What Type of Contractor Should I Hire to Build My Outdoor Kitchen?
Outdoor kitchens were primarily built for high-end custom homes not too long ago. Today, the trend has gone mainstream, and millions of homeowners now hire contractors to create custom outdoor kitchen areas. The unique kitchens can turn a backyard into a complete, year-round entertainment area.
Professionals, including architects, kitchen designers, contractors, and landscape architects, are building outdoor kitchens. That gives you a lot of choices when selecting a contractor, but your decision should rest more on experience than professional affiliation.
Production or Custom Builder?
When you begin searching for a contractor, you will quickly learn that most fall into two categories: production and custom builders. Before hiring an outdoor kitchen builder, it’s crucial to know the difference between them.
Production contractors typically work with a limited number of vendors to reduce costs. Their portfolios may show dozens of different completed projects, but each will have similar characteristics. The contractor also gives customers limited design and material options.
Custom builders design and build unique kitchens according to clients’ wishes and specifications. They focus on quality and offer various products and materials.
Experience Is Essential
Per HGTV experts, you should choose a business with at least 25 years of kitchen-building experience and a minimum of three years constructing outdoor kitchens. Building a kitchen involves working with electricity and sometimes gas, so contractors need to be highly skilled.
Seasoned contractors have seen it all and have plenty of experience returning to fix issues. That means fewer chances that something will go wrong during your project.
Experienced contractors can handle the common mishaps that can occur when building a kitchen. Outdoor kitchen materials can shift, countertops could crack or peel, and base materials might settle. The wrong grill might not stand up to your environment. Experienced contractors anticipate these types of problems and ensure that projects go smoothly.
Review Credentials and Licenses
Per Farm Food Family professionals, your contractor must be licensed and certified. Companies should be covered by workers’ compensation and have liability insurance. If there’s a mishap during a project and the contractor is uninsured, you might need to pay for damages or on-the-job injuries. Make sure company licenses and insurance are current, too.
Request a Walk-Through of Previous Work
Every contractor’s portfolio contains images of newly completed work, representing best-case scenarios. But photos don’t give you an idea of how those kitchens held up over time. Don’t hesitate to ask your contractor for the names and phone numbers of previous customers. Many homeowners are happy to give new customers a tour of their outdoor kitchens explain what their experience has been. They will often let you know what they might do next time if they had to rebuild their kitchens.
Access to a Variety of Appliances and Materials Is Crucial
As outdoor kitchens have become more popular, cabinet styles, build materials, grill technology, and appliance choices have grown. Your contractor should offer you a wide range of options to get exactly the kitchen you want.
While custom builders strive to provide clients with multiple options, some contractors deal with a few brands they’re familiar with that also include hefty markups. They will generally push those products. Look for builders that recommend appliances and grills suited for the lifestyle you have in mind. A contractor should offer no fewer than three similarly priced grills.
An outdoor kitchen can increase your home’s value and become a year-round entertainment area. To ensure the best results, contractors should design and install the kitchen. It’s essential to vet builders and ensure they have the experience for the job. A contractor should also be licensed and insured, offer a wide range of options, and focus on creating precisely the kitchen you want.