August 10, 2023
Building the Perfect Outdoor Kitchen – Using Your Home's Equity
Imagine stepping out into your backyard, surrounded by the aroma of sizzling steaks and the laughter of friends and family. Creating the perfect outdoor kitchen and entertainment area is a dream for many homeowners. And the good news is that you can use the equity in your home to make it a reality. In this article, we'll explore the exciting possibilities of building an outdoor kitchen using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) while providing you with useful information and inspiring ideas. Let's start cookin’!
Taking indoors outdoors
The perfect outdoor kitchen begins with a look at your indoor kitchen. Ideally, your outdoor dining and entertainment space will make the most of the exterior area while flowing seamlessly from the home itself. Aim for a spot that’s easily accessible from the door closest to your kitchen, both for ease of access and aesthetics. If you’re making upgrades to a current patio area, this may already be done; if you’re starting from scratch, now is the time to earmark your budget for any architectural edits you may want, like a new entryway or breezeway between the house and garden.
Appliances set the tone
Outdoor cooking appliances are having a moment. From stunning outdoor grills to the adorable powerhouse, the Green Egg (aka avocado), there’s something for every culinary taste. While it may be tempting to have it all, it’s important to consider how you plan to use your outdoor space, its size and location, and your tastes and lifestyle. Just a few contenders:
- Grill: A high-quality grill is the heart of any outdoor kitchen. Look for durable options with versatile cooking features to suit your culinary aspirations.
- Green Egg: These ceramic charcoal grills offer exceptional heat retention and provide a unique cooking experience, perfect for searing, smoking, and slow-cooking delicious meals.
- Gas Heater: Extend the usability of your outdoor kitchen into cooler seasons with a gas heater, keeping you and your guests comfortable.
- Smoker: For those who enjoy the rich flavors of smoked meats and fish, a smoker is a must-have addition to your outdoor kitchen.
- Pizza Oven: Impress your guests with mouthwatering, wood-fired pizzas made right in your own backyard.
- Refrigerator: Keep your drinks cool and your ingredients fresh with a compact outdoor refrigerator.
Any of these, alone or in combination, will come with their own needs for energy supply, maintenance, storage, and design within your space. For example, a smoker might not play well next to your back door, or close to a seating area. On the other hand, a brick pizza oven can become the centerpiece of an all-new outdoor entertaining area. Mangia!
Remember to plan for the back end
To ensure your outdoor kitchen functions seamlessly, make sure your electric and gas lines, as well as any ventilation, paving and patio, or roofing concerns are handled before you install new appliances. If you're incorporating a grill, heater, or other gas-powered appliances, you may need to have a gas line installed to provide a steady fuel source. Also consider the electrical needs of your outdoor kitchen, such as lighting, appliances, and entertainment systems. You may need to upgrade your electrical panel or install additional outlets to accommodate these requirements. You’ll also want to make sure your outdoor flooring and any walls or roofing can adequately support and protect your furnishings and your guests.
Can you do it yourself?
Whether you tackle the project yourself or hire a contractor depends on your skill level, available time, and budget. While a DIY approach can be rewarding, hiring a professional ensures expertise, efficient installation, and compliance with local building codes. Plus, there are some things that only a professional should handle, like installing gas lines or complicated electrical wiring.
What’s the cost – and the payoff?
The cost of building a backyard entertainment area can vary widely depending on your preferences, materials, and scale of the project. Here's a breakdown of different cost ranges:
- Low-End: A basic outdoor kitchen setup with a grill, countertop, and storage can start around $5,000 to $10,000.
- Mid-Range: As you add more features like a smoker, pizza oven, or refrigerator, costs can range from $10,000 to $20,000.
- Dream Outdoor Kitchen: For those seeking a more posh backyard dining experience with high-end appliances, custom cabinetry, and premium materials, the costs can exceed $20,000.
The days of setting up a grill and a dining set on the pool deck and calling it outdoor dining are long gone. Today, an outdoor kitchen is not only a must for many homeowners, but is also a huge draw when it comes time to sell. As outdoor living spaces continue to grow in popularity, potential homebuyers are increasingly drawn to properties that offer functional and stylish outdoor entertainment areas. By creating a well-designed and appealing outdoor kitchen, you not only enhance your own enjoyment, but also potentially attract buyers and increase your home's overall value.
Leveraging a HELOC for your outdoor kitchen
Now, let's explore how you can use your home's equity to finance your backyard entertainment idea. A home equity line of credit (HELOC) allows you to tap into the equity you've built in your home and use it as a revolving credit line for various expenses. By accessing funds through a HELOC, you can benefit from potential tax deductions and potentially increase the value of your home.
Additionally, a HELOC may offer potential tax benefits. While it's essential to consult with a tax professional to understand the specific deductions available in your situation, the interest paid on a HELOC used for home improvement purposes may be tax-deductible. This can help offset some of the costs associated with building your outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor kitchen dreams – realized
Building the perfect backyard entertainment area using your home's equity is an exciting endeavor that can transform your backyard into a culinary oasis. With the right products, thoughtful planning, and financing options, you can create an outdoor space that enhances your lifestyle, adds value to your home, and brings joy to your gatherings.
And when you strategically tap into your home’s equity, that dream outdoor kitchen is within reach.