You can use a concession stand as the launching pad for a new business venture or as a fun way to provide snacks to guests in your backyard. Building a homemade wooden concession stand ultimately doesn't require too much work or mechanical know-how, though you must make a number of important decisions to successfully build a concession stand. Various considerations, such as local laws, also affect the way in which you go about building your concession stand.
The first step in building a wooden concession stand lies in making decisions. You must decide if you want a mobile or stationary stand, and how complex you want the stand. A stationary stand can range from a basic wooden shed to a unit with running water, electricity and gas outlets for a stove or grill. Also, determine whether you want the stand as an accoutrement to your outdoor environment or as a commercial venture. You can answer all of these questions by acknowledging why you want a concession stand in the first place.
Laws and Codes
Always check local laws and building codes before beginning construction. When building a stand for personal use, check building codes on outdoor structures. Building your stand may require a site inspection and building permit, depending upon its size. If you plan on running electricity, water and/or gas to your shed, check all relevant codes and acquire permits. To run a commercial stand, you need permission to operate as a local business and must pass health inspection in order to sell food. Check local business and health code laws before opening your concession stand for business.
Building a basic homemade wooden concession stand requires little more than building a basic shed with a door and an opening through which to pass the items being sold. Start by creating a detailed drawing of your shed, including all dimensions, such as height, width and length. Create a list of all the building materials you will need to complete your stand, which may include plywood boards or sheets, cinder blocks or concrete for the foundation, a door, roof shingles and a window. You can use a door that opens at the halfway point as your window for the stand. Find sample plans for sheds and stands at your local library in magazines like “Popular Mechanics.”
Building a Stand
Start by building the foundation. Use a bed of gravel and layer of concrete blocks for this, or pour a concrete foundation. Build your floor on top of this, using basic plywood boards or, for a floor capable of holding more weight, a joist system. Building joists consists of laying thin boards between primary beams and laying flat boards on top of this system. You can build very simple walls from wood sheathing, or you can construct a wood frame from support posts and attach sheathing to this. Purchase or make basic trusses for the roof and install sheathing, weatherproofing and shingles on top of the trusses. You can build shelves inside your stand for storage, or bring in a pre-made shelf unit.
When routing plumbing, electricity and/or gas to your concession stand, hire a professional to help you install these systems unless you have training or experience in this area. Improper wiring can electrocute you or burn down a wooden structure, while gas can cause explosions, and bad plumbing may lead to flooding. If you want a very simple concession stand, use a cooler to store cold items. Or, you can use a generator in place of a whole new wiring system for electricity.
Actual mobile concession stands look like food carts: trailers with a full spate of kitchen items inside, including sinks, grills, fridges, freezers and more. Simply put, you cannot build one of these from wood because the wheel axles, frame and interior design require strong, fireproof materials like steel. However, you can make a very simple concession stand from wood -- without a foundation -- by building a box from wood sheets and boards. You can transport this throughout the yard and elsewhere because it possesses no foundation, making it, technically speaking, a mobile concession stand. However, this type of stand is not waterproof; you need to cover it during rain and snow to protect the wood from warping.
- Photo Credit Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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