? This will help you craft a clear plan on the maximum number of people expected to occupy the outdoor kitchen.
A lot of people neglect the need to survey their proposed outdoor kitchen’s site. Your location will have a huge impact on the performance of your outdoor kitchen.
You must confirm the weather and climatic conditions of your proposed site. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in a wet season. Probably get stuck asking questions like Can an outdoor kitchen get wet? Does my outdoor kitchen need to be covered? You need to foresee these circumstances and make plans against them.
You should also know if your area is in a coastal region and the drastic effect it may have on the weather. This will help you set up weatherproof plans and means to protect your kitchen parts.
6. Appliances, tools, and equipment
What pieces of equipment do you need for an outdoor kitchen? Here are a few appliances and tools that you need for your outdoor kitchen.
- Heating element; Grill(preferably), stove, gas, etc.
- Refrigerator, Icemakers
Most individuals underestimate the need for a countertop. This leaves you running in and out of the house to replace or pick up items.
You don’t need to rush the process of planning the right equipment for your outdoor kitchen. Take your time and select cooking utensils that fit your style of cooking.
7. Materials for construction
Durability is necessary! Purchasing inferior materials will only make you spend double on repairs and damages. Always aim for better materials.
This starts with your choice of wood for your furniture. You also need to understand if your materials are environmentally friendly. You wouldn’t want to pollute the environment.
8. Lightning and decoration
It is time to add a little spice to your outdoor kitchen. Have you considered hosting a dinner party in your kitchen? A mini night out is not a bad idea.
For you to make it all colorful, you need to choose the perfect lighting for the event. A dim-lit light, RGB lightning, whichever catches your fancy or meets your aim is a good choice.
9. Oversee possible challenges and brainstorm solutions
A good home designer and project planner always oversee possible challenges that your outdoor kitchen might face. This also includes brainstorming and putting in place strategies that will prevent shortfalls.
Some of these challenges include fire hazards or rainfall. You must not also overlook minor issues like storage, arrangement, and layout, or crashes.
You should consider putting in structures that will allow improvements and enhancements. You should make your outdoor kitchen flexible and not rigid or difficult to change.
At some point, you might want to add something extra to your outdoor kitchen. You don’t want a traditional kitchen, but a kitchen that stands out with innovative designs. You might need to add a bar, a television stand. However, whatever upgrades you wish to add, keep it simple.
DO outdoor kitchens need to be covered?
Yes. You need to cover your outdoor kitchens. Your outdoor kitchen sits out in the public. It is exposed to a lot of foreign elements. You wouldn’t want your meals to get contaminated.
From dust to rain, you need to ensure that your outdoor kitchen is protected. Cover your appliances when they are not in use.
This will help you preserve them and prevent them from spoiling easily. You might need to reinforce your outdoor kitchen with weatherproof elements to ensure that they remain durable even after a long period.
How do I protect my outdoor kitchen?
You are protecting your outdoor kitchen from the weather, fire outbreak, or environmental factors.
Here are five easy steps to protect your outdoor kitchen
1. Properly cover your grill always
Most grills come with grill covers. These are protective attachments that shield your grill from the adverse effect of the weather.
This will protect your grill from external elements like leaves, dirt, or harsh weather. If your grill doesn’t come with a grill cover, you should purchase one.
2. Keep flammable items far from your outdoor kitchen
Fire hazards are one of the common fears of every homeowner. To prevent these from happening, you should eliminate the use of flammable items, and clean your heating equipment. This will prevent a blockage that might trigger a spark.
As an additional safety tip, you should not forget to turn off all gas lines attached to your outdoor kitchen.
3. Don’t abandon your food
Do not abandon your cooking for other activities. Multitasking sounds like a smart idea of getting lots of things done. You want to cook and wash at the same time.
You are juggling between the grill and the washing machine. This is a very bad idea. Focus on your cooking till you finish. You can attend to other tasks later.
From your refrigerator to your ice maker, stainless grill line, down to your pipes, you must ensure that all items are clean.
Drain your pipes and add some insulating or heating tapes to them to avoid freezing. Drain the faucets and apply soft insulation. Antifreeze substances will help too.
Winter is here, and it has become difficult to use or mount your outdoor kitchen equipment. A campfire can suffice. With your firepit, you could set up new charcoal that will not only keep you warm but will act as a relaxation spot for friends.
Outdoor kitchens allow us to take a break from our routine lifestyle. You step out of your traditional indoor kitchen and embrace a special kind of warmth. The brilliant rays of the sun offer its health benefits (Vitamin D) and you also have the opportunity to feel young again. However, you must put all factors into consideration, so that you will achieve the best construction that you deserve.