The Complete Guide on Planning and Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are very much trendy among Australians. Planning and building them can become quite involved and a little overwhelming. So this guide is specially designed to help you through planning stages, so you can focus on the result. 


If you’re planning for renovating but don’t know how to renovate a small outdoor kitchen follow these 3 easy steps.

  • Step 1: Check the location

Before you design first, think where you want to set up your outdoor kitchen. You can either place it close to your house or on an existing pergola or patio. 

  • Step 2: Determine the scope and budget

Make a list of all features you want to add to your outdoor space. You can consider adding some kitchen components listed below, from that you can decide which you want to install an outdoor kitchen. 

  • Built-in or freestanding grills
  • Sinks
  • Refrigerator
  • Countertop or island
  • Flooring and storage
  • Shade structures
  • Lighting and décor

Make the list of these utilities which you want and set your budget according to it. To avoid going out of budget consider consulting a professional. 


It can be complicated to design an outdoor kitchen. It takes a highly technical process such as plumbing, wiring, fuel line, proper construction, and fire safety. To create a safe and successful design, consider hiring a contractor. Learn all about how to hire a contractor. 

  • Step 1: Measure your space

Take masking tape and measure the outdoor space which you are planning to use for your outdoor kitchen. Make different sections like cooking, relaxing, entertaining, and dining using tape. 

  • Step 2: Make a blueprint

Take a paper and make a blueprint of the space available on your deck or pergola. With a blueprint, you can easily visualise where and how the kitchen components you want to fit into that space. 

  • Step 3: Place all kitchen essentials

In this step, figure out where would you like to keep your furniture. You can start with the basics like countertops, islands, flooring, and so on. 

  • Step 4: Place secondary outdoor features

If any space is remaining you can place additional features like placing a bar or bar stool adjacent to a kitchen island. For some dining space, add a dining table, chairs, or lounge chairs. 

Kitchen modules

Modules are one of the kitchen components. You consider the kitchen modules when you think about putting your configuration together. It gives you more freedom for designing and suits best for a busy kitchen.

It often doesn’t include a built-in grill, instead of that you can cut out a place where you can place your grill. Even you can purchase separate grill tops for different modules, but ensure that you mount them properly. 

Kitchen appliances

When you choose the outdoor appliances to make sure they are made for outdoor use. From the grill to pizza ovens, find out some inspirational ideas that fit your lifestyle. 

  • Opt for freestanding grills as it is the easiest to place in your outdoor kitchen, while build-in is meant to fit snugly into the island or countertops. 
  • Add side burners and it will allow you to cook just like you do it on the normal stovetop. You can add this type of functionality so that you can boil water for pasta, or make a fried egg. 
  • Installing sink as it provides easy access to water for cleaning and cooking which will help you avoid extraneous trips inside.
  • Get a mini outdoor refrigerator for keeping your drinks, condiments, and side dishes. 

If you want you can also add additional appliances like a smoker, wood-burning pizza oven. They are perfect for adding atmosphere and personality to your kitchen. 

Outdoor furniture

To make the most out of your outdoor space add some furniture. Mostly you can opt for folding and stacking furniture that can be stashed away and takes up minimum space. 

  • For relaxing, consider adding a hammock or club chair.
  • For dining, you can like an alfresco living, consider adding a bistro table.
  • Add some seating arrangements with floor pillows for seating. You can also put some serving trays which can act as a snacks plate. 
  • You can use your outdoor space for dual-purpose. Consider adding a small folding table which can be a lounge chair. It can be used in both the ways of dining and lounge chairs. 

Outdoor kitchen lighting

It doesn’t matter where is your outdoor kitchen, you’ll get plenty of lighting options for it. You can use post lighting, landscape lighting, ceiling lighting, traditional wall lights, deck and step lights, or other combination. 

For cooking, you can install adequate lights, along with security and safety. For decorating and fun, add some fairy or string of twinkle lights with some lanterns and solar lights. Also, consider hiring an electrical mechanic to ensure that your outdoor lights aren’t stifled by poorly planned wiring or lack of outlets.

Kitchen flooring materials

If the material is durable it will keep your outdoor kitchen stands up to the elements and lasts for years to come. There are different types of flooring options available for outdoor. All you will need is a durable, attractive, and functional flooring option. If you’re simply installing a concrete patio, that will work fine. However, there are other flooring options that you can consider. 

  • Concrete

It is an excellent option for outdoor kitchens. It’s not only durable but also gives you benefits in designing. It naturally comes in grey or off-white colour and allows you to add textures and designs on it before it dries. 

  • Natural stone

To give your flooring natural look install natural stones-like marbles, granites, flagstone, slate, fieldstone, and so on. You just need to be more careful with the type of stone you choose. Don’t choose stone by its look, instead of that look for something durable and easily available in your market. 

  • Wood

Wood flooring will create a warm appearance. But ensure that you opt for pressure-treated wood, as normal timber flooring could be vulnerable and can get damaged easily. Moreover, make sure it is sealed properly so that it can hold all the elements and prevent fires. 

  • Tile

And the last and final option is tile. It’s perfect choice for those homeowners who want less maintenance but beautiful and high-end style. It tends to handle the outdoor temperature including heat and humidity. Bonus tip, it may crack or chip so beware at the time of placing any heavy item on it. 

Furniture materials

Add something to your pergola, patio, or deck with pieces that can weather any storm. You can select the items which can stay strong for many more years to come. 

  • Metal is the most durable and reliable choice for your deck or pergola. 
  • Aluminium is light weighted and sturdy enough to stand against strong winds, rains, and fire. It is also highly durable and rust-resistant which makes it perfect for the coastal area. 
  • Steel is the most heavier and harder material. It resists dents and is resilient against strong winds. While choosing make sure you choose stainless steel or galvanized, as plain steel gets rusted easily.
  • Wrought Iron is the heaviest material that is used for outdoor furniture. It will put up strong against the harsh winds. 


Building an outdoor kitchen can be fun, but the whole process truly requires a lot of planning. So keeping all things in mind some of the above-mentioned tips will help you to create a good outdoor space. You can also hire a contractor if you want, as they can point you in the right direction. 

Author Bio:

Erika Rhein, a professional writer, and blogger by profession. I write on various niches, however, I prioritise writing on home improvement, home décor, lifestyle, health, and fitness. I always strive to provide users with useful and informative articles in a readable format. I aim to achieve a difference in my writing.


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