Owl Creek Farm » Guest Post » How To Turn a Shed into a Garden Kitchen

How To Turn a Shed into a Garden Kitchen

by Amy

This is a guest post from Tiger Sheds.

Summer brings blooming flowers, sunny days, and warm weather to backyards around the world. Entertaining guests or neighbours in the yard is a pleasant alternative to eating indoors, but it can be difficult for homeowners to constantly cook and transport food between the kitchen and the yard.  Pre-existing garden sheds provides an excellent starting point for homeowners who want to create a garden kitchen for outdoor parties.

The complexity of the new garden kitchen will depend on the homeowner’s budget, goals, and technical expertise. Although a homeowner can hire a contractor for more elaborate garden kitchens, some relatively simple upgrades can turn any shed into an outdoor cooking area.

Electricity and running water can significantly increase the number of dishes that a homeowner can cook in their garden kitchen, but it is difficult for homeowners without a high level of do-it-yourself expertise to install both elements.

A grill or wood oven can be installed instead of hooking the kitchen up to electricity. Although grills and wood ovens are not as convenient as electric stoves, they do not require electricity and may provide a different flavour to certain foods.

However, running water is more difficult to replace in a garden kitchen. Recycled rainwater systems are one alternative, but the water typically needs to be purified before it is fit for human consumption.

Running a direct pipe from the main house to the garden kitchen is often the safest option. Homeowners will need to drill a small hole in their basement or outside wall, dig a deep trench from the house to the garden kitchen, and then install a small sink or spigot in the kitchen. The trench should be deep enough that it won’t be uncovered by eroding soil, and a water quality test should be performed at the garden kitchen’s end of the pipe.

The shed’s walls should be replaced with either a four-post design with no walls and a roof or more windows should be installed. The no wall design leaves appliances open to the weather, but a garden kitchen with only some windows can isolate the cook from his guests. A completely open air garden kitchen must be secured against rodents and other animals.

The roof should have some form of water-resistant shingles to protect appliances, and all-purpose carpet may be used for the floor.

The necessary tools for a conversion will vary depending upon the totality of the makeover. For example, pipes and wrenches may be necessary if the homeowner is installing a sink. However, some tools that may be of use include:

  • circuit tester
  • electrical tape
  • level or T-square
  • roofing shingles
  • weather-proof caulk

Common tools like a hammer and nails will also be helpful.

Converting a shed into a garden kitchen can be a simple project for do-it-yourself homeowners, or an elaborate backyard upgrade for people with larger budgets. A homeowner can be cooking for friends and neighbours in their yard for the entire summer after as little as an afternoon of work on the conversion.

This was a guest article from Tiger Sheds.

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1 comment

James Mann January 21, 2012 - 3:13 pm

We don’t entertain a lot of people but we do like eating outside when the weather’s nice. So far we just use our bbq. We do however have plans to build a patio on the back of the house and even add a door from our kitchen.

We have a shed/garage which has never actually had a car in it which would be great to add plumbing and have a garden kitchen there.