Outdoor Living Project Guide

Outdoor Kitchens: By the Numbers

Recommended Counter Space:

Grills and Pizza Ovens: 24 inches to one side and 12 inches to the other
Sinks: 18 inches on each side
Refrigerators: 15 inches next to or above the appliance
Cooktops and Kegs: 12 inches on each side

Recommended Seating Width:

Normal: 24 inches
Accessible: 36 inches

Recommended Space Between Seats:

26-30 inches from the center of each seat, and 8-14 inches on either end

Recommended Seating Heights:

Bar Seating: 40-46 inches high / Stool Height: 30-36 inches
Counter Seating: 34-40 inches high / Stool Height: 24-29 inches
Table Seating: 28-30 inches high / Chair Height: 17-23 inches

Recommended Traffic Clearances:

No Traffic: 32 inches
Passing Traffic: 36 inches
Unobstructed Traffic: 48 inches

5 Ways to Save:
  1. Tap into existing utilities
  2. Reduce your project footprint
  3. Skip the sink
  4. Pick a propane grill
  5. Run a single cold water line

Outdoor Kitchen Types: Which Is Right for You?

Everyone can enjoy the benefits of an outdoor kitchen — whether it’s comprised of a simple island grill or an elaborate, built-in entertaining area. Here’s a look at three options — from budget friendly prefabs to one-of-a-kind custom constructions.

$ Simple Island:

A prefabricated kitchen island makes a substantive addition to your outdoor living space. And, starting at around $3,000, you can get one for a fraction of the cost of a customized model. Typically, prefabricated islands include a grill and countertop, but many manufacturers offer add-ons such as refrigerators, storage and ice-makers. Both gas and propane grilling options are available. And, in terms of aesthetics, you’ll generally choose between a stucco or stone veneer façade and a tile or granite countertop. If you’ve got a tight space, a limited budget, or plans to move in the next few years, a prefabricated kitchen island is a fantastic choice.

$$ Mix-and-Match Modular:

Modular components offer a mix-and-match approach to outdoor kitchen installation — allowing you to compile your chosen elements into a cohesive linear, L-shaped or U-shaped format. There are two types of modular kitchens available: kits and standalone modules. Kits are comprised of pre-assembled units — a grill module and a refrigerator module, for example — that may simply be placed side-by-side to create a unified kitchen area. Standalone modules, on the other hand, are assembled on site, using brick, stone or another material to join them together. Typically, a modular kitchen will cost between $5,000 and $15,000.

$$$+ Custom Built-In:

A custom built-in kitchen will allow you to create a one-of-a-kind space tailored specifically to your tastes and preferences. Built on site by qualified professionals, custom built-ins may incorporate all of the elements of mix-and-match modular components while introducing them more purposefully into a greater landscape design. A custom built-in kitchen can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like, but it will typically include all or most of the conveniences of an interior kitchen — including cooking stations, refrigerators, and cabinets and countertops. And it also invites amenities such as wet bars, shade structures, built-in seating, and fireplaces and pizza ovens. One of the greatest benefits of a custom built-in kitchen is that it allows you to fully integrate your outdoor kitchen into a cohesive and functional outdoor living area. The greatest drawback is cost: Generally, a custom outdoor kitchen will cost $15,000 to $60,000 or more, depending on size and materials. Additionally, you may need to run gas, water or electric lines to fully service your new space.

Fun Fact

10% of all homeowners have a premium outdoor space that includes an outdoor kitchen, a cooking island, or another premium-built feature.

Eric Davis, Spokesperson, Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association

Pro Tip
For the greatest convenience, locate your outdoor kitchen within 30 yards of your indoor kitchen.

– Andy Hashman, Designer, Mosaic Outdoor Living

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