This article is about bbq pit plans. Building a barbecue pit is easy, provided you use the right plans for your needs and testes. In addition, you have to master several masonry techniques to lay the bricks in a professional manner and choose an appropriate location for the construction. Generally speaking, a bbq gril pit can take many shapes, starting with a simple U-shaped construction made of bricks, up to larger outdoor kitchens equipped with state of the art appliances, such as gas grills, smokers, a pizza ovens or kitchen cabinets.
The location of the bbq pit is essential for your project, therefore we recommend you to consult your local building codes and make sure you comply with them. In most of the cases, you have to build the barbecue pit far away from flammable substances and from other construction in your backyard, as they could easily catch fire while you cook the food. In addition, you could place the bbq under the shade of a tree, to protect you from the sun during the hot days.
The design of the bbq pit is an essential aspect when planing its construction, as it should freshen-up the look of your backyard and not pass unnoticed by your guests. Therefore, you should study carefully the design of your house and the prominent lines and colors in your garden, to get the needed inspiration. From our point of view, we consider that a mix of surfaces covered with bricks and others with natural stone, is the perfect combination, especially if you have a tight budget.
In order to build a barbecue pit, you need the following:
- A – 2×6 and 2×4 alsts FORMWORK
- B - rebars for the reinforcing structure of the foundation REBARS
- C - cement, sand and gravel for the foundation and countertop CONCRETE
- D – 60 concrete blocks for the base of the bbq CONCRETE BLOCKS
- E – 200-300 bricks according to its size BRICKS
- F – 100 sq ft of stone CLADDING
- Safety gloves, glasses
- Wet saw (to cut the bricks)
- Hammer, spirit level, carpentry pencil
- Concrete mixer, trowel
- Water the bricks before laying them into place, otherwise they will soak the moisture from the compound
- Buy the bbw grill grate before building the brick bbq pit
- Read carefully our other articles related to barbeque construction
- Two weekends
Building a bbq pit
Building an unique barbeque shouldn’t be expensive nor a complex project, but an opportunity to enhance the look of your garden and to impress the loved ones. As you can see in the image, you need to use natural materials and to combine them as to build a great barbeque with a concrete table attached.
Bbq pit base plans
First, you have to lay out the foundation of the bbq pit on the construction site, by using batter boards and string. Use the 3-4-5 rule to make sure the corners are right angled. Next, excavate about 10″ (optionally, you could excavate 15” trenches for complex constructions), pour a 3” layer of gravel mixed with sand, and compact it thoroughly.
Use 2×6 boards to build the form and secure it with 2×4 stakes. Use a spirit level to make sure the form is perfectly horizontal on all sides.
Next, you should install a dense reinforcing structure of rebars in the form, as in the image. Lay the net in the formwork, ensuring you lay it on 2” spacers, to lift it to the middle of the concrete slab. Use a wheel barrow to mix concrete, using the following proportions: 2 parts cement, 3 parts sand, 4 parts gravel and water.
Smart tip: Read the instructions labeled on the cement bags to get detailed information about how to mix the concrete.
Next, you have to build the base of the bbq pit, by using concrete blocks and cement-based mortar. The technique is straight forward, but you have to pay attention to details, if you want to obtain a professional result.
Lay a concrete block at the beginning of the course and another one at the end. Tie a string to their exterior and lay the rest of the bricks, by pushing them firmly into the mortar.
In most of the cases 4-5 course of concrete blocks are enough (about 2 – 2 1/2′), but you should adjust the size of the barbeque to your needs. Afterwards, you have to start building the countertop of the bbq pit. Therefore, use 4×4 wooden posts and place them inside the cavities, as in the image.
The posts will support the weigh of the concrete, so we recommend you to select them with great care. Place 2×4 boards on top of the posts and make sure the surface is horizontal.
Continue building the countertop form by locking the sides (2×6 wooden boards) with screws. Use a spirit level to make sure the whole formwork is perfectly horizontal, otherwise the countertop will have an unpleasant look.
Use rebars to build another reinforcing net and place it inside the form, as in the image. However, don’t forget to lift it about 2”,by using spacers (small pieces of brick).
Mix a small quantity of concrete in a wheelbarrow or with a power mixer, and pour it in the form. Next, use a straight edge to level the contertop, by pushing it along the edges of the form. Vibrate the concrete with a concrete vibrator.
Smart tip: Use refractory bricks to build the firebox of the barbecue pit, as in the image. You should notice that the firebox is actually a cavity in the concrete countertop. Let the concrete countertop dry for at least 48 hours before laying the bricks.
Barbecue pit plans
Use regular bricks to build an U-shaped bbq, as you see in the image. Use a spirit level everytime you lay a brick and check if the walls are plumb and horizontal. Lay about eight courses of bricks (adjust the height according to your needs and tastes), using our bbq pit plans.
Smart tip: Use a damp sponge to remove the excess material off the bricks, otherwise they will be stained.
Next, we have to build the top of the barbeque pit and its chimney. Taking into account the width of the bbq entrance, we have to use a precast lintel to join the two sides. Place the lintel as in the image and secure it with cement-based mortar.
Smart tip: If you need to adjust the dimension of the lintel, you have to use a grinder with a diamond blade and cut it to the needed size. Place the lintel about 2” inside the bbq and leave enough space to mask it with small pieces of bricks.
Next, place several lintels over the top of the bbq, as in the image. As you can probably imagine, in the left side of the barbecue we will build the chimney, while the lintels will be covered with regular bricks, to obtain a neat look.
Building a bbq pit might look a complex procedure, but we can assure you that it’s plain simple if you follow our step by step instructions, work with great care and buy the right materials.
Mask the precast lintels with bricks, and fill the joints with cement based mortar. If you have to cut the bricks, we recommend you to use a wet saw or a grinder with a diamond blade.
Smart tip: Use a brick jointer to clean the excess mortar between the bricks and to get the concave cavities look.
Build the chimney of the bbq pit by laying 8-10 courses of bricks. In order to get the job done as a professional, you have to spread the mortar with a trowel and gently push the bricks until they get locked into place.
Don’t forget to use a spirit level every time you lay a brick, to check if the walls are plumb and aligned with the rest of the barbeque. In addition, clean the excess mortar with a sponge, before it’s too late.
Last but not least, after you have built the chimney and the rest of the barbeque, you could give it a unique design by cladding it with natural stone. In addition, we suggest you leaving several brick surfaces exposed, while cladding others, to create a nice design.
Cladding the barbecue with stone is straight forward: spread the appropriate adhesive on the exterior face of the bbq and press the stones gently into the mortar.
If you want to make your barbeque pit even more functional, we recommend you building a small wall at the back of the countertop, as you can see in the image.
In addition, you should also consider attaching several shelves to the wall, in order to create useful storage spaces, needed in any outdoor kitchen. Let the mortar dry out for several days before making the fire for the first time in the bbq pit.
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