Thinking about purchasing an outdoor kitchen?
The whole process from designing your outdoor kitchen to having it installed in your home can start to feel a little daunting without the right help. Especially if you’re like 99.999% of the population that doesn’t really have the time to sit down and map out an entire alfresco area from scratch
But it really doesn’t have to be that difficult. With the right team of people, they can walk you through the whole process and ensure it’s as stress-free as possible. This will serve as your guide to starting off your alfresco kitchen. This post will be a great start to planning, budgeting and the beginnings of your design. If you’re planning on going forward with a team of specialists, this will give you a good idea of what to expect. Make sure if you have any questions feel free to ask!
Where your outdoor kitchen is going to be is probably one of the first things you will need to think of. It's a good idea to stand out in your backyard for a while and get a good feel to where an outdoor kitchen will work for you. Aesthetically and practically, look around and get an idea of where is more comfortable for you and anything else that will be sharing the space.
When you've got a better idea of where your kitchen will live, think about if there is a strong wind in your area, or whether your kitchen will be in full or partial sun throughout the day. These will be something to take into account when thinking of what the quality your appliances need to be in order to suit your environment. Do you want it placed close enough to your indoor kitchen so you can share the services between them?
How your utilities will be connected is a big player in where you want your kitchen as well. Where your existing electrical outlets are or where plumbing is needed are details that seem small but will make running and installing your outdoor kitchen a lot smoother [and easier].
First of, Natural gas or LPG gas?Natural gas is a fixed utility, so it runs through your house like your water piping would. LPG gas comes in cylinders you need to hook up to your barbecue when in use, usually found out the front of a service station or any outdoor supplier. Both work fine; this can be more of a preference. If you decide on natural gas, all you will need is a plumber to come in to set up your barbecue and then you won’t have to worry about gas ever again.
If you decide of LPG gas, you’ll need to buy a new cylinder each time you run out. Make sure you have enough electrical outlets for each appliance you plan on having, as well as consider any plumbing that’s needed. With the right team of installers, all of this will be laid out clearly and talked though with you. Don’t forget about lighting for your alfresco kitchen!
You’re outside, so sunlight will take a bit of the pressure off, but once the day begins to drift into the afternoon and you don’t really want to pack everyone up and move them inside. Especially when you’ve spent so much time and energy making your outdoor kitchen the best it can be.
Thinking about your budget
This can be the trickiest part. A lot of people fall to the two extremes when thinking of a budget. Their eyes light up at all the possibilities and just have to have every accessory and the highest model the market can offer. Or they see an outdoor kitchen template from a home hardware store and think a couple of hundred dollars will have them set.
Consider how often you entertain and what you’re planning on cooking, this will help you get a better idea of how big your barbecue will need to be as well as any add ons that will best compliment your culinary skills. The barbecue is really the main focus of your outdoor kitchen, and will be the main point to impress when you have company over [I’ll “oooh” and “ahhh” over a beautifully designed kitchen as much as the next person, but it’s how good you cook my burger that will impress me].
Whether your barbecue needs to be good enough for a few hamburgers or a top of the range feast is up to you. It’s a good idea, especially when you can feel yourself getting a little caught up with all the options on offer [which is a good thing! It’s exciting!] is to really look at what you want and what you need. Am I going to use this regularly? Am I able to keep up with its maintenance?
Think about your warranties too, not a big deal? or a deal breaker if there isn’t a reasonable guarantee? Remember; don’t get too disheartened if the weight of the price tag has you sagging down in your seat. There are plenty of affordable options with compromise.
Design and function
This part, I think, is a little more fun. This is where you get to think about your design and all the exciting appliances you could potentially get to play with. This is also when your vision of your budget can get a little shaky, but this is all where the planning you did before can come in and save you. Do you want your outdoor kitchen to be self-sufficient? [this means having a fridge, barbecue, prep space, etc. included in your outdoor area so you’re not running back and forth to your indoor kitchen].
Have you thought about how much bench space you’ll need when you’re setting out your food ready to be cooked or eaten? Particularly if you’ve got a few “back-seat-barbecue-drivers” lingering behind you, you’ll need a place to put your beer for that. Getting a rough idea of what you intend to store will be a good start when planning where you want your storage space to be and how much to make an allowance for.
Remember to have fun with this part though. Think of colours, shapes and designs to fit not just your house, but your personality too. You can carry out your sophisticated, Instagram worthy decor into your alfresco area, or you can completely do your own thing. The choice is yours!
And there you have it!
A quick guide for when you starting thinking of buying an outdoor kitchen. While this is an overview of the whole planning process, I’ll be going more in-depth over the next couple of weeks into the more inner workings of your outdoor kitchen.
For those of you who have already had an outdoor kitchen installed, can you think of anything I’ve missed? Leave your comments here or on our social media!Psst, did you know we also design, deliver and install outdoor kitchen Melbourne?
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