How do I Build a Shed Kitchen?

A small stand-alone kitchen or a concession stand can cater to a large number of people during backyard gatherings or community events if the layout is planned to maximize space. A shed kitchen should not only accommodate both the cooks and diners but also allow them harmonious movement around the space. It should be equipped with ample counter space, sufficient appliances and utilities, and a counter to serve diners for a short period of time. The greatest challenge would be to protect the kitchen space from rain and other vagaries of nature.

A man building a kitchen. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

Things You'll Need

  • Building permit

  • Concrete

  • 2-by-4-inch lumber boards

  • Exterior siding

  • Metal roofing sheets

  • Fiberglass insulation

  • Plumbing pipes and drains

  • Electrical wiring

  • Breaker box

  • Drywall

  • Paneling

  • Heat tape

  • 1/2-inch plywood

  • Vinyl flooring

  • Stove unit

  • Oven

  • Refrigerator

  • Dish washer

  • Storage cabinets

  • Counter top material

  • Guttering

  • Downspouts

  • Fire extinguisher

Step 1

Construct the basic shell of the kitchen after obtaining a building permit. Build a standalone structure measuring, at least, 9-by-12-feet. Install concrete footings for a permanent foundation made of cinder blocks. Construct a framework for the shed kitchen from two-by-fours. Leave openings for an entrance door, a small exit door and a serving window. Nail exterior siding to the building framework and add a metal roof.

Step 2

Insulate the shed wall and install utilities. Use roll-type fiberglass insulation between wall studs. Run all plumbing and electrical wiring before covering interior walls with drywall or paneling. Install a breaker box that will accommodate a 220-volt plug for an electric stove. Consult local authorities about all building codes regarding electrical utilities, water lines and drains.

Step 3

Keep utilities running through the year by wrapping water lines with heat tapes as an inexpensive way to keep pipes from freezing during cold weather. Staple insulation between floor joists of the kitchen before adding 1/2-inch plywood over the joists. Lay linoleum or vinyl flooring.

Step 4

Set up the appliances and demarcate the work areas. Install a range, refrigerator and also a dishwasher if required. Make provision for storage cabinets and countertop area for food preparation and serving. Install a shelf for storage 12 to 18 inches above the worktop counter space. Place boxes, bins and canisters here to hold dry ingredients for cooking.

Step 5

Protect the structure from the elements. To avoid deterioration of the standalone building in the absence of year-round heat and air conditioning, keep it dry. Add guttering and downspouts to skirt rain away from the structure. Include splash blocks to send water away from the shed kitchen as well.

Tip

Store food ingredients in the shed only during actual cooking times. To keep bugs and mice at bay, avoid leaving food that is not preserved in metal cans or glass containers in the shed kitchen.

Warning

Add a fire extinguisher to a shed kitchen. Keep it within a few feet of the stove area. Build a side or back exit door, in addition to a main entrance door, since fire in a small shed kitchen would overtake the space quickly.

References & Resources