If you’re looking to level up the look of your backyard living space (and let’s be honest, have a more comfortable setup for grilling year-round), consider installing an outdoor kitchen. The national average cost for this project is typically $13,180 (or $495 per linear foot) — but prices typically range anywhere from $5,060 to $17,280 with $2,880 being the extreme low-end cost and $40,755 being the highest for an outdoor kitchen.
In this article:
- Average costs
- Cost estimator by size
- Other factors that affect cost
- Related services
- Pro cost vs. DIY cost
- Cost by location
Average outdoor kitchen costs in 2023
|National average cost||$13,180|
|Typical price range||$5,060 – $17,280|
|Extreme low-end cost||$2,880|
|Extreme high-end cost||$40,755|
Installing an outdoor kitchen typically costs between $5,060 and $17,280, with most homeowners spending $13,180. However, your cost will really come down to size, appliance options, building materials, and area in which you live.
Craving the luxe life and want to go all-out with top-of-the-line grills, stoves, refrigerators, sinks, flooring, countertops, and framework? Expect to pay extravagantly, too — to the tune of $40,000+. But, if you’re just looking for the basics, you can pull off an outdoor kitchen installation closer to the $3,000 range by using a prefab framework, standard appliances, and other budget-friendly materials like ceramic tile.
Outdoor kitchen cost estimator by size
First up in conceiving your outdoor kitchen design is size — mini, small, medium, or large. To determine your needs, think about how much space you actually have to build on, how you’ll be using this outdoor space, and what your budget limits are. Do you plan on having it function as both a high-end kitchen and a party area, or are you just looking for the fundamentals?
Your kitchen’s framework will ultimately influence your kitchen’s size. The frame is the structure that holds together the cabinetry, appliances, and countertops and is typically measured in linear feet. It can be made of wood, steel, aluminum, or brick. In a nutshell, the frame acts as your kitchen’s skeleton.
- A mini outdoor kitchen (less than 10 linear feet) is the simplest, typically including a grill, some storage, and a small countertop.
- A small, basic outdoor kitchen (about 13 linear feet) has room for a few more upgrades, like an added cooktop, a mini fridge, and a sink.
- A medium-sized kitchen (about 16 linear feet) can include all of the above, plus extras, such as more storage and countertop space and maybe even a small seating area.
- Coming in with all the bells and whistles you want is the large kitchen (more than 20 linear feet). With this option, on top of all the other elements previously mentioned, you can get add-ons like a pizza oven, wine cooler, pergola, and outdoor heaters (for year-round fun), just to call out a few ideas.
While the price range can run $320 to $670 per linear foot, the average overall cost per linear foot when building an outdoor kitchen from scratch is $495. This typically refers to the patio and framework. Here’s how that breaks down by size:
|Size||Average Overall Cost From Scratch (Per Linear Foot)|
|Mini (< 10 linear feet)||Less than $4,950|
|Small (about 13 linear feet)||$6,435|
|Medium (about 16 linear feet)||$7,920|
|Large (> 20 linear feet)||$9,900+|
This cost is lessened a bit, of course, if you opt for a prefab frame. Depending on the materials used, your prefab structure can cost you between $250 and $475 per linear foot, with most homeowners spending $365 per linear foot. Let’s take a look at the average overall cost for a prefab kitchen by size:
|Size||Average Overall Cost From Prefab Kit (Per Linear Foot)|
|Mini (< 10 linear feet)||Less than $3,650|
|Small (about 13 linear feet)||$4,745|
|Medium (about 16 linear feet)||$5,840|
|Large (> 20 linear feet)||$7,300+|
Other factors that affect the cost
Aside from size, additional elements that can influence the overall cost of your outdoor kitchen project include location, appliances, materials, and utilities.
Proximity to your home can also impact the cost of your outdoor kitchen. Referred to as a perimeter kitchen, these kitchens are situated just a few steps from your home, like on an existing patio. Being this close to the main house means your outdoor kitchen can share the same gas lines, water lines, and electrical lines, saving you money on the labor costs of plumbers and electricians.
Besides that, a perimeter kitchen can also help curb your overall home improvement expenses by eliminating the need for an outdoor sink, mini fridge, cabinetry, and excess counter space, since you’ll have easy access to all that inside.
A satellite kitchen, on the other hand, is built away from the house. As its own separate entity, it needs to have its own outdoor sink, appliances, and storage space, necessitating its own gas lines, electrical lines, and water lines. A plumber can run you $45 to $150 an hour, and you can hire an electrician for about $45 to $100 an hour.
For homeowners who want the experience of a stand-alone, fully equipped entertainment space to host guests, a satellite kitchen is the perfect option. Satellite kitchens are also more customizable than perimeter ones, so you can choose a unique layout that fits your personality and space.
An outdoor kitchen can have the same appliances your indoor kitchen has, including a dishwasher and a refrigerator. And of course, you’re going to want an outdoor grill, too.
Depending on your preference, expect to pay between $180 and $8,400 for a grill, whether it’s a gas grill that runs on propane or natural gas, an old-school charcoal grill, a pellet grill, or an electric one. The cost of a mini fridge can range from $400 to $2,900, while the cost of an outdoor dishwasher can run you $400 to $2,000.
You already know the essentials and bonus features you’d like your outdoor kitchen to have. Now, it’s time to choose the materials. To help you find the best fit for your budget, we’ve calculated the costs of commonly used materials below:
First, let’s talk about the structure itself. A prefab frame or modular outdoor kitchen kit is going to be much less expensive than a custom-build, costing around $250 to $475 per linear foot.
If you opt for a custom-build, expect to pay between $320 and $670 per linear foot. More specifically, for wood or aluminum framing, expect to pay around $400 per linear foot, and for steel framing, plan to spend about $550 per linear foot on average.
When it comes to cabinetry, these are the costs of the different types of materials:
|Material||Average Overall Cost (Per Square Foot)|
|Stucco||$5 – $8 per square foot|
|Brick veneer||$9 – $15 per square foot|
|Manufactured stone||$15 – $25 per square foot|
|Natural stone||$20 – $40 per square foot|
You’ll also need to decide on the type of countertops you want to have. When considering both, keep in mind the climate you live in, as well as your budget. Granite countertops are one of the most popular choices, since they’re so durable and can stand up to various elements. Other options include soapstone, concrete, ceramic tile, and stainless steel.
|Material||Average Overall Cost (Per Square Foot)|
|Ceramic tile countertop||$6 – $50 per square foot|
|Concrete countertop||$60 – $95 per square foot|
|Granite countertop||$65 – $75 per square foot|
|Soapstone countertop||$50 – $160 per square foot|
|Stainless steel countertop||$75 – $100 per square foot|
If you’re not building on an already existing patio, below are a few flooring options to choose from:
|Material||Average Overall Cost (Per Square Foot)|
|Gravel||$1 – $4 per square foot|
|Concrete||$3 – $7 per square foot|
|Brick pavers||$8 – $20 per square foot|
|Natural stone||$7 – $30 per square foot|
In addition to your outdoor kitchen build, you may want to consider a few other upgrades to your space, as well:
Extend your outdoor kitchen with a path of stone pavers leading to a small patio with a fire pit. Perfect for chatting with friends over s’mores pre-or post-meal, a fire pit is an easy way to cozy up the environment and allow for year-round outdoor fun. Depending on materials and size, fire pits typically range from $250 to $2,200, with an average cost of $830.
Give your new outdoor kitchen shelter with an overhead pergola to help protect it from the elements and provide some shade for you and your guests during those summertime soirees. You can also choose to install your pergola a few steps away from the kitchen, where you can hang a swinging daybed or set a separate conversation area. On average, a pergola can cost $2,220 to $8,960.
Like any “room,” your outdoor kitchen also needs to evoke a certain atmosphere that expresses who you are and feels welcoming and relaxing to you and your guests. The best way to do that? Upgrade your overall landscaping.
Create a privacy screen with cypress trees, Japanese yews, or Eastern red cedars, and add color with hydrangeas, coralbells, marigolds, lavender, and other bright blooms. Raised garden beds, another aesthetically pleasing option, can be filled with herbs and flowers for using in your cooking and for added beauty.
Expect to pay $5 – $45 per square foot for gardening and planting projects.
Of course, you’ll want to be able to use this new space any time of day, so choosing outdoor lighting that fits the environment is also important. Light the path from your home to the outdoor kitchen with solar stake lights, set a chill mood with string lights, or mount wall lights that automatically turn on at dusk.
Installation of outdoor lighting can run you between $2,100 and $4,900, depending on the project size.
Pro cost vs. DIY cost
Unless you’re an experienced contractor or DIY-er with a ton of building know-how, it’s best to hire a crew of experts to build your outdoor kitchen from scratch. But, if you’d still like to try your hand at slaying this project the way you slay every morsel that’s hot off your grill, consider a ready-to-finish or ready-to-assemble kitchen build.
Ready-to-finish (RTF): With this method, the frame of your outdoor kitchen will already be built, and instead of taking more than a month to complete, you can finish this job in a few days to a little over a week. Here’s what you’ll need:
|DIY equipment||Average cost|
|Washers||$1 – $40|
|Screws||$0.30 per screw|
Ready-to-assemble (RTA): Essentially a kitchen kit in a box, this comes with your whole setup pretty much done — including countertops, grill island, modular cabinetry, appliances, etc. All you have to do is put the pieces together using a wrench, bolts, level, tape measure, safety glasses, and work gloves.
Per several sources, you can save 20% to 40% on the overall cost of building an outdoor kitchen if you choose to DIY. So, instead of paying between $5,060 and $17,280, you could spend around $3,000.
Cost of installing an outdoor kitchen by location
Depending on the region in which you live, labor costs can vary. Generally, though, the more urban your home’s setting is, the higher the cost you can expect to pay.
FAQ about outdoor kitchens
Short answer? Yes — an outdoor kitchen definitely won’t decrease your home’s value. Just how much it will increase it, though, depends on where you live.
Most pros agree that homeowners who build outdoor kitchens will break even on their investment during resale. But, let’s say you live in a climate that’s pretty warm year-round. That outdoor kitchen is sure to see a lot more use than one built in the northern U.S., where winters can be harsh. The ability to use the kitchen all months of the year can potentially drive your ROI as high as 100% to 200%.
Using pavers rather than another flooring material (like poured concrete) can not only give your outdoor kitchen a more customized look, but it can also be easier for DIY-ers to work with, as they can be altered and re-adjusted as many times as needed before being cemented into place.
There are many types of patio pavers to choose from — think brick, travertine, natural stone, concrete, or clay.
Winterizing an outdoor kitchen isn’t too difficult, but it can be time consuming. Don’t worry, though, you don’t have to complete every task all at once. Here’s what you’ll need to do to protect your kitchen from the cold weather elements, so it’s ready to reopen come spring:
1. Clean and cover your kitchen island — including cabinetry, cooktop, appliances, and sinks — with a weatherproof tarp typically made of polyester or vinyl and specifically constructed for the purpose of protecting outdoor kitchens.
2. Shut off the water (unless you share the same water lines as your home) and drain all the pipes.
3. Clean your grill, and if it runs on natural gas, shut off the gas lines.
4. Empty your refrigerator/freezer, clean it out, and unplug it for the season.
5. Pack away all outdoor furniture in a shed or other storage area. Or, you can simply clean them and cover them.
Building an outdoor kitchen can improve the look of your backyard while simultaneously adding functionality. For a fully custom kitchen design from scratch, hiring a local construction professional is the recommended route. But, if you’re craving a DIY project, try your hand at outdoor kitchen building with the aid of a ready-to-finish or ready-to-assemble, modular kit.
While you’re at it, hire a pest control pro and lawn care expert to make sure your backyard is truly hospitable — fire ants and itchy grass are not invited.
No matter what type of outdoor kitchen you choose, months of grilling out and hosting backyard parties with friends and family will soon be on the menu.
Note: LawnLove may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.
Main Photo by: PxHere