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Wednesday, May 10, 2023

My DIY Outdoor Grill Station

The yard improvement project continues this week.

you can see the previously-cleaned main patio through the hedge opening

There's a small section of the back patio that is partially separated from the main patio. It's been the spot for our tumbling composter and a kettle-style grill. Earlier this week I moved the composter to the side of the house near the garden. The grill was still in the garage, so I could really "see" what I had to work with in this space. I've had this idea that I wanted to make this small patio a dedicated grill spot instead of an incidentally-placed grill on the composter patio. Time to get busy with planning. I scoured the internet for grill station ideas and came up with a couple of plans that will work for my area and supplies.

Today I got out the pressure washer and began to clean the bricks. A good 2 hours later and the patio was scrubbed nicely. 

Some tulips got decapitated, however.

After a break to have lunch and rest for a bit, I headed out to work on the space some more. It was time to begin defining the grilling area. One of the DIY projects I found online used concrete blocks to create counter space on either side of a portable grill. I wandered the property and found enough concrete blocks for this purpose. With some help from my husband, we scavenged blocks from several spots in the yard. These blocks had served well in their previous lives, but now were ready to move on to new horizons.

While my husband ran an errand, I hauled the blocks, one by one, in a wagon to the brick patio. I had previously drawn up a plan for stacking the blocks. Consulting my plan, I stacked the blocks in 4 layers. The work was hard, but at least in the early layers, I still had energy.

I pressure-washed the stack of blocks and set the portable grill next to it.

At this point, I was ready to begin the second, narrower stack, but didn't have the 8 blocks needed. When my husband came home, he helped me scavenge these last eight. 

So this is where I finished up for the day. I have one 32-inch wide stack of blocks and one 16-inch wide stack. I will be going to Home Depot tomorrow to find something that will work as toppers/countertops.

For years, when I'd grill dinner, I'd set my utensils, trays, seasonings on the ground while cooking. I had wanted something that would serve as a counter next to the grill for cooking, but could also double as a buffet set-up for outdoor gatherings. And of course, I have a teeny-tiny budget, so I needed to work primarily with what I had. The concrete blocks were from previous uses. The only "things" I will need to buy are surfaces to use as countertops. 

I really wanted to finish this today, but dinner wouldn't make itself. Tomorrow I'll update with a photo of the station with counters and reveal my plans for the corner opposite the grill on this patio. For now, my muscles are tired, so, so tired. A good day's work.


  1. Looks very nice! Can't wait to see the finished result with countertops. P.S. Anytime I haul around concrete blocks I figure it counts as a strength-training session.

    1. That was me, Cat. Didn't realize I wasn't signed in (or rather, am yet again un-signed-in) before I posted.

    2. Hi Cat,
      Thank you. I agree 100% -- this was my strength training for the week. I lifted 24 concrete blocks for placement, and in some cases lifted and moved some of them multiple times to find the best placement for the grill station. Countertops are now in place and we can begin grilling!

  2. Oh, that's going to be so much nicer than laying your tools on the ground. I'll be interested to see what you come up with for counter tops. Do you have to worry about being too close to the hedges? One time I had a grill closer to the house than it should have been, and I melted and warped some of the siding. Now, I'm always tuned in to the location of grills.

    1. My brother did the same thing. You aren't alone. :)

      Lili, I love it! So much more functional than before. Will you place pots of greenery in front of the blocks? I think it would add a natural and rustic touch. Looking forward to the finished project.

    2. Hi Live and Learn,
      That's a good point about the heat from the grill and nearby objects or structures. There's about a foot of clearance behind the blocks and the hedge. If it looks like the hedges are being affected, I'll have to move the blocks forward, which is do-able, just not ideal.

  3. Hi! Which pressure washer do you use and recommend? Thank you.

    1. Hi Farhana,
      In 2021, we bought this pressure washer:

      It's electric and not gas powered, so it isn't as powerful. However, it works for what we need, patio, outdoor furniture, and driveway cleaning. We've been satisfied with it so far. I bought it from Ace Hardware, as they're a locally-owned business and if there was an issue with it, I could easily take it back. But Ace's price was higher than Amazon's.

      I'll write a full review of the model and the attachment we used this next week. Cleaning a really mossy patio took more than just the pressure washer. I used several tools to do the job.

      For someone who just wants to pressure wash for one day per year, Home Depot rents electric models for $47/day.


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