Instructables
Picture of Outdoor Kitchen with Concrete Countertops
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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.  
 
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Step 1: Framing

Picture of 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

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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

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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

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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.
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RykerB6 days ago

Did you mix the charcoal color at the recommended ratio of 1 bottle : 2 bags or did you do a custom ratio?

Ole bally11 months ago
Did you have to vibrate the concrete once poured to get the air bubbles out of it?
Your project looks great! Well done!
glennmaggard (author)  Ole bally11 months ago
I used an electric sander with no sanding pad to vibrate the underside of the form after the concrete was poured. Worked very well.
Aaah clever puppy!!! :)
we are about to do a similar project but using Agate stone that's been cut to make table tops!
GreedyGoat1 year ago
What was the cost and how long did it take to complete? My wife wants one now. It is beautiful.
glennmaggard (author)  GreedyGoat11 months ago
I don't have a complete cost for the project. construction materials were from Home Depot, DryVit was from a distributor, that was about $80. The SS doors were about $125 apiece. I bought the SS Grill from a vendor in CA. It was a distributor that used the grill as a demo in the store. It was fired but never cooked on. Saved about $300 on it. And of course the concrete, 8 bags of Quikcrete concrete countertop mix special ordered from Home Depot, liquid color, I had the glass from another project (fire glass in the gas fireplace). I'll try to get a fairly accurate tally together.
glennmaggard (author)  glennmaggard11 months ago
As far as time, I probably had a good 40 hours in the bases, 20 into the pour and polishing.
Hi,
LOVE THIS!!! We had an outdoor kitchen built back in 2010, and the guy that did it used OSB board and stuccoed the outside of it. Of course, about 2 months later the stucco began cracking from the swelling and contracting of the OSB board. :(
Lo and behold Mother Nature took care of it....We got hit by a tornado that came thru in June of this year and it wiped out the entire outdoor kitchen. (no one was hurt...just house and patio) Anyway, I was SO HAPPY to find your instructions to do it the right way this time!! So.....thanks so much for posting!!
Quick question.....what are the red little (lights?) sticking up and how are they powered?? Thanks again!
glennmaggard (author)  oneromanticgirl11 months ago
those are low voltage landscaping lights. They were purchased at Lowe's and were originally brown in color. I have some lights around the deck that are 12 volt, and thought these would be great. All light is directed downward and none is shining in your eyes. These have a threaded connection that would take a threaded spike to insert into the ground around your landscaping. I just used a pipe nipple, attached to the light, and used a threaded coupler for the nut on the underside of the counter. I ran the 12 volt power from the power supply that feeds all the lights through a switch inside one of the doors so that I can have the deck lights on without having the mushroom lights on all the time, only as needed.
Ingenious! We are starting to build and follow your instructions today. I hate to pummel you with more questions, but what did you use for a floor in the cabinet? We were trying to figure it out based on the pics, but couldn't tell if that was a base that you were temporarily building on, or what was ultimately used in the end.Thanks so VERY much for your help.
glennmaggard (author)  oneromanticgirl11 months ago
That is composite decking left over from a project. I also built a temp platform to build on because my garage floor was sloped. This gave me a level surface to build on. The composite decking is dark brown, the platform is light 2x4s
glennmaggard (author)  glennmaggard11 months ago
after the framing was built I also put hardipanel on the bottom, that is shown on one of the later steps.
glennmaggard (author) 1 year ago
I'd like to thank the staff at Instructables.com and also Cheng Concrete for sponsoring the Concrete and Casting contest. It is wonderful to win First Place, and the prize of a grinder/polisher will be put to good use! Thanks for a great site with so many ideas!
Glenn Maggard
poofrabbit1 year ago
Just wanted to say congratulations on being a finalists in the Concrete & Casting Contest! This was a fantastic instructable! Good luck!
glennmaggard (author)  poofrabbit1 year ago
Thanks! It was a fun project and I hope I encouraged some to give it a try!
TJ591 year ago
Beautiful!
What brand/model of grinder did you use and at what speed?
glennmaggard (author)  TJ591 year ago
I used a Secco variable speed grinder. Not sure of the speed most of the time, but working with it you can just tell when it is cutting right by the feel of resistance. It has a water hose connection that shoots down the center of the drive shaft,washing away the slurry and keeping the cutting surface clean. It's pretty messy though!
Glen - awesome project. Thanks for taking the time to share it. Quick question - Did you find the glass moved around when you poured the concrete and if so how did you over come this?

thanks
glennmaggard (author)  mattnewbury1 year ago
I was anticipating some movement, but I was pretty careful about placing the concrete. It was mixed in an electric mixer and dumped into a wheelbarrow. From there, it was placed with a shovel, so there was not a large wave of concrete or anything like that.
gadget-man1 year ago
ok, I looked at all of the projects in the concrete contest and yours got my vote.
good luck.
bishr1 year ago
i think this is beautiful! can u please provide more details about the metal doors and where similar ones can be bought from?
glennmaggard (author)  bishr1 year ago
I purchased these doors and drawers from BBQGUYS.COM
jpridgen11 year ago
This is AWESOME!!! I will be making this at some point at my house and my brothers! How much time and $ did this project cost? You definitely got my vote!!!
Hiyadudez1 year ago
Looks awesome, though you may want to remove the excess pictures off the intro page.
glennmaggard (author)  Hiyadudez1 year ago
thanks, i will
Beautiful idea to throw the glass into the layout. Turned out great.
a.steidl1 year ago
Awesome outdoor kitchen build, glennmaggard. Living in FL, I might attempt a build with different materials, but your build is quite inspiring, and really well done.
monty3241 year ago
I thought about making one like this with a wood fired pizza oven. Yours looks great, Its kind of sad that your moving away from this but this sort of thing can increase the price of a property by as much as 10,000 sometimes. That's a good profit.
glennmaggard (author)  monty3241 year ago
I will be recreating at the new house, that's for sure!
Oh yeah, it would be silly not to. Have you thought about casting a sink into the surface with running water.
glennmaggard (author)  monty3241 year ago
That would be good, but in michigan, it would be a constant maintenance items with the winter. I would have been a tough install to run a drain from the outside deck into the interior of the house and tie into the sanitary system.
I didn't think that through. Do you know if it would be possible to cast the surface in place. I assume it would need a lot of cutting, grinding, sanding, polishing and buffing to get it nice but casting it whole and lifting it on would be so heavy and dangerous but casting it in separate pieces will leave cracks, and when water gets into these and freezes it will push the 2 pieces apart.
glennmaggard (author)  monty3241 year ago
it is possible to cast in place, sure. But, it is a very messy job grinding and polishing. I ground and polished on my driveway, which actually stained it a bit. Water is your friend, wash away all residue immediately. I actually did a concrete table top to match the counters. I had a large slate top table that sat 8. the state was spalling, so I chipped it all out and used the remaining base and formed up and did a table top pour. It worked fine and I did the grinding and polishing in the yard instead and then carried the table up to the deck - with lots of help of course.
Interdasting. I hope you win the concrete contest because I would love to see more things like this.
glennmaggard (author)  glennmaggard1 year ago
Smaller pieces would work too. A good silicone between pieces may keep out the water in the winter. I am sure there are some good processes out there if you google it.
mamalaoshi1 year ago
BEAUTIFUL! I just informed my husband that he will be doing this in our next kitchen when we move next year. ;)
mamalaoshi1 year ago
BEAUTIFUL! I just informed my husband that he will be doing this in our next kitchen when we move next year. ;)
glennmaggard (author) 1 year ago
Everyone PLEASE VOTE FOR MY PROJECT in the Concrete Casting Contest!

http://www.instructables.com/contest/concrete2013/

Thanks!!
DeeRilee1 year ago
Beautiful!!!!

I'd love to have that countertop in my kitchen!!!! How thick is the countertop?
glennmaggard (author)  DeeRilee1 year ago
It is 1.5 inches thick
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