How to build a brick barbeque

How to build a brick barbeque

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How to build a brick barbeque

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Project Overview

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Nothing says summer like a sizzling barbecue surrounded by family and friends. Follow our guide to building your own brick BBQ and look forward to entertaining in the great outdoors.

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Weekend Project

Weekend Project

A project to keep you busy for a whole weekend

 

Step by Step Instructions

1 Where to build your BBQ
2 Lay the foundations
3 Mark out your base
4 Start laying the base
5 Finish the base
6 Wait 24 hours
7 Mix up your mortar
8 Lay your first bricks
9 Continuing the first course
10 Finish the first course
11 Staggering the courses
12 Keep it square
13 Neat & tidy jointing
14 Build in your grill
15 Adding the final touch
16 Wait for it
  • Step 1. Where to build your BBQ

    Choose a site for your BBQ that’s relatively flat, protected from the wind, away from shrubs and bushes and not too far from your kitchen. Dry lay your concrete slabs in your chosen position to get an idea of how it will fit in the space, then roughly mark out the area on the ground.
  • Step 2. Lay the foundations

    Add a layer of hardcore that covers more than the area of your barbecue. Compact it down with a whacker plate. 
  • Step 3. Mark out your base

    Then, using four corner pegs and a string line, mark out the dimensions for your slabs. Make sure these lines are square with existing decking, paving or other edges, as you’ll use it to square the barbecue itself. Check that opposite sides are equal in length and check that the diagonal distances match.
  • Step 4. Start laying the base

    Add spots of cement in the position of your slabs then lay them down. Using a hammer or mallet, carefully tap your first slab into place, ensuring it is level in both directions. 
  • Step 5. Finish the base

    Lay your second slab. It’s really important to make sure the whole surface is level at this point. 
  • Step 6. Wait 24 hours

    Leave it to dry for at least twenty four hours before you start laying your bricks.
  • Step 7. Mix up your mortar

    Prepare a mortar mix of five parts building sand to one part cement, then add water. Mix the mortar on a mortar board or in a wheelbarrow so that it sticks to the trowel when held vertically.
     
  • Step 8. Lay your first bricks

    Lay out mortar 10mm thick for each brick then run the point of the trowel through the mortar to spread it evenly to the sides; lay down your first brick. 
  • Step 9. Continuing the first course

    Holding the next brick in one hand, apply 10mm on the brick's vertical joint, this is known as buttering. Now push this buttered brick against the first brick to form a vertical join. Mortar will leak out of the sides, so scrape your trowel along the side to create a clean edge. 
  • Step 10. Finish the first course


    Follow this format to complete the first course - constantly checking with the spirit level and square. It’s crucial that this first layer is perfectly square. 
     
  • Step 11. Staggering the courses

    Before you start the second layer, it’s important that you stagger each level - each course must maintain a 1/2 brick overlap to bond your project together. This means you’ll have to cut bricks to achieve a staggering effect. 

    To cut, lay the brick on the ground and mark a cutting line around the brick with a bolster and mash hammer. Now place the bolster in the groove and firmly strike it. You could also use an angle grinder with a masonry disc.
     
  • Step 12. Keep it square

    Continue to stagger each layer, constantly checking you’re square and level in both directions. 
  • Step 13. Neat & tidy jointing

    Once each layer is laid, fill the gaps with a pointing trowel and smooth them out carefully. You may want to use a jointing tool for a smooth curve. 
  • Step 14. Build in your grill

    The drip tray and grills will need supports. These are provided as metal plates, which you can build into the mortar. Build supports for the drip tray at level 7, and for the grill and the warming grill at levels 9 and 11. If you don’t have metal plates you could use bricks as supports – just take a brick, turn it 90 degrees and bed half of it in the mortar so that the other half protrudes inwards to support the trays.
  • Step 15. Adding the final touch

    Lay in the remaining levels. You’ll get a nice effect by finishing the top layer with some different bricks.
  • Step 16. Wait for it

    Keep it dry for 24 hours so that the mortar sets properly, before firing up your new brick barbecue.
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