How much does it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?
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Outdoor Kitchen Installation Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Outdoor kitchens add function and style to your outdoor living areas. They can be as simple as a built-in grill with a counter or elaborate, luxurious kitchen areas with the amenities you expect indoors. They also come in a range of sizes, locations, and materials.
For these reasons, there is a wide range of costs associated with this project. The national average range to build an outdoor kitchen is between $7,000 and $20,000. Most homeowners spend about $13,000 on a 300 sq.ft. outdoor kitchen with fieldstone, stone countertop, built-in grill, refrigerator, and seating with a pergola overhead. This project’s low cost is around $4,500 for a 100 sq.ft. outdoor kitchen on an existing patio, with stock cabinets against the house, freestanding grill, and tile countertop. The high cost is $45,000 for a 500 sq.ft. outdoor kitchen with separate seating area, luxury grill, two sinks, refrigerator, stone countertops, bar area, and freestanding roof cover.
Average Cost to Build an Outdoor Kitchen
|Outdoor Kitchen Cost|
|National average cost||$13,000|
Outdoor Kitchen Cost per Square Foot
On average, expect an outdoor kitchen to cost between $40 and $130 a square foot. There is a wide range of methods to create an outdoor kitchen, which means you can create a kitchen for much less or more than this range.
These costs assume that the kitchen is being fully constructed with a new patio, counters, storage, cooking element, refrigeration, plumbing, and cover. If you build on an existing patio and only use some elements, your costs per square foot will be much lower. However, if you choose to use luxury and high-end materials for each component and add things like a bar area and a stand-alone seating section, your costs will be higher.
Outdoor Kitchen Construction Costs Breakdown
While you can arrange your outdoor kitchen in many ways with various materials, some universal materials and methods exist. This includes framing, countertops, plumbing, flooring, and labor. The following cost breakdown helps determine the basic ranges for the different components:
|Component||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Countertops||$10 - $100/sq.ft.|
|Cover||$25 - $100/sq.ft.|
|Patio||$40 - $100/sq.ft.|
|Framing & Cabinets||$200 - $600/sq.ft.|
|Plumbing (Sink, Faucet, etc.)||$300 - $1,500|
|Lighting||$500 - $3,000|
|Appliances (Grill, Fridge)||$1,500 - $7,000|
Outdoor Kitchen Cost by Location
Depending on your property and needs, you may be able to locate your outdoor kitchen in one of two areas. The first is a satellite outdoor kitchen, separate from your home, by a pool or other outdoor entertainment area. The other is a perimeter kitchen and installs beside your home, often making it more convenient. Costs are similar for both but can have minor variations for utilities and what you plan to install.
|Location||Average Costs per Square Foot|
|Perimeter||$90 - $120|
|Satellite||$110 - $130|
A perimeter kitchen typically falls between $90 and $120 a square foot. This kitchen is usually right off the main living area and may be attached to your home. Therefore, if you include utilities, they do not need to run as far, and many people choose not to install sinks or refrigerators because the kitchen is close by. You can also butt cabinets against the house with minimal framing, lowering costs even more. These things make the perimeter kitchen generally more popular. This is also a better choice for homeowners with limited space.
The satellite kitchen costs between $110 and $130 a square foot on average. This kitchen is farther from your home. If you have a tennis court, pool, or other entertainment area, you may choose to locate your kitchen nearby. Doing so means that running utilities costs more. It is also less convenient to go back into the house for things, so you are more likely to add a sink, refrigerator, and storage. This can raise costs slightly. You need to have more space flexibility to install this kitchen.
Outdoor Kitchen Price by Size
Most outdoor kitchens fall between 100 and 400 square feet. You can go larger or smaller than these sizes, however. Size impacts the project’s overall cost.
|Kitchen Size||Average Costs|
|100 sq.ft.||$4,000 - $15,000|
|200 sq.ft.||$8,000 - $30,000|
|300 sq.ft.||$12,000 - $39,000|
|400 sq.ft.||$16,000 - $52,000|
|500 sq.ft.||$20,000 - $65,000|
Outdoor Kitchen Costs by Layout
Just like indoor kitchens, outdoor kitchens can be laid out in several ways. Some have few amenities and are less expensive, while others have more, making them more attractive and convenient for regular use.
|Layout||Average Costs per Square Foot|
|Stand-Alone Counter||$40 - $60|
|U-Shaped||$50 - $90|
|Split-Level||$90 - $110|
|¾ Square||$110 - $130|
Basic Stand-Alone Counter
This outdoor kitchen costs between $40 and $60 a square foot. This is the most basic of outdoor kitchens. Still, it can be stylish, functional, and meet your needs. This is a basic counter that has a grill, fridge, and other appliances in a row. You can often walk right around it, but you can also install it against your home for less. You can add as much or little to the setup as you like, but it generally takes less space. This is a good option for those who plan to use the kitchen for cooking and storage and not for sitting or entertaining.
U-Shaped Outdoor Kitchen
U-shaped outdoor kitchens typically average $50 to $90 a square foot. This is a larger, more involved kitchen. You have countertops on three sides, creating a “U” shape. You also have more space for counter seating and appliances. Even if you arrange one wall against your home, you can still walk around the other two, so they need to be fully finished on all sides. This is the most popular outdoor kitchen setup for entertaining. It gives you all the space you need for the things you want but is not as expensive as other setups.
Split-Level Outdoor Kitchen
The split level costs between $90 and $110 a square foot. The split level does not refer to the kitchen’s level but rather to the arrangement of the counters and cabinets. In this case, at least one of the countertops has two levels. One level is for the cook, allowing for storage and prep-space. The other level is for anyone who may want to sit nearby and converse with the person cooking. This is a good setup for those who enjoy grilling and outdoor entertaining. You can also use this setup for outdoor bar areas or to maximize seating.
¾ Square Outdoor Kitchen
The ¾ square layout ranges from $110 to $130 a square foot. This setup offers really large square countertops in a range of sizes and shapes. They can double as a table and a cooking and working area because the expanse is so large. This is a good layout if you want to keep the eating area separate from the other seating areas. It is larger than the others for more appliances and storage, while also having the greatest countertop area for seating, eating, entertaining, and cooking. This design takes more space than the others and is less flexible, making it one of the least common designs.
Outdoor Kitchen Price by Finish
There are many surface areas of your outdoor kitchen, but you may not realize you must finish the area around your cabinet frame. While you can use stock cabinets positioned against a wall with a countertop, most people use a frame, with or without cabinets. This frame can be finished to complement your landscaping. You can use many materials, although it is recommended that you use materials that match the landscaping you have.
|Material||Average Costs per Square Foot (Material Only)|
|Stone Veneer||$6 - $9|
|Stucco||$7 - $9|
|Brick||$8 - $17|
|Natural Stone||$15 - $30|
Stone Veneer Outdoor Kitchen
The cost of stone veneer for your outdoor kitchen ranges from $6 to $9 a square foot. Stone veneer can be made of many materials. It can be thin slices of natural stone, an insulating foam in panels, or fiber cement. This material is usually much lighter and easier to install than natural stone. Most stone veneer comes in a range of colors and styles. They can mimic real stone so closely that it can be difficult to tell what the material is by the untrained eye.
Stucco Outdoor Kitchen
The cost of adding stucco to your outdoor kitchen is between $7 and $9 a square foot. This is a great material to add if you already have stucco on your home. Using it in this area can provide continuity to the area. Stucco can be finished in a wide range of ways, giving it different textures and colors. This allows you to add a decorative element to the kitchen. Stucco is also durable and long-lasting, working well in all climates, so it is a good choice no matter your kitchen’s style.
Brick Outdoor Kitchen
Bricks for outdoor kitchens average $8 to $17 a square foot. Brick is a great material if you want to create a built-in barbecue area for your outdoor kitchen. Brick holds heat well, which makes it ideal for barbecues. You can build directly with brick for areas like this or use brick veneer to cover the rest of the framing. Using brick throughout a space can give you a cohesive appearance. Brick comes in several colors and sizes so that you can customize.
Natural Stone Outdoor Kitchen
Natural stone for outdoor kitchens costs between $15 and $30 a square foot. You can use many types of natural stone in this area, including whole stones and stone cladding. Granite, travertine, slate, limestone, and bluestone are good options for this space. Each provides a different look, from rustic to modern, depending on the cut and color. Like brick, stone can be used to build or clad. Therefore, you can also build fire pits and barbecues with this material.
Outdoor Kitchen Frames Cost by Material
Whether you use cabinets or not, a large part of your outdoor kitchen is the frame. This portion holds your cabinets, sink, appliances, and countertop. It is usually constructed of material like wood or metal and covered with a finishing material, such as stone, brick, or stucco. Strictly speaking, the frame is not always necessary. You can arrange cabinets against a wall with a countertop on them. However, using a frame allows you to construct a larger, more versatile kitchen and gives you greater freedom for its arrangement.
Frames come in different materials and can be prefabricated - often with cabinets - or custom made. Both come in a range of options and can be finished in your choice of style and material.
|Material||Prefab Cost||Custom Cost|
|Wood||$200 - $300/linear foot||$300 - $600/linear foot|
|Aluminum||$200 - $300/linear foot||$300 - $600/linear foot|
|Steel||$300 - $400/linear foot||$400 - $800/linear foot|
Outdoor Kitchen Wood Frame
Wood frames cost between $200 and $300 a linear foot for prefabricated models. For custom models, expect costs to range from $300 to $600 a linear foot. These frames usually include cabinetry and can be constructed in many sizes and configurations. Wood is one of the most common materials and one of the least expensive. It is easy to work with and customize. You can easily find contractors who can work with it and give you beautiful custom results.
Outdoor Kitchen Aluminum Frame
Aluminum frames cost between $200 and $300 a linear foot for prefab models. They range from $300 to $600 a linear foot for custom models. This is a good option for those who live in wet areas. Aluminum does not warp like wood or rust like steel and is fairly lightweight. This poses a problem if you want to use heavy coverings because you need more material for the frame. It can also be more difficult to find companies or contractors who make custom frames with aluminum.
Outdoor Kitchen Steel Frame
Steel frames cost between $300 and $400 a linear foot for prefab models. They cost around $400 to $800 a linear foot for custom models. Steel is more expensive than wood or aluminum. The benefit is that you need less steel to build the frame. So while costs are higher per foot, you need significantly fewer feet, even if you choose to use a heavy finishing material. Like aluminum, it can be harder to find companies or contractors who work with steel vs wood.
Outdoor Kitchen Countertops by Material
Just like your indoor kitchen, there is a range of materials for your outdoor kitchen’s countertop. Most countertops can be used indoors or outdoors with little difference in costs:
|Material||Average Costs per Square Foot (Material Only)|
|Tile||$1 - $50|
|Wood||$30 - $60|
|Solid Surface/Resin||$50 - $125|
|Quartz||$55 - $155|
|Soapstone||$60 - $185|
|Concrete||$70 - $140|
|Granite||$75 - $400|
|Stainless Steel||$80 - $225|
Outdoor Kitchen Tile Countertop
Tile for an outdoor kitchen countertop costs between $1 and $50 a square foot. You can use any tile for this area. Ceramic tile is the most popular due to the many colors and patterns available, but stone, porcelain, and glass tile can be used. Tile countertops are fairly easy to install and give you a range of looks. They have a grout joint between the tiles, which increases maintenance. Otherwise, these can be durable and long-lasting countertops that complement a range of kitchens.
Outdoor Wood Countertop
The cost of a wood countertop for outdoor use is around $30 to $60 a square foot. Many different woods can be used as countertops, even outdoors. They can be solid slabs of wood with live edges or have butcher block counters made. The wood can be stained in a range of colors or left natural. You must protect it from the elements with a food-safe sealer. Even then, they usually scratch and patina over time. This can be considered a natural part of the aging process.
Solid-Surface Outdoor Countertop
A solid-surface or resin outdoor countertop ranges from $50 to $125 a square foot. This is a plastic countertop made of acrylic resins and polymers. They come in an incredible range of colors and styles and can have integral sinks molded into them. The color goes straight through the material, so while it scratches, the scratches are often unnoticeable. These countertops are weatherproof and do not require sealing. They should be kept from hot surfaces because they can melt.
Outdoor Quartz Countertop
The cost of a quartz countertop averages $55 to $155 a square foot. Quartz is a manmade countertop that uses more than 90% quartz rock mixed with resins and pigments. It can look like many materials, including natural stone. It also comes in bright colors and patterns. Quartz is resistant to heat, scratches, and staining. It is one of the lowest maintenance countertop materials available. It also complements a wide range of styles.
Soapstone Outdoor Countertops
Soapstone countertops cost between $60 and $185 a square foot. Soapstone is a unique material. It is a metamorphic stone made of compressed talc. It has an incredibly smooth and silky texture. It comes in a limited range of colors but can have dramatic veining. It requires little maintenance but should be oiled regularly. The oil darkens the color and hides surface scratches.
Outdoor Concrete Countertops
The cost of concrete countertops ranges from $70 to $140 a square foot. Concrete countertops are made of the same material as concrete patios or driveways. They are formed inside molds on your countertop area or formed offsite and transported. They can be colored and given different finishes. They can also have features like built-in drainboards and imprints of various materials pressed into them. This gives you the ultimate custom countertop.
Outdoor Granite Countertops
Granite countertops average $75 to $400 a square foot. Granite is an igneous rock formed from molten lava. It contains high concentrations of silica, feldspar, and quartz. This makes it a very durable, hard, and attractive countertop material. Granite comes in a wide range of colors and styles. Lighter-colored granite requires sealing, particularly when used outdoors. Dark-colored granite is less porous and holds up better long term.
Outdoor Stainless Steel Countertops
The cost of stainless steel countertops is between $80 and $225 a square foot. Stainless steel countertops are very modern and easy to care for. They come with several finishes, from matte and satin to high polish. They are frequently made to order for your kitchen, but they are also available prefab. Stainless steel shows fingerprints and water spots more than other materials. This makes maintenance slightly higher, with the frequent wiping required to keep them looking good.
Outdoor Kitchen Appliance Prices by Type
At its simplest, an outdoor kitchen can be a countertop and grill. However, you can also include as many appliances outdoors as your indoor kitchen. Many of these items have the same costs as their indoor counterparts, while others may have different costs to help them withstand the elements.
|Garbage Disposal||$75 - $1,100|
|Blender||$150 - $600|
|Sink||$200 - $500|
|Grill||$200 - $5,000|
|Ice Maker||$300 - $2,000|
|Dishwasher||$400 - $2,000|
|Wine Cooler||$400 - $2,000|
|Refrigerator||$400 - $4,000|
|Beer Dispenser||$700 - $7,000|
|Warming Drawer||$800 - $1,200|
|Pizza Oven||$1,600 - $14,000|
Outdoor Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals cost between $75 and $1,100, depending on the size and model. If you have a sink in your outdoor kitchen, you can have a garbage disposal installed. There are no special requirements for this. You can use it with nearly any size sink if you have the proper drains. Because the unit is installed below the counter and inside a cabinet, it does not need to be weatherproof. Adding a garbage disposal is a good idea if you do a lot of outside cooking and entertaining.
The cost of an outdoor blender ranges from $150 to $600. Outdoor blenders tend to be a little bigger and heartier than their indoor counterparts. They are designed to be left outside when not in use. This means that you can keep them on the counter rather than bringing them in and out. They are often made of a material that withstands the elements. However, you may want to bring it in during the winter if you live in an area with freeze/thaw conditions.
The cost of a sink for your outdoor kitchen averages $200 to $500. Most people find that a bar sink is all that is necessary. Sometimes, a prep sink may also work. These are smaller than full-sized kitchen sinks and require less space. You can still hook up a dishwasher with them. They come in many sizes and configurations. They can be composite stone or stainless steel. If you have a solid-surface countertop, you can have an integral sink made of that material.
The cost of a grill for your outdoor kitchen ranges from $200 to $5,000, depending on the model. No outdoor kitchen is complete without a grill, so this is the design’s focus. Choose one that can be built into your frame. It should be large enough to accommodate your family and any guests you entertain regularly. Outdoor kitchen grills come in many types and can have different styles and fuel options. Since this is the focus of the design, it is common for the rest of the kitchen to be built around it.
|Grill Type||Average Costs|
|Charcoal||$200 - $1,400|
|Kamado||$700 - $2,400|
|Pellet||$800 - $4,000|
|Gas||$900 - $5,000|
Charcoal Grill Price
The cost of a charcoal grill for an outdoor kitchen averages $200 to $1,400. Charcoal grills are less common for outdoor kitchens than other types. However, there are plenty of options for those who enjoy the flavor of charcoal. These grills are usually stainless steel and come in a range of sizes. They build easily into your countertop and frame. It is common to include a cabinet for charcoal storage to make usage easier.
Kamado Grill Price
The cost of a Kamado grill for an outdoor kitchen is $700 to $2,400. Kamado grills are not commonly used in outdoor kitchens. These are typically freestanding countertop grills. However, for some, there is nothing like meat cooked in this grill. Therefore, some people include a Kamado grill alongside a built-in grill. For example, you may grill most foods on your built-in grill, but the steak in the Kamado.
Pellet Grill Price
Pellet grills for outdoor kitchens cost between $800 and $4,000. These grills burn a wide range of pellets, which impart different smoky flavors to your food. This can be a more economical way to grill for some people, particularly if you grill a lot. Pellet grills build into your kitchen the same way that charcoal and gas grills do. They come in a range of sizes, and most are made of stainless steel.
Gas Grill Price
The cost of a gas grill for outdoor kitchens ranges from $900 to $5,000. This is the most common grill for outdoor kitchens. It is fairly economical and easy to use. You do not need to worry about storing the fuel separately, but you need to invest in a tank or have a gas line run. These grills often have the most options for size and style. This is also the favorite for people who do not like the taste of charcoal or smoke in their food.
Outdoor Ice Machine
The cost of an ice machine for your outdoor kitchen is between $300 and $2,000. These machines can be countertop-sized or large enough to stand alone. They need to be hooked up to a water supply to work. They produce ice automatically or manually, depending on your preference. This is a good addition for anyone who entertains regularly and lives in a warm climate. The machines tend to be very modern, with a stainless exterior.
The cost of an outdoor dishwasher averages $400 to $2,000. Outdoor dishwashers must hook up with your sink to drain, like indoor models. They also need a separate water supply and electrical outlet. This is a good choice for people who have satellite kitchens. Having a dedicated dishwasher means that you can also have dedicated outdoor dishes. This saves trips back and forth to the house.
Outdoor Wine Cooler
The cost of an outdoor wine cooler is between $400 and $2,000. If you do a lot of entertaining or have a satellite kitchen, this can be a good addition. They can be stand-alone or built into your kitchen, below the counter. They come in several sizes and styles. This is the best option for white and rosé wines, which must be chilled. Opt for a model that can be insulated against hot weather.
The cost of an outdoor refrigerator ranges from $400 to $4,000 on average. Outdoor refrigerators can eliminate many trips back inside. They can be small under-counter models that hold beverages, or they can be larger. For those who do a lot of entertaining, you can get nearly full-sized refrigerators. Most outdoor refrigerators are stainless steel. Some may be a mix of other materials or have features like glass doors.
Outdoor Beer Dispenser
The cost of an outdoor beer dispenser is between $700 and $7,000. There are many types of beer dispensers. Some are small and meant to sit on the counter. Others are made to be freestanding. They may dispense manually or automatically. They hold varying amounts of liquid, with some larger options having the ability to dispense two or more beers at a time.
Outdoor Warming Drawer
The cost of an outdoor warming drawer ranges from $800 to $1,200. Warming drawers typically install inside the kitchen’s frame. They are usually placed right below the grill. This way, you can transfer food from the grill to the warming drawer without traveling. Warming drawers keep food hot when cooking for a large crowd or when you are making various things on the grill. The drawers are usually stainless steel and fairly modern.
Outdoor Pizza Oven
The cost of an outdoor pizza oven is between $1,600 and $14,000. Outdoor pizza ovens can be built-in but are usually freestanding or made to sit on your countertop. They can be wood-fired or electric and come in a wide range of sizes to accommodate more guests. They also come in numerous materials and styles. This allows you to build your pizza oven into the kitchen’s design easily.
Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets Cost by Type
Like your indoor kitchen, you have a range of materials for your outdoor kitchen cabinets. Not all outdoor kitchens have cabinets. Some are separate from the frame, while others are built into the frame. When choosing cabinets, consider your storage needs for the kitchen, the material, and appearance.
|Cabinet Material||Average Costs (Material Only)|
|Aluminum||$700 - $3,000|
|Stainless Steel||$900 - $2,400|
|Polymer (HDPE)||$3,000 - $5,000|
|Weatherproof||$3,000 - $5,000|
Aluminum Outdoor Cabinets
Aluminum outdoor cabinets cost between $700 and $3,000 on average. Aluminum cabinets are lightweight and less expensive than steel cabinets. They can be used without a frame for a small contemporary cabinet setup. They can be fitted into a larger frame so that you can apply a different material finish. You can also mix and match for various kitchen styles. Aluminum holds up well in all climates but is more likely to dent than steel.
Outdoor Stainless Steel Cabinets
Stainless steel cabinets cost an average of $900 to $2,400. Steel cabinets are heavier than aluminum and less likely to dent. They can be used without a frame or combined with a frame. If you use a steel frame with them, you can use less material overall while still achieving the look you want. This can make the setup less expensive, even though the materials cost more. Steel cabinets are susceptible to corrosion, so they are not a good choice if you live in an area with an ocean or saltwater nearby.
Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets Polymer
Polymer or HDPE cabinets cost between $3,000 and $5,000 on average. These are weatherproof cabinets made of composite material. The interior of the cabinets is similar to MDF in construction. The cabinets are then given a polymer or thermafoil coating, which makes them moisture-resistant. These cabinets are tough, durable, and long-lasting. They look similar to traditional kitchen cabinets. They can be white, cream, or any other color and come in a range of door styles.
Weatherproof Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets
Weatherproof kitchen cabinets range from $3,000 to $5,000 on average. Cabinets labeled weatherproof may be one of a few materials. They can be polymer/HDPE cabinets, wood cabinets with a polymer coating, or plastic. These cabinets have a traditional appearance, similar to interior cabinets. They are usually white but can be found in other colors. They also have a range of door styles to choose from.
Outdoor Kitchen Flooring by Type
The material you install your outdoor kitchen on is not a floor like you use indoors. Instead, it is more like a patio or pool deck than flooring. Most people install their outdoor kitchen on an existing patio to keep costs down, or they install a new patio for this purpose. Like other patios, you can use a wide range of materials to create it.
|Material||Average Costs per Square Foot (Material Only)|
|Gravel||$1 - $3|
|Concrete||$3 - $6|
|Stamped Concrete||$3 - $6|
|Brick||$8 - $12|
|Stone Pavers||$10 - $25|
Outdoor Kitchen Shading Cost
To ensure that your kitchen can be used no matter the season or weather, include a cover or shade. There are many ways to do this, from permanent structures to temporary awnings. The more elements you want to keep out - sun, rain, wind - the more structure your cover must have.
|Awning||$40 - $25,000|
|Pergola||$1,500 - $6,000|
|Gazebo||$4,800 - $19,600|
|Enclosure||$5,000 - $20,000|
Outdoor Kitchen Awning
The cost of an awning for your outdoor kitchen is between $40 and $25,000. This is because there are many types of awning. You can make a stationary awning out of sailcloth or build something permanent. Awnings can be installed on a frame that can be detached as needed. They can also be retractable and motorized. This gives you control over the level of shade you want.
Pergola Over Outdoor Kitchen
The cost of a pergola ranges from $1,500 to $6,000. Pergolas are a very popular structure for outdoor kitchens. They can be freestanding or attached to your home. They do not provide any walls or enclosure, so it is more open. They can have different levels of shade, with some having plexiglass filtering out UV light and keeping the rain off. Others narrow or expand the louvers to let in more or less light. Some can even have sailcloth for additional shade.
Outdoor Kitchen Gazebo
The cost of an outdoor kitchen gazebo averages $4,800 to $19,600. Gazebos are larger structures than pergolas. They have a separate floor and a more substantial roof. They can be screened in or have glass windows. Some may be more open to the elements, with only pillars supporting the roof. Gazebos can be a good way to extend the amount of time you use an outdoor kitchen because enclosing the walls may make it usable in bad weather.
Outdoor Kitchen Enclosure
Full outdoor kitchen enclosures cost between $5,000 and $20,000. Outdoor kitchen enclosures come in many styles. They can essentially be a screened-in room with a metal roof, frame, and screened walls. They can also be more substantial, with screens and glass windows. They can be fully enclosed or give you the option of having one wall open. Some modern enclosures have movable roofs and glass walls to customize your experience.
Labor Costs to Build an Outdoor Kitchen
Labor costs for building an outdoor kitchen start at $3,000 if you use prefabricated frames and an existing patio. If you have everything custom made, expect to spend 70% of your total costs on labor. For a $13,000 outdoor kitchen, this means that labor makes up close to $9,000. For extremely high-end outdoor kitchens with full enclosures and luxury built-in appliances, labor costs can be as high as $20,000.
Outdoor Kitchen Seating Area
It is very common to add a seating area to your outdoor kitchen. This can be a seating and dining area or strictly a seating area for entertaining. There are a few ways to do this. The most common is to install a patio and overhead cover large enough to cover the kitchen and a section of the patio that can be used for seating, whether that is a table and chairs or just chairs.
Another option is to install seating at the countertop. This can be done with an extra-wide countertop, a peninsula countertop with one section just for seating, or a split-level countertop.
Outdoor Kitchen with Bar Seating
The typical method of creating an outdoor kitchen with bar seating is to use the ¾ square or split-level countertop. These cost between $90 and $130 a square foot. When you opt for this style, ensure the countertop section is large enough to still be used as a workspace, while people can dine or relax on the other side.
Outdoor Kitchen Lighting Costs
Every outdoor kitchen lighting project is different. You can add overhead lighting, undercabinet lighting, sconces, or any combination. It is common for outdoor lighting to cost between $500 and $3,000 for most outdoor kitchens. The exact amount of lighting you use is dictated by how and when you use the kitchen. If you do a lot of entertaining at night, get more lighting, such as path lighting to and from the kitchen and around the seating areas. If you use it predominantly during the day, then less lighting is necessary.
Built-in BBQ Cost
Many people add a grill and a full brick or stone barbecue to their outdoor kitchen. The cost of having this masonry added is between $400 and $600 a foot. This includes building the barbecue, which is generally built from the ground up and includes the interior and a chimney. Adding this increases the costs and the kitchen’s size.
Outdoor Kitchen Fireplace Cost
The cost of an outdoor fireplace ranges from $1,500 to $20,000. You can purchase small prefab fireplaces and install them in a frame. You can also build a much larger custom fireplace that can be wood or gas and include a chimney, firebox, and surround made of materials like brick or stone. Depending on the fireplace’s type and size, this leads to a wide range of costs. Adding a fireplace is usually done near the seating area so that guests can enjoy it when eating.
Outdoor Kitchen Maintenance
Outdoor kitchens are designed to be used outdoors, which means they are typically lower in maintenance than indoor kitchens. Keep things like grills and countertop appliances covered when not in use. Otherwise, there is little maintenance beyond cleaning as needed and making the occasional repairs. This is why it is important to make sure you invest in materials and appliances designed for outdoor use. They are lower in maintenance and require less care than those designed for indoor use.
For materials like stone countertops and masonry, use the recommended cleaning products to maintain them.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
An outdoor bar costs between $200 and $300 a linear foot to build. This is similar to building out the kitchen’s frame and countertop but without the cabinets. It is common to include a small sink in the bar setup. Adding a dishwasher or other appliance increases costs.
If you choose not to fully enclose your outdoor kitchen, you can add a fence. Fencing adds privacy and security to the area. Most privacy fences cost between $8 and $18 a linear foot. They come in many styles and materials, which can coordinate with your landscaping.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- While anything you install in an outdoor kitchen should be weather-resistant, some can be damaged by the elements. Invest in appliance covers, which cost $100 to $200 each to reduce damage.
- Most outdoor kitchens require a permit. Check with your town or city hall for more information.
- Outdoor kitchens have been shown to add resale value. They add the most value in southern states, where outdoor living can take place year-round, but they add value in all areas.
- Make sure that you choose only appliances and materials rated for outdoor use. Even if you live in a moderate climate, anything used outdoors must be made for that purpose.
- You can build an outdoor kitchen at any time of the year, provided the weather is favorable. Costs to build can be lower in winter, but if your yard is covered in snow, you must wait until it melts before you can begin.
- It can take a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks to build your outdoor kitchen, with many taking 4 to 6 weeks. Work with a contractor or builder who specializes in this project for the best results.
- Do outdoor kitchens need to be covered in the winter?
Not necessarily, but it is recommended that you cover your appliances when they are not in use.
- Can I build an outdoor kitchen out of wood?
You can use wood for the frame and treated wood for the countertops and cabinets. If your outdoor kitchen is subjected to the elements, the wood weathers faster if it is not protected.
- Do you need planning permission for an outdoor kitchen?
In some areas, yes, you need a permit to build the kitchen. Check with your local authorities for more information.
- What should I put in my outdoor kitchen?
This depends on how you intend to use the space and where it is located. Most people use a grill and at least a small sink and refrigerator, but you can also add a dishwasher, fireplace, and other amenities.
- What is a good size for an outdoor kitchen?
The size of your outdoor kitchen will depend on several factors, such as the space that you have, the size of the meals that you are planning to prepare, etc. The average outdoor kitchen is around 100 to 400 square feet, costing anywhere from $4,000 to $50,000.
- Can you use a regular grill in an outdoor kitchen?
Yes, absolutely. Most people have a grill that can be built-in, but that is not necessary. You can have one that is freestanding or even made for countertop use.
- How deep should an outdoor kitchen counter be?
This depends on how you intend to use it. If it is just for cooking, the standard 25½ inches is fine. Double that if it is for cooking and eating.
- Which countertops are best for outdoor kitchens?
You can use any countertop for an outdoor kitchen. Quartz countertops are the lowest maintenance, but granite, solid surface, tile, and wood are good options.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
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