My project involved creating an outdoor cooking area. This involved constructing bases of steel studs, hardipanel, synthetic stucco and poured concrete countertops that would hold a natural gas grill and provide storage and space for food layout.
Step 1: Framing
The first step in creating these were to create the frames with steel studs. You really need all of your components on site to begin this framework, as grill dimensions and door openings must be exact to have a good fit and finish. All screw penetrations and cut edges of studs were spot primed with galvanized primer to deter rust and corrosion.
Step 2: HardiPanel substrate
Hardipanel was selected as the substrate of the finished surface. This cuts easily and mounts with screws. Joints are taped with mesh tape and finished with thinset. I also did the bottom to help with rigidity and also to keep critters out of the finished units.
Step 3: Synthetic stucco
I used a product called DryVit as the finished surface. This is applied by troweling or spraying with a hopper - just like drywall texture. I sprayed this product. DryVit looks like traditional stucco, but has some elastic qualities that allow it to expand and contract with temperature changes without cracking.
Step 4: Countertop Template
Strips of luan were cut from a 4'x8' sheet and these were used to create the countertop template. This works pretty slick, as you can make a perfect template without really measuring anything. These are glued together during the process. This makes easy work of odd shaped counter shapes. You can get the proper overhang and perfectly placed cutouts.