Building The Ultimate BBQ Shack | Things You Should Consider

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ultimate bbq shack

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Summer’s in the past, you are giving your BBQ a final clean before putting it into storage for the Winter.  All you can think about is Spring coming so that you can dust off the BBQ tongs again;  Why wait until Spring?  Building the ultimate BBQ shack will allow you to enjoy your cooks year round.

This can be such a rewarding project that you can enjoy time and time again come sun, rain or snow.  Give your neighbours BBQ envy with the wonderful smells from your grill on a Winter’s evening.

There are many options when building your BBQ shack from pre-made shelters, custom made shelters and bespoke outdoor kitchens.

To make sure it is a success we have written this article based on our own experiences to give you some tips and pointers.

There are several things to consider when building the ultimate BBQ shack.

Building a BBQ shack is a great way to upgrade your outdoor cooking experience. With some basic materials and tools, you can create a cozy and functional space that will make your BBQ sessions more enjoyable. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to build a BBQ shack:

  1. Choose a location. Pick a flat area close to your home and within reach of an electrical outlet.
  2. Build the frame. Use treated lumber to construct the frame of the shack. Make sure it’s sturdy enough to support the weight of the roof.
  3. Add walls. Use plywood or wooden pallets to create the walls of the shack. Leave space for windows and doors.
  4. Install the roof. Use metal roofing sheets or shingles to create the roof of the shack. Make sure it’s sloped to prevent water from pooling.
  5. Add windows and doors. Use pre-made windows and a metal door or create your own from plywood.
  6. Install electrical outlets and lighting. This will allow you to plug in your grill, blender, or any other appliances you may need.
  7. Decorate the space. Add some finishing touches such as a bar counter, shelves for storage, and chairs or benches for seating.

By following these simple steps, you can create a functional and stylish BBQ shack that will take your outdoor cooking game to the next level.

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Shop Bought Shelter

BBQ Shelter

There are many great BBQ shelter kits available to buy.  The advantage of getting a pre-made shelter is that you can get it up and running almost immediately.

If you you are not very hands on and don’t have the DIY skills to build your own or you simply like the design of a pre-made shelter then this could be the best choice for you.

Things to consider when buying a shop bought BBQ Shelter

Budget

Think carefully about the costs.  When planning to build your ultimate BBQ Shack costs can go spiralling out of control. There are many things that perhaps get overlooked at the beginning.

It’s not just the cost of the shelter. There are many other considerations such as additional material that may be needed to finish your build, the BBQ equipment itself and perhaps some furniture however these things can be bought in stages.  Just be aware of what you want for your shack and how the costs can mount up in the end.

Size

The size of the shelter is probably one of the main factors to consider before committing to a purchase.

More often than not people usually regret not going bigger if they have the room for it.

What starts as a simple roof over your barbecue to keep it dry soon turns into a full blown outdoor space for entertaining.  (I made this mistake when I built my first shelter however it was a custom built shelter so was fairly straight forward to expand and it is now twice its original size which includes a BBQ area, prep area, bar, internal firepit and seating area.)

Treatment

Decide if you want to paint your new structure or not.  Personally I hate painting and have found that wood outside generally needs re-painting annually.

If this is not kept up it begins to look old with flaky patchy paint.

Before re-painting, all of the loose flaky paint would require stripping, this can be a lot of work and is definitely not one of my favourite chores.

I would always choose a structure built with treated wood. These will last much longer before the wood starts to rot and you can get away without painting them for several years. I personally prefer the natural look of the wood over painted.

Electric

Although this is not strictly necessary, once you have electric you will wonder how you went without.

Barbecuing in winter requires lights, sure you can get battery operated lamps but the convenience of a light switch in your shelter cant be overlooked.  Well designed lighting not only offers essential light to BBQ in but it provides ambience to your outdoor shack.

The more obsessed you get with barbecue you will soon realise how important sockets are.  You need these for some accessories such as an electric rotisserie or even a fridge.

It is important when considering any electrical work outside for your shack that you consult a qualified electrician who can carry out the work safely and to the current regulations and able to provide a certificate for the work carried out.

Planning Permission

It is important to check with your local authority to see if planning permission is required prior to building the ultimate BBQ shack of your dreams.

Most pre-made shop bought shelters should comply under most situations. It is worthwhile finding out if there are height limits or how close you can build next to a neighbour etc.

Our Favourite Pre-Made Shelter

PURPLE LEAF 3.65 x 4.85 m Heavy Duty Garden Gazebo

Galvanised Steel Double Roof, Waterproof Metal Hardtop Gazebo with Teak Finish Coated Aluminum Frame for All Weathers

Pros

  • Sturdy Structure
  • Pre-Made
  • 3 Year Warranty
  • Drainage System

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires Large Area

These are great for every situation.  There is a size that suits all and these can be installed in minimal time  with only basic DIY skills.

If you fancy giving a go at building your own but unsure if you have the ability then these would be a great starting point.

You could use these as the basic structure and start modifying to make your own.  For instance using recycled pallet slats you could quite easy form a dwarf wall around 3 sides to provide more shelter.

Building The Ultimate BBQ Shack | Custom Built

Ultimate BBQ Shack

If you have the ability, some DIY skills and the tools then I would definitely go down the route of building your own ultimate BBQ shack from scratch.

You can really make it your own, its great fun to do and is incredibly rewarding.

In some cases you can find ways to save on the build too by using upcycled timber such as used pallets and scaffold boards.

Things To Consider When Building The Ultimate BBQ Shack from scratch

Well, the considerations over a custom build compared to a shop bought shelter are pretty much the same.  The only other points I have highlighted extra are “Ability”,  “Material” and “Tools”

Ability

Research what is required to build your custom shack and ask yourself if you personally have the DIY skills required to complete it.

You don’t want to be in a situation where you have started but hit a dead end before completing because you lack the skills required. Or worse, you complete the build and after the first night of windy weather you find the roof lying in the neighbours tree!

Although anyone with the basic DIY skills and tools required to build should manage most of the tasks. Expect to call in the help of a friend as there will certainly be times when a second pair of hands is required.

Material

Material is much more flexible on a custom build and you can get extra satisfaction using recycled materials where you can and really try and keep the costs down. This also gives your shack a real rustic effect.

Having said that it is important to get the foundations right if you want to enjoy many years in your BBQ shack.

I would recommend sourcing material for the main structure  from a timber merchant and make sure to get treated posts with a decent diameter such as 4×4 square posts.  Not only will this provide better stability but the bigger the diameter will also give your shack a better look with a chunky structure.

Once the main structure is built consider using recycled material such as pallet slats to build a dwarf wall around the shack. Not only will this look cool and offer some shelter from the elements but its great building something with material that costs nothing.

As well as pallet slats, used scaffold boards make excellent bar tops or even seating.

Go out and try and get your hands on any recycled wood you can, even if you cant find a use just now, once you start building the ideas will keep coming.

Tools

Building your own BBQ Shack from scratch will require many power tools.  A lot of these tools are a requirement while some will just save valuable time and elbow grease!

Battery tools are much more powerful these days and what you find is that the expensive part of the tool is the battery.

Usually if you purchase the same brand of tool the batteries can be shared around all of the tools which helps keep the cost down. The tools are available to buy as a complete set or individually as a “Bare tool” without a battery.

You can borrow or hire tools but I would always recommend getting your own set, if you borrow a mates 10 year old circular saw and it brakes you will need to buy them a new one to replace it.

You will also never be finished your shack.  Once you have the bug you will be constantly modifying or extending the shack so these tools will become requirement throughout.  Building and modifying the shack becomes just as much of an enjoyable hobby as the actual barbecuing!

I personally have collected a full tool kit of Makita 18V power tools and cant fault them at all.  It is a bit of an investment to begin with but looked after these tools will serve you for years and build many Ultimate BBQ Shacks!

As well as power tools you will require a selection of hand tools such as a Saw, Hammer, Tape Measure, Spirit Level & Set-Square.

Recommended Power Tools

Makita T4TKIT-225 18V LXT 6 Piece Cordless Combo Power Tool Kit

  • 1 x Makita DML815 18V LXT Torch 
  • 1 x Makita DHP482Z 18V LXT Combi Drill 
  • 1 x Makita DHR202Z 18V Rotary Hammer SDS Plus 
  • 1 x Makita DJV180Z 18V LXT Jigsaw 
  • 1 x Makita DSS611Z 18V LXT Circular Saw 165MM 
  • 1 x Makita DTD152Z 18V LXT Impact Driver 
  • 1 x Makita LXT600 Carrying Bag 
  • 3 x Makita 5.0Ah BL1850 Batteries 
  • 1 x Makita DC18RC Fast Charger

Pros

  • All tools share the same batteries
  • Comes with charger
  • Complete with heavy duty hold-all
  • Fast delivery

Cons

  • Expensive

Rather than buying the above individually you can also consider buying a complete set such as the Makita Li-ion 18v Combo set.

Bespoke Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen

If you have a large budget and you really want to up your outdoor cooking game and you enjoy entertaining then you have probably considered a large bespoke outdoor kitchen including dining area, bar area, full kitchen including sink etc.

This kind of build will likely set you back several thousand but if outdoor cooking and entertaining are your thing and you have the budget then this would be well worth it.

With this size of build and for the high price we would always recommend having it professionally designed and built to spec.  This will ensure that no mistakes are made with your hard earned cash and you can get your build completed quickly and stress free.

Ask around your local area to see if there are any builders with experience in outdoor kitchens.

Time For Fun

So, you have watched You-Tube video after You-Tube video, read a tonne of articles just like this one, invested a great deal of time and money into the shack and you are feeling proud of yourself at the finished product!

The reality now sets in that you are never actually finished your build!  You are now at the stage where you can accessorise and decorate to make it unique.

You will probably find yourself modifying the layout several times.  Since I built mine I have changed it dramatically a few times, had 2 different bars and BBQ areas within the inside.  It is not until you start using it that you may find the flaws in your layout and need to make some changes, hopefully this article has allowed you to think of the options before the build so that any changes will be minimal, although, its all part of the fun!

Name your BBQ Shack

Give your shack some identity.  Get the family involved and think of a name.  When you are hosting a Garden BBQ party you can send out invites to the Shack by name.  For instance I named my Shack “The Bunghole”, I got the idea from a whiskey barrel I use as a table, I looked down and noticed the bung in the hole and that was it.

Create a Facebook page for your shack, this can add to the fun too, when guests are at the shack they can “Check In” you can share photos and make memories.

Once you have thought of a name design a logo using Canva or if you don’t fancy doing it yourself checkout all the options on Fiverr there are many professional freelancers who design logos for a living and you could get yours designed for a mere “fiver” this will really give your shack its own brand.

Accessories

There are many accessories to make your shack stand out and it depends on the theme.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Lights
  • Fun Signs
  • Wall mounted bottle openers

Time To Barbecue

Now you have the Shack, it’s time for your first cook! Ready to host a BBQ? This guide is a must to make sure your BBQ party is a success! inspiration and check out our other buyers guides to find the right barbecue for you.

Leave a comment below and tell us how you got on!

About the author

9 responses to “Building The Ultimate BBQ Shack | Things You Should Consider”

  1. James Gourlay Avatar
    James Gourlay

    Thanks for this article. I have been considering a custom BBQ build for some time now and this has given me a great place to start with many things I hadn’t considered.

    I’ll keep you updated with my build!

    Thanks again!

  2. Devin marchut Avatar
    Devin marchut

    How do I find plans for the BBQ shack at the top of the page?

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    How could I find list of materials needed for BBQ shack?

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