Hampton Roads is the perfect environment for an outdoor kitchen.  With our warm climate and great outdoor spaces, an outdoor kitchen is a great addition to many luxury homes.  It will also add value to your home when it is time to sell.  Here are a few things to consider when adding an outdoor kitchen.

 

Consider how you use your outdoor space.  Do you have a pool or do you have a waterfront home?  Would you use your outdoor kitchen mainly in the evenings for dinner?  Do you have strong late afternoon sun on your deck or patio?

What would you cook in the outdoor kitchen?  Some people like the idea of a pizza oven but in reality, how often would  you use it?  Now if you enjoy cooking fresh fish, it makes sense to do that outside to reduce the fish odors in the home.  Do you fry the fish or grill it?  This would make a difference in your planning.  If you like to have oyster roasts or crab parties, consider adding a high powered burner for the large stock pots.

Greg Schaumburg of Hursthouse Landscape Architects & Contractors says an outdoor kitchen is most efficient when it’s zoned into logical uses. According to Greg, your cook space should have plenty of prep space, room to set down utensils and stage ingredients, and a comfortable buffer from the seating island to keep guests protected from the heat.

 

According to This Old House, you’ll need a food-prep surface, good lighting to keep the party going after nightfall, shelter for the chef (whether it’s a pergola or market umbrella), and if you want to go all out, a sink and some appliances.  With an outdoor kitchen you can prepare meals and be around your guests with minimal time spent running back inside for plates, beverages, or tongs. Source www.thisoldhouse.com

 

You can find inspiration for outdoor kitchens on web sites like www.thisoldhouse.com, www.hgtv.com and www.houzz.com.