September 25, 2020

Building an outdoor kitchen with metal studs can be one of the most challenging DIY projects and you may find yourself standing amidst a pile of metal studs without a clue about what to do.  Here’s how to build an outdoor kitchen with metal studs so that you can start grilling in your backyard and organize memorable barbecue parties that your friends and family will love.  

How to Build an Outdoor Kitchen with Metal Studs

When building an outdoor kitchen, use high-quality metal studs so that your outdoor kitchen is durable and can last you a long time. 

Planning

Once you get your metal studs, it’s extremely difficult to make any changes to the outdoor kitchen you intend to build. This is why you need to have your ideal outdoor kitchen planned out before you even start buying the materials to build it.

Dimensions

Write down the dimensions of all the kitchen items you want to put into your outdoor kitchen. You can refer to hardware catalogs to get the dimensions if you haven’t purchased your kitchen items yet. You can use these dimensions to decide how many metal studs you need to get.

Tools Needed

You need a screw gun, clamps, chalk box, fasteners, hammer drill, level, metal cut-on saw and a plumb bob or a laser level. These items can be purchased or rented from a specialized rental store.

How Many Metal Studs Are Needed?

When you’re figuring out how to build an outdoor kitchen with metal studs, one key step is to assess the number of studs you require for your project. Typically you need to use one stud every 12 inches to form the walls of your structure. You may also need tracks for some parts of the construction and these are the horizontal parts at the top and bottom of your structure. 

Building the Outdoor Kitchen

Once you’ve gotten all the metal studs and tools you need, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to work. Here are the steps you need to know to build your outdoor kitchen.

Lay down the composite boards and tracks

Lay down the composite boards in the shape of your planned outdoor kitchen so that you have a reference when building. These boards can also keep your structure steady and reduce damage to your metal studs.

sausages being cooked on an outdoor grill

Lay down the lower tracks around your composite board as you build up the lower part of the structure. These tracks need to be able to hold the weight of your outdoor kitchen. You can let the tracks overlap by 6 inches for the longer, straight tracks to ensure stability. For the corners, flatten the side flange of the track and let the other track slide into its place if they overlap. 

Screw the Tracks

Your tracks may come with holes to make it easy for you to fasten them with screws, especially if they were in a kit with your metal studs. If they don’t, you will have to drill the holes in to make sure the screws can fit in your studs and your tracks.

Plumb the Tracks

It’s essential to plumb the tracks to ensure you have an even top and bottom surface for your kitchen to keep it stable. You can use a plumb bob or a laser level. If you are using a laser level, place it in the middle of the lower track. 

Trim the Steel Studs 

Trimming the steel studs helps ensure that they fit well with the tracks. Bend one flange of the stud and cut it with aviation snips, while wearing heavy-duty gloves to protect your hands. Make sure you cut the studs from the same end if you are intending to add plumbing or electrical installations. You can also use a miter saw if you want to cut more than one metal stud at the same time. 

Join the Studs to the Tracks

The next step in this guide on how to build an outdoor kitchen with metal studs is to join the studs to the tracks. Use the C-clamps to insert screws between the studs and the tracks. Make sure you use a clutch setting that isn’t too strong and strips the hole or the joint will not be secure.

Make Metal Headers

Metal headers are useful for any kind of uniquely shaped fixtures. Firstly, trim the tracks to a length that is 2 inches longer than the width you have in mind. After trimming, bend them 90-degrees with metal locking pliers. 

Pour Concrete

Pouring concrete may help your kitchen to last longer. You can also use concrete panels if you don't want to deal with pouring the concrete yourself. For cheaper options, you can look for materials like plywood or wooden panels but they are not as durable.

Setup Electrical Cables

Pull your electric cables through the interior of your outdoor kitchen to power your kitchen appliances. You can secure the cables to the metal studs with plastic ties and you can secure cables with a plastic bushing so that they will not be worn from rubbing against the metal edges of your studs. 

Install Panels

If there are a few places left uncovered after you are finished with the structure, secure them with wooden panels. Wood blocking can give your outdoor kitchen a different look. Alternatively, you can leave a few walls to give an entirely different look. 

Add Counters and Veneers

The final step of building the kitchen involves adding counters and veneers. Granite is a popular choice as they are sturdier. For veneers, you can select from a range of stones and tiles or combine materials together. However, you should choose material which will be sturdy for an outdoor kitchen. 

Should You Just Buy Instead of Building the Outdoor Kitchen?

Building an outdoor kitchen is a DIY project that requires a fair amount of time and planning. However, building one means you can customize the kitchen completely to your needs.

Taking Care of Your New Metal Outdoor Kitchen

Depending on the materials you used to build your outdoor kitchen, you may need to perform some upkeep such as using wood stain [1] to help your wooden panels last longer. Avoid cutting directly on a metal surface and wipe them down regularly with soapy water. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you build a BBQ with metal studs?

To build a BBQ with metal studs, plan out the exact dimensions of your structure keeping the measurements of your appliances in mind. Purchase your metal studs and tools and start building the foundation structure while securing the studs and tracks together.  

Can I build an outdoor kitchen with wood?

Yes, you can build an outdoor kitchen with wood. To protect it from heat and water it must be covered throughout with cement backer board. 

What countertops are best for outdoor kitchens?

The best choices are natural stone, tile, and concrete. Refrain from using quartz or recycled glass as they change color when coming into contact with UV rays. 

What material is used for outdoor kitchens?

Durable materials like wood and cement are used to build an outdoor kitchen. For long-lasting countertops and cabinets use materials like plywood, stainless steel, limestone, and cultured granite. 

Conclusion

Building an outdoor kitchen with metal studs can be challenging but a rewarding DIY project. Plan thoroughly in advance and get all the measurements of your kitchen appliances so you can accurately build your outdoor kitchen. 


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