Houston, TX… Home of the space center, the largest metropolis in the south, and filled to the brim with its own unique culture. (Not to mention a diverse food scene!)
It goes without saying, there’s a lot to love about Houston!
But as a Houstonian… You already know that.
And you’re looking for more ways to make the most of your Houston home.
Hence, why you’re considering a brand new outdoor kitchen.
It’s a great idea! You’ll get an all-in-one entertainment space, personal cooking area, and private outdoor oasis year round.
But before you can get to planning, there’s a lot to understand.
And to get the most from your Houston outdoor kitchen, you’ll need all the details.
So read on… And learn how to make it happen!
Houston Outdoor Kitchen: What To Know Before You Start Planning
A lot goes into planning an outdoor kitchen… And you’ll want to be sure that you’ve covered all the bases.
If you’re at a loss for where to start… There’s no need to worry!
We’ll clue you in on the key considerations.
Climate Considerations For Your Houston Outdoor Kitchen Design
When it comes to your outdoor kitchen design in Houston… Your climate is one of the most important factors to consider.
It directly correlates to how well your kitchen will hold up over time!
And living in Houston… You know that your local climate can be kind of a mixed bag.
You’ve got scorching hot summers… High humidity… And summertime temps often push or exceed 90 degrees.
Rainfall isn’t uncommon either, come hurricane season.
And though winters are typically mild… Temps can still drop below freezing in the off-season.
So, how does all of this affect your Houston outdoor kitchen plans?
Well, to best answer this question, we enlisted the help of Matt Hagens… A general contractor with over ten years of experience working in the Houston area. (He’s also the founder of Mr. Kitchen Faucets!)
“Houston’s reputation for sweltering summers, high humidity, and occasional extreme weather is well known.” Hagens begins.
“Material selection is a key part of any outdoor kitchen project. In Houston, the impact of weather on our choice of materials is a crucial consideration.”
This is a great point… And we’d agree!
So, how do you identify the best materials… And eliminate the not-so-great selections?
Want to bring your idea to life?
The Best Outdoor Kitchen Materials For The Houston Area
So, what materials should you be on the lookout for?
For the surround and appliances, specifically, John Ward of Austin Iron Fences chimes in: “The best materials for building an outdoor kitchen in Houston include stainless steel (for appliances) and concrete (base structure) as they are durable enough to withstand heat and moisture while providing maximum resistance against corrosion.”
This is true! Grade 304 stainless steel in particular is the best choice for outdoor kitchen appliances in Houston (and everywhere else, for that matter!).
As Ward said, it has top-of-the-line resistance to rust and corrosion… Making it a great match for high humidity levels and frequent rainfall.
As for the base structure of your island… We wholeheartedly agree that concrete is the best choice!
It’s durable, weather-resistant, and will remain sturdy for many years. Not to mention, it’s non-combustible, making it a safe option! (More on this shortly!)
Now, you’ll need to top off your kitchen with a counter… What’s your best option here?
We’d strongly recommend concrete or granite! Both materials are tough, impervious to water damage, and long-lasting. You really can’t go wrong with either.
On the other hand, you should try to avoid kitchens with metal or wood frames… Both of which will quickly deteriorate in Houston’s humidity. (Wood will rot, swell, and warp… And metal will rust and corrode!)
Will You Need A Permit For Your Outdoor Kitchen Installation?
Once you’ve selected materials, the next part of the process is pitching your project to the town hall.
This isn’t a step you’ll want to skip… Because a Houston outdoor kitchen may require a building permit.
“Now, about building permits in Houston for an outdoor kitchen,” Hagens contributes, “Yes, you need one. But don’t let that put you off! The process can vary depending on the project scope, but usually, it takes around four to six weeks. As for the costs, they can range from $500 to $2,000.”
It’s good to get this squared away well in advance… So you’re not left waiting for local authorities to approve your plans, if necessary.
And you’ll also be able to account for the price of a permit in your initial budget… Avoiding an unexpected cost down the line.
As you wait for your permit to come through… Why not take that time to dream up design ideas?
Must-Have Features For Your Outdoor Kitchen Houston TX
When it comes to your outdoor kitchen design in Houston… What features should you include in your outdoor living area?
To make your kitchen usable year round… The first hurdle to overcome is Houston’s heat.
“Imagine a Houston summer,” Hagens says. “You want your outdoor kitchen to provide enough shade and good ventilation.”
Hagens recalls, “I remember working on a project in Sugar Land where the homeowner was worried about humidity affecting their outdoor kitchen. We faced it head-on, going for a design that included shade structures and ceiling fans to manage heat and humidity. The end result was beautiful, functional, and tailor-made for the Houston climate.”
We’d strongly agree… Outdoor roofs and ceiling fans are a fantastic choice for Houston summers!
They’ll keep your space shaded and breezy… For an all-around more enjoyable experience.
But while these features make sense most of the year, Houston isn’t always super hot.
In the off-season, fire pits and fireplaces are a popular addition to keep your space warm when the temps drop.
But at the end of the day… The features you choose depend on your preferences!
Just think about what’ll complement your space… While adding to its functionality.
Now, what else is there to consider?
Your Outdoor Kitchen in Houston Should Account For Safety
A big part of outdoor kitchen safety comes down to the materials used… But that’s not the only factor at play.
On top of using non-combustible materials for your island, safety should also be accounted for during construction.
Namely, you’ll want to ensure that your kitchen island has proper ventilation!
Especially if you’re planning a design with natural gas or propane appliances… Vent openings will allow gas and heat buildup to escape from your island.
Without vent openings, the gas and heat will accumulate… And your kitchen may eventually burst into flames or explode. Yikes.
So, regardless of the type of outdoor kitchen you’ll be building…. You need to be aware of this!
Speaking of that… What type of outdoor kitchen will you be building?
Do You Need To Hire A Contractor? Your Houston Outdoor Kitchen Options
There are plenty of ways to get an outside kitchen up and running… And not all of them require a contractor to get the job done.
Let’s quickly run through your options.
If you’re all about convenience… Outdoor kitchen kits may have entered your purview.
These are simple solutions, most of the time. The majority of outdoor kitchen kits require only light installation in your backyard… Meaning a contractor isn’t necessary to pull this off.
That said, certain types of kitchen kits will require a higher skill cap. Ready to finish islands come to mind!
At the least, you’ll need to apply an exterior finish to these… But in many cases, you’ll also have to source your own countertops and make appliance cutouts.
Though this can be done on your own… It is more involved. A contractor isn’t absolutely necessary, but hiring a professional may make the installation process much less of a headache.
While these options get points for convenience… You might be searching for something more customizable.
In this case, you may consider a scratch-built island! This’ll allow you to get a fully custom outdoor kitchen, but a contractor might be necessary to bring your ideas to fruition.
So, which local contractors are a good choice for your Houston outdoor kitchen?
Houston Outdoor Kitchen Contractors
If you’re keen on a custom kitchen… You may consider hiring a contractor to pull off your tailor-made design.
Let’s see if these popular outdoor kitchen builders in Houston are qualified for the task at hand.
Houston Outdoor Kitchen Pros
First up to bat is Houston Outdoor Kitchen Pros.
These Houston outdoor kitchen builders serve the surrounding area… Including The Woodlands, Cypress, Katy, and Sugar Land.
In addition to building custom outdoor kitchens, Houston Outdoor Kitchen Pros offers an array of other services. This includes fireplaces, fire pits, roofs and coverings, and screened porches.
Other services aside… How do their outdoor kitchens stack up?
Well, it’s hard to say for certain. Their site provides no clear details on their preferred build method… Nor do they give any specifics on materials used!
As a matter of fact, they actually say: “Don’t worry about the details.”
But, the details are crucial to your project!
Luckily, they do have a decent portfolio to peruse… So here’s what we were able to glean.
Their kitchen countertops are mostly granite or natural stone.
As for appliances and accessories… It doesn’t appear that Houston Outdoor Kitchen Pros favors any particular manufacturer.
Looking through their past work… We also didn’t notice any BBQ island ventilation, which is cause for concern.
If you end up working with Houston Outdoor Kitchen Pros, you’ll definitely want to confirm their build process, as well as how they account for safety.
Currently, Houston Outdoor Kitchen Pros has only 3 Google Reviews. But, each reviewer did leave a 5 star rating.
Tradition Outdoor Living
Next, let’s see what Tradition Outdoor Living has to offer.
These Houston outdoor kitchen contractors are based in Katy, TX.
Their range of services includes patio covers, pergolas, fire features, pools, and custom outdoor kitchens.
Tradition Outdoor Living has both dedicated project developers and architectural software to create your outdoor kitchen design.
As for construction, they’ll use concrete, polished stone, quartzite, or granite countertops… With stucco, stone, tile, or brick island finishes.
Their photo gallery is quite extensive… Which is good to see.
But unfortunately, we couldn’t pinpoint ventilation in any of their past projects.
Before you proceed… This is well worth looking into!
It also wouldn’t hurt to confirm how their kitchens are built. If they use the frame method, for instance… These kitchens may not be as durable as you’d like!
Curious about their rating? Tradition Outdoor Living has 54 Google reviews, with a 4.9 star rating.
The Perfect Houston Outdoor Kitchen
Everhart Construction & Custom Cabinets
Everhart Construction & Custom Cabinets is another option… How do they compare?
Based right in Houston… Everhart Construction has over 30 years of experience under their belt.
Their services range from indoor remodels, custom cabinetry, and outdoor projects… Including scratch-built grill islands.
Their outdoor kitchen services begin with an initial consultation in their Houston showroom… During which they’ll suggest layouts, materials, and other ideas for bringing your dream outdoor kitchen to life.
Everhart Construction appears to use a wide range of materials for their outdoor kitchen builds. They list everything from stainless steel, marble, exotic hardwoods, stone, concrete, metal, and even glass. (We’d suggest skipping the last!)
On their site, they have a small handful of past outdoor kitchen projects on display.
As with the other contractors… We couldn’t identify any ventilation in these designs.
But, that’s not the only safety issue at play here. In one past example, they showcase a fully wooden outdoor kitchen frame.
As we mentioned earlier… Wooden outdoor kitchens are a poor choice! Pairing built-in outdoor grills with a wood frame can quickly lead to a fiery disaster.
Not to mention, wood frames aren’t a good match for the humid Houston climate.
It’s unclear if their other kitchens are built with a wooden frame. We’d recommend reaching out to confirm construction quality!
We’ll also point out that Everhart Construction provides a Houston outdoor kitchen cost estimate. You can expect to pay between $10,000 and $30,000 for their services, depending on the scope of your project.
With 46 Google reviews, Everhart Construction boasts a 4.7 star rating.
Texas Custom Patios
The next outdoor kitchen Houston builder on our list is Texas Custom Patios.
This company operates out of Irving, TX… And services regions throughout the state, including Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth.
In regards to their custom kitchens… This company doesn’t hold back any details.
While we appreciate their transparency… We’re not too keen on their go-to construction method.
They use steel framing, with brick, stone, or stucco finishes. Countertops will be either granite, tile, or concrete.
Aside from the tile option, the countertops and finishes should hold up fairly well.
It’s the steel frame where these kitchens fall short, especially in Houston’s humid climate.
Rust and corrosion may quickly take a toll on your kitchen’s structure!
As for safety (or lack thereof)… Again, there’s no clear sign of ventilation in these kitchens.
So, keep these details in mind if you choose to proceed!
Texas Custom Patios is currently sitting at 71 Google reviews, and a 4.4 star rating.
RockFrog Backyard Escapes
Let’s round out our list with RockFrog Backyard Escapes.
This company offers a variety of services for outdoor living spaces from Spring, TX out to Galveston Bay… Including swimming pools, water features, patio covers, custom outdoor kitchens, and other miscellaneous backyard projects.
They’ve been in business for over 20 years.
So, how do those years of experience translate to their outdoor kitchen builds?
Well, there’s not many details to sift through on their website.
However, they do have an extensive gallery of past work.
In combing through their photos, we noticed primarily stone or brick kitchens with granite countertops.
And at this point, it can barely come as a surprise… But there’s a noticeable lack of ventilation in their past builds.
Regarding reviews… RockFrog Backyards has a 4.2 star rating based on 10 Google reviews.
Alright. That concludes our review of five top outdoor kitchen contractors in Houston, Texas.
But, there’s a chance that none of these companies are the right fit for your project.
If that sentiment rings true… Where does that leave you?
Not Crazy About Hiring a Contractor? Here’s A Simple Solution For Your Custom Design
Alright… There may be many Houston outdoor kitchen builders out there. But, is working with a contractor really the best choice?
Well, probably not. And there are a few factors that make us say so.
First, all of the contractors we discussed appear to be generalists rather than outdoor kitchen specialists. Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s still worth taking note of!
While they may be able to pull off a variety of other outdoor living projects… A well rounded outdoor kitchen knowledge isn’t a guarantee.
Perhaps this explains the lack of detail on build methods… As well as the unfortunate absence of outdoor kitchen ventilation across the board.
You should never have to remind your contractor to account for your safety!
So if you don’t want to shoulder that responsibility… Or if the lack of safety measures taken has left you with a sour taste in your mouth…
You may be wondering if there’s a better option for your custom design.
Well, there is.
You can skip the contractor vetting process altogether… And opt for an RTA outdoor kitchen!
Our islands are built with safety in mind… And with quality guaranteed.
Our concrete panels aren’t only non-combustible… They’re also well suited to handle the Houston climate. (A 100 year rating and limited lifetime structural warranty speak to this undeniable durability.)
Additionally, our islands surpass industry standards with seven vent openings. We take your safety seriously!
And, we strongly feel that getting your perfect summer kitchen shouldn’t be a complicated process.
From the start, we’ve made things simple with our free online design tool, which allows you to concoct a custom kitchen in no more than a few minutes.
Our partnership with Coyote Outdoor Living gives you access to all the premium appliances you could ever need. Built-in grills, side burners, and refrigerators only scratch the surface of your outdoor cooking potential!
On top of our design tool… We have qualified Design Experts to help bring your grill island ideas to life.
And when it’s time for your Houston outdoor kitchen to take shape… We offer professional installation services to get the job done, in just a few hours. (Big into DIY? You can also assemble an RTA kitchen without the help of a pro!)
If you’re interested and want to find out more… Start by checking out our Learning Hub.
Or, test out your creativity with our online design tool.
Outdoor kitchens are our passion… And we’d love to help you make yours happen!