We love to make everything bigger here in Texas – and unfortunately, this sometimes applies to our mistakes! Enormous errors can creep into plans for a DIY outdoor grilling station, turning them from dream projects into dire disappointments. These mistakes can be more than just eyesores – they can cost homeowners a small fortune or even compromise their safety.
Those eager to make a custom outdoor grill kitchen part of their property need to pause before proceeding and consider what can go wrong. This doesn’t sound like fun, but it’s worth the effort to avoid the stress and expense you could otherwise face. Here are six tips to help ensure your DIY outdoor grill station and kitchen goes great.
The Dangers of DIY Projects
Amateur overconfidence can create risks. Establishing an outdoor kitchen takes experience, skill, and foresight. Have you thought about the following before trying DIY?
-You May Be Building a Fire Hazard
Clearance from combustibles is one of the golden rules of outdoor grill station construction. Combustibles can include decking, furniture, trees, or even your home itself. Thousands of Americans and their property are harmed by preventable outdoor grill fires every year.
-Skipping Vital Things to Save Money
DIY often comes with the temptation to cut corners. This means more than leaving out unwanted appliances. It can mean skimping on quality components or structural necessities, which at best will diminish your cooking and hospitality experience, and at worst may harm people or equipment.
-You Risk Invalidating Warranties
A common piece of fine print often accompanies consumer goods: any non-professional tampering with or alteration of the product will void the warranty.
Imagine making a significant financial investment only to DIY damage part of your kitchen and discover there’s no manufacturer’s coverage. This means forking out extra for expensive repairs.
There’s some food for thought! It’s just the beginning of the winning commonsense attitude that separates successful outdoor grilling stations from damp squibs. Keep that open mind as we serve up some more wisdom.
6 Don’ts for Your DIY Outdoor Grill Kitchen
Getting your outdoor cooking space set up correctly essentially requires two things: getting real about the pitfalls, and then not panicking about them. The first one can save you a world of hassle. The second is possible when you make professional advice part of your plan. Here’s some of that advice now!
1. Botching Your BBQ Budget
DIY outdoor grill stations don’t come cheap. The grill itself can cost thousands of dollars, then there’s the national average cost of building the outdoor kitchen as a whole – $13,180. Here are some smelling salts…and a cost analysis that may help you reduce that figure.
Costs, both expected and unforeseen, can suddenly spiral out of control during assembly, not to mention possible repair costs after the fact. This makes over-budgeting your best bet. Speaking to a team experienced in building outdoor grill kitchens will help your financial planning.
2. Making Shaky Space Predictions
Unsure of exactly how big your backyard is? That’s bad news for DIY outdoor grilling stations. Guessing won’t suffice with this and other factors like necessary counter space for prep and plating and features like sinks and beverage handlers or handy refrigerators. Measure meticulously and know your cooking and hosting space needs before committing!
3. Incorrect Positioning
A DIY outdoor kitchen that fits your backyard is great. Dropping it just anywhere isn’t! You may want it closer to your home so you can check in and out with greater visual and physical ease.
It’s best practice to place the kitchen in a shaded spot with some wind protection while remaining constantly aware of potential fire hazards. You also must ensure the kitchen is close to electrical outlets or budget to add new ones; wreathing your lawn with extension cables and power strips is a recipe for disaster.
4. Forgetting Furniture
DIY outdoor grill kitchens need chairs, benches, and tables as extensions. Providing proper shading is also important, so don’t forget to invest in umbrellas, canopies, or shade structures, all of which can also protect your equipment from Mother Nature.
You may want to invest in extra furniture as well, in case your guest list runs over.
5. Choosing the Wrong Grill for You
Thinking “a grill is a grill” is a big mistake. Various kinds suit some people better than others. OK with a bit of extra elbow grease to get things cooking? Fit a charcoal grill. Don’t mind keeping a constant eye on cooking food? Try a built-in gas grill.
Consider a pellet grill if “set it and forget it” is more your speed. Choose fuel source and grill size wisely and consult a knowledgeable sales team to discover all the pros and cons.
6. Skipping Security
Look around the interior of your home at the valuable possessions and expensive equipment you see there. Would you leave those out in the yard overnight? You’d be surprised how many homeowners do precisely that with their grill stations!
Outdoor kitchens have grills, utensils, accessories, and more that can attract thieves. Grill locks and covers – both alarmed – can secure the grill itself and its wheels or legs. Adding a security camera can both deter and help prosecute thieves if they try to steal from you.
All this advice will help with installing a DIY outdoor grill station. There’s always more to learn, so speak to someone who knows the outdoor cooking business well.
Do Your DIY Outdoor Grill Station Right with Us
You don’t need to surrender the thrill of personally creating your outdoor grill kitchen when you work with us. BBQ Outfitters can assist you every step of the way without getting in your way – just tell us what you’d like, where you’d like it, and what you’d like to do with it.
Our experienced designers will help you make all the right moves while you retain control over the project! Learn more here about outdoor grilling stations and kitchen space design.
You want to build a great outdoor kitchen that will endure for years, not a shaky one that will sink your investment. The friendly staff in our two huge San Antonio and West Austin showrooms are waiting to make your plans a reality.
Just contact us or drop by in person and let’s create your dream outdoor dining space!