Options for an Affordable Outdoor Kitchen
While creating a complete outdoor cooking space can be expensive, you can still put together a great outdoor kitchen without spending a fortune.
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Whether an awning, arbor, gazebo or standard roof, cover for an outdoor kitchen can be one of your greatest expenses. If you can get by covering only your counter space or dining area, consider doing that with an umbrella, at least until your budget allows for something more elaborate, says Linda. "There are cantilevered umbrellas available from companies like Treasure Garden in many patterns and price ranges that attach to the side of a counter or table surface, not a hole in the middle," she says. "Consider an umbrella with a cover that comes off so you can throw it in the wash and put it back on damp, which will take care of bird droppings and other dirt."
Sink the sink.
Building codes and plumbing costs can make a sink one of the most expensive outdoor kitchen propositions. Mike Logan of Texas Pit Crafters does install them, but he says more and more of his clients are opting for under-counter water heaters. "They run about $300 and take away the need to plumb hot water from the house," he says.
Plan for a more luxurious future.
"Customers on a strict budget typically concentrate on getting the deck or arbor built first," says Kooda Exterior's Burt Stavinoha. "But even if you can't afford anything else right away, have the forethought to beef up the flooring slab where you might later put an island, or pour the foundation for a future fireplace when you pour the concrete for the deck. Also run the electricity and the gas for anything you might want down the road at the beginning. It's a big expense to rip up floors or walls to install that later."
Grills on rolling carts are another nice way to plan for an upgrade later, says Mike of Texas Pit Crafters. "Most grills and smokers can be installed with a grill on a rolling cart with an adequate number of side trays and some storage beneath and then removed later and reinstalled into a pit if your budget increases," he says. "The cart's a great idea if you want the feel of an outdoor kitchen on a tight budget."