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.
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
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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