With any home improvement project, including the installation of an outdoor kitchen, a person must decide if they want to do the work themselves or hire a company to do the work for them. Some people choose to do the work, as they have experience with home improvement projects and feel this is a job they can take on without difficulty. However, sometimes it’s best to leave this work to the pros. How can a homeowner decide which route to go?
The Project Scope
Before looking for a builder, determine the project scope. This becomes of great help in deciding which route to go. Assess the following factors.
The Project Timeline
Homeowners must consider the project timeline. A person might only be able to work on the outdoor kitchen nights and weekends, which will extend the project timeline. In addition, the time spent working in the kitchen means this person cannot do other things they enjoy or complete other projects around the home. When the homeowner hires a professional, they have the staff and equipment to complete the job quickly. This leads to fewer disruptions in the family’s life.
Professionals have the knowledge and experience to ensure all elements of the job are completed correctly. For example, they ensure every electrical component is appropriate for outdoor use and is waterproof. They connect all appliances and equipment and comply with all local building codes. This knowledge and experience guarantee family, friends, pets, and more remain safe when the outdoor kitchen is in use.
The average homeowner often lacks this knowledge. As a result, the outdoor kitchen they thought would bring friends and family together instead serves as a hazard and a costly eyesore because they cannot use it as intended. This harms the property value and can lead to discord within the family.
The Project Cost
Outdoor kitchens come with a high price tag. Fortunately, the homeowner sees a good return on their investment when the time comes to sell the home. Individuals spend more time at home now and want items they will use regularly. However, they also want items that add value to the property. An outdoor kitchen does both.
To see this return on investment, the homeowner must ensure they complete the project correctly. While a person can save money by doing the work themselves, any mistakes that are made when they do this work will affect the resale value of the home. In addition, inferior materials negatively affect the resale value, as the potential buyer will need to replace these items sooner than they would if they used quality materials.
What many homeowners overlook are the cost savings they may see by hiring a contractor. If the contractor specializes in outdoor projects such as kitchens, they often receive bulk discounts from suppliers. They can then pass these savings on to homeowners, reducing the overall cost of the project.
A homeowner might choose to watch YouTube videos or view websites that provide do-it-yourself instructions for an outdoor kitchen. However, this doesn’t mean they can do the kitchen correctly. The wealth of DIY shows on television today leads people to think these projects are easy. They never see what goes on when the cameras are off. These individuals then end up making mistakes or compromising the integrity of the kitchen. This results in the kitchen needing to be replaced sooner.
Additionally, the contractor knows what to do if an unexpected problem arises during the project. For instance, the plumbing fittings may not be appropriate for the selected appliances. The contractor can overcome this issue easily, while the homeowner might find they must replace a portion of the plumbing. This saves the homeowner time and money.
DIY or Pro?
If a homeowner truly wants to have a hand in constructing the outdoor kitchen, one way to do so is to choose a contractor who will share the work. Talk with this professional to see which tasks they feel they must handle and which the homeowner can tackle.
In addition, determine who will get the necessary permits and documentation. The professional ensures the project complies with all building codes, even any work that is done by the homeowner. This help becomes invaluable when the time comes to get the project approved by local authorities.
Choosing the Right Contractor
One way to save on the cost of an outdoor kitchen is to choose the right contractor. When selecting the contractor, ensure they have the proper licensing to take on a project in the state. Contact the Better Business Bureau to learn about any customer complaints and how the company resolved them. In addition, read online reviews and see how the company responds to these reviews. Negative reviews aren’t necessarily bad, as long as the company responds to them promptly and works to resolve the customer’s concerns. Speak to several contractors before choosing one to work with, so you know the right person will handle the job.
Choose the Right Design
The right outdoor kitchen design plays a role in the overall success of the project. Look for a design and style that complements the home and property. Nobody wants the finished outdoor kitchen to be an eyesore because it doesn’t blend in with other features.
Handle Demo and Cleanup
Consider working with a contractor who will allow you to handle the demolition of existing structures and clean up when the project is complete. This helps to keep the cost of the project down and allows the homeowner to have a part in the project.
Each homeowner must decide if this is a project they feel comfortable tackling or if it is better left to the pros. Consider the above factors when making this decision. Ultimately, many homeowners decide to hire a contractor for this task, as doing so means less hassle, faster results, and a higher quality of work. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean a contractor is right for everyone. Only you can determine which option is appropriate for your outdoor kitchen.