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Creating the perfect outdoor kitchen for you and yours means customizing it to suit your needs. Otherwise, the end result will be a design that does not give you the details you wanted and needed. A design you may see in a magazine may not function for you. For instance, an image may show you a lovely outdoor kitchen that seats eight, designed to fit a large area, beautiful large furniture because space is not an issue, the most expensive materials. While this image is great to look at, it may not be what you need.

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Compiling images from the internet or magazines are a good starting point to determine your sense of style. After looking through a few  you may notice that you are drawn to the modern designs or certain roof designs and so forth. Images should be used as a source of inspiration rather than taken solely and implemented. Do not overspend, design and construct an outdoor kitchen that is bigger than your needs and does not suit your lifestyle. Instead, take your time and know exactly what you want from your outdoor kitchen. An efficient design uses a  personalized touch to suit your lifestyle.

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Here are a few considerations to help guide you in creating the perfect outdoor kitchen that is right for you.

  •  Budget.

Before investing in an outdoor kitchen ask yourself is it feasible!  Divide your questions into four main categories: Use, Benefits, Investment and Design.

First stage is Use, ask yourself, Who will be utilizing the area? Is it for entertaining friends, family, informal meetings  or all? Will it serve any other function?

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Understanding the benefits can also assist you in designing your perfect area. The benefits of outdoor kitchens are numerous, especially when built to fit your needs.

  1. Outdoor Kitchens increase the value of your home.
  2. Increases the living space of your home.
  3. Great for entertaining, gives your family a new way to bond (grill Tuesdays) a practice to last a lifetime, even when the children get married.
  4. Increase your health through fresh air and grilled foods rather than fried.
  5. Gives you the opportunity to cook your favorite foods in an enjoyable way without feeling stifled from the smoke or becoming bored.
  6. Saves you money from eating out at a restaurant.
  7. Nothing beats a good grill. The food often tastes better even if you are not a master chief.
  8. Easier to clean when compared too indoors; the scents are taken away by the wind and less cleaning from children running through your entire home.
  9. Even at quiet times, it could be used as a place to sit and relax with loved ones, sit and look at the sky and inhale the fresh air or admire your garden.
  10. A place to get some work done.

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Then move on to the third category, Investment. Here are a few considerations: Am I going to sell this property at any time? How much value is going to be added to my home? How much am I willing to spend? Is it worth the investment?

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Finally yet importantly Design. Depending on your available funds, you may have to make some compromises. Think of eliminating an appliance you may not utilize, or using a less expensive but durable material. Design a structure that is a bit smaller but still efficient. If all else fails choose a simple, lot less complex design while keeping the essential features.

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  • Planning.

Make a list of your needs. Again, at this stage you are faced with the question, how many people do you plan to entertain? This is a good question when planning for both seating and buying appliances. If you plan to entertain often and your guest list is large, think about purchasing a large grill that will save you hours preparing meals for your guests.

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  • Land/Location/Size.

Discuss with your designer the area that you have and show him your list of must haves. At this point, your designer should take measurements and discuss your different options. Is the area flat or at a slope? Do you want a level area or are you going to use the natural topography to your advantage. For instance, designing a build in sunken area for the lower contours.

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  • Space/Shapes.

Determine the cooking, eating and entertaining spaces. Your designer should know which shape best utilizes the area that you have as well as achieve some Feng Shui.

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  • Define areas.

Cooking and Preparation Area should alert you to think of Plumbing and Electrical- So keep in mind existing utility lines. Also get rid of walls between the cooking area and the entertaining area. Nothing is worse than cooking in isolation and hearing the laughter but not being a part of it. Put a seating area close to the cooking area so the cook will be part of the festivities.  adh000016

 

Entertaining Area– Means setting the perfect ambiance as well as comfort.

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Relaxing Area– Think about dual purpose. Always plan ahead, when constructing your new area think about the areas that you have in your home. For example, within your home you may not have a quiet reading area and this outdoor area can be used to substitute. Therefore, if it will be used for reading think about a fully covered roof.dual

 

  • Lighting.

Lighting is important for your safety.  Brighten cooking areas believe me you would not want a sliced off finger. Light pathways and surrounding areas. Have both natural and artificial lighting. Install a mixture of light fixtures for task lighting, accent lighting and so forth around your outdoor kitchen. For more information on light fixtures read our article  How To select the perfect light fixture.

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  • Walkway

It is best to highlight traffic areas for ease of movement from one area to the next. After all you would not want your guests to have to keep walking through the hot cooking area to get to the fridge. Or have to keep asking individuals to move so you could get something. The area you have created should allow ease of movement where people can sit and talk without disturbances.

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  •  Drainage

Another key element is drainage. Talk to your designer about any concerns you may have and preferences.

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  • Material / Durability/Maintenance

Buy quality equipment, flooring and countertops, materials that can stand the heat, climate, be certain that it is durable and easy to maintain.

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  • Storage

At this point think of storage. Some people prefer to design an outdoor kitchen that is independent from their indoor kitchen. This is a good point to think of because it eradicates the need of having to go back and forth indoors. Carrying dirty dishes inside increases the work and time. A good designer can provide you with nifty tricks in utilizing small spaces but providing great storage. c

 

  • Roof Design

The options are endless but start with one easy question Fully covered or partially covered? Then think is it one main roof for the entire area? What type of roof design would match your homes current style. For an idea of the different types visit: Different types of roofsmodern-kitchen-lighting

Your options are not limited to traditional roof designs you can also add a pergola, awning or an umbrella.

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  • Ventilation

Think of roof height, smoke and heat.

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  • Theme

Select a theme and a focal point.

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  • Landscape.

Use your landscape as your garden for your kitchen- plant some rosemary, which is great for seasoning but also releases a beautiful scent which can eliminate some of your meat scents.

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