Outdoor Kitchen Designs
What Is an Outdoor Kitchen?
Popular home renovation shows such as The Block inevitably feature external terrace areas with sensational outdoor kitchens. These beautifully presented outdoor kitchens are often fully equipped and very similar to the indoor kitchens.
In reality, while everyone would love to own an outdoor kitchen similar to what you’ve seen on TV, homeowners rarely go to that expense because of space and budget constraints. There’s rarely any reference to the cost of the outdoor kitchens on home renovation shows. However, you could reasonably expect to spend as much on one of these outdoor kitchens as you would spend on your ‘main’ kitchen—particularly when the cost of exterior-grade materials is factored-in.
Don’t Forget the BBQ
An outdoor kitchen typically includes a BBQ to replace the cooktop and oven in an internal kitchen. To achieve a streamlined look, built-in BBQs are the preferred option. If plumbing and electrical services are available, an outdoor kitchen can also be equipped with hot and cold water, sinks, refrigerators and range-hoods. For external use, durability must be considered. And stainless steel appliances will generally be the most appropriate choice. Remember, if you decide to include a sink, an approved method of disposing of wastewater will also be required.
Modular Outdoor Kitchen
A modular outdoor kitchen simply means a series of ‘modules’ or cabinets are used to create a structure that will accommodate a BBQ. This will include storage for a gas bottle and accessories such as BBQ tongs and spatulas. The modules are made to a standard size, and the overall dimensions of the outdoor kitchen can be modified by adding or removing modules. The modular method is the most cost-effective way of purchasing an outdoor kitchen; however, flexibility of design is limited.
Installation of a modular outdoor kitchen is a straightforward process, as the modules are placed in the desired location and simply screwed together. A modular outdoor kitchen may be exactly what you’re looking for if you have limited space and budget. Additionally, a modular outdoor kitchen is portable, so you can relocate it or take it with you if you sell your property. Provided they are well-made, modular outdoor kitchens are a practical, attractive way of housing your BBQ, gas bottle and utensils.
How Much Do Modular Kitchens Cost?
While prices for modular outdoor kitchens will vary depending on the materials you choose, you should expect to pay around $3,000 for a basic model (not including BBQ). For this amount expect to receive three drawers, a cabinet with double doors, and an engineered stone benchtop (e.g. Ceasarstone, or Smartstone). The cabinets should sit above the ground on stainless steel legs to facilitate cleaning underneath. Adding extra modules or features such as soft-close drawer runners and hinges will require a slight adjustment to the price.
Custom Made Outdoor Kitchen
A custom made outdoor kitchen is measured and designed to fit precisely into a particular area. Other than for space or budget constraints, there are no limits on how elaborate the design of your outdoor kitchen can be.
A custom made outdoor kitchen is typically more detailed than the modular versions. You can even specify different sized drawers or cabinets to store cooking utensils, baking dishes, crockery, cutlery and glassware.
What to Consider with Custom Made Outdoor Kitchens
Specifications and clearances required by manufacturers of BBQs and refrigerators must be taken into account when designing an outdoor kitchen that is to include such features. Not least of these considerations is the venting required in and around BBQs and gas bottles. Proper venting and clearances are important safety issues that cannot be ignored. Imperial Kitchens researches what is required, ensuring that our designs always meet manufacturers’ specifications. This way, the finished product can be used safely, while preserving your warranty.
The majority of custom-made outdoor kitchens include a sink for food preparation and cleaning-up. Connection to services (sewerage) will also be required if water is connected, as wastewater must be discharged in accordance with relevant regulations.
The range of prices you could expect to pay for a custom-made outdoor kitchen will vary significantly, depending on the complexity of the design, the materials chosen, and the features that are included. A ‘standard’ custom-made outdoor kitchen may start at around $6,000, while a more elaborate design could cost as much as $15,000 to $20,000. For peace of mind you should always insist on a fixed-price written quote before allowing work to commence.
Deal With a Professional Kitchen Company
While it’s possible to purchase modular outdoor kitchens from hardware stores and retailers, we recommend dealing with a professional company that will talk to you about your particular requirements.
Imperial Kitchens are experts at building cabinets for indoors and outdoors use. We back the product we produce, having been designing and installing all types of cabinetry for more than 20 years. Our website gallery contains some samples of the outdoor kitchens we’ve designed for happy clients and we invite you to contact us to discuss your requirements.
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