How to Create a DIY Outdoor Kitchen on a Budget

If you spend a lot of time entertaining outdoors, you may be doing yourself a favor by building an outdoor kitchen. A well-designed outdoor kitchen can be a comfortable and beautiful area that allows you to grill, cook, and clean without having to duck back inside all the time. Having such a kitchen professionally installed can be expensive, but there are many budget-friendly DIY options for creating a stunning outdoor kitchen.

Build a Grill Island

Grill islands look impressive and complicated, but they are actually relatively easy to build. They take a little bit of time, but you should be able to finish it in a long weekend if you put your mind to it. You’ll first need 2x4s for the frame, which you can build to your own specifications based on the size of your deck or patio. These are cheap and easy to put together. From here, you’ll place a sheath around the frame (made from inexpensive wood as well). You then attach a lathe and add mortar. You can buy stones of your preference to lay all around the mortar, creating an outdoor grill island that will provide you entertainment for years to come.

Poured Concrete Countertops

Concrete is pretty cheap as well, and you can create an entire counter area out of it. You’ll simply need to build a basic countertop mold with melamine board. You shape that to your desired countertop size and pour the concrete into the mold. Once its dried, you can remove the mold, and your countertop will be ready. You can customize each mold to include a hole for a sink, garbage can, or anything that you want. Concrete is great for an outdoor kitchen because it provides protection from almost all-weather conditions.

Tiki Bar

A tiki bar is a fun and stylish addition to any outdoor kitchen, and it is pretty easy to build. Because tiki bars are relatively casual, you don’t need to buy any expensive materials. They don’t even really need to match, depending on the theme that you want to set for your outdoor area. You can even use an old cabinet table or chest for the base of the bar. Placing bamboo blinds or panels around it will immediately start to give off that whole “island” vibe. You can build a simple pergola and add more bamboo, and your bar is pretty much done. If you want, you can build a matching back shelf or just use the inside of the cabinet for storage.

Repurposed Materials

Remember that repurposed materials are your friend if you are trying to stay on a budget. Before you throw away any old furniture, ask yourself if it can be used for part of your outdoor kitchen. It will need to be something that can handle the weather conditions, but even if you have to alter it slightly, it will be cheaper than buying all new materials. Recycling is a great way to stay on budget when creating your dream kitchen.


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