how far does an outdoor kitchen need to be from the house

How Far Does An Outdoor Kitchen Need To Be From The House?

How far an outdoor kitchen needs to be from the house depends on several factors. Planned and placed carefully, it will host many joyful hours. Nothing compares to enjoying good food with good friends, surrounded by the colors and aromas of nature.

How far an outdoor kitchen needs to be from the house is determined by building regulations, the planned purpose of the kitchen, the convenience needed, the climate, fire considerations, and the cost of service installations. However, It is recommended for safety reasons to be 10 feet from any combustible materials.

Several practical concerns need to be balanced against each other when deciding on how far an outdoor kitchen should be from a house. These features are pretty varied and could impact one’s lifelong enjoyment of your outdoor kitchen. What must be considered?

how far does an outdoor kitchen need to be from the house

How Far Should An Outdoor Kitchen Be From The House?

One must consider several factors in planning the distance of your outdoor kitchen from the house. Building regulations are critical, but so is the purpose of the outdoor kitchen. And don’t forget that it should be convenient for both the host and guests.

The climate where your house is situated will influence your decision. Also, consider the risk of fire and the necessity of safety precautions.

Regulations For The Distance Of An Outdoor Kitchen 

Building regulations are tricky, and one needs to be aware of these requirements. The International Residential Code and US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommend a distance of 10 feet between a grill, barbecue, or pizza oven and any combustible structure, including roofs or awnings.

However, consult local authorities for specific regulations regarding how far an outdoor kitchen can be from a house, property line, or any needed permits. There are also local requirements for gas and electricity conduit pipes from the home to an outside kitchen, sometimes underground, in special conduits, and sometimes even in separate furrows.

Does Purpose Affect The Distance Of An Outdoor Kitchen?

As you eagerly and creatively plan your outdoor kitchen, you must consider the available space, budget, and time. Then, think about how permanent and sophisticated you would want the outdoor kitchen to be. Each question affects the distance from the house.

  • Would your first outdoor kitchen be a ‘pop-up‘ – that is, your food-making appliances are mounted on carts that need to be wheeled to the chosen area? (The issue is the distance from where they are stored in the house or garage.)
  • Would the outdoor kitchen be a place only to prepare the food – which is then taken elsewhere to enjoy? (How far would you need to carry the ingredients and finished meals?)
  • Do you want to include an eating area, a bar, and permanent cooking, freezing, and washing-up installations? (This also has regulation and cost considerations.)
  • Will the space be used only for relaxation or also as a work area, perhaps for carpentry? (How much noise, how close to the house?)
  • Do you want your outdoor kitchen in a scenic part of your property, which might be some distance from the house? (The further it’s located, the more it impacts on cost.)
how far does an outdoor kitchen need to be from the house

Convenience Influences the Distance Of An Outdoor Kitchen

In a busy life, convenience is a valuable asset. In this context, convenience mostly means ‘close enough.’ ”Close enough’ answers the question of how far an outdoor kitchen should be from the house. Above all, it should be easily reached and accessed from its related living areas:

It should be close enough –

  • to transport ingredients, cooking utensils, and appliances to the cooking area
  • to carry completed meals to where they will be eaten – indoors or outdoors
  • to bring dirty dishes inside if there are no outside washing facilities
  • to recreational spaces (swimming pool, play areas) – so that the cook is part of the fun
  • There should be easy access to the indoor guest bathrooms.

An outdoor kitchen should not be close –

  • to children playing, where they could get burnt or hurt, or
  • to neighbors, in respect of their privacy.
  • or the house if you don’t want the food smells or BBQ Smells going inside.
  • to awnings, shade sails or similar which may be combustible.
how far does an outdoor kitchen need to be from the house

Climate, Weather, And The Distance Of An Outdoor Kitchen

Whether you live in a warm, cold, rainy, or windy area will determine how often you will use the outdoor kitchen – for most of the year or rarely. And this will also influence your decision of how far an outdoor kitchen needs to be from the house. Further away may affect how long your kitchen will last, if there is limited shelter, we take a look at how long outdoor kitchens last here.

  • Will you frequently need to secure your outdoor kitchen and appliances against lousy weather? (The closer the outdoor kitchen, the easier one can do this.)
  • Will the direction of prevailing winds influence which side of the house your outdoor kitchen and eating space is placed, and will it still be convenient to reach?
  • Will the wind direct smoke towards your house or that of your neighbors? (Also see fire considerations.)

Fire Considerations For The Distance Of An Outdoor Kitchen

It is mesmerizing to watch an open fire as the flames lick around whatever is on the grating – particularly under a blue-black starry sky, it is less so if that happens to be your pagoda that is going up in flames.

The risk of fire and heat damage must always be considered when food is prepared on an open flame – a barbecue, grill, or pizza oven.

  • Could the cooking fires in the outdoor kitchen reach overhead awnings, eaves, a porch roof, fences, or outdoor buildings, perhaps of wood? (Track the direction of prevailing winds.)
  • Can nearby plants and overhead trees be a fire hazard.
  • If the kitchen is installed against an outdoor wall, could the wall’s integrity be affected by the cooking fires?
  • Is the gas installation in the outdoor kitchen secure enough to avoid leaks into the house?
  • Could smoke from the fires set off the indoor fire alarm system? (Again, the wind plays a role.)

Cost – Affecting How Far An Outdoor Kitchen Needs To Be

The distance of your outdoor kitchen from the house has an inverse relationship with costs in several ways.

  • If your kitchen is a pop-up (a portable grill/barbecue, fridge, sink, lights and music, carting ingredients and utensils out and in), the length of your extension cord will determine the distance.
  • The further away a permanent outdoor kitchen or grill is situated, the more one would enjoy an onsite fridge, sink, and stove. However, costs would increase.
  • A sophisticated outdoor kitchen will need permanent installations of gas, electricity, water, and grey water connected to the main house. Distance becomes a genuine concern – the further, the more expensive the installations.
  • Different local authorities have regulations determining whether pipes should be underground, how deep, in special conduits, or should gas and electricity be separated.
  • Outdoor outlets require ground-fault circuit interrupters and outdoor-rated electrical sockets, which all add to the cost.


The decision to add an outdoor kitchen to your home need considerations – it might be to avoid kitchen heat in the summer or to add value to your home. You might want to entertain with more flair or enjoy the connection to nature and a more natural and relaxed way of life.

Whatever the reason, don’t let the many considerations hold you back from the truly wonderful experience of sharing quality time with friends in your outdoor kitchen – being the chef, and enjoying your own brand of cuisine and stylishness. Your outdoor kitchen is just a step, or maybe a few, away!


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