The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Outdoor Kitchen in Idaho

8 Things to Know Before Installing an Outdoor Kitchen


Imagine enjoying the smell of steaks on the grill, a cold drink with friends, and the relaxing views of your backyard.

Does this daydream seem familiar? Then you’re probably ready to install an outdoor kitchen. But where do you start?

There are a lot of components to creating the perfect outdoor kitchen, from the design and materials to its location and actual construction.

With all of your options, budget considerations, and ideas, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with it all. But, it doesn’t have to be like that.

Instead of longingly staring at your empty backyard, start taking steps to have a stunning outdoor living space.

Outdoor kitchen with grill and fireplace

Here are 8 things you need to know about installing an outdoor kitchen:


You'll Regret Not Getting a Professional Outdoor Kitchen Design 


Saving a little money in the beginning by not having a professional design for your outdoor kitchen space can actually cost you more in the long run.

A professional design can be a full-scale 2D or 3D plan that showcases several factors:

  • Size and scale of the kitchen

  • Types of plant and hardscape materials to use

  • Where the kitchen will be installed in your yard

  • How it will connect to utilities

  • All of your ideas and needs for the space

  • How it follows local regulations or codes

Having a professional landscaper design for your outdoor kitchen also gives you a direct line to an expert who can answer all of your questions.

For example, you may be wondering which pavers are the most durable, how you can make the space really pop, what makes the layout flow, what size countertops you actually need, and how to get the most from your outdoor space. The information and perspective they offer can be invaluable.

Having a design also allows you to visualize your future space and make sure you’re happy with it before construction gets underway. Making changes once installation has started will be costly and delay the completion date.

The cost for professional landscape designs varies, with ours starting at $1500. You’ll receive an initial design and then the designer will incorporate any of your changes to make sure you’re pleased with it.

Outdoor kitchen with grill, sink and counterspace

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Your Outdoor Kitchen's Location Affects Price and Convenience 

Installing an outdoor kitchen away from your home may mean moving or adding utility lines to reach the new construction, whereas adjoining ones can tap into what's already there most of the time.

You also need to think about the logistics of having a kitchen away from your home. If you need something from inside — like spices, drinks, or utensils — you’ll have further to walk.

On the other hand, a disconnected outdoor kitchen can help break up the green space and fill up more space if you have a large yard.

And if you already have a gazebo, patio or other structure that’s not attached to your home, you may want to connect it to the kitchen.

It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each, and that’s something a professional landscaper can help you with.

Are you envisioning an island kitchen out in your yard or one that connects to the back of your house? Your answer can really affect the kitchen’s overall cost and usefulness.

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Use Materials That Match Your Style and Budget

Put your personal touch on the outdoor kitchen design by choosing high-quality materials that complete the space.

You’ll need to decide on what to use for the countertops, kitchen structure, and surrounding patio space. There are a variety of options, so find landscape materials that work for your budget and style.

If your kitchen isn’t covered, dark countertops can get excessively hot to the touch during the summer months, making it difficult to work on them.

Here are some popular options and average prices for countertop materials:

  • Granite: $60 to $100+ per square foot

  • Soapstone: $35 to $100 per square foot

  • Concrete: $50 to $75 per square foot

You also want to make sure you have plenty of counter space to prepare food, sit cooked dishes, and entertain.

The structure and cabinets will be the foundation of your outdoor kitchen, so pick a material that fits your needs and goes with the countertops.

Whether you’re just going to have hardscape material directly around the kitchen or as part of a larger patio, you’ll need to pick out what type of material you want to use on the ground:

  • Traditional Gray Poured Concrete: $4 to $8 per square foot

  • Stamped or Colored Concrete: $8 to $12 per square foot

  • Concrete Pavers: $16 to $24 per square foot

  • Natural Stone Pavers: $18 to $45 per square foot

Beyond just the price, each material has its own set of pros and cons, including its durability, ease of maintenance, and appearance. Again, that’s something a professional can go over with you to ensure you select the best options for you and your space.

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Don't Forget Basic Appliances and Fixtures

Your outdoor kitchen design can rival the one in your home for a real chef experience. Or, it can be more for looks and entertainment.

No matter your outdoor cooking needs, there are some standard appliances and fixtures you should really consider including in your kitchen:

  • Quality grill

  • Outdoor fridge

A staple of any outdoor kitchen is a high-quality grill. If you’re going to splurge on anything, the grill is a good place to put your money. It’s likely going to be the focal point of your kitchen and also your main cooking tool.

outdoor kitchen with grill, pergola, and fireplace

A built-in gas grill will be a few thousand dollars, and there are a variety of options out there. Here are some questions to ask about a grill before purchasing one:

1. How long is the warranty, and what does it cover?

2. What is its top temperature?

3. What do online reviews say about the grill?

4. What size is it (and does that fit with what you plan to cook)?

5. Are the burners stainless steel or brass, which won’t corrode like aluminum or cast iron?

6. Is it easy to clean?

Look for a grill that matches your cooking needs and will complement the rest of your outdoor kitchen space. A landscaper can show you different models and help recommend ones, as well.

If you’re going to cut anything from that list of kitchen necessities, you could get away with not having an ice chest or place to store drinks. Having one is just a way to keep your unopened drinks cold longer, instead of having to go in and out of your home for more — and the less foot traffic the better.

Other appliances like dishwashers, stoves, and pizza ovens can be nice to have depending on how you’ll use the outdoor kitchen. But, you want to at least make sure you have the essentials to make your cooking space functional.

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 Enhance Your Outdoor Kitchen with Add-on Features 

Want to take your outdoor kitchen to the next level?

If there are additional features you’d like to incorporate, installing them at the same time as the kitchen will save you time and money.

Plus, making these features part of the initial design will ensure everything fits together seamlessly, instead of being able to tell they were added later on.

Here are just a few add-on features that will pair perfectly with your outdoor kitchen:

  • Patio
  • Fire Feature
  • Seating
  • Landscape Lighting
  • Plants

A patio is probably the most popular feature to add to your kitchen. You can have one that is square, curved or whatever shape that best matches your home and current landscape.

patio with pergola and fireplace

Create a focal feature and some warmth with a fire pit or fireplace. It’ll quickly become the gathering spot for all of your friends and family. Fire pits and fireplaces are actually the most popular outdoor design elements for 2016, according to a survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

And part of entertaining all of those people is having plenty of seats and lounging space. You can use outdoor furniture or have a sitting wall constructed to help create more of a defined outdoor room.

To enjoy the space well into the night and up the ambiance, you can have landscape lighting installed around the kitchen. These can be in trees pointing toward the outdoor living space, around the patio, under overhangs, or on your house.

Installing plants and other landscape features can complement your outdoor kitchen space and really make it pop. You can mix up colors, textures, and sizes to help soften up the hardscape space.

Native and adaptive plants will thrive better and use less water — meaning lower utility bills for you. There are plenty of ornamentals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and succulents to choose from in Idaho. For a more mobile design, you can put colorful foliage in decorative planters. Maybe you use them to line the outdoor kitchen or intermingle them around furniture.

Even if you can’t afford the add-on features now, let the professional designer know if you would like them down the road. That way, they can create a plan that will allow you to add them without having to tear up the kitchen.

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Make Sure You Can Use Your Kitchen Year-Round

Here are some ways to make your outdoor kitchen the place to be no matter the season:

  • Shade structures
  • Fans
  • Fire features
  • Outdoor heaters
Warmer weather can draw you outdoors, but when it gets too hot, it can have the exact opposite effect. To keep enjoying your outdoor kitchen even when the rays are beating down, add a shade structure like a pergola.

If your kitchen connects to your house, the shade structure could connect to your home and span the area. For ones that are away from your home, you can use a pergola to better define the space and create an outdoor room. Pergolas can be constructed from vinyl, fiberglass or wood.

Fans are another way to cool the area off during warmer months. These can be installed onto the shade structure to help circulate the air and give you a much-needed breeze.

And when the temperatures begin to drop, a fire pit or fireplace will keep you warm well into the night.

Some things are only meant for certain times of the year, like bathing suits, ice skating, and Little Debbie’s Christmas Tree Cakes (sadly, only available during the holidays).

But an outdoor kitchen shouldn’t be one of them.

So, make your kitchen an outdoor area you can enjoy year-round.

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How Long Will The Outdoor Kitchen Design & Installation Take?

The timeline to design and construct an outdoor kitchen will depend on several factors:

  • Amount of Design Changes
  • Project’s Size
  • Availability of Materials
  • Amount Of Prep Work Needed
  • Additional Features Requested
  • Weather

The entire process can take a few weeks or a few months. Make sure the landscaper includes a deadline for when the work will be finished in the contract.

You’ve already envisioned grilling out, sharing drinks at your bar, and relaxing as the sun goes down. So now you want to know when that’s going to be a reality instead of just a daydream. take to install.

There are things the landscaper can’t control — like the weather — so there should be a clause included in the contract about that, as well.

Just remember:

The more detailed and elaborate the outdoor kitchen design, the longer it will take.

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Cost to Install an Outdoor Kitchen in Idaho Falls

An outdoor kitchen can really cost as much or as little as you (and your budget) want.

The cost of a basic outdoor kitchen can range from $15,000 to $20,000, or you can opt for a high-quality grill and space for $20,000 to $50,000. And if you want a luxury outdoor kitchen with a patio, fire pit, and built-in seating area, you could pay up to $100,000.

The price of an outdoor kitchen depends on things like materials, appliances, added features, size, and location.

Know your outdoor kitchen budget before you contact a professional landscape contractor. That way, they can design an outdoor kitchen that you can afford and enjoy.

Without knowing your budget, they may design something way outside of your budget comfort zone — leaving you both feeling frustrated.

outdoor patio with fire features

 Why Choose Outback Landscape for Your Outdoor Kitchen Installation in Idaho Falls?

You’re investing your hard-earned money in your outdoor kitchen, so don’t just turn to someone who offers you a low price. You could end up paying more down the line for their inexperience and low-quality work.

At Outback Landscape, you’ll be working with professionals with years of experience from your first design consultation all the way through the installation.

Before we start installing your dream outdoor kitchen, we’ll assess the site for drainage, water, utilities, traffic, and other concerns. That way, there are no surprises (or issues) once we get started.

Not only do we design and construct outdoor kitchens, but we can also create anything else you want to go with it:

  • Patio
  • Shade Structure
  • Plants
  • Fire Feature
  • Deck
  • Water Feature
  • Seating Walls
  • And Much More!
backyard patio and outdoor kitchen in Idaho Falls

We also offer landscape maintenance services, so we can keep the space around the kitchen looking its best year-round. All you have to do is enjoy it.

We’re based in Idaho Falls and provide a full list of landscape services throughout Southeast Idaho.

Ready to Turn Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen into a Reality?

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