Summer is not only a great time for outdoor projects, but also for barbecue (which we LOVE here in KC). For “Bargain Mansions,” we recently worked on a backyard kitchen that completely transformed a backyard. If you’re looking to create your own BBQ paradise this summer, consider these tips:

Stay Functional

Separate the cold and hot areas, the wet and dry areas and allow for counter space. Your outdoor kitchen is still a kitchen. The only difference is that it’s outside, so your appliances and materials need to be able to survive the elements.

Consider the durability of the appliances and materials you are using. Make sure that they can withstand inclement weather, weight from snow, or rain or storm damage.

Plug-in Proximity

Plan for utilities. When planning layouts, keep in mind the best practical placement or installation of the necessary gas, water and electrical supply. Do you have outdoor outlets or do you need to extend a gas line or electrical access?

Keep it Cohesive

Don’t forget to complement the design of your home’s architecture and landscape. Use materials and architectural details that match your home to give your outdoor kitchen the look of “always being there.” If your home has arches or small details, incorporate them into the pagoda over your kitchen. Or if you have stone details on your home, match them with your outdoor kitchen.


Complement your outdoor space with outdoor lighting for after dark, and landscaping. Take the opportunity to redesign or landscape a patio seating area so you can serve guests or enjoy meals after cooking outdoors.

Check out these pictures for inspiration:

A great little pop-up outdoor kitchen.

I want this for game nights!

I could spend a Saturday here.