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Outdoor Kitchen Installers: What They Are, Plus 4 Tips To Find The Perfect Installer For Your Project

By Daniel Cdebaca

February 5, 2024

When planning an outdoor kitchen project… It’s easy to get caught up in all the small details.

But amidst it all… There’s one major question that you certainly don’t want to lose sight of.

How is your kitchen going to come together in your backyard?

Inevitably, this question then gives way to others…

Is this something you can do yourself?

Should it be left to a professional?

two people easily putting together a ready to assemble outdoor kitchen grill island

And if you do enlist the help of a pro… Who has what it takes to get the job done?

Depending on the scope of your project (and the status of your outdoor living space)… An outdoor kitchen installer may be able to get your new grill station up and running, when the time comes.

But while there are some fantastic outdoor kitchen installers out there… They aren’t always the best fit for the job.

To bring some more clarity to the topic… Today, we’ll go into further detail on how to get your new outdoor kitchen design set up and functional.

Let’s get to it! 

Quick Links:

What Is An Outdoor Kitchen Installer?

pro installer header

First things first… What actually is an outdoor kitchen installer?

Generally, outdoor kitchen installers are handymen who’ll put together a BBQ island kit on-site… On a pre-existing flat surface, paver patio, or footing in your backyard.

This usually only entails non-invasive, light-duty assembly or drill-only construction… To get the components of a prefabricated kitchen properly in place.

In some cases, outdoor kitchen installers will also be able to get the necessary utilities (like electric, gas, or plumbing) hooked up to existing lines in your space.

And some may even be able to complete other, small-scale backyard projects to get your kitchen to properly function… Such as minor site corrections.

Now, many outdoor kitchen contractors will incorrectly label their services as “outdoor kitchen installation.”

But, are outdoor kitchen installers and outdoor kitchen contractors the same thing?

We say no… And let’s talk about why that is!

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Outdoor Kitchen Contractor vs. Outdoor Kitchen Installer: What’s The Difference?

two men carrying an rta panel to the patio for installation

The terms outdoor kitchen installer and outdoor kitchen contractor are often used interchangeably.

But despite this common mishap… They’re actually not the same!

As we mentioned… Outdoor kitchen installers will be equipped to put together the pieces of a pre-designed kit, in a prepped backyard space.

While an installer may know their way around power tools and light assembly… More labor-intensive backyard projects are likely not in their wheelhouse!

Outdoor kitchen builders or contractors, on the other hand, generally oversee more involved backyard renovation projects, for more hands-on, custom designs.

When you work with an outdoor kitchen contractor, you’re typically starting from ground zero.

Utility lines may need to be run…

A flat surface may need to be prepped in your space…

A hardscape or landscape design may need to be executed…

And a patio or deck may need to be put in place before the outdoor kitchen itself can start to take shape.

So as you can see, a contractor will usually start from nothing, and is the better choice for building a custom outdoor kitchen design from scratch…

While an outdoor kitchen installer will be better if you have some type of kitchen kit that requires light assembly… And you already have a place in your backyard prepped for installation.

But for both installers and contractors alike… Their services may be generalized rather than specialized.

This means these professionals may dabble in all kinds of backyard services… But a specific knowledge of outdoor kitchens isn’t always a guarantee!

When looking for an outdoor kitchen installer, specifically… Just any old handyman may not be the most reliable source.

So, let’s talk about how to find the right person for the job!

How To Find (And Vet!) An Outdoor Kitchen Installer

Now that we’ve distinguished what an outdoor kitchen installer is (and how they differ from outdoor kitchen contractors)… You should have a better understanding of which is the right fit for your project.

And if you are in need of an outdoor kitchen installer… How do you find the best person for the job?

Admittedly, it can be tough to find local companies who specialize solely in outdoor kitchen installation.

And in most cases… A local handyman may be the only option for your outdoor kitchen installation.

But before you hire just anyone… It’s important to make sure they’re well-suited for the task at hand!

So, let’s go over some key considerations to keep in mind as you search for the perfect installer for your BBQ island.

How Experienced Is Your Outdoor Kitchen Installer?

pro installer setting countertop on outdoor kitchen structure

As you search for the perfect handyman to help install your outdoor kitchen… You’ll first want to confirm that the installer you hire is reputable.

To do this… Peruse their company website, read through customer reviews, and check to see if they have a portfolio to showcase their workmanship.

All of these speak to a company’s credibility!

If they don’t have a legitimate website or portfolio, or if reviews are non-existent… It’s typically not a good sign, and you should proceed with caution!

But if they have a detailed portfolio and tons of reviews… This usually implies that a company has years of experience to back up their craftsmanship.

And the longer they’ve been in business… There’s a much higher likelihood that they’ll do quality work.

Next, you’ll want to confirm that the handyman or company you work with is licensed and insured.

If they can provide proof of this… It’ll give you some peace of mind that the company has credibility.

But if not… Well, you may want to consider going in a different direction.

Working with an unlicensed or uninsured company would certainly leave us questioning the quality of their work!

But once you’ve done your due diligence and have determined that your local handyman is credible, legitimate, and has a decent amount of experience under their belt…

The next step is ensuring that their experience is relevant to your project!

An Installer May Have Years of Experience... But Do They Have The Right Experience?

While a handyman may have years of experience… You’ll want to be sure that said experience is relevant to your specific project!

Credible or not… Not all handymen will have the right tools, skillset, or specific knowledge required for your outdoor kitchen installation.

So to find the best outdoor kitchen installer for your project… There are a few factors to keep in mind!

Outdoor Kitchen Kit Knowledge

When hiring an outdoor kitchen installer… You’ll want to confirm that they’re comfortable working with the type of outdoor grill station you’ll be installing.

Not all grill islands are created equal… And each requires a different skill cap to install!

Take modular outdoor kitchens, for instance.

These often just need to be unboxed… And may require light assembly to piece together all the components.

As long as your local handyman has experience putting together furniture… They shouldn’t have a problem getting a modular kitchen up and running.

Next, there are prefab islands. Like modular kitchen kits… These usually come fully assembled for you, straight out of the box.

But that said… Some prefab kitchen islands may require minimal assembly. (Appliances may need to be placed, or certain components may need to be properly attached).

Again, assembly shouldn’t be all that involved… But if your grill or other accessories do need to be placed, looking for an installer who knows their way around built-in appliances will give you peace of mind that these components will be properly handled and hooked up.

And with prefab kitchens… There’s another unique installation challenge to consider!

Because prefabricated kitchen kits often come completely (or nearly completely) assembled… Getting them to your prepped backyard space can pose major challenges.

So in this case, the right installer for the job shouldn’t only have a basic understanding of assembly and appliances… They should also know their way around operating heavy machinery!

This’ll help you get that bulky prefab island safely situated in your backyard space.

Finally… Your kitchen kit may require an installer with a significantly higher skill cap.

Ready to finish BBQ stations come to mind!

Similar to prefab kitchens… RTF kits come mostly assembled, but they do require a more involved install. 

At the least, you’ll need to apply a finish… But in many cases, you’ll also need to place appliances and countertops.

With a ready to finish island… You’ll want a handyman with a more in-depth, specialized knowledge of outdoor kitchen components. That way, you can feel confident that your kitchen will be installed (and finished!) correctly, the first time.

Can Your Installer Account For Potential Site Challenges?

a man checking the pitch of a patio surface before installing an rta outdoor kitchen

Regardless of the type of kitchen kit you need installed… It’s important that you find an installer who can account for any potential site challenges.

It’s crucial that outdoor kitchens are built on completely level surfaces. If not, it can lead to unstable assembly, structural risks, and other future headaches.

So even though your installer won’t necessarily be building a base for your outdoor kitchen… They should still be able to accurately gauge if your surface is adequately prepped for outdoor kitchen installation.

And if it’s not, a good outdoor kitchen installer will be able to make minor adjustments to correct the site for assembly…

Or if the challenges are out of their wheelhouse… They should be prepared to refer you to a professional who can make the necessary corrections, before your kitchen is installed.

Your Outdoor Kitchen Installer Should Be Reliable And Easy To Reach

An outdoor kitchen installer may have the right experience to pull off your project… But if they’re impossible to reach, all the experience in the world still won’t amount to much.

You don’t want to hire someone who’s going to leave you hanging… Not show up on time… Or not readily answer your questions.

So, identifying an installer with stellar communication skills is key!

Again, looking into customer reviews should give you a clear idea of your handyman’s reliability, as well as their overall willingness to communicate with you about the specifics of your project.

Do Outdoor Kitchen Installers Cost an Arm and a Leg?

budgeting to save money on outdoor kitchen

Last but not least… Let’s talk about pricing.

Depending on how involved your outdoor kitchen installation is… Pricing will vary!

And with so many different types and styles of outdoor kitchen kits… It’s nearly impossible to come up with an average price for outdoor kitchen installation services.

That said, there are still some precautions you can take when it comes to cost.

If possible, look for a handyman who’s willing to give you a clear quote up front!

That way, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect, before the installer even arrives on site… And you’ll be better protected from any unforeseen price fluctuations after your install.

Alright… At this point, you may be ready to start researching outdoor kitchen installers in your area!

But truth be told… Even when you know exactly what you’re looking for, finding the right installer for the job may still be trickier than you’d expect.

You may have to do some serious digging online to find handymen with the relevant experience…

And even then, you may find that the scope of your project lies outside their typical realm of expertise!

So, are you left to take matters into your own hands?

Or, is there another option for your outdoor kitchen install?

If you’re looking for a simple outdoor kitchen solution… Allow us to suggest an alternative!

An Easy Solution For Your Outdoor Kitchen Installation

outdoor kitchen kit assembly

Perhaps you already have a site prepped… But don’t want to wait weeks or months for a contractor to build a custom kitchen.

Or maybe you just want something more customizable (and durable!) than a prefabricated, off-the-shelf design.

Here at RTA… That’s exactly what we provide!

Our custom kitchens are the happy medium between prefabricated and scratch-built grill islands.

First, they offer a high level of customization.

You can pick whichever appliances you’d like from Coyote Outdoor Living’s high-end selection… And dimensions, layout, and finish will be entirely up to you!

Next, expect superior durability… Our concrete panels are covered under a limited lifetime warranty. (And Coyote’s high-quality, 304 stainless steel appliances are also built to last!)

And you’ll get all of this… Without the hassle of hiring a contractor to do the work for you!

How is that possible, you may be wondering?

To start, you’ll create a custom outdoor grill station design with our free online design tool (or opt for one of our pre-designed kits!).

From there, our design team will connect with you, to make sure your project is perfectly tailored to your wants and needs.

Then, our manufacturing team will construct your kitchen for you, exactly to your specifications…

And finally, we’ll ship your kitchen’s panels, countertop, appliances, and accessories… Straight to your door!

Then, installation will begin in earnest. But the good news is, it’s already 95% complete!

And thanks to our Pro-Installer Network… There’s no need to search high and low for the right installer.

RTA Pro-Installer Network

As we mentioned earlier… It’s not always easy to find a specialized installer, who’s willing to put together your outdoor kitchen kit for you.

But when it comes to your outdoor kitchen design… You don’t want to gamble on an installer if you’re not confident that they have the right skills!

Luckily, RTA has made finding the right installer simple.

If you’re not comfortable installing your kitchen yourself, we’ve already identified some great local professionals for you.

Our Pro-Installers are well suited for the task at hand… And they have a specialized knowledge when it comes to both RTA kitchens and Coyote appliances!

How can we confirm this?

Well, we thoroughly vet all of our installers, to ensure that they have the proper experience for the job.

Plus, they go through in-depth training to stay up to date on both our products and our standard of service, to ensure a proficient, professional, safe, and timely outdoor kitchen assembly.

And if you have any questions before, during, or after the installation process… Our installers are reliable!

From the initial design process through installation… You’ll never be left in the lurch.

Now, what else can you expect from an RTA Pro Installer?

At the least… Our outdoor kitchen installers will come to your home, unbox your outdoor kitchen components, and fully assemble your grill station for you, on site.

But that said, we do have a number of installers who are willing to do work beyond assembly!

This may include any utility services, site prep, or other relevant backyard projects required for your outdoor kitchen design.

If you want to know more about what specific services your local installer can provide, our Design Team will be able to provide you with those details!

Just know that any additional work outside the scope of installation will be an additional expense.

Speaking of pricing…

Pro-Installer Pricing: What To Expect

Island Size
Base Rates
Time to Install Island
Island Size

Islands & Firepits 5 FT or less

Base Rates

$500 – $600

Time to Install Island

1 – 2 hours installation*

Island Size

Islands 6 FT

Base Rates

$600 – $800

Time to Install Island

1.5 – 2 hours installation*

Island Size

Islands 7 – 8  FT

Base Rates

$800 – $1000

Time to Install Island

2 – 3 hours installation*

Island Size

Islands 9 – 10  FT

Base Rates

$1000 – $1200

Time to Install Island

3 – 3.5 hours installation*

Island Size

Islands 11 – 12  FT

Base Rates

$1200 – $1400

Time to Install Island

3 – 3.5 hours installation*

Island Size

Islands 13 – 15  FT

Base Rates

$1400 – $1600

Time to Install Island

4 – 5 hours installation*

*2-3 people from the time materials are in location to install

We’ve set standard pricing guidelines for our installers to follow… With a national installation base rate including uncrating and assembling your outdoor kitchen and appliances.

These base rates are set between $500 to $1,600… For islands under 5 feet, to those as large as 13-15 feet.

The base rates don’t include utility hookups, correction of surface irregularities, disposal of crating and boxes, or additional travel time beyond the installer’s standard service area… So, if any of these apply to your specific project, you will have to pay extra!

But by and large, total pricing shouldn’t come as a shock!

(NOTE: Our installers are able to adjust their pricing based on local market factors and various site challenges. Also, Pro Installers are a third party service, and RTA does not get involved in the billing process.)

If you do feel ambitious… RTA kitchens are also easy to install on your own!

As long as your site is prepped, utilities are run, and you have a flat, smooth, and supported place for your kitchen… Within hours, even homeowners with no formal craftsmanship skills can have an RTA BBQ island up and running.

But whichever way you choose to go… Where should you start?

Before Your Big Install... What’s The First Step?

So… You’re ready to take your outdoor living space to the next level.

And hopefully, this article has given you some clarity on whether an outdoor kitchen installer is the right fit!

If you don’t already have a flat space for your new kitchen… You know what your next project is.

But if you already have a site prepped and squared away… You’ve seen how easy installing an RTA outdoor kitchen can be!

Being your own outdoor kitchen installer couldn’t be simpler, if that’s what you prefer…

But if you don’t think you have what it takes, one of our Pro-Installers is ready to hop in and help make it happen.

But, we may be getting ahead of ourselves.

The installation process is the final step… And before you get there, you’ll have to finalize your outdoor kitchen plans!

So, when you’ve decided on your dream kitchen… Chosen the appliances you want (a refrigerator, power burner, or pizza oven may be calling)… And made sure your backyard is ready to handle a summer kitchen…

You know what to do! Submit a custom design on our design tool… Or just reach out!

In the meantime, our Learning Hub is a great resource to help you gather all the info you need.

And someday soon… We look forward to hearing from you!

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