You’ve probably noticed that outdoor kitchens have exploded in popularity in recent years. What began as a quirky trend for the very wealthy in (where else?) California, has become one of the most sought-after landscaping projects across the country. Full grilling stations, surrounded by stone countertops and a full bar, are part of a dream that many Americans have invested in to make their properties more luxurious and comfortable.

So, what does a custom outdoor kitchen cost in NJ? That answer will be different for every homeowner, as the very nature of a fully custom project requires designers to build a unique kitchen from the ground up. While it’s nearly impossible to predict an exact cost without a professional assessment of all your property’s specific features (not to mention a deep discussion about your personal tastes) there are several factors that will influence the overall price tag. Below is a list of the biggest budget line items to consider when constructing a new outdoor kitchen.


Size is usually the biggest factor that will determine the cost of a custom kitchen project. For example, an outdoor kitchen that is only 8 feet long with basic accessories will only cost a fraction of the price of a 15-foot kitchen with many accessories and bar top seating. The base size of your outdoor kitchen area affects the cost of everything from foundation work to the number of materials needed to lay the stone floor and finish any built-in seating.

Materials and Appliances

Your taste will determine a major portion of the cost of your outdoor kitchen, as well. Natural stone and pavers come in a wide range of colors and textures, and prices will vary accordingly. If your overall design is fairly complex and requires lots of special cuts to the stone, you may also pay more for specialized labor. Finally, the number of appliances and their features comprise a significant portion of the final cost. High-end grills, smokers and other specialty outdoor kitchen appliances range in price, and you can combine them in nearly endless ways to create the outdoor kitchen that suits your needs.

Structural Features

Building an outdoor kitchen in Essex County requires specific features for the climate. You’ll need to make sure that your entire project has the right materials and foundation to withstand ice and snow. You’ll also want to seriously consider a layer of protection from the elements so your appliances aren’t ruined in the rain. A freestanding roof or awning is a crucial addition to New Jersey outdoor kitchen designs, but they do add to the cost. Outdoor fireplaces and accent walls (with or without seating) will also enhance your design and add a bespoke touch to your property by adding more space for entertaining. Each of these items adds to the overall cost of materials and labor for your project, but also add considerable value to your property.


An outdoor kitchen built as an extension of your house may not cost as much as one built as a freestanding entity by the pool or down a garden lane. The farther your outdoor kitchen is from the main house, the more you’re likely to spend on running utilities like water and electricity lines out to that space and burying them underground. A roof or awning will also need to stand alone if it’s detached from the house, which requires proper footings. These costs that can be reduced if your existing home provides some of the structure.

Special Permits

Finally, any custom outdoor kitchen cost in NJ is influenced by the permitting process in your municipality, whether that be Millburn, Glen Ridge or Montclair, for instance. Every township and city varies in its requirements, which means the cost to proceed will vary based on your zip code and unique design. Working with a trusted, experienced landscape architect will allow you to navigate through the tedious permit process and ensure that you submit all necessary documents and abide by the rules and regulations of your township.

Getting Started on Your Custom Outdoor Kitchen

With so much involved in creating the perfect outdoor kitchen, it’s critical to hire a qualified professional landscaper to help you create a plan for your project that will add value to your property. When you work with an experienced landscape architect, you get more than just design expertise — though that is definitely important. You also get first-hand knowledge about choosing materials and appliances that will work best for your needs, and you should receive a detailed estimate that outlines exactly what your kitchen will cost to build.

Because an outdoor kitchen is such a complex project, it pays to work with someone who has built many of them in and around Essex County so they can let you know exactly what to expect as the project progresses.

It’s worth noting that outdoor kitchens, patios and fireplaces all add to the overall value of your property, so consider the return on your investment as you think about the overall costs. You’ll receive the benefits of your outdoor kitchen for as many years as you live in your home and enjoy al fresco dining with guests. It will pay dividends when you eventually sell your home for a higher price thanks to the custom landscaping.

Why Choose Parker Homescape?

We have transformed hundreds of landscapes in and around the Somerset, Hunterdon, Essex and Union County areas, including Summit, Gladstone and Bedminster since our founding in 2006. Unlike many of our competitors, we undertake only one client project at a time, ensuring that every deadline is met and that every detail is considered. Additionally, a lead foreman with over 30 years of experience oversees your project from start to finish. This approach makes us one of the most sought after landscape design companies in Central New Jersey, and translates into a seamless, stress-free experience for you and your family.

Whether creating a custom outdoor kitchen, installing landscape lighting or building a one-of-a-kind outdoor fireplace, we believe that each landscape project is unique. We proudly promise customized solutions, superior customer service and competitive pricing for each of our clients.

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