Polyethylene Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets: 7 Benefits You’re Missing

Polyethylene outdoor kitchen cabinet by Station GrillConsider how important an indoor kitchen’s cabinets are. Without them, kitchens couldn’t function nearly as efficiently, and the room would have a much different aesthetic.

Outdoor kitchens are no different. Outdoor kitchen cabinets provide essential storage functionality and help define what outdoor cooking spaces look like. That has a big impact on our enjoyment of using outdoor kitchens.

When designing an outdoor kitchen, one crucial element that demands careful consideration is the choice of cabinetry material. High-density polyethylene outdoor kitchen cabinets have emerged as an excellent option.

Cabinets made with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) offer many benefits that can enhance the functionality, aesthetics, and longevity of an outdoor kitchen.

We’ll explore the top benefits of high-density polyethylene outdoor kitchen cabinets and why they’re the ideal choice for your backyard cooking space.

What is high-density polyethylene (HDPE)?

Most people have never heard of high-density polyethylene, so let’s briefly explain what it is. HDPE is a type of petroleum-based polymer that was invented in the 1930s. The material is used to make many of the things we use every day like:

  • water bottles
  • cereal box liners and other food packaging
  • outdoor furniture
  • shampoo bottles
  • toys
  • playground equipment

High-density polyethylene is known for its durability and application versatility, especially for outdoor use. Outdoor-use HDPE products are typically made with marine-grade HDPE. As the name implies, the material was created specifically for marine applications, such as making decking, boats, and boat parts.

Marine-grade HDPE is specially formulated to provide higher resistance against damage caused by prolonged exposure to the elements. It’s also stronger than standard high-density polyethylene and won’t rot, or rust like metal can.

For all of these reasons, you can see why it’s so well-suited for making outdoor kitchen cabinets. Outeriors carries two lines of Station Grill outdoor kitchen cabinets that are made with marine-grade HDPE.

Until recent years, most plastic outdoor kitchen cabinets and other plastic outdoor living products like furniture had a reputation for being low-quality. That’s no longer the case, however.

Technological advancements have significantly improved the quality, durability, and stylishness of outdoor living products made with HDPE, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and other synthetic materials.

7 benefits of polyethylene outdoor kitchen cabinets

Anyone who is having an outdoor kitchen designed will have four main priorities. They want their outdoor kitchen to:

• look amazing
• provide all the functionality they need
• last a long time
• be low-maintenance

Marine-grade HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinets check all of these boxes. That’s why synthetic outdoor kitchen cabinets made with high-quality materials like HDPE are increasingly becoming a smart option for anyone looking for alternatives to traditional cabinet materials like stainless steel and aluminum.

HDPE has similar attributes to these cabinet materials and a few that set them apart as well. Here are seven benefits you’ll enjoy if you invest in high-quality polyethylene outdoor kitchen cabinets.

1. Polyethylene outdoor kitchen cabinets are weatherproof

Outdoor kitchens face non-stop exposure to the elements. The backyards of Ontario homes experience just about every type of weather there is, ranging from scorching heat and intense UV rays to heavy rain to snow and freezing temperatures. That’s why outdoor kitchen cabinet materials have to be so resilient.

weatherproof HDPE cabinetry

Moisture exposure takes the biggest toll on outdoor kitchen cabinets. Marine-grade HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinets like Station Grill’s Pur and Classic models are weatherproof and water-resistant. They’re designed to withstand exposure to water and humidity, which prevents moisture-related issues like corrosion, mould, mildew, swelling, and warping.

Sunlight is also harsh on outdoor living products. The best high-density polyethylene outdoor kitchen cabinets are specifically engineered to prevent the discolouring and deterioration that can occur from ultraviolet light damage.

Because HDPE is a high-strength, weather-resistant material, it can also handle the extreme hot and cold temperatures of Ontario’s climate.

2. HDPE outdoor cabinets are extremely durable

The superior weathering resistance of synthetic outdoor kitchen cabinets made with HDPE ensures longer durability. Exceptional cabinet durability isn’t just important for weather-related reasons, it’s also important for outdoor kitchens that get used a lot. If you choose a high-quality cabinet brand like Station Grill, your investment will remain in pristine condition for years to come.

HDPE’s high-strength properties allow products made with the polymer to be lightweight, yet extremely sturdy and resilient. Here are five examples of the durability that marine-grade HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinets offer:

  • HDPE is resistant to dents, scratches, and impacts
  • cabinets are resistant to stains, odours, and most chemicals because HDPE is non-porous
  • the flexibility of HDPE prevents cracking, warping, and other types of structural damage
  • higher-quality cabinets made with UV inhibitors prevent the product’s colours from fading
  • HDPE is coloured during the manufacturing process, so there’s no paint finish to peel or flake off

durable outdoor cabinetry with grill and red egg

Stainless steel and aluminum are two of the most popular types of outdoor kitchen cabinet materials for many good reasons. However, even the highest-quality cabinets made with these materials can’t provide all of these benefits.

Be aware that not all HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinets are of the same quality. You’ll find lots of cheaper HDPE cabinets for sale that aren’t marine-grade, for example, which will shorten the product’s life.

3. Design flexibility and a high-end look

An outdoor kitchen’s main function is to provide homeowners with an additional cooking space, but it should look nice and boost a backyard’s curb appeal, too. An attractive outdoor kitchen makes a home feel more comfortable and becomes a dynamic part of your living space you can’t wait to show off to guests.

The cabinets may stand out more than any other feature in an outdoor kitchen, so it’s important to make the right design choices for them. That’s why you’ll want more than one or two colour choices to effectively coordinate with the rest of the kitchen’s design, as well as your deck, patio, or other exterior home features if desired.

Many HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinet brands are available in an array of styles and finishes, allowing you to customize your outdoor kitchen to suit your unique taste and design preferences. To create a high-end outdoor kitchen look, invest in a high-quality HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinet brand like Station Grill.

Station Grill’s Pur collection of cabinets is available in six colours with a stylish lightly-textured finish and v-shaped edges. Their Classic cabinet line also comes in six colours with lightly-textured finishes and doors and drawers that have a shaker-style look with distinctive “V” grooves.

4. Polyethylene outdoor kitchen cabinets are cost-effective

Building an outdoor kitchen is a significant investment, so more budget-conscious homeowners may want to find an area or two where they can keep project costs down without sacrificing the quality of the products they’re buying.

High-density polyethylene is one of the most affordable types of outdoor kitchen cabinets. Because of their resilience, reliability, and ability to give outdoor kitchens a luxurious look, HDPE cabinets offer great long-term value for your money.

Even if you spend a little more to get higher-end HDPE cabinets, it’s still a practical, cost-effective investment. Marine-grade HDPE’s excellent durability will require less time and expense to keep the cabinets maintained and you won’t have to worry about replacing them for many years.

5. HDPE cabinets are low-maintenance

One of the most compelling advantages of HDPE outdoor cabinets is that they require virtually no maintenance. That means you can spend more time using and enjoying your outdoor kitchen and less time trying to keep it clean.

Marine-grade HDPE won’t smudge and show fingerprints easily like metals can, nor does it require annual applications of a protective sealant. Outdoor cooking can naturally get a little messy, but the non-porous surface of HDPE cabinets prevents grease and food stains from setting in.

The cleanup process with polyethylene outdoor kitchen cabinets is a breeze. Spills and splatters can be easily wiped up and some mild soap, warm water, and a soft cloth or soft-bristled brush will keep the cabinets looking like new. Because marine-grade HDPE is waterproof, a hose can even be used to give them a quick cleaning if needed.

You can cut down on your outdoor kitchen cleaning time even more by keeping the space covered. Although outdoor kitchen cabinets, appliances, and countertops are weather-resistant, having a cover will extend the life of everything in the kitchen and allow you to grill and stay dry when it’s raining.

6. Outdoor kitchen storage and more

When anyone thinks about backyard grilling, it’s the cooking process that comes to mind first. Someone who doesn’t know much about outdoor kitchens may be wondering if it’s really that essential to include much storage space, or why they might need more than just two or three storage cabinets.

beer on ice outdoor kitchen cabinetry storage

We’ve already mentioned how they can be used for decorative effect and cabinets also obviously have valuable functionality for storage. Here are four more important functions outdoor kitchen cabinets provide, most of which are directly related to the storage space they provide:

  1. Organization: lots of things get used in outdoor kitchens, especially if you’re a skilled cook and have an outdoor dining space. Cabinets keep your cookware, utensils, dishes, glasses, and other items well-organized and hidden away.
  2. Design functionality: built-in outdoor kitchen appliances save space and create a seamless, integrated kitchen look. Custom cabinets accommodate built-in appliances like a grill, warming drawers, and side burners, as well as a sink.
  3. Convenience: the more storage space an outdoor kitchen has, the fewer trips you’ll need to make indoors to get things for cooking or taking care of your guests. That makes your outdoor kitchen more convenient to use.
  4. Efficiency: an organized kitchen that has all the amenities you need to cook and host get-togethers elevates the functionality of the cooking space, which means you’ll enjoy using it more.

7. HDPE cabinets are more eco-friendly

Plastic may not be the most environmentally friendly material, but eco-conscious consumers who are looking for the best plastic outdoor kitchen cabinets will find HDPE cabinets appealing for a few reasons.

HDPE is considered one of the easiest plastic polymers to recycle. HDPE is a category 2 recyclable material (indicated by the number two recycling symbol) and most products made with the material are 100% recyclable. This contributes to less plastic waste ending up in landfills, where it can take hundreds of years to decompose.

Recycled materials are used to make most HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinets, which reduces the environmental impact during the manufacturing process. Recycled high-density polyethylene is also used to make things like:

  • outdoor furniture
  • composite lumber
  • recycling bins
  • storage containers

Additionally, the longevity of HDPE outdoor cabinets means they won’t need to be replaced for a long time, which minimizes waste and conserves resources.

Enjoy the benefits of owning HDPE outdoor kitchen cabinets

If you’re planning to build an outdoor kitchen, HDPE cabinets offer a host of benefits that can elevate your outdoor cooking space.

Make a great investment in your home and choose high-quality Station Grill outdoor kitchen cabinets, which are made right here in Canada.

Let’s dive into designing your dream outdoor kitchen. To get started, schedule a free design consultation with Outeriors today.

Buying a Gas Grill? 7 Things To Consider

buying a gas grill hero

Outdoor grilling has become a fundamental part of the lifestyles of Canadians.

Even our long winters do little to discourage many of us from firing up a snow-covered grill for some juicy burgers and tender veggies.

70% of Canadians own a grill or smoker, according to the 2023 State of the Barbecue Industry Report. A 2019 Research Co. poll found that 27% of Ontarians use their outdoor grills an average of five times per week during the summer.

With barbecuing being such an essential and regular part of our cooking routine, you may be thinking of buying a new grill. There a several types to choose from including gas, charcoal, wood pellet, and electric grills.

We’ll explain why buying a gas grill is your best option and seven of the most important things you should consider before making a purchase.

Benefits of buying a gas grill

There’s a good reason gas grills are the most popular type of grill in Canada and the U.S. Research from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) shows that 64% of grill owners have gas models.

Whether you favour natural gas or propane, here are some of the benefits of buying a gas grill to do your backyard cooking:

  • push-button ignitions make lighting easy and safe
  • quick heat-up times
  • control cooking temperatures
  • create zones to cook different foods
  • more time-efficient than charcoal grilling
  • low-maintenance and easy to clean
  • more cooking options with extra features like side burners and rotisserie attachments

Propane versus natural gas grills

“Gas grill” is a somewhat broad term that can be a little confusing for some people. That’s because gas grills come in two different types: propane and natural gas.

Both types share numerous similarities, but they do have some notable differences. Here’s a brief comparison of some key natural gas and propane grill features:

  1. Fuel: most propane grills use a refillable 20-pound propane tank (some cottages and rural homes use a larger propane tank that is refilled onsite). Natural gas grills require a hookup to a residential natural gas line.
  2. Convenience: both grill types are super-convenient to use. One of the few differences in this area is that propane grills can run out of fuel and need regular tank changes, whereas natural gas grills have a constant fuel supply. Unlike natural gas grills, propane grills have some mobility, too.
  3. Product cost: Natural gas grills typically cost a little more than comparable propane models. They have a slightly more complex design and come with a longer connection hose and fitting. If a natural gas line has to be installed, that will also add anywhere from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars extra to your upfront cost.
  4. Fuel cost: the prices of propane and natural gas fluctuate, but natural gas is always cheaper to use than propane.
  5. Taste: there’s no difference in taste between identical items cooked on each type of grill.
  6. Heat output: The heat output on propane and natural gas grills is comparable. Propane grills typically have higher BTU ratings (British Thermal Units), which measures how much heat energy a grill’s main burners produce per hour. Propane and natural gas grill burners function a little differently from one another, so it’s harder to make a direct BTU comparison between the two.
  7. Environmental friendliness: propane and natural gas are clean-burning fuels (in fact, propane is considered the cleanest-burning fossil fuel). Both fuels are far more eco-friendly to use for grilling than charcoal.
hamburgers on grill

Gas grills are fuelled by either propane or natural gas.

7 considerations when buying a gas grill

Buying a major appliance for your home isn’t something to take lightly and buying a gas grill is no exception.

The grill you buy has to serve your cooking needs, be reliable and safe to use, make grilling easier, last a long time, and look good in your outdoor cooking area.

If you’re looking for the best barbecue for your needs, consider these seven essential things before buying a gas grill.

1. Your budget

New gas grills can cost as little as $100 and as much as $10,000 or more for the highest-end models. Needless to say, you get what you pay for.

Cheap grills are cheap for a reason: corners have been cut for everything from the product’s design to the construction materials to the assembly. We’ve probably all used a cheap grill with a flimsy-feeling lid or ignition button that never works. That doesn’t make for an enjoyable grilling experience.

Low-quality and even medium-quality gas grills that are poorly cared for can rust out and be landfill-bound after only three or four years.

That’s why you should invest as much as you can in a high-quality gas grill that will last you for at least a decade. It’s not unreasonable to spend as much on a new grill as you would on a new indoor kitchen range.

Grills are the anchor and workhorse of an outdoor kitchen. If you grill a lot during the spring and summer, consider that your backyard cooking space may be getting used more often than your indoor kitchen.

Some luxury grills come with convenient features like:

  • digital control panels
  • interior lighting
  • LED backlit control knobs
  • lid lift-assist systems
  • smart tech

Learn more about the benefits of buying a premium grill.

man using Lynx grill

Premium grill brands like Lynx, Kalamazoo, Alfresco, and Coyote are worth the higher cost.

2. Grill manufacturer reputation

The global grill market has grown rapidly in recent years and there are more grill manufacturers than ever before. When you start looking for a grill to buy, there’s a good chance you won’t be familiar with the majority of the brands you come across.

With so many grills available to buy, you need to do your homework to ensure you’re buying a gas grill from a reliable manufacturer.

Online reviews are one of the best resources to determine which manufacturers not only make high-quality products, but also how good their customer service is.

Reputable and well-established grill manufacturers typically provide better, more accessible customer service for their products.

Many American and Canadian premium grill brands do all of their manufacturing and assembly in-house. Most of the grill brands sold at big-box retailers are made overseas. That can make it harder to get good customer support and replacement parts in a timely manner.

Higher-quality grills also tend to come with better warranties (10 years or more). Buying a gas grill from an established brand gives you the peace of mind that a longer warranty will be honoured years down the road.  

Outeriors only carries premium grill brands that are synonymous with high quality, such as Lynx, Kalamazoo, Alfresco, and Coyote.

3. Construction material quality

Several factors will affect how long a grill lasts, including how often it’s used and how much it’s directly exposed to the elements. Perhaps the single biggest factor that impacts how durable a grill will be is the quality of the materials used to make it.

Consider the demands that are placed on grills: they’re always outdoors, being heated to temperatures up to 600°F, and are regularly getting splattered with hot grease. It’s no wonder cheap grills don’t last very long.

That’s why it’s so important to spend a little more on a higher-quality grill that’s made with more durable construction materials.

The metal a grill is built with is one of the most important details to look at if you’re evaluating the appliance’s construction materials. Many grades of stainless steel are used to make grills. You should choose a grill made with high-grade steel, such as 304 stainless steel.

ALFRESCO ALXE-56BFG stainless steel grill

Here are some of the benefits of buying a gas grill that is constructed with thicker gauge, high-quality stainless steel:

  • they’re more rust-resistant
  • your grill will last longer
  • they retain heat better
  • the finish won’t discolour as fast

Better quality grill construction materials and parts, as well as higher craftsmanship and design standards, will result in a better cooking experience and fewer headaches. For example, you should encounter fewer issues with things like a starter that won’t work, flare-ups while cooking, uneven heat distribution, and foods excessively sticking to grates with a well-designed grill.

4. How much functionality do you want?

Another thing to consider when buying a gas grill is your cooking style and how much functionality you want your grill to have.

Do you like to keep your menu simple with grilling staples like steaks, burgers, and hot dogs? Or do you like to regularly try new recipes and grill up a wider variety of foods? 

Grillers who like to keep things simple can get by with a simple grill to handle their basic cooking needs. More adventurous cooks will want to have access to some extra features that will enhance their grilling experience. Examples include:

  • warming racks
  • a smoker system
  • a rotisserie attachment
  • precise heat control for multi-zone cooking
  • a searing burner
  • smart tech functionality

Complete outdoor kitchens add even more functionality to a backyard than a lone grill can provide (even a high-end grill with lots of extra features). Complement a grill with cabinetry, countertops, and outdoor appliances and now you’re really maximizing the functionality of your deck or patio!

5. Grill size

Choosing the right grill size is another thing you have to consider. Once again, your cooking style should factor into your decision-making process. A bigger cooking area will be needed if you tend to grill a number of different foods at a time.

Artisan grills in 3 different sizes

Another factor that will guide you is how much deck or patio space you have. Putting an extra-large grill in a small outdoor cooking area isn’t very practical, for example. And if you are having an outdoor kitchen designed, the grill has to be the right size to accommodate other kitchen features like appliances.

How many people you usually cook for is another important factor that should help determine the size your grill should be. If you rarely grill for anyone other than your family, a mid-size 30″-36″ grill will suffice.

If you’re among the 40% of grill owners who use their grill for entertaining (according to another HPBA consumer survey), you’ll naturally want something bigger for larger gatherings. Grills in the 42″-56″ range should provide a large enough cooking area to fulfill your hosting duties.

6. Freestanding or built-in?

If you’re buying a gas grill, you have to decide whether you want a freestanding or built-in grill design.

Freestanding grills are the type most commonly sold in stores. They typically cost less than built-in grills, but don’t last as long. Freestanding grills also have more mobility than built-in grills. Their wheels or casters allow you to move them around on a deck or patio and it’s easier to take a freestanding grill with you if you move.

While freestanding models are the most popular type of grill, an increasing number of homeowners are choosing built-in grills for their backyards. Stationary built-in grills are incorporated into a fixed structure like an outdoor kitchen island or cabinet design, which is either prefabricated or custom-made.

Although they come with a higher price tag than freestanding grills, built-in grills are essential for an outdoor kitchen. Not only are they the focal point of an outdoor kitchen, but they also provide a more professional, high-end appearance if you’re looking to create a showpiece in your backyard.

7. Grill colour

For a lot of grill buyers, aesthetics won’t be much of a concern. Most people are more concerned about a grill’s functionality, not how it looks.

Anyone who is buying a gas grill to install in a professionally-designed outdoor kitchen will care about functionality and looks, however. Their grill style and colour have to complement the rest of their outdoor kitchen décor.

Gas grills mainly come in neutral colours, notably stainless steel and black. Neutral colours match well with almost any design aesthetic. Grills made entirely with primary colour finishes are available, but can be harder to find.

If you’re looking for a gas grill with a non-traditional look, premium brands like Aspire and Hestan have some stylish and creative options. They offer gas grills with attractive colour accents that add a distinct look to an outdoor kitchen.

Trex, the world’s largest manufacturer of composite decking, has identified one trend that could affect what grill colour some consumers choose. Their 2023 Outdoor Living Forecast believes we’ll see more nature-inspired, light neutral colours used for home exteriors, including outdoor kitchens.

Heston grill with red accent colour

Most grills come in neutral colours like this stainless steel grill. Hestan grills can be customized with 9 control panel colors such as red shown in this photo.

Talk to an expert before buying a gas grill

We hope these tips for buying a gas grill help you make a more informed buying decision.

Here’s one more interesting stat from a recent State of the Barbecue Industry survey we’ll leave you with: did you know that 83% of grills are purchased in-store and only 15% are bought online?

Consumers clearly still appreciate the value of getting a hands-on experience with a grill before buying it.

Check out some of the finest premium grills on the market by visiting the Outeriors showroom. We have fully-outfitted outdoor kitchen displays featuring gas grills, cabinetry, appliances, countertops, fire pits, and more. While you’re visiting, get some expert advice from our design professionals on how to choose the best gas grill for your backyard.

You can also schedule a free consultation to meet with one of our designers to plan your outdoor kitchen project.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

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 prove 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.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

Should You Cover an Outdoor Kitchen?

covered outdoor kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is a significant investment that will provide years of enjoyment for your family. To protect that investment, you may be wondering if you should cover an outdoor kitchen.

Most items in an outdoor kitchen say that they’re made with durable, weatherproof materials. This implies that they’ll be fine with being exposed to the elements for a long time.

While that’s true to a certain degree, numerous factors are going to determine how fast or slow things in an outdoor kitchen will last.

To make matters a little more convoluted, if you Google “should you cover an outdoor kitchen”, you’ll get search results that are mostly related to overhead coverings for outdoor kitchens like roofs and gazebos. Also mixed in, however, are articles and product links related to coverings for individual parts of an outdoor kitchen like covers for grills and other appliances.

Whichever topic you’re looking for some help with (and maybe it’s both), we’ve got you covered with a complete guide to covering an outdoor kitchen.

Everything to know about covering an outdoor kitchen

A new, uncovered outdoor kitchen with high-quality cabinets, countertops, and appliances should last you for years before things need to be repaired or replaced because of exposure to the elements.

High-quality outdoor kitchen products are made with resilient materials that have a high resistance to corrosion, colour fading, and damage from extreme temperatures. Cheap outdoor kitchen products won’t be nearly as reliable and long-lasting, naturally.

Some outdoor kitchen appliances should be covered during the cooking season, while others don’t have to be (read more on that below). Typically, cabinets and countertops are left uncovered during the months an outdoor kitchen is in use and are covered for the winter in Ontario.

Additional factors that affect how long things in covered and uncovered outdoor kitchens will last is the climate where you live, how much sun exposure the kitchen gets, the frequency of kitchen use, and whether or not the kitchen components were properly installed.

Benefits of permanent outdoor kitchen covers

It’s recommended to add an overhead covering to an outdoor kitchen for numerous reasons:

  • roof protection eliminates or reduces an outdoor kitchen’s direct exposure to rain, snow, and the sun
  • items in a covered outdoor kitchen will last longer compared to the same items in an uncovered kitchen
  • you can use covered outdoor kitchens more comfortably when it’s raining and on extremely hot, sunny days
  • roofing keeps an outdoor kitchen’s deck or patio cleaner by protecting it from the elements (plus bird droppings and tree debris like leaves, falling branches, and sap)
  • a deck or patio roof enhances the architecture of a home’s exterior and an outdoor kitchen’s décor
  • a backyard roof structure makes it easier to add overhead features to the kitchen like lighting and ceiling fans

As you can see, life becomes a little easier if you have a permanent outdoor kitchen cover. You’re able to maximize your opportunities to use the kitchen when the weather won’t cooperate, including grilling during the winter.

Having an entire outdoor kitchen covered also means you won’t have to worry as much about covering up individual kitchen parts during the grilling season. If you forget to cover the barbecue after using it one day, for example, it’s less of a concern if it rains.

Even covered outdoor kitchens aren’t immune to some impact from the weather, mind you. They still have to deal with humidity, extreme hot and cold temperatures, strong winds, and a little moisture from blowing rain and snow. An overhead covering significantly reduces the impact of all these weather-related effects, however.

outdoor kitchen and living space with cover

Covering an outdoor living space lets you enjoy your backyard more and extends the lives of your outdoor products.

Types of permanent outdoor kitchen covers

If you’re looking for options to cover an outdoor kitchen, there are plenty of types of coverings to choose from. They include the following:

Canopy: The least expensive option to cover an outdoor kitchen is a canopy. Canopies can be used as standalone structures or sturdier structures like pergolas and gazebos sometimes use a canopy for the roof.

Awning: This backyard covering solution comes in fixed and retractable forms. Retractable awnings are better since they give you the option to leave decks and patios uncovered when the weather is nice. Awnings are operated manually with a hand crank or are motorized. Higher-end retractable awnings can be operated with a smartphone app and have wind sensors that will automatically retract the awning in high winds.

Pergola: This type of deck and patio cover has a semi-open design. The slatted roof lets you enjoy the sun while providing some shade covering. The downside of pergolas, of course, is that there’s no protection from the rain.

Gazebo and pavilion: These similar freestanding structures with coverings are commonly confused with one another, but have a few differences. Gazebos usually come in oval, octagonal, and hexagonal shapes and sometimes have surrounding rails. Pavilions are typically square or rectangular and are open on the sides.

Roof extension: The other way to cover an outdoor kitchen is to extend the roof of a house over a deck or patio. This creates a more seamless extension of a home’s living space. In comparison, an outdoor kitchen beneath a pergola, gazebo, or pavilion that is further away from the house creates a more separate, defined backyard living area.

Another thing to consider when you’re deciding which roof option to get is drainage. An outdoor kitchen roof needs a good drainage system so flooding doesn’t damage the deck or patio foundation or the bottoms of your kitchen cabinets.

outdoor kitchen pergola

A pergola is one of several types of outdoor kitchen coverings available.

Use ventilation if you cover a backyard kitchen

If your outdoor kitchen is covered with a roof, it’s a good idea to install a ventilation system. More enclosed kitchen designs have a greater need for ventilation. Adding a grill vent hood is wise even if you have a fairly open kitchen layout or a partial overhead covering. Here’s why grill vent hoods are so useful:

  • grill smoke is quickly removed from the kitchen, resulting in less eye, nose, and throat irritation for everyone in the area
  • cooked food smells exit the kitchen faster
  • there’s less smoke stain and residue build-up on kitchen surfaces
  • grill heat is dispersed more efficiently, which is helpful on hot days

Should you cover a grill?

The grill in an outdoor kitchen should always be covered when it’s not in use, even if the kitchen has a roof over it.

Grills that have less exposure to the elements will simply last longer, require less maintenance, and function more reliably. Covering a grill also prevents critters like birds, mice, and squirrels from using the appliance as a home.

It’s fairly common for a grill to occasionally be left uncovered overnight or even for a few days because it was left to cool off and someone forgot to cover it. Grills that range in quality from average to high shouldn’t have any issues if this happens on occasion, even if they get directly rained on. Cheap grills won’t fare as well in these situations, however.

Just make sure you’re not using a cheap grill cover that doesn’t breathe well or a grill cover that got wet on the inside. This can trap moisture, which will accelerate how fast the grill starts to corrode.

Outdoor grill and cabinetry on deck in winter

Which outdoor kitchen appliances should you cover?

Some other outdoor kitchen appliances will benefit from being covered when they’re not in use during the cooking season.

Regularly covering appliances like side burners, flattop grills, and an outdoor oven will extend their life and reduce the time needed to clean and maintain them. If you cook outside several times a week and use all your appliances regularly, covering them is less necessary if they’re in a covered space.

The only outdoor kitchen appliances you shouldn’t ever cover are refrigerators and ice makers, even during the winter. The reason is that these appliances are more likely to accumulate moisture. Even though their electrical components are designed for outdoor use, trapping moisture beneath a cover can still cause damage.

Before winter arrives, refrigerators, ice makers, and other outdoor appliances that use water (like a beverage dispenser and dishwasher) should have their water lines drained. The fridge interior should be cleaned and dried before it’s retired for the winter.

Covering outdoor cabinets is optional

Outdoor kitchen cabinets on a deck or patio with or without a roof don’t need to be covered during the grilling season. Whether or not you should cover them for the winter largely depends on their quality.

Premium cabinets are constructed with the highest-quality steel and typically have powder-coated finishes. This type of finish protects against corrosion and discolouration, so covering them during the winter isn’t necessary.

Brown Jordan says their cabinets are “engineered to remain durable when exposed to all types of weather with minimal maintenance”. Covering them for the winter “can reduce maintenance and offer extra protection for peace of mind.”

Covering countertops and the sink

Outdoor kitchen countertops don’t need to be covered at any time of the year. The materials they’re made with are extremely resilient and will last for years if they’re well-maintained.

Certain types of countertop materials need to be resealed at least once a year to prevent stains and other surface damage. This includes countertops made with:

  • granite
  • concrete
  • quartzite
  • slate

Outdoor sinks should be covered during the winter and during the grilling season if they’re in an uncovered kitchen near a lot of trees.

When you’re covering up for the winter, use a snug cover that is specifically made for your sink model. The cover will protect the sink from filling up with rain water and snow and prevent debris like branches and leaves from clogging the drain.

outdoor kitchen on patio

Outdoor kitchen countertops need occasional maintenance, but don’t have to be covered.

What to look for when buying outdoor kitchen covers

As we’ve mentioned, it’s important to use high-quality covers for anything that is being individually covered in an outdoor kitchen. Using a cheap cover that traps moisture against an appliance can actually do more harm than if you left the appliance uncovered.

Just because an outdoor cover is heavy doesn’t mean it’s effective. The key is proper ventilation. Make sure the covers you use have a design that allows some airflow to let moisture and humidity escape. Covers that have retention hooks will ensure they stay anchored in high wind conditions, too.

Add a beautiful outdoor kitchen to your backyard

If you’re planning to build a new backyard kitchen or are looking to upgrade an existing outdoor cooking space, now you have all the facts about whether or not you should cover an outdoor kitchen.

If you’re ever in doubt about whether or not something in an outdoor kitchen should be covered, consult with the product manufacturer or your kitchen designer.

Get your outdoor kitchen project started by scheduling a free design consultation with Outeriors today.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also:

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 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 the 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.

Some Adirondack or Muskoka chairs (a cottage staple) and lounging furniture like a porch swing, rocking chair, or hanging chair will fit 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 extends 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.

Please share this post if you found it useful.

See also: