How Much Should You Expect To Spend On An Outdoor Kitchen In 2024?
Do you want to upgrade your backyard living space by building an outdoor kitchen? A standalone grill is a quick and easy solution, but it doesn’t offer the overall benefits that are available from a fully-functional kitchen. You’ll be glad to have a beautiful space designed for hosting friends and family, giving you the perfect gathering area to enjoy your favorite meals with the people you love.
You can find tutorials online, but the best solution is to hire an experienced contractor to install your custom outdoor kitchen. Our team at Werever is here to help every step of the way, offering full-service for outdoor cabinets, including everything from planning and design to product sourcing.
Here are the low-end to high-end cost ranges for each aspect of your outdoor kitchen.
NOTE: The estimates here are based on Werever’s experience with typical outdoor kitchen projects. Every outdoor kitchen project is different, and the costs associated with each one can change based on a variety of factors.
- Grills: $1,500 – $10,000
- Insulating jacket: $500 – $1,200
- Countertops: $35-$80 per sq. ft (granite)
- Single: $1,700 – $2,400
- Total (from Werever): $10,000 – $40,000
- Refrigerator (under counter): $1,199 – $5,000
- Ice Makers: $2,100 – $5,000
- Vent Hood – $2,000-$6,000
- Sinks, Cocktail Stations, etc: $300 – $3,000
- Installation: $650 – $2,000
- Vent Hood Installation – $800-$2,000
- Plumbing and Electrical: $250 – $2,000
On average, you can expect the cost of your new outdoor kitchen to be between $10,000 and $80,000.
Your budget can vary depending on the size of your outdoor kitchen and the features and materials you would like to install. This article is designed to help you learn more about the many different factors that will affect your budget and expenses.
But since there isn’t a cookie-cutter approach for every installation, it’s challenging to list specific pricing without knowing more about your goals and preferences.
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Cost Considerations: Features & Appliances for Your Outdoor Kitchen
When you are in the planning phases and designing your project, many details must be addressed to bring your dream kitchen to life. Not only do you need cabinet and countertop installation, but it’s also important to consider appliances and other features that create the ideal outdoor kitchen for your unique needs.
When building an outdoor kitchen, expect to spend $1,500 – $10,000 on a grill, with an additional $500 – $1,200 for an insulating jacket.
Choosing a quality grill for an outdoor kitchen is much more involved than running to a big-box store to find a cart grill. These cheap grills are manufactured with lower-quality materials that eventually break down over time… resulting in a situation where you are trying to find repair parts or simply replacing the grill every few years.
When it comes to outdoor kitchen installation, built-in grills are designed to last a lifespan. These products are built using durable materials, including higher quality stainless steel and features that hold up for years. Companies that manufacture outdoor grills know that you intend to use the grill for a long time. Not only do they offer warranties on these appliances, but they also provide ongoing support with parts available in the future.
Many outdoor kitchens have built-in grills held by an outdoor cabinet and a countertop custom-cut to fit the grill. In this situation, spending money on a quality grill is essential to ensure that the grill lasts for years.
Pro tip: When choosing a built-in grill for an outdoor kitchen, ask questions about the grade of stainless steel. The best grills use 304 stainless steel, which is designed to last in the toughest environments. Most of these grills use a gas heating source and can be connected to the house if you don’t want to use propane tanks.
On the other hand, there are many customizable options to use a standalone grill (instead of a built-in grill) as part of your outdoor kitchen design. For example, we can create a space for a cart grill, with a highly functional prep area around the grill, so you have countertops and storage to use while cooking.
The cost of granite countertops for an outdoor kitchen will typically be between $30 and $85. per square foot. However, higher levels of granite quality can result in a $200-$3,000 upcharge.
Stone countertops are ideal for outdoor kitchen installation. Not only does the stone look great, but it is durable in changing weather conditions.
Here are a few considerations when you are choosing the ideal countertop materials for your outdoor kitchen:
Granite: We recommend granite if your countertops are exposed to the sun. This durable stone will withstand the test of time. But there are a few downsides since it naturally has varying degrees of cracks and fissures – which can be weak spots that collect dirt and grime. We recommend choosing granite in light colors, so it doesn’t fade in the sun. Since it doesn’t have dyes or artificial colorants, it holds up well in sun exposure. Maintenance is necessary to keep it looking good as new, but it’s simple to clean and wipe down with a sealant product.
Quartz: When the countertops are in a covered area with less sun exposure, quartz or other solid-stone products can be an excellent option to consider. Engineered quartz is gaining in popularity because they are non-porous and are manufactured with color and pattern consistency. But keep in mind that these colorants aren’t UV stabilized, which is why they work best in covered outdoor kitchens.
Because of the sun and rain exposure, make sure all materials are warranted for exposure to the elements. If your kitchen is wood-free, we don’t recommend using a wood substrate for the countertops since these materials are more prone to damage from weather conditions.
Our team at Werever will supply quality outdoor kitchen cabinets (more on that below); then any reputable countertop company can place the granite or quartz for your installation. We recommend that you use your free outdoor kitchen design layout when shopping so the countertop provider can see all the measurements and provide an accurate estimate. Additionally, talk to the countertop contractor to ensure the stone is secured to the cabinets with necessary blocking and support.
Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets
The price for single outdoor kitchen cabinets from Werever typically ranges from $1,700 – $2,400, while the average cost for a full project is $10,000 – $15,000, while larger projects can cost $20,000 – $40,000
In addition to a top-notch grill for cooking and plenty of counter space for food preparation, it’s also important to consider how much storage space you will want in your outdoor kitchen. Running back and forth between the indoor kitchen and outdoor space is a hassle, which is why many homeowners prefer built-in cabinets for convenience.
As with all other features in your outdoor kitchen, quality and construction should be top priorities to ensure the durability of your cabinets. Keep in mind that framed kitchens with inserts don’t offer the same quality or storage capacity you can get with whole cabinets.
One of the most important decisions you will make is choosing the cabinet materials. There are big differences in the materials – they are not all equal! The fine print matters when considering outdoor cabinet options, so make sure you always pay attention to the details and work with a reliable provider.
Stainless Steel: Keep in mind that this material is stainLESS not stainPROOF. It’s essential to use a protectant, which can minimize wear and tear. But this oily layer can also attract dirt. If the stainless steel is left unprotected, it will pit and corrode in the changing weather patterns. Once stainless steel starts to degrade, it can never be restored to a factory-state new condition.
High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE): This cabinet material doesn’t require the same level of care as stainless steel. HDPE holds up better when exposed to rain, pool chlorine, and moisture. Additionally, if damage occurs, the cabinets can be restored to improve the overall appearance of the materials.
In most situations, high-density polyethylene is the ideal material for outdoor cabinets. There are varying quality levels within this category of materials. So, make sure you are proactive about maintaining quality with every detail, including construction methods, hardware, engineering, and other materials in the cabinet box. These factors will all play a role in the longevity of the cabinets.
Seemingly small details can make a difference. For example, cabinet doors with 2 hinges tend to warp significantly more than cabinet doors with 3 hinges. Also, cabinets held together with a lot of screws will start to develop spidering cracks near the hardware because of the way the material expands and contracts over time.
The best way to ensure you receive quality cabinets for your outdoor kitchen is by choosing a manufacturer with a strong reputation and decades of experience. Our team at Werever is always here to help.
Refrigerators and Ice Makers
An under the counter refrigerator will typically cost $1,199 – $5,000, while an ice maker will add another $2,100 – $5,000.
While most homeowners set a high budget for their outdoor grill, you can often opt for a cheaper refrigerator since it’s easy to change the appliance in the future. Just ensure you leave room in the outdoor kitchen design to accommodate commonly sized appliances.
Of course, choose an upgraded appliance if your budget allows it. But if you are looking for ways to reduce your overall expenses, then the refrigerator is one area where you can pick a cheaper product. Cutting corners here is a lower risk since most outdoor refrigerators adhere to standard sizes.
If you maintain a 24-inch opening and the refrigerator needs to be replaced, then it’s an easy swap to remove the failed appliance and replace it with a better-quality item that fits the same opening (which isn’t the case with built-in grills).
Don’t be surprised by the price tag when shopping for outdoor appliances. Most of the time, these products cost more than indoor rate versions because they need to work harder in an outdoor climate. It takes more work for an outdoor refrigerator to maintain cool temperatures when the outdoor weather is hot and humid.
When choosing your outdoor appliances, consider your typical approach for entertaining. When hosting a party, sometimes the simplest way to keep drinks cold and accessible is by filling a tub or cooler with ice, which means you can save money on outdoor refrigeration.
On the other hand, if you frequently have smaller gatherings outside, it might be nice to have an outdoor fridge already stocked with your favorite beverages.
The cost of professional installation typically runs $650 – $1,500, but that range can change to $800 – $2,000 if a vent hood is involved (more about vent hoods in the next section).
The cheapest approach is to install the kitchen cabinets yourself, which means you will have $0 out-of-pocket expenses compared to paying for a professional installer. If you are reasonably proficient with basic tools, then an outdoor kitchen can be a very successful DIY project.
Since these cabinets are pre-assembled, you don’t need to have extensive trim carpentry experience. The grill cabinets are pre-cut to fit your selected grill, so you only need to drop in the grill’s insulating liner. Compare the simplicity of the Werever system with competing lines that sell grill cabinets that are basically a shell… These can be BIG installation projects and a hassle to manage.
At Werever, we make it simple for you to install the cabinets yourself. You choose the grill and countertops, and we engineer the cabinets to match. Check out our detailed installation guide for more information about what you can expect when installing the cabinets.
The most important part of your installation is to make sure the cabinets are level, plumb, and square – which can be successfully completed by someone who has never installed cabinets before. Even though a professional will get the job done faster, the overall results can also be achieved on your own. This process usually involves small adjustments to the leveling legs, which can take anywhere from 1 – 20 minutes.
On the other hand, if you have projects that deal with materials that dry or settle (such as stucco, paint, grout, etc.), you’ll definitely want help from a professional installation team for the best results.
Vent hoods can be very expensive, costing between $2,000 & $6,000.
Depending on the design, you might not need a vent hood. Other styles might require venting through the roof. Make sure you always check local building codes to know ventilation requirements, as well as any specific regulations for grill placement. Some building codes can be quite specific and restrictive, so it’s essential to research your local area before deciding on a vent hood.
Even though vent hoods can be expensive, they are worth the cost because they serve an important function. If you are cooking in a covered outdoor kitchen and make anything that produces smoke, then it can be surprising how quickly the area fills with smoke… which can be unpleasant for your guests.
Follow these pro tips when choosing a grill hood for your outdoor kitchen:
Follow the Instructions: Always follow installation specifications when planning your vent hood. A deviation of just a few inches from the manufacturer’s intentions can dramatically impact the vent hood’s performance.
Consider Your Location: What are the wind and breeze conditions in your area? It can be a blessing or a curse. While a predictable breeze moves smoke away from your guests, it can also render a hood useless if the wind shifts the air column away from the hood.
Covered or Uncovered: Do you want to build a grill under a covering? Too often, outdoor kitchen companies have the underlying goal of selling you a grill, which shapes the overall layout of the kitchen. But you don’t have to make the grill the centerpiece of your outdoor living space. If you put the grill away from the guests, you might eliminate the requirement for a ventilation hood.
Plumbing and Electrical
The cost of plumbing and electrical installation typically runs from $250 – $2,000
Basic outdoor kitchens have minimal needs for plumbing and electrical. The good news is that Werever cabinets don’t require that you hire a specialized plumber or electrician for installation. The detailed installation guide has instructions for cutting holes in the cabinets using the recommended cutting tools.
Also, when looking at the cost of plumbing and electrical work, you’ll want to look at requirements for your outdoor appliances. For example, ice makers require both a water supply and a drain.
One suggestion to save money on plumbing is by putting the structure in place pre-construction since it’s much less expensive than running supply and drain lines through existing walls.
Other Appliances and Features: Sinks, Cocktail Stations, etc.
Depending on what you decide to add, additional appliances could cost $300 – $3,000
In addition to the main features in your outdoor kitchen, there are many other smaller details that will add the finishing touch. When you are choosing high-end cabinetry and a top-notch grill, it also makes sense to align these other features to the same level of luxury and beauty.
Choose wisely for any item that is cut to fit the cabinetry. This approach is where good design comes into play!
For example, you might want to add a built-in cocktail station. But if you only anticipate using it a few times a year, then an alternative option is to get a “drink tub” from a home décor store and keep it in a cabinet when it is unused. It’s simple to pull out the tub and fill it with ice on an as-needed basis.
This approach helps to decrease your spending. Also, eliminating the dedicated appliance leaves the counter space open for multi-purpose uses.
Care and Maintenance Costs Of An Outdoor Kitchen
Not only do you need to look at the initial costs for materials and installation, but there are ongoing expenses when it comes to care and maintenance. You will need to budget both time and money to keep up with the kitchen. These tasks make a big difference in slowing down wear and tear, helping you enjoy a beautiful outdoor living space for many years.
As you choose materials and features for your outdoor kitchen, look at both the short-term and long-term maintenance requirements.
Short Term Maintenance
If you use stainless steel cabinets or appliances, maintenance must start from the beginning. Product-specific cleaners are necessary or you will notice a fast decline in the appearance of the stainless steel.
And if you choose wood cabinets, you’ll have to make sure they’re protected from the elements. Otherwise they’ll end up damaged and warped rather quickly.
If you choose HDPE cabinets, no need to worry! Just remember to hose them down and dry them with a soft cloth.
Long Term Maintenance
These are some of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself when designing your outdoor kitchen:
Are you installing any products that will need to be repainted or refinished in the future? Know the anticipated schedule so you can plan ahead for the renovations.
Is it necessary to use product/material-specific cleaners? Consider the cost of these products.
When will certain components of the outdoor kitchen need to be replaced? Knowing what to expect helps you choose where to invest in higher-quality products and prepare for future replacement and repair expenses.
Is this product backed by a true lifetime warranty from a trusted, long-standing manufacturer in the industry?
How Much Value Does An Outdoor Kitchen Add To Your Home?
While there is no way to say for certain how much value an outdoor kitchen will add to a home, some estimates have put the ROI of an outdoor kitchen as high as 200%.
Many home appraisers value outdoor kitchens similarly to swimming pools, but outdoor kitchens can be much cheaper than a pool installation. This makes an outdoor kitchen the preferred home improvement if you choose between the two.
Many factors will affect the overall value add of your new kitchen, including the size of your home, location, kitchen features, current real estate market, and more. For best results, you should talk to an expert specializing in outdoor kitchen design and consult with real estate agents and home appraisers before deciding to move forward with your home improvement project.
However, the value of an outdoor kitchen goes well beyond anything financial. The years of enjoyment you’re sure to have spending time with your family and friends are impossible to put a price tag on.