Kitchens are known to be the place in a home where kids and adults can congregate to socialize, cook, converse, and eat. Bringing the kitchen outdoors allows these elements to be enjoyed with the combination of sun and fresh air to enhance the experience: An outdoor kitchen designed the right way puts summer grilling to shame.
To get the best tips for creating an outdoor oasis and culinary heaven, we spoke with N. Dain’s Sons Company. More commonly known as Dain’s Lumber, they are the oldest business in Peekskill and have been trusted for their quality lumber and building materials for 167 years. James Dain and Bobby Hard manage the outdoor kitchen sales at Dain’s Lumber and provide ideas and tips for building, maintaining, and budgeting your outdoor kitchen project.
Q. How do you recommend starting the process of building an outdoor kitchen?
A. First, think about what you really want and need in an outdoor space, then ask yourself how you will use this new space. For instance, is it for the occasional meal, multiple times a week, or do you plan on this being a regular outdoor entertaining area, perhaps for larger crowds? Would you like this space close to the house near the kitchen? What makes the most sense with your existing landscaping? From this information you can start deciding if the design will be more simple or elaborate.
Q. Who do you talk to? Do you need a contractor?
A. As with many home projects, a handy homeowner can do many things around the house. An outdoor kitchen is a more specialized endeavor, which should really be done by a contractor. There could be electrical, masonry, plumbing, gas hook up, along with carpentry. So it would be wise to get a contractor.
Q. What are some of the outdoor requirements to build the outdoor kitchen?
A. Proper space and setting for your needs and wants. Depending on whether there will be a structure housing the kitchen, like a deck or roofed structure, a permit would be required which would also include some type of plan as well.
Q. How much should you budget for when building an outdoor kitchen?
A. Depending on the size, complexity, and grade of appliances you choose, the price can range from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars. Our display in Peekskill features high-end Firemagic and Delta Heat appliances, 2” thick bluestone countertops, Stonecraft veneer stone, with RTF cabinets in a large L-shape design. This display retails at around $13,000-14,000.
Q. How long does it take to install?
A. It could range from a week to longer depending on complexity and who is installing it.
Q. What materials should you use for the countertops?
A. Good choices for this application would include bluestone, granite, cement, as well as a few other materials. We recommend bluestone.
Q. What are the newest trends in outdoor kitchens?
A. Primo makes ceramic egg grills and smokers, which are very popular. It is a different type of grilling but is desirable to an increasing niche of consumers. Pizza ovens, patio heaters and fireplaces are trendy as well.
Q. How do you protect it in the off-season?
A. If there is no permanent overhead protection then some type of cover(s) should be used during long periods of non-use.
Q. What are some of the new products on the market for outdoor kitchens?
A. Azek Rubber Pavers deserves a mention in this category; just a great product to use in an outdoor kitchen, versatile, and easily customizable. Made from 95% post-consumer recycled materials with five stone-like color options, you can mix-and-match your paver surface to create a unique design. They’re comfortable underfoot and scratch or stain resistant too.
Q. What areas of the kitchen should you save on and where should you splurge?
A. It’s all about what the end user wants to use their outdoor kitchen for. If you’re a small family that grills a few nights a week, focus on incorporating seating areas into your kitchen. If you plan on hosting Fourth of July parties with 25-plus people, hone in on finding a higher quality grill that can handle the wear and tear. Maybe add in other appliances, such as side burners, power burners, or outdoor rated refrigerators. You should first figure out what you want to use your kitchen, then select the proper design around that.