Today’s homeowners want more entertaining space, so they are moving outdoors.  Adding amenities, such as an outdoor kitchen to their backyard, delivers a variety of new options.  Due to advancements in outdoor living, anything that can be created inside, can be installed outside.  Outdoor kitchens are now being fitted with all the bells and whistles, from grills to outdoor dishwashers, and from fully functional cabinets to bartending centers.  According to research done by Casual Living magazine, 49% of homeowners have already added outdoor living and cooking spaces to their homes.

Outdoor living and cooking spaces rank high on the list of home renovation plans. According to the study, of the people who stated that they did not have an outdoor kitchen, about 25% said that they were anticipating adding one within a year.  These renovations had budgets spanning from less than $3,000 to more than $10,000 – with the majority of budgets in the $3,000 to $5,000.  These plans typically include cooktops, granite countertops, outdoor lighting, seating, and stainless-steel cabinets.

It comes to no surprise that warmer regions, the South and West, report higher numbers of homes with existing outdoor kitchens. With the help of pergolas, rooftops, and fans these homeowners are able to enjoy their investment throughout the summer and less outdoor-friendly seasons.  Also, outdoor heaters have increased the length of the entertaining season in colder regions.  It was reported that during the summer, 46% of people use their outdoor kitchens more than three times per week, which is a drastic jump from usage statistics from the spring and fall months – the majority using their kitchens 2-3 times per week.

While outdoor kitchens come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles, one thing seems to remain the same across the board – they are all about entertaining and cooking. An astonishing 96% of respondents to the survey said that their outdoor kitchens had to have a grill – gas grills being the most popular. This statistic doesn’t even account for the different types of cooktops gaining popularity – Evos, pizza ovens, and smokers, just to name a few. Having a variety of cooktops creates options when entertaining to make each event unique.

It seems like homeowners have the right idea. They’ve honed in on the necessities of entertaining. Cooking, outdoor seating, lighting, countertops, and cabinets top the list of the “must-haves” for outdoor kitchens. Homeowners are heavily leaning towards a full-sized dining table and chairs to enjoy their kitchen’s creations. Bar stool seating is also high on the list of preferred outdoor seating, which makes sense because outdoor bartending stations go hand in hand with outdoor kitchens.

Regardless of location, budget, cooking preference or entertaining style, moving outdoors is today’s trend – so grab your corner of the great outdoors and have some fun all summer… all year!