Can You Use A Shed as an Outdoor Kitchen?
The first question to answer is, can you use a shed as an outdoor kitchen? And while the regulations vary by state, and even township, in most cases, you’ll be able to get a building permit to install your backyard outdoor kitchen in your shed.
The benefits of converting your shed into an outdoor kitchen space are many, including the ability to host outside without having to be running inside all the time or spend the entire day inside. Having an outdoor kitchen in your shed keeps all the mess outside and parties where they should be.
There are lots of reasons to convert a shed into a kitchen. A few of the most popular ideas include…
- Backyard Wet bar
- Outdoor Kitchen
- Add a small kitchen to your Garden Shed
- Poolside Snack Bar
9 Steps to Convert A Shed Into a Kitchen!
Now let’s get into the fun part and figure out what you can do to turn your shed into the perfect kitchen. These 9 steps are designed to give you a good starting point, with plenty of room to customize and personalize your shed according to your preferences.
Step 1: Find Your Shed
Before you can create convert a shed into a kitchen, you’ll need to decide if you want to use an existing shed, build your own shed, or invest in a new prefab shed from a reliable local builder.
- Prebuilt Shed: if you are pressed for time or maybe just prefer the convenience of having a shed delivered to your home, then going with a prefab shed is probably the best option.
- DIY, Build Your Own Shed: see example here. Obviously, this will require some construction skills, but is a fairly easy project compared to some construction.
- Repurpose Your Existing Shed: This will be your most affordable option if your shed is still in good condition.
Step 2: Check with Your Local Township
Before you invest in a new shed, or put to much energy into fixing your existing building, be sure to check in with your local township about the regulations and permits required to convert a shed into a kitchen.
Step 3: Add Utilities to your Shed
This will probably the most difficult and possibility expense step in this process. But running the proper utilities, like electricity and plumbing, to your shed is a necessary part of having a functional shed kitchen. Lets tackle these one at a time.
- Electricity: you will definitely in your new kitchen, not only to provide light for your workspace, but also to power your blenders, mixers, and other appliances. You have two choice when it comes to wiring your shed, you can either hire a qualitied electrician, or if you have some experience, you can do it yourself.
- Hire An Electrician: This will cost more than doing it yourself, but will ensure a proper connection, and that everything is done to code.
- DIY: Before tackling a project like this, make sure you have some electrical experience. Depending on the size of your shed, and the appliances and tools you want to power, doing it yourself is really a great option.
- If running electricity to your shed isn’t possible, or you prefer the more environmentally friendly option, then consider adding solar panels and a solar system to your shed.
- Plumbing: another necessity of a functional kitchen is the plumbing. This includes the water to your sink but also the drain lines for removing the wastewater. Again, you have two options when it comes to installing plumbing.
- Hire a Licensed Plumber: this will give you a quality final product without the headaches of the DIY.
- DIY: speaking of DIY, a small kitchen in a shed is a great place to start your plumbing experience. There are lots of good resources online to guide you. Just be sure to do it properly, or you will have more problems down the road. For some good information about plumbing a tiny home or shed, check out this video.
Step 4: Add any Modifications You Want
Some popular modifications to consider as you convert your shed into a kitchen include.
- Adding additional windows to provide lots of natural light and ventilation.
- Creating a serving hatch from your converted shed kitchen.
- Create a movable glass wall/large patio doors to combine the inside and outside space.
NOTE: If you are purchasing a prefab shed, then you some of these decisions should be made as you design your shed with your local builder.
Step 5: Insulate Your Shed
Whether you live in the beautiful north, or the sunny south, insulating your shed is a good idea. Insulation provides you the climate control necessary to keep you comfortable. As with any construction project, there are a number of options to choose from to insulate your shed. A few of the more popular options are.
- Fiberglass Batt insulation
- Foam Board Insulation
- Spray Foam Insulation
Step 6: Choose Your Flooring
Installing quality, water-proof, flooring in your shed is vital to keep your kitchen sheds subfloor and floor joists in solid and in good condition. Some of the better flooring options on the market today include.
- Water-Proof Vinyl Plank Flooring: Probably the best combination of quality and price. Check out this how-to video here.
- Engineered Hardwood
- Linoleum: This provides you with a quality flooring for a reasonable price, plus great moisture protection.
- Floor Paint: While this is the most economical option, it also provides less then ideal moisture protection for your subfloor.
Step 7: Finish the Interior Walls
Now we are getting to the place where you can start putting some personality into your kitchen. If you decide to insulate your shed, you will need to put something on the walls to seal it in. The options available are almost endless. There are some very unique ideas, including a pallet wall, tin, or even vinyl siding, but the most common choices include…
Step 8: Choose Your Kitchen Cabinets & Countertop
Finding kitchen cabinets and countertops to create your new kitchen design can be an overwhelming proposition. So let’s break this down into bite-sized pieces and make one decision at a time.
Finding affordable yet quality cabinets can be a daunting task. Some of the more common options include semi-custom cabinets or just simple box cabinets. Of course, you could go with full-custom cabinetry if you want to spend the money, but in most cases, a less expensive option will be the best route.
- Box or Stock Cabinets: While stock cabinetry is the cheapest option, they only come in standard sizes and styles. You can pick these up at your local box store. Stock cabinets will cost approximately $50-$250 per linear foot.
- Semi-Custom Cabinets: Similar to stock cabinets but with some additional customization and details that can be added. Semi-custom cabinets will cost approximately $200-$550 per linear foot.
- Full-Custom Cabinets: This will be an expensive option, but it is a good choice if you have a complicated kitchen layout or just like the feel of knowing your cabinets are the best you can get. Custom cabinets will cost approximately $500-$1,200+ per linear foot.
Choosing the cabinet hardware for your kitchen might seem like a small detail, but it’s pretty important to create your kitchen sanctuary. Not only will you need to choose the type, design, and color of the drawer and door pulls, but choose the kind of closers as well. The soft-close drawers and doors make working a breeze and keep the kids from slamming doors!
When it comes to countertops, there are lots of different options. From the cheaper Laminate top to the high-end granite, there is something for everyone. Every kind of countertop has its pros and cons, and finding the balance between price, quality, and looks will be something you need to decide for yourself. Below you’ll find some of the more popular countertop options.
- Laminate – most affordable
- Solid Surface – quality with a reasonable price
- Butcher Block – wooden, unique, and durable
- Stainless Steel – often used in commercial kitchens
- Granite or other Stone – a high-end option, expensive and reliable
Step 9: Add Furniture & Personal Décor
Once the kitchen cabinets are installed and the plumbing is finished, it’s time to add some decor and some furniture to make this kitchen a place you want to come to.
TIP: Only keep food in your shed kitchen while you are cooking. Avoid leaving food scraps or empty containers lying around to keep all the bugs and other critters from taking up residence in your new kitchen.
WARNING: For the safety of you and your guests, keep a fire extinguisher in your shed kitchen. We never plan on having an accident, which is why it’s called an “accident” :).
More Inspiration for Outdoor Shed Kitchens
For more information about how to convert a shed into a kitchen, check out this blog.