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Thread: New build. Advice?

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    New build. Advice?

    I will be starting my build next month. Island will be an L-shaped design. 10' on the longer leg and 6' on the shorter one. I have been reading on island construction for the past Three months, on this forum and others. It has provided me numerous tips and construction techniques. I have only a few lingering questions that I am hoping someone could answer. First a rundown of what I have so far.

    40" Blaze grill. 304 stainless. Stainless steel burners. Lifetime warranty. I had my heart set on an RCS with internal lights and lighted knobs, but a sales guy talked me out of it. Said the Blaze was better constructed and had a better warranty, and that the internal lights invariably go bad in one to two seasons.

    40" Blaze double doors
    21'' Blaze access door
    blaze single side drop in burner.
    16" Blaze double access drawer
    4.6 cubic ft Blaze Fridge.
    All components are stainless 304

    I plan on using 20 gauge metal, trex feet, and 1/2 perma all the way around. I know Dr Dave is big on hardi outside, but if the manufacturer says their product is not rated for something, I take their word for it. It has been my experience as a contractor that everything holds up, until it doesn't. While hardi probably would be fine, I see no harm in using a material that is made specifically for a task at hand, rather that one that is not. Porcelain tile counter tops and dry stack stone will finish off the island.


    Thinking about adding a drop in ice chest too. Wife says its overkill. I told her this was my project after she had the final say on the house remodel. She said ok. Then she said no drop in ice chest and no kegerator. Then I said ok. Would a drop in bucket be redundant with a fridge?

    I plan on adding low voltage under the bar, with the transformer pulling from a dedicated outlet, hooked up to a switch easily accessible while standing at the grill. Any harm to the transformer being shut on and off that way, instead of using the switch on the transformer itself? I see some guys install a sub panel. Is that a standard procedure for these builds?

    My grill is propane. Dr Dave has sold me on a separate compartment for that. Should that compartment be airtight to the rest of the island, and vented high and low to the exterior?

    Last question. I see just about everyone using a scratch coat for the veneer stone. From what I understand, (and admittedly at times that is very little) the scratch coat on cement board serves as as barrier as to not allow the board to whisk away moisture from the mortar when setting the stone. I plan on red guarding the top, since I have ample left over from the remodel of 2 of 3 bathrooms inside. Redguard is a moisture proof membrane, and when applied to cement board, will prevent moisture from getting behind it. If I apply it to the sides, shouldn't a scratch coat be superfluous? I could just set the stone directly on the red guard.


    Any input is welcome.


    David

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    pragmatic's Avatar
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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Hello David,
    I can't help on the electrical and scratch-coat details, but I will suggest you rethink and plumb for a full-size sink (and possibly include a disposer). I've cooked on many outdoor kitchens and the sink is well worth sacrificing counter-space. Now that we have a pool, the outdoor sink is the perfect place for water-testing!
    Good luck and post pics on your progress.
    Dave
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic
    Hello David,
    I can't help on the electrical and scratch-coat details, but I will suggest you rethink and plumb for a full-size sink (and possibly include a disposer). I've cooked on many outdoor kitchens and the sink is well worth sacrificing counter-space. Now that we have a pool, the outdoor sink is the perfect place for water-testing!
    Good luck and post pics on your progress.
    Dave

    Thanks Dave for the tip. I thought about a sink but again, the wife nixed the idea. I didn't argue then because she was pregnant at the time and had to choose my battles wisely. I don't argue with her now becuase I have found that the only thing more dangerous to do than to argue with a pregnant woman, is to argue with one who just gave birth. To be fair, she has a point since she points out that our kithchen is 10' from our back slider, which will be 10' from the BBQ island.

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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: New build. Advice?

    ...which is 20' further than you will feel like walking, especially with your hands covered in BBQ grease I wouldn't build one without a sink! I do think an fridge and ice chest together would be redundant.

    Not sure about the redguard. Is this a manufactured stone or a natural cut stone? If manufactured, then I would ask the manufacturer what they think.
    11,200 gal, Pebble-Tec; Tristar 2-speed 1hp - Swimclear 325 ft2 cart - SWG - A & A in-floor cleaner - Heat pump. For the poolside cooking, a Yoder Wichita and a Big Steel Keg!
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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dchambers25
    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic
    Hello David,
    I can't help on the electrical and scratch-coat details, but I will suggest you rethink and plumb for a full-size sink (and possibly include a disposer). I've cooked on many outdoor kitchens and the sink is well worth sacrificing counter-space. Now that we have a pool, the outdoor sink is the perfect place for water-testing!
    Good luck and post pics on your progress.
    Dave

    Thanks Dave for the tip. I thought about a sink but again, the wife nixed the idea. I didn't argue then because she was pregnant at the time and had to choose my battles wisely. I don't argue with her now becuase I have found that the only thing more dangerous to do than to argue with a pregnant woman, is to argue with one who just gave birth. To be fair, she has a point since she points out that our kithchen is 10' from our back slider, which will be 10' from the BBQ island.
    Great Point...carry-on!
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melt In The Sun
    ...which is 20' further than you will feel like walking, especially with your hands covered in BBQ grease I wouldn't build one without a sink! I do think an fridge and ice chest together would be redundant.

    Not sure about the redguard. Is this a manufactured stone or a natural cut stone? If manufactured, then I would ask the manufacturer what they think.
    It's a manufactured veneer. I haven't contacted the manufacturer yet but have talked with the supplier and a few contractors who have previously used the same material. They all say they would use a scratch coat over the cement board, but thought the lath and paper wouldn't hurt, but wouldn't be necessary. They didn't have any problem with using redguard on the board, since redguard is specially formulated for that application. They were saying the scratch coat was a precaution in this setup, to prevent moisture from being absorbed in the substrate during installation of the stone.

    And I get your point about the sink, and agree with you. But at this point it's academic since the concrete patio is already poured. No turning back now!

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    This is what the backyard looked like when we bought the house. The previous owner had drained the corner pond so the liner was shot. The deck was starting to buckle and sag due to years of neglect.
    [attachment=2:2kojcacs]image.jpg[/attachment:2kojcacs]
    I thought about saving the deck and repairing it, but decided to go with something low maintenance. So here is what it looks like with the concrete poured and pond redone. My back aches looking at the pond now. Hauling 3 tons of rock by yourself isn't fun.
    [attachment=1:2kojcacs]image.jpg[/attachment:2kojcacs]

    Next month I get started. Got all the opponents delivered and now they are asking up space in the garage.
    [attachment=0:2kojcacs]image.jpg[/attachment:2kojcacs]

    Can't wait to get started. Now all I have to do is get the pergola built, order building materials for the island, and o yeah, build it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Looks like you have a great start to your backyard makeover.

    I will add my two cents on a few items mentioned above. The way you proposed to do your low voltage lights is exactly how I did mine. I have an outlet in one of the cabinets of my kitchen that is controlled from a switch. Then I plugged my light transformer into that. I'm no electrician, but mine seems to work fine that way.

    On the sink, I agree that having a sink is very nice. I do not have a full size one in my ODK but a small sink that is not plumbed into any sanitary sewer line. The gray water spill out into my flower beds and this serves me very well. May not be code in some parts, but I just make sure I don't clean chicken/fish, etc. in it and I love it. The water is filtered so you have place to get a glass of water and wash your hands or just to clean the bar top off. You might be able to include something even though you have poured your deck.

    Good luck.

    Riles
    16x32 IG vinyl, 19,000 gal, 1.0 hp pump, sand filter, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, diving board, slide

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riles_J
    Looks like you have a great start to your backyard makeover.

    I will add my two cents on a few items mentioned above. The way you proposed to do your low voltage lights is exactly how I did mine. I have an outlet in one of the cabinets of my kitchen that is controlled from a switch. Then I plugged my light transformer into that. I'm no electrician, but mine seems to work fine that way.

    On the sink, I agree that having a sink is very nice. I do not have a full size one in my ODK but a small sink that is not plumbed into any sanitary sewer line. The gray water spill out into my flower beds and this serves me very well. May not be code in some parts, but I just make sure I don't clean chicken/fish, etc. in it and I love it. The water is filtered so you have place to get a glass of water and wash your hands or just to clean the bar top off. You might be able to include something even though you have poured your deck.

    Good luck.



    Riles

    Glad to hear the transformer/light setup I was thinking of is working for you. I agree with you about the sink. My buddy who has an island outside told me the same thing. It just wasn't feasible for us.

    I will say that I have been reading this forums for months, in anticipation of my build. Yours was one that I have studied extensively, and got me leaning to doing a concrete countertop. I go back snd forth between tile and concrete for the counter, and ths week I am leaning towards a concrete cast in place. I know that you did the molds and then set them in place. What are your thoughts on doing a cast in place as opposed to off-site?


    And btw, kudos on an excellent island. I hope it's treating you right.

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Thanks for the kind words. The outdoor kitchen is definately one of the best investments I have made and we get a whole lot of pleasure and compliments on it. I can't imagine a house without it anymore.

    With regards to the concrete counters, I have only done them with forms so I don't have any first hand experience with cast-in-place. I will tell you the things that swayed me were: 1) I wanted a somewhat polished/smooth finish. Other I have seen do CIP say that finishing the concrete well enough to avoid a whole bunch of grinding afterwards was a concern. They even suggested getting a concrete finisher in to help if you could find one. On the other hand, if you are looking for something not quite so polished then it may not be a concern. 2) With the shape of my ODK (U-shaped) and the cut-outs I need with the freeze/thaw that I have in Mid-TN I was concerned about the cracking so having the thing in segments allowed me have control joints in the pieces to limit cracking. Seems to have worked great as I have not have a visible crack yet. Then finally, 3) Having never done concrete counter before the forms allowed me some leeway with redoing small pieces if I really screwed something up. That was probably the one that tipped the scales for me. I was nervous that if I screwed something up with CIP that I would have a much larger mess to fix. All that being said I think cast-in-place would have worked as well and I really like some of the 'less polished' counters I have seen. They have some character. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions, and make sure you sketch something up with counter layout and component location, etc. You may get some ideas on how to move things around a bit that you hadn't thought about. Good luck.

    Riles
    16x32 IG vinyl, 19,000 gal, 1.0 hp pump, sand filter, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, diving board, slide

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    I do want the concrete polished so I will probably do a cast in place and sand up to 800 grit. I have access to a wet sander so I figure it will be a few days extra labor to get the counters like I want. I just want something different than granite, because I already have 4 different granites in my house. I figured tile since I do quite a bit of tile for work, and there would be no learning curve. I could put together a custom layout that would be nice, but I think I want something more unique. I am thinking of embedding glass in the concrete, which would necessitate grinding the counter to expose the glass anyway.

    I have another concern. I picked up some Coronado veneer stone from Lowes at a closeout price that I just couldn't pass up. Trouble is that the veneer is about 1 1/2 inches thick, and I don't want my stainless components to be recessed into the stone. I would like them to look like the are sitting on top of the stone, which would mean furring out the opening around each component, most likely with ripped down pressure treated lumber, then run the stone up to the furred frame, then cover the lumber with the stainless flange of each component. I would rather not do it this way, but I can't think of another way. If anyway has any suggestions, I am all ears.

    Thanks for the advice Riles on the countertop sketch up. I found that I need more space on my island for my components, so my l shaped island will have to be a u shaped. I was trying to keep the goal cost of the island around $4k, but might go over that with the enlarged island. Here is my total so far:

    40" Blaze grill…………...… $1500
    4.6 Cb ft fridge…………….. $300
    40" doors…………………. …$290
    21" access door………..… $230
    tilt out tras unit ………...… $150
    double access drawer….....$230
    side burner…………...……..$230
    150 sq ft of Stone veneer ..$510
    Total so far: $3440. So I might be closer to the $4500 range by the time I buy all the building material.

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Got started on my island mid last month. Patio cover installed.


    Laying the base


    Frame almost complete

    Test fitting components. Electrical is done except for low voltage. I can't attach LV until the counter is complete.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Cement board installed and forms started for concrete counter



    Prepping for concrete counter


    Concrete poured




    Gonna start grinding this weekend.

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Nice progress and great design! Plenty of counter space.
    Dave My Pool Build, ODK Build
    22X42 Gunite Freeform 23K Gal, 10X12 Spa
    Diamond-Brite midnight blue, 1800sq. ft Kool Deck
    Pentair Easy-Touch 8, 2-2hp Pentair, 500lb Sand Filter, 400K btu Pentair heater

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Got started grinding today












    The process isn't that hard, just a little time consuming. I got in about 6 hours of grinding. Started with the 50 pad then went to the 100, then put on a slurry coat. I am not sure if I will be able to get any more grinding in this weekend. The only part I wish I would have done differently is made the concrete mix more soupy from the start. The bar area has some big voids in it next to where the forms were. Nothing a little slurry couldn't fix, but it just would have saved some time

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pragmatic View Post
    Nice progress and great design! Plenty of counter space.
    Thanx! My wife and I are really liking it so far. We have had lunch sitting at the bar area a few times this last week. Sometimes I think I am in over my head, but I haven't run into any issue I haven't been able to resolve yet...knock on wood

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    After much consideration I have decided on a concrete countertop. Granite is too expensive. I have found a website that I can buy PVC forms to attach to the cement board that will create the edging. Seems easy enough.

    With the weight of all the materials, did you attach the Island to the cement ground? If so how? Or is the weight of the entire island with the concrete countertop heavy enough that it wont budge.

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Orogrande View Post
    After much consideration I have decided on a concrete countertop. Granite is too expensive. I have found a website that I can buy PVC forms to attach to the cement board that will create the edging. Seems easy enough.

    With the weight of all the materials, did you attach the Island to the cement ground? If so how? Or is the weight of the entire island with the concrete countertop heavy enough that it wont budge.
    I was thinking of going granite at first too but I was leaning towards a different look for the outside, and after I found the granite would be north of $3k, I decided on concrete. If professionally done, concrete countertop prices rival or surpass those of granite. But if you were to do it yourself, you could have a custom looking product for a fraction of the cost. I am into my countertop about $350 so far, and that includes a new wet polisher. I still need to buy the sealer and polish, which should add another $150. Not bad for a unique product. I probably have about 40 hours in the counter so far and have at least another 10 hours to go. Granite would take far less time, and the heavy lifting would be done by someone else.


    I looked at the Z forms too. You might want to look at how the forms would attach to the cement board. I think that you would need to extend the board out a few inches from the vertical walls, so that an overhang would be created. the forms would yield a nice looking edge. the concrete is doable but quite a bit of work.


    I didn't attach my island to the ground. It is heavy enough that it isn't going anywhere. I mixed up 1400 pounds of concrete counters so it is stationary. its personal preference on whether or not to attach the structure to the ground. If mine was around 8' I would probably have used red heads to anchor into the slab.

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Very nice job on the island and the counters. Did you end up using Cheng products for your counters? Looks like the same color I used, Saddle?

    Riles
    16x32 IG vinyl, 19,000 gal, 1.0 hp pump, sand filter, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, diving board, slide

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riles_J View Post
    Very nice job on the island and the counters. Did you end up using Cheng products for your counters? Looks like the same color I used, Saddle?

    Riles
    Thanks Riles! I owe you one since your kitchen was a huge inspiration for mine.

    I actually used quikrete countertop mix and quickcrete liquid color. I used varying amounts of the cooler with each bag because I didn't want a solid uniform color, but rather lighter and darker sections of the color throughout. I like the way it turned out.

    I ground my counters down to expose glass and aggregate so there is sort of white residue embedded in the concrete. Did yours do the same? Did you use muriatic acid to clean our tops before you sealed? Also, what sealer did you end up going with? I am in the hunt for a sealer than will darken the top to give it a wet look...

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    I did not get any white residue after doing the grinding on my counters. They did get lighter, but it seemed pretty uniform. I did not use any acid. I just ground them down and sealed it. As far as sealer, I just went with a Behr concrete sealer that I got at Home Depot. Hunting for sealers was overwhelming and I just went with something cheap and available. I am pleased with the way it performed and it was easy to apply. I just rolled it on and in some cases I dragged it with a brush to get rid of bubbles and give it a uniform look. It lasted about 2 years and then started to get stains/surface scratches and grooves in the seal. I then just reground it to remove all the sealer and applied another coat. I'm sure there are better products out there, but this works OK for me.

    Riles
    16x32 IG vinyl, 19,000 gal, 1.0 hp pump, sand filter, 2 returns, 1 skimmer, diving board, slide

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    Re: New build. Advice?

    Just ordered my sealer from Cheng Concrete. They have a commercial grade sealer that seemed to fit the properties I wanted. if it ever stops raining, I will apply the sealer to the counter, and I want to acid stain and seal the patio before I do the stone sides. I will probably install the base trim and solder all the LED lighting while I am waiting for things to dry out.

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