In the wake of starting our first outdoor kitchen and patio job of the season, I thought I would share some important planning tips to think about, if you are planning your own outdoor kitchen project. If you are thinking of expanding your backyard living space and installing your own outdoor kitchen there really are a lot of finite details to think about to ensure your outdoor kitchen installation goes seamlessly. Here are some of those outdoor kitchen planning tips to help you on your way:
What features do you want in your kitchen? For example, grill, sink, cabinet or storage space, warmers, refrigerator, wine chiller, ice maker?
Do you want a bar to be able to sit at? If you answer yes to this question, how high do you want the bar to be? Do you want it the same height as the other counters or do you want a higher bar level.
How many levels or design elements do you want?
What shape will it be? Straight, L shapes, curved, multiple extensions?
Do you have a focal point in your backyard living space? Is there a pool, lush landscape, space for a tv? Think about what you want to be looking at as your are cooking. What do you want your guests to be looking at if you have a bar area.
How much seating do you want to have at the bar space?
In planning where your outdoor kitchen is located, think of where your house kitchen is. Most likely you will be bringing items from your home’s kitchen. So, you will want to plan it in a somewhat close proximity.
What style of counter top do you want? Whether you want to pay more for a custom top or use stone pieces in smaller manageable sizes may weigh on the size or scale of your kitchen area.
How big is the grill that you want to install? Will it be freestanding in between stone or is it built in?
When planning where to place the grill, think of prevailing winds. Which direction will the wind be blowing when you are cooking? You probably don’t want to place a bar area in the downdraft of the prevailing wind or you will be smoking out your guests.
Just like in your home’s kitchen, think about the placement of elements. You want to make your outdoor kitchen as efficient as your home’s kitchen. So, you probably want to have your sink, grill and kitchen in a close by proximity to make your cooking experience a happy and productive one. You probably want the fridge to be close by for ice cold beverages too!
What are the lighting conditions in your backyard space. Do you want your kitchen in full sun, do you have a shady spot or do you want to add in a pergola of some type or roof structure overhead to shade you as you cook?
Have fun with the design and with a project this size you will probably want to get a contractor’s expertise. Make sure you are working with someone that will take all these finite details into consideration when helping you to plan your space. A photo image landscape design or 3d landscape design would also allow you to see the finished project before the installation even gets started.
As always, if you have any questions on this topic, please feel free to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org