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Avoid These 6 Outdoor Kitchen Mistakes

Do you want to add an outdoor kitchen to your patio? Congratulations! More and more families across Maryland and the US are realizing the benefits of an outdoor kitchen. But adding takes planning, to avoid costly mistakes.

We’ve put together a list of the most common mistakes people make and how you can avoid them. Let’s get started.

Mistake #1: Not Hiring Professional Outdoor Kitchen Contractors

Most of these mistakes can be avoided if you simply hire professional outdoor kitchen contractors. For a quality installation that meets safety and building codes, and comes with a warranty on the workmanship, it really pays to hire professionals.

Most people don’t have the knowledge and the skill to make this a DIY job. Save yourself some headaches and stress by hiring the experts. And yes, you should get recommendations, and more than one estimate before deciding who to hire.

Mistake #2: Not Getting Approval from Your HOA (If You Have One)

A lot of nicer neighborhoods in central Maryland have a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). If you belong to an HOA, you need to go over the bylaws and restrictions carefully. Consult with the Board of Directors to make sure that you follow any requirements regarding where your outdoor kitchen is located, what materials you can use, etc.

The very last thing you want to do is to have to dismantle your kitchen because you didn’t work with your HOA before getting it installed.

Mistake #3: Making Your Outdoor Kitchen Area Too Small

There are several reasons not allowing enough space for your outdoor kitchen is a big mistake. You need plenty of counter space for food prep and for a serving area. You need enough space for an outdoor sink so you can rinse produce, fill pots with water, and clean up. 

You need storage cabinets that hold what you need so you’re not constantly running inside for things. You also need enough space to install a refrigerator and wine cooler/kegerator if the latter is on your list of wants.

Again, a good professional can examine your space and determine how to include what you want in the space you have available, or extend your patio to make everything work.

Mistake #4: Positioning Your Outdoor Kitchen in Direct Sunlight

This can be a big problem. Your outdoor refrigeration equipment should not be in direct sunlight. And of course, squinting into the sunlight can just be annoying. There are two solutions to this problem: position your outdoor kitchen where it gets natural shade or have your contractor build a pergola or pavilion to protect your outdoor kitchen not only from the sun but from rain as well.

We’ve never had a client say they regretted getting a pavilion built to protect their outdoor kitchen. Doing this also allows you to have a bar area or dining area that is also protected from the elements.

Mistake #5: Choosing the Wrong Grill

There are several issues to consider here. You don’t want to install a grill that’s too small. Then you end up with food that’s getting cold while you finish up grilling the rest. Or you’re constantly grilling to keep up with demand and you never get a chance to sit down and eat yourself.

But you also don’t want a grill that’s too large and takes up too much space. Bigger isn’t always better if you don’t use the grill to its full potential.

And of course, you want to choose a high-quality grill. It’s going to be built into your outdoor kitchen, so you want it to last a long time. We recommend grills and kitchen components from Wolf/Sub Zero, Viking, and Bull.

Mistake #6: Not Planning for Outdoor Kitchen Lighting

You’d be surprised how many people make this mistake and end up having to add lighting later. And once again, if you work with an experienced outdoor kitchen contractor, you can avoid this mistake.

If you have a pergola or pavilion, we can install overhead lighting and ceiling fans. Without an overhead structure, you’ll need to plan for light poles or have your kitchen close enough to your home that exterior lights can help light up the kitchen.

No one wants to be cooking in the dark.


Our Top 5 Outdoor Kitchen Planning Tips

Give the Gift of a Better Outdoor Experience

At Lazo, our outdoor kitchen installation team has the experience you need to design and install your kitchen exactly the way you want it. We pride ourselves on offering competitive pricing as well. Get a FREE estimate by filling out the contact form, or call us at 866-568-6264 to get started turning your outdoor kitchen ideas into reality.

Make the holidays merrier by getting your project underway! We serve homeowners throughout Central Maryland and southern York and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania.

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