You can spend just about anything on an outdoor kitchen, from a few hundred dollars to many thousand. But should you? Before you visit a single showroom, where it’s easy to be seduced by the gleam of stainless steel, or talk to even one contractor, you need to have your budget in place.
The first step to a smart budget is to decide how much you have to spend. Evaluate your resources and how much you can and should spend. Consider using cash. With savings accounts earning so little these days it’s not a bad time to invest those funds in your home, but don’t expect to get that money back at resale. Outdoor kitchens aren’t at the top of buyer priorities in these economic times, so consider it an investment in your own enjoyment.
Other options are home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, or a cash-out refinance, in which you refinance your mortgage, increasing it by the amount of the project.
Price out all the elements of the kitchen, remembering to include small details like hardware and light fixtures, which can add up in a hurry. Have this list in hand when you talk to potential contractors. It will give your contractor a sense of what you want to include in the kitchen, show that you’ve done your homework, and let the contractor adjust his bid to include actual products. Read more…
What makes an outdoor kitchen so challenging to estimate is that every one is a unique creation. The constellation of elements within the kitchen as well as costs related to overhead structures and paving is highly variable. A primary division of costing out such a project is whether the kitchen will be composed of all new custom built structures or those modular prefabricated “frames” that are finished on site with more decorative surfacing and details. This is why it’s difficult to set an overall cost. Read more…
The Grill and BBQ Equipment
All outdoor kitchens start with cooking equipment. It’s usually a grill insert, around which the rest of the kitchen is designed.
If you’re looking to save money, it shouldn’t be on your grill, says Russell Greene, director of outdoor living for Family Leisure in Indianapolis. Unlike most other outdoor appliances, which come in standard sizes, grill inserts — even those of the same width — often have different depths or other dimensions, Greene says.
Likewise, grill heads and parts often vary, as do material grades and warranties, says Bill Botkin, president of Outdoor Life in Charlotte, North Carolina. Read more…