Mention of at-home, al fresco dining used to evoke images of California estates and exclusive poolside parties with private chefs. However, today outdoor kitchens are surging in popularity as homeowners are craving the appeal of cooking and dining al fresco—at home. Lots of outdoor living space is standard in a well-designed Barndominium which provides plenty of opportunity for incorporating cooking areas. Outdoor kitchens go far beyond the grill and barbeque pit. Spacious, fully equipped outdoor kitchens can boast ovens, sinks, refrigerators, wine coolers, granite countertops and custom cabinetry. They create a beautiful focal point for your porch or patio. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can have it all or pick among the bells and whistles.
An outdoor kitchen should serve as an extension of your indoor entertaining space with a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor style. From rustic to modern to the most luxurious, outdoor kitchens can be styled to fit your personal taste and mimic the interior design. Many features can be incorporated into the outdoor cooking and dining space to reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle. Based on your needs and interests, built-in seating, pot racks, separate workstations for prep, even pantry space can be included in the design. A range of innovative outdoor cooking products have sprung up on the market. Pizza ovens are gaining in popularity and are perfect for gatherings of all ages.
Outdoor kitchens can be accessed by a variety of openings that connect the interior and exterior spaces. The glass garage door or the glass accordion or sliding door is a stylish way to level-up the entire layout.
Entertainment is made easier by connecting the outdoor kitchen area to the inside of the home with a pass-through window. These specialty windows can fold, glide or lift to add light, interest and convenience. Mini glass garage doors or gas strut windows are another popular style especially in Barndominiums. A bar or counter installed against the sidewall underneath the pass-through window creates an eating area and makes for fun and handy mingling with those inside. Pass-through windows can be a pricey addition, so it is important to look at all the options and select the brand and design that is right for you. One tip is to go with a standard size, if possible, which will cost less than custom.
If you really want to wow the crowd, consider adding retractable vinyl or glass walls or screens that can be opened or closed as weather permits, significantly extending the outdoor cooking season.
Cooking and dining with the pleasure of spending time outdoors can be a game changer. Spacious, beautiful, smartly designed outdoor kitchens will lure you outside for every meal. Outdoor kitchens can transform your home and elevate your life in fun and wonderful ways.
Outdoor kitchens may be more attainable than you think. There are many budget-friendly options for achieving your outdoor cooking space. You can start by selecting a ready-to-assemble outdoor kitchen and making appliance purchases after the summer season. For the sum of $5,000-$7,000, you can purchase and install all the basic ingredients for an entry level, six-foot-long cooking area. Keep in mind that this option may not be the best fit for the scale of Barndominiums with high ceilings, wide porches, and open surroundings. To equip your outdoor kitchen to the appropriate scale and include an island for a gathering place, count on spending at least another $8,000 to $10,000.
Better Homes and Gardens places the national average cost of an outdoor kitchen between $7,500 and $15,000. Luxury outdoor kitchens can easily run $65,000 to $100,000. Appliance selection is the biggest determining factor on cost. One of the pricier additions to the outdoor kitchen is the grill. Nonetheless, it can be worth the splurge if you plan on giving it a regular workout. Consider a good quality grill that won’t rust or corrode. A good grill will cost at least $1,000 and if you are in the market to go high-end, a 54” gas grill by Wolf can cost north of $10,000 plus installation.
Depending on your preferences and budget, you can choose from a variety of materials for countertops, islands, and bars. According to home improvement expert, Bob Villa, $15-$25 per square foot for porcelain or ceramic tile will be among the least expensive options. Granite and concrete countertops are comparable in price and range about $60-$80 per square foot. Stainless steel and teak are among the more expensive options and will run up to $100 and $150 per square foot, respectively. While calculating your final budget, it is also worth considering additional seating areas, pizza ovens, lighting, and even plumbing and gas (liquid propane) lines.
Your investment will likely pay off. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), adding an outdoor kitchen will add value to your home and can create a 130% return.