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“Stained wood can work for the cabinets as long as you stain them before they are exposed to the elements,” Mr. Rill said. “Flagstone works well for flooring, and honed granite or fieldstone works nicely for countertops. It’s important to use natural materials that will fit into the landscape.”

On high-end properties, an outdoor kitchen often is part of a landscape plan that includes a swimming pool, so homeowners should consider the impact of some of their guests coming directly into the kitchen space from the pool deck.

“Typical materials that are slip-resistant and heat-reducing, ones that don’t radiate extra heat, are the way to go,” Ms. Graham said. “You wouldn’t want to use a black stone, but rather a cool and tumbled stone. Be cognizant that chlorine or bleach from the pool will take sealants off finishes, so choose polished chrome instead of nickel, porcelain instead of ceramic, light-colored marble and granite instead of concrete.”

A complete outdoor kitchen would need the services of an architect to design the masonry wall with granite or stone tops, an electrician for lighting and appliances, and a plumber for a sink and dishwasher. Many homeowners also opt for a fire pit or a fireplace for added ambience and to use the space in spring and fall. Outdoor heaters are another option for extending the use of the space.

Though the outdoor kitchen does not necessarily need to be in a covered area, the addition of an overhang or roof not only protects the space from the elements but also makes the room more comfortable in every season.

A three-season screened-in room is especially important to consider in the D.C. area because of the mosquitoes in the summer, Ms. Graham said.

“Homeowners can easily spend as much or more on an outdoor kitchen as they do on a new indoor kitchen,” Mr. Rill said. “They can also spend a lot of money on furnishing the space with outdoor couches, love seats and lounge chairs covered in fabrics that are designed to stay outside.”

And while homeowners with acres of land can create an outdoor space as large and elaborate as they wish, Mr. Akseizer also has designed outdoor kitchens for rooftop decks and small yards that turn a little outdoor space into a “jewel box for your backyard.”