More and more homes are being built or remodeled to include outdoor living spaces. In many cases, this includes an outdoor kitchen. It can take your cooking, entertaining and lifestyle to a whole new level, and includes numerous benefits, such as:

It makes grilling a family affair – No longer does Dad have to sweat outside by the grill while everyone else is inside waiting for dinner. With an outdoor kitchen, the entire family can be part of the meal-making process. Mom and the kids are preparing the salad and side dishes next to Dad, not inside the house. The conversation takes off before your family has sat down to dinner.

It makes entertaining easier – No longer do you have to make trips to and from the kitchen to fetch drinks and food for your guests – everything you need for outdoor dining is right there. You can feed your guests without having to interrupt your conversations. And if you need to make any last minutes dishes, like an extra salad or appetizer, you don’t have to go inside and miss out on the fun while doing it.

It increases your resale value – Outdoor kitchens have become one of the hottest trends in home design. If you ever wanted to sell your house, an outdoor kitchen will increase your property value by at least a few thousands dollars. Not only will your house look modern and updated, but the extra “room” outdoors will appeal to buyers.

It gets you outside – Let’s face it; sometimes it can be hard to tear the family away from the computer, television and air conditioning. Outdoor dining allows you to turn the everyday occurrence of making dinner into something exciting. Light a few candles, turn on some music and enjoy the sun and fresh air. Without any extra hassle, dinner has become a special event.

It creates a second kitchen – Since most outdoor kitchens include a grill, sink and mini refrigerator, it will come in handy in the event that your main kitchen is out of commission. Outdoor kitchens can help you get through a plumbing emergency, power outages (if you have an electric stove in the main kitchen) and a kitchen remodel. If the main kitchen is a mess of epic proportions and you just can’t face cleaning it before dinner, break out the paper plates and napkins and head outside.

You can “remodel” without having to spend a ton of money – If you want to update your home but don’t have thousands of dollars to do so, an outdoor kitchen could be the solution. It allows you to add on a new “room” to your house, enhance your living space and pick out new kitchen cabinets, furniture, appliances and accessories, just on a smaller scale than if you were to remodel your main kitchen. You can get your kitchen design fix without having to actually live through a kitchen remodel.

It can enhance your social life – Having an outdoor kitchen can help enhance your social life in several ways. First, it will give you a good excuse to invite your friends over for dinner. You’ll want to show off your new kitchen, and everybody loves checking out new home improvements. Secondly, you’ll see more of your neighbors. If they’re outside grilling too, it’s the perfect opportunity for some over-the-fence chit chat. Husbands become grilling buddies and wives can swap recipes.

Before you decide to start your outdoor kitchen design, there is one main thing you should consider: Will you use it enough? If you’re the type of person that only pulls the grill out a few times a year – versus the person who pretty much doesn’t use the kitchen once grilling season hits – an outdoor kitchen might not be worth the extra money. But if you and your family grill often enjoy outdoor dining and entertaining, than an outdoor kitchen is a great addition to your home.

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