From Spotlight: Expand Your Living Space Outdoors

Mouth-Watering Outdoor Kitchens (And Surprise! Their ROI Is Great)

What they typically cost, and tips for getting the most return on your investment.

Outdoor kitchen on home backyard deck
Image: Aniko Levai of Place of My Taste

Building an outdoor kitchen is more than an indulgence: These backyard beauties can improve your home's value. The return on investment is impressive. REALTORS® and landscape professionals estimate the ROI at 100%, according to the 2023 "Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features" from the National Association of REALTORS®. And on top homeowners reported a joy score, their level of happiness after the update, at nine out of 10.

The investment can be a little — or a lot. These five outdoor kitchen ideas fit a range of budgets and homes.

#1 A Tiny Outdoor Kitchen for Limited Spaces

Small outdoor entertaining area with grill and oven

If you boil down an outdoor kitchen to the basics, what more do you need than a grill, a little oven, cupboard space, and a cozy place to sit? This setup does it all efficiently, for $1,000 to about $3,000, if you already have outdoor electricity. An electrician will add to the cost.

#2 An Outdoor Kitchen From a Kit

Concrete outdoor kitchen with sink and wood-burning oven

Modular kits can be customized somewhat for your backyard. Prefabricated and modular options run $4,000 to $10,000, according to Family Handyman. They offer some extras, but mostly include a grill or a barbecue island and countertops. 

The galley-inspired layout here also does double duty by adding privacy. (Keep in mind the cool outdoor sink requires additional plumbing, which will increase the cost.)

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#3 An Outdoor Kitchen Made of Concrete & Steel

White concrete and stainless steal outdoor kitchen

DIY-savvy homeowners used concrete and cement board to create this L-shaped outdoor kitchen that mimics today's indoor layouts. Guests relax at the counter while the host flips burgers — it's open-concept living in the great wide-open.

No, this isn't DIY 101, but if you've got the skill set you can do it for the cost of materials — and concrete is cheap. If you hire a pro, though, the typical cost is about $15,000 for a kitchen that includes an inset grill, steel drawers, ice chest, sink, and concrete countertop made from veneered masonry stone, according to the "Remodeling Impact Report."

#4 An Outdoor Kitchen With Personal Style

Wooden outdoor kitchen with grill, mini fridge, and table

Your outdoor kitchen doesn't have to look like everyone else's. But it should match your home's style if you want to get a return on your investment. This DIY kitchen fits the home's rustic style and comes with storage that any indoor cook would envy.

#5 An Outdoor Kitchen That Says 'Sit a Spell'

Outdoor dining area with yellow umbrella over table
Image: Aniko Levai of Place of My Taste

Your outdoor kitchen can play the same role in your yard that your indoor kitchen does: as the heartbeat of every gathering where guests will want to stay awhile. And bonus: The added deck and pergola could also kick up your home value a couple of notches.

Get more outdoor entertaining space ideas here.

Author photo of writer Jamie Wiebe
Jamie Wiebe

Jamie Wiebe is a writer and editor with a focus on home improvement and design. Previously, she worked as a web editor for "House Beautiful," "ELLE Decor," and "Veranda."