A brick built BBQ is probably the easiest project for a beginner bricklayer and once complete it can be a real improvement to any garden. Not having to pull the BBQ out of the shed every time you want to use it is a real time saver and will encourage you to use it more often. Then there is the pleasure of telling friends and family that you made it yourself. Nothing beats the pride in that – just make sure it won't fall down by following these instructions carefully!
- Choose an area which is away from the house and not too close to overhanging branches or wooden fences. Also avoid the problem of smoke by thinking about the usual direction of the wind.
- Work out the dimensions of your BBQ by measuring the size of the grill racks and coal tray. The grill and tray will need to rest on brick and be able to be removed for cleaning. Arrange the bricks in a square with one side missing without setting them to ensure the positioning. One course of bricks should be turned to give some where for the rack to sit.
- Lay a concrete foundation keeping it as level as possible and slightly larger than the size of the BBQ. Once hardened you can start.
- Start laying the bricks using the same amount of mortar on the bottom and one end of each. Keep it level by checking with a spirit level after each course. Stagger the joins on each course until you reach the fifth course. Stop here to allow the mortar to set
- Once you have decided on the level of the coal tray (at some point after the fifth course) you can turn three bricks on each side to support it. The grill tray will be one course above this and is supported in the same way. If you have two grill trays simply go another course.
- If you choose you can finish by doing one more course and top with glazed tiles. But if you want something fancy you can always build up the back of your BBQ with a few courses to act as a wind barrier (and somewhere to keep your beer!)
- Once complete, but before the mortar hardens, you should clean up the grout lines to make it look professional. A wire brush will work well for this.
- It is important to remember that the higher you go, the more chance the walls will become unstable, so it may be worth considering making the BBQ with double thickness walls or larger bricks.
- Last but not least, throw on some burgers and invite your friends over!