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Outdoor Kitchen FAQ

Ready for some answers to the most common Outdoor Kitchen FAQ (frequently asked questions)? We hope you’ll find what you need here.

However, if you don’t find the answer to your specific question here, we invite you to contact us directly. Mike’s Evergreen has been a family owned and operated landscape business serving Fresno and Clovis since 1987, and we’ve designed and installed many outdoor kitchens in that time. We’re here to help you, too.

Here are some of those most frequently asked questions about outdoor kitchens:

Outdoor Kitchen FAQ

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What is an outdoor kitchen?

What is an outdoor kitchen?

An outdoor kitchen is an outdoor living space where you can prepare and cook food, dine, and entertain friends and family. You can customize the space to include whatever amenities you want.

For example, a full outdoor kitchen may have a grill, perhaps a separate cooktop and oven, and maybe a pizza oven. In addition to the cooking elements, a full outdoor kitchen is likely to include a sink, refrigerator, and possibly even an icemaker and dishwasher as well as cabinets and countertop similar to an indoor kitchen.

A less elaborate outdoor kitchen may feature just a simple grill and a stand-alone food prep/serving area.

Most people want their outdoor kitchen to accommodate guests, so there often is seating as well … sometimes at a countertop bar or at a stand-alone table. And most outdoor kitchens in the Central Valley also have some kind of overhead structure to provide shade and shelter.

Is an outdoor kitchen worth it?

Is an outdoor kitchen worth it?

Whether an outdoor kitchen is worth it or not is up to personal preference. If you don’t enjoy being outside, an outdoor kitchen may not be worth it to you. But if you do like being outdoors and prefer an al fresco lifestyle, then an outdoor kitchen is most certainly worth exploring.

An outdoor kitchen can add value to your home, but perhaps even more importantly, it can add to your enjoyment of your home and help you live the lifestyle you want.

What are the disadvantages of an outdoor kitchen?

What are the disadvantages of an outdoor kitchen?

Some things you need to consider before building an outdoor kitchen are the space that it will require, getting permits and building it to code, and how to protect it against the weather.

An outdoor kitchen is generally a permanent structure that you’re adding to your property, so it’s not typically a DIY weekend project. It will take time to do it properly so that it’s both safe and will last.

Also, because it’s outside, an outdoor kitchen will have special cleaning and maintenance requirements above and beyond what’s needed indoors.

Does an outdoor kitchen add home value?

Does an outdoor kitchen add home value?

Most real estate experts agree that an outdoor kitchen adds value to your home and increases what you can sell it for. HFS Financial quotes CNN Money and Remodeling Magazine as reporting that “outdoor kitchens nationally return 100% to 200% of the improvement cost.”

But in addition to resale value, an outdoor kitchen adds immediate value to your lifestyle and enjoyment of your home.

How long does an outdoor kitchen last?

How long does an outdoor kitchen last?

The longevity of an outdoor kitchen is dependent on the quality of the materials used, the quality of the workmanship in building/installing it, and the diligence of the maintenance. If everything is done well, you can expect your outdoor kitchen to last 10 years or more. Some have lasted much longer than that.

What is the ROI on outdoor kitchens?

What is the ROI on outdoor kitchens?

The ROI on outdoor kitchens varies depending on the size, cost and quality of materials used, types of appliances, and even general aesthetics. With that being said, SuperMoney quotes Michael Kelczewski of Sotheby’s International Realty as saying, “the general rule of thumb is a 50% ROI for outdoor kitchens.”

While an outdoor kitchen will increase your home value, it won’t necessarily appeal to everyone. So it isn’t a project that a realtor usually suggests when getting your home ready to sell.

Rather than doing it for resale value, most homeowners have outdoor kitchens built so that they can enjoy the outdoor living space themselves. And it’s hard to put a numerical value on that.

Do outdoor kitchens rust?

Do outdoor kitchens rust?

Certain building materials can be prone to rust when used outside where they are exposed to the weather. However, experienced outdoor kitchen builders will use materials that resist rusting.

Stainless steel, for example, is used often in outdoor kitchens because it’s aesthetically pleasing and also resists rust as well as stains, corrosion, and bacteria.

Should I put a sink in my outdoor kitchen?

Should I put a sink in my outdoor kitchen?

Putting a sink in your outdoor kitchen is totally optional, but in most cases, it makes a lot of sense to do so.

Having a sink in your outdoor kitchen adds functionality and convenience to your space. Not only is it handy for food preparation and cleanup, but it also allows people to easily wash their hands without trekking inside to do so.

Also, homeowners who put sinks in their outdoor kitchen commonly find that they use these sinks at other times and for other purposes in addition to cooking meals outdoors.

How do I get water to my outdoor kitchen?

How do I get water to my outdoor kitchen?

Getting water to your outdoor kitchen is simply a matter of tying it into your home’s water lines. While simple, in theory, the process isn’t always easy and should be done only by experienced professionals.

How do I protect my outdoor kitchen?

One of the best ways to protect your outdoor kitchen is to add a roof, pergola, or other type of overhead covering to protect it from the Central Valley weather. You’ll also want to seal and polish the external surfaces of your outdoor kitchen (countertops, cabinets, appliances, etc.).

Just like an indoor kitchen, regular cleaning and additional routine maintenance is required to keep your outdoor kitchen in good shape.

How much would it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?

How much would it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?

The cost of an outdoor kitchen is directly related to size and what you want your outdoor kitchen to include. The major components and their average general costs, according to neutral third-party HomeLight, include:

  • Flooring ($40-$100 per square foot)
  • Appliances ($1,500-$7,000)
  • Framing and Cabinets ($200-$600 per square foot)
  • Countertops ($10-$100 per square foot)
  • Overhead Covering ($25-$100 per square foot)

The best way to estimate how much it would cost to build an outdoor kitchen on your property and to meet your needs is to talk to local outdoor kitchen experts. Contact Mike’s Evergreen today to start the conversation.

What do you do with an outdoor kitchen in the winter?

What do you do with an outdoor kitchen in the winter?

In the Central Valley, many people still use their outdoor kitchen in the winter … provided it has ample protection overhead to keep you dry.

However, if you are not planning to cook outside during the winter months, you should take steps to winterize your outdoor kitchen. That includes the following tasks:

  • Shut off your water line(s) and drain your faucets
  • Turn off your gas line
  • Clean and polish your stainless steel grill and appliances
  • Thoroughly clean your cabinets, countertops, and sink
  • Unplug, empty, and clean your refrigerator, freezer, and ice maker

You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions related to what you have in your particular outdoor kitchen.

How do you keep outside kitchen pipes from freezing?

How do you keep outside kitchen pipes from freezing?

The best way to keep outside kitchen pipes from freezing is to shut off the water line(s) supplying water to your outdoor kitchen and then draining out any water left in the pipes by running the faucet until no more water comes out.

With no water in the pipes, there’s nothing to freeze, and your pipes are safe from damage.

How close to the house can you build an outdoor kitchen?

How close to the house can you build an outdoor kitchen?

Most homeowners find it convenient to have their outdoor kitchen as close to the house as possible … specifically, as close to an entrance into the home as possible … for easy access.

The component of your outdoor kitchen where placement matters the most is the grill and any other fire-based cooking devices (like a pizza oven). The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends using the grill at least 10 feet away from the house. Most manufacturers recommend a minimum of 3 feet.

Some homeowner’s insurance companies also have specifications for how close an outdoor kitchen can be to the home.

All recommendations and specifications for placement of the elements you’re including in your outdoor kitchen need to be carefully considered in the design stage to ensure that you’ll be able to safely use your outdoor kitchen. This is just one of the many reasons that many homeowners rely on outdoor kitchen experts when adding an outdoor kitchen to their home.

What should I include in my outdoor kitchen?

What should I include in my outdoor kitchen?

The options are endless for what to include in an outdoor kitchen. But you should only include the components that you’ll actually use.

For example, an authentic wood-fired pizza oven is a fantastic addition to an outdoor kitchen … if your family makes (or wants to make) pizza at home. If not, you probably shouldn’t include it.

Some popular components to consider including in your outdoor kitchen include the following:

  • Grill
  • Pizza oven
  • Smoker
  • Cooktop or side burners
  • Griddle
  • Oven
  • Warming drawers
  • Sink
  • Garbage disposal
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Wine refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Ice maker
  • Countertop prep space
  • Bar seating
  • Storage drawers and/or cabinets
  • Lighting
  • Ceiling fan(s)

This list is not all-inclusive, and your outdoor kitchen should include whatever you want or need to enjoy cooking and entertaining outdoors. If you can dream it, there’s probably a way to make it happen.

How much space is needed for an outdoor kitchen?

How much space is needed for an outdoor kitchen?

An outdoor kitchen can be as large or small as you want. It really depends on the amenities you want to include and the number of people who will typically be using the space.

Generally speaking, you’ll need a minimum of 10 linear feet of counter/work space for a simple “small” outdoor kitchen. That gives you space for a grill, sink, and some countertop work area.

While most outdoor kitchens tend to be in the 100-400 square feet range, yours can be whatever size you want. If you have the space and budget, outdoor kitchens can be as large and elaborate as indoor kitchens, with islands, bar seating, additional appliances, storage space, etc.

Can you put a dishwasher in an outdoor kitchen?

Can you put a dishwasher in an outdoor kitchen?

Yes! You can certainly put a dishwasher in an outdoor kitchen, and it’s a popular option. Many people like the convenience of being able to clean up without having to cart all the dirty dishes inside.

What kind of grill do I need for an outdoor kitchen?

What kind of grill do I need for an outdoor kitchen?

Typically, grills in outdoor kitchens are either propane or gas. However, if you prefer using pellets, charcoal, or even wood … those options can be incorporated into your design.

And while most outdoor kitchens have a built-in grill, along with other appliances of choice, you can use a freestanding grill instead if you have a favorite that you already own (or want to buy).

Can you build an outdoor kitchen on top of pavers?

Can you build an outdoor kitchen on top of pavers?

Yes! You can build an outdoor kitchen on top of pavers. When installed properly, pavers give a solid foundation for the construction, and they’re durable enough to withstand the use that the kitchen will get.

The other benefit of using pavers in your outdoor kitchen is the design variety. With the wide selection of pavers available, you can get just the look you want for an outdoor kitchen you’ll love.

How close to the house can you build an outdoor kitchen?

Can you build an outdoor kitchen on a deck?

You can build an outdoor kitchen on a deck as long as it’s constructed properly to accommodate the weight and utility connections (water, gas, and power). The wood used for the decking is another consideration when determining whether or not the deck is suitable for an outdoor kitchen.

Safety is a key factor in any outdoor kitchen, so be sure to consult an expert to determine if your deck can handle an outdoor kitchen.

Mike’s Evergreen is the right choice for your outdoor kitchen needs because we are the Valley’s premier outdoor living experts. We work hard to understand your goals and provide quality results that will exceed your expectations. We understand that one of your biggest and most important investments is your home or business. Your objectives, lifestyle, personality, as well as the specific needs of your property are carefully considered to reflect a landscape that will provide beauty, function, and value to your home or property. Mike’s Evergreen offers a complete range of landscape services so we can make your yard look the way you intend it to.

Choose Mike’s Evergreen as your outdoor kitchen experts!

What is an outdoor kitchen?

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