Does an Outdoor Kitchen Add Value to a Home?

Indoor-outdoor living is far more than just a fleeting trend. A 2019 report, State of the Industry: Outdoor Living Market Findings, revealed that nearly 64% of design professionals have seen “rising interest in outdoor living spaces among their clients.” Homeowners’ top three priorities when designing their outdoor living spaces are comfortable lounge seating, cooking appliances, and space for dining tables. Clearly, building an outdoor kitchen is increasingly important today.

Outdoor kitchens expand a home’s living space, give people the ability to dine al fresco, and are a focal point of entertaining family and friends. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to enjoy an outdoor kitchen nearly all year. For example, residents in Orlando, Florida, can take advantage of their outdoor kitchens year-round, thanks to the mild weather.

There’s no question that building an outdoor kitchen comes with numerous benefits – but does it add value to a home? Considering the scope of the project and the substantial investment, this is a valid question.

The cost of an outdoor kitchen

According to HomeAdvisor, it costs an average of $13,167 to build an outdoor kitchen in the U.S. and the entire project typically ranges from $5,325-$21,629. The bulk of that cost lies in building materials, as well as having electricity, water, and gas lines installed. HomeAdvisor’s data states that the general contractor alone often represents the single most expensive portion of the total cost, anywhere from $1,500-6,000 on average. Of course, the types of materials, finishes, and appliances you choose also directly impact the cost of building an outdoor kitchen. Stainless steel costs substantially more than wood, for example.

Does building an outdoor kitchen add value to a home?

There is data showing a strong link between building an outdoor kitchen and getting a significant positive return on investment, or ROI. The National Association of REALTORS® 2018 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features assesses the ROI of building an outdoor kitchen at 71%. For the study, the outdoor kitchen consisted of a built-in grill, a sink, stainless steel cabinetry, and 60 square feet of countertop made from veneered concrete. The cost estimate was $14,000 and the recovered value was $10,000.

It is important to bear in mind that many factors are at play when it comes to determining the potential ROI of building an outdoor kitchen. The extent of your outdoor kitchen project and the quality of the finishes you choose, as well as the area you live in and the state of its housing market, all factor in. A prospective home buyer in Pennsylvania will generally not get nearly as much use out of an outdoor kitchen as a buyer in Florida, so it wouldn’t hold the same value. Along the same lines, if no other houses in your area have outdoor kitchens, you may see very little ROI. On the other hand, you could see a substantial ROI if outdoor kitchens are popular where you live.

ROI is certainly a critical consideration when you’re deciding whether or not to build an outdoor kitchen. However, it’s just as important – perhaps even more so – to create a functional outdoor kitchen that your family will use frequently and genuinely enjoy for years to come.

Tips to save money 

Outdoor kitchens can be simple or elaborate. Some homeowners opt for just a sink and built-in grill, while others install granite countertops, wine chillers, and pizza ovens. The only hard-and-fast rule of outdoor kitchens is that the kitchen must be, well, outdoors. That means there are many different ways to save on building an outdoor kitchen.

  • Build close to your home. The further you physically put your outdoor kitchen from your house, the more money it will cost. Every foot further away amounts to more digging that needs to be done and more line that needs to be run.
  • Play favorites. If you can eliminate just one – electricity or gas – you could potentially save thousands. Consider using strictly electric appliances and opting for an electric smoker as opposed to a gas grill, or using all gas appliances and stringing up some lights plugged into your existing outlets.
  • Go middle of the road. As you show off your new outdoor kitchen, family and friends will certainly notice the finishes – the countertops and cabinetry. They aren’t likely, however, to notice the brand of appliances. You’ll get the same functionality from mid-range appliances as those that cost double or more.

When you’re ready to begin planning the outdoor kitchen of your dreams, Orlando Outdoor Kitchens is ready to help. Our experts will work closely with you to determine your needs and create an outdoor kitchen featuring custom cabinets, refrigerators, grills, and more, all built to stand the test of time. We also specialize in building outdoor kitchens for commercial properties. Give us a call at (407) 636-7135 or contact us online.

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