Pools, spas, and meticulously manicured lawns are lovely but few backyard amenities are as exceptional as an outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen is a staple of luxury living. Whether it's poolside, atop a patio, or used to create the transitional indoor-outdoor space that so many homeowners desire, the outdoor kitchen is a fantastic feature. Unfortunately, it's also one of the easiest luxe renovations to botch.
When you're transforming your outdoor space with luxurious upgrades, it's important to make sure your investment is protected before, during, and after the project is completed. Our real estate agents have identified five of the most common mistakes homeowners make when installing an outdoor kitchen and how you can avoid them.
- Mistake: Not Planning the Project Professionally
Solution: Hire A Consultant
How do you turn the outdoor kitchen of your dreams into a reality? You're going to need some help. Even if you plan on completing most aspects of the project yourself, you should still consult a team of professionals before you begin. This project will involve the installation of ventilation, electrical, gas, and water lines, all of which aren't elements an amateur should attempt to handle alone. Bringing in a professional consultant to help you detail the logistics of your vision will help you avoid mistakes.
- Mistake: Underestimating Counter Space
Solution: Estimate Counter Space Similar to Indoors
Many homeowners believe that it's better to invest in space for appliances and seating than empty counter space, but a lack of counter space quickly becomes an inconvenience. The goal of an outdoor kitchen is to not only serve but fully prepare the meal outdoors. Without adequate counter space, you'll be forced to prep food in the interior kitchen, defeating the purpose of the outdoor kitchen.
- Mistake: Overstuffing the Area
Solution: Dividing the Area Between Kitchen & Dining Space
Having a smoker, wine cooler, beer fridge, fryer, oven, and wet bar would create the ultimate outdoor kitchen. Unfortunately, many homeowners attempt to stuff all of these appliances into even the smallest of outdoor kitchen spaces. Even worse, some will sacrifice seating space or walkway space to accommodate more kitchen features. Unless you have a separate patio or entertaining space, you must remember that your outdoor kitchen needs to accommodate ample room for dining. Estimate how the minimum and maximum guests you wish to include and make sure you provide space for not only sitting, but also moving around the kitchen and patio safely.
- Mistake: Forgetting About Lighting
Solution: Integrate Diverse Lighting Solutions
Imagine building the perfect backyard kitchen, only to watch the sunset on your dinner plans because there's inadequate lighting. You'll need to integrate diverse lighting solutions into your outdoor entertaining area. Primary lighting such as spotlights or floodlights can illuminate a large outdoor dining or kitchen space, but you may also require smaller task lighting place around the prep areas to provide additional visibility. Landscape lighting may also be necessary as well to ensure that you and your guests can safely navigate the pathways leading around the backyard and into the home.
- Mistake: Neglecting the Weather
Solution: Plan for Year-Round Protection
No matter which region you live in, your outdoor kitchen is subject to the damage of yearly weather patterns. For northern homes, you'll need to have a plan to winterize or store your outdoor appliances when temperatures drop. For southern homes, you'll need to protect your appliances from excessive sunlight, heat, moisture, sand/dirt particles, and even damage from potential tropical storms.
An outdoor kitchen is a great addition to any luxury home, but it's also one renovation that is ripe for error. Detailed planning and professional assistance can help you avoid these common outdoor entertaining area mistakes. If you're interested in purchasing a home for sale in Nassau, Suffolk, or Queens counties, contact us today!