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Nohoa Homestead
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I had been thinking of having an outdoor kitchen, but with all the bugs and heat in the summer, I am leaning toward a small detached building that I can put in a window air conditioner and close the door.

I am wondering if anyone here has ever built anything like this using a metal garden shed (the kind purchased at Lowes or Home Depot or your Local Hardware/Farm Store). Something in the 8X10 category or maybe 10X10.

It's going to need a sink and probably a separate hot water heater, along with a stove and a large enough table to do the work (canning mostly, but some crafts-related too like washing dirty wool). Do you think that an 8X10 would be big enough?

Do any of my friends here on HT have any ideas or suggestions about this? I'm just knocking the idea around in my head and any advice or suggestions are certainly welcome. Especially if you have ever done anything like this yourself.

donsgal
 

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Country Girl
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I have been thinking of screening in a covered deck on one side of my mobile home that has been a catch-all for the last couple years. I can put screen doors on each end where there are steps. We use the other deck with a pergola over it for sitting outside normally so this would make a perfect summer kitchen. My project for next year :)
 

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I saw one that was beautiful. It looked like a log cabin, but was made of landscape timbers as a frame, then lots of screen instead of windows. She has lots of stainless steel shelving obtained from a restuarant supply salvage area, a nice gas stove and refrigerator, ceiling fans for ventilation. There was a huge double sink for prepping meats and vegetables.

There were lots of sky lights for natural light, and the screen kept out the bugs.

It was covered with a tin roof. It was not hugely expensive and could done by yourself. It did require electricity and running water, but you could get by without it if you wanted a wood stove or just propane stove.
 

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Sounds like a great idea, but I would stay away from the steel shed, too hot......building a deck covered and screened would be cheeper anyway. I personally would pour a slab and build over that. You could use brick if you have any new developments going in in your area, they waste alot of brick and it is a good place to pick up the rejects. I would build an island with a mini fridge, utility sink and stove, you can pipe the water from the sink drain to the garden. A screened gazebo would look great.
 

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Namaste
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Here's another vote for the screened porch idea. But I'm thinking that you didn't necessarily want to build this from the ground up yourself. In that case how about a wood garden shed that you then cut windows into; myself, I would have them run the 10' length both sides between the framing. Either find some salvaged windows thru craigs list or freecycle or just staple screen to a frame that you can press fit into the opening. Putting this shed on the east side of your house would also help it stay cooler, attached to the house maybe with a breezeway. And a box fan would really move the air around in such a small space. As for fitting it out. A 2 burner propane plate would be easy to move from the counter to a shelf below to make more room. A sink that drains to a bucket or thru a hose to the garden; bring the water in by bucket too. Electricity could be brought in in the usual way or by ext. cord or you could have some fun putting in 12 volt run off solar. 2 counters along the 10' length would give you lots of room & storage under. But don't forget a chair! Well, there's my ideas; hope you found something useful :)
 

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My canning kitchen is 15x15.
I would't go any smaller. I have a table that is small enough to hold my 3 burner propane stove, in case I want to put it out siide.
 

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I screened in the back porch, with hardware cloth too (cause of the varmints), and use it with a fan. It's 8x10; if I had a choice, even a little bigger would help - like 10x12. It's in the shade behind the kitchen; used to work well! ldc
 

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Detatched cooking/canning accomodations used to be common before air conditioning became the norm. They were called "summer kitchens". One house we lived in had a summer kitchen on the North side of the house with a covered walkway between it and the house that opened into the inside kitchen. It was equipt with a stove, large enamel sink, refrigerator, and lots of shelving. The well and hand pump were on one end and the entrance to the root cellar was on the other, and the whole thing was shaded by huge Elm trees on each side.
 

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A kitchen generates a lot of heat.

A small air conditioner would kinda be like spitting in the wind, in a small metal building. A lot of folks have outdoor kitchens down here, and I'd second the idea that it be built big enough for what you want to do. The screen idea sounds good, or you may opt for secondhand windows, along with possibly an A/C unit...but it would be nice to cool it a couple of ways.

Plan out what you want to do in it, and plan the dimensions accordingly...try to make your plans come out where you waste little material in the contruction process. Shop secondhand for appliances and fixtures...my FIL bought a two year old stove last week for $80 for his outdoor kitchen.

You won't come out as cheap building something vs a small metal building, but you'll have a much better place to work, which should last a long time.
 

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I am going to convert my covered porch which is on the north side of my house into an outdoor kitchen and sitting/sleeping room. I am not going to go the screen route because of all the cats, coons and squirrels, so I'm going to use windows all the way around with minimal wall space in between the windows. Screen door on the front side (which faces the road) and another screen door on the back side (which goes out to the side yard and my clothesline). I am planning on making it kind of a lodge style so it won't look totally junky. I want to put a plain old gas stove out there if I can find a decent used one, with a countertop, dry sink, a couple of comfortable but mildw proof chairs, a table, and an area to put a sleeping cot. I have a couple of the windows and one screen door already, just have to gather more materials and will likely do the framing and roofing this fall or winter. I am also hoping that because it's on the north side of the house and will be directly in front of the front room, that it will block some of the north wind which blows directly on the front door of the house all winter. Might make heating the place a bit easier.
 
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