Outdoor kitchens are the private jet of the home remodel world: unnecessary and decadent, but so much fun to have.
Prices From Low to High
Some are nothing more than barbecue-grills-on-steroids. Others are nearly full-scale kitchens--as complete as indoor kitchens--allowing you to fix entire meals in the great outdoors.
Prices range from the low thousands for DIY-built ones to $50,000-$100,000 for lavish, architect-designed, and contractor-built ones.
Whether low- or high-end, they appeal to the homeowner who loves to spend plenty of time outside, and whose yard includes other goodies like a pool, spa, or garden.
Low Resale Value
Add an outdoor kitchen only because you want one, not for its potential resale value.
As the New York Times reports, Sally Slater, an associate real estate broker, offers this opinion saying, "You're not going to make money on it, as you would if your kitchen and master bedroom suite were renovated. It's a great feature, and people love it, but other things come first."
In a few cases, they might even be seen as a negative by buyers interested in doing other things with their yard, the kitchen being an impediment that needs to be cleared away.
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Incredible Full Outdoor Kitchen Serves All Your Needs
Some kitchens are just glorified BBQ grills. Others match--and often exceed--services found in indoor kitchens.
This is as complete as it gets. It has (take a deep breath now):
- Marble counters
- Two-tier breakfast bar
- Gas grill
- And yet another gas grill
- Vent hood (a rarity in outdoor kitchens)
- Full electric service
- Sound system, ceiling fans, and overhead lights.
The real star of the show is the canopy fully enclosing and protecting the kitchen.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
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Gorgeous, Compact Single-Counter Outdoor Kitchen
An outdoor kitchen that's a real stunner, especially when lighted up at night, pool-side. This one looks like the glorified-BBQ-grill that we mentioned earlier; but on close examination, you'll see that it does have normal kitchen features, just on a micro-scale.
Outdoor, BBQ-ish elements: massive gas grill, beer tap, and manufactured stone veneer base. Kitchen-type things hiding in there: a small, two-burner gas stove, sink, and bar fridge.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
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Unique Angled Counter With This Outdoor Kitchen
The designers put a crook in this eating bar, and it works like a charm. No reason for it, right? They could have just rammed a straight 10-foot counter in there and called it a day. Instead, they introduced this slight angle, which gives visual interest and serves to provide a sense of enclosure to the work area behind the counter.
So many of these kitchens use architectural veneer stone. While not as fake as high-density polymer faux stone because it is composed of natural materials, a veneer is still not real stone.
You're looking at real flagstone. No duplicate pieces. No funny corner rocks like you find with veneer. No homogeneous color. And best of all, none of that too-perfect flavor. Real stone is imperfect, and that's why it's so perfect.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
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Fire Table Brightens This Outdoor Kitchen
You've probably seen tabletop fire pits in restaurants in recent years; they're everywhere, but how many do you see in residences? Not many.
This was a brilliant touch on the part of the homeowners and designers. You can feed a gas line to the table easily because you've already got a line going to the BBQ grille or, in the case of a stand-alone fire table, you can hide the propane tank in the brick base.
Special glass fire pit rocks form the centerpiece of the table. Don't pick up glass rocks at your local hobbies and crafts store. Instead, go to a fireplace supply store, or online, and order glass rocks manufactured for use with fire.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Basic Outdoor Kitchen for Homeowners on a Budget
For one, it was built under an existing enclosure, which is always a great way to protect your appliances. For another, it connects to the house. Stand-alone kitchens (usually pool-side) entail digging trenches and running electrical and plumbing lines across your property.
All materials are chosen for high durability: stainless steel, veneer stone, cultured marble. There is a reason why wood rarely comes into play. It looks nice, but it requires maintenance. This kitchen, by contrast, is practically zero maintenance.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
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Modern Outdoor Kitchen That Uses Natural Wood
This kitchen bucks trends, eschewing the traditional stonework for natural oiled wood. It is a truly modern kitchen with its wide swaths of stainless steel on the eating bar.