As temperatures start to reach triple digits, most of us want to spend more time outside. With social distancing, our options are kind of limited. Regardless of how much cash you have though, you can turn your home's outdoor space into the perfect area to solve your problem. Specifically, with an outdoor kitchen. Even if it's temporary, it'll at least improve your quality of life if not your property's value. We're going to take a look at how we can bring this outdoor kitchen to fruition.
Upgrade the Grill
Upgrading a grill doesn't mean getting a more expensive one. A small charcoal grill is potentially an upgrade from an old gas one. It depends on which you prefer, and, frankly, if one is holding it together well enough to still cook well.
This one is your call. A standard grill will cost you $150 to $300, and top-of-the-line outdoor ones will run you somewhere between $1,500 and a new Rolls Royce. If your personal chef has to cook for a whole backyard full of people every weekend, you'll want to get something bigger than that portable charcoal grill you take camping. If you cook for yourself every night, maybe a simple gas grill if you don't feel like lighting the coals every time.
Upgrade the Seating
If you have the space, it's time to add a dining area. Chairs are the bare minimum, but everyone is going to have to do cookout legs, so a table is your next priority.
Furniture is usually expensive, especially if you're buying it from a retailer. If you actually look and work hard to unearth favorable situations, you can even get every piece of outdoor furniture for free. Whatever works best for you, make sure you know how you're going to take care of it between seasons. This'll insure everything is in good shape until you're a multimillionaire and "money is of no issue."
Add the extras
Want a prep sink? Wine fridge? Ice machine? Built-in smoker? You got it. The sky’s the limit when it comes to custom additions — or rather, your budget is the limit. Consider your space before making a wish list.
Think of what the area can fit, what it needs, and throw whatever you want in there. Really, use your imagination because it will go a long way. Imagine a sink out there, or a fridge, maybe a smoker, or a bar cart. A full chef's kitchen is a lot to ask of a lot of backyards, but it's possible to put something together that comes close to it.
Make it comfortable
Which amenities do you think you'll use most in this space? Consider things like electronics and shade, and maybe water features or games. A gazebo is an amazing addition to any house, a great place to have dinner if it's buggy out, and the perfect summer movie room. It will definitely cost you some of your pretty pennies though.
A deck might fit well into your future, or city zoning ordinances. Some places are ridiculous with their zoning laws, like how Brookline homeowners have to wait a decade after they purchase to renovate a home's basement. Check before you deck.
Outdoor fires are an obvious win. You could go with a fire pit, an actual fireplace to cap off the patio, or both if you're the cool rich parent/aunt/uncle/etc.
The best alternative to outdoor TV's, which can get expensive to set up in the end, is a projector! Projectors, if done right, will earn you serious backyard points in anyone's book. Check out these examples below and keep an eye out for projectors!
Remember that this is your space. You can design it to work perfectly for you, and to look just as perfect through your eyes. Comfortable means more than puffy cushions; it means the layout works for you, so go with your gut and make it yours.