Outdoor Cooking Time!

A Before and After Photo Analysis


This custom design build outdoor kitchen project entailed improving the existing backyard BBQ area and resolving issues of the south-facing patio door with no weather protection.

BEFORE: The original gas grill was fully exposed to the elements. The only shade in this area was the portable umbrella. The existing BBQ grill area lacked any storage or counter prep area.

DURING: We matched the house stucco finish to create an original, built-in look. Electrical outlets were added to allow for additional appliance use.

AFTER: The new built-in gas grill, cooktop, and storage areas were protected by a standing seam metal roof structure attached to the house. Counter space provided ample room for food prep.

BEFORE: The original design and access to the backyard were poorly designed. The southern exposure created excessive heat/solar radiation from the concrete and stucco wall. Access to the backyard during rainstorms was difficult as wind-driven rain would enter directly into the home.

DURING: Noncombustible and rot-free metal stud framing at the built-in kitchen area supported the finished stucco and stone counter top. We utilized one bay of the roof framing to install downlighting for the counter and BBQ.

DURING: Pressure-treated posts were installed on structural concrete footings to support the roof loads. Careful cutting of the concrete patio deck allowed for minimal repair work and maintained the integrity of the existing stamped concrete.

AFTER: The shed roof provided necessary protection from the elements. The shade structure protects the appliances and keeps them cool to touch during the summer months. Design, Build, and BBQ!

Employee Profile

Diana Machado; Lead Designer

1. What is your role as a Lead Designer at MCH&R?

I am responsible for developing design concepts and evolving these concepts to incorporate finish details and materials. I then produce construction documents which are used to acquire building permits and provide construction details for the build. The end goal is to produce quality solutions to meet the client’s project objectives.

2. What do you like about your job?

I love working in a creative field and helping clients make their dreams a reality. Transforming spaces from bland to bold and beautiful is what I love to do!

3. What is something you want your clients to know as they head into the design-build process?

Before heading into the design-build process, it’s best to envision the space you want to transform. Ask yourself, what do I want out of this space? What kind of style am I going for? Research styles and gather as many examples from Houzz, Pinterest, or magazines. The best way to communicate what you want is to understand exactly what you are going for. To save time and money is to do your own research and trust your designer!

4. What do you like to do in your spare time? When I’m not designing for clients, I’m working on my own projects at home. I’ve been working on my house for the past three years and I truly enjoy the process of transforming spaces. I enjoy gardening and creating arrangements whenever I get the chance. When I need a break from the construction zone, I enjoy going on adventures with my dog, Buck. Before COVID, you would find me in the yoga studio, paddle boarding on the American River, and going out to dinner with friends.


Diana and Buck enjoying the great outdoors.

Morse Team Building

Creating Window Planters at our Design Center


Our office in Davis has windows viewing a walkway and another office building’s exterior wall. Our team wished to beautify the views out of the office windows, so we designed and created a few gardens out of metal troughs to transform the space from a concrete walkway into a small, pollinator-friendly oasis.


One of our carpenters, Chris, filled the troughs with soil and hooked up the planters to a drip irrigation system.

We’ve already seen plenty of happy bees and hummingbirds passing through to pollinate the garden!


Adding some green beyond the window puts a smile on Diane’s face…. At least we think that’s a smile.


Design, Build, and Enjoy!

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