How to Create Your Outdoor Dining Oasis

If anything good has come out of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s that many of us are now spending more time at home with the people we love. And, part of this is cooking and eating in our own backyards. If you have recently discovered a love of backyard dining, keep reading for tips on how – and why – you should invest in an outdoor kitchen.

A Return on Your Investment

Outdoor spaces are in demand on the real estate market. If you think you may sell your house in the next few years, having a kitchen under the stars is a great selling point that may even increase your home’s appraisal. Even if you don’t plan to relocate anytime soon, it’s a good idea to take before and after photos of your renovation so that you can justify a higher appraisal if something comes up and you do have to move or want to refinance. While you will not get back the entire amount you spend, having an outer kitchen might make your home more attractive. And if you don’t plan to move, you’re still getting a return in quality of life.

Where to Place an Outdoor Kitchen

If you decide to move forward with your outdoor kitchen plans, it’s best to choose your location before you design your new space. According to Landscaping Network, it’s better if your outdoor kitchen is close to your back door. This will ensure that inconvenience is not an excuse to not use your dining area. Ideally, you’ll also be able to position your kitchen somewhere with great views and within easy access to water, gas, and electricity. Finally, look for privacy; the last thing you want when you have friends over for a BBQ is to have the neighbors staring at you. 

No matter where you decide to put your kitchen, make sure there is shade available. This might come in the form of a retractable awning, a dedicated cover, or the natural shadow created from your home at the time you would most commonly dine outdoors.

Design And Accessories

Your outdoor kitchen does not have to be extravagant to be enjoyable. If you’re on a tight budget, stick to the basics. A charcoal and gas combination grill is a great choice that will allow you to cook quick meals as well as smoke things like whole chicken and ribs. You’ll need somewhere to eat, so a table or bar with chairs from Down Home Dexterities’ lineup of outdoor furniture can easily round out a bare-bones outdoor kitchen. A basic setup should cost $1,000 or less.

If you’re wanting something a bit more extravagant, you can invest in a full outdoor kitchen, which might include a sink, counter, storage, and built-in cooler or small refrigerator. Keep in mind, however, that you are likely to spend anywhere from $2,700 on the low end up to $30,000 for a top-of-the-line kitchen with all of the bells and whistles. This is assuming that you already have a patio or other area upon which to put your kitchen. If you need to lay a concrete patio, you can expect to add between $3 and $15 per square foot to your overall cost, based on an average 288 ft.² area.

Ultimately, how much you spend or how many features you want in your outdoor kitchen is up to you. If you plan to stay in the home and will use your outdoor dining space regularly, then don’t be afraid to go all out. Do pay attention to your cost so that, should you decide to move in the future, you can use this to justify a higher selling price on your home. Whatever you decide, enjoy your summer and stay outside as much as possible.

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