Now, we’re not here to rain on the parade of adding an outdoor kitchen to your backyard; in fact, we are all for the resurging trend of homeowners getting into home improvement projects with what free time they can get during the weekends. We think that more homeowners should join in on the fun, not just for the economic benefits of bringing out more value from your property, but for the mere satisfaction of knowing you can get a lot of work done with some effort and planning.
However, far too many newbie home improvement enthusiasts are going about their outdoor kitchen plans haphazardly, to the point that their end result is often underequipped and a far cry from what we’d consider as “complete.” And so, to finally set the record straight, we’ve decided to create a short checklist of stuff you definitely must consider adding to your outdoor kitchen right now and how you can go about remodeling the project mid-way.
Zero Serving Space Means Eating While Standing
A common outdoor kitchen sin we see time and time again is the extreme lack of serving and seating space because homeowners were too engrossed with building the kitchen itself. Sure, you may have a baller kitchen that will have both your neighbors and close friends drooling at its glory, but you will end up having to stand for the duration of your backyard BBQ sessions. And while eating some homemade oven pizza might be excusable to some degree, every other dish on the menu will feel like a no-go.
- Consider Installing Countertops: If you’re short on space and have a kitchen island that’s on the longer side, we recommend installing more countertops to extend the space you already have and match them with tall seating arrangements. With this slight change, your outdoor kitchen will look a lot more classy and might even be the perfect venue for popping a few beers on a cold night.
- Add Extra Outdoor Furniture: If space isn’t a current problem and you have some of your budget still waiting to be spent, then we recommend adding extra outdoor furniture so that things can finally come full circle. Just don’t forget to provide proper shade for your seating areas like a gazebo, some patio curtains, or even a big umbrella to help accommodate you and your guests during these hot summer days.
Basic Equipment And Nothing More
Another common outdoor kitchen mistake we see homeowners commit is skimping out on all the so-called “extras” in their outdoor kitchen setup but ending up with nothing but basic equipment in their final design. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with trying to limit your budget and work around saving a few dollars here and there, but if it comes at the cost of your outdoor kitchen losing the ability to be an outdoor kitchen, then you’re better off cooking inside.
- Lackluster BBQ Setup: Whether it’s missing a few extra heat plates or the right size of warming rack for your grill, a proper BBQ setup is nothing without an expansive selection of quality BBQ parts. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you get the whole set and avoid losing out on this part of the budget because the BBQ aspect is the best component of an outdoor kitchen. And if you still have some extra money leftover, adding extra stuff like a side burner, icemaker, and maybe a small fridge are all welcome as well.
- Overlooking Safety Measures: Although we’d like to assume most outdoor kitchens check off the necessary safety measures, it doesn’t hurt to remind everyone of the necessities in case we have a few that you might’ve overlooked. For example, even though you’re already outside, proper ventilation systems are required, especially for larger setups. And for safety purposes, also keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case you have a fire hazard in your hands.
However, Try Not To Overdo Everything
Of course, even with everything mentioned above, we also don’t mean for you to go overboard and start cramming every little detail you might want to add to your outdoor kitchen. Remember, past a certain point is just too much, and overdoing everything will have the opposite effect of making your backyard looking clunky and disorganized.
- A Crowded Backyard Is A Bad Backyard: Backyards should always be spacious, and even the smallest ones find ways to make them feel a lot bigger than they are, so don’t go overcrowding your outdoor kitchen with every appliance possible. Nobody likes having to squeeze in and out just to enjoy a BBQ, and it also prevents you from trying out other fun landscaping ideas in the future.
Plan Ahead And Enjoy The Benefits
Overall, we strongly recommend that you plan ahead and consider all the points mentioned above before you make the finalizations for your outdoor kitchen. All it takes is one slip-up to make it feel uncomfortable, so don’t allow your outdoor kitchen to feel incomplete!