7 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Your Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen island or outdoor BBQ island is a fantastic investment in your home and lifestyle. But if you get the planning, design, construction or materials wrong, you could be dealing with a disastrous disappointment instead of an outdoor entertaining victory. Of course, designing your outdoor BBQ island can be fun, but it’s worthwhile getting some input from an expert grill island designer for an experienced perspective, that takes into account any details you may have missed. Here we look at 7 outdoor kitchen island mistakes you definitely want to avoid and how you can build a better grill island for your outdoor entertaining space.

#1: Choosing Design Before Considering Function

outdoor kitchen design plansWhen it comes to designing your outdoor kitchen, you most likely have a long wish list of features and appliances you want in your outdoor island, as part of your plan to make this space the ideal entertainment and cooking setting. However, you also need to consider the practical aspects of building an outdoor grill island, including what you really need in terms of features and functionality and the space you have to build in. Choosing design and accessories over functionality and practicality may mean that you end up with an inappropriately sized outdoor island that’s difficult to cook in and enjoy, or a kitchen island that doesn’t have all the features you really need. If you’re short on space but big on ideas, it’s worth speaking to a professional outdoor BBQ island designer to make sure you fit in all your features without sacrificing functionality.

#2: Failing to Plan A Budget

Just as with any home improvement project, the golden rule for successful and stress free completion is to properly plan and prepare a budget. There’s nothing worse than starting to build your new outdoor kitchen island then running out of funds halfway through or finding out that you can’t actually complete your intended design. Planning a budget not only helps you to get a realistic idea of the outdoor BBQ island that’s right for you, it also helps your BBQ island designer or build contractor develop the right solution for you.

#3: Not Planning The Infrastructure

A successful and fully equipped BBQ grill island requires certain infrastructure and amenities to function most effectively, including gas supply, water, electricity and lighting. If you don’t plan the positioning and set-up of your grill island correctly, you could end up with an outdoor island that has no lighting or plumbing, or you may have to undergo expensive and laborious work to divert infrastructure from our existing structures to your outdoor island. With proper planning and expert advice, you can set-up your BBQ island in the most effective way to access the necessary infrastructure.

#4: Choosing the Wrong Appliances

You may know the appliances, grill and other features you want in your outdoor island, but are they right for your space? Of course you want to avoid Johnson Islandinstalling unnecessary appliances. But it’s also important that you make sure you choose appliances that are suitable for your unique design and rated for outdoor use. If non-outdoor rated appliances are used outdoors, they may not withstand exposure to environmental conditions and the warranty can be voided. You also want to ensure you have the right sized appliances for your space, and double and triple check the cut out measurements for your appliances before the cut out is made, in order to ensure the projected space you have to install them in is big enough.

#5: Not Leaving Enough Counter Space

Because so many of us just see it as ‘empty space’ we don’t give enough priority to the importance of counter space in a cooking area. In fact, adequate counter space and food preparation areas are critical in your outdoor kitchen island, where you may be juggling many dishes at once. If your outdoor grill island is also going to double as an eating area with a bar style table, then you want to ensure there is enough room for you, your family and your guests to relax and eat comfortably without being cramped with too many cooking tools and appliances on the counter space. Consulting with an expert BBQ island designer can help you find the right balance between outdoor kitchen gadgets and preparation and dining space, so you get everything you need out of your kitchen island without being cramped in your space.

#6: Incorrect Positioning Of Features and Appliances

Because space can often be an issue in designing and building outdoor kitchen islands, carefully planning the positioning of appliances and setting up ‘cool’ and ‘hot’ zones is really essential. While it can seem like a good idea to help save on space, you should never place a refrigerator underneath or next to your grill or outdoor pizza oven. This is because all of these fixtures produce heat on the exterior, and being placed close together without adequate ventilation space could cause them to overheat, wear out more quickly and become less efficient.

#7: Incorrect Materials or Construction

outdoor kitchen materialsThe center piece of your outdoor grill island is most likely going to be your grill where you will cook and prepare your barbequed dishes. However, that flame-grilled taste we love requires fire and heat, which always creates the risk of a fire hazard. Without the right construction and the proper materials, a small oil fire could cause your BBQ grill island to go up in flames. Working with an experienced outdoor grill island designer and builder helps to ensure your island is built for safety and performance, with the right ventilation, insulation, design and materials used to ensure you stay safe while using your outdoor kitchen. It can be a good idea to use an insulated grill jacket, fire proof material like brick or stone, and adequate ventilation to ensure cooking smoke and fumes are quickly removed.

Designing and building an outdoor kitchen grill island may seem simple enough, but a few simple mistakes can really ruin your outdoor entertaining space. It’s vital to get the planning right before construction begins, so contact your local BBQ island design and construction company to help you work on the right design, budget, layout and materials for your ideal outdoor kitchen island.