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Lawn & Garden

How Much Does Building an Outdoor Kitchen Cost in 2020

If you entertain a lot, you've probably already thought about installing kitchen components in your backyard. Learn how much it might cost.

Grilling area with grill toppings

There’s no better place to be on a warm summer night than out on your patio,  perhaps sipping an adult beverage, and chatting with friends. A fully equipped outdoor kitchen makes it easy to entertain and serve a meal while still enjoying your outdoor space. There’s no need to run in and out the back door as you juggle cooking and conversation, and if you want, you can say goodbye to struggling to light a charcoal grill, too.

But building an outdoor kitchen — that’s got to be expensive, right? Well, it really depends. Many homeowners are opting for DIY outdoor kitchen plans or grill stations that marry the functionality of an outdoor kitchen with the affordability of a gas or charcoal grill and smoker. As with most home improvements, the cost of an outdoor kitchen depends on how elaborate you want to make it, how much of the work you do yourself and whether you hire a professional to complete the build. The average outdoor kitchen costs between $2,700 and $10,000, but you can spend more than that — or less — depending on your outdoor kitchen ideas. Let’s break down the costs.

Standard Features for Outdoor Kitchens

From the simplest to the most elaborate, all outdoor kitchen plans are going to have some of the same standard features. All will include some kind of outdoor grill station, which will consist of a grill and countertops that provide work surfaces, as well as some amount of storage for dishes, utensils and cutlery. 

If you’re going to go big on one part of your new outdoor kitchen, it should be the grill. You can choose propane, electric or charcoal, but the important thing is to choose a high-quality grill that you’ll enjoy cooking on. You’ll pay between $1,000 and $3,500 for a good grill. An outdoor grill station with a built-in grill is more expensive, while a drop-in grill is slightly cheaper. Many homeowners also choose to buy a high-quality gas or electric grill and build a DIY grill station to fit around it.

Assuming you buy an outdoor grill station, the cabinetry framework will come with it. If not, the cabinet framework will cost $200 to $600 per square foot, not counting the countertop material. Granite countertops for an outdoor kitchen cost about $60 to $80 per square foot. Tile will cost $10 to $25 per square foot.

Your outdoor kitchen will need some kind of flooring, too. If you already have a patio or deck, then you’re set. But many homeowners’ outdoor kitchen ideas involve building a new patio, either by pouring concrete or laying pavers. Pavers are the more affordable option, and will usually cost $40 to $100 per square foot for natural stone or $60 per square foot for manufactured stone. You can rent the equipment to lay a paver patio yourself and save on labor. A poured concrete patio, however, will cost you $500 to $2,000, depending on how big it is, and you’ll probably have to hire someone to pour it for you. 

You’ll also need some furniture for your outdoor kitchen. If you already have a table, chairs and other furniture, you might decide to just keep using it in your new outdoor kitchen. If you buy new, the cost will depend on what and how many pieces you buy. 

Optional Features for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Sinks are a popular optional feature for many homeowners putting in an outdoor kitchen, but if you’re trying to keep costs down or want to do a DIY job, you might decide to skip the sink. Sinks require water lines and drainage. An outdoor sink will cost $150 to $750, not counting the cost of running water and drainage lines. 

It’s somewhat easier to add a mini-fridge to your outdoor grilling station, especially if you already have an exterior outlet handy. You can pick up a small refrigerator for under $300. However, consider carefully whether you need to run a power line to it. Many homeowners cut costs by incorporating a built-in cooler of some kind into their outdoor kitchen plans.

You can definitely build a great outdoor kitchen without the need for power, water or gas lines — you can just use a propane tank for your gas grill. However, you may need power for your outdoor refrigerator or for any lighting you add to the space. Some homeowners like to put a TV in their outdoor kitchen, especially if they have a gazebo to shelter it. Fans are also a nice addition. 

Other optional features in your outdoor kitchen include a fire pit for after-dinner conversation, outdoor curtains or canopies for shade, speakers or stereos for tunes, and even privacy fencing. A fence can cost $1,500 to $4,000, depending on the size. 

An outdoor kitchen is an upgrade that can really take your cookouts and dinner parties to a whole new level. And with home warranty coverage for up to 21 home systems and appliances, American Home Shield® is here to offer you the protection you need for your new outdoor kitchen appliances. Join today to help protect your home and budget.

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