Who says kitchens are only good for indoor use? Outdoor kitchens are the latest trend in NJ landscaping, and it isn’t difficult to see why.
Outdoor kitchens instantly provide you with more usable outdoor living space. They make it easy to whip up healthy dinners for your family or to host large parties and get together with your friends and neighbors.
They’re beautiful. They’re fun. Best of all – outdoor kitchens can seriously increase your home’s value. With incentives like that, you almost can’t afford not to move forward with your plans to install a dream outdoor kitchen of your own.
If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge, we’re here to help. This comprehensive guide will introduce you to the basics of building your perfect outdoor kitchen.
Plan for Intended Usage
Every homeowner’s idea of the “perfect” outdoor kitchen is different. That’s because different people have different needs!
It’s important, then, that you begin by brainstorming how you envision yourself actually making use of your outdoor kitchen. Figure out what you’d like to accomplish with the space and what you’d like to be able to do in it.
For example, you might ask yourself if you prefer an area that’s designed strictly for cooking. Maybe instead, you’d like a fully functional kitchen that will make it easy for you to prepare, cook and clean up after a meal for you and your loved ones.
Next, consider the types of foods you’d like to be able to serve here. Will you only prepare food on a grill, or do you like the idea of having a superb pizza oven for preparing pizzas, roasting vegetables, etc.? What about cold dishes?
Are you okay with running back and forth between your outdoor cooking space and your indoor kitchen to grab salads, drinks and desserts? Would you enjoy the simplicity and convenience of an outdoor, stainless steel refrigerator?
Would an outdoor sink be useful in the food prep and cleanup process? These questions will determine what your outdoor kitchen will need to include in order to satisfy your every need.
Create a Budget
Now that you have a better idea about the types of outdoor kitchen appliances that you’d like to own, it’s time to sit down and establish a budget for your project. At this point, it’s a good idea to start talking to a trusted professional.
A reputable outdoor kitchen appliance supplier can help you meet your goals without breaking the bank. An expert will be able to provide you with advice on which appliances are best for use in an outdoor kitchen.
They’ll be able to advise you against going with cheap, sub-par products that won’t last long or hold up well in the outdoors. They can also prevent you from overspending.
Select a Style
Another important aspect of building a kitchen is designing and creating your own unique style and personality within the space. You’ve got the opportunity to have fun and be creative.
While outdoor kitchen appliances may be somewhat standard in appearance on their own, homeowners can choose concrete wall stone, pavers and countertops that can be uniquely customized. Most homeowners will play off of the look and style of their existing landscape, hardscape or the architectural style of their home.
This means that you’ll need to find a brand of concrete masonry units that offer a wide range of styles and colors. Whether you’re in the market for something very traditional, very modern, or somewhere in-between, you should have your pick of materials – and then some!
Make sure that you select colors and textures that will look beautiful within the scope of the remainder of your property. Also make sure that they can contrast with and compliment any stainless steel outdoor kitchen appliances that you may have selected for your cooking and entertaining space.
Design with Intention
Don’t let the placement or layout of your outdoor kitchen and its appliances be an afterthought. The exact location of your outdoor kitchen in respect to the remainder of your property makes a huge difference in how it can be used and enjoyed.
If you’ve already got outdoor living features, like patio dining areas, swimming pools, fire pits, etc., you’ll need to consider where your kitchen should be situated in relation to these. Many homeowners strive to construct outdoor kitchens that are adjacent to patio and dining spaces so that it’s easy for the cook to interact with guests and serve up food once it’s ready.
Other’s like the idea of sectioning off their outdoor living spaces in order to create the illusion of different “rooms”. Here, you might consider installing a thin wall or even a fire place to act as a divider between two distinct spaces.
We’ve also seen homeowners that want to include a swim-up bar for their swimming pools. The bar may be included with the outdoor kitchen, and therefore the kitchen and its appliances will need to be located next to the pool.
Make sure that you discuss your plans and ideas with a professional to ensure maximum efficiency. Also, always make sure to have the area assessed by a local utility provider to ensure that the kitchen’s location is practical when underground utilities and cables are taken into consideration.
Choose a Single Supplier
One of the smartest things you can do is to find a single, reliable, local supplier that can handle all of your outdoor kitchen masonry and appliance needs. Going to multiple suppliers will make it much more difficult, if not impossible, to find appliances and building materials that actually coordinate with one another for a uniform and cohesive appearance.
You’re also likely to end up spending more money by going this route. Look for a NJ supplier that offers a wide range of products from different brands so that you have plenty of options.
We suggest that you take advantage of the supplier’s knowledge and expertise in order to get the best advice on which appliances and materials work best together in an outdoor kitchen setting.
Contractor vs DIY
If you love handling Do-It-Yourself type projects, you may feel confident in your ability to build your outdoor kitchen. This may even include assembling any pre-packaged appliance kits.
If you have any doubts, though, we strongly recommend that you seek out a professional contractor. This will ensure that your kitchen is as beautiful, functional and valuable as possible.
Building Outdoor Kitchens in NJ
Braen Supply is your one-stop shop for all things outdoor kitchen in NJ. We carry a wide range of outdoor kitchen appliances and building materials from leading brands.