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How to Plan Your Outdoor Kitchen Budget

Increasingly, homeowners are looking at their yards as an extension of their homes. As such, many individuals build living rooms and kitchens in their yard to enjoy the outdoors while having the comforts of modern living at their fingertips. These spaces can be beautifully designed, with as much creativity as any other room in your house. Of course, just like your regular kitchen, installing an outdoor one with all the features you need to host the perfect barbecue is an investment. Whether you entertain frequently or simply want a space outside where your family can cook and dine, you should build a budget. Here’s a look at the costs that can go into an outdoor kitchen and how you can plan a beautiful space without overspending:

Cost considerations

Ultimately, how much you invest in your outdoor kitchen is determined by the amount of money you want to spend. However, the features you include come down to how much they cost. You should map out what you want to include in your kitchen, then allot parts of your budget to each feature. Before we discuss dividing your budget, though, let’s see what popular outdoor kitchen components tend to cost:

“Grills are a great place to splurge on your outdoor kitchen.”

Grills
The type of grill you want in your outdoor kitchen will alter the cost. For instance, standard charcoal models aren’t as pricey as gas or even range models. Charcoal grills can range from $20 to $2,000, while gas grills generally range from $200 to upwards of $4,000. When deciding on a grill, it’s also important to consider fuel costs over time because charcoal is significantly more expensive than propane; it will cost you about $.60 every time you use a propane grill while it will cost you around $3.50 every time you use a charcoal one.

Counters/framework
How much counter space you install will influence the amount of money you need. As you consider what to get, remember to refer to how much space you’ll use. Your sink will likely mount on a counter, and many built-in grills do as well. Additionally, you need preparation and storage space. The materials you choose (such as concrete or stone) will also affect price. Depending on square footage, you’re looking to spend anywhere from $500 to several thousand.

Sink
Having the ability to wash dishes and prep ingredients is important in an outdoor kitchen, so you’ll need a sink. Depending on the brand, materials and model, you may spend $100 to $500 on a sink.

Refrigerator
Great for storing ingredients and beverages, outdoor refrigerators range in cost as according to size. Plan to spend $400 to $1,000.

Outdoor furniture
Once you’ve prepared a delicious meal using your outdoor kitchen, you probably want to dine in the fresh air. Outdoor seating is an optional part of your kitchen, but one many homeowners choose to include. Depending on how many chairs you want and the size of the table, you may spend anywhere from $150 to $2,000 or more.

Installation
You or a professional can build counters and install your kitchen components. Either way, the process should go into your budget. Building materials, wiring your appliances, labor, etc., all factor into the price of installation. This is also where things can add up. Budget anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000 for installation depending on the materials you choose and whether you hire help.

Overall, outdoor kitchens run the gamut of pricing, costing anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a basic kitchen to $10,000 and upwards for luxury spaces. Fortunately, you can make an outdoor kitchen fit your budget by choosing the features you can afford.

outdoor-kitchenCooking gourmet food outside is possible with an outdoor kitchen.

Budgeting for your outdoor kitchen

Getting a dream outdoor kitchen comes with a price, but fortunately, it’s a flexible one. Now that you know about what you could spend for your space, you can plan a budget. The number should be one you can afford with a little wiggle room built in. Between upgrades and installation issues, having a cushion in your budget could be a lifesaver. Plan 10 percent of your budget as an emergency-only fund or contingency amount.

“Prioritize which features you want in your outdoor kitchen.”

Dividing your funds
Prioritize the features you want to determine where you’ll put your money. For instance, if having a top-of-the-line grill is your No. 1 priority, then put the majority of your overall budget toward that item. If you want a more balanced design, you could get a mid-range grill, inexpensive fridge and purchase cost-saving materials for your counters.

If it helps you visualize where you’ll put your money, create a pie chart. Remember to constantly adjust your budget as you spend money. You might not spend as much in one area as you initially predicted, and the leftovers can go toward another feature.

Add-ons
If having a high-end outdoor kitchen is your dream but your budget doesn’t support it right now, you can always add to the space later. Design your kitchen with expansion in mind. For instance, you might locate it in spacious area of the yard where you can build more counterspace in the future.

Additionally, choose which items you’ll purchase when you have more money. Can you live without a fridge or dining table now? Kitchen accessories, like extra pots and pans, are always great add-ons down the road.

Planning your priorities and future renovations can help you stick to your budget and end up with a comfortable and functional space. Get ready to spend your nights and weekends enjoying the great outdoors!

How do you organize your home improvement budget?

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