RE/MAX Elite

Outdoors: Basics for Building Your Outdoor Kitchen

by Deborah Tomczak 09/11/2022

Outdoor kitchens are ideal when you want to cook outside when the weather’s pleasant. Instead of being cooped up in a stuffy kitchen, you can get some fresh air and sun while preparing lunch or dinner on the grill or outdoor range. Your outdoor kitchen can also include an area for dining, so you don’t have to go back inside to enjoy your food. Since outdoor kitchens involve several elements, including electricity and even plumbing sometimes, it’s important to know the basics of building one. The following can help you understand more about what to expect when you plan on doing a DIY outdoor kitchen.

Check Local Codes

Before you plan an outdoor kitchen, check your local building codes. You’ll need to know what rules and regulations you need to follow when building your outdoor kitchen, such as how close it can be to your property line and whether you need to file any permits. You should also look into fire safety codes, since outdoor kitchens involve the use of fire for grilling or cooking. Knowing your local codes can help you plan your outdoor kitchen.

Choose a Location

Where you put your outdoor kitchen involves taking a few factors into consideration. You’ll need to make sure you won’t have any grills, stovetops or other appliances that produce heat near your house. These should be at least 10 feet away from home exteriors and any materials that are combustible. You should also think about odors and noise from an outdoor kitchen. While you might want yours close to your home for convenience, avoid putting it in an area where odors will become trapped and seep inside. You should also avoid building your outdoor kitchen right by your property line out of consideration for your neighbors.

Plan for Utility Connections

You might need to plan carefully with hooking up utilities for your outdoor kitchen. For example, you might need to run a gas line for a gas grill or have pipes installed for a sink. You might also need wiring for a refrigerator and other appliances that use electricity. Having these closer to your home rather than farther away can reduce the cost of hooking up these utilities.


Even though you’re cooking outside, it’s still important to have good ventilation. Smoke from grills can build up around your outdoor kitchen, making it an unpleasant environment for you and your family or friends. You can put in a ventilation system to eliminate this problem, or place your grill close to the edge of your outdoor kitchen so the smoke blows away from it. Reducing smoke buildup in and around your outdoor kitchen helps you get more use and enjoyment out of it.

About the Author

Deborah Tomczak

Hello, my name is Deborah Tomczak, One of the Top Selling Real Estate Agents on the Space Coast working with Remax/Elite. 

I specialize in the business of pairing discerning buyers with homes that match their wants and needs, and maximizing profits for people with real estate to sell. But more important, I make sure you are communicated with during the entire process to reduce stress and ensure a positive outcome. 

I bring a 25 year corporate career in marketing and advertising to my 19 year real estate business, allowing me to utilize skills and experience to make the best use my clients time and minimize unforeseen challenges that may arise.  

I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.