High angle view of a stylish outdoor kitchen, gas barbecue and dining table set for entertaining guests with formal place settings and flowers on a paved patio

For those who like to cook, there’s nothing better than a well designed kitchen space; in fact, kitchen remodels are some of the most popular and pleasing home improvement projects in the country. Kitchens are extremely versatile spaces, and customizing that space to suit your particular needs is a great way to make your home more functional, and even more fun.

One recent trend in kitchens takes the idea of customization to the next level. Instead of simply installing new countertops or adding a fancy fridge, some homeowners have opted to take the convenience of kitchen cooking into the backyard. Perfect for entertaining during pleasant weather, outdoor kitchens allow you the functionality of a traditional kitchen while maintaining the near universal appeal of a barbecue. Though they are an exciting prospect for homeowners looking to remodel, there are bound to be a few questions about the cost and practicality of this unique new trend.

Outdoor Kitchen Costs
The design and components of outdoor kitchens vary greatly from one to another, so it would be difficult to pinpoint how much your particular one would cost without first knowing the specifics. However, one thing is abundantly clear: outdoor kitchens are far less expensive than your average indoor kitchen remodel. Nationally, $22,000 is a pretty good estimate of what most folks spend on indoor kitchen remodels. Of course, some are more expensive than others (for upscale kitchen remodels, spending more than $45,000 is more common than you might think). Though there is a dramatic difference in price between one to the next, most outdoor kitchens range somewhere between $4,000 and $7,000.

Is an Outdoor Kitchen Right for You?
With any home improvement project, it is important to know that the money you spend will be put to good use. With something with such a specific function, it can be difficult to know beforehand whether or not an outdoor kitchen will be used to its fullest extent. If you are the type of person who finds yourself constantly grilling or entertaining, there’s a good chance that you’ll get plenty of use from this kind of addition; for those whose barbecue frequency is more limited, there are a few factors that might help you decide whether this is a good investment.

If you live in an area where the outdoor season is relatively long, building an outdoor kitchen might be a motivator to spend more of those pleasant evenings on the deck or in the yard. If you have a pool and regularly have company over for a dip, there’s a good chance that the convenience of an outdoor kitchen won’t go unnoticed. In places where the weather is not conducive to outdoor activities, investing in an outdoor kitchen might only be a good project for the most die hard grillers; however, due to the surprisingly modest price of some outdoor kitchens, a less elaborate installation might make for an excellent addition even if you aren’t a very frequent barbecue-er.

Planning an Outdoor Kitchen
One of the best ways to ensure that your outdoor kitchen gets used is to make its operation as easy and convenient as possible. This is why the most important part of building an outdoor kitchen is the design. Consulting with a professional who has seen what works and what doesn’t is a must. Oftentimes, people in the business of creating outdoor kitchens will have many ideas to increase convenience and functionality that a homeowner could easily overlook.