Here in the UK, we are a nation of gardeners. We were before the events of 2020, and we will be afterwards.
The recent restrictions placed upon people’s movements have led to a surge in the popularity of maximising your outdoor space, not least with garden centres being deemed essential and allowed to stay open by the UK Government. For many, their garden has become the location for leisure, relaxation and fresh air. Indeed, Business Wire states that the home renovation market in 2020 saw a trend towards DIY and gardening, as people improved their quality of life. Many are likely to have the same idea this year, especially as eased restrictions are going to be staggered and entertaining small groups at home may be the only viable way to fully appreciate the summer.
What better way to enjoy the summer sun than in the garden around a barbeque? Well, perhaps enjoying it around a fully-fledged outdoor kitchen might best that? The outdoor kitchen is very much a trend on the rise in warmer countries, but it is slowly becoming a part of the outdoor space profile of homes in the UK, too. With that in mind, we have put together a guide of the essentials to consider when planning your outdoor kitchen.
The best place to start with your outdoor kitchen is with budgeting, as you would with any renovation. Set a clear budget for your project first, to find out if it is viable. A nice BBQ and preparation area may only set you back a £300, but then consider seating, cover, and other appliances you may require. Typically, anything from £1,500 should see you with a basic installation, but some specialist companies may have options running into five figures. Here at Our Garden and Patio we have plenty of outdoor dining options too, from furniture to BBQs and pizza ovens, all of which could be incorporated.
Pick a suitable location which puts you in range of the services you require outdoors, and ensure all your needs are covered. You will require seating, a food preparation area, and somewhere to cook. If you want a full outdoor kitchen, running water and a sink will be a requirement too, perhaps even electricity. Remember, the kitchen will be great in the summer, but the English weather may mean covering it with a canopy for those warm, but wet August evenings. You should not require planning permission for an outdoor kitchen as it is not considered a permanent structure.
A gas BBQ is a good place to begin, as it offers instant heat, variable temperatures and a flexible method of cooking food. Charcoal BBQs take longer to warm up and cannot be adjusted, or fired back up later in the evening if you fancy another burger. Also, consider adding a pizza oven, to make your outdoor kitchen feel more like a full food preparation facility, not just a BBQ with a worktop attached. You may even investigate outdoor hobs, which are becoming increasingly popular and further the feel of a kitchen, outdoors.
Once you have your kitchen installed, protecting your investment is important. If you have tapped into the plumbing system in your house or brought electrics outside to power certain appliances, then you should consider insuring those services in the event of a malfunction. HomeServe outline that insurance for essential services can extend to electrics, plumbing and drainage, all of which would be needed in some form in your outdoor kitchen. Be sure to carefully check your policy though, to ensure you are covered once the services leave the house. Almost all policies will cover those areas inside the home though, so even if there is a problem with your outdoor kitchen, aspects of your indoor area should be covered.
An outdoor kitchen can be as lavish, or minimal as you like. Much will depend on budget and potential usage – if you usually get takeaway to eat in the garden then a covered patio will surely suffice. However, if you regularly host dinner parties and would love to do so in an opulent outdoor space, then this is the option for you.