An Outdoor Kitchen Is Worth It, and Here’s Why

man using outdoor kitchen

One of the first questions anyone interested in getting an outdoor kitchen will have is simple: is an outdoor kitchen worth it?

Outdoor kitchens are very popular right now and not just due to the pandemic. Increased interest in outdoor living spaces predates our recently turbulent times.

Once viewed as a lavish feature that was typically found in luxury homes, outdoor kitchens now have much more mainstream appeal. More homes are being renovated to add outdoor cooking and living spaces. Architects and interior designers are making them a higher priority for their new building projects as well.

Get all the facts about why an outdoor kitchen is worth investing in.

6 reasons an outdoor kitchen is worth it

Outdoor kitchen additions are one of the most popular home renovations right now for many reasons. Here’s a brief overview of the reasons why an outdoor kitchen is worth it:

  1. Outdoor kitchens expand a home’s living space. An outdoor kitchen is its own entire room. This adds to a home’s livable square footage and improves its functionality.
  2. Homes with upgraded backyards are more family-friendly. In non-pandemic times, it can be difficult getting everyone together at home for some quality family time. Having a nice outdoor living space the whole family enjoys using makes it easier to gather with everyone more frequently.
  3. Better home comfort helps with self-care. The importance of making our homes as comfortable as possible to nurture our mental well-being is front of mind these days. A multi-purpose backyard living area improves a family’s living quality by providing an ideal space to relax and recharge.
  4. Outdoor kitchens are tailor-made for entertaining. If you enjoy regularly hosting get-togethers, adding or upgrading an outdoor living space is one of the smartest lifestyle investments a homeowner can make. What could be better than having a beautiful backyard space that is specifically designed for maximum fun and enjoyment with your friends and family?
  5. An outdoor kitchen boosts curb appeal. Curb appeal isn’t limited to merely the front and side of a home’s exterior – it includes the backyard, too. A well-designed outdoor kitchen adds decorative appeal and complements the exterior features of a house.
  6. Outdoor kitchens add value to homes. For all of the reasons listed above, an outdoor kitchen adds undeniable value to a home. Outdoor kitchen additions have a solid return on investment that you’ll benefit from whenever you decide to move.

Let’s dig a little deeper into why outdoor kitchens are so popular right now, how they improve a living space, why they appeal to homebuyers, and how much you can expect to pay for one.

l-shaped outdoor kitchen

Why are outdoor kitchens so popular?

Consumer interest in outdoor living improvements exploded during the pandemic as homeowners looked for ways to optimize their living spaces.

HomeStars’ 2021 Reno Report found that 94% of the Canadian homeowners they surveyed had completed at least one indoor renovation during the pandemic. 66% of the respondents invested in outdoor home renovations. Resort-style backyards with deluxe outdoor kitchens were the most desired “fantasy feature” for Canadian homeowners in both the 2021 and 2022 Reno Reports. 

These additional statistics show the popularity of outdoor living spaces and how much the pandemic influenced home renovation trends:

  • 67% of men and 54% of women said a backyard retreat was their most desirable home feature. (2022 Zolo Homebuyers Survey of 3,300 Canadian new homeowners and potential first-time buyers)
  • Outdoor improvements were the fourth-most popular project homeowners would undertake if given $10,000. (2021 Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence Quarterly Tracking Study)
  • Only 32% of surveyed homeowners who renovated during the pandemic were motivated to tackle their projects because of their extra time spent at home. (HomeStars 2021 Reno Report)
  • 68% of the homeowners who did a pandemic renovation were primarily motivated by the desire to refresh the aesthetic and atmosphere of their living spaces. (HomeStars 2021 Reno Report)
  • 56% of the home design experts surveyed by Fixr.com believed homeowners put a high priority on making their outdoor living spaces look and feel more like their interior spaces. (Fixr.com 2022 Outdoor Living Trends Report)

Backyard retreats are one of the most-wanted home features (infographic from 2022 Zolo Homebuyers Survey)

A trend with staying power

Backyard upgrade projects may be trendy right now, but they’re a trend with staying power.

It took a pandemic for a lot of homeowners to notice the amazing design potential sitting right in their own backyards.

The fundamental shift in how we view and utilize our homes has left very clear writing on the wall: there will always be value and practicality in expanding the functionality and comfort level of our homes. And creating multifunctional outdoor living spaces that are bigger and better is the perfect way to make that happen.

Low-interest rates were another factor that contributed to the home reno boom of the past few years. Rising interest rates and higher material costs have slowed things down a little, but the home renovation market is expected to remain strong for the foreseeable future.  

How outdoor kitchens create a more complete living space

Another reason an outdoor kitchen is worth investing in is the simple fact that outdoor kitchens double a home’s cooking space.

Traditional kitchens are considered the heart of most homes and one of their hardest working rooms. Supplementing this vital part of the house with even more room to cook is extremely practical and makes a home a more useful and complete living space.

From a strictly cooking point of view, outdoor kitchens allow you to:

  • take a break from using your indoor kitchen
  • eat healthier because grilling is better for you than frying and broiling your food
  • enjoy the unique, delicious taste of home-cooked flame-grilled food more often
  • expand your summer menu options by trying new grilling recipes

Outdoor kitchens come in all shapes and sizes

A basic outdoor kitchen can consist of a built-in grill, a small counter area, and a few cabinets for storage. On the higher end, an outdoor kitchen can be designed for maximum functionality by including:

  • a large premium grill
  • ample counter space
  • a sink
  • lots of cabinets for cutlery, dishes, glassware, and cooking tools
  • enough appliances to handle anyone’s cooking needs

Add a dining area, stylish outdoor furniture, a bar, and an outdoor living room with a fire pit and a home’s footprint expands even wider. Covering an outdoor kitchen and living area with a pergola, gazebo, awning, or roof extension maximizes the amount of time you can use the backyard.

It stands to reason that a house that’s been designed to be a more complete living space makes a house more marketable when it’s being sold.

summer grilling ideas

A well-designed outdoor kitchen impresses guests, neighbours, and future homebuyers.

What is an outdoor kitchen’s return on investment?

You might think homeowners would put a higher priority on the short-term and medium-term impact a renovation has on the quality of their family’s daily life, rather than how it can financially benefit them years from now.

In fact, most homeowners take the future into account when they’re planning a remodel. RE/MAX’s 2021 Renovation Investment Report found that 59% of Canadians consider how a renovation’s return on investment will impact the market value of their home.

Return on investment (ROI) measures how effectively a renovation adds to a home’s value, relative to the renovation’s cost. For example, a kitchen remodel that costs $10,000 and adds an estimated $8,000 of value to a home when it’s sold would have an 80% ROI.

Finding reliable outdoor kitchen ROI figures online can be confusing because the estimates vary quite widely. At the lowest end, you’ll find estimates of 55-60%, which is considered a modest ROI. A lot of real estate professionals attach a 70-100% ROI for an outdoor kitchen addition. You’ll even find some estimates that go as high as a 175% ROI.

The truth is somewhere in between these wide-ranging estimates, which means outdoor kitchens undoubtedly boost your home’s resale value and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

Determining a renovation’s ROI is clearly an inexact science, but the estimates of contractors and real estate pros do provide some useful guidance about which projects deliver a better bang for your buck.

Remember that the value an outdoor kitchen retains will be impacted by the quality of its materials, how well the space is maintained, whether or not the kitchen is covered, and other factors.

modern outdoor kitchen

Most homes don’t have an outdoor kitchen and dining space that looks this nice. That’s something future homebuyers will definitely notice.

Homebuyers notice outdoor living upgrades

Most backyards don’t have a professionally designed and installed outdoor kitchen. The homes that do have nicer outdoor living spaces immediately stand out to potential buyers.

In addition to improving a home’s overall livability, a backyard with a stylish, high-end look shows you care about your property and impresses guests, neighbours, and future homebuyers.

Certain renovations like adding a home theatre or pool cater to a very specific homebuyer. Most Canadian homeowners enjoy grilling outdoors, which broadens the appeal of an outdoor kitchen.  

Real estate marketplace Zillow analyzed the sales of 4.6 million U.S. homes a few years ago and found that houses with upgraded outdoor features sold for 24.5% more than listings without exterior home upgrades.

How much is an outdoor kitchen?

Hopefully, we’ve made a good case for why an outdoor kitchen is worth it, which brings us to one of the final questions you probably have: how much do outdoor kitchens cost?

Small outdoor kitchens with a basic level of functionality can start at around $5,000. Large, fully-loaded outdoor kitchens with high-end appliances and premium materials can cost $30,000 and higher.

Many factors will determine the cost of an outdoor kitchen, including:

  • the size of the kitchen
  • the complexity and scale of the kitchen’s design
  • the quality of products and materials used
  • costs for having the kitchen professionally designed and installed
  • permit costs
  • utility costs to hook up natural gas, water, and electricity
  • whether or not it’s being covered with a roof

Whatever your budget is for an outdoor kitchen building project, prioritize buying high-quality, durable products with weather-resistant materials that will last and work reliably for many years. Shown below are the most popular outdoor kitchen features.

Infographic from Fixr.com

Discover why an outdoor kitchen is so worth it!

If you’re still on the fence about whether or not an outdoor kitchen addition is worth it, try viewing it as an investment, not an expense. You’re investing in creating years of great memories with your family and friends and improving your quality of life.

An outdoor kitchen will become an essential part of your home that elevates your outdoor living experience and proves to be a valuable asset whenever you sell your house.

Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your backyard? If so, schedule a free design consultation with Outeriors to get started on your dream kitchen design.

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Cottage Outdoor Kitchen Ideas That Will Inspire You

cottage outdoor kitchen

Your cottage’s interior has been upgraded and remodelled to provide most of the modern conveniences of your GTA-area home.

There’s a state-of-the-art kitchen, contemporary bathrooms, central air conditioning and heating, major appliances, and maybe even a wine cellar. 

Outside your cottage is a finished deck or patio, a newly rebuilt dock and boathouse, and a beachfront and property that is beautifully manicured. So what improvements remain to be done so your dream cottage will finally be complete?

Adding a cottage outdoor kitchen or, better yet, an outdoor kitchen and living space is the perfect way to complete your home away from home.

An outdoor kitchen and cottage life go hand in hand

Year after year, RE/MAX’s annual Cabin and Cottage Trends Across Canada survey shows that the biggest reason anyone owns a cottage is to have a place where they can relax and spend time with family and friends.

We can’t think of many better ways to enhance the experience of escaping the city for some R & R and hosting weekend get-togethers than by adding a cottage outdoor kitchen and living space.

An increasing number of suburban homeowners have recognized the benefits of adding an outdoor living space to their backyards or upgrading their existing deck or patio area. These additions enhance the functionality of a home and increase its amount of livable square footage.

Cottage country’s “design renaissance”

Cottage owners are following suit. More cottagers are upgrading the exterior of their second home with a nicer cooking space and adding other features that boost their comfort level.

As the National Post writes, “Cottage country is undergoing a design renaissance. Cottage owners want meaningful amenities along with the great outdoors. They want to indulge in the simple pleasures they are too busy to enjoy in the city.”

Most Ontarians would agree that our summers are way too short. That’s why building a cottage that allows you to get as much enjoyment as possible from it during the warmest months of the year should be a high priority for any cottager.

Having a well-rounded cottage outdoor space for cooking, dining, and relaxing will make it even more of a valued summer getaway place you can’t wait to get to and will hate to leave.

Why a cottage outdoor kitchen is a great investment

10% of Canadians own a cottage. Owning recreational properties in popular Ontario cottage country areas like Muskoka, the Kawarthas, and Haliburton has never been more desirable.

Even before the pandemic, there had been big demand and little supply for cottages in the province, especially for waterfront properties. The pandemic only made cottages more of a hot commodity, resulting in the current record-low levels of cottage inventory. 

The cottage market will eventually stabilize, but a well-located, remodelled Ontario cottage property will be in-demand for years to come. A big reason is that although Ontario may be a large province geographically, there are only a finite amount of easily accessible waterfront properties that are viable to build on.

Any major upgrades that can be done, such as adding a cottage outdoor kitchen, adds to the home’s value and makes it that much more of an attractive property.

More often than not, luxury cottages that are newly built or that have been upgraded from a smaller cottage structure lack an outdoor cooking area befitting of the rest of their home. A well-appointed outdoor kitchen with space for dining and lounging is the perfect way to complete a high-end cottage building project.

Keep it in the family

Of course, a lot of cottage owners have no intention of ever selling their property and maintain the family tradition of passing it on from one generation to the next.

A long-term cottage ownership commitment makes investing in impactful upgrades that may cost a little more very practical. A new cottage outdoor kitchen and living space will be enjoyed right now, in your retirement years, and maybe even by your kids and grandkids years from now.

outdoor kitchen on wood deck

Ontario cottages are more in-demand than ever before. Investing in upgrades like an outdoor kitchen boosts a cottage’s value.

Additional outdoor kitchen benefits

A kitchen is called the heart of the home and cottage kitchens are no different. Doubling up on the amount of high-activity space your summer home has can only be a positive thing.

If you’re still not convinced about why you should get a cottage outdoor kitchen, here are a few more outdoor kitchen benefits to consider:

  • an outdoor kitchen gives you more cottage cooking options
  • you can enjoy the natural beauty surrounding your cottage more
  • spending more time outside is good for your physical and mental health
  • cooking outdoors makes it easier to socialize with guests
  • grilling is one of the best ways to cook healthier meals

8 outdoor kitchen design principles

Any outdoor kitchen being built in Ontario should follow these design principles to create a cooking space with both form and function:

  1. Design the kitchen to suit your lifestyle and how the space will be used. For example, if you plan to entertain a lot, a design that allows you to easily socialize with guests while preparing meals is ideal.
  2. Choose durable, weather-resistant outdoor kitchen materials that won’t rust or warp quickly, will retain their colours for a long time, and are low-maintenance.
  3. Anchor the cottage outdoor kitchen with a built-in premium grill that cooks more reliably than a cheaper grill. Customize the size of the grill’s cooking surface to accommodate how you will entertain.
  4. Outfit the kitchen with enough cabinetry to take care of all your storage needs and cut down on the number of trips that need to be made into the cottage.
  5. Add slightly more countertop space than you think you’ll need so there’s always enough room on the work surface for preparing meals, setting down cooked foods, etc.
  6. Incorporate cooling appliances for easily accessible food and beverage storage. Extra appliances like side burners and warming drawers are also helpful amenities to have.
  7. Consider adding a sink for added convenience if it’s feasible with your cottage’s plumbing infrastructure.
  8. Take advantage of the wealth of styles, finishes, and colours available with your outdoor kitchen products to complement the exterior features of your cottage.

Unique design considerations for cottage outdoor kitchens

In addition to following these outdoor kitchen design principles, a cottage outdoor kitchen design gives you a few more things to consider.

The location and size of your cottage’s deck or patio will largely determine how the kitchen design will come together. If you’re lucky enough to own a cottage with a lakefront view, try to have your designer situate the outdoor living area where you can take full advantage of your scenic surroundings. Also factor in the position of the sun and the amount of wind that will affect the cooking and lounging areas.

Raised decks tend to be more common on cottage properties than residential ones, so deck support upgrades may be needed to handle the added weight of a kitchen.

Outdoor kitchens in traditional homes typically use a connection to a residential natural gas line to power their grills and fire pits or outdoor fireplaces. That option won’t be available in most rural locations. Relying on several regular-sized propane tanks for your outdoor cooking needs isn’t very practical, either.

The best solution is to get a large refillable natural gas or propane tank to fuel your outdoor kitchen and the inside of your cottage if needed.

Why cook inside on a beautiful day at the cottage when you can make your meals while enjoying your natural surroundings?

Go big or go small

Outdoor kitchens come in all sizes and levels of design complexity. Cooking enthusiasts who love trying new recipes and having all the amenities of an interior kitchen can have a larger, fully-outfitted kitchen created so they can cook to their heart’s content.

On the other hand, perhaps a small, simple outdoor kitchen design is more practical because you and your family are only casual grillers or your cottage’s exterior has space limitations. A cottage outdoor kitchen design with a built-in grill, a little counter space, and a few storage cabinets beats a standalone grill and a rickety side table any day.

Expanding a smaller outdoor kitchen design, later on, is another option. Ask your designer to come up with a design that makes it easier to add on in the future if the need arises. It’s always nice to have options, right?

Cottage outdoor living space ideas

The only thing nicer than having an outdoor kitchen at the cottage is having a kitchen that is accompanied by a bar, dining area, and outdoor living room.

A complete outdoor living space takes care of all of your cottage hosting needs as an evening on the lake unfolds. Your gathering of friends and family can move from pre-dinner mingling to dining al fresco with freshly grilled food, then ease effortlessly into the relaxation and entertainment portion of the evening in a comfy outdoor living room.

An outdoor bar or beverage station is tailor-made for entertaining at the cottage and keeping your guests happy with a cold beverage. Add some high-quality outdoor furniture to your cottage deck or patio to create a dining area where your grilled meals can be enjoyed in the great outdoors.

Enjoy the comforts of indoors outside

Cottage outdoor lounging areas have evolved well beyond setting up a few fold-up chairs and some chaise lounges. Modern outdoor living rooms bring all the comfort of an interior living room out to your cottage deck or patio with furniture like couches, love seats, and recliners that are made for outdoor use. An ottoman and side and coffee tables can be added to round out your furniture arrangement and make the space feel like more of a living room.

Adding some Adirondack or Muskoka chairs (a cottage staple) and lounging furniture like a porch swing, rocking chair, or hanging chair fit will right in on a cottage deck or patio.

Another way to make any outdoor living space feel cozier while making a decorative statement is to add outdoor rugs and throw cushions for the furniture. Switch up the look of the area by occasionally changing the cushions and rugs (double-sided outdoor rugs are perfect for this).

outdoor living space

An outdoor kitchen and dining space is tailor-made for the cottage lifestyle.

Set up a cottage outdoor entertainment space

Some people like to escape to cottage country to reconnect with nature and disconnect a little from the things that contribute to the hustle and bustle of everyday life, such as modern tech. Others like to spend some of their time at the cottage enjoying the same entertainment options they’re used to having at their primary home.

Enjoying things like movies, televised sports events, video games, and music nowadays makes it impossible to fully disentangle ourselves from the tech that powers our lives.

Setting up an outdoor entertainment space at the cottage is fairly simple. All you need is an outdoor television that is built with specialized components and parts that allows it to operate in damp and humid conditions. Outdoor TVs can also function in a wider range of temperatures than normal TVs, which makes them ideal for cottage use.

Boost the TV’s sound quality with a wireless surround sound system or a high-quality sound bar. Now you’re ready to enjoy the ball game or one of the latest Hollywood blockbusters in 4K with excellent audio quality.

Let the music play!

And we can’t forget about music! Enjoying great summer tunes while lounging outdoors at the cottage is as much a part of the Ontario cottage experience as waterskiing or catching some rays on the dock. WiFi or Bluetooth wireless portable speakers let you bring your music anywhere around the cottage area.

Another option is to get a wireless audio system installed at your cottage. Weatherproof, low-profile wireless speakers with great sound can be strategically positioned to provide complete sound coverage on your cottage property.

How to stay connected while you’re at the cottage

A good WiFi signal will be required to use most of the aforementioned tech, which can be an issue for remotely located cottages. Some luxury grills have smart tech that requires a WiFi signal. Having internet access at the cottage is also useful so you can spend more time at your family retreat by working remotely.

If your cottage is unable to get a “traditional” internet connection via land-based cable, phone, and fibre optic network systems, here are a few solutions to get online while you’re at the cottage:

  1. Set up a WiFi hotspot via a smartphone’s cellular data connection. Using a tablet or laptop with a SIM card will work, too. If your cellular signal is weak, a cell signal booster will help.
  2. Use a wireless internet service that is tailor-made for rural areas. This method works by using a small antenna installed outside a cottage which connects to a wireless network.
  3. Get a satellite internet system like SpaceX’s Starlink, which uses a satellite dish to receive a signal from space that provides you with high-speed internet access.

Keep in mind that the first two cottage internet solutions (especially the WiFi hotspot method) won’t give you the kind of ultra-fast internet speeds you’re used to in the city and suburbs. They can still provide enough functionality to serve most of your online needs at the cottage.

Keep things cool, dry, and (almost) bug-free

Cottagers like to be outdoors as much as possible, but a rainy day can spoil the fun. An overhead covering for a cottage outdoor kitchen and living area comes in very handy when you want to stay dry or stay cool on a hot, sunny day.

Nothing says “I’m at the cottage” more than the strong smell of bug repellant and having to constantly swat away mosquitoes, horseflies, and other pests.

A screened-in deck or patio is an effective and less intrusive way to reduce the number of insects around a cottage deck or patio. You won’t have to hear the constant sound of bugs being fried by a bug zapper or take in the aroma of burning citronella candles or coils. Get a screen enclosure system that can be rolled up or retracted during the day.

A fire pit helps extend your cottage season

An outdoor living room at the cottage provides a comfortable place to relax and wind down after a sun-filled day of water activities. A natural gas or propane fire pit adds to your outdoor living enjoyment and is perfect for the laid-back, cottage lifestyle.

Fire pits boost the ambiance in any outdoor setting. Natural gas and propane fire pits are easier and safer to use than wood-burning fire pits (which may not even be allowed in some cottage areas).

Another benefit of having a fire pit is that it can help extend your cottage season. They provide a steady, controllable level of heat that can take the chill off a deck or patio in the early spring and late fall.

“Today, more than ever before, cottage buyers are using their properties year-round, making them even more valuable,” said John O’Rourke, a Royal LePage Lakes of Muskoka broker.

fire pit with two chairs

A fire pit adds warmth and comfort as you relax on your cottage deck or patio.

Savour life outdoors at your cottage

Outeriors doesn’t just create amazing outdoor kitchens in Toronto and its surrounding area – we also design cottage outdoor kitchen and living spaces.

Work with us to create a personalized cottage outdoor kitchen and living space that will make your home away from home an in-demand summer destination for friends and family. We take care of everything. Our full-service approach is designed to make your project stress-free.

Schedule a free design consultation with us to get your outdoor kitchen and living space project started.

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Pandemic DIY Projects: The Risk and Reward Of Going It Alone

pandemic DIY projects hero

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

The home improvement industry is booming as many homeowners turned to pandemic DIY projects to improve their living spaces during 2020 and 2021.

Both home improvement retailers and home contractors have been doing robust business. This has happened during an unprecedented time of struggle in most sectors of the economy.

It makes a lot of sense. Locked-down homeowners had more time than ever before to really take a look around the houses and condos they were confined to. Clearly, a lot of us saw room for improvement in our homes and chose to take action.

The most popular pandemic DIY projects

Pandemic DIY projects ranging from the small (like staining a deck) to the large (such as a flooring renovation) were started. Considering the unpredictable nature of DIYs, we’d hazard a guess that not all of them were finished.

It wasn’t only home building and repair projects we took on to improve our living spaces. Some of us kept the power tools on the shelf and took the time to finally clean up those clutter hotspots in the home, such as the garage, basement, or our closets. Every little bit helps, right?

The reno projects that are routinely popular with homeowners (like interior painting and kitchen and bathroom remodels) continued to get a lot of attention. A number of the other projects that rank high on our home improvement to-do lists reflect the unique times we’re living in:

  • home offices
  • home gyms
  • outdoor living spaces
  • home entertainment rooms
  • mudrooms
  • landscaping
using tape measure while doing DIY project

Lots of free time, boredom and restlessness, extra savings, and the opportunity to learn a new skill translated into a home improvement boom. (Photo by Los Muertos Crew from Pexels)

9 reasons pandemic DIY projects are so popular

The reasons behind the surge in DIY projects are both obvious and a little less apparent. Here are nine reasons we have invested so much time in refreshing our homes during the pandemic:

1. We finally have time to tend to our homes: it took a global pandemic for many of us to find the free time to dust off that home to-do list and finally get around to completing some of the tasks on it.

2. We need to nurture our mental well-being: being stuck at home 24/7 and cut off from our social lives (aside from socializing virtually) took a toll on our mental health. The opportunity to be productive by tackling a building project or pursuing creative outlets like crafting or learning an instrument helped us tend to our mental well-being.

3. Canadians saved more money: Statistics Canada reports that Canadians saved an average of $5,574 in 2020, compared to just $479 in 2019. It stands to reason, then, that if the average Canadian had over $5,000 more in their bank account than usual, the average number of home renos done would be significantly higher, too.

4. Sheer boredom and restlessness: everyone who experienced cabin fever during the lockdowns of 2020 and 2021 can relate to people looking for anything to do to keep themselves busy. Doing the “Netflix and chill” thing day after day only goes so far before it starts to feel old. As boredom and restlessness set in, working on one of those long-delayed DIY project ideas might have become the highlight of your day!

5. We got a new perspective on things: having so much at-home time made us view our living spaces with a completely different perspective and make some changes to better suit our lifestyle. Our eyes were opened to upgrade opportunities we perhaps wouldn’t have considered because of the busy nature of our lives during “normal times”.

reasons for starting pandemic diy projects

44% of the 1,500 Canadians surveyed have invested in home renovations or plan to do so during the pandemic. These are the top reasons given for improving their homes. (Infographic from Abacus Data)

6. Cost-effectiveness: not everybody’s bank account was flush with extra cash, so naturally anyone wanting to save a few bucks on a home upgrade or two was willing to use their free time to handle their own projects.

7. The chance to learn a new skill or hobby: home improvement enriches our lives and so does self-improvement. One of the silver linings of having all this “you time” is that we’ve been able to take on new hobbies and develop new skills that might have otherwise remained unfulfilled aspirations.

8. Add value to our homes: one of the main incentives for starting a DIY project anytime is to increase the value of your home. The pricey GTA real estate market right now, which is being driven by low inventory, record-high demand, and low interest rates, makes upgrading your current home more attractive than moving.

9. Home renovation tax credits: some provinces offered tax credits that anyone who had done work on their home might be eligible for. Saskatchewan, for example, allowed homeowners to claim up to $11,000 for renovation work done during 2020 and 2021. Here in Ontario, the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit allowed seniors or anyone with senior relatives living with them to claim 25% of up to $10,000 for work done to make a home more accessible and safe for seniors.

Pandemic DIY projects give us a sense of purpose

That second point above about nurturing our mental well-being warrants some further examination, considering how rough 2020 and 2021 has been on our mental health.

When anyone who experienced the pandemic is asked in the future about the feelings they experienced during this period of time, words like “stressed”, “fearful”, “disoriented”, and “helpless” will be used. Pandemic DIY projects have helped function as somewhat of a coping mechanism for many of us. They give us a sense of purpose and some structure in a daily routine that has been completely upended.

So many things during the pandemic were out of our control. Home building projects let us focus our energy into something positive we could control – building new things, making repairs around the house, and getting organized.

That let us feel more in control and productive, as we worked our way through those home to-do lists and satisfyingly checked things off them.

Medical experts believe there are psychological benefits to learning new skills and staying productive during trying times. Keeping busy with a creative and physical activity like a pandemic DIY project can help reduce feelings of depressions and anxiety.

DIY floor project

Keeping busy during difficult times by learning a new skill or having a creative outlet is good for our mental health.

It’s no surprise backyard upgrades were popular

Backyards have gotten a lot of DIY love during the pandemic. That makes a lot of sense, considering we couldn’t travel anywhere internationally, nationally, or even locally most of the time, for that matter.

Outside of taking socially distanced excursions to a local park or going out for a walk or jog, a staycation in the backyard was just about the only option we had to enjoy ourselves outdoors while the weather was nice.

Extending the home’s living space to the backyard to get some fresh air and sunshine took on a variety of forms. The most popular backyard renovation projects include adding or updating:

  • pools
  • outdoor kitchens
  • outdoor living rooms
  • decks
  • patios
  • landscaping

A HomeAdvisor survey found that 27% of homeowners shifted their spending to upgrade their outdoor living areas and some of them left their backyard projects to the pros.

Basil Larkin, the vice president of sales for premium grill maker Hestan, told Forbes at the end of 2020, “Our summer orders have increased by 80% compared to what they have been historically. Moreover, we have maintained this throughout the remainder of the year to date, even after the traditional grilling season has concluded in many parts of the nation.”

As the article says, “New outdoor kitchens add a new and enticing dimension to the home.”

Shifting needs led to homeowners investing more in projects that upgraded kitchens, home offices, home entertainment areas, and outdoor living spaces. (Infographic from HomeAdvisor)

4 drawbacks of DIYing home projects

Although there are lots of benefits to taking care of your own home building projects, it’s an activity that does come with some pitfalls. Here are some ways DIYing can be challenging and not worth the headaches:

1. Inexperience: the most obvious reason for thinking twice about starting a home reno project is if you don’t have any experience in the renovation area you’re looking to tackle. Most people can handle an interior painting job. Someone who can tell the difference between a screwdriver and a hammer might be able to handle a deck build with some help. Something far more complicated like building an outdoor kitchen is a whole different ball of wax, however. Building inexperience also raises the risk of injury.

A recent survey of 870 American homeowners by Bid-On-Equipment found that 77% of DIYers thought their project took too long to complete without a pro’s help.

2. The finished project is disappointing: It’s one thing to start and finish a DIY project, but what does the final result look like? There’s nothing more deflating than struggling through a time-consuming, challenging DIY project and feeling disappointed when the completed project falls well short of having the kind of professional look that comes from the hands of a skilled contractor.

In that Bid-On-Equipment survey, a third of the homeowners who did a pandemic DIY project said they were disappointed with how the project turned out.

3. Getting building materials has been a challenge: access to the vast majority of brick and mortar stores has been severely restricted in Ontario during the pandemic. That made picking up tools and building materials you needed for a job difficult. Curbside pickup services were available, but high demand could sometimes mean waiting days for an available pickup time and delays to your project.

4. Supply chain shortages: as much as actually getting your hands on everything you needed to work on your home project has been challenging, sometimes the tools and building materials we needed weren’t even available to get. Since the pandemic began, supply chain shortages in many types of manufacturing industries has been an ongoing issue.

DIYers are basically at the mercy of whenever their local home improvement store gets in a new shipment of those deck boards they needed for their deck-building project, for example. Most contractors have existing relationships with suppliers they use often. This gives them a slight advantage to get the supplies they need for their projects quicker than a DIYer can.

Have a pro make your backyard staycation-worthy

Anyone can spruce up their backyard with a simple DIY project. Fixing a deck or patio and setting up a small outdoor cooking station with a basic barbecue allows your family to enjoy your backyard more.

Not all home improvement projects are for the average DIYer, however. As a Toronto plumber told CTV News, “My advice for starting any DIY during COVID-19 is keep it within your abilities. The last thing you want is to be staring at a half-finished project in your home and adding to your stress levels.”

outdoor kitchen and living space

Building an outdoor living space so nice that it could be featured in a magazine spread requires years of expertise.

Outeriors specializes in taking backyard home improvement projects to the next level. We create beautiful outdoor living spaces with fully outfitted luxury kitchens and comfortable lounging spaces that will transform your backyard into a part of the home that provides more fun and function.

If you’d like an experienced pro to handle everything with your outdoor kitchen and living space project, schedule a free design consultation with us.

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7 Reasons To Hire an Outdoor Kitchen Company and Not DIY

Investing in a home improvement project that expands your living space is a big commitment. Building an outdoor kitchen is no exception.

Taking on this project is no easy task, which is why hiring an outdoor kitchen company is smarter than trying to DIY it.

A survey from Porch.com found that 55% of homeowners DIYed a recent home improvement project, yet only 31% of them admitted that the project was a success.

outdoor kitchen company

Sure, DIYing an outdoor kitchen has its benefits. Saving some money and getting that satisfying feeling knowing you’ve improved your home with your own two hands is nothing to sneeze at.

There are a lot more benefits of letting a professional handle the job, however. Here are seven reasons to hire an outdoor kitchen company for your backyard building project.

1. An outdoor kitchen company has experience

A ship needs a good captain to guide the vessel safely and efficiently along its journey. Any ship embarking out to sea is always under the guidance of someone with lots of on-the-job experience.

An outdoor kitchen company designer is very much the captain of any building project they’re involved with, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

There is no substitute for experience

Call it experience, expertise, know-how, or whichever word for “knowing what you’re doing” you prefer – they all definitely matter with an outdoor kitchen building project.

Building an outdoor kitchen and entertaining space from scratch by yourself is beyond the skill level of most homeowners. Some weekend DIYers could put together a serviceable space for cooking outside. Why settle for just serviceable, though? It also may not be the safest to use, nor will it have the professional, high-end look that an experienced outdoor kitchen company can create.

“Figuring it out as you go along” may work for doing a small plumbing repair using a helpful YouTube video to guide you. An outdoor kitchen build is on a whole other skill level, though.

There are a lot of moving pieces involved when designing and building an outdoor kitchen. Finishes and colours need to complement one another and be tailored to the homeowners’ taste. The backyard space where the kitchen is being installed needs to be utilized efficiently. And complicated tasks like hooking up gas, water, and electrical lines need to be handled.

And that’s just scratching the surface of what’s involved.

Measuring twice, building once

A reliable outdoor kitchen company will have a tried-and-true work process in place that makes the project run efficiently. That’s starting from the initial design consultation right through to the point where the company’s truck is leaving your driveway after the installation is completed.

An honest contractor knows that time is money – both yours and theirs. They are more likely to adhere to the “measure twice, build once” philosophy that ensures the job is done right the first time.

DIYers often need to go back and fix up things they didn’t install or build properly, which wastes their time and isn’t cost-effective. In many cases, these homeowners end up having to hire a pro to fix the work they’ve done, which only makes the project’s cost balloon even further.

Another area where experience from your contractor is important is problem-solving. An experienced contractor can come up with a quick solution to an unexpected problem because they’ve probably seen it before. There’s no hitting a building roadblock as you try to work out a conundrum like why that darn upper-right cabinet isn’t aligning with the bottom-right cabinet.

Outeriors truck

A reliable outdoor kitchen company will have an efficient work process that starts from the initial design consultation right through to the final installation work.

2. Convenience

The convenience of having a good contractor handle your home improvement project is something virtually everyone can appreciate (other than perhaps the most skilled DIYers).

Ontario summers are all too short. Hiring an outdoor kitchen company will allow you to use your free time to spend on other summer activities that don’t include a time-consuming construction project. A professional with experience building outdoor kitchens will get the job done faster, too. That lets you start using your backyard kitchen space that much sooner!

Everything is designed at the same time to create a unified, attractive look with every component functioning in perfect harmony. There’s no need to inconveniently add accessories or make design changes later on that don’t aesthetically fit and stand out as a design afterthought.

For the ultimate in convenience, hire a full-service outdoor kitchen company like Outeriors. We handle everything from creating your kitchen space to installing a fire pit to enhancing your outdoor living space with landscape lighting and an outdoor audio system.

This simplifies the process of building a backyard kitchen even more. There’s no coordinating with different tradespeople to handle different installation jobs on different days. That’s never not a headache.

outdoor living space

Most DIYers couldn’t build an outdoor living space this nice. Take advantage of the convenience of letting a pro handle the work. Enjoy your summer doing something more fun than tackling a complex backyard building project!

3. Customize your outdoor kitchen design

If you’re building an outdoor cooking space by yourself, you’re obviously customizing it to look the way you want.

That’s not quite the same as working with a professional designer on a customized outdoor kitchen design, however.

The best outdoor kitchen companies will have designers who can take your core ideas and design goals and elevate your vision into something truly special.

The ability to create customized contemporary outdoor kitchen designs with a limitless number of design options is one of several difference-makers between DIYing the kitchen and working with an expert.

They can create an outdoor living space that is tailored to fit your lifestyle, cooking habits, design preferences, and backyard space.

Dealing with customization challenges

Of course, customizing means there’s a higher chance you’ll encounter some design challenges.

Where a custom outdoor kitchen design concept begins is rarely how it eventually turns out. Tweaks, improvements, and modifications are usually involved, especially when clients get a better visual idea of what their finished kitchen will look like with 3D CAD renderings.

You’ll find that a creative, flexible designer who can solve problems quickly and adapt to any challenges is worth their weight in gold.

4. Work with the best outdoor kitchen products

Your outdoor kitchen company should have high standards for the products they will use when building your kitchen. If you’re DIYing a kitchen and unfamiliar with the various brands of outdoor kitchen products available, you might not know any better that a certain brand you didn’t buy was a better choice.

Doing some research online will help educate you. Once again, there’s no substitute for the experience that comes with working in the industry. A good designer will stay up-to-date on all the latest products and the pros and cons of certain models of outdoor kitchen appliances, for example.

Outeriors works with only the best outdoor kitchen equipment brands in the industry. We know that manufacturers like Danver, Brown Jordan, Coyote, and Dekton offer the highest quality outdoor kitchen products that look stunning, perform exceptionally, and last for years.

You get what you pay for

Remember that the quality of the outdoor kitchen products you buy will have a big impact on the project’s final cost.

It’s in an area like this where going with the contractor who gives you the cheapest quote can come back to haunt you. One reason you might be getting an attractive low quote is because the contractor uses cheap outdoor kitchen products that won’t last.

Visiting a showroom always helps

Another way to tell if an outdoor kitchen company you’re considering hiring is a fly-by-night type of operation is whether or not they have a showroom.

If they don’t, it certainly doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted. They may just be a small one or two-person operation.

If they do have a showroom where you can get a better sense of their product offerings and standards, however, that’s a strong indicator that they’re more established and going to be around for a while.

outdoor kitchen showroom

Does the outdoor kitchen company you’re hiring have a showroom? There’s no substitute for getting a better idea about the quality of the products you’re buying than an in-person, hands-on “test drive” of them.

5. Attention to details matter

When we say “attention to details” with an outdoor kitchen, what exactly are we referring to?

Here’s an example. Outeriors president Daniel Albo was interviewed by the Toronto Sun and explains why the finishes and colours used in an outdoor kitchen aren’t just about aesthetics. He tells the Sun that finishes with darker colours are harder to maintain and keep clean in an outdoor setting.

Albo goes on to say, “Darker surfaces also absorb more heat from the sun and can be hot to the touch if open to above. Earth-tone colours are typically easier to keep looking great.”

Important considerations like this indicate that you’re working with a professional that has your best interests in mind. A reputable outdoor kitchen company wants you to love your kitchen 10 years from now, not just until the warranties run out and they’re off the hook for fixing any issues.

A shady contractor often only cares about meeting the bare minimum of the project requirement so they can get just paid and quickly move on to their next project. Remember that with unscrupulous contractors, corner-cutting is a feature, not a defect or bug.

Attention to detail when designing and building an outdoor kitchen also matters in other areas you may not have considered.

Building safely and pricing responsibly

Safety is one example. A kitchen that uses natural gas, electricity, and running water outdoors and has an open grill flame and hot cooking surfaces needs to be designed with safety in mind. This is even more essential if kids and pets will be around the kitchen.

Attention to detail also matters when you’re discussing pricing with the outdoor kitchen company you’ve hired. Get a detailed summary upfront of the costs for each product and the services that will be performed so there are no surprises with hidden fees later on. That’s a move right out of the shady contractor’s handbook!

6. Peace of mind

Hiring any contractor requires some homework on your part to differentiate between which companies have a reliable track record and which ones don’t instil confidence in you to handle your building project.

Home renovations rarely come without some degree of stress. Getting things off on the right foot by doing your research and finding a reliable outdoor kitchen company that does great work will provide you with a comforting peace of mind.

Always check online reviews, references, and ask a potential contractor for a portfolio of their past work. Make sure you can verify that any photos they’re showing you are, in fact, from projects they’ve worked on and not just impressive outdoor kitchen photos they found online.

Positive word-of-mouth or a glowing reference from someone you know is perhaps the best way to find out how an outdoor kitchen company works. 

Make sure your contractor isn’t just qualified to do the work, but that they’re properly insured, will work safely, and will build everything to code.

design consultation

Most people find home renovations to be stressful. Do your homework before hiring a contractor for your own peace of mind.

7. Accountability for your building project

A reputable outdoor kitchen builder who cares about the work they do and strives to keep their clients satisfied will stay accountable throughout the design and building process.

Poor communication between a contractor and client results in inconvenient scheduling, disputes over a project’s cost, frustration on both sides, and a customer who ultimately isn’t happy with their experience.

Outeriors is a division of Garage Living, a trusted leader in the field of garage remodels. Garage Living has been around since 2005 and transformed thousands of garages across North America into stylish, more functional extensions of their clients’ living spaces.

We’re an outdoor kitchen company that brings that same philosophy and high level of standards to the backyard with every outdoor living space project we work on.

Our design professionals stay connected with our clients as their project progresses, receiving their input and providing clear timelines on the work being done.

Our goals are one and the same – we want your outdoor kitchen space to look stunning!

Outeriors Google review

A customer’s Google review about working with Outeriors.

Hire an outdoor kitchen company you can trust

Don’t get in over your head trying to build your own outdoor kitchen. Hire a reliable outdoor kitchen company that can transform your backyard into a one-of-a-kind outdoor living space.

As one home improvement professional told CTV News in the early days of the pandemic, “My advice for starting any DIY during COVID-19 is keep it within your abilities. The last thing you want is to be staring at a half-finished project in your home (that’s) adding to your stress levels.”

If you’re looking for a qualified outdoor kitchen company in Toronto that can handle your building project, look no further than Outeriors. We specialize in designing outdoor kitchen and living spaces of all sizes.

Get a free quote for your planned outdoor kitchen by scheduling a free design consultation with us.

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12 Outdoor Kitchen Benefits To Inspire Your Own Project

Interest in outdoor home improvement projects was at a high level before the pandemic.

Now that we’re seeing the end of this difficult time coming clearer into focus, the demand for outdoor living upgrades has gone to the next level.

The importance of improving our living spaces for more comfort and function has never been so front-of-mind.

Outdoor kitchen additions are one of the projects leading the outdoor living upgrade charge. Why? Because there are so many life-improving outdoor kitchen benefits that it only makes sense to invest in one for your backyard.

As Outeriors president Daniel Albo told the Toronto Sun, “An outdoor kitchen has become the final frontier of any renovation project.”

outdoor kitchen with food

Outdoor kitchen benefits worth considering

Dining out once in a while is nice, but it’s equally enjoyable to create your own grilled meals in the backyard and feed the people you enjoy spending time with the most.

The outdoor cooking area has evolved from a few square feet in the backyard occupied by a standalone grill into spacious, luxury outdoor cooking spaces with all the functionality of a traditional kitchen.

There are many good reasons why outdoor kitchens have become so attractive to homeowners – at least a dozen of them, in fact.

If adding an outdoor kitchen has been on your home improvement wish list, get inspired to start your project with these 12 outdoor kitchen benefits.

1. Increase your home’s livable space

A rarely used backyard is wasted space and wasted potential, not unlike a spare room.

Having a little more livable space is appealing to almost everyone and that’s exactly what an outdoor kitchen and entertainment area provide.

Indoor kitchen remodels are consistently one of the most popular home renovation projects. If you’re considering such a project, it makes a lot of sense to rethink that plan and devote your remodeling budget towards adding a second kitchen space outside.

An enhanced outdoor living area with a kitchen, dining, and entertaining area transforms your backyard into a space that is optimized for comfort and added home functionality.

It can be custom-designed to fit your lifestyle. For example, more livable outdoor space creates extra room for hosting large get-togethers. Guests can socialize inside or outside.

2. Expand your summer menu options

Eating the same dishes month after month gets a little boring. When the spring arrives and you can fire up the grill on a daily basis if desired, it’s fun to shake up your menu options for the next several months with some new recipes.

Barbecues offer an endless choice of grilling recipes to try out. If you Google “grilling recipes”, almost a billion results come up!

Maybe you’ve heard someone you know boast, “My indoor kitchen has everything!”. Really? Does it have a grill? Probably not.

Even an indoor kitchen with “everything” is likely missing the one thing that makes some of our favourite dishes.

Lots of Canadians use their grills year-round, too. You know a grill isn’t just any ’ol appliance when people are willing to bundle up, brave the frigid weather, and shovel snow off the patio just to grill up some burgers and steaks.

assorted meat and veggies on grill

A fully-outfitted outdoor kitchen can inspire you to get adventurous with your summer grilling dishes.

3. Take a break from your indoor kitchen

On a gorgeous early summer evening, why stand over a hot stove indoors preparing dinner if you can do your cooking out in the backyard?

You can have an outdoor kitchen designed to include all the amenities of an indoor kitchen, including:

  • refrigeration
  • an ice machine
  • cabinet storage for grilling tools, dining utensils, serving plates, glasses, etc.
  • a wide variety of outdoor cooking and food warming appliances
  • lots of countertop space
  • a dishwasher
  • various types of cooking surfaces

And let’s not forget the beloved grill, which is something that your indoor kitchen can’t provide you with!

Although we’re so conditioned to cooking inside our homes most of the time, cooking outside regularly shouldn’t feel unnatural. After all, our earliest ancestors were doing it ages ago.

4. You can go all-out with your kitchen design

If you have a large backyard (along with the budget and desire for it), you have more space and freedom to go even bigger and more elaborate with your outdoor kitchen design than your indoor kitchen.

Get the cooking space set up with gas, electrical, and water lines. Add a built-in grill with a cooking area large enough to feed a small army. Pamper yourself with spacious countertops for dining and meal prepping. Load up your cooking space with appliances and all the outdoor cabinet storage you could possibly need.

We can’t even say you can have everything but the kitchen sink…because a sink can be included in an outdoor kitchen, too!

Without the constraints of an already-constructed and defined space to work within, you can go hog wild with your outdoor kitchen design.

Or not.

Outdoor cooking areas can also be smaller and/or less elaborate. A modestly-sized patio section that is outfitted with just the essentials like a good grill, a few cabinets, a small countertop, and an appliance or two can still let you get a lot done.

luxury outdoor kitchen

Creating an outdoor kitchen gives you more freedom to go big with its design more than most indoor kitchen designs can.

5. Grilled food just tastes better

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” We can add to that, “And grilled food always tastes better.”

Cooking over a hot flame brings out delicious flavours that simply aren’t achievable in an oven or with other indoor cooking appliances. And not just in meats, either.

Cooking seafood, vegetables, and even fruit on the grill can produce surprising results that add some welcome variety to your summer menu.

6. More time spent outdoors is good for your health

Spending more time in the great outdoors is good for your health. Don’t just take our word for it – science shows that spending more time outside has many health benefits.

Here are a few examples of how more outside living can benefit you:

  • Sunlight provides vitamin D and can lessen the effects of pain on the body.
  • Some people pay for aromatherapy sessions to relieve stress. Experiencing the smells of nature like freshly cut grass, pine trees, and flowers does the exact same thing.
  • Being outside more boosts your immune system.
  • The outdoors helps calm your mind and restore your focus, which makes you more creative.

The pandemic eliminated the ability for us to socialize much – if at all – with our friends for far too long. FaceTime and Zoom calls simply aren’t the same as spending quality face-to-face time with those we’re closest to. A lack of social interaction took a toll on the mental health of many of us.

As normalcy returns, socializing more with friends and family in places like backyards, on pub patios, or at a ball game (if the Blue Jays ever make it back home) will be good for the well-being of everybody.

2 kids in backyard

Spending more time outside during the summer is good for your health. (Photo by Allan Mas from Pexels)

7. A beautiful outdoor kitchen impresses everyone

A high-end outdoor cooking and entertaining area will become a go-to summer destination for your friends, neighbours, and family.

A fully outfitted backyard kitchen that can satisfy everyone’s appetites is only part of the appeal. With an outdoor entertainment area that includes an outdoor bar, TV, fire pit, and comfy furniture, your guests will never want to leave.

Not only will everyone want to soak up the cozy, inviting atmosphere and good food, they know they’ll be well taken care of by their hosts.

8. Maximize the enjoyment of your spring and summer

We’d bet that no other country in the world enjoys their summers more than Canadians. Summers here are all-too-short, but the amount of time we spend outside enjoying the warm weather shouldn’t be.

Make it your favourite part of the house from early spring through to late fall (and even beyond that if you’re particularly resilient!) with the right design and supplying the space with heating.

All sorts of practical backyard heating solutions are available to help extend your enjoyment of the outdoors. This includes:

  • outdoor fireplaces
  • gas and propane fire pits and fire tables
  • wood-burning fire pits
  • patio heaters
friends toasting in backyard

What better place is there to share good times with your friends and family than a nicely designed backyard? (Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels)

9. Grilling is healthier for you

Grilling your food on a barbecue instead of frying or broiling it is considered more healthy for you.

Fried foods absorb lots of fat. If too much of it is consumed, the higher cholesterol levels they contain can raise your blood pressure and increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

If you grill your food more often, a lot of the fat on the meat drips off. That lowers your calorie intake and results in a healthier diet and potentially fewer health issues.

Another health-related benefit of grilling that most people aren’t aware of is a piece of food that is grilled has more nutritional value than if you fried the same type of food. Grilled meats and veggies cook faster, which lets them retain more of their nutrients.

10. Outdoor kitchen building projects are less disruptive

If you’ve ever undergone a major renovation on an interior space like the kitchen or bathroom, you know how inconvenient and disruptive it can be.

Because all of the work with an outdoor kitchen project occurs, well, outdoors, there is less disruption to your family’s daily routine.

To ensure the project is done right and in a timely manner, hire an outdoor kitchen design company like Outeriors. Did you know that 8 in 10 homeowners used professional installers for their outdoor kitchen additions?

Here are some interesting statistics about home improvement trends in Canada, courtesy of the RE/MAX 2021 Renovation Investment Report:

Infographic from RE/MAX

11. Outdoor summer cooking saves energy

Next on our list of outdoor kitchen benefits is the energy conservation it contributes to.

Being outside more to cook during the summer keeps your home a little cooler because the indoor oven will be used less. Your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool your living space if the largest source of indoor heat during the summer (that isn’t weather-related) is on vacation.

The dishwasher, which also generates a lot of heat, can take a break, too. Consider air-drying your dishes to save energy or you could add an outdoor dishwasher to your exterior living space for even more convenience.

Another way an outdoor kitchen saves energy is that with everything you need in your food prep area, trips in and out of the home are all but eliminated. That prevents the escape of cold air from your house’s interior and keeps the warm air outside where it belongs.

Your outdoor kitchen appliances will still be using electricity, naturally, but the heat from things like a pizza oven and side burners will dissipate quicker outside.

12. Add value to your home

If you’re adding an outdoor cooking space to your home, you’re obviously not planning to move anytime soon. One day, however, you might find yourself being a seller.

The 12 outdoor kitchen benefits we have listed here certainly make your house more attractive to potential buyers. The added functionality an outdoor kitchen and living space offers adds value to your home and is a great selling point. And until that happens, you’ll get years of enjoyment from your investment.

Buying products made with premium materials and finishes that last longer will make your outdoor kitchen retain its long-term value even more.

Outdoor kitchens have a high return on investment

If you do an online search for the estimated return on investment (ROI) of an outdoor kitchen addition, the numbers vary quite widely.

Some real estate professionals believe an outdoor kitchen project has a 70% ROI, which is considered very good. Others believe it’s much higher and in the 90-100% range. Some even believe adding an outdoor kitchen recoups well over 100% of your building costs in the long run.

Whichever ROI estimate you trust, even at the lowest end, outdoor kitchens are a smart investment that provides a return on investment that exceeds the 68.6% average for the most popular home remodel projects.

Reap the benefits of an outdoor kitchen

Have these outdoor kitchen benefits convinced you that it’s time to add a second kitchen to your home?

Prioritize outdoor living and reimagine your backyard space. Our design pros will work with you to choose the best products, materials, colours, and styles to make your outdoor living space concept above and beyond what you dreamed it could be.

Kick-start your outdoor kitchen and living space project by booking a free design consultation with an Outeriors design consultant.

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