Poolside Party: Building A Great Outdoor Kitchen

Few things are as effective at tying together a pool area as an outdoor kitchen. Whether it's just a refrigerator and someplace to put down food, or a lavish and fully functional kitchen outside of the house, a well-made outdoor kitchen can make social gatherings and family get-togethers significantly more fun. Here are the basic steps to get yourself started, and some hints on how to customize your outdoor kitchen to your liking.

Construction

The first thing to do is pick where you want it. Of course, you don't want it too close to the pool, but you also don't want it to be too far away. It would make a rather disappointing poolside kitchen otherwise. After picking your ideal spot, it's highly suggested you build the counter attached to the wall of your house to add much-needed support.

After building the frame, screw on the cement board to serve as the walls of the counter. Before placing the granite on top, however, you need to make the walls look pretty. Cement board isn't exactly the ideal color of an outdoor kitchen counter, after all. Use cement mix to attach either wood paneling or tile to give your counter that nice personal touch.

That done, you can now put on the finishing touch of the granite counter top. Line liquid nails along the top of the frame, one bottle should be enough, then have another person help you lift the countertop onto the counter. Make sure to hold it down for at least 30 seconds so the liquid nails can properly secure it.

You now have a basic counter for your outside kitchen. But what if you just aren't the basic type? What if you want more for your outdoor kitchen? What if you want more to show for your hours of work and bleeding fingers than a big granite rectangle? Well, then it's time to talk about modifications.

Modifications

One way you can modify your counter is by adding cabinets. Simply cutting one or more (depending on how many you want) rectangular holes into the cement board you're using for the front wall of the counter will give you your opening. After that, use a smaller piece of cement board to act as your floor, then buy or make the door. Screw it all on, and just like that, you have your cabinet.

Another modification you can make is a sink. This one, however, you need to decide early on if you want to add. You'll need to carve a hole into your countertop before putting it on and securing it. Of course, you'll also need to procure an actual functioning sink. After cutting the hole, use liquid nails like before to secure the sink in the hole. After that, just hook up the sink to your water pipes, and like that, you have a sink.

Add-ons

There are two add-ons you can use to complete your outdoor kitchen. The first is, of course, a grill. If you're going to have an outdoor kitchen, you may as well be able to cook outside. If you already have a grill, just move it next to or near the counter for ease of access between the two. Otherwise, your local hardware store most likely sells a grill you can use.

Finally, you can add on a small refrigerator to tie the whole thing together. Like with the cabinets, just cut a much larger hole in the cement board (before you add on the tile or wood paneling of course), put down some boards to hold up the refrigerator, then just slide it in.

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