Thursday, August 1, 2013

Outdoor Kitchen Part 1

Project outside kitchen began two weekends ago. Well, to be fair project outside kitchen began months ago in Brent's mind. See what happened was our house came with a great deck. A big, open deck just screaming for an outdoor kitchen. Well, Brent thinks it was screaming. I thought it was merely suggesting it for a future, down the road project. But, Brent heard screaming so we decided to pounce on this project while we had some free weekends.

Below is a before shot of the section of the deck we planned to transform into the outdoor kitchen.

Brent and I talked through his ideas and came up with a rough sketch of what he had in mind.

Basically, the plan was to create a pizza oven, a cabinet to store all of the grilling materials, a built-in spot for the grill and Big Green Egg and a countertop surface to do all the grilling prep. Simple enough, right?

Before the outdoor kitchen building began we went under the deck and added additional support through the addition of three structural columns. We knew the out door kitchen would be heavy and we didn't want our new out door kitchen to cause our entire deck to collapse. We figured the addition of these columns would offer peace of mind and a long life for our deck and those standing on it. 

Weekend #1:

After work on Friday we grabbed our sketch and headed to Home Depot for supplies, which included cinder blocks and pressure treated wood. 

We started with a cinder block base for the area that would sit under the pizza oven. The cinder block base would not only support the weight of the brick oven but it would hold up nicely against the heat the brick oven produced. 

The guys immediately went to work setting blocks and adding mortar. 

While the mortar dried they moved on to framing the rest of the out door kitchen using pressure treated wood. 

They framed the kitchen to follow the lines of the deck, starting with the base. 

They measured and cut and nailed and measured and cut and nailed for hours. 

Of course there were dinner breaks, but often times we would get back to it afterwards and work until dark. Brent was like a determined machine. And I was the favorite feeding spot for the mosquitos in the neighborhood.

By the end of the first weekend the outdoor kitchen looked like this:

Weekend #2:

Once the framing was complete it was time to add the siding prep - plywood. 

The entire frame had to be covered in the plywood to help make the structure weather resistant. So again, there was a lot of measuring and cutting and attaching the plywood to the frame almost like a puzzle. 

After the plywood was installed it was time for countertops! We decided on concrete countertops but before any concrete could be poured more wood was cut to go around the top of the framing for the countertop template.

Since we were pouring the concrete countertops (rather than buying prefabricated), we had to fill the gaps at the top of the framing with plywood so that the concrete would not leak through while it was wet. As you can see, some of the pieces had to be cut in odd shapes due to the angle of the deck and the framing. 

The pieces of wood would later be removed but provided the perfect countertop template for our concrete. 

The final pre-countertop step was to add re-bar and metal wire for the concrete to be poured over to ensure it wouldn't crack.

OK, it's that time again, time for me to leave you hanging. This is just part one of what will likely be a three-post project. As exciting as this phase was, next week is when we will jump into all of the details surrounding the pretty stuff! Countertops, paneling and stone! 

All photos are my own. 

15 Appreciated Comments :

Anonymous said...

What about the deck being able to handle the considerably greater weight of all that masonry and materials?

Courtney Foster Shearer said...

We added three structural columns underneath the deck before beginning the project. You are right, there is a lot of extra added weight and we wanted to be sure the deck could support it.

Anonymous said...

Looks great! What did you mount the grill to? Or is it freestanding in there? Either way has the heat been an issue to the wood or concrete counters? Thanks

Courtney Foster Shearer said...

Hi, we mounted the grill to the wood frame, but insulated it using concrete backer board which serves as a heat deterrent. We researched this a lot and some feedback suggested metal framing, while others suggested wood would be fine. Almost 1 year later we haven't had any issues with residual heat from the grill.

Brittany said...

Did you just take your freestanding grill and mount it, or is this a special grill for a built in? Looking for ideas for my hubby's birthday, and thinking I could save $$$ by just using a freestanding grill. Thanks!

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markduda said...

Leaves or leaf debris will build up in there and a fire will occur

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Hazel said...

What an natural and luxurious kitchen transformation. The kitchen with green landscaping looks extremely wonderful. My mind felt better after making my first entrance in your outdoor kitchen part-1. The steps and process you all made to bring the kitchen to the perfect shape were totally adorable and worth to follow for having like that at our home. Love your amazing project. By the way for concrete construction I can recommend concrete Los Angeles if anyone live in Los Angeles area.

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