outdoor kitchen

No one addition to your backyard is hotter right now than adding an outdoor kitchen. But, the planning is critical to making sure you get a kitchen that functions well, looks great, and makes the best use of your space.

"Before you do anything else, spend some time thinking about what you really want and need in an outdoor kitchen," said HGTV. "Ask yourself how you'll actually use the new space and what makes the most sense in terms of your home's architecture and its existing landscaping."

See HGTV or Houzz for some design ideas or learn a few key tips from Better Homes and Gardens, and make sure before you get started, you ask yourself a few key questions from Red Beacon:

  1. Will you be using the kitchen year-round? If so, there is weather-proofing to consider.
  2. Where will you locate the kitchen? The closer to the house, "the lower expense for electrical and plumbing work."
  3. What do you plan to cook in the outdoor kitchen? Is a barbecue enough or do you need a range, a refrigerator, maybe even a pizza oven?
  4. Do you need a sink? The plumbing costs will increase (but so will the convenience).
  5. Where do you envision seating? "Decide on the seating area keeping in mind that the seating has to be comfortable and appropriate for outdoor use."

For more planning tips, see Red Beacon. And if you need a new barbecue grill, Lifehacker says the best time to buy is January through March, before the weather starts to heat up, so keep your eyes open for sales.