Introduction: Outdoor Kitchen

(5) 4x4 Treated Posts 10'

(20) 2x4 Treated 8'

(20) 2x6 Treated 8'

(20) 6" Treated Decking 10'

(1) Piece treated Lattice

(6) 50lb bas of concrete mix

(1) 5lb Box 2.5" Decking Screws

(1) 2.5lb Box 1.25" Decking Screws

(4) Hinges: Outdoor Strength 3"

(2) Latches: Outdoor Strength

These numbers may vary on the grill or kitchen size.

Additional materials (optional): Propane Grill and Christmas Lights

Tools: (Impact) Drill, Chop Saw, Jig Saw, Hammer, Shovel, Post Hole Digger, Square, Level, Tape Measure, and Pencil.

Step 1: Foundation Day 1

Dig four holes for the foundation.

The four holes are 6 feet apart outside edge to outside edge, creating a six foot square.

Dig the holes two feet deep and one foot in diameter.

Place a 4x4 post 10 foot tall into the holes.

Attach two 2x4 timbers to each 4x4 post perpendicular to one another. Approximately 5 feet above ground level with one screw each. Level the post and shove the 2x4s into the ground to keep the post from shifting.

To ensure the posts are level and square construct a 6 foot square to be attached at the midpoint of the posts, five feet from the top, three feet above ground.

Once all posts are squared within the 6 feet from one another, level, and secured begin mixing concrete. 6 bags allows for 1.5 bags per hole. This should fill each of the holes between 2 and 4 inches below the ground level.

Let the Concrete set for 24 hours.

Step 2: Floor Frame

Day 2:

Check posts to ensure they remain level and square. Depending on the season and weather conditions the concrete could be set or require an additional 24 to 48 hours.

Fill dirt in on top of the concrete to level the ground around the posts. This will settle over time so a mound of 2" higher than its surroundings will suffice.

Cut 5 2x6 boards to lengths of 6 feet.

One on each side with the edges being flush to the 4x4 posts. 3/4" below the current deck and level. This will allow for the decking to be level to the existing once installed. One 2x6 mounted perpendicular between the other 2x6s and on the inside of the 4x4 posts closest to the existing deck. From these same 4x4 posts measure from the outside edge and make a mark at the 2 foot and 4 foot interval on both sides. Install the remaining two 2x6 boards perpendicular between the existing along these marks.

Remove 2x4 supports that may be in the way for this process. Once concrete sets depending on environment remove the 6 foot square and all remaining 2x4 supports. The photo provided with this step shows how this should look upon completion. The decking boards are cut in the next step.

Step 3: Decking

Use a tape measure and measure the distance from the existing decking to the edge of the farthest 2x6. This will allow for 2' of open space on the back side of the decking.

For my condition this was 54" allowing for two pieces per board. Requiring 6 boards for the 12 pieces of decking necessary. The two outer edges will require a jig saw for cutting out the shape of the 4x4 post.

Once pieces are cut lay them out across the deck to space them evenly and square the edges. The existing deck may be problematic in this case if it wasn't already square. Be sure to make any necessary adjustments in length for a smooth transition between the decks.

After the pieces are spaced out the attachment can begin. Six screws in each board, two per runner with exception of the exterior pieces. Three additional screws along the outside 2x6 to keep the decking from warping and being aesthetically displeasing.

Step 4: Pergola Top

To make the pergola top easier to install, use two 2x4s to assist with the framing. One on each side level and running parallel to the decking. These 2x4s should be level at 5.5" below the tallest 4x4 post. Though the posts were mounted together and framed with the concrete, settling may occur. This could allow for a couple inches of variance. Place two 2x6 boards upright across the top of the 2x4s and on the outside of the 4x4 posts with one foot overhanging on each side. Install with 3 screws on each side into the 4x4 posts.

With the spacing provided the 2x6 frame will be higher than all the 4x4 posts, level and hide the varying heights. Using a tape measure mark across the top of the 2x6 at each one foot interval. Do this for both sides. Lay 7 2x4s across the top of the 2x6s, lined up on the one foot intervals.

The 2x4s will be attached by 2 screws, one at each end. They will be inserted at an angle from the 2x6 up into the bottom of the 2x4 to hold it in place. The screw and holes on the bottom will prevent any possibility of future deterioration due to weather.

After all these pieces are installed the 2x4 supports under the 2x6 boards can be removed and set aside for use later.

Step 5: Kitchen

Pick a desired counter height, for me this was 37".

Prepare the Grill to be inserted within this counter. Removed the wheels, and plastic legs that may make the base irregular.

The grill height on its frame was 29.5". To make this 38" I cut four 6' - 3" long 2x6 boards, laid one flat and fastened two boards upright on it in the shape of a horseshoe. This total height came to 7". I placed this in the 2' gap on the back of the decking where the grill would set. Once the depth was set for the optimal grill location and the boards were squared I screwed them into the 2x6s below. The last 6' - 3" 2x6 mounted on top gave a total spacing of 8.5" which is 38" when added to 29.5". Now this isn't 37" but the decking accounts for 3/4" which the use will be standing on, making the height 37.25", close enough for an easy install.

Using the height 37" I marked all the 4x4 posts to represent the desired counter height. This will be 1/4" below the grill top. Another mark was made 1.5" below at 35.5" to represent the top of framing below the counter.

Next cut and install two 4x4 posts mounted to the decking frame, off the ground and up to the 35.5" height. These posts are located at the edge of the 2 foot gap, in the corners closest to the new decking. On the side facing the grill decking at a length of 6' - 3" was installed, six pieces to be exact. The front of the grill is designed to set flush with these decking boards. The control panel protruding from the grill provides a 3/4" gap, perfect for the decking to run behind.

Step 6: Kitchen

On the inside edge of the 4x4s in front of the grill, decking boards were cut and installed at the same intervals as those in the previous steps. Providing a fluid design and line throughout the kitchen.

Three 2x4s cut at a length of 6', one connected to the outside of the rear 4x4 posts, top flush with the 35.5" mark. The other two connected on the inside of the 4x4 posts at the same level, one on each side.

One 2x4 cut at 5' - 2" and placed between the two previously installed boards and behind the grill. This board will be placed flush with the rear of the grill and attached from the sides. It and the decking on the front of the grill will keep it from being able to move forwards or backwards.

Two 2x4s cut at 6' - 1.5" mounted on the outside edge of the 4x4 posts with the top edge flush at the 35.5" mark. The front flush with the 4x4 and the rear flush with the 2x4 installed at the beginning of this step.

The desired counter width on the right side was 18" and the left side 24". 2x6 boards cut at 15" lengths for the right and 21" for the left. They will be framed later with 2x4s on both sides making a total counter width of 18 and 24. Behind the grill the spacing between it and the 4x4 posts is 5.5". Here I installed a 2x6 across the whole frame at a length of 7'. In the spacing adjacent to the 4x4 posts 2x4 boards were used as well as one additional 2x4 per side to even the span spacing that wouldn't work in 5.5" increments.

The counter tops pieces were cut from scraps and full boards, installed on the counter framing. After this was complete and all boards were square. 2x4s were cut to frame the edges of the counter. This provided a smoother cohesive edge around the counter on all sides.

Step 7: Storage Area

The 2 foot space behind the grill provided the spacing for the grill itself and an additional propane tank. Some additional items could be stored there as well but most of all the working elements are protected and hidden from the public to provide a more aesthetically pleasing outdoor kitchen.

2x4s cut to frame the outside edges on both sides of the space for lattice on one side and decking on the other. Lattice to the south side where there isn't any circulation, on the north side the decking to block the view from the sidewalk adjacent to the kitchen.

The back side uses the 4x4 posts as the frame for the hinges that hold two doors. One door on each side framed with 2x4s cut at 45 degree angles to create a better appearance. Lattice mounted to the rear not only obstructs the view but helps hold the door together with little added weight. The 3" hinges feel less strain with this lightweight door. Two latch mechanisms installed on the top side underneath the counter latch the doors when they are shut. They simply open with a pull and no hardware is visible from the rear.

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Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Outdoor Cooking Challenge 2016