How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen That Increases the Value of Your Home
It’s a beautiful evening outside. The air is crisp, the sky is clear and the only thing missing is an outdoor kitchen where you can cook your favorite meal.
The outdoor kitchen craze hit North America like a freight train. Homeowners fell in love with the possibilities of cooking and enjoying dinner and drinks outside. If you’ve found yourself longing for the same area in your home, there’s only one question – how big will you build your new living space
There are countless options available. You can have a built in grill and refrigerator. You can mount ceiling heaters with remote control thermostats. You can have outdoor speakers, outdoor rated cooking vent hoods, outdoor ice makers and outdoor pizza ovens. You can add cooktops and countertop surfaces designed specifically for use outdoors. The list goes on and on.
If you’re flirting with an outdoor kitchen in your home, here are a few helpful ideas to get you started.
Cooking is King
Indoors, kitchens, living and dining areas flow together to make gatherings more enjoyable. The cook is never left out of the conversation and everyone can be together before, during and after a meal.
People have a habit to flocking to where the food is. Yes, it’s nice to have a place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine around a firepit, but the kitchen remains the center of your gathering. For this reason, it’s important to start your planning with area where you’ll cook in your outdoor kitchen.
Include All the Elements
As you begin to build out your outdoor kitchen, think of all the elements you use indoors. What type of surface do you cook on most often? Where do you prepare your food? How do you clean up your mess when you’re done?
Incorporate as many elements as you can from your indoor kitchen. This way, you won’t get s
tuck lugging heavy pots and pans or dirty dishes in from the outside.
Concrete Cabinetry All the Way
If you live in a wetter or colder part of the country (hello, Washington), do yourself a favor and get concrete cabinetry. Using wood cabinetry could cause your outdoor kitchen to fall apart quickly during the cold, damp months. Concrete can be covered with stone, tile or other surfaces making it look luxurious without losing its durability.
Concrete has another benefit too – it’s affordable. Because this material is easy-to-use and naturally non-combustible, it does not require any extra insulating jackets or special inserts. You can even have a drip edge put on the edge of your counter surface to keep rain from rolling underneath the counter top and back toward the cabinetry. This keeps everything a little drier, making it last longer.
For the Grill Master
Although it’s nice to think a $500 grill could offer the same cook as a $5,000 grill, that’s not the case. There are many stark differences in the performance and life expectancy of a quality outdoor grill. After all, it is outdoors and exposed in the elements.
There are plenty of dumbed down versions of gas grills at your local hardware store. However, these rarely cut it and only churn out low quality results. They use a simple stick shaped burner designed to make a small hot surface area to cook on. Think one step above to a campfire. That’s what you’ll get with the best gas grills today.
Top performing gas grills are made from quality stainless steel, have powerful burners that provide even heat to the entire grilling surface and come with lifetime warranties of critical parts such as the burner or outer body of the grill (known as the firebox). They also have a silent ignition system to outlast the old “tick, tick, tick” of the piezo ignition systems.
This type of grill can pay you back in dividends in the value of your home. Instead of thinking about buying a grill, think of it as investing in a high quality kitchen for your home.
Is an Outdoor Kitchen Right for You?
As you begin to look at your outdoor kitchen in the same light as your indoor kitchen, you’ll see how valuable it is to your home.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted your own griddle to make burgers or pancakes. Or, perhaps you’ve always wanted to make homemade pizzas in a wood fired pizza oven. No matter what your preference, if you spend the money in a quality outdoor kitchen and do it well, you’ll see a return on many (if not all) of your investment in the resale value of your home.