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How Isak will create a cosy outdoor area with an outdoor kitchen

En grunnmur tørrmur av Offerdal skifer som er under bygging. Oppe på muren ligger hammer og meisel.
With a house near the quarry in Offerdal, Sweden, slate was the natural choice when Isak Stålenhag decided to build an outdoor kitchen that can be used all year around.

– Slate is an absolutely fantastic building material. It’s robust and can be reused again and again. So if, in ten years’ time, I want to do something new, or move, I can easily take the slate with me, Isak says.

He has worked as a carpenter for over 20 years, specialising in traditional construction methods and restoration.

– Through my job I’ve become well-acquainted with traditional construction methods and I’ve noticed that in the old days houses were built to last for many centuries. So they got it right back then, he adds.

In the area around Isak Stålenhag’s property in Åre in Sweden, most of the façade walls are of Offerdal slate. It was therefore natural to use the same material to build a new outdoor kitchen.

– There will be slate on the floor and as the kitchen worktops. There will also be slate around the stone oven.

The outdoor kitchen itself will be built in the American style, with a timber roof.

– It will be a solid construction, primarily to protect it from the weather. It’s also an old technique that’s nice to show off, so it’s going to be a really good piece of craftsmanship. Getting a roof over our heads will allow us to use the outdoor kitchen in the winter, he explains.

A sketch showing a plan for an outdoor kitchen built on a slate foundation from Offerdal

– Even if it’s not finished yet…

Stålenhag’s plan is for the outdoor kitchen to be finished during the summer. But over the past year, however, he has wondered many times whether it would ever get finished. To make the outdoor kitchen as cosy as possible, even in winter, an open fireplace will be at the heart of the kitchen.

– In Sweden, like in Norway, there have been problems with the pandemic and restrictions on how many people can meet indoors. Outdoors, however, there have been greater opportunities for people to meet. So one thing I’ve missed is having a nice outdoor area where people could get together, he explains.

A house where an outdoor kitchen is built on a foundation in slate from Offerdal.

Getting ready for the summer

In addition to the slate worktop and fireplace in the middle, the outdoor kitchen is to have a number of small and large elements.

– I’m going to put in water, at least cold water, to which I can also connect the garden hose. There will also be room for a barbecue and I’m also considering including a hob, Stålenhag says.

But the jewel in the crown will undoubtedly be the stone pizza oven. It will be built by one of Isak Stålenhag’s best friends who builds and instals stone ovens as a profession. Here are some tips to help you plan a pizza oven

– It’ll be a cool thing to do for both of us. So we plan to begin the actual building work at the end of May and spend evenings and weekends on it until the summer.

So they’re both looking forward to getting going.

– We’re not building the oven or outdoor kitchen for clients, so we don’t have any limitations. At the same time, it’s also something I envisage that I’ll be able to offer clients in the longer term, so there will be a marketing element in it for both of us, he concludes.

Portrett av entreprenør og snekker Isak Stålenhag

– Slate is an absolutely fantastic building material. It’s robust and can be reused again and again. So if, in ten years’ time, I want to do something new, or move, I can easily take the slate with me.

Isak Stålenhag
Carpenter, with specialization in traditional construction methods and restoration

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