Building an outdoor kitchen into a backyard hardscape plan is one of the top choices Madison WI homeowners make. Outdoor cooking facilities are an excellent addition to get more enjoyment from your backyard. You have several options from very simple to a high-tech replica of your indoor kitchen. Creating space that fits your family’s lifestyle is the driving force.
The focal point is a grill in conjunction with a food prep and food serving area. After that, additional features include eating areas and comfortable seating. Expanding your patio to include more complete facilities for entertaining and dining makes sense, right?
Creating a hardscape kitchen with patio pavers is a natural extension of a backyard project.
A well-designed kitchen is both inviting and functional. Included in a kitchen design for your patio are items from the very basic to exotic, such as:
- A built-in grill – or more than one if you like to switch from one form of heat to another.
- Counter space – for preparing food and for dishing it up when it’s done.
- Storage – easy-access storage for propane cylinders, charcoal bags, etc.
- Lighting – above the cooking surface and counter tops.
- A sink – when you go all out for a “real” kitchen you have to include a sink. Make sure the plumbing can be drained and winterized!
- A refrigerator – in many cases a built-in cooler for ice will do, but for a formal setting a small refrigerator is a great addition.
- Electrical outlets – when it’s party time there’s nothing like having a spot to plug in the blender or other appliances.
Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen
Once you’ve decided which features you want for your new patio kitchen it’s time to consider a layout. The more thought you put into traffic flow and the floor plan the easier it will be for your contractor to create the kitchen you’re dreaming of.
Location is the first step. You’re planning to get away from rolling out the grill and moving table and chairs, right? Make sure the kitchen is near enough to the house so carrying supplies in and out isn’t a hassle. But, you don’t want it so close that smoke from the grill gets into the house. And, make sure your cooking area is a safe distance from the house or other structures – your contractor will check local building codes to be sure your plan is within local regulations.
Locate the kitchen for convenient access for cooking and dining. And in addition, consider the overall traffic pattern in the surrounding area. When the kids are dashing from the house to the backyard play area you don’t want them sprinting too close to the grill, right? An efficient flow of people, pets and things in and around the kitchen and outdoor dining area is a must. As you plan, consider the outdoor facility as if you’re planning an open concept indoor space – kitchen, dining area and comfortable seating as interconnected space.
An attractive paver, stone or brick framework fitting with existing landscape or as part of an overall new hardscape scheme makes sense. These materials are durable and enhance the appearance of your home, patio or deck. Using concrete pavers provides a natural look. They also stand up to all the Wisconsin weather. Outside all year around it has to stand up to the elements. Concrete pavers stand up to grease splatter and spills, too.
Benefits Of A Permanent Outdoor Cooking Space
As you make your list of “must have” elements for your new outdoor patio kitchen, weigh the pros and cons carefully. There are benefits to keeping it simple. And, for some there are reasons to install a complete indoor kitchen replica. Consider the advantages in terms of your space and how your family can best use a new outdoor edition. Consider these advantages:
- Making the most of the backyard – outdoor living as a real perk for Madison residents and making the most of the space you have makes sense. Many homeowners don’t use their patio space as often as they might because it isn’t convenient to prepare food indoors and take it out. Or, getting a grill and all its supplies out each time has turned into a hassle. A dedicated patio kitchen leads your family to better use of its backyard.
- Return on investment – a permanent kitchen structure built into a backyard hardscape adds value to your home. It’s an attraction that gets noticed by would-be buyers when the time comes.
- Party spot – in a modern house floor plan almost every daily activity revolves around the kitchen. The same can be true of an outdoor installation when the weather’s nice. It’s a great centerpiece for entertaining friends and family.
- Easy clean-up – a meal prepared outside doesn’t leave you with as much clean-up inside. In addition, you can enjoy foods associated with strong smells – fish, some vegetables, etc. – without having odors spread inside.
- Fresh air – during periods when families are together for extended periods as with the summer of 2020, getting out into natural light and fresh air is a bonus.
- Energy-efficient – often overlooked, cooking on a grill isn’t tapping your electric or natural gas bills so you’re saving on energy costs.
Patio Kitchen Drawbacks
Creating an oasis for family relaxation and entertaining is a great idea. But, it isn’t without its drawbacks. Before you commit to a major overhaul of your backyard to accommodate a sparkling kitchen setting, consider:
- Security – with the installation of high-tech appliances, sound and lighting comes an increased risk of theft. A backyard full of beautiful furnishings and appliances increases its attractiveness to thieves as well as your family. Motion-activated lighting and other security measures are worth considering.
- Our local weather – if there’s one thing you can be assured of it’s that Wisconsin’s weather is unpredictable and uncooperative. Before you devote a huge budget to an outdoor kitchen, consider how often you’ll use it and how to protect it from the elements. Does a covered structure above it make sense? Permanent or simple like awnings or “shade sails?”
- Increased value – a professionally designed and installed hardscape increases the value of your property both to your family and the tax man. Go into a project knowing it will increase your property’s value and probably taxes.
- Not ‘self-cleaning’ – in your “real” kitchen you may have a “self-cleaning” oven. The grill you install outdoors isn’t likely to have such a feature. Building what amounts to a new room means adding to your overall maintenance schedule – both in time and energy.
Planning, Installation Key Outdoor Kitchen Success
Expanding your living space into the backyard is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get more from your home. Adding a paver patio, a retaining wall, built-in seating or a fire pit are top projects. Making a true family room outdoors includes adding a kitchen and dining area. You can make the most of your existing space and take advantage of the area’s outdoors. Do you have a great view? Make the most of it. Are you ready to get out of the house more but don’t want to take the time or spend the money to leave home? Expand you living space to blend indoor and outdoor spaces. Combining a paver or decorative concrete patio with specialized hardscape installations is an investment in your family and its future. That’s an investment worth making, right?
You can make your backyard look like it dropped from the pages of a magazine with attention to a few details and timely planning. Your outdoor living space and kitchen can be as simple and basic, or as dramatic and extensive as you want. Only your imagination and budget set limits.
When it’s time to expand join your indoor and outdoor lifestyles, call Marvin Martinez at Martin’s Brick Pavers at 608-630-8855 – or email him. His experienced crews provide professional installation for hardscapes of all kinds. An experienced professional, he understands all the stages of planning and site preparation – site evaluation, permitting, etc. Apply his years of experience and craftsmanship to your dream and create the perfect outdoor kitchen for your Madison WI home.