Some resourceful ‘Redditors’ can brag about a variety of DIY designs, ranging from a space-saving suspended loft bed to a simple vertical chess board. However this time around, the DIY scope is expanded with a full-fledged outdoor kitchen unit (by lukeyboy767) with its very own counter-top, furnishings and even a ritzy-looking canopy.
The first step in the DIY construction project was started by extending the existing patio to 21 ft x 20 ft, by putting down stone as the main foundation component, and then covering it with leveled concrete slabs. Stone was chosen over sand or peat gravels because of the wet outdoor conditions.
Our crafty DIYer then proceeded with setting up the framework upon which the counter-top would be built later. Treated pine sections were used for the structure, so as to prevent the onset of rotting – because that could potentially cause instability if the counter-top carries too much weight. These 2 x 4’s were affixed to each other with the help of coated wooded screws that are tailored to hardy outdoor condtions. Finally, the framework arrangement was anchored to the newly laid patio floor with the aid of cement screws.
After the wooden framework was successfully secured to the patio, it was time to offer some ‘solidity’ to the counter-top. lukeyboy767 opted for Durock cement boards (see below two images) because of their intrinsic resistance to both dampness and mold. Furthermore, the boards can be cut and modified quite easily, thus speeding up the installation process.
Then it was time to add some finishing touches to the Durock draped counter-top. Our designer decided on some Airstone, which is touted be whopping 75 percent lighter and yet cheaper than real stone. The material’s advantage also extends to the non-requirement of messy mortar; instead the Airstone can be simply attached with the aid of outdoor construction adhesives, like Locktite Power Grab.
After the entire counter-top structure was set up, covered and finished, our DIYer moved on to the provision of electricity. This is arguably the weakest link of the entire DIY process, with lukeyboy767 admitting his lack of enthusiasm in dabbling with power-supply. Hence he used a simple extension cord with weather casing that was placed through a special conduit (see below image). This small passage is dug around one ft below ground, and goes through the backside of the kitchen (via a small recess vent that was made earlier).
Now comes the fascinating yet bold step where the ‘top’ facade of the counter-top was created by totally avoiding those expensive sections of granite. Instead our brave DIYer opted for pouring his own concrete. This was done with the FlatOut mix, which is a fast setting concrete-composite with fiber-glass reinforcements and polymer modifications.
A hue of Georgian Clay color was added to the mix, while the entire section was given a ‘natural edge’ by using low-cost foam (one could optionally also use dedicated molds). The top was then given an elegant finish with Cordovian Leather Stain.
We come to the ending parts of the wonderful outdoor kitchen project. The grill (seen in the lower image) was bought from Lowe, while the compact refrigerator was purchased online from a specialized manufacturer based in Texas.
Finally, the installation was given an aesthetic makeover with a luxuriant canopy that was also bought from Lowe. And, as they say – fortune favors the brave; lukeyboy767 was surely lucky in procuring the furniture items, that were literally given away for free by a co-worker of his. And, voila – the DIY outdoor kitchen space was successfully constructed and bedecked, all with a cost of just around $4,500 (which includes the patio flooring extension).