How to get a beautiful outdoor kitchen on a budget - HMS National, Inc.

How to get a beautiful outdoor kitchen on a budget

June 5, 2014

As the portion of the home where breakfast, lunch and dinner are not only made but served and enjoyed, it's little surprise that the kitchen is the most highly trafficked room in the average house. And over time, many families have taken the kitchen outside - quite literally - by building their very own outdoor kitchen.

Everyone has their own idea of what a outdoor kitchen should include. Talk to the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, for example, and they'll say the mainstays are an appliance to cook on, a dining table with chairs to sit and eat, as well as a hearth to offset colder temperatures on chilly evenings.

As you might imagine, though, outdoor kitchens don't come cheaply. Designers and builders say that homeowners can expect to pay at least $20,000 for a high-end kitchen or even $100,000 for luxury models.

That said, you don't need to be living the life of the rich and famous to have an affordable outdoor kitchen space. Check out some of the suggestions from DIY Network so that you can have one of your own while operating on a budget.

1. Stick with propane. Of course every outdoor kitchen needs a stove, which are priced depending on their brand and services. But instead of going with a gas range, propane is better. Experts say that using propane bottles is a whole lot cheaper than running gas lines.

2. Don't skimp on grills. Paying more for a grill may seem like the opposite of savings, but in the long run, high-quality grills tend to have fewer repair problems and don't need to be replaced as quickly. Retailers say the best are those that are made from high-grade stainless steel.

3. Go for a prefabricated brick oven. What many might consider the crowning jewel of an outdoor kitchen is a brick oven, providing that rustic, yet professional look that high-end restaurants are known for. But instead of building one from scratch, prefabricated oven kits offer the same benefits as those built one brick at a time - at a fraction of the time and expense.

4. Buy furniture with a lengthy warranty. Outdoor kitchens have to stand up to the elements, which furniture can be particularly vulnerable to. Experts recommend buying metal furniture with a warranty of ideally 15 years. Also, instead of going to a big box store, where a lot of the furniture is cheaply made, see if you can find a store that specializes in furniture. These stores are often more accommodating and provide product services you don't find at retail chains.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.