7 Questions You Should Ask Before Installing Your Outdoor Kitchen   

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    A kitchen is the hub of your home.

    You plan and eat meals there. You have get-togethers there. You might even have a calendar on the fridge that you use for organizing your to-dos. It’s a place you constantly clean. It’s the center of many of your activities.

    In the summer, though, particularly when your stove is on, the kitchen can get a bit hot. Sometimes you want to break free of your indoor kitchen and get outside.

    Enter the outdoor kitchen. This is the place where right out your back door you can have perfectly seared steaks with tender, juicy centers and melt-in-your-mouth burgers and grilled veggies and fruits. It takes summer cooking up a notch, creating an atmosphere full of sunshine, fresh air, cool breezes, and delicious smells.

    Your indoor kitchen is feeling a bit stuffy at this time of year, isn’t it? You probably want to break free and get outside. It’s time to plan your outdoor kitchen.

    But as you’re dreaming up what your space might look like and what extras you could add – did someone say “pizza oven!?” – you might have a list of questions piling up that you need answers to in order to proceed with your plans. And that’s completely normal. In fact, it’s a good idea to go through some key questions when you’re considering installing an outdoor kitchen to ensure you leave nothing out and create a space you can enjoy for years to come.

    Let’s review some of these key considerations so you’re best prepared to create a comfortable and useful outdoor room.

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    7 Important Outdoor Kitchen Installation Questions  

    Outdoor kitchens are all the rage today. It might feel like everyone you know has one. In fact, more than 60% of homeowners plan to add one this year, the National Kitchen & Bath Association reports.

    But what kind of kitchen will suit you best? A single grill on a simple patio with a bit of counter space or something with appliances and lots of storage so you don’t have to go inside at all while you’re prepping and cooking food?

    These questions can help you figure out what kind of outside cooking space might fit you and your family’s needs and provide tools you’ll use regularly.

    1. How Many People Will Use Your Outdoor Kitchen On a Regular Basis?  

    When you’re thinking about installing an outdoor kitchen, a key question to ask yourself is how many people will use the space most often.

    Do you have a family of four that you see enjoying outdoor meals daily? Or maybe you have a nearby extended family, and you plan to host the birthday celebrations and family reunions in your Kansas City outdoor space.

    The size of your regular eating party and number of guests can help determine the size of your outdoor kitchen.

    2. How Will You Use Our Outdoor Kitchen Space?  

    This is another important point to ponder before installing an outdoor kitchen.

    Is your space more about cooking and showing off your culinary skills? Then you want to prioritize some key components like a custom grill and lots of food prep storage and counter space.

    If you also plan to entertain while you cook, you will want counter space that faces out to a bar area or patio so you can chat with guests while you prepare gourmet meals and serve drinks.

    If you also plan on watching television – whether it be movies or games – you’ll want to ensure that space connects to your outdoor living room in a cohesive fashion so there is a seamless transition and all your family and friends can interact in a space large enough for this level of entertainment.

    3. What Location Would Be Most Convenient for Both Proximity to the Home and Sun/Wind Protection?   

    Where you put your outdoor kitchen is also a key factor to consider.

    Do you want to be able to walk out your back door right into your outdoor kitchen or is more of a walk ok? Also, if you have to travel a greater distance from  your back door or indoor kitchen, you might consider adding a small refrigerator and other storage so you don’t have to keep coming back inside for those things as you prepare meals.

    Also, think about wind direction in relation to your home and outdoor kitchen location. Wind can negatively impact your comfort because it can blow smoke into your entertainment area while cooking.

    4. Will You Need Gas, Water, Or Electricity?   

    Another item on your to-do list to think about when installing an outdoor kitchen is the different appliances you’ll need. Maybe you’re looking at a gas grill, a small sink and countertop, a refrigerator, and lighting.

    Once you have this list, you will then need to ask yourself how these appliances are being powered – gas, water, and electricity. These will help determine what kind of access and special technicians and permits might be required for your outdoor space. If you want an ice machine, for instance, you’ll need water. Any plug-in appliances or lighting will need electricity. Grills and fire features may require gas connections.

    5. What Time of Day Will You Use the Space Most Often?  

    Do you plan on having dinners in your outdoor kitchen? Or maybe you want to enjoy breakfasts and dinners outside?

    This timing is important to consider because you’ll want to think about sun and shade exposure. A beautiful kitchen isn’t usable without also being comfortable. You’ll want to consider ways to protect your area from intense heat, rain, and weather so you can maximize the use of your space.

    A good idea might be an automated pergola with louvered beams that open or close with the push of a button. This means you don’t have to sacrifice sunshine on nice days or race back indoors on rainy days.

    6. What is Your Budget For Your Outdoor Kitchen?  

    Installing an outdoor kitchen is also something that takes a thoughtful look at your budget.

    You want to know what different types of kitchens cost to determine the budget required to match the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.

    A prefabricated outdoor kitchen can range from $10,000 to $25,000. A small outdoor kitchen with a linear bar and simple appliances will be toward the lower end, while a customized space with better appliances, stone veneer and outdoo lighting will fall to the higher range.

    A veneered simple outdoor kitchen will range from $10,000 to $20,000. Adding a tiered or L-shaped bar will end up at the higher end of that range.

    For those who really like to cook and entertain, a large outdoor kitchen is a great choice, ranging from $25,000 to $65,000.

    For the ultimate gourmet chef, a luxury outdoor kitchen typically starts at $55,000 and goes up from there. Adding a TV, sound system, heaters, and multiple bars increases this kitchen’s price tag.  

    Adding some fun appliances, like a pizza oven, can also add to your outdoor kitchen costs with prefabricated ones costing $4,000 to $13,000 and stone veneer ones ranging from $15,000 to $25,000.

    7. How Can I Find Answers to All These Questions And Get a Great Outdoor Kitchen?

    When planning an outdoor kitchen installation, it’s nice to have some help in answering all of these questions and determining the right space for your needs.

    Hiring a landscape design and installation professional who assists you through this process is key to helping you figure out your needs.

    At High Prairie, we follow an in-depth, experience-driven design process that takes you through a series of thought-provoking questions intended to help you identify how you uniquely relax, play, and connect. That information helps us create a tailored design and construction plan customized to your unique way of enjoying the outdoors.

    It’s Time For Your Outdoor Kitchen Installation   

    Maybe you’re looking for a smaller outdoor space that fits your intimate family gatherings or possibly you want an outdoor kitchen that showcases all of your high-end cooking skills and talents.

    Either way, you want a space that fits your needs and that you’ll frequently use.

    But there are a lot of items to think about; we know that can become stressful. If you’re having trouble determining what type of kitchen would suit you best, give High Prairie’s experts a call. We’re happy to walk you through this process to ensure you share your thoughts and talk about your options and are comfortable with your final outdoor kitchen installation ideas.

    Ready to see how High Prairie can transform your Kansas City home landscape with an outdoor kitchen? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a design that you will love and your neighbors will envy.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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