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Mountview Landscaping News

Designing and Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Backyard kitchen

You have a beautiful landscaped property, but it’s missing something.

Your entertaining space is nice, but feels incomplete.

An outdoor kitchen could be in your future. It’s a defining home feature that makes your home more uniquely yours than anything else.

It’s an investment in the outdoor and family-entertaining lifestyle you live, and it increases the value (and appeal) of your house in the competitive southern Ontario real estate market.

When you contract a builder to create your outdoor kitchen, don’t take a back seat. It’s important to stay present through the process so you are never surprised by the choices your builder make, and to make sure your wants and needs are always part of the process.

Follow these tips and avoid any surprises as your outdoor kitchen comes together.

Spend lots of time planning

Poor planning sets the stage for a poorly executed outdoor kitchen. It’s not a rush, more time spent on the front end of the project with detailed planning pays off with faster build times and better communication with your contractor.

Outdoor kitchen sketch

Measure your space, draw out a plan. Make some calls for quotes on materials, appliances, landscaping, etc…

Write out your intended use for the kitchen and get specific.

  • Don’t just write cooking. What kind of meals will you cook? What size groups will you entertain? How often will you use the kitchen? Will you transport things back and forth between your main kitchen, or do you expect your outdoor kitchen to be fully self-sufficient?

Get the details down so you are clear when you sit down with a contractor to talk about it.

Learn about the current technology

Backyard fridge

It’s probably been a while since you bought a new dishwasher or refrigerator.

A lot has changed in the last few years, so it’s wise to look into these changes and get a firm grasp of what’s available.

An outdoor fridge had to be brought in over the winter 10 years ago. Today, you just unplug it and leave it outside.

Your kitchen as part of the landscape

The materials in the design of your outdoor kitchen should be dictated by the home and your landscaping.

Use the same trim and stone you find on the exterior of the home and in the landscape.

Continuity is the key to making an outdoor kitchen that enhances your house and doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Build it proportionally

If your home is large, you can opt for a large outdoor kitchen.

If your home is more modest, build a more modest-sized kitchen (we’re just talking size here. You can be as luxurious in the finishes and appliances as you want).

Smart designs incorporate numerous structural elements to make a kitchen fit into its surroundings, including pergolas, screens and plantings.

Some high end kitchens even work in a water feature that interacts with landscaping out into the property.

If you want it, bring it up with your builder.

Think about where…

People using the pool shouldn’t have to walk past a hot grill to get a cold drink.

Guests sitting at the table shouldn’t be bathed in smoke from the grill.

You shouldn’t be too far from friends and family while cooking outside to talk and catch up.

  • Where will you put food after you take it off the grill?
  • Where will you put a dirty pot?
  • What will you do with food waste and packaging?

The more you think about the kitchen as part of a whole functional space, the better (of course, your designer is here to help you with that. You don’t have to be the expert; you just have to think about it).

Lights are more important than you realize

Grilling food in the dark doesn’t work, so you need task lighting.

Outdoor kitchen with lights

Eating food and chatting with friends and family doesn’t work in the dark, so you need ambient lighting.

Combined kitchen and dining areas, like your outdoor kitchen, should have ambient, ornamental and task lighting just like the interior of your house does.

Everything should go on dimmer switches, so you can set the mood you want any time.

Outdoor cooking gives opportunities to do things you don’t normally do with an indoor kitchen.

  • Searing steaks over very high heat.
  • Smoking ribs for hours.
  • Cooking pizza in a wood-fired.

It’s all better and more enjoyable outdoors. Your kitchen design has to enable everything you want to do more of.

We can help you design an outdoor kitchen your family will love, and handle all the building work, keeping you involved through the entire process.

This is a partnership for a more personal job than many home renovations. Your outdoor kitchen will serve your family for years so it’s important to get it right.

Give us a call today to talk about your vision and find out if we are the right fit to build your new luxury outdoor kitchen.

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