Estimating Your Outdoor Kitchen Costs

How much does an outdoor kitchen cost? If your mind is set on a building that dedicated space for some serious fun cooking in the backyard, you should be asking this question early on. I’m sure it’s probably crossed your mind once or twice, but you likely haven’t given it much more though. Now that you’re more serious than ever about getting it built, it’s time to take a closer look at how much will cost and how to get a total estimate of all the parts and pieces you’ll be needing to finish your project.

how much does an outdoor kitchen costs? find out the details below

Before You Can Estimate Cost

You need to figure out exactly what you want to build first. Not knowing what you want to build will make getting an accurate estimate much more difficult. At the very least, you should have a good idea of what you want to have created. You should choose your appliances, any accessories, and even the type of material you intend to make your project with.

What Do You Want?

Not quite sure what you want exactly? That’s not a problem. You can start narrowing down the list of what you will need by deciding what type of outdoor kitchen you want or can build. The answer to what you can make both depends on your budget and your yard space. Your budget will inevitably limit what you can you buy for your build, but even with an enormous budget, you can’t build a giant kitchen if your backyard doesn’t have space for it. Don’t worry though; there is a build that is perfect for you.

You will also want to check out this page to learn how you can go about getting some ideas for what you might want.

Basic Built-In Backyard Grill

In the case where you just don’t have enough space for some grand, you can always settle for something a little simpler like a basic built-in BBQ grill and a small island for cooking and preparing. A basic built-in grill is just pretty much the basics. You have an island our counter for work space and just a grill for all your outdoor cooking.

Of course, you can get quite complicated with a basic grill setup. You can even add a wood-fired pizza if you had the budget and space for it. But for now, let’s try to keep it a little simpler because that is the purpose of a primary setup after all.

All you’ll need for a fundamental built-in grill design is a counter for your work space. It doesn’t need to be very big, but something around six feet long will provide you with enough working space. You’ll also have to consider in the area to fit your grill. To make it even more straightforward, you can even opt out for a built-in grill and just build the counter only. Most will prefer the built-in grill though.

You’ll likely want to add cabinets under the counter for storage. You can build a basic outdoor kitchen for under $5000.

Patio Addition

a patio outdoor kitchen with a fancy fireplace

You can just stick to the basics, but if you want to add a little more and get a fancier, you can always do that. For those who already have a patio, building an outdoor kitchen as an expansion to the patio is a popular option.

You can keep as reasonably close to the basics as the design mentioned above (where you only add a grill and a counter) or you can get much more to it.

What additions can you add? You can add a kitchen sink, or even two. Being closer to the house, it’s more accessible and slightly more affordable to run the plumbing. You can see larger counter space for additional storage and work space. You can even add more new cook tops. Heck, you can add appliances like refrigerators and freezers. That’s leaning towards a luxury outdoor kitchen though (which we’ll talk about after).

A lovely patio addition can usually be built for less than $10,000.

Luxury Outdoor Kitchen

A luxury outdoor kitchen is pretty much going all out. Going all out means you have your appliances. You can have a kitchen with full plumbing. You can have cook tops powered by gas with its gas line. Building a luxury outdoor kitchen is almost like creating a beautiful indoor kitchen. The only difference is, you can fire up the grill and not have to worry about the smoke.

Having a luxury outdoor kitchen sure is nice, but it does cost a lot more. Expect to pay as much as an indoor kitchen and expect to pay up to or maybe even over $15,000 for a nice setup. The more you add, the more it will cost you. Higher quality accessories, appliances, and materials will also affect the cost as well.

Costs of Outdoor Kitchen Items

Now that you have a better idea of how much it will cost to build an outdoor kitchen, we can take briefly talk about the costs of individual items like accessories, and appliances. This isn’t an all exhaustive list that covers everything. It’s only meant as a general number to get you started. Getting the exact prices is difficult because there are too many options available. You’ll have to decide which specific items you want from a particular manufacturer and then get the price from where you intend to buy it. This is also just a short list of some more common items. There are many other things not listed that you will have to research.

Storage Cabinets

Storage cabinets will depend on what you want and what you are building. Basic shelves and cabinet doors can be made for a few hundred dollars at most. Opt for drawers, and it costs more for the hardware. Go with fancy stainless steel and consider adding a few more hundred dollars. Just one stainless steel door starts around $150.

Sinks

The price of a sink starts about $100 and go up from there. If you want a functional sink, you also need to consider the cost of adding plumbing. If you aren’t confident of adding the pipe yourself, then you also have to think about paying a plumber to do the job. If you do it yourself, you will likely need to get a building permit (which will have to pay for as well).

If you live in an area where it can get cold enough to freeze the supply line, you will also have to put in a shutoff valve from inside the house. You can also consider adding in a hot water supply line, but unless you need to do dishes in the backyard, it’s not worth it (especially if the area further away forms the house).

Refrigerators

The price of outdoor refrigerators can be costly. A basic unit can cost around $400, and it goes up from there. You can go as high as several thousand dollars for small refrigerators. Consider getting one that can fit under the counter. Placing a fridge under the counter will help protect it from the elements outside; helping it last much longer.

Grill

When it comes to built-in grills, you have three options to choose from.

  • Charcoal
  • Propane
  • Natural gas

Charcoal grills can be a little more affordable compared to gas (although not by too much). A decent charcoal grill or any built-in grill for that matter will start at around the $500. A nice grill can cost upwards of a couple of thousand dollars.

Yes, you can shop around and find something that’s a little less, but if you’re going to build something that will last, it’s better off to pay a bit more for quality right from the beginning.

Light Fixtures

Depending on the complexity of your backyard BBQ kitchen, you may or may not have to run electrical wires. If you do, you might have to hire an electrician to do the job, so keep that potential cost in mind as well. You can opt for light fixtures that cost as low as under $100, or you can go with something more extravagant (which would bring the cost up).

Cutting Back on Costs

Not too many of us will have an unlimited budget or even a big budget to work with, and that’s completely fine. We can still make something that we’ll be satisfied with. If you find that your plan calls for more money than what your budget allows, you’ll have to start cutting back on some things.

So then what can we cut back on to save on cost? The first thing you can remove is the sink. You don’t really need a sink. It’s just nice to have one. Not only will you save some money by not buying a sink, but you also save money by not having to run the plumbing or hire a plumber.

You can also cut back on appliances. Do you need a refrigerator? No, you don’t. A cooler is more than sufficient in most cases.

The costs of an outdoor kitchen can also be reduced a little depending on the grill you have chosen. If you’ve decided on a fancy, and expensive grill then you can choose something else that is more affordable.

When it comes down to cutting hack on costs for your project, you don’t need a pizza oven (if you had one planned). You could remove almost everything from your list of wants and just keep the grill and the counter if you had to cut back to the bare minimum.

Outdoor Kitchen Cost Estimator

a simple calculator and pen and paper is really all you need to figure out the costs of building your backyard kitchen

One thing many people seem to be looking for is an estimator that will give them an accurate number. However, the problem for such an estimator is getting all the various products, and prices correct and keeping them up to date. I have not found a reliable calculator yet.

What I do is I get my list of everything I will need. I also figure out exactly where I will buy them from and get the updated prices from them. Then I just plug all the numbers into excel. If you’re planning on building this yourself, this is probably the best way to estimate your total costs.

If you are planning to hire a contractor or a business that specializes in building this kind of project, just leave the estimating to them. You can also call a local contractor or company and see if they will be willing to give you a rough estimate. Many will be ready to do so at little to no cost.

That’s about it for estimating your outdoor kitchen cost. We’ve covered a lot of information here, but there is still much more that is missing. Use this guide as a starting point, and if you feel there is additional information you need that you did not find on here, then you’ll have to do some extra research. Some good places to start includes manufacturers (like these guys) and retailers who specialize on outdoor kitchen products.  As for some of the materials needed to build the counter and frames, your local home improvement store is a good place to start.