How to Build Outdoor Kitchens

Nothing says “San Antonio” quite like an outdoor dining experience–especially one that involves barbeque. What if you could cook and eat outdoors as often as you wanted?

Outdoor kitchens are an absolute dream in states like Texas, where outdoor dining is possible practically all year round. In fact, adding an outdoor kitchen to your property is the number one backyard improvement to add value to your home.

The question is, how do you get started? What kinds of decisions should you make before breaking ground? What design elements should you include?

Read on to learn how to build outdoor kitchens that your family, friends, and future buyers will love.

What Is an Outdoor Kitchen?

First, let’s talk briefly about what an outdoor kitchen really is. The objective of an outdoor kitchen is to be able to cook, entertain, and eat outside. That doesn’t mean that you have to have all of the amenities of an indoor kitchen, especially if you have a smaller space.

Typically, outdoor kitchens include a grill island (aka a built-in grill), a seating area, and counter space to prepare and plate food. You can also include additional appliances like a sink, fridge, and electric skillet or hotplate. The goal is to be able to cook most, if not all, of a meal outdoors in the fresh air.

Assess Your Outdoor Space

Before you start planning specifics, you’re going to want to assess your existing outdoor space. How much room do you have for an outdoor kitchen? How much room are you willing to devote to an outdoor kitchen?

Keep in mind other ways that you intend to use your backyard. Do you also want to build or expand a pool? Do you like to garden or cultivate a lawn for relaxation and playtime?

Building an outdoor kitchen is all about maximizing your backyard and creating the ideal oasis. If that means building a smaller outdoor kitchen to leave room for other usable space, that is completely doable.

Create a Realistic Budget

How much do you want to spend on your outdoor kitchen? Think about the average cost to build outdoor kitchens. On the low end, you can create a small but functional kitchen for as little as $4,500, and for a luxury outdoor kitchen, you’re looking at something closer to $50,000.

Starting with a budget is a great way to make hard decisions about what to build, what to buy, and what to skip. Make sure to leave some wiggle room to account for increasing supply costs and unexpected issues.

Start From the Ground Up

An outdoor kitchen requires a strong foundation. That means that you may need to build or expand a patio or deck to accommodate all of those fixtures and amenities.

If you’re starting from scratch, a new patio or deck may take up a big chunk of your budget. Whenever possible, you want to work with builders who can construct both your outdoor kitchen foundation and the outdoor kitchen, itself. This will streamline the process and timeline and save you money.

Make a List of Must-Have Features

Start thinking about what you require in your outdoor kitchen. Sometimes, the outdoor kitchen you’re envisioning simply doesn’t fit into your budget. By dividing up your must-have features from your want-to-have features, you can ensure that you’ll love your outdoor kitchen no matter what.

As we mentioned earlier, just about every outdoor kitchen features a grill. Other appliances and amenities can include:

  • refrigerators
  • sinks
  • pizza ovens
  • fire pits
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • bar carts
  • smokers
  • heating or cooling options

If you’re working with a tight budget, stick to the appliances and amenities that you know you’ll use. For example, that pizza oven might sound nice, but if you doubt you’ll use it frequently, it’s not worth the cost.

Think About Storage and Coverage

While these components aren’t must-haves for all outdoor kitchens, it’s useful to consider storage and coverage options when planning to build an outdoor kitchen.

Storage is often a simple fix. Cabinets can be attached to exterior walls or added below empty counter space so that you’re not taking up open flooring. As long as you have enough storage for your outdoor kitchen equipment, like grill tongs and brushes, you’re good to go.

As for coverage, you may want to consider installing a pergola or patio cover if you don’t already have one. Not only will this protect your appliances but it will also allow you to enjoy your outdoor kitchen even on those rainy evenings.

Hire the Right Builders

We’ll be honest with you: unless you have some serious building experience, this isn’t a project to undertake on your own. Working with professional outdoor kitchen contractors will ensure that you end up with high-quality, long-lasting fixtures and a fluid layout that maximizes your outdoor space.

When you’re looking for the right builders, experience is king. At Diamond Decks, we have executed tons of outdoor kitchens, decks, patios, pavilions, and more. When you work with Diamond Decks, you work with contractors who know how to tackle every step of your outdoor kitchen project, even when that means starting from the ground up.

Diamond Decks Is Here to Teach You How to Build Outdoor Kitchens the Right Way

If you want to learn more about how to build outdoor kitchens, Diamond Decks is here to help. We’re proud to serve the homeowners of San Antonio and can’t wait to turn your backyard into your very own dream oasis.

If you’re ready to find out what we can do for you, contact us today. Let us know about your backyard vision and what kinds of projects you have in mind and we’ll get back to you right away.