Outdoor Kitchen Cost
- 5 Helpful Considerations for You
When researching an outdoor kitchen project, one of the first questions that pops up is:
How much does an outdoor kitchen cost?
It’s a great question!
Before getting too invested in the idea, you should make sure it’s a financially feasible home improvement project.
But truth be told, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” answer here.
Each project will have a different price tag!
While we may not be able to give you a specific number… We can provide some clarity on the matter.
So without further ado… Let this page serve as your personal outdoor kitchen cost guide.
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
Simply put, the national average cost of an outdoor kitchen is in the $13,000 – $14,000 price range… With the average cost per linear foot being $1,200 to $2,000.
Note that this is just a sweeping average… And it doesn’t account for other expenses typically required to complete your project (like site work or running utility lines).
While this average is a good baseline… The true project cost depends on a few key factors.
And to help guide you, we’ve condensed these factors into five main categories:
1. Type of Outdoor Kitchen
The type of outdoor kitchen you choose will directly affect the total cost of your project.
Let’s go over the common options…
Prefab or Modular
This lower price tag may appeal… But we’d strongly suggest proceeding with caution.
Prefab and modular outdoor kitchens are pre-constructed, and come ready to install.
But what you gain in convenience… You’ll lose in quality!
Unfortunately, the vast majority of prefabricated outdoor kitchens are not built to last.
Usually, these feature internal metal framing… Which is far from the best solution for your island!
It may rust, corrode, and falter over time, leading to serious structural issues.
So while the upfront investment may be low… You’ll end up with a higher ownership cost overtime, thanks to possible costly repairs or even complete replacement.
Ready To Finish
Ready To Finish or RTF islands are another type of outdoor kitchen kit.
Similar to prefab outdoor kitchens, these’ll usually run you anywhere from $1,500 to $10,000… Depending on what’s included.
These consist of a pre-constructed frame, which you’ll apply a finish to.
While some RTF islands are sold with included appliances, accessories, and countertops… Many only come with the frame.
But in some cases, you’ll also need to account for the cost of appliances and countertops!
Though RTF islands can be DIY-ed… They do require a higher skill cap to complete, so you might also decide to hire a contractor to get the job done. (Another added expense!)
And honestly, we can’t say that all these costs are worth it.
Like prefab kitchen kits, RTF islands usually consist of internal metal frames with a cement board… And we’ve already given you the spiel on that!
So, with this type of outdoor kitchen, you’ll have many more upfront expenses to keep track of…
And in addition, ownership cost over time won’t be low.
Our own ready to assemble or RTA kitchens typically fall in the mid-range price point for outdoor grill islands.
Depending on the kit you choose… You can expect to spend anywhere from $6,000 for a smaller island, up to $20,000 or more for a larger or custom island, with more functionality.
The cost is higher than most modular, prefab, or RTF options… Because we use premium outdoor kitchen materials that are extremely durable, weatherproof, and guaranteed to last a lifetime. (Our panelized kitchens are made with high performance concrete for year-round quality!)
But RTA actually allows you to save, despite a higher upfront cost.
Our kitchens are meant to be a one time purchase that’ll last for decades.
This equates to a low ownership cost over time!
We also add value, because there’s no need to hire a contractor for RTA kitchen installation.
They can be easily installed in your outdoor space in a matter of hours, saving you from potentially costly labor expenses.
And unlike certain contractors, we’ll provide you with up-front pricing that doesn’t fluctuate. You’ll know exactly what our kitchens cost, and what to expect.
Speaking of contractors…
Contractor to Build an Outdoor Kitchen
Contractor built outdoor kitchens are often considered to be a high end solution.
Scratch-built kitchens are a nice option for those who want zero restrictions when it comes to customization.
But of course, you’ll pay a premium when working with a credible builder.
You can reduce the cost of a complete custom island if you work with a local general contractor or landscaper.
But, the lower cost generally points to a lack of relevant experience… Which usually means construction will be lower quality.
There are also hidden building and installation costs with contractor-built solutions.
These include change orders, project coordination, opportunity cost (waiting weeks or months for the project to be completed), property disruption and heavy machinery in your outdoor space, and possible damage to your property.
All in all… An outdoor kitchen built from scratch may be a great custom solution, if you have a limitless budget to work with a specialized builder.
But for many homeowners, that endless budget isn’t realistic.
Alright. Those are all the different types of kitchens!
But regardless of the route you choose to take… What’s included in your kitchen will also impact overall pricing.
2. What You Buy
Of course, you’ll have to take into account exactly what’s included in your outdoor kitchen to determine total costs.
Let’s dig a little deeper on the different outdoor kitchen components that impact pricing
The more appliances and add-ons you include in your outdoor kitchen design… The more expensive it’ll be.
Now, there’s quite a bit of variation in this regard.
While appliances like built-in charcoal grills or gas grills tend to be less expensive… Built-in pellet grills or kamado smokers, for instance, are quite costly, and can quickly increase your total price.
It’ll be up to you to do your due diligence, and see what different appliances will work within the confines of your budget.
But regardless of the type of appliances you opt for… One factor that will affect pricing no matter what is material quality.
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 cheap built-in grills and other low quality outdoor appliances.
In this case, you’re usually better off opting for higher end versions right from the start.
Let’s expand on this. Most of us are used to replacing a standalone grill or appliance from time to time.
This isn’t a huge issue, because there’s no need to get a grill that’s sized exactly right to fit in an opening on a grill island.
Replacing a grill or outdoor appliance within a kitchen structure is more difficult.
You’ll have to worry about fitting a new built-in grill into a cutout designed for your old grill. (This applies to every other type of outdoor appliance, as well!)
This leaves two options: altering the island, or having to choose another grill.
If you don’t want to deal with this down the road… You’ll want to keep materials top of mind, from the start.
Take 304 stainless steel versus 430 stainless steel, for example.
While both are acceptable, there is a clear difference in longevity.
430 stainless steel is the cheaper option. It doesn’t contain nickel, and as a result… Is much more likely to crack, fail, and/or corrode, especially in a northern or coastal climate.
In contrast, 304 stainless steel is more expensive… But it’s also much more resistant to corrosion.
Regardless of where you live, it should hold up for quite a long while.
We’d strongly suggest choosing fully 304 stainless steel appliances for your outdoor kitchen build… As you won’t have to spend more money down the road on replacement.
It’s for this reason why every RTA kitchen is paired with durable, 304 stainless steel appliances from Coyote Outdoor Living!
As with outdoor cooking appliances… The quality of your kitchen’s finish will affect the total cost of your project.
And while you could opt for a cheaper finishing material… It’s probably worth spending the extra dough on a high quality facade.
A higher upfront cost will certainly pay off in the long run!
For a custom build, materials like a brick veneer or stone may be great, durable finish options.
But not only will you be paying for these materials, you’ll also pay a premium to have a professional painstakingly piece together this type of kitchen.
So if you’d prefer a more cost-effective and convenient option… Our RTA kitchens are an all-around solid choice.
Our various island finishes are a seamless part of our reinforced concrete panels… So you can rest assured that your kitchen’s finish will hold up rain, snow, or shine.
You’ll never have to worry about replacing or repairing it down the line!
The average price of your outdoor kitchen countertops will range from $350-$1,000 per linear foot.
Again, lower priced countertops are likely a short-term solution, not built to withstand harsh weather.
For a more durable option, expect to spend at least $600 per linear foot.
Now, how does RTA fit into this scenario?
Our outdoor kitchens are built with high quality concrete or granite countertops that will withstand any and all climate conditions.
The best part?
It’s all included in the price of the kitchen.
Still considering a scratch-built design? See the table below for general material costs of other BBQ island solutions.
(Prices According To HomeAdvisor)
$8-$27 per square foot
$3-$28 per square foot
$1-$15 per square foot
$15-$140 per square foot
$15-$190 per square foot
$10-$70 per square foot
$11-$35 per square foot
$20-$60 per square foot
Engineered Stone Quartz
$15-$70 per square foot
$60-$100 per square foot
$50-$100 per square foot
RTA offers Concrete and Granite options
3. Scope of Your Outdoor Kitchen Project
Before you can determine cost, you must first understand the full scope of your outdoor kitchen project.
Namely, how much work needs to be done in your outdoor living space?
There are a few factors at play here, so let’s run through each.
Is Access Limited?
How easy is your backyard to navigate?
Knowing the limitations of your outdoor space will help determine your cost to build.
Depending on the type of outdoor kitchen you choose, access can become a sticking point.
For example, working with a contractor. Tight living quarters will make it difficult or impossible to use heavy equipment required for the project.
Contractors may then charge more for the inconvenience of working in a space with limited access.
For prefab kitchens, limited backyard access also may increase costs… Since you may need to hire someone to maneuver a large, heavy island to your outdoor space.
If you do have limited access to your backyard… RTA is a better solution!
Our outdoor kitchen kits ship directly to your door, packaged in manageable parts for easy maneuverability and assembly.
Since proper access isn’t crucial… This factor won’t increase your outdoor kitchen costs.
Can I put it on my Existing Patio?
A paver or concrete patio or deck without the necessary structural footings can quickly become problematic.
Over time, your patio or deck will settle and cause instability.
So depending on the type of outdoor kitchen you choose… Structural footings may be required before you can install. (Heavy, scratch-built cinder block, brick, or stone kitchens will need that extra support.)
You’ll also want to consider the size of your deck or patio surface. Is it large enough to fit the design you’re hoping for?
You may have to extend your existing patio or add a whole new area altogether for your outdoor kitchen… So keep these considerations in mind as you budget!
We will say, when you work with RTA… We offer solutions for any space.
This means you don’t have to worry about the additional expense of altering your current backyard situation, just to get an outdoor kitchen.
RTA kitchens also don’t require structural footings! Your yard is perfect just the way it is.
(Prices According To HomeAdvisor)
$4.50-21 per square foot
$8-19 per square foot
$8-28 per square foot
$3-6 per square foot
$3-15 per square foot
$6-35 per square foot
Do I Need Utility Lines Run To The Area?
Utility lines are often a hidden cost of an outdoor kitchen project.
To give you a better idea of utility costs… Here’s an overview:
Hiring an electrician costs about $50-$100 an hour. Depending on the 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.
And the price tag for installing water lines is anywhere from $500 to $2,000. Again, this depends on the accessibility of your space, and the amount of plumbing required.
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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 design in spring or early summer!
However, the most popular time to buy isn’t 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 or discounts for BBQ kitchen kits.
Demand also naturally increases in the spring and summer… So if you’re thinking of having a kitchen custom built, just know that contractors will be less available.
This can often lead to them charging a premium for their services!
You won’t necessarily be ripped off… But you will be paying extra for their limited time.
As for RTA… Like any other outdoor kitchen company, we’re beholden to seasonality.
So the question is… When should you buy an RTA outdoor kitchen?
We run our largest promotions during the off-season… Which will give you the best deal, and the shortest lead times. It’s the best of both worlds!
Plus, our solution will be much faster than contractor-built… Even during busy season.
You’ll just have to allow a couple extra weeks for delivery.
But generally, any time of the year is a great time to invest in an outdoor kitchen with us!
5. Outdoor Kitchen Costs Depend On Where You Live
Finally, where you live can have a big role on how much you’ll end up spending.
Let’s run through why that is.
Suppliers and Subcontractors
Suppliers and subcontractors are generally more available in areas where outdoor kitchens are popular… Like Florida.
In these areas, you may be able to get lower prices due to increased competition and availability.
But if outdoor kitchens aren’t as commonplace in your part of the world… You might have to spend more on a contractor built-kitchen.
If you want a custom design, without worrying about spending more… We’d like to reiterate that RTA doesn’t require a contractor to assemble our grill islands.
If you’re handy, you won’t need professional help at all!
And if you do require assistance, we have installers who’ll work with you for just a single day (which is all the time you’ll need for an install).
Because of this, labor costs are either wholly eliminated or significantly reduced when you work with RTA, no matter where you live.
Depending on your area, different materials may be more readily available for a scratch-built kitchen.
Take natural stone, for example.
Certain areas have easy access to natural stone… Others, not so much.
Therefore, if you live in an area where stone is abundant… That material will cost less.
With RTA, on the other hand… It doesn’t matter where you live.
You get the best product, for a fair price.
Because we manufacture our concrete kitchen islands in-house, you don’t have to worry about material scarcity.
Labor market costs vary significantly depending on where you live.
Areas such as New York and California have high labor costs… Which could significantly drive up the cost of a contractor-built outdoor kitchen.
Again… RTA edges out here in terms of cost!
Especially if you’re handy and don’t need to hire a contractor… This cost is completely eliminated.
And if you do hire one of our Pro-Installers, it’ll only be for a day.
Permitting is a key consideration when it comes to outdoor kitchen cost.
If you live in an area with strict permit requirements and building codes… Permits aren’t only an added cost, they could also extend the length of time it takes to complete your 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 the cost? According to HomeAdvisor, expect to pay around $1,350 on average for necessary permits.
Likely, the cost will be on the lower end (a few hundred dollars)… Because only permissions for gas and water lines are required 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 in particular tend to be permanent, and thus, require permitting.
On the other hand, RTA kitchens don’t require a permit in most locales… Since they’re technically not considered a “permanent structure.” (You’ll want to double check local codes & regulations.)
Building An Outdoor Kitchen On A Budget?
Building an outdoor kitchen on a tight budget is difficult but certainly doable. Here are other considerations to reduce the investment on your project:
If your budget doesn’t allow for the full cost of a new outdoor kitchen… That’s okay! When you work with RTA, you’ll have access to 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.
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!