How to Build a Brick Barbecue Pit Pt. 1

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Notebook and pen
2"x 4" lumber
Pre-mixed concrete
Concrete screed
Concrete trowels

Almost without exception, every homeowner would enjoy having a brick barbecue pit in the backyard for summer barbecues. However, unless you want you pay a professional to build your brick pit, you will need certain tools, materials, and most importantly, a well designed plan. Here are a few things you should include in your plan:


Step 1 - Choosing Space and Location

In planning for the location of your barbecue pit, the convenience factor will be one you should consider. For example: will you want it to be near your kitchen or pantry from where you will need to bring foods? And what about weather conditions? If you typically get strong winds from the south, for example, you may want to build your pit in an area on the north side of a sheltering wall. Then, there are fumes from burning charcoal or smoke from sizzling steaks to take into account. Building your barbecue pit in a location where these fumes and the smoke from a grill will be carried into your home, will not please members of your family who are affected by them. If you have a pool, you'll need to know whether you want your pit near your pool or in a more remote location.

Step 2 – Planning for Grill Size and Components

Before beginning your brick installation, think about the grill you will use in your pit. You will need to know its size, components you will want to use, and how you will need to access it to change propane tanks, to clean it, and to cover it when it is not in use. If you plan to purchase a new grill, you should first choose and purchase it and all components you'll be needing. Then, measure the grill. You'll need these measurements when designing your grill space.

Step 3 – Draw Your Design

If you draw your pit design on paper, it will allow you to see sizes and shapes in a more true perspective. You may find, as you create the drawing, that you have discovered factors that you may have otherwise missed. Where will you want to keep utensils, aprons, bug spray, etc.?

Step 4 –Planning Your Barbecue Pit Base

In building your pit, you should plan for a strong foundation. A concrete slab about 5 feet wide, 7 to 8 feet long, and 6 inches thick will provide enough space for your pit and a small table whose surface you can use to hold your tools and food as you barbecue.  

Step 5 – Building Your Base

First, make a list of material you'll need: concrete, wood for forms, and concrete finishing tools. When you have finished your list, order your materials. If you don't have concrete tools, rent them. With your materials and tools assembled, begin by building your forms on a flat area. Level it, if necessary. Then, build your forms from 2"X 4" lumber. Pour your concrete into the form, tamping it to remove bubbles. When it is set, finish with concrete finishing tools.