What’s Better Than a Deck? A Deck With a Kitchen!

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Adding a deck to a home is a great way to expand the family's living space and allow residents and guests alike to truly appreciate the great outdoors. If there's one way to make a deck even better, it's adding an outdoor kitchen to it.

A great outdoor kitchen will be functional, comfortable, and beautiful. It takes some work to get every design element just right, though. Homeowners interested in designing their own outdoor kitchens on their decks can find out what they need to know to get started below.

The Challenges and Benefits of DIY Design

Designing an outdoor kitchen takes time and expertise, but the good news is that there are plenty of tools out there that make it easier to tackle issues with space, layout, storage, appliances, and other features. Downloading outdoor kitchen design software lets homeowners figure out all the logistics using 3D modeling at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional designer, but many users find themselves at a loss when it comes to where to start. That's where the tips below come in.

1. Design From the Ground Up

When designing an outdoor kitchen for an existing deck, it's important to start from the ground up. Find out the deck's weight tolerance and take accurate measurements. The deck's size and weight limit will influence what types of appliances can be installed in the kitchen and how much space will be available for entertaining.

2. Choose Appliances and Fixtures Before Creating a Layout

Once homeowners know how much space they have to work with, they can start choosing appliances. Don't skimp on quality here, but do try to make accommodations for available space. If the deck is small, start with the basics like a high-quality grill and sufficient storage space.

Knowing what appliances and fixtures will be included will make it easier to narrow down appropriate layouts for the kitchen. It will also make it easier to plan for things like seating areas and making sure there's enough room for every cook who could be working in the kitchen. The nice thing about working with DIY kitchen design software is that homeowners can see how much room different types of appliances and fixtures requre and then choose the ones that will make the best use of their available space.

3. Pick a Layout With Plenty of Room to Work

As a general rule, there should be around 36" of space around each appliance for every person who will be working in the kitchen. Use the surrounding areas to incorporate plenty of counter space and storage cabinets. Adequate storage is the key to reducing clutter, and ensuring that there's plenty of counter space will prevent people from getting in each other's way.

4. Include Seating Areas

If there's enough room on the deck, try to include a seating area nearby so the outdoor chefs can feel like they're a part of the action during parties and family barbecues. In yards with small decks, it's okay to set up the seating area on a patio or beneath a pergola on the ground, but keep everything as close together as possible.

Get Started Today

Homeowners don't need to have all their ducks in a row to start designing their outdoor kitchens. All they need is a basic idea of what the area will look like and a high-quality kitchen design platform. There are plenty of free options, so there's no harm in starting the brainstorming process early.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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