Home & Garden

Building an outdoor kitchen

We have a gazebo in the garden. A small one. It looked like this before we moved in.

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We always intended to use it as an outdoor dining area. And we did. We placed an outdoor dining set consisting of a round wooden table and matching chairs. And installed wind chimes too. Because it’s a small gazebo, it can only accommodate a dining set that seats four. Fine when it was just the four of us. But when we wanted to entertain outdoors and there were more guests than the table could seat, we’d lay out a long table under the mango tree.

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What we didn’t anticipate — what I didn’t anticipate — was the hassle of bringing the food and plates and forks and spoons and drinking glasses all the way from the kitchen through the laundry area and on to the garden. Speedy always intended to construct a movable (rolling) cooking station using the cooking hob and oven from the old house. It would have been swell to put it next to be gazebo so we could cook and eat outdoors without too much going back and forth. But, for more than a year, the project kept getting pushed aside.

We continued eating outdoors occasionally despite the hassle of bringing everything out and in again. Until the lizard incident and the scream that roused the residents of the adjacent subdivisions. Never mind the details. Suffice to say that after that happened, Alex refused to set foot in the gazebo, much less eat her meals there. So, the gazebo turned into a white elephant. For months. Until inspiration struck. I’d construct an outdoor kitchen right there. Easy enough to set up the table and chairs under the mango tree for dining.

There would be minimal work required because the structure is already there. No need to build foundations nor roofing — the gazebo has roof tiles and metal posts buried in concrete, for goodness’ sakes, that should suffice. It’s fully wired for lighting too. And we already have the cooking hob and oven. So, it was just a matter of layout and spacing and aesthetics. And those are my specialties. :)

So I got me a project manager who wouldn’t charge any professional fee (a.k.a. Speedy). I told Speedy what I wanted and he drew up the plans. He hired the construction team (very reasonable labor charges) and the project was on.

Construction began on September 28.

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The photo above was taken on September 30.

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By October 1, the tiles were being laid out. By October 2, the plumbing and sewage were complete.

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Okay, let me cut the story short. Construction ended yesterday. :)

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By early afternoon yesterday, the grout was applied.

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The hinges of the cabinet doors were tightened up.

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The Ariston cooking hob and convection oven from the old house were installed.

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The kitchen is functional but I think I’ll wait until the finishing is over before I use it. We’ll need additional electrical sockets and overhead lights (for after sundown cooking, of course). And the cabinet doors will need to be waterproofed (I still can’t decide whether it’ll be plain varnish or paint). Plus fixtures and accessories for storing cooking pots and pans. Another week or so and I’ll be cooking outdoors.

P. S. That plant partially covered by Speedy in the last photo? That’s my lemon tree and it’s growing beautifully. :)

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