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DIY Outdoor Kitchen Tips
by Mia Farrel on May 8, 2014
An outdoor kitchen is a great place to spend time with family and friends, while also enjoying fresh air and beautiful weather. Outdoor kitchens are an increasingly popular trend among homeowners, especially those that are looking to add a bit of value and space to their home. Luckily, many outdoor kitchens are also easy to create and you can likely build one on your own. But before you get started on your DIY outdoor kitchen, here are some tips that you should be sure to follow.
The first part of your process should be to properly plan. If you do not plan accordingly, you’ll come across many headaches along the way that will make your outdoor kitchen a nightmare. You can begin your planning process by looking for ideas that you want to add to your outdoor kitchen. To do this, you can find magazines, look online or even download software and mobile applications that will help you with the planning process.
Part of the planning should also be to measure the space that you have in your backyard. You’ll want to carefully plan for the flooring, the countertop space and all of the appliances that you plan to add to your outdoor garage. If you feel as if your backyard isn’t as large as you’d like, you can still utilize the software and apps suggested above to help you make the most of the space that you do have. However, whatever your space limitations may be, be sure that you consider leaving some yard space so that you can entertain guests and give them a place to hang out when they aren’t getting food off the grill or congregating in the kitchen area.
Tip – You’ll want to ensure that you are following your neighborhood's HOA and zoning rules during your planning process. Some rules will limit what you can do with your outdoor kitchen, which is something you want to know before you start building. If you get too deep into the process, you may have to make some serious changes that affect the entire project. But if you check what rules and regulations you have to follow early, then you’ll know what is allowed and what you can add to your outdoor kitchen.
Find the Right Materials
After you have all of the planning figured out, it’s time to start gathering the materials that you need. Part of that process will include countertops, flooring and the appliances that you want to use. It’s suggested that you use stone tiles and other surfaces that will be able to withstand different climates, especially if you live in a geographical location where you experience different patterns of weather throughout the year.
When it comes to the appliances that you should add to your outdoor kitchen, a fridge, a sink, and a grill are three mainstays for any project. However, you may also want to consider adding a dishwasher, cabinets, a fire pit, and an eating area. Having these additional features will add a lot of value to your outdoor kitchen, while also making it more functional when you are using it.
To make sure that you are getting the best prices for your materials, be sure that you search around at different outlets. The place that you get your countertops or flooring from, may not be the best place for you to consider getting appliances. Saving a few hundred dollars here and there will add up to be big savings once the project is completed.
Start the Build
Once you have all of your materials ready, it’s time to start the build for your outdoor kitchen. To begin, you’ll want to set up the framing for your kitchen area. Typically this will consist of 2x4 lumber, which will give you a solid foundation to build from. After the lumber has been laid and put into place, you can then lay down the ceramic tiles to build your flooring surface. Keep in mind that you will still need space to add appliances, so prepare to cut those areas out of the stone tiles or leave the space empty until you have installed the larger items in place.
The next step is going to be to install those appliances, such as the fridge, grill, sink and even washing machine if you opted for one. The reason you will do this before you do your countertops is to make sure that everything fits and also to ensure that you do not scratch up the counter surfaces during the installation process.
Finally, it’s time to install the cabinets and countertops. If you have planned correctly, fitting the countertops should be a breeze and you can quickly affix them into place around the rest of your appliances.
Tip - Be sure that you leave the adequate room from your grill and other parts of your outdoor kitchen. A grill will get much hotter than an indoor oven, so you’ll want to avoid anything being next to it that could start a fire.
Throw a Great Party
When it’s all said and done, it’s time to throw a great party to break in your new outdoor kitchen. After you’ve completed the finishing touches on your outdoor kitchen, call up your friends, invite them over, throw some food on the grill and have a great time.
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