Featured Starting new BBQ/Kitchen Island build

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
82
Chesapeake, Virginia
So Mother's Day weekend was spent starting an outdoor BBQ kitchen with raised bar. I spend most of Saturday measuring things 3 times, and anchoring the left wall to the concrete. By Sunday I was much more proficient at cutting and joining the metal studs (had never worked with them before) and finished the front bar wall. The BBQ counter will be 35 inches tall. The bar top will be 44 inches tall with an overhang to accommodate bar stools. Stainless steel access panels and vent panels arrived from BBQGUYS.COM this weekend too. So my questions for those who have done this before - is there anything different you wish you did in hind site? I plan on having a few electric outlets installed. I will likely do poured in place concrete tops (to surround the left column) which will be sealed. May wire some LED lights on the underside. All of the steel studs are resting 1 inch off the pavers on TREX composite board. IMG_9971.JPG
 
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schuetteknight

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2019
46
Melbourne, Florida
This is going to be great. I'm thinking of doing something similar myself. Are these standard galvanized studs? They seem more solid then that.

Do you plan to have a sink? I always hate when I'm grilling and get a little grease on my hands.

Keep posting. I'm curious to see how you do the trager.
 

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
82
Chesapeake, Virginia
This is going to be great. I'm thinking of doing something similar myself. Are these standard galvanized studs? They seem more solid then that.

Do you plan to have a sink? I always hate when I'm grilling and get a little grease on my hands.

Keep posting. I'm curious to see how you do the trager.
The studs I got from Lowes - 25 G. I too was concerned that they seemed a little thin. However many people said they did the same and adding the durarock concrete board makes it rock solid. I'll have to agree - after getting what little put together so far, it is really solid and I know it will hold the weight of the countertop. We also built an outdoor bathroom which is on the other side of the patio - it is cheaper to put the sink on that side since the plumbing hookups and waste line are right there - I agree that I wanted a sink to rinse and clean my hands and utensils in.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
871
West Palm Beach/Florida
You mentioned electric outlets. Generally you can never have too many. Put one inside the enclosure. Never know what you will have to power there. I keep an echo inside that I can yell at to change music or run a cooking timer.

Depending on what the countertop is think about a wireless charger pad somewhere.
Also huge win for me was installing a warming drawer. Good for two purposes, keeping food warm, or warming towels for after a swim.
 

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
82
Chesapeake, Virginia
You mentioned electric outlets. Generally you can never have too many. Put one inside the enclosure. Never know what you will have to power there. I keep an echo inside that I can yell at to change music or run a cooking timer.

Depending on what the countertop is think about a wireless charger pad somewhere.
Also huge win for me was installing a warming drawer. Good for two purposes, keeping food warm, or warming towels for after a swim.
I'm thinking 2 or 3 on the "backsplash" of the bar and definitely outlets inside. I am pondering a Sonos system inside to run outdoor speakers since it is so close to the pool. However I need to research more because it will get hot inside the island just from being outside I would think.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
871
West Palm Beach/Florida
I have 2 on the backsplash and that seems to be enough for me. I have a 2 gang (4 outlet) on the inside and that also seems to be enough. YMMV.

Lighting is important, but it is more about light shining down on your area. You cant underestimate how nice it is to have your cooking area properly lit.

Drawers for tools and utensils. Make sure you have at least 2. Also have enough access panels to get to every part underneath. Storage is important and useful but you need to be able to access it. Think about having a shelf on the inside where you can easily reach into to grab stuff. I miss having a quick access shelf for an battery powered (and charger) for an echo dot that I keep in the island. I cant even begin to tell you how useful it is having an echo dot (with clock) out there and available to change music keep time for things I am cooking etc.

Think about ways that you are going to clean the area and make that easier. I have a hose nearby that I just hose off my countertop and then use a squeegee to dry it. They a good wipe down with a towel and I am ready to cook.

I miss not having a small garbage can with a small bag. But we did not have the room.

Side burner. We use this to cook all smelly stuff outside. We use this far more than I thought.

I mentioned this before, but will do it again. Warming drawer. Way more useful than you can imagine.

Think about what you cook and how and then design your counter space around it.

Here is a picture of mine just for some ideas.
 

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SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
82
Chesapeake, Virginia
I have 2 on the backsplash and that seems to be enough for me. I have a 2 gang (4 outlet) on the inside and that also seems to be enough. YMMV.

Lighting is important, but it is more about light shining down on your area. You cant underestimate how nice it is to have your cooking area properly lit.

Drawers for tools and utensils. Make sure you have at least 2. Also have enough access panels to get to every part underneath. Storage is important and useful but you need to be able to access it. Think about having a shelf on the inside where you can easily reach into to grab stuff. I miss having a quick access shelf for an battery powered (and charger) for an echo dot that I keep in the island. I cant even begin to tell you how useful it is having an echo dot (with clock) out there and available to change music keep time for things I am cooking etc.

Think about ways that you are going to clean the area and make that easier. I have a hose nearby that I just hose off my countertop and then use a squeegee to dry it. They a good wipe down with a towel and I am ready to cook.

I miss not having a small garbage can with a small bag. But we did not have the room.

Side burner. We use this to cook all smelly stuff outside. We use this far more than I thought.

I mentioned this before, but will do it again. Warming drawer. Way more useful than you can imagine.

Think about what you cook and how and then design your counter space around it.

Here is a picture of mine just for some ideas.
Thank you for the feedback - I have the 44 inch BLAZE grill which I love. Is the warming drawer powered by electricity? Can it maintain 140 degrees? I hadn't thought about a warming drawer before but it sure would beat keeping the pulled pork or ribs warm in a cooler with towel until meal time. I also have a pellet smoker but that will not be built in.
 

Katodude

Silver Supporter
Aug 22, 2017
871
West Palm Beach/Florida
Yes the warming drawer is electric. I bought mine at Costco, best deal I could find, and the best warranty. No problem maintaining 140 degrees.

Also they double as a towel warmer which is REALLY nice when you come out of the pool.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
i should have done a warming drawer. i have USB charger outlets too. have an outlet close to grill for rotisarre. i'm sooooo glad i went overkill with my hood cause i'm under cover. i'm soooo glad i did a sink. all in all i'm happy with my turnout. i did 12 inch overhang which is comfortable. my bar inside and my kitchen island are also 12 inches and it gives u a lot of room. other than that i'm happy.

urs is looking awesome! Metal studs aren’t bad to work with once u get used to them. I used them for around my grill only for heat. Rest of my build was wood but all masonary as I can see.




248E6883-15DD-430F-AF34-7994B007637B.jpegB2B82006-8CB1-428A-9D6C-F45B0EC21D46.jpegE7AEB955-62FD-4F90-9E73-B828BCD7976B.jpegA8B6C20A-BF70-4554-8250-F976B6DF0CCA.jpegonly thing missing is my egg which comes tomorrow which some have been helping me with.
 
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schuetteknight

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2019
46
Melbourne, Florida
i should have done a warming drawer. i have USB charger outlets too. have an outlet close to grill for rotisarre. i'm sooooo glad i went overkill with my hood cause i'm under cover. i'm soooo glad i did a sink. all in all i'm happy with my turnout. i did 12 inch overhang which is comfortable. my bar inside and my kitchen island are also 12 inches and it gives u a lot of room. other than that i'm happy.

urs is looking awesome! Metal studs aren’t bad to work with once u get used to them. I used them for around my grill only for heat. Rest of my build was wood but all masonary as I can see.




View attachment 138435View attachment 138436View attachment 138437View attachment 138438only thing missing is my egg which comes tomorrow which some have been helping me with.
I dream of a kitchen like this.

Friggin beautiful
 

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
82
Chesapeake, Virginia
This weekend's progress. The inner counter is framed to fit a 17 inch door on the left, a 17 inch door on the right and a fire extinguisher box in the middle. The bar side is mostly framed up. Because the patio had a slope to the right as well as towards the pool, every stud is a different height. But the bar top is rock solid level - I had to create a 10 foot level out of 2 pieces of wood screwed together. Metal framing sitting on composite boards, and anchored to concrete under pavers and to the column cement blocks on the left. I don't think it is going anywhere. I also included the other side of the deck with the fireplace which is all done. I have a ton of left over stone from the fireplace which will cover the pool side part of the bar/grill island. No 100% sure what I'll do on the cooking side yet. Construction is a pain.IMG_0035.JPGIMG_0036.JPGIMG_0032.JPGIMG_0005.JPG
 
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SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
82
Chesapeake, Virginia
I spy with my whittle eye, a Softub in the background. :laughblue:
Is that a brick surround around it?
The camera angle is very misleading - it is a 3 piece cedar wood surround. We are filling it up for the first time ever today. There are sooo many DIY projects left to complete that the Hot Tub is at the bottom of the list. But having felt with the pool chemistry thanks to TFP - I figure the hot tub should be a breeze :eek:)
 

No Clue

New member
May 2, 2011
3
I'm thinking 2 or 3 on the "backsplash" of the bar and definitely outlets inside. I am pondering a Sonos system inside to run outdoor speakers since it is so close to the pool. However I need to research more because it will get hot inside the island just from being outside I would think.
For outlets, I have a 2 gang outlet with USB chargers on the backsplash and they are very handy. I have a hidden one inside the island I use for a pump for the sink and also some LED accent lights as well as a hidden one inside the island for the warming drawer. Seems to be adequate but maybe one more would have been ideal.

I use my outdoor kitchen year round and there are several things I am happy I included. I already mentioned the warming drawer. I also added a couple of infratech IR heaters that do a great job. I have literally been outside with temps in the 40's in a t-shirt and shorts while grilling and completely comfortable. The other thing I was happy I included was a whole house audio system. I have my back porch, pool area, and outdoor kitchen using 3 of the zones and have 3 or 4 sources for music - pc, iphone, sirius, amazon echo powered music.
Your construction looks similar to mine. The steel sits on some cutoff trex. I had never worked with steel before but it wasn't nearly as intimidating as I had feared. Looks like you're on thr right track.
 

jimim

Bronze Supporter
Jun 20, 2016
2,810
NE/Pa
Whole house audio is a must. My wife has seen me design systems before we had our house. She never understood. When we built my house became a demo space. I have 16 zones now. She uses it everyday all the time. I do also. Worth every penny. If u are a music person that is.

I’m glad I did use charger outlets outside. We use them daily. As I sit here now in front of a fire I wish I put in more usb charger outlets as my phone is dieing.
 

SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
82
Chesapeake, Virginia
So this has been very slow progress with a busy work schedule, and solid rain for the past week until Sunday. Able to get electric installed inside the island, finish 95% of the cement board on the outside. Also made a hidden recess inside the bar to hold/hide my 10 foot pool pole but still have easy access for vacuuming and cleaning the pool. Now getting quotes for counter tops. May still decide to pour concrete in place. Looking for some cool accent tiles or relief to break up the big wall. Lessons learned so far:

1) I switched to cutting the steel studs with shears which was pretty easy. I initially cut most with a metal blade on my chop saw but kids got metal splinters in their feet so that was the end of that.
2) Cutting the cement board was a breeze with the PACTOOL - easily attached to my drill and was in the ballpark of $80 I think. And very quiet.
3) In retrospect should have put the TREX footing down first, then a layer of cement board, then built the cabinet on top. It is a pain in the rear to crawl inside to put in a cement board floor after the fact (to keep out bugs).
4) Learned how to reroute the downspout to the other side of the short halfwall.

IMG_0190.JPGIMG_0191.JPGIMG_0199.JPGIMG_0187.JPGIMG_0144.JPGIMG_0109.JPGIMG_0108.JPG
 
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SouthVirginiaPool

Silver Supporter
Apr 26, 2020
82
Chesapeake, Virginia
Slow progress. Lots of rain, then lots of weekends enjoying the pool. Decided to get granite countertops instead of pouring my own concrete tops. Finally got the kitchen/bar coated with Redgard. Electric outlets run. Part way thru putting on the Eldorado stone, using an enhanced mix made to stick to the Redgard - the stones aren't moving. I initially found a really cool Poseidon tile to put in the center of the bar - but at $2000 decided I was very happy with St Michael instead (he was around $100). IMG_0623.JPGIMG_0494.JPGIMG_0493.JPG
 
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