Summer is prime time for pool parties and barbecues. If you’ve been to a cookout recently, you might now be dreaming of your own outdoor kitchen. As always, before you get started with a new project, you should consider all of your possibilities. Analyzing your priorities and making a comprehensive plan ahead of time can save you time and money on your in the long run.

First, ask yourself how you intend to use your outdoor kitchen space. Do you have a large family and lots of friends, or will you mostly entertain small groups? This will impact your decisions on seating areas, size of cooking appliances, and so on. You should carefully consider your space needs before choosing finer details like specific appliances or decorative touches.

Are you interested exclusively in traditional barbecues, or do you plan to cook other meals in your outdoor kitchen? You might want a pizza oven, a full cooktop, or other additional appliances. This will very much dictate the size of the BBQ that is built and how much space you will need around it.

How much convenience do you need? If you don’t want to traipse through the house grabbing condiments, drinks, and other items from the kitchen, you might consider items such as a beer keg, wine cooler, condiment drawer, or other storage options.

Now that you have an idea of your basic needs, it i’s time to think about aesthetics. Your options for facing (front dressing) boil down to stucco, stone, or tile. Stucco is the least expensive option, it’s easy to maintain, and we can often get it to match your house quite well. Stone facing is more expensive, but it’s more unique and colorful. Tile comes in a broad range of colors and offers you the most opportunities to custom design your outdoor kitchen, but it is the most expensive option and can be difficult to clean.

As for countertops, we typically offer concrete and granite options. There are three basic things to consider with regard to countertops: price, appearance, and ease of cleaning. If you’re looking for an option that is cost effective, durable and easy to clean, concrete counter tops are the way to go. On the other hand, if you’re looking for beautiful and unique, though admittedly costly, granite counter tops might be more your style.

When you plan your countertops, don’t forget to consider height. Do you prefer a standard height, or bar level? Taller people might appreciate a higher food prep surface, and, of course, you might desire a bar area. Another option is to include both heights in your design with an L shaped or U shaped structure.

Finally, there are a few finishing touches to consider for your outdoor kitchen. Do you need space for an umbrella or other shaded area? Is your current lighting adequate, or do you need to add a fixture or two? What do you plan to do about trash? It’s simple enough to add a standard trash can, but a built-in trash chute can be more visually appealing.

There are many different design components that we can use to personalize your outdoor kitchen, but it’s usually better to plan ahead in order to incorporate them seamlessly into your design. Call us for a consultation, and we can help you design the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.


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