What is the best way to build a brick barbecue easily? Our illustrated guide shows you how, step by step — with options to decorate it.
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Barbecuing… In addition to gardening, DIY, and playing sports and watching, this is the most popular leisure activity outdoors.
Due to the materials used, our construction plan to build a brick barbecue easily can be put into practice in one weekend and costs just under $180 plus a grill and wood paneling or tiles for exterior decoration. We used large lawn edging pavers for the construction of the sides, but you can also use prefabricated concrete panels.
Build a brick barbecue easily: step by step instructions
Download the construction plan here to build a brick BBQ with adjustable grill heights! We spent around $2 each on the bricks. However, this item can be reduced: In the building materials trade, take a look at the leftovers corner, because there are always small lots.
The brick grill has different heights. You can control the cooking process with the two setting heights. An upturned bottom made of a sheet metal shelf ($4 ) serves as a practical coal pan.
Building a BBQ: ways to get the right grill grate
- You have a grate already and just wall the grill around it.
- You can have a grate made by a locksmith.
- You order a custom-made product that can be dismantled and fits in the dishwasher. These are available from $90, depending on the provider and model.
Build your own BBQ grill: it’s all about the mortar mix
Even when it comes to supposedly coarse walls, all work must be carried out with the utmost care, as even the finest hairline cracks in the connections can lead to the failure of this building object. For example, lawn edges that have already been set must no longer be subjected to loads until the mortar and adhesive have hardened. It is therefore essential to pay attention to the different curing times of the materials, because you are processing three different mortars:
- Concrete screed for the foundation
- Flexible tile adhesive to glue the edges together
- A cement mortar that is equally suitable for masonry and for grouting.
Tip: Prepare your area for the barbecue project
Prepare also your patio for this project before: Get easy drop sheets for the materials to be stored on so that they do not damage the terrace. Mortar trays help with the storage and removal of the excavated material:
Build the ‘test dummy’
Before the first cut of the spade is carried out to build a brick barbecue easily, you should set up a “grill dummy” in the form of a wooden plate with two support stands where the grill will later be. Check whether it is correctly placed at this point, whether the wind conditions are acceptable and whether you can operate the grill optimally.
The lawn edging paver stones we used for the barbecue sides need to have 1/3 of their length in the ground, i.e. a good 34 cm. To do this, excavate the ground 40 cm deep.
So much of the concrete screed is poured in that 34 cm remains up to the sward . The concrete screed is additionally compacted with a piece of wood.
Align the lawn edging stones on the concrete bed filters with the spirit level, and top the sides with concrete screed to just below the turf.
Always compact the concrete screed with the wood and set up one lawn edging paver after the other. The panels are glued together with a flexible tile adhesive.
The lawn edges are brought to an exact and even height with a rubber mallet .
Fill the sides with concrete screed.
Excess material from the tile adhesive is rubbed off with a sponge and clear water and washed off only a short time after bonding.
So that the concrete lintels can later lie very close to each other, the protrusions at the edges are carefully removed with a hammer.
Mixed cement mortar is placed on the lawn edging stones and the concrete lintels are embedded in them. Always handle the heavy parts with care, as it can quickly happen that the structure that is not yet fully hardened can tip over.
For those who have never built or only rarely do so, we recommend the following: Before starting, the stones are placed on the substructure in the right order and shortened or cut accordingly. A preliminary work that should not be underestimated, as good preparation makes it easier to build the wall later.
The slots for the grill grate should also be prepared.
Every stone that is set is checked with a spirit level.
A tension cord on two bricklayers’ angles (from the hardware store) makes it easier to build both in height and in alignment.
The masonry mortar is only ever set for one or two bricks at a time, otherwise it would dry out too quickly.
The brick or stone is carefully placed in the mortar bed, brought to the level of the row of bricks by hand.
Press the brick or stone down .
The seating of the brick may be corrected with the trowel. With a long spirit level , the smallest bumps or irregularities can also be discovered, and must be corrected immediately before the mortar sets.
For grouting, the mortar is first roughly pressed into the joints. Finally, smooth the joints.
Dress up the brick grill
A handsome facade for the new grill : The grill is now there. But the concrete look is not for everyone. We’ll show you in the next day or so how you can turn the brick barbecue into a real eye-catcher with little effort.
With our brick barbecue, the focus was on rapid progress in building – and if possible, also for non-masons. The cold concrete look is certainly not to everyone’s taste.
So we clad the grill with colored multiplex plates and painted one side of them in a different color so that we could change the view from time to time. Before painting, the material surface must be sanded with 120 grit sandpaper and an adhesive primer applied. In addition, the cut edges and the drill holes must be sealed with a colorless paint .
The substructure made of lawn edging stones and concrete lintels was painted with gray concrete paint to make the red and green decorative panels more distinct. However, you can paint the lawn edging stones with any facade color so that any look is possible here, deviating from our design.
Since white salt crusts emerge from concrete blocks (fresh from the factory) under the influence of the weather, you should wait until next spring to paint.
Build a brick barbecue easily: simple decoration ideas
Multiplex panel decoration
The red multiplex panels we chose were also green on the reverse side. So you can choose one or the other color according to your mood . And for the winter, the panels are then removed and stored in a dry place.
The holes in the bricks are made with a concrete drill, but without the impact mode (hammer drilling), otherwise pieces can break out.
Attachment of the decorative panels
To attach the decorative panels and the shelf supports, holes are drilled in the lawn edging stones used as sides, and these are provided with appropriate dowels. You should only screw in the hooks themselves after painting.
Paint the sides with concrete or facade paint, which is available in different colors.
Attach the shelf supports
The decorative panels are painted on one side.
To prevent the holes in the decorative panels from tearing out, pre-drill with a 3 mm drill, then from both sides with a countersink and finally again with an 8 mm drill.
Hang the finished decorative panels.
Brick barbecue: with shelf or chalkboard
To give the grill a personal touch , a multiplex plate is attached, which is painted with blackboard lacquer.
Here you can write the menu with chalk or greet the guests by name. Another nice idea is the all-round shelf, which creates additional storage space.
Brick barbecue: With wire ropes as a climbing aid
With a few tension wires and pegged hooks, climbing plants will cover the sides. Just make sure that the plants do not grow into the area of the brick, because it gets a little hotter here than the plants could handle.
Grill with wood paneling
If you don’t like the modern concrete look at all, but still find our construction convincing, you can board the entire substructure with wood.
We also recommend making wooden elements here separately, which are then hung on hooks on the concrete structure, similarly to the multiplex panel method shown above. A wood coating then ensures that it is suitable for all weather conditions, or it can be stored during bad weather.
Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.