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Outdoor Kitchen Plans

How To Transform Your Life And Your Yard

All great outdoor kitchen plans start with the same ingridient: A great pre-plan.




 














 

And great pre-plans answer questions that make for fabulous alfresco kitchen plans.

outdoor kitchen plans pictureWhat's the right location? Should you hire a pro , do it yourself, or do a little of both? Which design team is right for you?

How can you control costs ? And how will you pay for it all ? How will you deal with mosquitoes and weather changes? And wouldn't an idea file be useful?

The Guide helps bring into prospective all the nitty-gritty pre-planning details. Then points you towards answers.

Outdoor Kitchen Design Ideas Video





Outdoor Kitchen - Design Sizing & Configuration

This video will give you some idea of some of the amenities, design sizes and measurements you might want to consider as your outdoor kitchen plans take shape.

Watch it and let's get cooking!

outdoor kitchen ideas

Creating An Idea File

outdoor kitchen ideas
 
 

Planning an outdoor kitchen is as much fun as planning an indoor room.

So while you're dreaming up the perfect outdoor kitchen plans, use these tips to get started.
 
Scour Easy Outdoor Decor. You'll find lots of outdoor decorating ideas.
 
Start a clip file or use a notepad, notebook, scrapbook, or shoebox to hold you ideas.
 
Look for images of decorative accents, outdoor rooms, container plantings, furniture, and water features in garden magazines.

Go on a house tour in your local area and take pictures of features you especially like.
 
Use the web to download images and articles.
 
Visit outdoor living specialty stores and collect images in their catalogs.
 
And start collecting stone, brick and tile samples that move you.
 
 
 

outdoor kitchen ideas

Choosing A Design Team

 

outdoor kitchen ideas

Outdoor kitchens are relatively new.

And so are a lot of builders and designers specializing in outdoor kitchen plans and outdoor kitchen construction.

That's why it's so important that you ask lots of questions, talk to past clients, and see samples of their work.

Professionals who design and build homes from scratch may not be masters in the art of add-ons.

Residential landscape architects and kitchen designers will have more experience.

Specialty stores will sell and install modular and manufactured outdoor kitchen units.

Ask friends who have outdoor kitchens to recommend someone. You may get lucky and come across a craftsman who installs wood-burning ovens or outdoor kitchen islands .

 

outdoor kitchen ideas

Selecting A Pro

 
outdoor kitchen ideas
 

Choosing the right landscape designer, architect, or contractor will have your outdoor kitchen plans running smooth.

The experience will be more enjoyable and you'll get top-notch results.

Ask friends and colleges who they'd recommend. 

Even better, use these professional organizations to help with local referrals.

  • The American Institute of Architects, 800-242-3837, aia.org.
  • The National Kitchen & Bath Association, 877-NKBA-PRO or 800-843-6522, nkba.org
  • The American Society of Landscape Architects, 202-898-2444, asla.org
  • The Professional Landcare Network, 800-395-2522, landcarenetwork.org

Make sure to get references, and call to find out what you can -- positive and negative.

Ask to tour any projects recently completed or currently underway to see for yourself the quality of their work.

Savvy professionals will zero in on your expectations and needs by asking you lots of questions. Don't trust your outdoor kitchen plans to any that don't.

Give the working relationship a test drive by asking for preliminary drawings.

Get bids for appliances or other features. Each bid should include detailed materials lists, a schedule indicating what gets done when, and a payment schedule.

 

outdoor kitchen ideas

Choosing The Right Location

 
outdoor kitchen ideas

 

Build an outdoor kitchen anywhere you like. But think about practical matters as your outdoor kitchen plans develop.

  • Outside the kitchen door
  • Pool side
  • Inside a pool house
  • On the pool deck
  • Underneath a shady pavilion, pergola or gazebo
  • At the far end of the deck or patio
  • On a rooftop
  • On a balcony
  • As a distant retreat

Close to the house means less money spent tapping into water, electricity and natural gas utilities and fewer conveniences will need to be installed.

And out of sight may mean out of mind. So site your outdoor kitchen so you'll be tempted to grill and entertain every time you glance out the window.

 

 

outdoor kitchen ideas

Dealing With Mosquitoes

 
outdoor kitchen ideas
 
 

Here are a few common sense and preventative tips for dealing with mosquitoes.

  • Routinely check for and remove sources of standing water
  • Use repellants sparingly on skin and clothing
  • Use Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) foggers
  • Install devices that lure and trap mosquitoes
  • Use structural barriers like screened or glass porches
  • Install a good ceiling fan

 

 

outdoor kitchen ideas

Dealing With Changing Weather

 
outdoor kitchen ideas
 

Climate control is a major outdoor kitchen must-have. And designing with weather in mind extends your outdoor season by weeks or even months.

Consider building an outdoor kitchen in a screen room and install fans near the cook zone.

Fans not only keep it breezy, but double as mosquito repellants.

Overhead shade and misting systems keep things cool.

An outdoor kitchen is fabulous pool side in hot climates.

A fire pit, hearth, or patio heater is great where days cool fast or nights are cool.

Natural tree or shrub screens are very effective at diverting wind.



Think about an arbor, pergola, or browse gazebo ideas for overhead shelter if rain is common.

All your outdoor kitchen appliances, storage pieces, furniture, ceiling fans, and cushions should be weather-worthy rugged.

 

 

outdoor kitchen ideas

Controlling Costs

 
outdoor kitchen ideas
 
Remodeling projects typically end up 10-15 percent over budget. No matter how detailed your outdoor kitchen plans, there's always some unexpected charge or situation not accounted for.

And with all the excitement and enthusiasm that comes with outdoor kitchen construction, spur-of-the-moment upgrades make their way in.

So avoid the hassle and headache by padding in overruns now.

Whether your dream outdoor kitchen plans are simple or elaborate, these tips save money.
  • A concrete patio costs way less than stone even when it's customized to look like the real thing. So choose materials wisely.
  • Ask your friends and family for help. Or throw a party and feed guests in exchange for help. You can even swap jobs with handy neighbors.
  • Consider helping the contractor as a general laborer. You can save lots of dollars by preparing the site yourself, doing daily cleanup, acting as a helper or playing golfer for your contractor.
  • If you have lots of time, why not be your own general contractor?
  • In most cases, renting equipment is cheaper than buying. So remember this if you're doing any of the work yourself.
  • Avoid dipping into your savings, going into debt, and interests charges by building your outdoor kitchen in stages.
  • Start with basics like a built-in grill with counter space. Then add amenities like a beer tap, a refrigerator or weather-worthy cabinets later.
 
 
 

outdoor kitchen ideas

Finding The Money

 
outdoor kitchen ideas
 
 
You've got your heart set on your outdoor kitchen plans. Now let's find the money.
 
No worries! There are several ways to bankroll a new outdoor kitchen.
 
There's no waiting, no interesting charges, and no payments, if you've squirreled away enough to fund the project.
 
Another way to avoid interest charges is to plan the construction stages to coincide with your paycheck.
 
This approach stretches out the project, gives you time to shop for bargains, pads in time to pay for big-ticket items and you can do some or all the work yourself.
 
The trade off is you won't be cooking alfresco as soon as you might like.
 
If you don't want to use your savings, and you don't like waiting, then consider a home equity loan. You may be able to finance the entire project.
Home equity loans usually have lower rates and can also be tax deductible.
 
What about a home equity line of credit? It's like using a credit card, but with a lower rate and a tax deduction.
You'll borrow up to a preset amount on a revolving credit account. The advantage is that you only pay interest on the money you spend.
 
With a home equity loan, you'll pay interest on the entire loan amount whether or not you spend it.
 
If your outdoor kitchen plans are for a home you're about to buy, consider getting a mortgage that covers the price of the home, plus the outdoor kitchen.
 
The interest is tax-deductible and the cost is spread out over the life of the loan.
 
Credit cards are a last resort.
 
They're only useful when you're taking advantage of low teaser rates, or the amount you plan to borrow is small, or you can pay off the balance quickly.
 
Why not mix and match your funding.
 
You could use only a portion of your savings, then pay some of the expenses as you go, and take advantage of a retailer's no-interest-for-one-year offer on appliances, and also contribute sweat equity of your own.

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