Backyard entertaining is not only fun, but it brings an element to dining that cannot be achieved indoors. If you have access to a patio or deck area, then chances are likely that your outdoor furniture and grill are already in place. But the addition of an outdoor kitchen island can add an element that allows for food preparation and even a seating area.
Your first task in planning an outdoor cabinet system is to determine the scale. Work within the size of your outdoor space, and remember that guests will need to be able to move through the space comfortably, accounting for tables, chairs and other furniture as well.
Whether you go prefab or completely custom, you may want to consult a contractor for things that include plumbing, electrical or gas lines. The location of things like a grill, appliances and a sink will make a difference in your design and budget. A contractor can help you get the most from your budget by positioning your outdoor kitchen for easy access to utilities. Also consider your four walls and ceiling (or lack thereof). If your design includes a grill or cooktop, make sure you have proper ventilation above. Lighting is another important element that may require electrical work and fixtures, which will affect their positioning.
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