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Short answer is, it depends on what you want for the end product and how handy you are. There are many ready-to-finish outdoor kitchen cabinet box products out there. If you are confident with your finishing skills and ability to measure/install appliances, then DIY may be a good option for you. We recommend you have proper venting and use non-combustible materials. It is also important to ensure what you are veneering over is appropriate for the outdoors. If you decide to hire a contractor, check their credentials and experience with outdoor kitchens.


There are some good quality ready-to-finish products on the market. There are also many of poor quality. Galvanized steel and cement board rated for moisture resistance are the pitfall of these systems. The steel can rust and erode over time. Cement board absorbs moisture and the veneer can delaminate and fall off. The cement board also expands and contracts in freeze/thaw cycles. RTF is more time consuming as you have to hire a mason to finish your outdoor kitchen. Ready-to-finish can also have hidden costs as appliances and countertops are often sold separately.



RTA is the popular alternative to prefabricated and RTF outdoor kitchens. What usually takes 1-2 weeks with ready-to-finish takes only a couple hours with RTA. Our structural panels are manufactured from an engineered concrete composite. These panels also come with a veneer finish built-in. Our panels do not need a frame or masonry finish. All you have to do is set in place, adjust for pitch, and connect with SS brackets. Additionally, all appliance openings are done for you for easy install in minutes. RTA is one of the only systems that comes complete with a countertop and all hardware for installation. No trips to the hardware store needed.

CAN I Build RTA Myself?

Our standard outdoor kitchens require at least one other person to help with lifting and placing parts. The countertops and appliances are heavy so it is neither safe nor ideal to do yourself. If you have an extra set of hands around, this part will not be an issue.
While RTA outdoor kitchens have simplified the process of assembly, there are still tools required. If you have a power drill with three drill bits, you’re good to go. A level and pry bar to open the shipping boxes are helpful as well.
Basic knowledge of construction is pretty essential to building your outdoor kitchen. If you know how to use basic construction tools and know your way around a project, this will not be a problem for you. We at RTA make the process as simple as possible.
If you do not feel confident with any of the above, that is okay! We can help. Many RTA customers hire a handyman to help with assembly and disposal of crate materials. RTA also has a growing network of professionals that can assist you in most parts of the country.

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