Building process length is one of the queries that come to mind as soon as you decide to build an outdoor kitchen. Construction is affecting ease of using the backyard, so it’s important to know the timeline ahead.
How long does it take to build an outdoor kitchen? Building an outdoor kitchen can take from 1 day up to 3 weeks, depending on a structure (modular, built from scratch), finishes and location. Perimeter outdoor kitchens (located close to the house) are usually faster to build than satellites (self-sufficient structures in the land).
Construction time can vary a lot – between 1 day and 15 days (three weeks of working days), there is a massive difference! What affects the timeline of the process? Is there any way to build an outdoor kitchen quickly?
How long does it take to build an outdoor kitchen? What affects timeline?
If you work on a clock and need to finish an outdoor kitchen project on time, or you do not have to keep to the budget, there are multiple factors that affect both: timeline and costs. What may be strange: size might not be the main issue here.
Factors that positively affect the amount of time spent on an outdoor kitchen construction are:
- well processed planning,
- buying everything needed ahead of time (as a part of the previous point),
- getting permits, if needed, ahead of time,
- utilities in place,
- simple layout.
A little bit about how placing your outdoor kitchen affects the timeline
There are basically two types of outdoor kitchen placement: perimeter and satellite.
Perimeter outdoor kitchens are placed next to the house, so they can share a wall, overhang or patio cover. They are usually built in a place where the flooring is done and utilities are in a very close distance. As the distance to indoor kitchen is close there can be some cuts to outdoor kitchen design, like fridge or sink. This means you can save a ton on finishing ground, utilities and appliances. And not only money, but also time!
Satellite outdoor kitchens are placed in the landscape and are built to be self-sufficient. This means everything you are going to use in an outdoor kitchen should be added to the plan. Usually, utilities are not in place and there is a need for permits to start any work. Everything is going to be done from the ground up. This means not only lots of money but a lot more time as well.
Perimeter kitchens can be done in way less time than satellites. Perimeter kitchen construction can be sometimes done in a day (for very simple layouts). The construction of satellite kitchens rarely takes less than two weeks. The difference is huge!
Does technology affect outdoor kitchen construction time?
Well, yes! If you choose modular kitchen you are going to have it in your backyard way sooner than one that is going to be built from a scratch. There are plenty of ways to save time, as there are a lot of prefabricated products for outdoor kitchens. Not only fully modular, but also ready-to-use frames, drawers systems, and so on. So if you’re short on time it may be a good idea to use these.
If an outdoor kitchen is going to be your project proper tools are going to make a drastic change in its timeline. So ask around, research and figure what is going to make your job easier and faster.
Working on your own on a special project might be fun to some people, but others are going to thrive. As adults we do not have a lot of time to bond with others and building an outdoor kitchen might be one. Also some parts are going to be really heavy (for example countertops), so it’s going to be nearly impossible to do it in one person.
Contractors usually work fast, as they’re used to one particular project. It’s worth asking a contractor if you can see his work somewhere prior to making an agreement. Viewing finished outdoor kitchen with your own eyes and talking to owners are two factors that are going to help you make an informed decision about the contractor. One of the important questions to be asked is: Did the budget or timeline change during work?
How to plan an outdoor kitchen to reduce construction time?
Every type of planning will result in shorter construction, as you’re going to answer plenty of queries ahead of time.
The first thing to do would be designing an outdoor space. You can do it on paper, or use an online application. You have your plan now. What is your budget? Can one fit the other? Even if you’re going to work with the contractor, having your own plan might help in explaining your expectations.
It’s worth figuring at the moment what type of appliances you need or wish to have and also finishes. A contractor might help a lot, but the internet is full of opinions, so if you work on your own you can ask Google.
What to buy before the construction of an outdoor kitchen starts?
Answer to this question depends on who is going to take care of the construction. If it’s a company take a look at your agreement. Is anything on your side? If there is no list there I would contact via e-mail to get an answer with a shopping list (or information that contactor is going to take care of everything).
Even if they are going to take care of everything I recommend buying some stuff prior to build – like chairs or bar stools, as the hight of countertops depends on them. I wrote a whole post about it here.
If you have planned your kitchen by yourself go in mind through each step of construction. What is going to be needed? Do you have enough screws and nails? All the devices needed? And also can you organize help for yourself, so the process is going to be easier on you and also faster.
It might be that some materials have to be ordered in advance. For example, stone in proper color and texture might not be available to buy right away. It can work similar with appliances and cabinetry, is everything accessible straight away? How about chairs and accessories – do you have to wait before they’re going to be delivered?
Do you need a permit for an outdoor kitchen?
It’s always worth asking City Building Inspections Department and HOA if you need permits for building an outdoor kitchen. In some cities, even a few feet patio extension is regulated.
There are usually two things to take into consideration:
- zoning requirements (so is your outdoor kitchen placed in a legal distance from property lines),
- utilities work (changes in gas, plumbing or electrical).
It’s not only about putting new lines. Sometimes lines on your property may be done not up-to-code, which as illegal zoning, may result in demolition order. So yes, this is an important point.
What utilities are needed for an outdoor kitchen?
Outdoor kitchens are often connected to electrical, plumbing, gas and water (cold, or cold and hot). What your kitchen needs to be connected to depends on appliances chosen, lighting, ventilation, heating and so on. Take a look at everything you already planned and think if you wish to add something in the future. Construction is an excellent opportunity to think ahead.
If you do not have utilities in place this job has to be planned prior to construction. Utility contractors should be able to give you some sort of timeline straight away, so you can plan this work before outdoor kitchen construction.
Simple layout makes work easier (less expensive), and faster too!
If you have few layouts for your outdoor kitchen and you wonder which to pick, going with the simpler is going to make a difference on your timeline. Sometimes, especially with perimeter outdoor kitchens, some parts can be omitted, as the indoor kitchen is close enough.
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