Outdoor Kitchen in Phoenix: How to Leverage the Growing Trend

Creating an outdoor kitchen in Phoenix is becoming a more and more popular remodeling project.  For more usable living areas, homeowners are extending space into their backyards.  No longer just a space for a barbeque grill, the outdoor kitchen is a fully functional room complete with appliances, accessories and seating.

An outdoor kitchen in Phoenix is a sophisticated extension of the indoor kitchen.  The size will be determined by the outdoor space available and the expected level of entertaining and dining.

Defining the Parameters for an Outdoor Kitchen in Phoenix
Before you begin an outdoor kitchen project, it’s important to do your homework first.  Specifically, you want to define exactly what you want to accomplish with your outdoor kitchen in Phoenix.

A good place to start is how you’ll entertain company.  How many people do you expect to have in your outdoor space at one time?  What type of cooking will you do the most? For example, will you grill most often or prepare more sophisticated full course meals?

What about a bar?  How will you be serving drinks and other refreshments to your guests?  Do you want both bar seating, table seating and more comfortable group/conversational seating?  The answers to these types of questions will help you hone in on the amount of counter, food preparation, eating and seating space you need, as well as the type of appliances and accessories.

Next, you should think about how you want your outdoor kitchen in Phoenix configured.  Roughly sketch your desired space so you know approximate layout and placement.  You’ll need to think not only how items will be placed in the outdoor kitchen, but where the best spot in your backyard is to locate your kitchen.

Selecting the Right Place for Your Outdoor Kitchen in Phoenix
You need to think strategically when you select the area in your yard you’ll be turning into an outdoor kitchen.  Several aspects of your location can affect the enjoyment of you and your guests.  Your goal should be to create a fun, convenient and comfortable outdoor environment for both you and your guests.

Some important considerations include the following:

Proximity to the house and utilities.  Since you’ll most likely be relying on your indoor kitchen for at least some of your needs, you want your outdoor kitchen in Phoenix to be as close as possible.  Running back and forth can impact your enjoyment and leave your guests unattended more than necessary.  Also, you don’t want to be cooking at a grill or stovetop away from your guests for long periods of time.  Being alone will defeat the purpose of having company!

In addition, the more you’re away from your cooking area, the bigger risk you have of burning your food.  Food preparation takes a lot of attention, so make sure you’ll be in close proximity to all cooking areas and your guests as much as possible.

Finally, make sure your gas and electric utility lines are close to your anticipated location.  Having to run your utilities to a more remote location in your backyard will add to the cost for your outdoor kitchen in Phoenix.

Protection from nature.  Nothing is more uncomfortable than sitting in the blazing sun on a hot day.  Having the sun in your eyes for long periods of time is not enjoyable for most people.  Therefore, you need to identify where the sun shines on your anticipated location at all times of the day and year.

You’ll need to know where you must have shading to provide comfort year-round.  Strategic shading can come from a variety of natural and human-made sources.  You can use trees and vines to add shade.  Natural shading is attractive, pleasant and adds to the outdoor atmosphere.

Other options for shade include trellises, umbrellas and canopies.  You can create a beautiful environment with these options for your outdoor kitchen in Phoenix.  However, make sure you or your remodeling contractor checks with local building codes and homeowner association covenants.

Wind is another consideration.  Do you have good wind blocks to protect your guests?  Also, what about smoke?  Many homeowners forget to consider how wind can blow smoke not only into their guests, but into their neighbors’ homes and backyards.

Views.  Finally, you want to add to your enjoyment and that of your guests by creating and considering views.  For the most part, you want your views to be of your backyard and any natural scenery beyond your yard.  Rather than face your seating toward the home, you should consider facing it outwards to take advantage of your views.

Creating an outdoor kitchen is a fun project.  Not only will you enjoy the process, but you’ll be pleased with the outcome.  Extending your usable living space is always a bonus for homeowners.  And what better way to create more space than to do it outdoors?

About the Author
Jim Weisman is owner of Republic West Remodeling, an Arizona-based company specializing in home remodeling: kitchens, bathrooms, room additions, outdoor living spaces and more. Click here for more information about an Outdoor Kitchen in Phoenix.

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