Yes, indeed, you can absolutely cook outside, at an outdoor kitchen, as well as have way more fun while you are at it!
But what if you don’t have an outdoor kitchen? Let’s build one!
Warning, you are about to delight your eyes with 20 beautiful and fully functional outdoor kitchen designs to help you get your imagination going! 😉
Did you know? Outdoor kitchens are quite a trend in areas with warm weather all year round. Cooking takes a lot of time and you can make it more pleasant by cooking outside. If you’re curious, take a look at the following 20 outdoor kitchen designs. But first, let’s talk about the costs involved in such a project.
How much does it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?
Outdoor kitchens can cost anywhere from several thousand dollars for a basic setup all the way to $50,000 and even $100,000, depending on the complexity of the design and the extent of the work required. The main costs involved in designing and building an outdoor kitchen revolve around the following:
Planning and design work from $100 to $1,000, depending on the complexity of the overall design
Shade structures – Pergola, Gazebo, etc.
Landscape lighting in and around the kitchen
Patio design and installation
The framework of the kitchen
Utility requirements like drains, electrical lines, and natural gas piping.
The average reported cost for building an outdoor kitchen is a bit over $9,000, most homeowners spending between $2,700 and $16,000. What does this sum cover?
Well, for starters, there’s the center piece of most outdoor kitchens: the grill. Some families spend thousands of dollars on a fancy grill.
A decent one costs at least $1,000 while high end products can be sold for up to $15,000. Don’t forget to purchase BBQ equipment too. Another important appliance is the fridge. A quality refrigerator starts at $500, but some people opt for a beverage cooler instead.
Vinyl is the #1 material in the U.S. due to its pros (namely low cost, versatility and low maintenance requirements). Warranties are usually life-long and are sometimes transferable. This is truly a pro, but as it varies by contractor, it is more of a consideration.
Vinyl is typically a horizontal lap-type siding, designed to mimic traditional wood-lap. The height of each individual lap (or what would resemble a plank of wood) is generally what distinguishes brand or model types, along with the thickness of material.
Vinyl essentially comes in two types – one which is called hollow-back or is just the siding material, the other which is foam-back, to provide extra layer of insulation. Foam-back adds about 15% more to the cost of siding material, but the cost can be easily recouped via energy savings.
Vinyl comes in a number of thicknesses (which add to cost), and as seams may be a con, it does have a seamless option, but that too adds on to cost.
The material is fairly durable and will last a good 20 to 40 years, usually with a warranty to back this up.
Costs per square foot has a fairly wide range based on factors noted above and brand considerations. Our research shows it as little as 60 cents and as high as $8.00. A perhaps more accurate range is $3.50 to $6.50 for standard vinyl siding, and $5.50 to $10 for deluxe vinyl.
An average-sized house (2,000 sq. ft. of siding) will cost between $7,000 and $13,000 for standard siding, including materials, installation, and warranty.
From a strictly dollars and cents analysis, almost all (but not all) home improvements make no sense (DIY projects should be judged differently than home improvements done by professional contractors, since they will have an inherently higher ROI on dollars invested).
In most cases, you are not going to get the money back you put into them. But is a home improvement going to perk up the quality of your life, make you proud of your house, improve your lot with the neighbors, make your life more fun? You cannot put a price tag on those.
However, be aware that even that emotional boost aka “enjoyment factor” will not always make a home improvement worth it. Take a hard look at the real estate market in your neighborhood before plunging into a major home remodeling upgrade.
If all the houses in your area sell in the $150,000 range and you undergo a major makeover to increase the value of your home to $225,000, you may have priced yourself out of the resale market.
Also be careful of altering your living space if doing so violates the integrity of the house.
A bulky room expansion to a classic bungalow, for instance, will destroy its eye appeal to buyers in the market for period-appropriate houses.
On the other hand, time matters. If you are planning to stay in your home for a long time, the cost of some remodeling upgrades and renovations will start to look good, both in your pocketbook and your pride of ownership.
If you are looking to sell in the near-term it may be better to restrict your efforts to a freshening up, take a realistic price and let the next owner sink money into major improvements. Your best financial play may even be just offering a discount or credit for a major repair.
So knowing that you are likely never going to see the money you put into a home improvement going in, let’s look at what you can expect from some common home improvements…
1. Steel entry door. Ah, yes, the portal to your soul. An attractive entryway is never a bad thing. But to return the bang for your buck go with a modern insulated steel door. The energy savings and fresh look will return anywhere from 70% to 100% of its cost, depending on how grungy the front door looked at the beginning of the project.
2. Siding replacement. If your house’s skin is showing its age, new siding is a rational choice. It will bring back between 75% and 80% of its installation cost, more for fiber cement than vinyl among the mainstream siding options.
3. New roof. It does not matter what return this brings you. No one is going to buy a house with a leaky roof. The return a new roof brings you is the ability to sell your house and move.
In the warmer climates of the South and Southwest where outdoor living is a way of life a deck will absolutely help at selling time. Plus, a deck is a great enhancer to your life while in the house as well.
5. Kitchen Remodel. The kitchen is the most popular target for upgrading – and also the biggest money pit. You may be lucky to get back 50 cents on the dollar if you go in for all the fancy bells and whistles for an extravagant kitchen and then have to sell your house in a bad market.
A better option is a partial makeover (think $20,000 range) that concentrates on improving the work flow in the kitchen space known as the “golden triangle” – the ideal positioning of the cooktop, refrigerator and sink.
Make your kitchen an efficient workspace marvel and you can see an 80% to 85% return on your buck. And make your own kitchen time that much more pleasant as well.
6. Bathroom Remodel. Everything said about a kitchen upgrade holds for the bathroom, the second most fussed over room in the house. Think mid-range and sensible improvements and you will get a bigger bang for that dollar.