Repurposed Bi-Fold Door BBQ Station

Do you have unsightly house vents cramping your outdoor living space style? Is the only spot on your deck for the BBQ against the vinyl siding? Are you lacking grill utensil storage or a spot for grilling prep? We answered yes to each one of these questions until salvaged doors came to the rescue. Our repurposed bi-fold door BBQ station is a simple build and cost us absolutely nothing to make.

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Outside Vent Cover BBQ Table

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door BBQ Station


Our goal for the DIY grilling station was that we use salvaged materials only and the inspiration came from old louvered bi-fold doors that have been taking up valuable space in our basement. With one set we made a simple BBQ utensil holder that also acts as a barrier to protect the vinyl house siding from melting from the heat of the grill.

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door BBQ Utensil Holder

The second set of salvaged doors were used not only for a handy grill prep table or bar but also acts as an outside vent cover to hide our unsightly house vents.

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Outside Vent Cover

Both are compact and perfect for a small deck or patio.

Until recently, we had one of those large stainless steel four-burner grills with a side burner but unfortunately, we never used it because it didn't fit on our deck. Too lazy to walk from the back door, across the deck, and over to the stone patio where it sat, the BBQ hadn't been used in over three years.

Our son and daughter-in-law love to grill but had only a compact BBQ so we asked if they wanted to trade. Their small grill is perfect for just the two of us and fits conveniently against the house and beside the door. Now that it's so handy, we've been grilling almost every night!

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Grill Prep Station

I've had three sets of bi-fold doors leaning against the shelves in our basement workshop for over two years. In the past, I've used them to hang wall art in my outdoor market tent, walls for my booth at the antique mall, and more recently as a photo backdrop for furniture makeovers. I am thrilled to FINALLY have the doors out of the basement and given a useful purpose. I'll be sharing what I did with the third louvered door soon.

BBQ Station Bi-fold Doors Before

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how the BBQ station was made I should mention that we are self-taught DIYers and not trained professionals. This step-by-step tutorial is based on our building knowledge only. However, if you are a do-it-yourselfer like us, you'll find these steps helpful if you plan on making a version of our bi-fold door BBQ station.

Here's how we did it starting with the Outside Vent Cover


The goal was to cover these ugly furnace air intake vents and central vacuum exhaust that are an eyesore on our deck. It's only taken us twenty years to cover them.

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Vent Cover

The vent cover is only 12-inches deep - enough to hide the vents but not obstruct traffic flow on the deck. The louvers on the doors and the board and batten style slats on the sides allow unobstructed airflow. But the vent cover is portable and can easily be stored in a shed during the harsh winter when the furnace is operational.

Step 1 - Cutting the bi-fold door

The longer bottom half of the bi-fold door was the perfect height to cover the vents but also use as a BBQ prep table or bar. We sliced the door on the table saw but don't attempt to cut it in one fell swoop like we did.

Helpful Cutting Tip

Mark the cut line on each door while they are still joined together. Then unscrew the hinge and cut each door separately. The doors are too flimsy to cut while still joined - ask me how I know.

Outside Vent Cover Cut Repurposed Bi-Fold Door

Building the vent cover sides

We used old cedar 2 x 2 lumber from a previous project for the uprights on the board and baton style sides. First, we attached one on each side of the cut bi-fold door as pictured below.

Helpful Drill Tip

To prevent the narrow uprights from splitting, drill small pilot holes first before attaching them to the door panels with wood screws.

Bi-Fold Door Outside Vent Cover Front Panel

We used pine fence boards that we had on hand from a previous project for the side slats but any fence boards will do. So I didn't have to measure each cut, I made a cutting jig by clamping a piece of lumber on the miter saw table for the board to butt up against for each cut (pictured below).

Bi-Fold Door Outdoor Vent Cover Side Slats

Starting with the top and bottom slats and followed by the center slat, they were screwed to the backside of the uprights. The remaining slats were spaced evenly in between. Again, drill pilot holes first so the uprights don't split.

Assembled Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Outside Vent Cover

Painting the outside vent cover

Once assembled both the vent cover and utensil holder doors were spray-painted with a diluted solid stain in a 1:4 ratio much the same way as my Quick & Easy Way To Stain Adirondack Chairs tutorial.

BBQ Station Repurposed Painted Bi-Fold Doors

Staining the vent cover tabletop

Salvaged cedar deck boards were used to make a slated tabletop for the vent cover table with a 1 1/2-inch overhang on three sides. Once cut on the miter saw they were stained Cedar Naturaltone to match our budget-friendly deck restoration.

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door BBQ Stain Stained Tops

Once the stain was dry the boards were attached to the vent cover from underneath with metal L-brackets.

No more unsightly house vents and a handy table to set condiments, drinks, or snacks while grilling and entertaining on the deck. I plan on making a fun sign to hang above it soon.

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Outside Vent Cover Table

Next up is the second and easiest bi-fold door transformation.

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Utensil Holder

The main purpose for the bi-fold door utensil holder is so the wood door acts as a barrier between the vinyl house siding and the BBQ grill, preventing it from melting. But the louvered slats make it a handy grill utensil and apron holder too with simple S-hooks.

All we did to make it was add a stained cedar board on the top to both dress it up and prevent the doors from folding much like we did on our  Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Deck Privacy Screen.

Instead of attaching the bi-fold door to the house it is held upright with wood brackets and secured with wood screws. You can see one bracket on the bottom left in the photo below.

DIY Bi-Fold Door BBQ Station

I made the fun BBQ sign several years ago and never wrote a blog post but you can get a good idea of how I made it in my Image Transfer Technique tutorial.

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Grilling Utensils Holder

Other uses for the BBQ utensil holder

You could use this as a hanging flower pot wall, a decorative screen to hang metal garden art, or separate the doors and flank them on each side of an exterior window like shutters and hang solar fence light sconces.

I hope this post inspired you to rethink how old bi-fold doors can be repurposed for outdoors. A few years ago we made a DIY Garden Screen Fence from old louvered closet doors that our neighbor gave us.

If you have any questions about this makeover, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!


Repurposed Bi-Fold Door BBQ Station

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door Outside Vent Cover Table

Repurposed Bi-Fold Door BBQ Utensil Holder


I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.

14 comments

  1. This is so clever! Old bi-fold doors are so useful with a bit of vision.

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    1. Thank you so much, Vanessa! I'm so glad to have those ugly vents hidden plus the addition of a spot to serve snacks or drinks on the deck.

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  2. Hi Marie!
    I love your BBQ station! What a great way to protect your siding and it creates such a nice backdrop for the grill too! And that vent cover is genius - the louvered doors and slatted wood are perfect for ventilation. I'm sure the tabletop space is nice too! It sounds like trading grills worked out great. I hope you've been having a great week!
    >>> Kim

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    1. Thank you so much, Kim! We are so happy with the smaller grill and LOVE the new spot for it on the deck. We feel so fancy having a devoted BBQ station that is both functional and looks good too. Glad you like it! Hope your week has been a good one.

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  3. I love this Marie! I wanted to make something similar but just ended up getting the little cart instead.

    Tania

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  4. Thanks Tania! We feel so fancy having a devoted BBQ station now. LOL

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  5. Marie you never disappoint with your creative re loving of something. This bbq station is awesome.
    Happy Friday.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. Hi Kris, I'm glad you like our BBQ station! It only took us twenty years to cover those unsightly house vents. So glad we can finally grill on the deck without worrying about the house siding melting. We haven't grilled this much in at least three years!

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  6. I really like this project. You wouldn't know they are bi fold doors. This is a great project to make over the weekend.

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    1. It is a great weekend project that will only take an afternoon to build. I'm so glad we switched BBQs with out son and made this BBQ station happen. We haven't grilled this much in at least three years!

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  7. I need one of these to hide my gardening uglies. The extra pots, bags of soil, various tools.....funny how they need a space...but really are an eye sore. This is a great idea for me, too. Thanks so much for sharing this clever upcycle!! Your patio is so lovely....let's have a BBQ... :-) XO

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    1. So happy to hear you found our BBQ station idea helpful to house your gardening supplies. It's so easy peasy to make, you'll have it done in a jiffy. Yes, wouldn't it be fun to enjoy a BBQ and glass of wine together...but I choose your amazing outdoor space. I'll bring the steaks and wine! LOL

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  8. What an awesome upcycle! Thanks so much for sharing with us at the To Grandma's house we go link party. I'll be featuring you Wednesday morning on my blog when the new party starts!

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    1. So glad you like this idea Tarahlynn and thrilled that you'll be featuring it - thank you! xo

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