Can you DIY an outdoor kitchen frame? And what does it entail exactly?

We often hear from customers who wish to build an outdoor kitchen and are trying to limit their initial spending budget. 4 Life Outdoor offers modular cabinets, which are essentially already put together except for 4 bolts that need to be tightened between each cabinet. The beauty in all this is that if, a few years  down the road, you want to frame your kitchen in stone, concrete, brick or anything else, then you can use your cabinets and hire a contractor to perform the work unless you have the expertise to do so yourself.

Let’s have a look at some of the options you have in terms of framing your outdoor kitchen. Thanks to today’s technology available to all, you can find many DIY instructional videos and articles. The source of these instructional videos is important; even a fantastic builder may not be aware of the intricacies that come with building a grill island or outdoor kitchen safely if they don’t have the expertise in that field.

DIY brick frame around modular stainless steel cabinets

Brick Frame

A brick frame is fully customizable as you can choose to include any amount of appliances and cabinets, place them into your space and have your designer or contractor help you choose the right brick in terms of type and color. This is a permanent move but you do not need to reface your outdoor kitchen as the brick itself is beautiful and decorative.  It is a time consuming and a complex project but a popular option. Placed on a concrete slab, your outdoor kitchen will be structurally sound. Someone properly trained in masonry needs to be hired to complete this outdoor kitchen project unless you have the know-how and are willing to take the risk. If you include appliances, make sure they can be either fully built-in, or that you are able to take them out to clear out debris and vents. If you don’t take care of this when planning your frame initially, it can result in a costly mistake.

Gray outdoor cabinets in stone kitchen countertops

Stone Frame

Stone frames are similar to brick. They require some technique, expertise and research in terms of design and construction. They look fantastic once built but are permanent and the right appliances must be considered. As for modular cabinets, they fit very nicely within stone builds as well.

Gray Cabinet set Florida outdoor kitchen Gray side 1

Steel Frame

Steel frame kits are now sold in major hardware stores. Framing your outdoor kitchen with steel rods can be a great DIY project. The next step is to figure out how to face your kitchen using concrete, tile, stucco or a finish of your choice. That part will need to be completed by a contractor unless you have the knowledge and tools! Like brick and stone frames, steel frames are heat resistant and very sturdy and can be adapted to any type of outdoor cabinets.

DIY block framing with stainless steel cabinets

Cinder blocks

If you have some patience, cinder blocks, a trowel, mortar and have some spare time on your hands, a cinder block kitchen can be a fun project if you keep it simple. You need to start by laying a concrete base, let it dry for about a week and you can get started laying your blocks. For a nice rustic finish, you can frame your grill island with a wall of stones.   As with every other kitchen DIY, there are technicalities to be aware of before you start, especially if you enclose appliances and must run electrical wiring or plumbing.

outdoor kitchen island gray

Wooden Frame

Though wooden frames are not the most popular option considering they are not heat resistant and can easily catch fire if you use a grill, people do build them and they are a fairly easy DIY. Pine or a tropical wood that doesn’t rot easily under rain or snow would be the best choice for material.  You can use the pre-treated wood as a frame only and build a backer board with cement, then face your kitchen however you like using the material of your choice such as stucco, concrete, etc. Wooden frames can be a fire hazard next to a hot grill so it is important for outdoor kitchen owners to do their research.

White outdoor cabinets in concrete countertops

Concrete Frame

If you choose to frame your outdoor kitchen or grill island modular cabinets, ensure that your grills and appliances are made to be built in and that your beverage refrigerator can be removed and stored for cooler months if you live in a cooler climate, or to perform maintenance. Regardless of your design of choice, whether it be the modern look of the modular cabinets on their own, or enclosing your cabinets into different styles of framing, 4 Life Outdoor cabinets will always work for you and you can count on our expertise to guide you through your project with tips and suggestions.

Have fun with your outdoor kitchen project!

Your 4 Life Outdoor Team


Additional stories to check out:

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Gray stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinets page
White stainless steel outdoor kitchen cabinets
Stainless steel countertops and side panels

We can help you design your space!

Send us a picture and dimensions of your space to  We can place the cabinets into the picture for you to see exactly how it would all look.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

4 Life Outdoor team

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