Summer is a time for fun and relaxing on your deck, porch or patio. Cooking outdoors is one of the things that make summer what it is! At it’s most primitive and basic level all you really need is a grill and a $19 Walmart clearance special will do. But homeowners today want to move the indoors out into their outdoor living spaces. Today’s outdoor living spaces are comfortable, efficient, and a joy to use. Soft comfy furniture, outdoor fireplaces or fire pits, eating bars, built-in kitchenettes, grilling islands, and outdoor television make outdoor living spaces places that will be used and enjoyed. They also boost your property value and will make your property sell faster if you should decide to sell. These are just a few reasons for an outdoor kitchen.
1. Even if you love to cook, cooking indoors in the summer can be a nightmare. Cooking outside can keep your air conditioning bill down and its much more fun. You can get your husband to help out with dinner! And with a great built-in grill he won’t mind a bit. What red-blooded American man doesn’t love to grill?
2. Who feels like cleaning the kitchen when it’s hot and humid or when a relaxing evening outdoors with your spouse and family awaits? With an outdoor kitchen all the mess is outside and with nearby (or built-in) garbage and recycling bins the garbage is already outdoors and ready to move out to the street.
3. Who doesn’t love grilled food? Smoky, sweet, succulent, chops, steaks, hamburgers, brats—not to mention corn and other veggies. With the choice of gas or charcoal everyone in the family can enjoy their preference and you feast everyday of spring, summer and fall. (Even hot dogs seem extra special when grilled). With a grill hooked up to your natural gas line there’s no more going on propane runs.
4. Cooking and eating outdoors is a way to get the family together for the evening meal. What kids don’t like grilled hamburgers and hot dogs? Dinner is often the only time families reconnect, share stories, catch up on the day’s activities, and have a timeout from video games, emailing, and smart phones. Family meals are shown in study after study to be good for the mind, body, and spirit—even lowering rates of drug abuse, teen pregnancy, depression, and poor self-esteem. And serving good healthy food promotes good eating habits and prevents eating disorders and obesity even after they’re grown.. What better place to bless your family with all this than in the great outdoors?
5. In outdoor kitchens powerful ventilation systems, within a very cool looking hood, over the grill prevents smoke from wafting through the neighborhood and bothering people with breathing disorders or allergies—including your own family. So if you’ve been avoiding the joys of grilling and eating outdoors because of the smoke you’re free at last to enjoy!
6. With a outdoor kitchen you save time and labor running in and out with supplies. Your outdoor dishes, glasses, utensils, cooking supplies, and garbage receptical are already outdoors. And to save a lot more time and energy you can have an outdoor dishwasher drawer installed, or if you prefer to rough it, wash them in the outdoor kitchen sink.
7. Feel like a beer, glass of wine, or soft drink? Do you like to entertain on your deck or patio? An outdoor under-counter refrigerator keeps drinks cold and handy. An outdoor ice maker keeps drinks cold longer and is also handy for outdoor stings, bumps, sunburn and cooling down fast. And with a built-in ice maker there’s no more lugging home melting bags of ice or forgetting the ice.The sink and refrigerator keep the kids from tracking swimming pool water into the house. Keep juice boxes and fruit outside, chilled, refreshing, and nutritious, for snacks while the kids are playing outdoors. It’s also super handy when you or your spouse are tired and thirsty from yard work.
8. Counter space and a sink makes an outdoor kitchen a good place to re-pot plants. It’s also a good place to work on crafts, school work, or if you work at home, it can be your warm weather office.
9. The electrical outlets in an outdoor kitchen makes it super easy to enjoy coffee or whip up a frozen blender drink. They also allow you and the kids to charge electronics.
10. Because Wisconsin does have a rather short warm weather season, a cozy fireplace or fire pit extends the season from early spring to very late autumn. Enjoy evenings filled with hot chocolate toasted marshmallows, story telling, and good times with the kids or just you and your spouse.
11. Families used to complain that being outdoors is boring—who wants to miss their favorite show or the big game? Today outdoor living spaces are just as comfortable and entertaining as indoors—sometimes more! All-weather televisions bring big screen entertainment out to the patio or deck. Bring the laptop outside for games, socializing on Facebook or Twitter and perhaps a little shopping. In short, just about anything you can do inside, you can do outside.
12. Yes, a complete outdoor kitchen can run into a fairly sizable investment, but the best investment you can make is in your own home. These kitchens come in all sizes: from just a built-in grill and sink with storage underneath, to a built-in grill, sink and refrigerator with storage, on up to an outdoor kitchen that may be more complete than your indoor kitchen. There are many options and the choice depends on you, your family, your space, your needs, and your budget. But once built, your outdoor kitchen will last for a long, long time. You may have to just change the grill once every 10 years or so. Outdoor appliances are built to withstand the elements. It will definitely add to the enjoyment of your home now, as well as, the value of your home and ease of sale if you should ever want to sell later. If you are planning to sell, by all means do yourself a huge favor and install an outdoor kitchen, you will regroup the cost in the (speedy) sale of your home.