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exterior bar/grill area materials

copperjohn's picture

i am new to building exterior bar/grill areas , i have been a remodler and custom stair fabricator for 25 years.. my question : what would do better in the new england weather for a bar area and grill area ... presser treated lumber or steel studs for the cabinet carcase ???? we plan on installing cement board over the frame and then thin stone over that... also what to use for the counter top ??? Granite , sand stone , composite  or concrete.. all of these items will be under a roof  but may get wet in a wind driven storm... thanks , Copperjohn...

Exter bar material

I just did an 12' x 24' outside covered kitchen / bar / dining area similar as you described.  The area was closed in on two sides with two walls at 90*. One wall was part of a 4' x 12 storage / toilet area.  It also included a roof / sun deck with an attached 16' x 36' pergola living area.  The metal stairs were a U & L shape with Ipe treads and landings.

I used metal studs/track for cabinet framing with cement backer and stucco finish for a little more formal look.  We used quary tile for the counter tops over triple layer of cement board to get the edge look we wanted.  All of the items you mentioned should be fine.  It just depends on the look you want.

Just make sure you keep the metal for the toe kick etc. off  the concrete floor and protected from moisture.  The light gage metal will rust out fairly quickly if exsposed to moisture.  It was a real pain framing with metal to fit in all of the built in equipment.

Our appliances:  Custom made stucco finished hood/exhaust fan(required to keep smoke build up from under roof)  36" Lynx grill/rotisserie, warming drawer, clean up sink, bar sink and ice & bottle caddy.  And finally 50" exterior flat screen TV recessed behind an overhead secruity door.

There is much more detail I could describe but would be to much to write or read.  I would love to include some pictures, but I don't have a clue how to do it. Heck, I still do my designs and plans with pencil and paper.  Good luck and have fun with your project.


if you can build it, you can post the pictures.

The only recommendation is that they don't go over 150kb in size..............400/600.


Do you know how to send pictures via email? 

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


sending pictures

Calvin.  I appreiate your vote of confidence but what do you mean by  "150kb in size"  :>)
 That should give you some idea as to my computer skills.

But, yes I can email picture that I take with my I phone. I have never emailed pictures from my computer.  The pictures that I have were taken with my old Canon AE1. You know, those camera's that use film.

I suppose that I could take some pics with my I phone, but then what?  Bruce


If you can scan the pictures, send them to me.

If you can take new ones, send them to me.

The 150 kb size  is the optimum for posting here-not too small..........not too big.

After that, it's just about like emailing a picture "file".


Below these reply message boxes when your composing, is a long box that says BROWSE in a box at the end of it.  You click on the Browse button, and then you need to choose a file from those stored on your that works with a phone I don't know-I'd assume you need to load the photo to it.


See, I'm no genious-I'm smartphoneless.   With a phone that now takes pictures however-don't ask me how to send those to my computer....................


If you want to try it-PM me and I'll give you my email address-we'll give it a shot.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.



yours sounds great , you realy MUST send pics....


THANKS <"((((><

I would go for PT. Steel will

I would go for PT. Steel will rust outside. It is just a matter of time.


how about concrete block?

It's what I use. Concrete block with stone veneer over that.

I've done concrete countertops outdoors. I do recommend an epoxy film finish on all sides, but not until it's fully cured.

This summer I have another one in the planning stages, though this is for my house...a combination wood-fired pizza oven, plus outdoor rotisserie for pig and lamb roasts.  Possibly a tandori oven too. Nothing horribly ornate. My goal is to have it well built, but to blend in with the surroundings out by my pool area. Local stone veneer, etc, the same as my stone walls. I still have piles of stone from excavating and building way back when.

Countertops will either be concrete or soapstone.

For your bar and grill area, it's a catch-22. PT wood can move seasonally or corrode fasteners if the wrong ones are used. Steel can rust if not protected from moisture, especially moisture wicked from the ground. From your description, I'd probably go with PT.

Use a true cement board, not hardie.

There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who do not.

ext. grill

thanks for all of your help ... i do believe i will go with wood for the frame.. just because of RUST and it is a material i am most famialiar with ... i would like to see your pics of what you built for a few ideas... again thanks for the input ... i knew i could count on you guys....

out door kitchen

thanks for the info , i was leaning to wood w stainless fastners... i thought Hardi was a cement ( total) product.. i have been putting up thier siding for some time... thanks for that thought .. i will need to check into that... which one do you sugest ??? thanks

I saw a very impressive

I saw a very impressive outdoor kitchen recently where they used pre-cast concrete boxes designed especially for the purpose.

The sections were bolted together, and the surfaces covered with tile or stone.

Sorry I don't have a link.

concrete boxes

do you remember where you saw it ??? Hgtv or something like that ...

Eldorado makes them...

...or just markets them. A stoneyard near me (CT Stone) used to have a display a year or two ago. They are made from glass-reinforced concrete. They were marketed under the "Eldorado" name, Eldorado also does faux stone veneer. If I recall they were about $150 a foot just for the cubes. They are lightweight, I could move carry them myself. 

There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who do not.

It was on-site--I was there

It was on-site--I was there only to inspect the gas lines that were run to the appliances and to an outdoor gas fireplace.

The whole installation was being built by a landscape contractor.

pre fab

i just went to the sites.. (google) boy , i think we could do a site/forum on just this ... way too much to think about... i think i may stick to building custom stairways...with my next customers... this should be interesting.... thanks for all of your help ...