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The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) 2019 Outdoor Kitchen Consumer Profile report has revealed that consumers seek design and installation professionals to ensure successful outdoor kitchen builds. The growing popularity of al fresco dining drove the need to survey consumers looking to expand their cooking and entertaining to the outdoors.
The good news for NKBA design professionals is that out of 303 homeowners surveyed, 64 percent consulted a design professional, while nearly all homeowners (84 percent) used, or are planning to use, professional installers for at least a part of the project. The respondents either completed an outdoor kitchen project in the past three years or were planning to complete one in the year ahead.
Outdoor living spaces have evolved far beyond a grill on the patio and a picnic table. They frequently include hardscaping to define areas for eating, cooking and relaxing; built-in refrigerators, grills, sinks, storage and cabinetry; plumbing and drainage; bar areas with tap systems; shelter/overhead structures; and lighting/atmosphere control.
"Homeowners increasingly regard their outdoor spaces as extensions of their homes, and therefore are building them more elaborately, taking design elements and creature comforts into greater consideration," said Bill Darcy, CEO of NKBA. "Although more than one-third of outdoor kitchens are in warm-weather states like Florida, Texas and California, homeowners in states like New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are also making more use of their outdoor spaces for two or even three seasons, with amenities like fireplaces, fire pits and patio heaters where needed. Outdoor kitchen design and construction business opportunities are growing, revealing a healthy market into which our members can expand and diversify their offerings."
Homeowners are spending a significant amount on their outdoor kitchen projects. The report reveals the average spend is about $13,000 on an outdoor kitchen, with 22 percent of homeowners building high-end outdoor kitchens (more than $30,000) and 14 percent spending between $20,000 and $30,000. Furthermore, these homeowners have cash-on-hand to finance their outdoor kitchen projects. Of those surveyed, 61 percent said they're paying for the majority of their outdoor kitchen with cash.
The report also reveals what homeowners wish they had done differently when designing their outdoor spaces, including building better structures for shade and protection from inclement weather (12 percent); a bigger space (10 percent); more counter area (9 percent); atmosphere/lighting/temperature control (7 percent); and cabinets/storage (5 percent).
The NKBA report is intended to help designers, remodelers and manufacturers not only identify products and materials homeowner want in their outdoor spaces, but also ensure successful outcomes.