For the last month Kellie and I have been working on a long awaited project: the Outdoor Kitchen. Using the walls left from the previous owner’s attempt to build a carport we had planned to build a low walled gazebo with a thatched roof which over time had morphed into an outdoor kitchen to house our new barbecue and our dining table until we have a dining space in the main building. It also seems sensible to make the most of our warm climate for the majority of the year and move some of our activities right out of the tiny house.
The starting point:
Excuse the photo – it’s the only one I could find from right at the start, after Noven’s brother and his friends knocked the corners out of the original ‘u’ shaped structure and laid the foundation for the front wall. That was in 2009.
When we returned to live here in 2011 my brother came up for a while and got a good start on the front wall of the structure but he couldn’t stay and donate his time forever. By the time he had to go this is where he had reached:
The project languished for years as I got the easy work of major earthworks and tree planting started and was easily distracted from the daunting task of stone masonry. We had a couple of attempts at continuing to raise the wall but only small success was had.
After achieving a number of dry stone wall tasks last year though, I felt that the time had come and no more procrastination would be allowed. Kellie, fresh from her dry stone success on the sculptural wall was there to help so we set up the cement mixer and buckled down. The main aims of this wall are learning oriented as it is a practice run for other projects that require more skill so we weren’t too worried about how straight or perfectly neat the stonework went in, more about seeing how it went, what worked and what didn’t. After weeks of constant work (often 3 batches of mortar a day) and some additional help from Noven’s father who arrived at the start of March we reached the required heights all around. The final step was to finish the top as level as my basic skills could manage.
I am very happy with the result, and although it’s not completely finished yet and I will do the second learning project on my list before I attempt the next big structure I do feel like I learned a lot (hopefully enough) in building this. To follow: Pointing, bench and sink installation and the floor…. and much later… the roof…
In the meantime here is where we are at: