3 Things to Ask Clients When Designing an Outdoor Kitchen
Building your client a functional outdoor kitchen is a rewarding process, but also requires extensive planning and considerations within the space. Many factors can impact the build, ranging from the homeowners backyard size to design elements they are seeking. Preparing a list of questions for clients to answer will not only help you understand the individuals style, but also gives an idea for layout and zoning sketches. Consider these three things to ask clients when designing their outdoor kitchen and exceed their expectations.
What will your new space be used for?
Will the outdoor kitchen be used for special occasions, or more of an everyday “second” kitchen to the family? How many people are expected to cook and dine within the kitchen? Asking your clients to document how they plan on taking advantage of their new outdoor area and how they envision themselves in the space allows you to gauge the size and functionality needed. For example, if the client is the primary cook in the family, locating the dining area 90 degrees from the grill allows them to engage with guests while preparing food.
How functional do you want your outdoor kitchen to be?
In general, all outdoor kitchens should include outdoor rated kitchen appliances, a prepping and landing space, and extra storage for accessories and cooking tools. Placing the outdoor kitchen adjacent to the indoor kitchen does allow clients to use the indoor fridge and counter space, but also brings limitations to functionality. Understanding how self-sufficient your clients want the space to be helps you suggest outdoor refrigerators, ice makers, or other products that will fulfill their needs.
What challenges will you face on the given site?
Although the layout of an outdoor kitchen is similar to that of an indoor kitchen, there are added elements and factors that must be addressed in an outdoor space. Considering the effects of sun rays, strong wind, and temperature fluctuations can impact the design. Positioning the grilling zone so that the prevailing wind does not blow smoke into the dining area or house. Depending on the climate, perhaps suggest installing heaters or fans to keep the space comfortable throughout the change of seasons.
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