DIY Outdoor Sink Prep Work and How-To Guide

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Having a utility sink outside can be convenient in so many ways.

For starters, it will prevent you from bringing dirt into your home, and it is a requirement for a proper outdoor kitchen.

The problem is that your house’s existing plumbing system may not have provisions for a new outdoor sink.

Furthermore, getting a contractor to open up walls and install new pipes can be very costly.

Using this short guide, you can build a DIY outdoor sink with tools you already have and minimal purchases from the hardware store.

Things You Will Need

Like any other DIY project, building an outdoor sink from scratch entails some expenditure.

Unless you have all the following items ready or in storage at home, you might need to buy a thing or two to complete the project.

For this project, we will build a freestanding sink with a utility countertop.

Water Supply

First and foremost, you will need an active source of running water.

It would be counterproductive to collect water from a distant source and carry it in a dispensing container whenever you need to use your sink.

Since we are building an outdoor sink, you can always connect to an existing garden tap.

Wastewater Collection

Every time you use the sink, you will need to dispense wastewater.

To prevent wastewater from spilling and splashing below, you need something to collect or convey the water to a nearby drain.

Old washtubs, pails, or buckets should do the trick if you don’t have access to a nearby drain.

Sink

The primary purpose of your outdoor sink will depend greatly on the size and type of fixture you use.

A shallow bowl with an outlet drain should be enough if you only plan to use it for cleaning your hands or small items.

However, if you plan to wash large objects or incorporate the sink into an outdoor kitchen, you’re better off with a deeper and wider sink.

Although you can use store-bought ceramic or metal sinks, you can also fabricate one from waterproof containers.

These containers can include vintage washtubs and PVC basins.

Faucet

Your choice of sink will also affect the type of faucet ideal for your project.

If you choose a deep and wide sink or a double sink, it would be best to pair it with a swivel-type gooseneck faucet for better coverage.

Better yet, use a faucet with a built-in pull-out hose and spray head for multipurpose applications.

Alternatively, pair a smaller faucet with a shallower basin so that the water does not go over its edge.

Water Conveying System

You will need a flexible hose long enough to convey water from an existing garden tap to the outdoor sink faucet.

While some faucet kits typically come with flexible hose attachments, they may not cover the source and outlet distance.

In addition, you might need adapters and splitters to make the connections compatible and efficient.

Use a two-way garden hose splitter to keep the garden tap functional for other uses other than the outdoor sink.

diy outdoor sinks

Drainage Line

Aside from the water conveying system, you will need a drain and a drainage line underneath the sink.

You can use a pop-up sink drain, which doubles as a water stopper.

Additionally, a flexible PVC pipe can transfer the wastewater to a collection tub or a nearby storm drain.

Materials for Countertop and Supports

Now that the primary components of the plumbing system for your outdoor sink are complete, you will need materials to hold everything in place.

Get enough 2×4 lumber for the posts and reclaimed wood planks for the countertop, skirts, stretchers, and a bottom rack if you need one.

Tools and Consumables

Common plumbing tools you might need include a pair of pliers, an adjustable wrench, and a basin wrench.

You will also need a measuring tape, a saw, and a power drill to assemble the frame and the countertop.

Essential consumables comprise 2.5-inch wood screws, wood glue, and thread-sealing tape.

DIY Outdoor Sink Step-by-Step

Once you have prepared everything required for the project, refer to the following steps for the assembly:

Step 1: Measure the Sink

The standard kitchen counter depth is 25.5 inches, but the size of your sink should be a determining factor for your counter depth.

Be sure that this depth is comfortable enough for you to reach the faucet.

Step 2: Cut All Wood to Size

After taking the measurements, make a rough sketch of the frame while considering the counter space you need.

Once you have all the dimensions, cut the wood planks and posts to size.

Keep the counter height at 36 inches, and be careful to subtract the thickness of the countertop planks from the length of the posts.

Using the span of your countertop, cut two pairs of wood planks for the front and back skirts and stretchers.

Finally, do the same for the side skirts, side stretchers, strutting beams, countertop planks, and bottom rack planks based on the depth of your countertop.

Step 3: Assemble the Frame

Use the wood glue, drill, and wood screws to combine the cut components, starting with the skirts and the posts.

Mark the posts with the desired height of the bottom rack, and install the stretchers.

Using the measurements of your sink, mark the skirts where added strutting beams need to support the sink.

Drill the struts into place and fit the sink.

Step 4: Install the Countertop and Bottom Rack

Once you are satisfied with how the sink fits into the frame, attach the countertop and bottom rack planks.

Remember to steer clear of the area where the sink fits into the frame.

Step 5: Install Sink and Faucet

After all the wood pieces are in place, install the sink and attach the faucet to the desired position.

Step 6: Install the Drain

A standard two-inch diameter pop-up drain should fit right in if you use a typical sink.

However, if you decide to fabricate a sink from a container, you might need a carbide-tipped hole saw drill bit.

Connect the drain assembly to the collection tub or area drain using the flexible PVC pipe.

Step 7: Connect the Faucet to the Supply Line

When connecting the faucet to the water supply, wrap a few rounds of thread-sealing tape around every male coupling to ensure a leak-free connection.

Open the garden tap and check for leaks along the line before trying out the faucet on your sink.

If you plan to move your sink around now and again, it would be better to invest in garden hose quick-connect fittings.

These fittings have rubber gaskets that virtually do not require plumbing tape to secure the leaks.

Remember To Seal and Paint!

After carefully considering these procedures, you should now have a complete DIY outdoor sink.

Of course, these steps make extensive use of wood, which may not be a good combination with water fixtures.

Nevertheless, you can always seal and paint the wood to protect it from the water.

If you’re happy with how your outdoor sink turned out, you might want to expand and develop it into an outdoor grill station.

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