Over the last decade, the outdoor space at many homes has become much more than just a backyard. It has transformed into an extension of your living space.

Many homeowners seek to develop their outdoor space because Northern Michigan has so much natural beauty to offer, and what better way to enjoy it than spending it in your own customized space? Others flock to the outdoors to relax and relieve stress after a long work week or to entertain a large group.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of designing and installing an outdoor kitchen in your backyard so you can make an informed decision on whether this outdoor upgrade is the right fit for you.

The Pros of Installing an Outdoor Kitchen

Like most outdoor landscape features, outdoor kitchens are fully customizable and offer several options to suit your preferences for cooking. Outdoor kitchens can be relatively small and simply include a grill enclosure with counter space or much more elaborate and include unique cooking features like a pizza oven, smoker, or wine cooler. Let’s look at a few reasons an outdoor kitchen is a great option for you.

You Love to Entertain

One of the primary reasons an outdoor kitchen may be worth the investment is its ability to transform your backyard into an entertainment hub. A well-equipped outdoor kitchen allows for you to host BBQ parties or an intimate dinner under the stars while enjoying nature. The ability to cook and host outside makes your backyard much more usable.

aerial photo of outdoor living area including outdoor kitchen

Having an outdoor kitchen makes entertaining more fun for both you and your guests. Instead of having to prepare food indoors while guests enjoy the sunshine outdoors, you can not be a part of fun and cook right alongside your guests. It makes hosting a backyard get together easier as you don’t have to haul plates, dishes, and prepared food from the inside of the home to the outside as well. Everything you need can be housed in your outdoor kitchen. These outdoor kitchen elements make hosting and entertaining easier:

  • Refrigerator and Drawers- Before the party begins, unload your groceries into the fridge to stay cold. Drawers can be included in your outdoor kitchen area to store food and also keep it warm after cooking. Consider including storage drawers for things like plates, silverware, glasses, and napkins! This eliminates the need to be running back to the kitchen inside.
  • An L-Shaped Island- An island allows guests to take a seat and chat with you while you cook. Food can be placed on the island for easy serving or feeding a hungry group of kids right from the grill.
  • Plenty of Counter Space- To entertain a large group, having space to put all of your items to cook and cooking tools is important. You also want enough space to easily serve food that is sturdy and clean.
  • Sink and Dishwasher- Both a sink and dishwasher make cooking and clean up so much easier. No need to run dirty dishes indoors!

beer and snacks on counter of outdoor kitchen

You Love to Cook

From grilling and smoking to pizza ovens and outdoor stovetops, an outdoor kitchen offers a versatile cooking experience. This diversity in cooking styles ensures that your culinary needs and preferences are met, making it a worthwhile addition for those who love cooking. Check out these options that can cater to your culinary needs:

  • Pizza Oven
  • Bar
  • Cabinets
  • Blender
  • Smoker
  • Side Burners
  • Two Sided Grill
  • Flat top Grill
  • Beer Dispenser
  • Ice Maker
  • Wine Cooler
  • Gas Grill
  • Charcoal Grill

custom outdoor grill

You Want to Expand Your Living Space or Boost Your Curb Appeal

An outdoor kitchen effectively expands your living space. If you have a smaller indoor kitchen area or small home in general, an outdoor kitchen essentially creates a second kitchen. It encourages you and your guests to enjoy the beautiful nature of Northern Michigan.

outdoor kitchen including grill and warming drawers

Investing in an outdoor kitchen is not just about personal enjoyment; it can also significantly enhance your property’s value. Potential buyers often look for homes with established outdoor entertainment areas, and having a well-equipped kitchen can set your home apart from the competition.

The Cons of Installing an Outdoor Kitchen

Not every landscape feature is a good fit for everyone. If an outdoor kitchen is not something you would use because you hate to cook or do not enjoy entertaining, then leave it out of your backyard landscape design plan! Let’s look at some other reasons that may make this feature a poor investment or just not the right investment for you.

You have a Limited Budget

While the benefits of an outdoor kitchen are certainly appealing, the initial cost of installation can be a significant drawback. The expenses are more than just paying for appliances and the features you want, but nearly all outdoor kitchens need electrical and plumbing work done as well.

In addition, selecting a landscaping company that will install your kitchen the right way the first time usually means you will end up spending a little bit more. All the materials for your outdoor kitchen can add up quickly as well because they need to be uniquely durable.

If an outdoor kitchen is a feature you really want included in your backyard, talk with you landscape designer about potentially installing the project in phases or what costs would look like if you hold off on certain features.

Your Backyard is Small

Not every backyard has the space for a fully equipped outdoor kitchen. Before diving into outdoor kitchen design and installation, it’s essential to assess your available space and ensure that an outdoor kitchen won’t overcrowd your outdoor living area.

outdoor kitchen in small backyard

If an outdoor kitchen is a feature that is really important to you and you have a small backyard, a great landscape designer can work with you to customize an outdoor kitchen that will work for your space and needs.

The Outdoor Grilling Season is Limited

We all know that Northern Michigan is known for its harsh winters. Obviously, this makes an outdoor kitchen in Grand Traverse or Leelanau County impossible to use year-round. If you are unsure how much you may use the kitchen in the first place, installing an elaborate outdoor kitchen may not be worth it.

Selecting a Landscape Professional to Help with Your Outdoor Kitchen Design and Installation

Ultimately, the decision to install an outdoor kitchen or not is a personal one that truly depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and budget.

As you think about adding an outdoor kitchen to your home, it is equally crucial to select a landscaping company that can effectively turn your vision into a reality. Start by choosing a reputable landscaping company that can demonstrate their experience and expertise in designing and installing outdoor kitchens.

With the right team by your side, your dream of an outdoor kitchen can become a seamless and enjoyable reality. Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast, a seasoned entertainer, or just someone who wants to enhance their property, the allure of an outdoor kitchen might just be the missing ingredient in your backyard haven.

Ready to start designing your dream outdoor kitchen? Fill out our consultation form, meet with our team of experts, choose a solution that works for you, and get ready to relax in your new outdoor living space.

Get started today with a consultation!

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