Add on to your patio with an outdoor kitchen

I am in a remodel mode these days and my wife thinks it’s fantastic. So, if you’re discussing a remodel project or trying to decide what to remodel or add something cool and fun to your home, how about adding a deck or a patio to extend the time you spend in the great outdoors. I love our patio and fireplace and now we want to add on to it. 


Photo credit: Lundhs

If you already have a deck or patio, do yourself a favor and take the extra step and add an outdoor kitchen or at least an outdoor cook station to what you already have.  Connect is or add it off to the side.  


I fell into this discussion recently when deciding to increase outdoor living time and space by adding a pergola above the patio and then we decided to extend the patio off to one side by adding a deck with a roof over it to use this added space as an outdoor kitchen or cook station. We entertain a great deal and we quickly discovered that we ran out of space outside.  


When I took a tape measure to the area I want to expand into, I discovered that I could add an additional 400 sq.ft. of outdoor area along the back side of the house connecting this area to the patio. The pergola posts for the patio are already there and the deck and roofing can be attached to those posts.  All I need to do is add two more posts and frame the deck in a rectangle shape. The patio is a perfect square so the contrast will be interesting. The floor joists will be 2×8’s making a small one step up to the other section of the living area. I found some step lighting to install so a guest will not miss the step going up onto the patio or coming down from the patio.  (Tip: This is an important feature at night as I had a horrible experience a few years ago of not seeing the last step coming down a set of steps in the dark at a cabin and almost broke my neck from the fall.)


The deck will be a composite material and will be a nice contrast from the cement patio along with adding an intimate area for setting and an outdoor cooking area where we build the grill into cement countertops as well as a built in area for the Weber Grill or the Kamoda Joe Egg.  Doing this will move the gas grill and the Weber Grill off the patio making more room for seating and flower pots in this area.The deck would be the same size as the patio just in a different configuration which will still make room for more seating.  I’m also going to add a slatted privacy wall on the back side of the countertop to add privacy as well as a form of enclosure and this will be useful as a windbreak.


Now, adding the roof over the cooking station will change the entire look of the area. The cook will be dry if the weather turns rainy and guests will be able to sit in a dry area as well. I was researching outdoor cabinets and although you can certainly buy outdoor cabinets, making them yourself is an option, too.  Here’s a beautiful line of outdoor cabinets in case you’re interested. These can just be enclosed areas to store utensils and other grilling items.  I am not going to have an outdoor refrigerator as cold weather in Wisconsin can damage compressors and condensers used by refrigerators. I think using a Yeti cooler is sufficient for this purpose. I’ve seen how Yeti’s can be built into a countertop and this look is perfect for cookouts.


The prep for this project is more of a renovation for the area as currently there is a small pond with Hostas and Daylilies in the area that will soon be the deck.  Taking this pond down will be a blessing as it desperately needs to be removed.  I used plastic trays for the pond years ago and although the birds love it, the trays have been warped by winters and are all out of balance and look disgusting. I’m going to fill it in and create another waterless feature the birds will enjoy off the side of the deck. What’s nice is I don’t have to “manicure” the area as it will be covered by the decking and will be completely invisible.  Making it flat and compacted is all I really have to do to prepare the site.  


I’m so glad we drew up this plan as I’m tired of looking at this ugly little pond. All the plants and small boulders around the pond will be moved and reused for the pondless water feature which will be wonderful when it’s finally completed.