This post was originally published Dec. 21, 2018 and updated May 15, 2020.
The promise of a new year often evokes thoughts of lifestyle improvements. Getting outside more, unplugging, enjoying time alone or hosting family and friends can certainly warrant expanding the living space.
Choosing a home remodeling project that includes creating or adding to an outdoor living area can set the stage – patio, deck or rooftop – for an outdoor kitchen. The demand for this culinary amenity is increasing in demand according to Kitchen & Bath Design News, which cites requests for outdoor kitchens by homeowners are continuing to trend upward for the third year in a row.
As an entertainment hub, the outdoor living space has been proven to increase the value of a home making for an innovative and lucrative investment. This means there is plenty of opportunity for remodelers, architects and designers to expand the scope of their clients’ outdoor projects from a simple barbeque kitchen island to a fully-functional outdoor kitchen area. Having an outdoor kitchen has many benefits.
Here’s a look at seven benefits of an outdoor kitchen for your home:
1. Increases the value of the home
According to Zillow, homes with outdoor kitchens sell for nearly 30 percent more than expected. Of the nearly four million homes nationwide that sold between January 2016 and December 2017, these outdoor features, amenities and design styles made the largest impact on sale price.
CNN Money, About.com and Remodeling Magazine support that outdoor kitchens nationally return 100% to 200% of the improvement cost. It is important to note that, with any home improvement, the ROI formula works providing the design and build of a kitchen is proportional to the home value and location.
2. Great for Entertaining
Outdoor entertainment spaces continue to top the list for both boomers and millennials. According to Rymer Strategies Company, 78% of boomers and 68% of millennials are willing to pay more than $5,000 extra for a great outdoor living space. Boomers are famous for their grill nights, while millennials love their outdoor yard games. And both generations enjoy prepping, cooking and eating their meals at home, alfresco-style, capturing the luxury of open-air dining.
Depending on the design layout such as an island configuration, guests can gather around the kitchen, socialize and watch the chef perform culinary magic.
In turn, it allows the chef to remain engaged with guests without disrupting the task at hand.
3. Expands the Living Space
Outdoor kitchen designs often mirror their indoor counterparts, successfully transitioning the indoors to the outdoors and making use of previously unused outdoor space or repurposing it. Many people stop at a grill or barbeque island, but an outdoor kitchen can be expanded to include other cooking appliances such as a pizza oven, flat-top grill and a smoker. Enhancing the outdoor kitchen layout with cabinets that accommodate kitchen appliances, hide trash, provide storage helps centralize culinary activity.
Adding counter space provides a prep area, a bartending center and a place to entertain guests and allow them to hover ‘round and socialize. Tack on a refrigerator, ice machine and an outdoor sink and it’s a full- on entertainment oasis. An outdoor dishwasher raises the bar on easy clean-ups and endless trips into the house, making the outdoor kitchen fully functional and super-efficient.
4. Makes Cooking Easier
Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth. Maybe, not. An outdoor kitchen allows for more cooks – or helping hands at the very least – to help with preparing food, mixing drinks, grilling and cleaning up. Depending on the layout of the outdoor kitchen, more bodies in an outdoor kitchen aren’t necessarily a bad thing as it can be less crowded than an indoor kitchen. Additionally, by placing a refrigerator, ice machine or wine cooler on the end of a cabinet run, guests are invited to help themselves without disrupting the chef’s work flow.
Cooking foods with strong odors that emanate? No problem. Let them disperse outside rather than within your indoor kitchen, which can permeate the rest of the home. Canning or cooking lobster? Great chance to undertake this task in an outdoor kitchen. A large pressure cooker pot on a burner will need some extra space for the assigned attendant and some extra space when it’s time to remove it. Any spills make for a quick hose down versus a mess on an indoor floor followed by a slip and fall hazard.
As mentioned above, smelly foods can linger in indoor kitchens for days. Cooking errors can create rising smoke that travels throughout the entire house and sets off the detector. Cooking outdoors eliminates these issues resulting in more convenient cooking and a better household environment.
6. Save on Utility Bills
A hot kitchen in the summer months forces the air conditioning to work harder and can crank up utility bills usage. Give the utilities a rest and head outside!
7. Save Money on Eating Out
Going out for a meal can be expensive. If you have an outdoor entertaining space with a dining and cooking area, you are less likely to go to a restaurant for a meal, which will save you money.
Additionally, with a well-equipped outdoor kitchen, the prepping, cooking, cleaning, eating the meal, drinking and overall outdoor entertaining is centralized along with having the necessary items available to make it all happen. No need for transporting and setting up making it more of a chore to accommodate a stand- alone grill. Think of it as a permanent, pop-up party.
Finally, the design and layout of an outdoor kitchen comes with an air of creativity only achieved when custom building an indoor kitchen as part of constructing or renovating a home. Whether installing an outdoor kitchen on a deck, patio or roof, there are still less obstacles and considerations to work around as compared to indoors.
Looking for outdoor kitchen design insight to bring luxury living to your clients? Contact one of our in-house designers by calling 203-626-5625 or visit our gallery page for more outdoor kitchen ideas.
Updated May 15, 2020.