How Much Does an Outdoor Kitchen Cost?

New and modern outdoor kitchen
 Martina Birnbaum / Getty Images

Installing an outdoor kitchen can be a great way to get more use and enjoyment out of the yard, especially for those that live in warmer climates, allowing the outdoor kitchen to be used all year long. On average, an outdoor kitchen installation will cost about $15,464. However, you may be able to install a small outdoor kitchenette on an existing patio or deck for just $1,000.

If you plan to put in multiple appliances, cabinets, countertops, a sink, flooring, lighting, and an enclosure or covering for the outdoor kitchen, then the cost can climb up to $50,000 for the installation project.

Outdoor Kitchen Cost Considerations

Before hiring a contractor to install an outdoor kitchen, familiarize yourself with the various factors that could impact the cost of the project. This will help you put together an accurate budget and identify any potential problems before starting the outdoor kitchen installation.

Size

One of the most important cost considerations is the size of the outdoor kitchen. Generally, outdoor kitchens range from about 100 to 400 square feet, allowing them to include a cooking area, food prep area, and a dining area. This will cost about $33 to $130 per square foot.

  • Outdoor kitchenettes are typically 100 square feet or smaller with a grill, small food prep counter, and possibly a sink. Expect to pay about $3,200 to $10,000 for an outdoor kitchenette installation.
  • Small outdoor kitchens ranging from about 100 to 200 square feet will generally cost about $3,200 to $30,000. The more appliances, high-end materials, or premium additions included with the installation, the higher the cost.
  • Medium outdoor kitchens will typically cost about $8,000 to $50,000. This size of kitchen ranges from about 200 to 400 square feet and will generally include a significant amount of counter space, multiple appliances, plumbing connections, electrical connections, and more.
  • Large outdoor kitchens are the most costly option. These installations exceed 400 square feet in size and typically start at a minimum cost of $16,000. Add cabinetry, a large grill, countertop food prep space, and a few appliances and the total cost rapidly increases.

Materials

The materials for an outdoor kitchen installation project include flooring, framework, countertops, cabinets, appliances, plumbing connections, electrical connections, gas connections, lighting, enclosures or coverings, and any extra add-ons. Taken together, the materials make up about 60 to 80 percent of the cost of the project.

When you are planning the outdoor kitchen installation, it’s important to balance the material costs to ensure that the project remains within the planned budget. Premium materials will drive up the cost, but may be worth the investment depending on your personal preferences.

Framework

An outdoor kitchen requires a framework including the surrounding walls, overhead enclosure, flooring, countertop framework, and structural supports for the appliances. The cost of the framework can vary depending on the size of the outdoor kitchen, the number of appliances, the type of appliances, the kitchen design, and the framework material. Expect to pay about $200 to $800 per linear foot for framework installation.

Framework MaterialAverage Cost per Linear Foot
Wood$200 to $600 
Aluminum $200 to $600 
Steel $300 to $800 

Flooring

In many cases, the outdoor kitchen will be located on an existing porch, deck, or patio, so the flooring is already in place. However, if you need to install dedicated flooring for the outdoor kitchen, then you will need to plan for the additional expense in the project budget. Flooring costs can vary widely depending on the type of material chosen for this project.1

Flooring Material Average Cost per Square Foot
Gravel$1 to $4 
Concrete $3 to $8 
Brick Pavers $8 to $25 
Natural Stone $3 to $35 
Permeable Pavers $10 to $30 
Decking $30 to $60 

Countertops

The cost of the project increases based on the type of countertop material used for the outdoor kitchen. Ceramic tile is one of the least expensive options at just $6 to $6 per square foot, but costs for premium materials like soapstone can increase to $60 to $185 per square foot.

Countertop Material Average Cost per Square Foot 
Ceramic Tile$6 to $46 
Wood $18 to $38 
Corian $20 to $75 
Stainless Steel $60 to $100 
Granite $15 to $140 
Concrete $70 to $140 
Soapstone $60 to $185 

Cabinets

It’s helpful to have somewhere to store necessary utensils, pots, pans, flatware, glasses, cups, and more. However, adding cabinets to an outdoor kitchen project will increase the overall cost of the installation. The cost of cabinetry installation depends on the cabinet material. Typically, stucco is the cheapest option, while brick or natural stone are the most expensive choice for cabinet finishing materials.

Cabinet Finishing MaterialAverage Cost per Square Foot 
Stucco$3 to $6 
Manufactured Stone $15 to $25 
Brick Veneer $15 to $25 
Brick $25 to $35 
Natural Stone $25 to $45 

Appliances

At a minimum, an outdoor kitchen will need a small grill to prepare food, but many outdoor kitchen installations include a wider range of appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, wine coolers, or even a garbage disposal. Expect to pay about $1,500 to $7,000 on average for outdoor kitchen appliances.

Outdoor Kitchen AppliancesAverage Cost 
Grill$100 to $5,000 
Refrigerator $400 to $4,000 
Dishwasher $400 to $2,000 
Wine Cooler $400 to $2,000 
Pizza Oven $800 to $2,000 
Garbage Disposal $100 to $1,100 
Ice Maker $300 to $2,000 

Plumbing

Any kitchen should have a readily available source of clean water to wash fresh vegetables, rinse raw meat, or to clean your hands. However, putting in a sink for an outdoor kitchen can cost between $215 to $630. This includes the cost to lay new water lines and drain lines, which ranges in price from about $0.50 to $8 per linear foot for materials, as well as the cost of labor at an average rate of about $330 per hour.

Electrical

DIYers can keep costs low by relying on existing electrical connections to install small outdoor kitchenettes on existing patios or decks. However, for a more involved outdoor kitchen project, you will need to pay for a licensed electrician to install dedicated outlets for the appliances and lighting fixtures. Typically, a GFCI outlet installation will cost about $75 to $500 each, though the electrical work could cost as much as $1,400 for extra waterproof safety equipment, depending on how far the outlets are placed from the home.

Installation and Labor

DIYing an outdoor kitchen installation project can help you save up to 40 percent of the total cost of the project, but it will take a lot longer and the quality of the finished product can fall short. Hiring a professional contractor to complete this work will cost about $1,500 to $6,000, depending on the scope of the project.

Additionally, if the outdoor kitchen has any plumbing, gas, or electrical connections you will need to hire a licensed plumber, electrician, or gas technician to ensure these utilities are installed up to code.2

Licensed ProfessionalAverage Cost 
Plumber$350 to $2,000 
Electrician $50 to $100 per hour 
Gas Technician $45 to $1,500 

Permits

The building codes and permit requirements can vary depending on the location, but in most cases you will need to pay for at least one building permit to install an outdoor kitchen. For more complex projects with plumbing, gas, and electrical connections, you may end up paying for more than one permit.3

Deck and patio permits typically cost between $220 to $500, plumbing permits cost about $50 to $500, and general outdoor building permits can range from $250 to $2,000. Speak to your contractor to determine if they will be handling permit acquisition or if that responsibility will fall to you. Also, if the contractor is handling the permit process, ask for a detailed breakdown of the permit costs, so you know what to expect when you get the bill for the work.

Additional Costs

Don’t forget to factor in these extra costs for the outdoor kitchen installation project to avoid going over budget.

Enclosures or Coverings

When you are planning the outdoor kitchen design, it’s a good idea to consider installing an enclosure or covering to protect the kitchen from inclement weather or too much sun.

If the outdoor kitchen is attached to the house, plan to spend about $2,800 for an awning. For outdoor standalone outdoor kitchens, it will cost between $2,100 to $6,100 to install a pergola, depending on whether the structure is custom built or prefabricated.

Extra Kitchen Upgrades

There are a broad range of upgrades that can be added to an outdoor kitchen during or after installation, including a dining furniture set, a fire pit, a heater, a fireplace, or even a ceiling fan for better air circulation. Depending on the desired functionality and appearance, these add-ons can drive up the cost of the project. If you are thinking about adding any extra kitchen upgrades to the installation, consider the associated costs.

Outdoor Kitchen AdditionAverage Cost
Dining Furniture Sets$300 to $5,000 
Outdoor Fireplace$1,500 to $20,000 
Fire Pit $200 to $3,000 
Outdoor Heater $100 to $300 
Outdoor Ceiling Fan Installation $70 to $4,000 

Outdoor Lighting

Depending on the location of the outdoor kitchen, the currently exterior lighting for the yard may not be enough to enjoy the space as evening turns to night. Adding additional outdoor lighting to the outdoor kitchen will cost about $260 per light for professional installation. Plan to set aside a budget of about $500 to $3,000 for full outdoor kitchen lighting.

Maintenance

With the addition of an outdoor kitchen comes the necessary maintenance tasks to upkeep the structure, appliances, and add-ons. Common maintenance tasks include cleaning the patio, winterizing the outdoor kitchen, and sealing natural stone countertops.

While many maintenance tasks can be completed without additional costs, like sweeping or pressure washing the patio, tasks like sealing the countertop can cost between $170 to $350. To avoid any costly surprises, it’s a good idea to put aside a small portion of your funds for any maintenance work that comes up.

Pest Control

An outdoor kitchen comes with some unique problems, such as attracting a host of critters and insects, like mice, rats, mosquitoes, ants, and cockroaches. With this in mind, you may end up paying for traps, repellent, and other pest control products. In some circumstances, you may also need to hire a professional pest control company to handle pest extermination, which can cost about $200 to $600 per visit.

DIY Vs. Professional Installation

DIYing an outdoor kitchen installation can help to reduce the cost of the project by up to 40 percent, or about $1,500 to $6,000. However, you will still need to pay to purchase the building materials, tools, hardware, safety equipment, and building permits. Additionally, the plumbing, electrical, and gas connections will need to be installed by a licensed contractor to ensure they are up to code.2

The drawback to a DIY installation is that the project will take a lot more time and personal effort to complete. Before DIYing an outdoor kitchen, it’s also important to take an honest look at your own skills. If you don’t have the knowledge and experience necessary to tackle an involved project like this, then the outcome could be less than appealing.

Problems that arise with a professional outdoor kitchen installation are often covered by a product or service warranty, but when the work is completed by a DIYer, you don’t have the same guarantees in place to back up the job.

How to Save on Outdoor Kitchen Installation Costs

Outdoor kitchen installations can cost as little as $1,000 for the addition of a simple cooking area to an existing patio, or as much as $50,000 for the installation of a large outdoor kitchen with a variety of conveniences, luxury materials, and premium appliances. With this in mind, it’s important to find ways to save on the cost of the outdoor kitchen installation.

To help reduce the cost of the project, consider installing the kitchen on an existing porch or patio. The kitchen can be placed close to the home to reduce the need for expensive lighting and outdoor appliances, like a refrigerator. You can also invest in a prefab or modular kitchen framework and use existing electrical, gas, and plumbing connections to keep the cost down.

Plan the kitchen installation project for early spring or late fall to take advantage of lower off-season rates. Additionally, you can save on lighting costs by DIYing as much of the project as possible before bringing in a professional to complete the installation.

FAQ

  • How far should an outdoor kitchen be from the house?Small outdoor kitchenettes will sometimes be attached directly to the home, while larger kitchens may require more space for the installation of various appliances. In general, the location of the kitchen and the distance from the house is determined by the homeowner. However, it should be mentioned that local building and fire codes in most areas will require a grill or any other outdoor heat source to be located at least 10 feet from the home.4
  • Does an outdoor kitchen add value to the home?According to Home Advisor, Installing an outdoor kitchen can have a 60 percent rate of return on the project financing in areas that experience freezing winters. However, the rate of return for an outdoor kitchen installation may increase to as much as 100 percent if the home is located in a warmer climate where the space is usable all year long.
  • Do I need to winterize an outdoor kitchen?One of the drawbacks to an outdoor kitchen is that if the home is located in an area that gets freezing winters the kitchen can only be used for part of the year. During the fall season, the outdoor kitchen will need to be winterized to keep it safe during the winter months.5

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