DIY Network

How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen Island (page 1 of 2)

This steel-and-stucco island turns the patio into a stylish entertaining space.

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  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $1,000 - $2,500

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard


Step 1: Assemble the Frames

This example uses a steel frame kit to create the shape of the island. There are different styles to choose from, including some that accommodate a drop-in barbecue or refrigerator. This island is made up of three pieces that connect to create a wrap-around bartop with plenty of counter space. Assemble the frames with rivets and fit together like a piece. Once assembled, set the frames in place and make a mark in the dirt where each corner sits.

Step 2: Install the Pier Blocks

Dig holes at each corner on the frames. The holes should be deep enough to fit concrete pier blocks, which will become the foundation for the island. Place a pier block in each of the holes, using dry cement at the bottom to ensure that they're level (Image 1). Set the island frames on top of the pier blocks and drill them in place. For extra stability and drainage, mix cement and surround each pier block on all sides with it, sloping down to direct water away from the island (Image 2). This will keep water from pooling up around the pier blocks.

Step 3: Attach the Cement Board

Cover the entire island with cement board. This will provide a sturdy base for the stucco, which you'll apply later. Cut pieces to fit over every exposed portion of the island, leaving a two-inch gap from the bottom of the island to the dirt. The cement board should never come in contact with water on the ground; it could rot. Attach the board by screwing it into the steel frames along all the edges of the island.

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  • Steel island frames from Fresco Frames