Outdoor kitchens are the 'in' thing
In the past few years, outdoor kitchens have become the fastest growing trend in home improvement. Many are finding out that a kitchen on the exterior of a home can create an entirely new atmosphere, greatly appreciate the value of a home and provide endless possibilities in the realm of cooking and entertainment.
“When you’re at the beach, or enjoying your time with family and friends,” said Robert Daisey, manager of Delaware Appliance in Frankford, “you don’t want to be confined to a hot kitchen in the summertime. Outdoor kitchens bring a convenience and comfort unlike before.”
From fire pits and fireplaces to hardscape surrounding stoves and grills, the aesthetics of exterior kitchens is limitless, too. Grills, equipped with side burners and ovens, can be free-standing or cart-style, depending on the preference. Ventilation hoods, refrigeration, ice machines and beer taps are just the tip of the iceberg in outdoor cooking and entertainment. Stainless steel cabinets, sinks and cooling drawers provide a plethora of possibilities.
Virtually, everything that can be done in an indoor kitchen can be brought outside. Everyone, from grilling enthusiasts to those just wanting something a little extra, can find some aspect of outdoor kitchens that suits them.
“It’s all about bringing the comfort and convenience of the indoors outside,” said Daisey. Kitchens on the exterior can add an element and variety to an afternoon or evening. “They’re widely popular in Florida and California,” he added. “Think about it. If you have an attractive yard or a pool, you want as many amenities outside of your home that pull your guests out there.”
In the case of local real estate agent Tim Rhodes, an outdoor kitchen and lounge area compliments a scenic view over the Assawoman Bay. His outdoor kitchen, complete with a built-in grill and stove and an extravagant exterior fireplace among aesthetic paving and stonework, serves as the focal point of the home for visits from family and friends.
“It’s a common place to gather on warmer nights,” he said. “We’ll even come out in front of the fireplace in the cooler evenings.”
Depending on the detail and accessories most are willing to put into an outdoor kitchen, prices can run the gamut, from a few hundred dollars to well over $20,000. Thousands of dollars, alone, can be put into the surrounding stonework.
“Price directs a lot of things,” said Daisey. “Something like a grill cart isn’t a throw-in item, either, and they can start at reasonable prices. People need to realize, though, that they’re going to get what they paid for.”
Stainless steel products, like those made by appliance company Viking, are among some of the top sellers. With the monetary commitment, he reminds, comes the upkeep. “Too often,” he added, “people shy away from basic maintenance. There’s some responsibility, like covering and cleaning your appliances.”
But the reward is definitely there. “It makes for a generous return,” said Rhodes. “You can definitely get your money’s worth, and it’s one of the main points on the resale of a house. When you show a home, it’s all about first impressions, and when you step from inside to outside, you want to be able to really show something off.”
“Outdoor kitchens definitely give homes that ‘Wow’ factor,” agreed Daisy. “In one instance, an outdoor gas grill basically sold a house. It was like you were selling a gas grill and the home came with it.”
More products are marketing themselves as high-performance outdoor cooking appliances that are both safe and practical. “Despite the economy being down, we’re still able to move more outdoor products than ever before,” said Rhodes. “More and more homeowners are putting on outdoor kitchens sooner than later, too. There’s a lot of competition out there, and now is a great time to start looking. It breeds the need. You see a friend’s kitchen or grill, and more often than not, you’re going to want one, too.”
For more information about outdoor kitchen appliances, contact Delaware Appliance at (302) 732-3456 or stop by their location at 34164 DuPont Blvd. in Frankford.