Building the outdoor kitchen you’ve wanted to add to your backyard since you moved to your current house is certainly a dream come true for many, but it might not be that dreamy when getting down to the numbers. Before making it a wallet buster project, set an amount of money you have to spend and then find a balance between what you want and what you can afford. Once you’ve figured it out, take 10 to 15 percent off the top of the total amount; this is your contingency fund, in case you’re confronted with unforeseen issues.
The amount you invest in the project should be proportionate to how much you’ll use the space. If you live in a warmer area, you’re more likely to use the outdoor kitchen more often than if you’re located in a cold-weather city. Also, you won’t want to spend lots of money in expensive equipment and accessories if all you’ll grill is casual meals for a small family or group of friends.
The grill is the one item you want to splurge on, so buy the best grill you can afford in terms of durability and performance. If you have to choose among other accessories, put your money on a sink and a refrigerator since they’re both very convenient. You can live without an oven, a dishwasher, and other equipment you can find in your main kitchen.
Remember any addition to your home is an investment, especially at resale. Although outdoor kitchens are attractive, they’re usually not a priority for buyers, so don’t improve far beyond the level of the neighborhood. Also consider that it is always cheaper to build it yourself than to buy those pre-built bundles. Now that you know how to create the perfect, affordable outdoor kitchen you love and can live with, go shopping!