By Clara Beaufort
If you’ve been spending more time at home lately, you’re not alone. The global pandemic has left us all scrambling to find something to do when hanging out away from home isn’t really an option. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your time at your address, and creating an outdoor dining space is one of the best. Designing a space that’s both inviting and useful could even provide a significant bump in value when the time comes to sell. Here are a few ideas to get you started quickly.
Evaluate Your Space.
The first step in designing an outdoor area is to make sure you have enough space. Ideally, you’ll have at least a 10’ x 10’ area, preferably more so that you can enclose space for a refrigerator and other electric items. If you don’t have room for an outdoor kitchen, Price & Co. Real Estate can help you launch your new home search with your outdoor entertainment endeavors in mind.
Make A Plan.
If you do have room, then you can get started drawing out a plan. Your outdoor kitchen should include a grill/cook surface, cold storage, a work surface, and running water. It also makes sense to add a water filtration system to your outdoor kitchen so that you are not constantly running in and out of the house to get water from the refrigerator.
Check Your Budget.
According to Landscaping Network, the price to create an outdoor kitchen space ranges from $2,000 on the low and up to $100,000 for a luxury cooking experience. Determine what amenities you need and then take a peek at prices – you can use Lowe’s or Home Depot as good starting points for appliances, hardware, and outdoor cabinetry.
Set your budget, but add 10% for incidentals. So if you have a $10,000 budget, make sure that you’re willing to spend an extra $1,000 to put the finishing touches on your masterpiece. You’ll also want to take into account any additional amenities or features that you would like to add. This could be anything from extra shelving to a fire pit. If you’re fairly handy, you can save quite a bit of money by doing much of the work yourself. Be cautious, however, and utilize licensed contractors for things like electrical and plumbing. You’ll also want someone who is bonded and insured with a track record of happy customers for any structural changes or additions that may be required.
Once your kitchen space is taken care of, you’ll still want a place to eat and relax. Aluminum, resin wicker, and wood are the best materials for outdoor furniture, and these are easily customizable with colored cushions or, in the case of wood, paint or stain. You can protect your investment by putting it under a gazebo or installing a shade/sun sail to reduce direct sunlight, which can help prolong the life of your outdoor furniture. If you prefer privacy, hang outdoor curtains so that you and your dinner guests can enjoy an evening in without the prying eyes of your neighbors.
You’ll also want to consider making sure that you have a place for a blender And other small appliances along with plates and utensils. Importantly, make sure that if you add a trashcan to your dining area that it is not accessible to dogs or wildlife.
Spending more time at home can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. Make your home a haven by creating a space that you love and that’s where you want to be. An outdoor kitchen is a great place to start. But remember, make sure you have the space, check your budget, and prioritize your comfort and convenience. Talk to your real estate agent about this and other upgrades that may help you retain the value of your home should you decide to sell at a later date.
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