By: Thomas Isabella
According to a recent American Institute of Architects survey, outdoor kitchens now top the home project trends list. As warmer weather approaches, the demand for outdoor kitchens increases since they often become warm-weather dining and entertaining areas. Kitchens can range from simple barbeque islands to elaborate centers equipped with wi-fi, television, and music.
When designing kitchens, homeowners need to consider their budget, available space, and cooking plans. Quality varies, too. It is wise to build high-quality, durable kitchens whenever possible. Not everyone needs to invest in a luxury design, but there are considerable benefits to creating the best kitchen you can afford.
Outdoor Kitchens Are Major Investments
Every day, thousands of homeowners visit sites like to get information about building an outdoor kitchen that will increase their home's value. Carefully designed, high-quality outdoor kitchens can make it easier to sell a home and allow owners to increase their asking price.
According to , homeowners building a $14,000 outdoor kitchen could recoup about 71% at resale. A more expansive project, such as a kitchen that includes a 20×20 foot flagstone patio, modular kitchen unit, deck chairs, and a cedar pergola, would cost about $57,000, but homeowners could recoup 55% of the costs when they sell.
Adding an outdoor kitchen is a sizable investment, so using quality materials pays. The higher the grade of the materials that go into a project, the greater the return on investment.
The Weather Can Affect Outdoor Kitchens
An outdoor kitchen is exposed to the elements, so it must be as weatherproof and durable as possible. Clients can generally choose from three options, and some are better able to withstand the weather. Homeowners can order a custom kitchen that includes their selected materials, opt for a pre-fabricated outdoor kitchen, or choose a ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen.
A custom kitchen is the most expensive. It is built to order, and clients can choose quality materials that withstand the weather for many seasons.
Prefabricated kitchens are popular because they are affordable, easy to order, and quick to build. However, pre-fab kitchen materials aren't always the most practical or durable options. They may include:
- Tile countertops. Not a good choice for areas that get icy winters, since freeze-thaw cycles can damage grout and lead to loose tiles.
- Metal studs. Metal and the outdoors don't mix well. Studs can rust and undermine the integrity of a kitchen frame.
- Cement board. While the cement board used in kitchen construction includes a finish, the finish cannot prevent moisture from damaging the cement board.
- Appliances. Appliances included in lower-cost, pre-fab kitchen kits may not be able to stand up to harsh weather. Per the , choosing appliances that are not outdoor rated is a common mistake among homeowners.
RTA kitchens provide an excellent option that is easy to assemble but allows homeowners control over their kitchen design. High-quality appliances are included, and clients get a lifetime structural warranty.
Quality Materials Reduce Maintenance Costs
Outdoor kitchens that include quality appliances and materials cost more upfront but are much less expensive to maintain. Homeowners save countless hours of work and the price of maintaining and repairing kitchen elements.
If appliances are not built for the weather, they can burn out or become damaged. Cabinetry may need to be refinished or repaired, and metals can rust.
In contrast, options like high-performance concrete panels, frameless technology, and stainless steel appliances are easy to clean and durable. They still look good and work well year after year.
Outdoor kitchens are trendy because they increase home values and instantly add an entertainment and dining center to the home. There are several types available, and their quality varies. It pays to choose the highest-quality kitchen to ensure it stands up to the weather and works well for years.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and includes some commercial links)