Invest Wisely In Your Outdoor Space

An outdoor kitchen is more than just a barbecue surrounded by wood or stone

Do you ever have one of those ‘what’s next’ moments?

I have one of those moments all the time when it comes to my outdoor space. All winter long I read the magazines, watch the shows and follow feeds on social media about what is new for the backyard. Now don’t get me wrong — I have a list that is a mile long of things that seem like they would be a good idea for my own space, but when it comes to getting it done, I get stuck about where to start and what is going to work best. I hear from readers who are in the same boat, sometimes without the list of what they should even do.

Before you stick a shovel in the ground, go back inside. I always ask homeowners — what don’t you have indoors? -  Is your kitchen big enough? - Do you have an island or a spot to eat breakfast? - What about your living room? - Can you host guests there or has the family taken it over? - Maybe you’d like a fireplace but with the TV and the couches, there isn’t a free wall for it. All of these things can easily be done outdoors, and because you don’t have them inside your home, you’ll actually use them outside.

An outdoor kitchen is more than just a barbecue surrounded by wood or stone. An outdoor kitchen now includes appliances designed to handle our climate with things like a refrigerator or even a warming tray. Outdoor kitchens also can give you cooking options that you can’t use indoors — like a grill that sears a steak in seven seconds or a wood-burning smoker that will slow cook a pork brisket for six hours.

The starting cost for an outdoor kitchen is $6,500, but most homeowners spend closer to $15,000. Now this might seem like a big investment, but think about the cost of a kitchen renovation?

"The 2017 average kitchen renovation was more the $21,000." -

Outdoor fireplaces are also a great investment because they extend your outdoor season by adding warmth to your backyard. Before you invest, just make sure to check your municipal zoning. Most areas allow some sort of real fire options provided they have a grill for cooking.

If you happen to be in an area where real fire is prohibited, consider going the propane or gel-flame option. Both of these are cleaner options that require less work, creating outdoor ambience at the flick of a switch.

Invest wisely in your outdoor space. Start with items that you know you are going to get use out of instead of being distracted by what is new or trendy.

Scott JacksonComment