You may enjoy entertaining outdoors but are likely to find yourself heavily restricted by the British weather.
But there is a solution in creating a cosy and inviting space that allows you to entertain friends and family throughout the year – and for one family doing that meant a spectacular outdoor kitchen they can enjoy even through winter.
Lorraine and James Stait installed an outdoor kitchen in a £45,000 project that was completed fortunately just before the first lockdown in early 2020 and, as our snow-filled photos show, they use it throughout the year.
Their family uses the space for everything from cooking the Sunday roast to making the dog’s breakfast, while their 14-year-old has enjoyed having friends’ round for pizza parties.
This luxury outdoor kitchen is at a home in East Horsley, Surrey, and cost around £45,000
Homeowners Lorraine and James Stait are thrilled with their outdoor kitchen which is at the side of the house
While an outdoor kitchen can prove costly, it can be a worthwhile investment into your home, particularly if it effectively creates an extra room that’s outside.
That’s certainly the case for the family from East Horsley, in Surrey, who had always wanted an outdoor living space.
Lorraine, who works in retail, and her husband James, who works as an IT marketer, are both in their mid-50s and say that while it was a big investment, their outdoor kitchen has become an integral part of their daily lives.
‘It changes your lifestyle,’ Lorraine said. ‘We enjoy the outdoors more and have a healthier lifestyle as a result.’
The couple make good use of the outdoor kitchen with their friends and family all year round
The outdoor kitchen is fully equipped with plenty of work space, a BBQ and a pizza oven
Celebrating outdoors: The family saw in the New Year at their outdoor kitchen with friends
When they bought their Surrey home a decade ago, they weren’t quite sure what to do with the area to the side that had a roof but no walls.
The couple took their time considering how best to use the space, but it wasn’t until they met Duncan Aird, of Outdoor Kitchen Expert, that they began to get excited about the area’s potential.
The family makes good use of the outdoor kitchen
‘We were always interested in creating some kind of outdoor living space,’ said Lorraine.
‘We talked to a few companies and had some drawings done, but nothing stood out. We were getting an extension done anyway when our landscaper recommended Duncan.’
The Staits’ vision came to life, with work starting in early 2020. It took six weeks for the outdoor kitchen that is suitable for year-round use to be completed, just in time for the first Covid lockdown.
The whole space is clad in cosy-looking cedar wood, providing an indoor feel to the outdoor space.
It boasts a mains-connected gas barbecue, pizza oven, fridge and plenty of storage space, so there’s no need to keep going inside to restock.
The whole space is clad in cedar wood, providing an indoors sensation to the outdoor space
The outdoor kitchen boasts wi-fi controlled colour changing LED Lighting, and infra-red heaters
WHERE WAS THE £45K SPENT?
The Bull Lonestar 4 Burner at £1,999.99
The couple spend almost £45,000 on their new outdoor kitchen, and are delighted with the results.
Here is a breakdown of the costs:
- £6,000 for appliances including a gas grill, outdoor refrigerator, integrated stainless steel drawers and waste bin, along with integrated drinks ice well, sink and taps
These include the Bull Lonestar 4 Burner Built in Natural Gas BBQ Grill Head at £1,999.99, and a Beefeater outdoor display fridge double door at £1,445.
The Beefeater outdoor fridge costs £1,445
- £9,000 was spent on cedar cladding that appears on the existing roof structure and kitchen, as well as on the cedar fencing and gates
- £4,500 was spent on bespoke granite worktops and upstands
- £5,000 went on Wi-Fi controlled colour changing LED lighting, along with pop up USB sockets, Infra-red heaters and general electrical installation
- £1,000 was the total cost of the plumbing
Overall, it brings the cost of the entire project to almost £45,000
The Staits used the kitchen extensively that first summer, but it has also proven its worth year-round.
With heating and remote-controlled LED mood lighting in place, the colder days and shorter evenings of winter have proven to be no obstacle to the space being used for family dinners, drinks and nibbles with friends and teenage hangouts.
In addition to its lifestyle benefits the kitchen, which cost between £45,000 and £50,000, has also shown itself to be a good investment.
When the property was valued between lockdowns, the value had risen as a result of the outdoor space – something very much in demand by city buyers looking for outdoor areas with something extra.
The Staits plan to add to the outdoor kitchen every year. They’ve already put in a hot tub and have plans in place for a more permanent pizza oven and additional heating later in 2022.
Lorraine added: ‘I’m so pleased we decided to invest in the outdoor kitchen. It’s become part of our everyday life from eating our Sunday roast to family celebrations and parties. The space is multifunctional and used and enjoyed by everyone; it allows us to come together as a family for real quality time.’
Of course, not all outdoor kitchens are so expensive. Indeed, you can even make your own for £100.
But for those with a budget between these two extremes, it is about carefully selected the items for inclusion and planning ahead.
Outdoor Kitchen Expert’s Mr Aird said: ‘You don’t have to spend such a large amount on an outdoor kitchen, but planning is key and so it is important to start thinking about it now.
‘February may seem early but it can take weeks to choose items, so you need to start now if you want to make the most of the space this summer.