If you love to entertain, love to grill, and love to dine alfresco, then a…
If you like to grill, and you like to entertain, an outdoor kitchen may be just what you need to take things up a notch. We’ve helped numerous homeowners build their dream outdoor kitchen, and we can help you, too. But first, let’s take a look at what you need to get the ultimate outdoor kitchen.
1. A Vision
Deciding to build a backyard kitchen is the easy part. Now comes the fun part! Develop your vision of your kitchen. How big will it be? What will the layout look like? Do you know what materials you want to use? What style will it be (rustic, modern, Mediterranean)? What grill and appliances will you include?
Get inspiration from outdoor living showrooms, magazines, a Google image search, and more. Decide what you like and don’t like. This will inform your vision.
2. An Experienced Design and Installation Team
To get the glorious outdoor kitchen you deserve, you’ll need to work with an experienced design and build team. Ask family, friends, and coworkers who installed their outdoor kitchen. Do they recommend them? Is there anyone to avoid?
Check their portfolio, their websites, and their reviews. Get consultations/estimates with at least 3 contractors. Hire the one you would most like to work with. The low bidder may not always be the best choice.
3. A Plan for Plumbing and Electrical Lines
The location and layout of your outdoor kitchen may depend on the space you have available and how close it is to your house. Your design team will need to run electric and plumbing lines to make your kitchen fully functional.
4. The Right Flooring
You can choose kitchen flooring that matches or coordinates with your patio. You’ll want it to have some texture, to avoid slipping. Your contractor should also install it at a very slight slope away from the appliances so that rainwater doesn’t run towards your kitchen. E.P. Henry’s stain-resistant ColorTech® Pavers are one of many excellent options.
5. The Right Built-in Grill(s)
The grill is the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen. You’ll want to put in some substantial research on this. Most of our clients opt for a gas grill, powered by either propane or natural gas. Decide if you want side burners or a flattop as well. Determine if you want a charcoal grill, a Big Green Egg, or a pellet grill in addition to your main grill. Your design team will need to know this information.
6. Extra Appliances
In addition to your grill(s), you’ll need a refrigerator. In addition, many of our clients have us install a wine cooler, kegerator, pizza oven, and even a dishwasher in some cases. Think about the convenience of having all of your food items and beverages for your big event already outside. No running back and forth to the kitchen or replenishing coolers with ice.
7. Built-In Cabinets
You’ll need built-in cabinets in your outdoor kitchen, just like you need them inside. This will help you keep everything you need for a big cookout within easy reach. This can include grill implements and supplies as well as dishware, cutlery, glassware, spices, and other kitchen basics.
8. The Right Countertops
You’ll want to select countertops that can stand up to the elements. We find granite to be a good choice for our clients. And just like with your kitchen countertops, you can select the color and pattern of the granite you want (speckled, marble, solid). You’ll need to keep them sealed.
9. Task Lighting
Since you’ll be using your outdoor kitchen spring through late fall (and maybe even in the winter), it’s important to have the proper lighting. You turn on all the lights in your indoor kitchen when you’re cooking, right? You’ll need task lighting for the grill area and the food prep area, as well as overhead lighting for the kitchen and dining area.
Give some thought to the style of your light fixtures. They can add to the overall ambiance of your outdoor living area.
RELATED READING: Tips for Choosing the Right Outdoor Kitchen Lighting
10. A Roof Over Your Head
We strongly encourage our clients to build a pavilion or utilize some other sort of shelter for their outdoor kitchen area. Having a roof or awning overhead protects you, your guests, and your kitchen equipment from the elements. There’s no need to feel the sun beating down on you while you’re grilling. And you won’t have to stop everything and run inside if it starts raining.
11. Outdoor Dining Area
And last but not least, you need an outdoor dining area (or two) where you, your family, and your guests can eat what you’ve been cooking up! Many of our clients have us build an outdoor bar area that can double as a food prep or dining area. That’s in addition to the traditional dining table and chairs.
If you build a pavilion, you can get one big enough to cover your outdoor dining area as well. This also opens up your options for lighting for the dining area – there are several really cool chandeliers for your outdoor dining room.
Make It Exceptional. Make It Woodfield.
Are you ready to build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams? Make those dreams come true by working with experienced outdoor kitchen contractors with a keen eye for high-end backyard kitchen design. Schedule a consultation with our design team today to get started.
We work with discerning homeowners throughout the Baltimore area, including Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County, and Howard County