Over the past couple of years, homeowners have been trying to make the most of their homes in a variety of ways. One of the more popular options embraced by homeowners is adding an outdoor kitchen to their property. Although these setups have significant upfront costs, they can have an over 70% return on investment. If you’re not sure about where to start in setting up an outdoor kitchen, look no further than the information in this article which is backed by the wisdom of many realtors in Houston.
Equipment for entry-level outdoor BBQs
If you’re on a tight budget and are just looking for the basics, our first tip is to invest in a quality outdoor grill because that’s going to be the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen. We recommend purchasing an outdoor grill that uses natural gas (which is easier to maintain than charcoal), built-in lights (so you can grill day or night), and infrared technology which reduces the amount of fuel used for cooking,
Aside from the grill, we recommend purchasing pre-built countertops and cabinets since you won’t have to pay extravagant labor costs. Hardscape materials are the best material for countertop because they’re durable and easy to clean.
Equipment for mid-level outdoor BBQs
Mid-level outdoor kitchens also do well with natural gas or propane grills, but at this level you can also find quality charcoal grills that also are easy to maintain. In addition to the grill you also could add an outdoor-rated refrigerator and at least 36 inches of counter space on either side of the grill that can be used for preparing or serving food.
Soapstone is a great countertop material, and veneer finishing and aluminum framing are both quality materials for your outdoor kitchen’s framework. Additionally, stainless steel cabinets go well with many homes.
If you have the budget, you could also add a sink, however, remember that those will require 18 to 24 inches of space on either side. You’ll also need to install plumbing which can cost $300 to $1,500 depending on complexity.
Equipment for high-end outdoor BBQs
High-end outdoor kitchens typically have the amenities of a mid-level outdoor BBQ, however they include specialty appliances such as wine coolers, warming drawers, a dishwasher, and even a pizza oven. Fire pit tables also are popular with homeowners because they’re functional, look great, and generally recoup over 80% of the cost when the home is sold.
Homeowners that install high-end outdoor kitchens in their home also generally have natural stone finishing in their framework, steel framing, and weatherproof cabinets. Depending on the home type, the owners might even install granite countertops and a full patio enclosure.
The reason outdoor kitchens cost more than indoor equipment
Installing an outdoor BBQ for your home carries higher upfront costs than upgrading an indoor kitchen, however much of that is because of the associated infrastructure (e.g. plumbing, gas lines, electricity) that need to be added. You can significantly cut the costs of your outdoor kitchen by connecting it to your existing infrastructure, or even placing it closer to your home’s exterior so you don’t need to invest in things like an outdoor refrigerator.