We all love it when the husband fires up the grill for some traditional backyard BBQ, but what happens when the heat gets close enough to melt the vinyl siding on your house? Disaster.
There is nothing less attractive on a home than melted vinyl siding. After all, it’s supposed to look like wood and hearken back to a time when houses were built to last.
Melted vinyl makes the house look like it’s slowly falling apart.
This disaster isn’t as permanent as it seems. It may even be a chance for an upgrade.
The best way to fix melted vinyl siding is to use a vinyl siding tool, a hammer, tin snips, and a box of new matching siding. You will want to replace the full length of paneling from corner to window because that will provide the cleanest look.
But what next? Where should you put your grill so it won’t melt your house again? First, I’ll share some steps for how to repair that vinyl siding on your exterior wall. Then I’ll show you some fun ideas for where to put that grill instead.
Vinyl Siding Repair Step-by-Step
- count the number of vinyl panels in need of replacement
- remove the affected panels with a vinyl siding tool and the nail removal side of a hammer
- purchase the same style and color of vinyl paneling from your favorite home improvement store
- measure the length of the missing pieces on your wall
- cut the new panels to the appropriate length using vinyl shears
- nail the new siding into place, being sure to keep the nails heads slightly away from the wall for natural movement and flexibility
- use the vinyl siding tool to fit the new vinyl pieces together seamlessly
- put the grill somewhere else
This project only costs as much as a box of siding from Home Depot (which usually covers around 200 sq feet and costs between $150-200), plus the cost of a siding tool ($7-8) and tin snips ($20-30), available from Amazon. You likely won’t use the whole box of siding, but having matching vinyl siding in your garage is a good idea for future repairs if you plan on keeping your siding as it is.
It’s really important that after you replace the vinyl siding, you prevent future problems by putting the grill somewhere away from the heat-vulnerable wall. Otherwise you’ll be coming back here again soon, to do this all over again!
Replace the Damaged Spot with a Brick Archway
If you still really want to put your grill up against the exterior wall on your balcony or back porch, all you need to do is heat-proof that section of wall.
Instead of replacing the damaged, melted siding with the same old melt-prone siding, you can use something that’s both beautiful and known for safely retaining heat: brick.
A brick archway can be made of full or half bricks in any color you want. You can get a box of 50 half-bricks on Amazon for around $70.
With half bricks, you can use a basic tile adhesive to stick the bricks to the wall in the pattern or design you choose. You can find tile adhesive at Amazon for $17 per gallon.
Apply with an $8 tile trowel. (If you’re a big DIY-er, you may already have one of these lying around.)
For the spaces in between the bricks, you’ll want a heat-resistant mortar that is made for fireplaces, $15 from Amazon. You’ll apply this with an $11 brick trowel. It’s a similar method to grouting after laying tile, except the mortar will dry even harder than grout, so make sure to clean up your brick really well.
Finish with a brick sealer, about $30 on Amazon, easily applied with a paint roller. This will make your brick waterproof for the weather.
You can also make a straight brick wall without the fancy arch if you like that look better. The point is to have a heat-proof backdrop for your grill that also makes it clear you take home ownership seriously.
Stucco it All!
What if you’re tired of vinyl siding and want to melt-proof your whole house? If you don’t want to make a special brick section for your grill and entertaining area, and you really can’t imagine replacing all the siding with brick or some other fancy veneer, one option that might be worth it to you is stucco.
Stucco is a clean look that is both timeless and contemporary. It can be painted any color and works great as a background for a garden or a grill.
According to homeadvisor.com, it can cost anywhere between $1,836 – $7,083 to stucco your whole home, depending on your geographical area and how big your house is. But the average cost is around $4,000.
If you’re ready for a big change at a fairly low cost, go stucco!
Other Backdrop Ideas For Your BBQ Grill
Some people have also used corrugated metal as an industrial style backdrop for their backyard BBQ grill. It’s not going to melt easily, and it can be painted any color or left with the raw silver or copper color.
The choices here are almost limitless. I’ve seen some really cute industrial chic grill backdrops with a mixture of corrugated metal framed by wooden planks. These have a farmhouse charm you might just love.
Some people have even used a wooden privacy partition to make a grill space in their backyard. Wood is a classic, trusted option. It’s not fire-proof but it doesn’t melt either.
All of these are great options for a heat-tolerant space to set up your grill. But if you want to take your backyard dining and entertaining to the next level, consider the backyard kitchen, aka BBQ island.
Make an Island For Your Grill
This option is a more complex DIY project, but beginners can do it if they follow step-by-step instructions. You can purchase a digital guide written by experienced grill island builder, Michael Davey, on Amazon for $10. He promises you’ll save thousands of dollars on the job by doing it yourself with his patterns.
Materials, excluding the BBQ grill, can cost as low as $250-300. That’s a steal of a deal when you consider that people are paying $4,000-6,000 for someone else to build them one of these luxurious backyard kitchens.
Some things you’ll want to consider if you take this project on:
- Do I have space for a whole BBQ island?
You probably do! They can be as big or small as you want them to be. I’ve seen examples with two counters on either side of the BBQ, complete with cabinets or drawers underneath. I’ve also seen lavish backyard kitchenettes with faucets and refrigerators. It’s up to you, your space limitations, and your budget.
2. What kind of floor should I put my grill island on?
You can put it on cement, tile, flagstone, or your wood deck. You’ll definitely want your foundation to be strong so your cabinets don’t end up sinking after a heavy rain.
3. How much counter space and storage to I need?
When you’re grilling and entertaining outside, what are your needs? Do you need a bar counter with stools? A minifridge stocked with drinks? A garbage compactor? A sink? You definitely need a grill!
4. What type of counter tops do I want?
Are you looking at reclaimed wood? Bamboo? Granite? Slate? Tile? Concrete? Each one has its own price point and benefits. Whatever you get, you need it to hold up pretty well in your local weather. Can your favorite counter top be weather-proofed for your area?
5. How much am I willing to spend?
The basic building materials, as mentioned, are in the $250-300 range. But flooring, counter top materials, and appliances will add onto the total cost. Decide at the beginning of your project what you’re willing to splurge on and what you can do without. This will save you from unexpected expenses later on.
Now you know how to fix the vinyl siding your grill-master melted! And you also have some killer ideas for giving your grill its own happy place so this never happens again.
Good luck with all your projects and dreams!