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Plan for future expansion or cooking options

It would be a real shame to build your outdoor kitchen and then 12 months later deciding you fancy adding a larger worktop or pizza oven etc.  At this point you realise that you do not have enough space, or the layout won’t work with the new additions.  Have a look at our website or online for other outdoor cooking options that you may like to add in the future and work your ultimate layout around that.  You do not have to build it at the start but at least it is a future option if required.

These options may include:

Larger grill

Pizza oven



Gas hob for woks/stir frying

Beer pump

Larger worktop


Ice maker

What about the weather?

First, you need to provide shelter from sun and rain for guests.  You might even want to cover the prep area and the cooking area.  If you use the space at night, you will need lighting to make sure you can see the grill surface and prep area.  If it gets cool in your area, you might want to include gas heaters, fireplaces or fire pits in your plans.

How do I plan my layout?

When planning your Al fresco kitchen, you really need to think about how you and your family will use it?  Is it big enough to cater for the quantity of people you would normally have around?  Will food preparation be carried out outside or in the house?  If the answer is outside, have you got enough worktop space for preparing and serving?  Is there enough storage space for cooking utensils, pots and pans, cleaning products?  Do not forget a covered space for table, chairs and cushions when not in use.

Can I use my existing patio, or do I need a new base?

The answer to this really depends on how big and heavy your planned installation will be. For smaller mobile and modular units, you may well be able to use the existing patio.  It might be an idea to ask a builder to check if you will have enough support.  In an ideal world you would have a new base designed specifically to accommodate your outdoor kitchen.  If this were to happen then you could run power cables and the drain at the point of installation.

If you use wood you need to make sure that the area around any oven, grill is non-combustible (Concrete, Metal, Marble etc).


Most installations require electrical power for fridges, water heaters, lights and rotisseries etc.  Make sure that you have the correct number of outlet sockets and they are all correctly protected by circuit breakers.

If you are considering an TV outside, please use an outdoor rated set (maybe even 12V DC).  Also consider water/frost proof storage for when the TV is not in use.  High power appliances such as a patio heater need a dedicated breaker.

What about water?

Although cold water is straight forward, it becomes tricky if you want hot and cold.  It is much easier to install an under counter water heater rather than running hot water from the house.  Also make sure you have a shut off valve and an option to winterize/drain the system for when frost is a possibility.  As for waste (grey) water, the cheapest/quickest options are to have a removable container to catch the water from the sink but this is limited by the size of the container.  Another option is to include a connection to an existing drain or household sewage line.  As with the gas, it is best to have a qualified plumber to complete this work.

What if I want to run gas out to the site?

PLEASE have this installed by a fully qualified plumber or gas technician. This is not a job for a DIY enthusiast.

Do I need planning permission?

It depends on your local council guidelines plus what and how you are planning to build?  If it is just a stand-alone kitchen island with a grill you should be fine, but it is always prudent to check with your local planning department to be sure.  If you are looking to install gas, power or water supply you must be aware of any existing utilities or underground obstacles.

Where is the best place for an outdoor kitchen?

In my opinion, there are two lines of thought on this, 1) As close to the house as possible so you can run to the indoor kitchen sink or fridge quickly. 2) As far away from the house as possible. This way you can utilise your garden space to its full extent but ideally this would be a fully equipped set up with fridge, sink storage etc but this will in turn need running water, gas and power to function. You do not want to keep running back to the house every time you have forgotten something! When you are considering the location, you need to think about the following:

Does the sun reach this area? Do you want to be in the sun or shade?

Protection from the wind

Is the soil stable and does it need to be levelled?

Will it be able to drain rainwater away OK?

Privacy – can you neighbours see you?

Will the smoke blow into the neighbours’ garden?

Do not position your kitchen where it could cause a risk of fire to a house or outbuildings!

Also consider over hanging trees and power cables.

How much space do I need for an outdoor kitchen?

This really depends on how you ‘spec’ your set up, some of the smaller worktop/grill set ups use no more space than a large BBQ (say 2m x 1m). Obviously, the more equipment and options you choose will increase the space required.