How To Build An Outdoor Kitchen

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Outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular. They not only add a new dimension to your property, but they also have the potential to increase the value of your home.  

In this article, we'll share tips for designing and building your outdoor kitchen so if you're considering building one, read on.

Building the Dream Outdoor Kitchen
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Steps to building an outdoor kitchen

1. Choose your location

While this step may seem obvious, choosing the right place for your outdoor kitchen is very important.

Make sure that it's in a place where you can use it frequently and enjoy it for years to come. If you're looking to have your outdoor kitchen near an entertainment area, such as a patio or deck, this will make entertaining easier.   

So before you start drawing up plans for your new favorite hangout spot, think about where you'll be using it most often and how much space is available there.

2. Figure out what works best for you 

Once you've chosen the perfect location, it's time to decide on some basic features of your kitchen. Do you want a grill and/or a gas stove? What about an outdoor sink, ice maker, or dishwasher? You're free to dream big here.

Then begin researching the different components available for your outdoor kitchen. Make a list of the features that will be most practical for your family's lifestyle. For instance, if you have young children and dogs running around outdoors, it may be helpful to include a splash guard in some parts of your countertop. If space is at a premium on your patio or deck, look into building an outdoor kitchen island – this will give everyone more room while making it easier to prepare food and serve snacks and drinks.

3. Draw up plans 

Before you get started with any construction work, make sure that you have a set of detailed plans. You can use these to get proper building permits and ensure that your kitchen is built properly, safely, and legally.

If you plan to have a gas stove or cooktop in your outdoor kitchen, make sure that you include an exhaust fan in the drawing. This will help keep your kitchen purged of smoke while you're cooking.

Also, be sure to address any potential safety concerns when planning your space – this could involve installing handrails on steps leading up to the kitchen or creating a barrier between the cooking area and other parts of your entertainment area.

4. Get started with the construction 

When it's time for construction, there are two main ways you can build your outdoor kitchen: brick veneer or cement block.

If you want your outdoor kitchen to match the rest of your home, go for brick veneer. This involves installing a thin layer of brick over an existing wall or structure. It's affordable and easy. But it will take some time: you'll need to wait for each section of the brick to dry before adding more on top.

In the end, though, this is a smart way to go if a permanent structure doesn't fit into your budget. Cement blocks are easy to work with as well – they're lightweight and come in a variety of sizes that can be stacked easily. In addition, they don't require any special tools or materials beyond what you'd likely have on hand already.

construction of outdoor kitchen
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

Design considerations when building an outdoor kitchen.

Here are some design considerations to keep in mind when planning your outdoor kitchen:

Design the kitchen to fit your needs

The first step when designing your outdoor kitchen is to figure out what you want it to do. This includes deciding on the type of space you have, how many people will be using it, and the specific types of meals you plan to prepare in it. For example, if you're cooking for large groups, a long countertop may work better; but if you need more counter space for food prep, a peninsula might be best suited for your needs.

Designing the right shape and layout

Once you've figured out what kind of space you have available for your new outdoor kitchen, start drawing up some rough sketches that show different shapes and layouts. Think about what will work best with the existing terrain or landscaping you have. You may want to look online for an existing patio or deck that has a shape you like, then copy it with your modification.

The importance of the kitchen sink

It may not seem important initially, but the kitchen sink plays a big role in your outdoor kitchen. If you are limited on space, under-sink storage is a great way to make sure you have room for supplies and appliances that need to be kept out of sight. Kitchens with sinks built into bar counters are an excellent option because they keep food prep close by without being cluttered.

Finding the best outdoor kitchen sink is often a challenge, but it doesn't have to be. 

Do you want a sink that's easy to clean? Perhaps one with a stainless steel finish for durability and long-lasting appeal. Or are you looking for a concrete sink with more natural lines and sensibility that ties in the outdoors? There are many great options available along with different qualities of each style. So choose the outdoor kitchen sink that works best for your needs.

In addition, choosing the right kitchen faucet will give you additional options to express your style and personality. You may choose a simple, yet elegant look that will complement the overall design of the rest of your kitchen by choosing stainless steel appliances with a matching faucet.

The right faucet is critical for a healthy flow of water and to avoid splashing, so choose wisely when deciding on the faucet that works best for your outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor kitchen appliances

One of the fun parts of designing an outdoor kitchen is choosing all the appliances. The sky's the limit: from grills to refrigerators, your imagination is really what sets your creativity free when it comes to finding which outdoor kitchen appliances work best for you. 

For example, if you're planning on hosting family and friends for BBQs or parties, hot plates may be your best choice. It's easy to control and can be used to prepare just about any kind of food – from baked beans to steamed vegetables.  Gas grills are also great for cookouts with a large number of people. They come in a variety of sizes and styles; choose one that matches the theme of your kitchen as well as the look of your outdoor space.

Consider an island sink

Another fun design option is an island sink. It adds more countertop space, which comes in handy when preparing meals outside on warm days. And while it does take up some valuable floor room, it can be a great way to separate the cooking and eating areas for outdoor entertaining. 

They also open up the opportunity to add another workspace, such as a mini sink or cutting board. This would allow you some extra prep space without cluttering your countertop with too much stuff.

Outdoor kitchen lighting

There are many different kinds of lights to choose from when designing an outdoor kitchen: pots, rail lights, floodlights, hanging lamps – there is a light for every need. In addition to providing ample lighting for food preparation, consider adding decorative fixtures that will make your new outdoor kitchen stand out.    

Determine where you want the lights installed based on how much surface area they will illuminate without being blocked by counters or other appliances. You may also choose to illuminate the bar top with under-cabinet lighting strips to enhance your entertainment area and create a warm ambiance.

Create an inviting space that's easy to maintain

As you plan the layout of your outdoor kitchen, it is important to choose a material that will be easy to clean – whether they're bricks or marble countertops (or both). A large, granite tile backsplash for example is not only beautiful but very durable as well. It's hard enough for dishes and pots not to chip it; it can even withstand hot pans. Look for a water-resistant product so any spills can easily wipe up without leaving unsightly staining.

How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen and BBQ Island
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What kind of materials do I need to build a DIY Outdoor Kitchen?

Concrete: it's a great choice for large patios because of its easy installation and low maintenance requirements. Not only do you have the option to choose from different colors to match your style, but concrete is also very durable and fire-resistant. Some types of countertops can last up to 100 years. If you decide to use concrete for your outdoor kitchen design, make sure that you keep all areas clear of debris and grills away from the concrete.

Sandstone: if you don't want the hassle of cutting big slabs of stone to size or transporting them over long distances with heavy machinery, then why not try using sandstone? It comes in natural colors, sizes, and shapes that are perfect for building an outdoor kitchen. Plus it's very easy to install yourself.

What kind of tools do I need?

The truth is that all you need are a few simple tools and a lot of patience for DIY projects like this one. 

Power drill – choose an electric drill with variable speed control, as well as a pistol grip that makes it easy to slam the bit into place. Consider purchasing one with multiple bits or attachments if you plan on doing your electrical work, tile installation, etc.

 Jigsaw – this tool has many uses; it's typically used for cutting curves or bevels in sheet metal or wood products. If you're planning on installing any latticework, you'll want to invest in a quality jigsaw.

Circular saw – this tool turns easily and is small enough to maneuver around obstacles or fit into tight spaces. It's also perfect for cutting larger pieces of wood that won't fit into your miter saw or table saw (see photo below)

Miter Saw – choose one with at least a 12-inch blade for the best results. You can use it to make straight cuts, as well as mitered corners on sheets of plywood, particleboard, etc.

What kind of countertop material should I use? 

Here are some factors that will help you decide what kind of material will work best for you:

Quartzite – a metamorphic rock that comes in natural colors that range from creamy tan, browns, and grays. Some quartzite stones have swirls of different colors creating interesting contrasts with each other which is perfect for an outdoor kitchen setting where spills and stains happen more often than you'd like them too.  

Marble – it's very durable, has a lovely shine, and comes in many different shades such as white, black, cream, gray, blue veins ….etc. The price varies depending on the type of marble you choose and whether it's only for the countertops or if you plan on using marble in your flooring as well.

How much should I spend?

As a general rule of thumb, the price depends on how elaborate/ big you want your outdoor kitchen to be. It also depends on whether you're building it from scratch or hiring a contractor to build it for you. Doing it yourself will save you money but may take more time depending on your level of skill and experience. 

Final thoughts on how to build an outdoor kitchen

In conclusion, having an outdoor kitchen is a wonderful addition to anyone’s home. It not only can be just plain fun, but it can also make life much easier in the long run. If you have the space for it, I would highly recommend it; everyone will love using this new and great place you created. The satisfaction alone in building an outdoor kitchen is priceless, and something you’re sure to never forget.

Kevin Farrugia

Kevin Farrugia

Kevin is a household and appliance enthusiast and loves to follow the latest trends in kitchen and house decoration. He also loves to walk the isles of Home Depot and Lowes to review products and materials in person. Before joining Kitchen Infinity, Kevin owned a handyman company.

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