Okay. So maybe talk like a pirate day was last month, but I couldn't resist it given my fond memories for that other Monkey Island of lore. The latest project on the Monkey grounds has indeed been an island, albeit a far more terrestrial barbecue island and not nearly the maritime destination as its electronic diversional counterpart.
The only other refuge that qualifies for a similar variance is a place dedicated to the practice of that distinctly sooty- fiery-burny (and hence sufficiently "manly") style of cooking: the Outdoor Kitchen.
I must admit that even outdoors, I do very little of the cooking, but that's no excuse not to embark on another construction project.
While we already had a standalone stainless grill and gazebo, what we really needed was a more complete solution that lessened the need to shuttle back and forth from the inside, giving flying pests more opportunity to breach the "castle's" outer perimeter. I had previously laid water pipe and electrical conduit underneath the patio in preparation for an addition like this, but didn't know what final form it would take. We decided to build a pair of islands to straddle the grill that could provide storage, work surfaces, a sink, and refrigerator.
|Adding composite lumber feet|
|Both islands framed|
|Cutting stucco siding|
Fortunately, JamesHardie makes a stucco-textured siding panel that can be cut with a circular saw (with diamond blade) and simply screwed into place as a standalone covering. I found it at the local Lowes for $37 per 4x8 sheet.
|Attaching siding over moisture barrier|
My plan was to simply screw it into place, caulk and fill the corners and screw holes, then paint over the whole shebang to match the house.
|Working in tight spaces|
|Cutting slate tile|
|Prepped for sink|
I planned to use a small bar refrigerator that I got for free off Freecycle a number of years ago, but it was clashingly black in color. This presented the perfect opportunity to try out a new product I'd read about online.
Thomas "Liquid Stainless Steel" is a paint-on system that claims to give the attractive look of "brushed stainless steel" as "commonly used in chef's kitchens". I was a little skeptical, but at only $25 for their range/dishwasher kit (and a fridge that was free in the first place), I had little to lose.
|Somewhat less ugly fridge|
At the right angle and a distance of 10 or more feet, it looked fairly convincing, certainly enough for an appliance that would live outside.
Hmm. Well--especially close up--no Thomas Keller would probably not be terribly impressed. But Helen Keller... maybe.
In the corners of each island, I later drilled large holes to mount shade umbrellas for additional sun protection, also lining the paths for the umbrellas shafts with pipe that could channel any rainwater to safe outlets underneath the islands.