DIY Outdoor Kitchen Part 1: It's All About That Base

Plans provided on Lowes website linked below.

I dreamed about an outdoor kitchen for years. I saw those ones from Costco for a couple thousand dollars that were small, but very nice. I never thought about making one of our own. But then, with the help of Pinterest, I discovered some designs that were totally doable. It always seems to start with Pinterest! I am pretty sure Rob hates Pinterest! Haha😂

I found a gorgeous redwood outdoor kitchen shown on the right. I need to find out more and see more angles of it to figure out how this was made. And so the research began.

I searched and searched until I found the origin of the post. It was Lowes!
 Lowes has a "Creative Ideas" section where they post plans to DIY projects. Their plans provide step by step instructions and even measurements along with a cut list. They made it simple to follow along and do it yourself!  Here is the link to the plans so you can see what I mean. 

UPDATE: Lowes removed the plans from their website, so I will post another blog post with screenshot images of the plans! 


Although that kitchen design is gorgeous, we wanted to upgrade it a bit so it fit our backyard space to give it a more custom look. Since Rob is a Land Surveyor, he knows how to use CAD (a computer aided drafting software) and he was able to draft a simple diagram of the dimensions for our new kitchen.  You will notice that our outdoor space turns into a slightly larger version of our original drawing but we will share more about that in part 2 of our post. 😘

  • We went to Lowes and bought all the materials based on the plans to build the base of the kitchen. 
  • The plans called for cedar wood, but in California, redwood is slightly cheaper and I knew it should last just as long so we bought that instead.
  • We bought 4X4 posts for the legs and common redwood picket fence boards for the sides.
  • We cut off the dog-ear part at the top so you would never be able to tell it was a picket fence board. If you went to a wood milling store, they would charge a lot more for a 1 X 5 X 6/8 piece of straight redwood. 
  • We also used douglas fir for the underside of the base (see the lighter parallel wood) since it is much stronger (and cheaper) than redwood and we knew any countertops added could weigh a lot. Douglas fir is not ideal for outdoor use but since it was completely covered by redwood, we aren't too worried about it not withstanding the weather.
  • We also bought sturdy outdoor screws to screw the base together. This would also help support any weight of the countertop. 

  • Our design was close to the same as the Lowes plan designs but we added an extra section on the end to fit a small outdoor refrigerator. This was a must for it to be a true kitchen! 
  • We also modified the design so that the sides didn't have wood slats going all the way up past the countertop. This would interfere with any plans we had for custom countertops. 
  • We added pocket holes using Kreg Jig to securely hide the screws on the base. If you don't have a Kreg Jig, you could get away with just driving the screws in at an angle. 

  • We cut the dog-ear redwood pickets to size and nailed them in on both sides of the bases using outdoor finishing nails and a brad nailer. 
  • We did the same with the sides of the bases as shown in the picture above and to the right. This gives it a modern clean look! Don't you agree?💗
  • It started to take shape and look like a real kitchen!! Now we had to decide what to do with the countertops. 
  • I loved the idea of live edge wood countertops but this spot of our backyard gets full sun. And the Sacramento summers could easily reach over 100 degrees so it likely wouldn't last long. 
  • Granite could be an option but we had never cut granite and didn't want to have to hire someone to install and fabricate the countertops. This project was going to be 100% DIY.
  • The Lowes design plans used square concrete pavers. This was a good option, but I wanted something more permanent and custom. We were investing some money into this project so we might as well go all the way! Right?!
  • That left concrete. It was durable and we had done concrete driveways and patio expansions before. How hard could it be? 
Stay tuned for our next post, DIY Outdoor Kitchen Part 2: Concrete Countertops!