Before deciding to move forward with any home improvement project, it pays to do your…
If you love to entertain, love to grill, and love to dine alfresco, then a custom outdoor kitchen may be just the thing you need to take your outdoor entertaining to the next level. This is especially true if you’re just had it with repeated trips through your patio door to get the things you need to cook, dine, and sip while you’re outside.
Today, we’ll take a look at top considerations when you build an outdoor kitchen that rivals the one inside your home.
Hiring an Outdoor Kitchen Contractor
Pro tip: Don’t go the DIY route if you want a quality outdoor kitchen that will last and that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Don’t hire a handyman who has never built a kitchen from the ground up, either. To get the results you deserve, do your research, and hire an outdoor kitchen contractor with an outstanding portfolio and outstanding reviews.
They should have design and build expertise so they can customize your kitchen just the way you want it. Some considerations:
The Kitchen Design and Layout
Small kitchen or big kitchen, you want your outdoor kitchen design and layout to be easy to navigate, with everything at your fingertips. The most common layouts are:
- Galley style (two counters with workspace in the middle)
Your kitchen contractor can help you choose a kitchen design and layout that works best with the space you have available, and how you like to cook.
Cover It Up
Many homeowners choose a covered outdoor kitchen. By building a pavilion with a roof over your kitchen, you protect it and your family from the elements. If it starts raining, it’s not a big deal. That roof over your head also means you don’t have the hot sun beating down on you during the dog days of summer. You can easily add overhead lighting and ceiling fan(s).
But if you have a small outdoor kitchen, a strategically placed umbrella might do the trick. Discuss your options with your contractor.
Related Reading: Why a Covered Outdoor Kitchen Is a Smart Choice
The Grill and Other Cooking Options
Opt for the best built-in grill you can afford. Plan and choose a grill with the right number of burners and side burners. You can also choose to put in more than one grill. If you have a larger outdoor kitchen space, it’s easy to fit in a gas grill, charcoal grill, and flat top. Decide if you want and would use a pizza oven enough to make adding one worthwhile.
At a minimum, your outdoor kitchen should have a refrigerator and icemaker. If you plan to entertain (and who wouldn’t?) you might want to have a beverage cooler, wine cooler, and blender.
Outdoor kitchen cabinets are a must-have. Pull-out drawers and cabinets can help you store all the essentials such as grill tools, dishes, cutlery, spices, etc. that you might need to cook and serve a meal. You’ll also want a built-in trash bin and perhaps a recycling bin as well. There are all sorts of possible configurations.
Your outdoor kitchen countertops can be as nice as the ones indoors – consider granite or quartz for a high-end look, durability, and ease of cleaning. Avoid tile and grout countertops, as they can crack in the cold and are hard to keep clean. If you like the modern look of a restaurant kitchen, you could also opt for stainless steel countertops.
Choose kitchen flooring that coordinates with your patio. You’ll want the floor to have some texture to prevent slipping. Make sure to seal the pavers or stone to prevent staining when something invariably drips onto the floor as you transfer food from the grill to a plate. EP Henry’s ColorTech™ pavers are a great option.
Don’t let your outdoor kitchen lighting be an afterthought, especially if you want to use it year-round. You’ll need task lighting over the sink, by the grill, and at the bar, if you have one. Choose outdoor lighting fixtures that complement the look of your outdoor kitchen and other exterior light fixtures.
Related Reading: Tips for Choosing the Right Outdoor Kitchen Lighting
The Sound System
Do you want to be able to listen to music throughout a large backyard? Consider installing an outdoor sound system hub in your outdoor kitchen, with built-in speakers and wireless speakers elsewhere on your property. Or if you have a smaller backyard, a wireless Bluetooth speaker may be all you need. Plan now for the sound system. Installing it at the same time you install everything else is the simplest way to do it.
Make It Exceptional. Make It Woodfield.
A custom outdoor kitchen brings new opportunities for entertaining and celebrations. To get the best results, partner with the professionals at Woodfield Outdoors. We have the design and build expertise you need, and a showroom where you can select your materials and get guidance. And if you would like to expand your patio or add an inground pool to your outdoor oasis, we can do that, too.
We provide custom outdoor kitchens, patios, and pools for homeowners throughout the Baltimore area, including Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County, and Howard County. Schedule a call today.