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Top Tips For Adding An Outdoor Kitchen

Are you contemplating taking the next important step in creating your own outdoor personal paradise—adding a fully functioning outdoor kitchen with all the bells and whistles? Before you do, these tips from Michael Labriola, Inc., an Armonk-based landscape design and construction business founded by Michael Labriola, will help you make the best decisions for your lifestyle and avoid costly mistakes.

Location, location, location

Decide on the placement of your outdoor kitchen. Like any piece of real estate, location matters. Carefully consider your options and what’s most important to you and best fits your lifestyle.

Option 1: Close to your house

• Positioning an outdoor kitchen just outside your home’s back door couldn’t be more convenient.
• Close to your house also cuts down on the distance in traveling back and forth between your indoor and outdoor kitchens.
• Take advantage of the opportunity to use an existing roof overhang, which can provide natural shade and protection from the sun, wind, rain, or snow.

Option 2: By the pool

• An expansive standalone outdoor kitchen and bar by the pool might be ideal for entertaining, allowing your guests to easily move from the pool to food and drinks.
•  Poolside provides plenty of extra space for mixing and mingling—even dancing to your own playlist!
• If you go this route, be sure to factor in the distance from your outdoor kitchen to your house and plan to incorporate adequate outdoor storage to keep the essentials, including serving ware, condiments, and prep tools, nearby and make your hosting duties more efficient.
• When planning your poolside kitchen, make sure it’s possible and not too costly to run the necessary utility lines from your house to the kitchen.

Give me shelter

Wherever you place your kitchen, be sure to have shelter high on your list of requirements. Whether your kitchen is close to the house or a distance away, you may need to include building a cover or pavilion to protect you and your guests from the heat or a sudden thunderstorm in the middle of your festivities. A pergola or eyebrow off a location in the rear or side of a house for partial coverage or a full covering for a pool cabana area or eating area away from the grill are most common. A firepit and /or outdoor fireplace are generally set away from the outdoor kitchen space and are always out in the open with no covering for safety.  

Questions to ask

Before you take any action, save yourself the agony of regret or costly rework and take time to think through your wants and needs, while also being realistic about your lifestyle and your budget. It will be time well spent. Ask yourself a few critical questions:

How often do I plan to cook outdoors?
• Will my outdoor kitchen be used primarily for intimate family dining or large-scale entertaining?
• What functions are important to include in my kitchen, i.e., will I need a sink for washing dishes and utensils?
• Is it important for my kitchen to be close to my house?

If you plan carefully, the vision of your ultimate outdoor sanctuary can easily move from dream to reality.

Michael Labriola, Inc. is an innovative family owned and operated business that has served Westchester and Fairfield counties 45 years. We provide commercial and residential site design and development, landscaping, and commercial maintenance. Referrals by satisfied customers including homeowners, local businesses and corporations, municipalities, institutions, and golf courses have been the key to the company’s continued growth.

Michael Labriola Inc.
84 Business Park Dr, Suite 214
(914) 273-6530


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