Outdoor kitchens are the perfect investment for families that love living and eating outdoors.

If you love hosting barbecue parties for friends and family, it makes sense to turn your hobby into something more permanent with an outdoor kitchen.

After all, it’s far more convenient to cook outside than cooking indoors and transporting everything into the backyard.

As you can imagine, outdoor kitchens are not a quick and easy investment. These projects take a lot of time and money, especially if you plan on building the outdoor kitchen by yourself.

Still, it’s a worthwhile investment for a unique addition to your backyard.

So, how long does it take to build an outdoor kitchen? Here’s our step-by-step guide!

How Long Does It Take To Build An Outdoor Kitchen?

The average outdoor kitchen can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months to complete, with some projects lasting longer than 4 months.

It all depends on the size of the outdoor kitchen, what materials you choose, what furnishings and appliances you want, what the weather is like, and whether you’re building it by yourself.

Here are some factors to consider that will determine how long it takes to build an outdoor kitchen.


The weather will play a huge role in delaying your outdoor kitchen building time. This is especially true if you live in areas of unpredictable weather, such as Florida.

Not only this, but contractors are typically at their peak in summer, so you might struggle to find an affordable one.

So, the best time to build an outdoor kitchen is during fall or winter, as long as the weather doesn’t become too rainy or snowy, which will ultimately delay the process. Plus, contractors are usually more available during this time.


As with any building project, you will need to contact your local permitting department about potential building codes and permits you may need to adhere to.

Electrical and gas lines usually trigger the permitting process, as well as structures that cover an outdoor kitchen (such as extended roofs that are anchored to the home).

So, make sure to apply for any necessary permits as soon as you have decided on your design plan. These permits don’t take too long to come through, but you don’t want to risk it either way!

This shouldn’t delay the process, but sticking to your local area’s guidelines will prevent you from some nasty legal action.


If you’re not in any rush to build your outdoor kitchen, then you can take all the time you like choosing appliances. However, if you’re on a tight schedule, there are some shortcuts that will make your life a bit easier.

For example, you can opt for pre-fab islands and cabinets. These are already manufactured and don’t need to be built by hand, which will cut your outdoor kitchen building time drastically.

If you’re concerned about your building timeline and budget, opt for a propane grill rather than a grill that relies on a gas line. This means you will have to replace the tank every now and then, but it’s a huge money-saver.

If you don’t want to bother with permits, you can always build a portable outdoor kitchen with a rolling grill. These just rely on an extension cord and connection to electricity.

However, they’re not quite the same as a permanent outdoor kitchen.

Step-By-Step Guide To Building An Outdoor Kitchen

How Long Does It Take To Build An Outdoor Kitchen Step By Step Guide (1)

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to give you an idea of what needs to be done to build an outdoor kitchen. Hopefully, this will help you come up with a timeline to finish the build.

Prepare The Base

Ensure that the outdoor kitchen is built on a suitable base that is flat, dry, and stable.

Unless you already have an existing patio or deck, you will need to build some kind of level and sturdy base that can withstand the weight of an outdoor kitchen.

The base can include a floating deck, ground-level deck, concrete patio, or gravel patio.

Prepare The Utility Lines

This is where the professionals need to come in, because this is the most expensive part of the job. The utility lines need to be run, including the gas and water lines – but only if this is desired for your outdoor kitchen needs.

Unless you are an incredibly experienced DIYer, and if the local codes allow for homeowner installation, you need to hire an electrician to run the power line.

Likewise, a plumbing contractor has to do the water supply, drainage lines, and gas supply.

Build A Cover

Your outdoor kitchen will almost certainly require a sheltered structure to keep it protected against the elements. This can include anything from a gazebo to an extended part of the roof.

Alternatively, you can build a retractable canopy, or use something more temporary like a fabric cover.

Just keep in mind that a permanent shelter can take out a huge part of your budget and building schedule.

Install The Kitchen

Now, you can install the cabinets and countertops that will make up the kitchen. You can build these from scratch, but it’s far less time-consuming to buy pre-made cabinets and countertops.

Make sure to opt for materials that will withstand the elements – for example, granite is the best option for outdoor countertops.

You also need to allow enough space for appliances, such as the grill and refrigerator.

Install The Appliances

Next, you can install the necessary appliances, like the grill and refrigerator.

Any electric appliances will need to be installed by an electrician, who will also sort out permanent lighting fixtures. This is when plumbing contractors will also complete their work with the gas, water, and drain lines.

This stage is probably the most tedious, because it’s a matter of trial and error. There will be a lot of moving around and testing the appliances until they have passed inspection.

Decorate The Area

The last step is the most fun part – decorating the dining area!

You can take as long as you like with this step, because decorating the outdoor kitchen isn’t going to make a difference to how the kitchen itself works. So, have fun placing the tables, chairs, couches, fire pits, patio heaters, and more.

You can also add little elements that will enhance your outdoor kitchen, such as weatherproof Bluetooth speakers, solar-powered lights, planters, hangings, and even a weatherproof outdoor television.

However, you can add these whenever you like, and won’t add to the overall timeline of building the outdoor kitchen.


So, there you have it! The time it takes to build an outdoor kitchen is determined by a bunch of factors. In most cases, you can expect to have the kitchen built within 3 weeks to 4 months, depending on how smooth the process is.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Nice Outdoor Kitchen?

The average cost of an outdoor kitchen is around $13,000. However, this figure can change drastically depending on any shortcuts you might want to consider.

The project itself can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $17,000 depending on who you hire, how big the kitchen is, what appliances you pick, the type of cover you build, and more.