The national average for an outdoor kitchen is $13,176, with average prices ranging from $5,057 – $17,276. The least you can expect to pay is $2,875 while the high end tops out around $40,750. The average cost per square foot ranges from $32.50 – $100 per square foot.
On This Page:
- How Much Does an Outdoor Kitchen Cost?
- Cost Estimator By Size
- Other Factors That Affect Cost of an Outdoor Kitchen
- Extra Services
- Cost of a DIY Outdoor Kitchen
- Cost of an Outdoor Kitchen By Location
- FAQ About Outdoor Kitchens
How Much Does an Outdoor Kitchen Cost?
If your favorite thing to do on a warm summer evening is to tackle a new recipe on your outdoor grill, you’ve probably wondered what an expanded outdoor kitchen might cost. We have done the pricing homework for you:
National average cost: $13,176
Typical price range: $5,057 – $17,276
Extreme low end: $2,875
Extreme high end: $40,750
Prices vary widely, with the lowest-priced outdoor kitchens starting under $3,000 while the most luxurious setups cost upward of $40,000. Your imagination and your wallet are the only limits on what you will save or spend.
Prices on most home improvement projects have a wide range of average costs, as does this one. This means that you can be as conservative or outlandish with your budget as you like, creating a space that suits both your needs and your budget.
In this pricing guide, we’ll cover the biggest factors influencing the price of an outdoor kitchen, the cost of extra services (as an outdoor kitchen often leads to additional outdoor lighting, for example), and a look at what you would pay if you were to DIY your outdoor kitchen.
Cost Estimator By Size
The biggest factor influencing the cost of your outdoor kitchen is its size, so think through the minimum and maximum number of people you plan to host and how you plan to use your outdoor space.
To make it easier for you to estimate the cost of your outdoor kitchen project, we calculated the average cost per square foot ($32.50 – $100 per square foot) for a small, medium, and large yard.
- Small – 100 square feet: $3,250 – $10,000
- Medium – 300 square feet: $9,750 – $30,000
- Large – 400 square feet: $13,000 – $40,000
Other Factors That Affect Cost of an Outdoor Kitchen
There are many elements in an outdoor kitchen that will affect your total outlay. Here are three to consider: materials, the grill, and the location.
Framing, finishing, and countertops are three key elements of your new outdoor kitchen that you will want to choose based on your style, climate, and budget. These prices are for the materials only.
You can buy prefabricated framing or build your own. Prefab is usually less expensive. Wood and aluminum framing averages about $400 per linear foot, while steel framing averages about $550 per linear foot.
Consider what kind of exterior finish you’d like on your kitchen setup.
- Stucco: $5 – $7.50 per square foot
- Brick veneer: $9 – 15 per square foot
- Manufactured stone: $15 – 25 per square foot
- Natural stone: $20 – 37.50 per square foot
- Stucco: $5 – $7.50 per square foot
Countertops should encompass style and function. Be sure to pick a material that works well for your climate.
- Ceramic tile countertop: $5.62 – $46.30 per square foot
- Concrete countertop: $60 – $93 per square foot
- Granite countertop: $65 – $75 per square foot
- Stainless steel countertop: $72.59 – $97.76 per square foot
Expect to pay from $175 – $8,375 for an outdoor grill. Whether you are a charcoal BBQ grilling master or prefer the convenience of propane, take your pick and build around it.
Backyard cooking experts note that while it is often unnecessary to pay an exorbitant amount for a grill, you don’t want to skimp, either. Decide which type of grill you want, how many people you plan to feed, and choose a quality option that will last.
Locating your outdoor kitchen as close to your home as possible can save you money. Here’s why: You may not have to run utility lines if the setup is right next to the house.
“Satellite” outdoor kitchens — those that are a short or long walk from your house — are often more expensive.
Another benefit of building close to the house: You may be able to omit a sink, fridge, and side burner since you’ll have easy access to those things inside.
Remember that additional appliances may require new water, electric, or gas lines, which may mean additional contractor fees and inspections.
You may also be able to build on an existing patio — covered or uncovered. Either way, that saves you money.
Here are a few extras to consider while planning your outdoor kitchen area.
No outdoor eating area would be complete without greenery and color. If you’re going for a tropical or Mediterranean theme, consider oversized glazed pots with dwarf citrus trees or perhaps an innovative hanging herb or kitchen garden at arm’s reach.
What about an edible arbor for shade and sustenance?
However you choose to showcase your outdoor kitchen, budget about $5 – $24 per square foot for landscaping work.
If you’d like to install a pergola above your outdoor kitchen, plan to pay an average of $2,216 – $8,959.
A pergola helps provide shade, can serve as a trellis for flowering vines, offers a great area for hanging plants or string lighting, and helps define your outdoor space.
All outdoor spaces need a lighting plan, especially an eating area.
Plan to pay an average of $260.25 per light, or anywhere from $1,822 – $5,333 to set up landscape lighting around your outdoor kitchen.
Cost of a DIY Outdoor Kitchen
Step aside, novices. This is a job for the experts. You’ll need an advanced skill set and plenty of tools to go from green grass to “I’d like my steak medium-rare, please.”
If you have plenty of DIY experience and are hungry for a new challenge, building your outdoor kitchen may be just the thing to sate your appetite.
If you plan to install your own outdoor kitchen, you’ll need every tool in your toolbox to get you there. Here is a sampling of what you may need.
|Mixing paddle (drill attachment)||$14+|
|Dust mask (5 pack)||$17+|
|Electric sander (3 amp, corded, 5′)||$70+|
|Jigsaw (corded, 6.5 amp, industry grade)||$150+|
|Circular saw (cordless kit w/batteries)||$350+|
|Table saw + stand (industry grade)||$370+|
|Miter saw (industry grade||$400|
How to Install a DIY Outdoor Kitchen
If you have the tools and experience, an outdoor kitchen is well within your reach. Here is a rough outline of the process:
- Make sure you follow all local building codes and HOA requirements. Apply for all necessary permits, and inquire about the inspection schedule, if applicable.
- Call your tax assessor and insurance company to see if your new outdoor kitchen will affect your property taxes or insurance premiums.
- Hire an electrician or plumber, if you’re not skilled in those areas.
- Call 811 if you need to dig.
- Choose the appliances for your outdoor kitchen. (You’ll need to plan around these.)
- Build the floor or patio.
- Construct your frame.
- Install cabinetry and countertops.
- Install appliances.
- Build pergola or other shade structure as needed.
- Install lighting.
- Pass inspections.
- Bon appétit!
If you want to save money, here is another option: Work with an existing patio and buy (or build) a prefabricated grill island. (These are also known as modular outdoor kitchens.) This is one way to save on installation costs and still have a functional, beautiful space to enjoy.
DIY Cost vs. Professional Service
Some outdoor kitchen building sources estimate that labor costs may comprise upward of 70% of your total bill. That means you could save $9,223.20 off the national average cost ($13,176) if you DIY your outdoor kitchen. Installing your own outdoor kitchen would leave you with a bill of $3,952.80.
Cost of an Outdoor Kitchen By Location
If you live in an urban area or part of the country where everything is more expensive, expect to pay more to build your outdoor kitchen as well.
FAQ About Outdoor Kitchens
There is conflicting data on how much of your investment in your outdoor kitchen you can expect back if you sell your home.
One study states that kitchens in warmer climates with quality appliances can see returns of 100% – 200%.
Another study cites only a 55% return and says that your ROI depends on whether the new home buyer values an outdoor living area. This second study considers an outdoor kitchen to be a perk and not one of the core amenities most homebuyers are seeking.
Ask your design team what kind of ROI local homeowners usually see on an outdoor kitchen.
Generally speaking, outdoor kitchens require very little maintenance, especially if they are designed well.
Work with your design team to determine the most durable outdoor kitchen materials for your climate. Then, keep your appliances and furnishings clean, use covers when necessary, and winterize your space if you live in a climate with cold winters.
First, choose the right outdoor kitchen design partner. Your contractor will be able to help you maximize your outdoor time each year with the right design and planning.
— Consider your heating options during the design process. Outdoor heaters, fire pits, fireplaces, and pizza ovens are a few options.
— Sheltered vs. open air outdoor kitchen? Think about the advantages and disadvantages of roofing or not roofing your outdoor kitchen.
This will impact your appliance choices as well as the degree to which weather will impact your ability to use the space.
— Have an outdoor kitchen winterization plan. Whether or not your outdoor kitchen will be covered, you will need to protect and perhaps even store some of your appliances during the winter season.
You’ll want to blow out the water lines and shut off the water at the very least. It may be a good idea to cover the entire outdoor kitchen, especially if you live in a cold climate where water may collect in the outdoor sink or drain and freeze.
An outdoor kitchen, for some, is the focal point of an outdoor living space. An outdoor kitchen offers a place to nourish and enjoy the company of your family and friends.
Such outdoor spaces are great places to enjoy four-season living in warm areas or two- to three-season living in cooler climates.
With so many possible design elements, you can customize your outdoor kitchen just as you would your steak — according to your likes and budget. Even if you’re normally a medium-rare kind of steak-eater, at the end of it all, you just might say, “well done.”
Main Photo Credit: Pipas Imagery / Shutterstock