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Denver Sprinkler Repair Pros Share 7 Key Questions to Ask When Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

September 4, 2019

Nothing makes enjoying the great outdoors easier than having an outdoor kitchen right in your backyard. And with Colorado getting more than 300 days of sunshine each year, you’ll be able to use the space more often than you think. But if you’re like most homeowners, you’re probably not sure where to start with the design process. Your trusted Denver sprinkler team is here to help. Ask yourself these questions before you start the design process. 

Where Do You Want to Place the Kitchen?
Ideally, your outdoor kitchen should be close enough to your house that you can reach it easily. Remember, you’ll be carrying ingredients from the house to your outdoor food prep area. The closer it is, the more convenient it will feel to use your space. 

Be mindful of your landscaping when deciding on your placement. While it is possible to move your existing sprinkler system to accommodate the build, it’s easier if you choose a spot without sprinkler heads. You’ll save money and speed up the construction process. 

How Will You Use Your Kitchen?
How you use your outdoor kitchen influences the design. If you’re just looking for a bigger and better grilling spot, your design can be fairly simple. But if you’re looking for a full outdoor kitchen, you need to think about how you’ll realistically use the space. 

If you plan on making full meals and don’t want to go back and forth between the outdoors and your indoor kitchen, factor in features like refrigerators, a sink, and dish storage into the design. Remember, the point of your outdoor space is to make your cooking experience fun and convenient. If it feels like a hassle, you won’t use it as much as it deserves.

What Features Do You Want?
There’s a fine line between wants and needs when it comes to your design. Think about the things that you absolutely have to install in order for the kitchen to work for you. If you can’t imagine cooking without a grill, install a grill. If you think you’ll use the kitchen for 3 out of the 4 seasons each year, outdoor heaters and fireplaces may be something you should install.

There’s no right or wrong answer here. Draw up a list of everything you’d LOVE having in your kitchen and use it as a starting point for the design. 

What About Your Guests?
If you build an outdoor kitchen, you’re probably thinking of using it to entertain guests and friends. But you need to think about how to accommodate those guests when you’re planning your design.

Remember, your outdoor kitchen is more of an outdoor entertainment area than you might think. Try to situate the kitchen close to your seating area and consider building benches and bars where your friends can sit while you cook. This will help you feel like you’re a part of the action even when you’re manning the grill.

And Budget Is?
Arguably the hardest part of creating any outdoor kitchen is setting a firm budget. Think about what you’ve saved up for the project. If it’s not enough or your design is larger than you thought it would be initially, you could consider taking out a home improvement loan.

That said, you’ll still need to have a firm number in mind before you can meet with a contractor. If you don’t know how much money you can realistically afford on the project, your contractor won’t be able to bring your designs to life. 

If possible, try to save up for at least a few months before starting the project. This will help you avoid going further into debt and can give you better control over your finances in the long-run. Remember, your outdoor kitchen should feel like an improvement to your house, not a financial burden or a mistake. 

What Do You Want the Surrounding Area to Look Like?
Landscaping can make a huge difference in the ambiance of your outdoor kitchen. But you need to have a vision of what you want the space to look like after the kitchen is in place. 

Look at your yard and think about the features you love most. Are there garden beds or plants that you wish you could have more of? Or do you prefer a no-frills hardscape design that will let you focus on enjoying your kitchen rather than worrying about landscape maintenance?

Again, there’s no right answer. No matter what you prefer, it’s simple enough to incorporate those elements into the design. Just make sure you work with an experienced landscaper to get the job done right. Otherwise, your designs could interfere with the functionality of your outdoor kitchen. 

Do You Know Who You’ll Work With?
Not all contractors specialize in building outdoor kitchens. And If you choose the wrong one, you could end up with a design that doesn’t fit your needs. Take time to research the contractors you’re interested in working with. 

Schedule consultations with each one and let them give you an estimate. If they’ve built kitchens before, ask for examples of their previous designs. This will give you a feel for the quality of their workmanship and can better help you plan out the perfect space of your own.

Also make sure to ask for references. Reputable contractors all have clients that are willing to share their experiences with you. And once you have those references, follow up with them. If the overwhelming response is positive, you’ll likely have the same experience. 

Consult Your Sprinkler Team 
At Water Solutions, we specialize in sprinkler installations, maintenance, and repairs. But that’s not all we do. Our expert landscape team knows how to build outdoor kitchens that add value to your home and simplify your life. 

When you partner with our team, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your new kitchen won’t impact your existing sprinkler system. We’ll work with your budget to bring your vision to life. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate.