Everyone wants to have an outdoor kitchen in their backyard to enjoy through the seasons, but it requires careful planning to stay on budget and craft the outdoor space of your dreams. The Summerset Outdoor Kitchen Planning Series continues with what to consider about installing outdoor utilities. Often unconsidered or out of mind, it is essential to account for the time and money of connecting the appropriate utilities to the grill island.
It can be challenging to line up professional vendors to move a gas line, run electricity, and connect plumbing for running water and drainage. Often, roadblocks can slow down the installation of services, including potential obstacles like trees and shrubs that will have to be trimmed, hacked away, or relocated to make way. Here are several considerations to think through for your project to make sure things are planned appropriately.
Things to Consider When Installing Utilities
Failing to plan for the installation of gas, electricity, water, and drainage to the outdoor kitchen site can cost extra time and money. You can incorporate most of the features and amenities of a modern kitchen outdoors if the appropriate utilities are routed to the site. Employing help from trade professionals is a must for this phase to facilitate the design, pull appropriate permits, and ensure proper installation.
Electricity is essential in any outdoor kitchen. Many accessories and appliances require electricity, like rotisserie systems, interior and exterior lighting, refrigerators, and more. Don't forget to include plenty of electrical outlets.
Depending on power requirements, the project may require an additional electrical panel, and all outdoor outlets should be of the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupted (GFCI) type. Hiring a licensed electrician is crucial for compliance with local codes, passing inspection, and providing safe wiring.
An outdoor sink is an invaluable feature when cooking outdoors to keep the chef and cooking area clean and sanitary. If running water is required, a water line will need to be routed from the home water supply or fed through a hose.
Typically only a cold water line is needed unless a dishwasher is in the plan. In that case, an under-counter water heater installed below the sink is usually less expensive than running hot water lines from the house and performs better. A shutoff valve and drain will be needed, as well as winterization in cold climates
For more extensive patios and kitchens, drainage to limit standing water from rain, sprinklers, and cleaning must be considered to keep the space safe and structurally sound. Enlist a qualified plumber to assess these potential issues, check the local building codes, pull the appropriate permits, and complete the job correctly to pass inspections.
Since most outdoor kitchens run on natural gas unless you plan to grill exclusively with charcoal, you will need a gas line or second propane tank to fuel the grill and side burner. If a natural gas line needs to be modified, plan on firing an authorized technician for your home's safety.
The specifics of the gas line size and pressure are crucial: natural gas should be a 7" water column, and bulk propane should be regulated to an 11" water column. Ensure the plumber or gas technician has planned for all the equipment's total BTU volume, including fire pits, side burners, pool heaters, and patio heaters. A load test may be required.
Building the Kitchen of Your Dreams
The joys of installing an outdoor kitchen are endless, but the process should be carefully planned and executed. The most important thing to remember is that it's not just about installing a grill island - you need to prepare for the installation of gas, electricity, water, and drainage too.
If you have questions before getting started or during any project phase, feel free to call the Design Team at Summerset Superstore. We're happy to help make your dreams come true with innovative design and dependable construction.