Do you like cooking and enjoying meals outdoors? Do you love inviting family and friends over to your home for entertainment and dining al fresco?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you might consider building an outdoor kitchen as a part of your overall outdoor living plans, and it's certainly a great idea. Outdoor kitchens are a current outdoor living trend – and one that shows no signs of going out of style since it’s one of the best ways to extend your functional and usable space.

In fact, approximately 60 percent of homeowners are planning to add outdoor kitchens, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and outdoor kitchens are at the top of the Better Homes & Gardens outdoor living trends list.

It’s true that outdoor kitchens are an addition everybody wants today – one of the reasons being they are extremely customizable. In addition to a grill, they can include features such as cabinets, bars, sinks, appliances, and even outdoor sound and flat-screen TVs. Your budget dictates how basic or lavish you want to make your outdoor kitchen.

These customization options might have you wondering, “How much does an outdoor kitchen cost?”

Let’s look at the average cost of an outdoor kitchen in Greater Chicago so you can better prepare your budget and make a great decision.

Outdoor Kitchen Costs in The Greater Chicago Area

Today, people are amping up their outdoor kitchens in creative ways in Chicagoland, and their choices can help determine their overall outdoor kitchen costs.

People are seeking larger kitchens to ensure they can have room for entertaining. They want to make sure they can fit all of their family and friends in the space, after all.

outdoor kitchen with food and drinks

When planning outdoor kitchens today, it’s no longer just about a grill either. People are adding ice machines, wine chillers, pizza ovens, and other unique appliances and accessories.

For this reason, your outdoor kitchen costs can vary pretty widely. In fact, a total outdoor kitchen can start at $35,000 and go up to $150,000.

There are multiple factors that can influence the cost of building an outdoor kitchen in Greater Chicago.

Space Utilization

First, when figuring out the cost to build an outdoor kitchen, you have to determine how you’ll use the space.

Is dining the main goal after a quick grilling up of the tasty dinner you’ve prepared? Then maybe a smaller kitchen with the basics, such as a grill and bar area, mixed with a larger, comfortable patio would do the trick.

large patio with outdoor kitchen and fireplace

Or if you think you’ll be serving drinks and entertaining while you’re cooking, in addition to showing off some of your gourmet skills, then you likely want a grander outdoor kitchen with some more bells and whistles and space for multiple people to navigate and prepare food.

This discussion about the use of your space includes thinking about the number of people you’ll be serving most frequently. Are you mostly cooking dinner for a small family of 4 or less? Or are you regularly preparing food for a larger number of extended family and friends? The size of your space will certainly dictate some of the cost.

Consider Components

Many times when looking at the cost of building an outdoor kitchen, we start by looking at specific components. This is important because they can change your price quite considerably.

For instance, a grill is usually a larger appliance in an outdoor kitchen. And there are so many types of grills out there to choose from today. Depending on what you’re looking for, you could spend anywhere from $2,500 to $20,000 on the grill alone.

small outdoor kitchen with grill and patio

Additional components, such as vents, pizza ovens, smokers, refrigerators, and ice makers can be other key additions you add based on how you plan to cook and entertain.

After deciding on outdoor kitchen components, you have to think about countertop space and cabinets necessary for what you want to cook. A smaller bar area – maybe an L-shaped design – will be less expensive than a larger, expansive bar that is long or U-shaped.

Outdoor Kitchen Materials Matter

After looking at the size of your outdoor kitchen and the components or appliances you need, then you’ll want to factor in the materials you want to use since they will also impact the cost to build an outdoor kitchen.

For instance, if your home exterior is stone or brick, you can use coordinating elements in your outdoor kitchen to match your home. Different materials will have different price tags attached to them.

Weather Can Impact Costs, Too

In Greater Chicago, you know we experience some weather extremes – from sunny, hot summers to windy days to cold winters.

patio table under pavilion

If you know you’ll be cooking outdoors – rain or shine – you may also want to add the cost of a pavilion or pergola to help give you some shelter from rain, wind, and sun throughout the year. This will increase your outdoor kitchen costs, but it will also increase your enjoyable time outside in your new space.

Ready to Improve Your Outdoor Kitchen Gourmet Skills?

Whether you’re looking for a small outdoor kitchen that is perfect for your family of four or you want a grand space suitable for making pizzas and grilling steaks and playing music – rain or shine, it’s important to factor in your needs to determine your outdoor kitchen costs.

There are quite a few options available when it comes to exterior cooking spaces, and we know it can be super confusing to put it all together. We hope these tips help you narrow your options and configure your costs.

If looking through these options makes your head spin, give KD Landscape’s experts a call. We can simplify the process for you by discussing your needs and looking at your backyard. Then we can give you some options and make the whole process simpler and more exciting when you know you’re getting exactly what you need to satisfy your outdoor cooking and entertaining needs.

Ready to see how KD Landscape can transform your suburban Chicago area backyard with an outdoor kitchen? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you and deliver a space that best fits your needs. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can create a solution that works best for you.

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