Custom vs. Prefab Outdoor Kitchens

The popularity of outdoor kitchens has grown immensely over the last ten years. People all over Katy and the Greater Houston area are constantly upgrading their outdoor living spaces with outdoor kitchens so they can better enjoy their homes and backyards. There are two main types of outdoor kitchens- Custom outdoor kitchens and prefabricated outdoor kitchens. Both types have their place in certain outdoor living setups. To figure out which one is best suited for your needs, we’ll go over the ins and outs of both prefab and custom outdoor kitchens.

What are prefabricated outdoor kitchens?

Prefabricated (or Prefab for short) outdoor kitchens are outdoor kitchens that are built off site, usually in an industrial warehouse. They have little variance in the choice of dimensions, materials, and appliances. There are usually multiple models to choose from, but that is about it when it comes to personal customization. Prefab kitchens are simple in design and mass produced to get as many out of the door as they can. Companies build them cheaply and quickly. The business model centers around going from raw material to backyard as fast and efficiently as possible.

Why get a Prefab outdoor Kitchen?

The appeal of prefab outdoor kitchens is the time it takes to get one installed. If you want an outdoor kitchen for a family reunion next weekend, you could probably get one in time. They are also on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to cost. However, you get what you pay for. The downside of getting a prefab outdoor kitchen is the quality of the product. The kitchens are usually made out of low-quality material such as stucco and grouted tile.  These man-made products are not built to resist the hot and humid Houston Climate. The prefab outdoor kitchens only last a year or two before the surfaces start chipping and cracking, causing your whole outdoor living space to look tacky. Also, the frame will rust and lose its integrity to support the kitchen. It won’t even be worth the money to get it fixed, so you have to get rid of it or buy a new one.

There are a few additional drawbacks of going the prefab outdoor kitchen route. When talking about price, the salesmen will neglect to tell you that you’ll need to pay someone to run heavy machinery or even a crane to get the hefty prefab outdoor kitchen into your backyard. Also, due to the short lifespan of prefab outdoor kitchens, they are bad for the environment. They wear out so quickly that every prefab kitchen will be sitting in a landfill within a few years.

What are Custom Outdoor Kitchens?

Custom Outdoor kitchens are built on site for the homeowner. They are called custom because the customization options are practically endless. They are made specifically for your unique outdoor living area. Suited for any sized outdoor space, every inch is built with your personal design tastes and cooking preferences in mind. The project developer takes your ideas and desires then applies their expertise to create a custom outdoor kitchen perfectly suited for your cooking style and outdoor living needs. 

Why get a custom Outdoor Kitchen?

This intricate design and build process might take longer, but the end result is well worth the wait. For the serious chefs and grill masters out there, only the best will do. And that is what a custom outdoor kitchen provides- a fine-tuned and detail-oriented workspace optimized to create beautiful meals for family and friends.

Custom outdoor kitchens are also built with durable materials that are all natural. Built to last, custom outdoor kitchens will look great and function well for a lifetime. Using Granite countertops, natural stone finishes, and stainless-steel appliances, they can withstand the hot and humid Texas climate for decades.

Additional benefits of going the custom outdoor kitchen route are that they can fit with any outdoor living space. They can be designed to squeeze in tight space or wrap around columns. Also, they are built on site, so homeowners do not have to worry about transporting and installing a massive outdoor kitchen.

The one advantage that prefab has over the custom outdoor kitchen is the upfront cost. A custom outdoor kitchen will be more than a prefab outdoor kitchen. But the price is worth it due to the longevity, which will save you money and peace of mind in the long run. The value it brings to your quality of life far exceeds that of a prefab outdoor kitchen.

At first glance, prefab outdoor kitchens are the quick and inexpensive way to go. However, a lack of customization options will not cut it for a serious cook. And the short lifespan is not ideal for homeowners living in their forever home. If you want an outdoor kitchen that will look great, be low maintenance, and last a lifetime- custom built outdoor kitchens are the right choice.