The finished outdoor barbecue, plastered and fitted with fire bricks.
The finished outdoor barbecue, plastered and fitted with fire bricks. PHOTO Michael Craig

Stage 1: How to build a beaut' outdoor barbecue

THIS DIY outdoor barbecue makes a great focal point in what used to be an unused area.

Using an existing retaining wall gave us the height needed, and boxing the front to overhang the wall with reinforcing mesh gave a toe kick and a place to put the utensils. This is a two-part instalment. Next week I will cover installing fire bricks and doing the plastering.

Step 1:

Measure and mark out the area required for a foundation by excavating about 200mm deep or until you reach solid ground. Prepare a level base about 100mm thick with compacted hard fill.

Step 2:

Measure and cut your boxing timber to length then fix in position, keeping level. Cut your steel mesh to fit about 50mm less than the boxed area. Cut enough lengths of D10 steel rods and bend one end about 200mm, creating a 90-degree bend. Fix with wire ties to the mesh about every second hole placement on the block.

Step 3:

Mix five parts builder's mix with one part cement, add water and mix together to a porridge-like consistency in a concrete mixer or wheelbarrow. For best results follow instructions on cement bag. Pour in the concrete, lifting the mesh with a rake to sit in the centre. Using a straight edge seated on the boxing, screed off the concrete in a back and forth motion to level.

Step 4:

Allow the concrete base to set for at least 24 hours. Then mix a bag of pre-mix mortar with water-again following the instructions on the bag - creating a fluffy consistency. Spread the mortar on to the base and between each block and start laying your concrete blocks, making sure each row of blocks is level by tapping it into place. Cut the blocks to fit where needed for each row.

Step 5:

With the block framework now finished, leave it to dry for at least 24 hours before filling the blockwork with concrete slurry.

For the chimney, stack two blocks side by side in a crisscross manner, using a support on the inside until mortar has set. I made the chimney high enough to draw the smoke from the fire away from the people sitting near the barbecue.

Step 6:

For the roof, box up an even overhang about 100mm either side of the block framework, with supports underneath and boxed ends to hold in the concrete. For the front, mark and cut using a jigsaw, creating an even curve to the underside. Cut out an angled shape from the side overhang for the top of the roof shape and fix your 6mm ply to fit the curved shape. Stop any sag when fitting the wire mesh and laying concrete. Materials

Cement 

  •  Builders' mix 
  •  Steel mesh 
  •  D10 steel rods 
  •  Wire ties 
  •  150 series blocks (frame) 
  •  200 series blocks (chimney) 
  •  Mortar plaster
  •   100x25mm boxing timber 
  •  18mm plywood 
  •  6mm plywood 
  •  40mm screws


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