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How to Build a Small Shelter Over a Grill

Updated April 17, 2017

Outdoor cooking is better if your barbecue is under a roof that protects you from the weather. A simple cabana-style shed that features mosquito netting will protect you from the weather and flying insects. It’s also a suitable shelter for winter grilling, where the lattice sides act as a windbreak.

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Measure your area. This project is spacious, but you can size the dimensions to your liking. This project has 8-foot sides and is 6 feet wide. The lattice is attached inside the 1-inch by 4-inch by 8-foot alder planks on three sides

Purchase precut lumber from the lumber company. There may be a small charge for this service, but it is ideal for those who don't own power equipment. If you chose to cut the wood yourself, use a skill saw.

Sand all wood with medium- and then fine-grit sandpaper.

Use a disposable paintbrush to stain the wood pieces with at least two coats of stain. Any type of wood stain will work because it will be sealed under an acrylic finish. Let it dry thoroughly between coats. This is a quick process because stain is meant to dry rapidly when applied in thin coats.

Use another disposable foam paintbrush and apply two or three coats of acrylic sealer meant for outdoor projects. Let it dry at least an hour between coats.

Use a posthole digger to dig a hole for each of the four corners of your cabana. Go down at least a foot. Place a footing holder in each hole.

Prepare quick setting concrete according to directions. Set the support post into the footing in the hole. Make sure the post placements match the plywood roof width and length. Use a plumb line to determine that each post is straight. Fill only one hole at a time. Allow it to set up before moving on. Allow all four support posts to cure for at least two or three days before attaching the roof.

Place the plywood roof onto the four posts and use at least three galvanised nails in each corner to attach the roof to the supports. Nail from the top down.

Nail the side, back and front 1-inch by 4-inch pieces onto the outside of the posts along the edge of the roof. The 8-foot planks go in front and back and the 6-foot-wide planks fit on the sides to form the roof trim.

Attach a 6 by 8 foot section of lattice on both sides. Nail them from the outside of the plank trim using galvanised nails. This forms the two sides of the cabana. Use the 8 by 8 foot section to form the back wall following the same method. It is now enclosed on three sides.

Measure along the bottom edge of the roof trim on the open side of the cabana. Mark spots at each corner and along each edge approximately 4 inches apart. Screw the cup hooks, from the side, into these marks. They will hold the mosquito netting on the front side of the cabana.

Cut the netting fabric to fit the front of the cabana. Use a sewing machine to sew the raw edges with a zigzag stitch, so the netting doesn't unravel. Sew a length of grosgrain ribbon along the top of the mosquito netting. Sew along the top, down the side, across the bottom and up the other side of the ribbon. This creates a strong base to hold the grommets.

Use the grommet kit to set eyelet grommets into the grosgrain ribbon. Coordinate the spacing to correspond with the spacing of the cup hooks on the edge of the cabana trim. Hang the grommets on the cup hooks to hang the mosquito netting.


To make the mosquito netting more festive and to give it weight at the bottom, sew an 8-inch-wide strip of cotton duck along the bottom.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Posthole digger
  • Quick setting concrete
  • Plumb line
  • Four footing holders for support beams
  • Four 6-inch by 6-inch redwood posts about 9 feet long
  • Two 1-inch by 4-inch by 8-foot alder planks to trim the sides
  • Two 1-inch by 4-inch by 6-foot alder planks to trim the sides
  • Lattice for three sides according to measure
  • Galvanised nails
  • Hammer
  • One ½-inch by 6-foot by 8-foot sheet of finished plywood
  • Fine and medium gauge sand paper
  • Stain
  • Acrylic finish
  • Disposable foam paintbrushes
  • Cup hooks
  • Sewing machine
  • Mosquito tulle yardage approximately 8 feet long by 8 feet wide
  • 30 feet of grosgrain ribbon
  • Eyelet grommet kit
  • One yard of cotton duck fabric (optional)

About the Author

Pat Olsen has over 35 years of experience as a professional journalist in California. She attended San Francisco State and Pacific College. Olsen has several published books, is a staff writer for Mill Creek Living Magazine, and currently writes for Demand Studio. She is a retired educator who still teaches twice a week.

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