202) Patio Purniture

by Gail on October 14, 2013

re-used patio materials

Obsessing about the four Rs when you’re building a green home can be frustrating to tradespeople. For instance, Peter and Jonas, while embracing our philosophy, in general terms, would sometimes rather just use new materials.

We managed to recycle/re-use:

Metal: When we bought our good quality Weber barbecue, oh, say 25 years ago, it was state-of-the-art. Now, not-so-much. But, it still works. Why would we buy another for our built-ins? Jonas spent too many hours cutting it apart and custom-building it in to our outdoor patio kitchen.retro bbq

Between Jonas’s junk storage at his house, and our junk pile, we managed to find the following metal bits to add to the BBQ frame and the patio built-ins:

– Stainless steel textured sheet – cut apart to form a heat shield under the BBQ, a cover for burner knobs, and a door for the pizza oven.steel barbecue front

– An old bed frame – together with square tube steel, some of which we unearthed when digging behind the patio retaining wall! repurposed scrap metal(I think our lot was used as a dump site for drunks and gardeners (!) before we bought it.) We used the metal to build the frame and attach elements to the concrete wall.sealing patio concrete

– Some 2″ steel tubing that Jonas welded to steel plates to anchor to our steel wall to support a floating bench.

– I spray-painted or hand-painted all in Rustoleum  or heat-resistant black paint for rust-resistance and consistency.spray-painting metal


– The patio’s posts and knee braces were salvaged from the local beaches.patio posts and knee braces

– Peter had on hand some old clear cedar panelling that was replaced in a client’s remodel. cedar wall boardsJonas routed a middle groove into it to accommodate my cupboard door design that D suggests is so 70’s Sunset Magazine! Matches the vintage BBQ, I say.patio kitchen

Hardware: Peter re-used old lag bolts for the knee braces. He spray-painted them Rustoleum black for a consistent appearance.re-used lag bolts

Concrete: Although the pros (Peter and Jonas) were not sold on my “leftover concrete” countertops, I believe I have DIY’d a pretty little countertop. Here’s how:

1. I was planning to use the bottom of the mould as the countertop, but the top looked much nicer (top on left, bottom on right)top and bottom concrete counter

2. I bought a wet stone polisher (expensive at $400 all in, but a bargain if I can make our house’s countertops for a fraction of the cost of almost any other custom countertop material.) You’ll notice that it has a hose connection so that water can spray out of the polisher’s centre while I grind.stone polisher first blade

3. D cut off the “arm” of the small countertop with an angle grinder, because it was no longer going to fit around the BBQ. You may recall that I hastily constructed the moulds on the day of the pour.countertop form poured

4. Using a big metal blade, I started smoothing the pebble-y surface. I loved the way it revealed the pretty green and other-coloured stones almost immediately. stone polisher rough spotsIt looks like granite countertop. In this picture, you can see where the big grinder adds striations that need to be further smoothed. I donned D’s rubber hip waders for this process, but, alas, I was alone, so no embarrassing photos!

5. Then, with progressively finer sanding pads (from 50-grit to 800-grit), I spent about 3 hours smoothing the concrete surface, until it felt, well… uh… very… sensual!stone polisher

6. After drying overnight, I attempted to get creative. We’re having a bit of a cedar and maple theme here at This Green House, so I laid cedar branches and broad-leaf maple leaves on to the concrete, cedar branches on concretethen sprayed on acid stain.

concrete acid stainLet it dry, then rinsed off the excess stain. The resulting effect is indistinct, but reasonably attractive, so I’m not too disappointed.

7. Two coats of Peter’s concrete sealer, and I think it’s looking spiffy.sealed concrete countertop


concrete countertop2

And, that’s my countertop! (I’m taking a bow now, just so you know. Applause appreciated.)

Where Jonas and Peter weren’t so willing to re-use our materials:

Driftwood logs for “roof”: The driftwood, although it had the look I was after, would be too time-consuming if each log had to be crafted to fit the upper section of the patio structure. We went with dimensional cedar milled locally and shaved to give a more rustic look.driftwood posts

Cedar. I bought a pile of cedar from the Petals Flower Farm before it became “The Beer Farm” (a.k.a. Persephone Brewing, a fabulous new attraction,  on this side of the ferry!) Plus, we had a fair quantity of mostly stained cedar left over from house trim. Jonas started to cut, plane, and otherwise prepare some of it (admittedly a lot of work) before sending us to the local cedar mill to buy nice fresh local cedar from which to craft our patio furniture.outdoor kitchen

The floating bench has also been crafted from the new cedar (milled locally): patio built-ins

This is a detail of how Jonas assembled the floating bench on the pipes. He cut spacers from abs pipe that just fit over the pipes protruding from the wall. Then, to add strength and provide a smooth front and level slats for the top, he attached a long bolt through 3 places along the bench. You can just see them through the spaces between the 2x5s.

bench construction


patio built-in furniture

(Please ignore, if you can (!) that glorious pizza oven under construction – the DIYers will write a guest post on their how-to’s real soon.)

Sharing with these hospitable link parties:

Coastal Charm’s Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, Little Red House’s Mosaic Monday, Boogieboard Cottage’s Masterpiece Monday, Dwellings’ Amaze Me Monday, Savvy Southern Style‘s Wow Us Wednesdays, Brambleberry Cottage, From My Front Porch to Yours, The Homeacre Hop

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra October 22, 2013 at 11:42 am

What a great job!
Thanks for sharing your post at the HomeAcre Hop!


Jenny October 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm

That is a gorgeous countertop! Thank you for sharing this with us at the HomeAcre Hop. We’d love to have you back again tomorrow.


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