Things You Need to Know About Your Outdoor Kitchen

Choosing to build an outdoor kitchen comes with its challenges. Can it fit with your xeriscape design? Should you use a landscape design company or complete it by yourself? Do you have the correct budget in place to allow you to complete the outdoor kitchen? What type of luxury kitchen design do you want to include?

Things You Need to Know About Your Outdoor Kitchen

All of these questions can seem overwhelming. In this article, we’re trying to relieve some of the stress that comes with planning an outdoor kitchen build. You can use it to decide what’s most important for your kitchen build. 


Before investing in your outdoor kitchen, you need to know what your price limitations are. Your outdoor kitchen isn’t a simple, straightforward project. You need to focus on the various factors that affect your kitchen design.

The most obvious aspects to consider about your outdoor kitchen are the location, materials, appliances, design elements, and labor costs. They seemingly never end but you can always narrow your scope to better plan your budget.

At the low end of the spectrum, your budget will range around $5,000. Luxury outdoor kitchens can start at around $30,000. The average outdoor kitchen budget is around $15,000. 

When it comes to your budget, the most important thing to consider is that you should understand the overall limitations of your budget before you start building. If your plans are well over budget, you will receive a rude awakening when you realize you have to cease production on a half-completed project. 

Your budget can get away from you quickly and contractors will stop production the second they realize you can’t pay for their services. That’s why you should consult with a contractor before beginning your project. Doing so will give you a decent estimate of material costs and whether your vision is even feasible for them to try considering your budget. 

If you’re trying to build your outdoor kitchen by yourself, you might simply run out of money before you can complete the full conception. Identify a budget that you can confidently pay for. This way, you might have money left over to spend on some of the more expensive add-ons. 

Understand the Ultimate Purpose of Your Outdoor Kitchen 

Understanding why you’re building your outdoor kitchen is the most important aspect of construction outside of your budget. If you’re a fan of cooking outdoors, you might want to do docs on the cooking appliances. If you’re more concerned with hosting, you might want to focus on an entertainment area with an attached kitchen. If you’re looking to host parties, perhaps you want to give more attention to the bar area. 

Chef’s Kitchen 

If your primary purpose for the outdoor kitchen is to cook, then you will want to prioritize the grill and the stove areas. Put a premium on your cooking ware and the functionality of your outdoor kitchen area. 


If hosting is most important to you, you will need to optimize your dining and entertainment area. For parties, you should consider building an island area for all your guests. Starting with your balance and combining it with your why is an essential component of starting your outdoor kitchen on the right foot. 

Design Principles 

You should devote a substantial portion of your project to design. Design has a direct impact on your outdoor kitchen’s overall look and feel. The overall design process should be straightforward but there is always a potential to run into some snags. 

Budget can pose a significant challenge to the design you want to implement. Always refer to the elements you have that are non-negotiables vs. the ones you can potentially forego. 

Have a Plan for the Overall Outdoor Space

You can plan your design as thoroughly as you want but it won’t save you if you don’t understand the overall landscaping of your outdoor space. You have to consider a few factors here. 

First, what’s the overall objective of your space? Is it an entertainment area?  Are you going to try and input an additional feature to your plot of land? Perhaps a pool, water feature, or outdoor fireplace?

If you’re already planning multiple outdoor living spaces, you should consider how your potential kitchen design fits in with those. Designate the appropriate room for all these projects. It’s natural for homeowners to overestimate the amount of space they have to utilize. 

Your Space and the Outdoor Kitchen

When it comes down to the kitchen itself, you need to ensure your kitchen has adequate space to allow for the chef and traffic. The last thing you want is guests bumping into each other or you while you’re trying to complete a delicious meal. 

You should also account for seating space in the dining area if you plan to create meals for your guests. Even if you’re only building the outdoor kitchen, you have to consider valuable points such as where your kitchen needs to be placed.  


Location can either ruin your outdoor kitchen or make it the focal point of your entire house. 

Where you place your outdoor kitchen is important. If you don’t have a patio to build your kitchen on, you can be more flexible with your outdoor kitchen location. You should settle on the overall location of your kitchen before you start construction on your kitchen. 

Satellite Vs. Perimeter Outdoor Kitchen

Another important element of deciding about your outdoor kitchen is choosing between a satellite or outdoor kitchen. Satellite kitchens are disconnected from the existing structure while perimeter kitchens are attached to the house. Which you choose comes down to your personal preferences. While choosing between a satellite or perimeter kitchen, you should consider the following elements.

First, perimeter placements are cheaper than satellite placements. The other thing you want to consider is how design elements change based on whether you have a perimeter or satellite outdoor kitchen 

Utilities and Site Preparation

While preparing the site, you should make a pitch assessment. Pitch is the metric you use for the slope of your proposed space. With a significant pitch or slope, you might have some additional work in the building process. 

Significant pitch increases the amount of shimming you will need to use which can damage the aesthetic aspect of your outdoor kitchen. If you have a minor pitch, a slight amount of shimming won’t damage the aesthetic aspects of your outdoor kitchen. If you don’t have an existing surface, you can plan the design more closely. Keeping an eye on how this changes matters will prevent any pitch issues from occurring. 


Another aspect of planning your outdoor kitchen comes from estimating the utilities you need and their costs. If you need appliances such as gas, electricity, or water, you need to plan your space for these. This requires more extensive planning and budgeting. You typically have to hire someone for gas, water and electric lines. 

The farther away the proposed outdoor kitchen is from your existing home, the more difficult and costly your utility line installation will likely become. If you want to save, this is another reason you should consider a perimeter 

If you want to install the outdoor kitchen on a deck, you can choose to have the utility lines punch through the floor of the deck. 

Contractor or DIY?

Building your outdoor kitchen gives you the option for either a contractor or DIY. Both options have their pros and cons and you need to decide which one suits your position best. Hiring a contractor is most likely the easier of the two options. However, sometimes this proves untrue. If you choose the wrong contractor, it can quickly become more costly than if you were to just conduct the job on your own. It’s also more difficult to contact a contractor. 

Next, your project timeline is at the mercy of your contractor. You will have a deadline in place but the deadline will be at the mercy of the contractor’s schedule. You will also have to consider whether your contractor has the necessary expertise to complete your job according to your standards.