Building an outdoor kitchen is a stunning way to add value to your home, not to mention the years of enjoyment for your family and friends. When you start thinking about your design, consider adding a shade structure or roof covering.
Why? Covering your outdoor space will add to its usability and longevity while making it easier to control the temperature. Structures allow for flexibility in material options and protect your furniture, grill, and appliances from wear.
There is a variety of ways you can cover your outdoor kitchen. Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing.
Types of covering structures
Pergolas are large, open landscaping structures that can be either freestanding or partially attached to the home. The term “pergola” dated back to the Italian Renaissance and used as a support structure for vines. The vine canopy created by the growing plants will provide shade and some protection from the elements. A pergola is usually built over a walkway, patio, or other outdoor entertaining space. In modern times, homeowners add fiberglass or canvas covers to their pergolas to provide a more complete, year-round protection.
According to About.com, “A gazebo is a freestanding, open garden structure, often hexagonal or octagonal in shape, with a dome-like roof. Latticework sides make some gazebos feel more enclosed. It is usually situated in a spot (like a hill) that provides a pleasant view while offering shelter from the sun. Most gazebos are constructed of wood, and some have seating inside the sheltered area.” There is a wide variety of gazebo styles available, from prefabricated to totally custom built. You can even find them with screening installed that allows for defense against annoying bugs that can make enjoying the outdoors uncomfortable.
Using the idea of a ship’s sail, shade sails create a modern way to protect your space from the sun. Sail fabric (or another sturdy outdoor material) is stretched across and anchored to poles. It is a relatively simple concept and one of the more budget-friendly solutions. There are many styles, shapes, and colors of sail shades available, and some pretty artistic effects can be created by layering and using multiple shades.
Screened porches are structures built directly onto your house. They can be attached to the front or back, but for outdoor kitchen purposes, the back may make more sense. A tall window style design is traditionally used, but screening is installed instead of glass. Screened porches are great for a smooth transition to the outdoors while keeping out bugs.
Like screened porches, sunrooms are attached directly to the home. The main difference is that a sunroom has glass windows, making it entirely weatherproof. If you live in a mild climate, use dual-pane windows, or install a heat source, your sunroom can be enjoyed for all four seasons.
Outdoor kitchens are the ultimate in adding value to your home and will allow for years of enjoyment. No matter what kind of outdoor kitchen cover you decide upon, remember to consult with a professional. They will help ensure that you have the right type of ventilation for cooking and that safety measures and city codes are being met.