Time: 2+ Weeks
Skill Level: Advanced
Are you dreaming of an outdoor kitchen and debating whether to hire a professional or take on the challenging process of how to build an outdoor kitchen yourself? Do you want to cook outside so you don’t feel separated from the party?
In this article, you can learn the 15-step process for how to build an outdoor kitchen into your outdoor living space. You can find out the tools and materials you will need to. By the end of this post, you will have a better idea of if building your own outdoor kitchen is a job you can (or want) to do.
- Circular saw
- Masonry hoe
- Wet tile saw
- Safety goggles
- Ear plugs
- Staple gun (optional)
- Heavy-duty scissors
- 2×4 posts
- Sheathing plywood
- Exterior screws of various lengths
- Construction glue
- Roofing nails
- Mortar mix
- Mortar trough
- Builder’s felt
- Wire lath
- Galvanized nails
How To Build An Outdoor Kitchen In 15 Steps
Here’s the DIY outdoor kitchen building process.
1. Build The Frame
You’ll need 2×4 pressure-treated lumber for this part of the project. Pressure-treated lumber is designed for outdoor use and won’t rot or deteriorate as quickly as regular lumber will. Cut your boards into four pieces that will make up the frame of your kitchen. Assemble them on top of a level surface and use wood screws or nails to hold them together securely.
2. Connect The Sections
Next, you’ll want to connect each section of the frame together using nuts and bolts. This will ensure that they are securely held in place while providing support for the entire structure. Make sure that all connections are tight and secure.
3. Attach Plywood Sheaths
Attach plywood sheaths over each section of your frame in order to provide additional structural support and stability for your outdoor kitchen. Use screws or nails for this step but make sure they are long enough to penetrate through both layers of wood without causing any damage or weakening the connection between them.
4. Cover Plywood With Builder’s Felt
This helps protect the wood from moisture and pests. Start by cutting a piece of builder’s felt that is slightly larger than the size of your plywood sheet. Place the felt on top of the plywood, then use a staple gun or nails to secure it in place. Make sure that all edges are tightly secured so that no moisture can get underneath the felt.
5. Nail Wire Lath Sheets To The Plywood
Once your plywood is covered with builder’s felt, you can begin nailing wire lath sheets to it. The wire lath will help strengthen and reinforce your structure while also providing places for concrete or mortar to adhere to once it has been applied. Make sure that you use galvanized nails when attaching your wire lath sheets, as they are more resistant to rust and corrosion than regular nails.
Start at one corner of the plywood sheet and work outward, overlapping each sheet by at least 4 inches. Once all of your wire lath sheets have been nailed down securely, it’s time for trimming!
6. Trim The Lath
The final step is to trim off any excess material from around the edges of your wire lath sheets. This can be done with a pair of tin snips or heavy-duty scissors. Carefully cut away any excess material until all edges are flush with the edge of your plywood sheet.
7. Apply Mortar On The Lath
This is necessary for securing the brick or stone veneer to prevent it from shifting or falling off over time. Make sure the mortar is evenly spread and applied thickly enough so that it can hold the weight of the veneer when it is secured to the wall surface. It may also be helpful to use a brush or trowel to ensure complete coverage.
8. Score The Mortar
Once the mortar has been applied, you will want to score it with a notched trowel before pressing on your brick or stone veneer. Scoring helps create a better bond between the mortar and veneer and makes them easier to separate once they have been secured together. To do this, simply press down firmly with your notch trowel as you move it along the length of the lath-mortar joint, ensuring that all areas have been scored well.
9. Butter Back Of Tile Or Stone Veneer
Make sure you “butter” the back of each tile or stone veneer before you secure it onto the wall surface. This means adding a thin layer of mortar onto each piece prior to installing them into place, so they stick easily when pressed against the wall surface. Be sure not to skimp on this step because if any part of your outdoor kitchen isn’t properly secured, it could come apart over time due to weathering or wear and tear from regular use.
10. Attach Tiles Or Stone Veneer
Start by measuring the area with a tape measure and marking the measurements on paper. Use these measurements when purchasing tile or veneer from a store. When you bring them home, lay them out on top of your outdoor kitchen in the same orientation as they were in the store. This will help ensure that your finished product looks as uniform as possible. Once everything is laid out correctly, use a construction adhesive to attach each piece of tile or stone veneer firmly in place.
11. Cut Tile Or Stone Veneer To Fit
Measure any areas that need custom sizing for your tile or stone veneer pieces, such as around corners and tight spaces. Make sure to take into account any existing outlets and switchplates before cutting anything too short.
When all measurements are taken, use a jigsaw to cut along the lines marked off earlier. Remember to wear safety goggles while cutting. After all of the pieces have been cut, sand down any rough edges with sandpaper until they are smooth and flush with the rest of your outdoor kitchen’s surface.
12. Finish Laying Tile Or Stone Veneer
Once all custom pieces have been added, fill in any gaps between tiles/stone veneers with grout using a putty knife—make sure not to overfill! Allow the grout time to dry after application before proceeding further; following manufacturer instructions can help determine how long this process takes based on temperature and humidity levels in your area at any given time.
After drying, wipe away any excess grout with a damp cloth. You may also want to seal off your finished product for extra protection against water damage and general wear and tear. Do this by applying sealant overtop of everything using a paintbrush according to manufacturer instructions (usually once every few years).
13. Install Countertops
You should use countertops that are designed specifically for outdoor use since they will be durable and able to withstand weather conditions. You can also choose from a variety of materials, such as granite, quartz, concrete block, etc. Natural stone tends to be the easiest to maintain, though it can be pricier than some other materials.
Once you have chosen your countertop material, make sure to measure the area where it will be installed and cut it to size. Then secure it into place using screws or adhesive, depending on what type of material you are using.
14. Install Cabinet Doors
Measure the area where the cabinets will be installed so that you can purchase the correct size doors. When choosing cabinet doors, make sure to select ones that are made from waterproof materials so that they can stand up to any weather conditions. Once you have purchased your cabinet doors, attach them to the cabinets using hinges and screws according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
15. Install Grill And Other Fixtures
Finally, install cooking appliances that may be part of your outdoor kitchen design. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when you install appliances so that they are properly secured and won’t move around when in use. You may also want to consider adding lighting fixtures or an audio system if desired for added convenience and ambiance when entertaining outdoors during evening hours.
Popular Features For Outdoor Kitchens
- Natural gas grill
- Outdoor grill island
- Wood-fired pizza oven
- Wet bar
- Fire feature
- Ice maker
- Storage space
- Outdoor sink
Let Farrell’s Lawn & Garden Upgrade Your Backyard
Crafting an outdoor kitchen of your own has the potential to transform your outdoor space into a dreamy weekend getaway. From picking out the perfect spot for cooking and entertaining to selecting appliances and materials that fit your lifestyle, building an outdoor kitchen requires diligence and patience.
Farrell’s Lawn & Garden team is here to help you execute every step of your kitchen’s design so that you can create your ideal social retreat. We have the resources to help customize the features or aesthetic touches as you need.
If you’ve been dreaming up the perfect plan for your spectacular cooking corner in paradise, fill out our contact form today to begin making it a reality!