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Austin Outdoor Kitchen: Cost, Buying Tips, & 5 Best Builders

By Daniel Cdebaca

August 11, 2023

To you, Austin is far more than just the capital of Texas… It’s home.

And as you’re reading this… You’re thinking about how to make your Austin home even better than it already is.

More specifically, with an Austin outdoor kitchen.

And we must say… It’s an excellent idea.

But inevitably, you’ll have a lot of questions to get answered before you embark on this project.

What’s the best design for your area?

greetings from austin

Why Get an Austin Outdoor Kitchen?

an outdoor summer bar kitchen underneath a pergola in texas

Before we get too far… You still might not be 100% sold on the idea of even buying an outdoor kitchen.

So let’s give you a couple reasons why a BBQ island is a worthy investment in the Austin area.

As Austin Fain of Perfect Steel Solutions put it, outdoor kitchens are “a great way to take advantage of the beautiful weather and outdoor scenery in Austin, allowing homeowners to enjoy their outdoor living space to the fullest.”

Apart from the sweltering months of July and August… Austin’s weather is gorgeous for the vast majority of the year.

And an outdoor kitchen is the perfect excuse to keep you outside, enjoying the beauty of Austin as much as possible.

Also, “an outdoor kitchen can offer homeowners in Austin a number of benefits, including a functional and stylish space for cooking and entertaining, increased home value, and expanded living and entertaining space”, Fain continues.

Beyond keeping you outdoors, an outdoor kitchen will beautify your backyard… And expand the functional living space of your home.

It’s like building a room addition, without all the headache the process typically brings.

And we’d be remiss not to mention the high ROI of an outdoor kitchen should you sell your home in the future. Multiple real estate appraisers peg the return on investment anywhere from 50-300%.

Sold yet?

If so… Let’s get into some deeper considerations.

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Austin Climate: Does it Affect Your Outdoor Kitchen?

hurricane winds bringing danger to house on suburban street

For most of the year, the Austin weather is quite enjoyable… But there are some complications for your outdoor kitchen.

Austin is smack dab in the middle of a transitional climate zone… Between dry desert on the west, and the humidity of the east.

So it’s not uncommon to have stretches of dry, arid air interrupted by periods of unbearable humidity.

And in springtime, the Austin area is susceptible to extreme weather events. Severe supercell thunderstorms, tornados, wind, hail, and the like.

So between the humidity and severity of the weather… You’ll need to choose outdoor kitchen materials that can stand up to the abuse.

Because if you don’t know what to look for… Your Austin outdoor kitchen will begin to deteriorate after a couple years, and no one wants that!

So let’s discuss some solutions.

The Worst (And Best) Outdoor Kitchen Materials in Austin

As we just alluded to… The materials you choose for your outdoor kitchen are of the utmost importance.

And unfortunately, most builders won’t use materials that hold up in the Austin climate.

Most likely, you’ll see wood or metal framed outdoor kitchens offered as the primary options… Both of which are simply a no-go in your area.

Starting with wood, this material is susceptible to rotting, warping, swelling, and termite damage. Not to mention, wood is a combustible material… Posing a significant safety hazard when in contact with a searing-hot grill.

Metal frames won’t have the issue of combustibility… But they’re not without significant problems, either.

Namely, metal frames are susceptible to rust and corrosion. And especially when you consider the periods of high humidity and severe springtime weather… It’s not really worth rolling the dice here.

If your frames are beginning to break down, that puts the structural integrity of your entire island at risk. (And then it becomes a safety concern!)

And to make matters worse… It’s not just the metal frames themselves you have to worry about.

Framed outdoor kitchens have to be enclosed with cement board, and finished with a cladding material. (Your island will be mortared, then covered with brick, stones, etc.)

These additional layers create more problems when it comes to longevity.

When water from humidity is able to enter the structure… Cement board can swell, and pass on that moisture to the frames. (As we mentioned earlier, this causes rust and corrosion.)

But that swelling can also cause your beautiful finish to be damaged.

Stucco will crack… And tiles, stones, or bricks, could begin to pop off.

Obviously, this is an eyesore scenario you’ll want to avoid. And while it can be fixed… Are you really wanting to sign up for ongoing maintenance and repairs?

If you make a smart choice on materials… You simply won’t have to.

...And Now for the Best

hybrid grill in outdoor kitchen on patio in texas

Fain recommends several different options for outdoor kitchen materials in the Austin area.

“The best outdoor kitchen materials to use in the Austin area would be those that are durable and weather-resistant. Good options may include stainless steel, concrete, and natural stone such as granite or limestone. These materials are able to withstand the hot and humid climate in Austin and are also less prone to cracking or fading over time”, he explains.

Now, there are benefits to stainless steel and natural stone BBQ islands.

But in our minds, if you want the most durable, low-maintenance, and long-lasting outdoor kitchen possible… There’s really only one material option to consider.

Concrete.

Much of our world is like a concrete jungle… And there’s a reason why this material is so ubiquitous.

You can trust it.

You can trust concrete to support incredible amounts of weight… You can trust it to remain unchanged by any weather conditions… And you can trust that it will last for decades or more.

So why wouldn’t you also trust concrete to be an excellent material for your outdoor kitchen?

It just makes sense.

Now, there is a slight caveat here. There’s more than one type of concrete outdoor kitchen out there. And some are better than others.

But we won’t dizzy you with the details of that just yet. We’ll circle back to the best type of concrete outdoor kitchen later.

For now, just know that concrete is a 10/10 when it comes to quality, durability, and longevity.

So now that we’ve got materials out of the way…

Outdoor Kitchen Austin TX Cost: What to Expect

couple sitting next to their outdoor kitchen in dallas

Before you get too excited about planning… Of course, you’re going to want to know how much an outdoor kitchen will set you back.

We don’t blame you at all. You want to know what you’re in for!

And when it comes to an outdoor kitchen in Austin… There’s quite a wide price range your island could fall into.

As John Ward from Austin Iron Fences explains, “As for costs associated with building an outdoor kitchen in Austin, price ranges can vary depending on various factors such as size, design complexity, choice of materials, and additional features desired by the homeowner. On average though, homeowners should anticipate spending between $10-30k for a basic setup while more elaborate designs could range from $30-50k or even higher if incorporating luxury appliances.”

That might feel as clear as mud… But it’s simply the truth.

There are a ton of variables at play with an outdoor kitchen project. So it typically isn’t until you’re well underway in the process that clear pricing materializes.

However, we do feel that the $10,000 – $30,000 number from Ward is a good rule of thumb for most projects in Austin.

And of course, if you have a limitless budget and want to add luxury appliances… That’s where the cost of your project can skyrocket past $30k or even $50k.

Things still sounding good?

Let’s briefly discuss some island designs for your area.

Popular Outdoor Kitchen Designs Austin

l shaped outdoor kitchen in texas next to outdoor seating with a pergola

If you want your outdoor kitchen design to flow with the aesthetics of Austin… You’ll want to keep a couple design tips in mind.

And to be honest, pretty much any aesthetic will work well in Austin! But we do have a couple pointers for you.

“In terms of aesthetics prevalent in Austin’s outdoor kitchens; modern yet natural designs are highly sought after. Incorporating sleek lines combined with elements like exposed wood beams or stone accents creates visually appealing spaces that blend seamlessly with nature-rich surroundings common in this region”, Ward explains.

Undoubtedly, that blend of modern and rustic elements is exceedingly popular in your area.

And while you wouldn’t want your outdoor kitchen to be directly made from wood… A wooden pergola overhead or another shade structure would create a stunning look.

Fain shares a similar sentiment. “Popular designs and styles for outdoor kitchens in Austin include rustic and natural-looking designs that incorporate natural stone or wood, as well as more contemporary and sleek designs that feature stainless steel appliances and minimalist finishes. Other common finishes include tile or brick, which can add a nice touch of texture to the design.”

Can you start to see the picture come together?

An outdoor kitchen with a stone finish… Wooden elements elsewhere in the space… And stainless steel appliances to provide that modern touch.

Plus, if your island is near a wall and you’re adding a backsplashSpanish tile would contribute to a uniquely Texan aesthetic.

But before your custom outdoor kitchen design is brought to life… You’ll have to find a builder.

Austin Texas Outdoor Kitchen

Design an outdoor kitchen that is built to last in Austin,Texas. Use our free 3D design tool to get started.

Outdoor Kitchen Contractors Austin: Who is the Best?

More likely than not… You’re considering hiring a local contractor for your outdoor kitchen project.

So to streamline your research… We’ve compiled the best builders in the area right here.

Let’s take a look at these Austin outdoor kitchen contractors.

Austin Outdoor Living Group

Austin Outdoor Living Group

Starting off strong… We’re kicking off the list with Austin Outdoor Living Group. This is a full service design and construction company that brings over 20 years of experience to the table. In addition to outdoor kitchens, they work with decks, pergolas, patio covers, porches, screen porches, fire features, and patios.

We don’t know if Austin Outdoor Living Group charges a fee for their design services… But it’s good to know that this is already offered in-house.

As far as the outdoor kitchens go… We know that Austin Outdoor Living Group offers custom islands, designing and building them.

But beyond that… We don’t have much insight on materials and build quality.

The gallery online shows quite a few unique options. These islands are primarily finished with different types of stone, like flagstone or limestone. A couple examples also show a brick or stucco finish.

However… We don’t know what the inside looks like. Are these concrete block outdoor kitchens? Are they metal frames? We’re not sure. You’ll want to confirm the details on this with Austin Outdoor Living Group.

The only other red flag we saw is that there’s no evidence of ventilation with these islands. This is a huge safety concern… So if you work with Austin Outdoor Living Group, make 100% certain that they include ventilation in your island.

As far as online reputation goes… Austin Outdoor Living Group has a solid 4.7 star rating with 32 Google Reviews.

Ignite Outdoor Kitchens

ignite outdoor kitchens

If you’re seeking to get a modern design… You’ll want to pay close attention to Ignite Outdoor Kitchens.

Headed up by Luke Campbell, he started up his own company after working in the industry for nearly a decade. He uses this experience to design and build custom outdoor kitchens in the Austin area. Ignite Outdoor Kitchens also services Bee Cave, Dripping Springs, and Lakeway.

Unsurprisingly, building and designing outdoor kitchens is the area of specialty here… But they do also offer pizza oven installation.

Looking to past projects… Ignite Outdoor Kitchens excels with more modern designs. Multiple projects feature stucco finishes with granite waterfall countertops. However, there are some more rustic stone finish options as well.

Material quality claims to be a point of pride with Ignite Outdoor Kitchens. They fully recognize the issues with using wood and poor quality metal frames. So to combat this, they utilize tubular aluminum that won’t rust and is resistant to corrosion.

And while this is an improvement over traditional frames… It’s still not ideal if you’re looking for an island that’s impervious to any type of weather.

As far as appliances goes… Ignite Outdoor Kitchens only works with brands that offer high-grade 304 stainless steel. This is excellent to see! Many contractors will offer lower quality brands made from 430 stainless steel… Which is prone to rust and corrosion within just a couple years.

They advertise working with premium and luxury appliance brands such as Coyote, Blaze, Sedona, Lynx, Alfresco, and Big Green Egg… So you know you’re getting good stuff here.

Furthermore, Ignite Outdoor Kitchens offers a lifetime structural warranty on their islands. This is fantastic to see… And you’ll notice that many builders don’t offer a warranty at all. So this is a positive sign of great workmanship on the part of Ignite Outdoor Kitchens.

The only thing that concerns us here is the lack of ventilation on the islands themselves. Like with Austin Outdoor Living Group, you’ll want to be certain that proper ventilation is planned for here.

On the reviews side, Ignite Outdoor Kitchens has a perfect 5 star rating with 32 reviews.

Archadeck Outdoor Living

archadeck outdoor living

Archadeck Outdoor Living is another provider you’ll see available in Central Texas. For those unfamiliar, Archadeck is a franchise that services communities across the country… And this review is specifically related to the location in Austin.

Bringing 40+ years of experience to the table, Archadeck Outdoor Living’s services include building decks, fire features, outdoor kitchens, patios, hardscapes, pergolas, porches, screened porches, sunrooms, and covered patios.

So pretty much anything you would need for your outdoor living space… You can find it here.

In the way of outdoor kitchens… Most of the webpage is dedicated to sharing the benefits of BBQ island ownership. There’s not much discussed about Archadeck Outdoor Living’s actual process. However, we could glean some information here.

They use materials that include “natural stone, pavers, hardwoods and synthetics”. So it’s a bit of a mixed bag in terms of the quality you may be getting.

Natural stone can be a good option, but we recommend steering clear of pavers and hardwoods for your outdoor kitchen. “Synthetics” is a vague term, which you will want Archadeck to clarify exactly what this means.

So in terms of materials… We’d be a bit skeptical going into it. (And once again, we see no evidence of ventilation.)

As far as outdoor kitchen design goes, you’ll see primarily various stone options in the gallery. Stacked stone, limestone, stacked stone, and the like.

There’s also an outdoor kitchen from Round Rock featured, that’s a huge divergence in style from the other stone options. This island appears to have a black stucco finish, for a more urban appeal.

While it appears that stone outdoor kitchens are in Archadeck’s comfort zone… They’ve shown they can accommodate more modern designs as well.

Like the other builder’s we’ve mentioned… Archadeck does offer design services. However, it’s unclear if a fee is charged for them.

There’s also a warranty offered if you opt for this builder. You’ll be entitled to a 1 year warranty on workmanship, and a structural integrity warranty for 5 years.

We’d prefer to see a lifetime structural warranty like Ignite Outdoor Kitchens… But it’s still better than nothing.

On the reviews side, Archadeck of Austin has a 4.3 star rating with 29 reviews on Google.

Waterloo Outdoor

Next on the list is Waterloo Outdoor. Like several of the previous options… This company provides an array of outdoor living services.

Landscape design, garden design, decks, outdoor living spaces, outdoor kitchens, patios, pergolas, and water features all fall under the Waterloo Outdoor umbrella.

But of course… You’re most interested in outdoor kitchens!

Unfortunately, this outdoor kitchen builder has scant information about the process online.

What we do know is that Waterloo Outdoor will visit your home for an initial consultation. They’ll use this time to assess your space… And come back to you with a design and estimated cost.

And for examples, there are only a few shown. Two of the examples use wood… Which as we discussed earlier, you’ll want to avoid at all costs.

So before proceeding to work with Waterloo Outdoor… You’ll want to get abundantly clear information about the materials being used, and plans for ventilation.

We were also unable to identify any warranty information. So you’ll want to clarify this as well!

Despite the lack of information, Waterloo Outdoor has a 4.7 star rating on Google with 28 reviews.

Hill Country Outdoor Living

hill country outdoor living

Last but not least… We’re closing out the list with Hill Country Outdoor Living.

This builder offers several different services, including patios, decks, patio covers, pergolas, fire pits, poolscapes, artificial turf, landscaping, lighting, and other design services. (And outdoor kitchens, of course!)

Hill Country Outdoor Living also services a wide area of Central Texas. In addition to Austin, they serve Lakeway, West Lake Hills, Bee Cave, Spicewood, Dripping Springs, Driftwood, Leander, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Georgetown, Kyle, Buda, and San Marcos.

But in terms of information about Hill Country Outdoor Living’s outdoor kitchens… There’s hardly any details!

Hill Country Outdoor Living does have a partnership with several appliance manufacturers… Some of which are not typically designed to be installed in an outdoor kitchen, like Traeger. However, they do work with several built-in brands like Kamado Joe, Blaze, Napoleon, Saber and Bull.

And we know that they offer a free consultation to begin discussing your custom island. But beyond that… There’s no other details about the process.

Islands in the gallery show finishes made with varying types of stone and stucco. Most designs lean to the rustic side, with the stucco island providing a more modern look.

Once again, the exact construction method is left unsaid… So you’ll want to be wary if wood or metal frames are used. Further, ventilation is also left out of all the designs showcased in the gallery.

Same goes with a warranty, which is left undisclosed. So there’s quite a few things you’ll want to clarify with Hill Country Outdoor Living before moving forward!

That said, they have a perfect 5 star rating with 13 Google reviews.

Didn’t Find What You Were Looking For?

After going through the outdoor kitchen builders Austin… You may not have seen an option that offers exactly what you’re looking for.

Most of these contractors create rustic stone finishes… And only a couple offer a modern stucco finish.

But what if you’re interested in plank, brick, modern concrete, stacked stone, or even a modern stone?

You don’t have to compromise on your vision.

A BBQ island from RTA Outdoor Living is exactly what you’re looking for.

Our frameless concrete outdoor kitchens are incredibly versatile when it comes to aesthetics.

We use high performance concrete that’s poured into molds… Perfectly integrating the texture of your finish into the structure itself. (This means we can even do a weathered wood look with concrete!)

So you can get the exact aesthetic you desire… Without compromising on the quality of the final product.

The high performance concrete we use in our islands is rated for 100 years… And performs beautifully no matter the weather. (Humidity and severe weather is no match for an RTA island.)

Concerns of rusting, corrosion, rotting, swelling, warping, and insect damage are out the window here.

And in addition to concrete being a solidly non-combustible material… We include plenty of ventilation in every single design.

In fact, every island will have 7 unique vent openings, which exceeds safety guidelines from our appliance manufacturer.

So you don’t have to think twice about your outdoor kitchen being safe for the whole family.

And speaking of appliances… We’ve partnered with Coyote Outdoor Living and offer their complete line of premium outdoor appliances.

The entire line is constructed with 304 stainless steel and comes packaged with a lifetime warranty… So you can enjoy years of worry-free use.

Gas grills, refrigerators, charcoal grills, side burners, drop in coolers, pellet grills, and so much more are at your fingertips with Coyote.

And if your budget is quite large… Our islands are also compatible with Hestan’s luxury appliances for a high end outdoor cooking space.

To top it all off… Every RTA outdoor kitchen comes backed by a limited lifetime structural warranty. So you can feel fully confident that your investment will be covered in the unlikely event something goes wrong.

Curious to get started?

Check out our free online design tool… And we’ll be in touch from there!

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