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Build a Budget-Minded Barbecue Grill Island with Cold-Formed Steel

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Cold-formed steel framing is not just for framing buildings – it can also be used to create DIY outdoor patio cooking centers.

A barbecue island is a decorative work and storage area built around a standard portable gas barbecue grill. In addition to hiding the grill wheels, frame and propane tank, it provides additional food preparation work area around the grill. If you size the island and finish the exterior properly, the grill will appear to be built-in. It can look as good as actual built-in grills costing thousands of dollars more.

Most gas grill manufacturers recommend a 24-inch clearance from the grill to combustible materials such as lumber. To meet this safety requirement, use steel studs instead of wood studs for the framing of the island. Cover the exterior of the island with concrete backer board instead of plywood. Don’t be scared off by the use of steel studs. These are lightweight structural members which are found at most home center stores. They are easy to work with and are connected together with self-drilling screws. Since these steel studs are so lightweight, you can build the framing in your garage and easily carry it to the patio for finishing.

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