Outdoor Kitchen Cost
- 5 Helpful Considerations for You
When researching an outdoor kitchen project, one of the first questions that pop up:
How much does an outdoor kitchen cost?
Before getting too invested in the idea, you want to make sure it is feasible for you financially.
Put simply, the national average cost of an outdoor kitchen in America is about $12,000 – $13,000. This is just a sweeping average, however. Each project is unique and will have a different price tag attached.
Let this page serve as your personal outdoor kitchen cost guide. We’ll go over in detail the cost of every aspect of the outdoor kitchen purchasing process. This way you are equipped with the knowledge you need to move forward with your project.
Let’s dive in.
AVERAGE HOMEOWNER SPEND
Findings from the HPBA in 2018 and NKBA in 2019 show that a homeowners average costs were $11,300 to $13,000 for their outdoor kitchen. HomeAdvisor found the average typical price range to be around $12,690, which sits right in the middle of HPBA and NKBA findings.
AVERAGE COST PER LINEAR FOOT
The average cost of an outdoor kitchen can range from $1,200 to $2,000 per linear foot when built from scratch. This calculation includes base island construction, finish, countertops, grill head, and appliances.
AVERAGE PREFABRICATED AND MODULAR OUTDOOR KITCHEN COST
Prefab and modular outdoor kitchens range from $4,000 to $10,000 for barbecue islands. The cost can jump significantly once you begin upgrading appliances, countertops, and finishes.
BIG BOX OPTIONS
The basic outdoor kitchen prices at big box stores like Costco and Lowe’s range from $1,500 to $5,000. Some brands are poorly engineered, private labels of modular island brands. (We do not recommend these)
5 Factors That Affect Outdoor Kitchen Cost
Depending on the decisions you make, there are multiple aspects that affect outdoor kitchen costs. We have condensed these factors into five main categories.
1. Scope of Your Outdoor Kitchen Project
Before determining cost, you must understand the scope of your project. Knowing the limitations of your outdoor space will help determine your cost to build.
Is Access Limited?
For example, working with a contractor. Tight living quarters will make it difficult or impossible to use heavy equipment required for the project. Contractors will charge more for the inconvenience of working in a space with limited access.
In this case, RTA is a better solution. Our outdoor kitchen kits come shipped directly to your door. They’re packaged in manageable parts for easy assembly. Proper access is not crucial for this solution… Which does not increase your outdoor kitchen costs.
Can I put it on my Existing Patio?
This is also an important consideration. Your deck may or may not be able to handle the weight of an outdoor kitchen.
Traditional masonry or block construction specifically require structural footings. A paver, concrete patio, or deck without the necessary structural footings can become problematic… Over time, your patio or deck will settle and cause instability.
RTA does not require Structural Footings
If you’re not set up with structural footings, you may want to consider RTA. Our offerings are light-weight so they don’t require structural footings. Therefore, it’s ready to assemble on nearly any surface.
You’ll also have to consider the size of your deck or patio surface. Is it large enough to fit the design you are hoping for? You may have to extend your existing patio or add a whole new area for an outdoor kitchen.
Here Are Some Typical Cost Ranges For Most Patio Surfaces
$6-10 per square foot
$5-15 per square foot
$12-20 per square foot
$10-30 per square foot
$20-40 per square foot
RTA, however, has outdoor kitchen solutions for any size space. That means you don’t have to worry about the additional expense of altering your current situation just to get an outdoor kitchen. Your yard is perfect just the way it is with RTA.
Do I need Utility Lines Run to the Area?
Utility lines are often a hidden cost with an outdoor kitchen project. If you want a natural gas grill, refrigerator, and/or sink… You’ll have to run utility lines.
To keep costs down, consider placing your outdoor kitchen near the home. The closer to your home, the less work required to run utility lines. Less work = reduced cost. This is one of several ways you can save if you are building an outdoor kitchen on a budget.
Hiring an electrician costs about $50-$100 an hour. Depending on electric requirements of your space, expect them to work for about 6-10 hours.
New gas lines will run you about $15-$20 per linear foot when working with a licensed plumber.
The price tag for installing an outdoor sink is anywhere from $500 to $2,000. Again, this depends on accessibility of your space and amount of plumbing.
2. Type of Outdoor Kitchen
The type you choose will directly affect the cost for you to build an outdoor kitchen. We’ll start with lower cost options and end with the higher end solutions.
Prefab or Modular
Unfortunately, the vast majority of prefab outdoor kitchens are not built to last. So while the upfront investment is low, you’ll end up with a higher ownership cost over time with possible costly repairs. Having to maintain and even replace your outdoor kitchen in 3-5 years is a high price to pay.
RTA on average falls into the mid-range price point for outdoor grill islands. The cost is higher than most modular options because we use premium outdoor kitchen materials and outdoor appliances that are extremely durable.
That’s where the savings come in with RTA. Our outdoor kitchens are meant to be a one time purchase that will last you for decades in your living space. This means a low ownership cost over time.
We also add value through eliminating hassle, time, and headaches related to installation. The project is already thought out for you.
RTA also provides you with up-front pricing that doesn’t fluctuate. You’ll know exactly what our outdoor kitchens cost and what to expect.
The above is why many are flocking to RTA despite the mid-range price point. Homeowners value the convenience, installation speed, customization, and easy maintenance… Not to mention our structural lifetime warranty.
Contractor to Build an Outdoor Kitchen
Contractor built is your high end solution in the realm of outdoor kitchens. These projects are completed by a specialty builder.
This is a nice option for those who want zero limitations when it comes to their outdoor kitchen design. Of course, you’ll pay a premium when working with a credible builder.
You can reduce the cost of complete custom if you work with a local general contractor or landscaper. The problem? The lower cost generally points to their lack of experience working with outdoor kitchens. It also commonly means the materials and appliances used will be of a lower quality.
There are also hidden building and installation costs when selecting a contractor as your solution.
Your location is also a factor in your outdoor kitchen cost.
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3. Outdoor Kitchen Costs Depend On Where You Live
Location weighs in on the cost to build your outdoor kitchen in many ways. Here’s just a few:
Suppliers and Subcontractors
Suppliers and subcontractors are generally more available in areas where outdoor kitchens are popular. You can get lower prices due to increased competition and availability.
RTA doesn’t require a contractor to assemble our grill islands. If you’re handy, you won’t need one at all! And if you do require assistance, you only have to hire a contractor for a single day (which can help you with!) Therefore, this cost is significantly reduced with RTA.
Again, availability factors in here. Depending on your area, different materials will be more readily available. Take for example natural stone used in the surround and countertops. Certain areas have stone readily available… others not so much. Therefore, if you live in an area where stone is abundant, materials will cost less.
With RTA, it doesn’t matter where you live. You get the best product for a great price. By manufacturing ours in-house, you don’t have to worry about material scarcity.
Labor market costs vary significantly depending on where you live. Areas such as NY and CA have high labor costs will significantly drive up the cost of your outdoor kitchen.
Again, RTA edges out here in terms of cost. Especially if you’re handy and don’t feel the need to hire a contractor. If you don’t hire a contractor, this cost is completely eliminated. If you do hire one, it’s only for a day.
This is key to consider if you live in an area with strict permit requirements and building code. Permits not only add an extra cost… They add time to your outdoor kitchen project.
Some permits can take weeks or even months for approval. This caveat can make your project come to a screeching halt before it even gets started.
Now, what about cost? According to HomeAdvisor, expect to pay around $380 – $1,800 for the necessary permits. Likely, the cost will be on the lower end. This is because only permissions for gas and water lines are needed in most cases.
Can you bring this cost down? In some cases, yes. It once again depends on the outdoor kitchen solution you choose… And your local building codes.
Some outdoor kitchens are not considered permanent structures. Therefore, you can get away with not having a permit. Built from scratch options tend to be permanent, and thus, require permitting. Something to think about.
RTA does not require permit
Since this product is not considered a permanent structure, in most locales you do not need a permit (check local codes & regulations).
4. When You Buy Can Impact Your Outdoor Kitchen Cost
As you are aware, there is an inherent seasonality to outdoor kitchens. Most people want to get their dream outdoor kitchen in spring or early summer. That way they can maximize use during the short summer season.
However, the most popular time to buy is not always the best time. You’ll likely get the most bang for your buck purchasing in the off-season. During the late fall/winter months, many companies will offer promotions for a bbq kitchen.
Demand also naturally increases in the spring/summer months. Contractors are less available… Which often leads to charging a premium for their services. You won’t necessarily be getting ripped off, but you will be paying extra for their limited time.
Like any other outdoor kitchen company, RTA is beholden to seasonality. So the question is…
When Should I Buy an RTA Outdoor Kitchen?
You can certainly wait until the off-season when we may have some promotions. At the same time, our solution will be much faster than contractor built (even during peak season). You’ll just have to allow a couple extra weeks for delivery. Any time of the year is a great time to invest in an outdoor kitchen with us.
Another consideration is time. Planning your outdoor kitchen thoroughly is one of the most important tasks. Don’t rush it! If you purchase during the off-season, you’ll have time to properly think out your project. You won’t be rushed into decisions and fall victim to the ‘I want it yesterday’ syndrome.
5. What You Buy
Of course, we have to consider exactly what you’ll be buying to determine cost. A basic L-Shape kitchen with no add-ons can cost $13,000. Take that same design with upgraded finishes, grill, and appliances? You’ll easily bump the cost upward of $20,000.
Naturally, a lower end appliance will drop down the cost of your outdoor kitchen area. At the same time, these units can be difficult to work with if anything goes wrong.
You may end up having to replace the grill and appliances… In which case you were likely better off opting for the high end version at the start.
Let’s expand on that. Most of us are used to replacing a standalone grill or appliance from time to time. It’s not an issue because there’s no need to fit it into a certain grill island opening.
Replacing a grill or outdoor appliance with an outdoor kitchen is more difficult. If you end up needing to repair in a couple years… The company may no longer manufacture the parts you need. It’s also possible you’re ready to upgrade so you don’t run into issues.
Now you have to worry about fitting the new built-in grill into the cutout designed for your old grill. This leads to altering the island, or having to choose another grill altogether. That’s a headache!
Of course, materials factor in here. Take 304 stainless steel vs 430 stainless steel for example. While both are acceptable, there is a clear difference in longevity.
430 stainless steel does not contain nickel. As a result, it is more likely to crack, fail, and/or corrode. The corrosion is especially important to take note of if you live on the ocean.
In contrast, 304 stainless steel is much more resistant to corrosion. It is also known as food-grade stainless steel.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the material of the interior components of both the built in grill and other appliances. Some brands that advertise 304 stainless steel construction are a bit misleading. While the outside is constructed of 304 stainless steel, the interior is not. Ever wonder why the burner and interior of your grill is the first to break down? It’s all materials.
The longevity of material is why we work with Coyote Outdoor Living for appliances in our outdoor kitchens. Their entire line is made from 304 stainless steel and built to last. And yes, that includes the interior!
Like appliances, quality matters here. You don’t want to only focus on style… The higher the finish quality, the more durable your outdoor kitchen will be. More durability = more years of enjoyment. A higher upfront cost can be worth it in the long run here.
That’s why every RTA finish is built to last year round in any climate. You don’t have to worry about picking a finish that will work where you live, we’ve got it covered.
If you want to use your outdoor kitchen at night, consider budgeting for lighting. This will greatly improve your quality of life when entertaining during the evening.
Expect to invest about $150-$800 depending on how many fixtures you want. Additional electric requirements may be an added cost as well.
Structure & Countertops
The price of your outdoor kitchen cabinets and countertops will range from $350-$1,000 per linear foot. If your cost is toward the lower end… Keep in mind the materials used are likely a short-term solution. They’re meant for ideal weather. They won’t last in areas with harsh winters and lots of inclement weather.
Materials on the high end of the cost per linear foot tend to have upgraded finishes and cabinetry. If you live in an area with inclement weather, consider a more durable material. For this, expect to invest at least $600 per linear foot on your base cabinets and countertops.
Now, how does RTA fit into this scenario? RTA outdoor kitchens are built with high quality concrete or granite that will withstand the elements in any climate. No need to worry about buying the right kind of outdoor kitchen countertop.
The best part?
It’s all included in the price of the kitchen.
See the table below for general material cost of other bbq kitchen solutions:
Average Square Foot Countertops Pricing
$10-$25 per square foot
$35-$60 per square foot
$50-$70 per square foot
$60-$80 per square foot
$70-$100 per square foot
$100-$150 per square foot
$100-$150 per square foot
RTA offers Concrete and Granite options
If your budget doesn’t allow for the full cost of an outdoor kitchen space, that is okay. We offer financing options so you can get your outdoor kitchen without the full cost burden upfront. If you’re interested in pursuing a financing option, set up a call with one of our design experts.
Building an outdoor kitchen on a tight budget is difficult but certainly doable. Here are other considerations to reduce the investment on your project:
As you can see, the short answer for “how much does it cost to build an outdoor kitchen?” is “well it depends”…
Now that you’ve got a good idea of averages, all the factors, and have begun tabulating your budget… You may be ready to take the next step.
But you’re not sure what that next step is, exactly.
Allow us to help you with that!
Start the process by scheduling a call with one of our design experts. Not only will they help you crunch the numbers for the cost of your outdoor kitchen space… They’ll guide you through every aspect of your project.
From design, to delivery, to the DIY (or assisted) assembly, and beyond… It’s a level of service you haven’t seen anywhere else.
We look forward to speaking with you!