Crazy-Cool Outdoor Kitchens! - Colliers Hill
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Crazy-Cool Outdoor Kitchens!

It doesn’t take a lot of space or money to create an outdoor kitchen where you can cook, entertain and enjoy dining al fresco. It is a serious endeavor, though, so we gathered the best tips, ideas and how-tos from the experts. Here are a few must-haves and nice-to-haves, plus a few money-saving suggestions to create your own outdoor kitchen.

Start by creating a budget before you step one foot inside a showroom to minimize the influence of aisle-after-aisle of glimmering stainless steel. And then make a list of essentials and decide which of the non-essentials you can live without.

The cost of an outdoor kitchen can range from $2,000 to $15,000, according to Landscaping Network and This Old House (although we’re fairly certain you could spend even more!). The cost, ultimately, depends on the equipment you choose, the materials, as well as the size of your kitchen.

What are the Essentials?

The biggest ticket item for your outdoor kitchen — and the number one essential — is a grill. You’ll use it the most so get a good one that will last. That doesn’t mean the most expensive grill – some drop-in grills cost as little as $800. And the pros agree a 36-inch grill is perfect for most families. The experts recommend built-in infrared burners and conveniently most of today’s moderately-priced freestanding grills offer infrared technology. Rotisserie kits are an add-on to the tune of between $50 to $200.

Most experts contend that counter space for food prep is essential and suggest at least 12 inches on either side of the grill. Popular materials for outdoor countertops include ceramic tile, natural stone and concrete, but concrete has to be sealed every year or it can scorch. And while ceramic tile will save you money, if you don’t use latex grout that expands and contracts, the freeze-thaw cycle in Colorado will have the tiles popping after a few winters.

Lighting and shelter are the other two essentials cited by the pros as often overlooked. You’ll need task lighting – which you can get in an inexpensive clip-on grill light, and a free-standing umbrella to provide shade at high noon. Of course, you can build a pergola or install more intricate lighting (and even fans to blow the bugs away), but at the very least give yourself some shade!

Popular Non-Essentials

Other popular appliances, but non-essential to an outdoor kitchen are a stainless-steel sink ($100), for which you’ll need a drain and a water line, and a refrigerator ($400-$1,000). A small stainless-steel fridge can tuck under a counter and hold drinks and food waiting to be grilled. And a sink for washing up after handling raw meat is a plus, too.

You can extend the cooking season with a gas patio heater. These eight-foot high fixtures produce a 20-foot circle of heated air and can provide up to 10 hours of heat. Most have a liquid propane tank in the base, but there are models that can be hooked up to a natural-gas line. Gas patio heaters start at just over $100.

Modular Outdoor Kitchens and Sinks

One option that gets around building a permanent brick or stone kitchen in your backyard, is a prefabricated modular outdoor kitchen. Priced from $500 to $8000, you can buy these prefab outdoor kitchens online and through major home improvement centers like Lowe’s in Louisville.

And while you probably won’t need a building permit to create an outdoor kitchen, you should check with zoning requirements about permits for any electrical or plumbing work.

For outdoor kitchen eye-candy, check out the outside culinary spaces at Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV and Country LivingWith so many ideas and options for creating the perfect outdoor kitchen, drafting a plan first will help you make the most of your BBQ urges in spring, summer and fall.

Outdoors in Colliers Hill

Open spaces, miles of biking and walking paths, and outdoor amenities contribute to a great quality of life in Colliers Hill. If you’re looking for a home, consider this amazing master-planned community. One look at the 15 spectacular model homes from Colorado’s top home builders Meritage Homes, Shea Homes and Richmond American Homes will convince you. Brand new homes in Colliers Hill are available in both ranch or two-story designs and priced from the upper $300s to the $600s.