Elevate and expand your entertaining space with a kitchen in your backyard!

Imagine a perfect evening—a gentle breeze, the sizzle of mouthwatering food on the grill, and a group of friends gathered around, laughing and spending time together! An outdoor kitchen can elevate any entertaining experience from ordinary to extraordinary.

A gorgeous outdoor kitchen is more than just a place to cook—it’s an experience! Creating an area with a grilling station, prep space, outdoor appliances, a sink, and bar area means there’s no need to use the indoor kitchen. By carefully considering the layout, materials, ambiance, and design, your outdoor kitchen will be the centerpiece of family and friend gatherings.

The Remodel-Design-Build Team at The Cleary Company in Columbus, Ohio is ready to collaborate with you and create an outdoor kitchen you’ll love. Read on for tips on what you should think about when planning for your outdoor kitchen oasis

Need some inspiration? Watch the Outdoor Living Spaces playlist on our YouTube channel!

Before the Design


Where you place your kitchen and the additional seating makes a difference. It can be placed close to the home on an existing patio, along the exterior walls or deeper into the yard. Having it close to your indoor kitchen allows for quick access, especially if you’re not adding outdoor appliances, storage, or a sink. Further away can provide you with a larger and separate entertaining area and endless style opportunities.

Scope and Budget

Decide what features you must have and the ones you want. From simple to sophisticated, straightforward to extravagant, the options are endless. Do your research to explore costs. Consider which of the following are important for your entertaining needs. At the very least, you’ll want a top-of-the-line grill, prep space or countertop, beverage station, and at least one table with seating.

Other decisions to consider are:

  • Grill—built-in or standalone
  • Food prep area—free-standing or built-in countertop
  • Sink with or without plumbing/water
  • Countertop—free-standing or built-in
  • Flooring—deck, concrete or paver patio
  • Refrigeration—beverage drawers, wine fridge, portable coolers
  • Cabinetry and storage
  • Trash and recycling receptacles
  • Tables, stools or chairs, bar counter
  • Shade—landscape, awning, pergola, roof extension
  • Lighting
  • Décor
  • Heat for cool days & nights—firepit, columns or built-in heaters


Understand what utility lines you have and where they are. This should involve a call to your utility companies to come to mark your lines for water, gas, and electricity. If you want running water, plumbing lines will need to be installed. Gas and electricity will need to be installed as well if the proper lines don’t currently exist.

The Design


How large of a space can your backyard accommodate? Measure the area to ascertain the space available. Know what your city’s requirements are for property line setback. After measuring, you’ll need to determine different areas for a large (or smaller) kitchen—areas for cooking, dining, and entertaining and create a drawing for layout options using those numbers. Will there be enough room for all you want?

Layout a Floorplan

Visualize how the space will look by laying out the kitchen components on your drawing. Flooring, built-in features, countertops, cabinets, the sink, and outdoor refrigerators and appliances are the first things to plan for. It might even be helpful to tape off the areas and features outside in the space where the kitchen will reside, in order to move around the space and make sure what you want created will fit the area. Include the furniture and accessories in this step.

Working with an experienced professional, such as the Remodel-Design-Build Team at The Cleary Company, is advantageous during this phase of planning. Not only do we walk through all of these steps with you, but we also provide our years of experience and expertise to ensure an effective layout, functionality, and compliance with setbacks and utilities. Not to mention helping you get the biggest bang for your buck!

Think Functionality

An outdoor kitchen, when truly elevated in design, should have four zones for maximum functionality. A cold area for the refrigerator and ice maker, a hot area for the grill and other cooking appliances, the sink/bar in the wet area, and a dry area for meal prep, extra counter space, and serving area. Also, consider the direction the wind blows in your backyard.

Additional Things to Consider

  • Cooking on more than just a grill—pizza oven, smoker, griddle, burners, etc.
  • Choosing appliances that are versatile if you don’t want all separate ones.
  • Separate space for lounging or even an outdoor living room is important if you want more than just the kitchen and a table and will really set your outdoor living space apart.
  • Here in Ohio, it’s important to think about winterizing and insulating appliances and counters to protect them from the winter elements.
  • If you are going to utilize storage in your outdoor kitchen, you need to consider the critters that might have access and plan accordingly. (We don’t encourage keeping any food or paper products outside.)
  • Weatherproof materials are a necessity, especially if your kitchen is open to the weather elements. Stainless steel, wood, cement, brick, stone, HDPE (high-density polyethylene), granite, concrete, and tile are all available options for various parts of your design.

The possibilities are almost endless with outdoor kitchens. Designing your backyard to fit your family’s lifestyle is key to elevating your home. The Remodel-Design-Build Team at The Cleary Company can collaborate with you to create an outdoor kitchen you will never want to leave. So, let’s fire up the grill, raise a glass, and savor the memories made in your outdoor oasis!

Ready to get started planning your new outdoor kitchen?

Contact our Client Relations Coordinator today! Call 614-459-4000 or visit our website.