Home Improvement

How Much It Costs to Build an Outdoor Kitchen

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Aussies are al fresco dining lovers. And this comes as no surprise, considering the warm climate we enjoy most of the year in many regions in the country. The nation “runs” outdoors at every opportunity, be it to relax with a book under a tree, to do a bit of gardening or to set up the BBQ before some dear dinner guests arrive. Well, this post will focus on exactly that – what it takes to enjoy outdoor cooking and eating, in terms of cost.

Outside cooking facilities come in all shapes and forms, from simple portable devices and complex stone-built grill sets to whole kitchens… And we’ll all agree that there’s nothing more satisfying than having a fully functioning outside kitchen that makes life so much easier.

So, we’ve gathered some information to help you get an idea of the average outdoor kitchen cost for different types of exterior food preparation setups.

Table of Contents:

The cost of building an outdoor kitchen

There are various types of outdoor kitchen designs, from custom-made to prefabricated modular units that just need assembling and fitting. And all these come with a different price tag. Also, the size and the complexity of your exterior cooking space comes as an important pricing factor, not just the materials. You could be budgeting a few thousand for a simple covered structure, a small wood-fueled stove with an oven and a handy worktop. Or you could fork out a 5- to 6-figure sum for a complete and fully operating kitchenette with a sink, fridge-freezer and a wine cooler.

But let’s explore a more detailed price breakdown of the different aspects that make up the final outdoor kitchen cost.

Building permit and design planning

Not all outdoor property improvement projects require council approval. Still, it will be your responsibility to check with the local authorities, whether you need some sort of permission and how much it costs. Generally, any type of demolition and construction work (from scratch) should be endorsed by a local building official.

The design of a bespoke outdoor kitchen also comes at an expense. The cost will depend on whether you use a kitchen design/fitting company that may ask between $200 and $1000, you hire a draftsperson, a building designer or even an architect. The design fee, which a professional person will charge you, will grow proportionally with the level of their qualifications.

Outdoor kitchen materials and fittings

A huge pricing factor is also the type of materials, you use, for your outside kitchen. One is for sure, they have to be sturdy and durable to withstand the elements. Even if your food preparation and dining space are under a cover, all fixtures and fittings should be water-resistant and damp-proof. It makes sense to build your outdoor kitchen from natural materials, such as stone, stone veneer, or use brick. All wooden structures should be varnished and weather-proofed, too, in order to ensure their long service life.

Just as an example, you can expect to pay for an outdoor benchtop anything from $150 (laminate) to $2200 (marble) per sq.m. In between this price range, come timber, stainless steel, granite and polished concrete at the varying cost of $500 – $1800 per sq. m.

Note that the higher price doesn’t necessarily mean better durability. Marble gets stained and stainless steel dents and suffers scratches.

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You’ll be most likely needing professional plumbing assistance if your outdoor kitchen is furnished with a sink. Depending on your location and the tradesman’s experience, you can be charged between $40 and $155 per hour. Add the standard call-out fee of $60 – $100, as well as the actual sink installation cost that could vary from $150 to $600, and you can get a rough idea about what you should budget for to have an outdoor washing facility.

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Electrical work

Regardless of the type of fuel, you’ll use to cook your hearty meals outdoors (gas, wood, charcoal or electricity), you’ll most definitely need some wiring and electrical work done to have a functional and comfortable kitchen at all times of the day. Standard service fees for an electrician range from $50 to $100. A qualified and experienced electrical specialist will also charge something between $65 and $95 per hour.

Furthermore, a new powerpoint installed will cost you from $75 to $150. Then, comes the wiring and fitting of various appliances, be it a cooker, a fridge, a dishwasher and so on. Based on the installation of four or five power points, expect to pay for this job anything from $400 to $850.

Building/Installation work

The cost of building your outdoor kitchen will depend on many factors. Are you having an outward extension of your home? Do you intend to convert an existing space or the plan is to build a structure from scratch? Naturally, a pergola kitchen will cost you less than a brick-made separate building, with metal flat-roofed pergolas reaching $1500 and timber ones – about $3000.

In contrast, any masonry work, as a very rough guide, will cost you between $25 to $40 per hour or $250-$650 per sq.m (for brick veneer walls). Then, add plastering and painting, which come at approximately $80 and $45 per sq.m, respectively. Flooring, if you haven’t appropriated your already installed patio or decking, will also contribute to the overall cost, where tiling, for example, is charged from $45 to $100 per hour or $35 – $120 per sq.m.

Anything extra, like a retractable screen or conservatory windows, are all additional features that will also swell up the overall outdoor kitchen cost.

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What about the cost of different types of outdoor kitchen appliances?

These will, of course, vary, subject to type, model and brand. Moreover, the final price for your outdoor cooking facility will depend on whether you’re prepared to be running in and out of the house to fetch something from the fridge or you intend to have all useful kitchen appliances at hand.

Below is just an example list of what you could be paying for your outdoor kitchen appliances:

  • Built-in barbeque with 4 burners – $1500
  • Built-in barbeque with 6 burners – $1500
  • A popular brand solid fuel stove – $12,500
  • Sink with a cabinet – from $650
  • Stainless steel refrigerator – $1100
  • Kitchen packages (BBQ + Cabinets) – from $5,500
  • All-inclusive modular kitchen (cabinets, BBQ, sink, fridge) – from $11,000
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What is the difference between a satellite and a perimeter kitchen

As we’ve mentioned above, you can have an outdoor kitchen that is adjacent to your house or it is a completely “self-sufficient” building, positioned some distance away from the main property. The following are not carved-in-stone terms, but these are also known respectively as perimeter and satellite kitchens.

Perimeter kitchen

An outdoor kitchen extension or a perimeter kitchen is naturally much easier to install. Plumbing and electrical connections are cheaper to fit, as well. The modular units or custom-made cabinetry, benchtop and all the built-in or individual appliances can be installed, attached and fitted by making use of the existing wall. Depending on all the price factors, we’ve discussed earlier, including the project complexity and size, you may pay from $50 000 and upwards for a complete perimeter kitchen that has everything you need.

Satellite kitchen

A satellite kitchen is a bit more expensive to construct and connect to all the necessary utilities. The project may also involve drainage installation work, not to mention the council approval costs and other building expenses, associated with structures, erected from scratch. So, the overall cost of your outdoor satellite kitchen can easily exceed $100,000.

We didn’t put you off the idea of enhancing your outdoor lifestyle and boost up your garden dinner party host credentials? After all, your outdoor kitchen will cost what you can budget for. There are plenty of affordable and less complex options and design ideas out there that won’t break the bank. And if you need help with any of the outdoor kitchen furniture assembly and installation tasks, you can always count on our professional help.

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Olive & Umber
Olive & Umber
2 years ago

Great advice! Thanks for sharing this valuable advice. I found it very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing.

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